The Genius Guide to Godlings — Why Not Be Epic at 1st Level?

It’s time for another Pathfinder review from Billy Gibbs. If you have the blood of a deity flowing through your veins right from 1st level, you might want to take a Godling for a spin.

Ever want to play as Heracles in your RPG? Well, now you can! I bring you (well, actually, Super Genius Games brings you) The Godling Class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying System. This SGG release is the one I’m most worried about as far as balance issues. I am currently running a campaign with the Summoner Class from the Advanced Player’s guide beta, and I’m growing more and more sure that a decent summoner could take on a CR 3 encounter on their own at level one. Mine came pretty close, and I’ve had to seriously amp up the violence of later encounters to take her into account. So, if any of my players are reading this, it’s that cat’s fault you’re getting so beat up.

Back to the Godling: classes are the easiest thing to fail at balancing. Either they get too awesome, or in an effort to be unique they unique themselves to uselessness [sort of like 3.5 druids? Ed.]. The Godling is actually two sort-of half-classes. Maybe it would be best described as two flavors of Godling. There’s the herculean Mighty Godling who acts as an odd sort of fighter/paladin/toolbox. She gets the domain powers of her deity as if she were a cleric, but not the spells. She also get divine traits which are similar to rogue talents but more divine. They can grant the Godling access to the clerical spells of her domains, or can be used to make her better at hitting stuff than she already is.

The Clever Godling is a rogue-like divine tricksterish beasty that gets the domains as well as the divine talents, though he will probably want to skew more toward spells and sneaky stuff than his hulkish counterparts. Flavor-wise I like the Godlings, and the Clever flavor is a nice counterpart to the arcane trickster through its divine spells.

The Mighty Godling looks like it might be either crazy broken awesome, or borderline useless in comparison to the fighters and paladins we already have. To test this, I’m making up a few Godlings for my PCs to fight. I figure if I can kill the summoner’s pet, or even the summoner, these guys might be a bit too strong, but I doubt they’re extremely game breaking [and the DM could always equip all the orcs with swords +2 vs. Godlings, Ed.].

There are rules to use Godling as a prestige class which are of interest to me, simply because my players have already picked classes, and barring some strange change of heart after a death, will probably roll up similar characters to replace lost ones. Prestige classes are always welcome. For those late comers, prestige classes are like paragon paths in 4E, but instead of being add-ons to your existing class, you multiclass into something a bit fancier than you were before. Rogues could become Shadow Dancers or Arcane Tricksters, or a ranger with some spells could become an arcane archer. Personally, I don’t think there are enough of these in the core book; some classes have no viable method to get into a prestige class of value.

All in all, the Godling is an awesomely flavorful concept, but I’m going to test it on my players before I tell any of them about it. You can download it from DriveThruRPG.

7 Responses to The Genius Guide to Godlings — Why Not Be Epic at 1st Level?

  1. Heheh. I like that you;re not sure if a godling is “either crazy broken awesome, or borderline useless in comparison to the fighters and paladins.” That sounds like “balanced” to me.

    Also, I think the plan to make players fight something before they can be one is neat. :D

  2. Wait, Ed, are you saying Druids are useless in 3.5? Cause I’m going to have to disagree with every fiber of my being. They are actually pretty incredible and nearly broken out of the box.

  3. I’ve said before that if you wanted to give a player the “Epic Destiny” from 4e for their character, you could probably work it out.

    Gavin, I’m pretty sure he’s saying Druids are gamebreakingly over-powered.

  4. Hopefully, but I wasn’t sure. His note follows “in an effort to be unique they unique themselves to uselessness”.

  5. Intrestingly enough, I’m working on a pair of Lolthy Godlings for the end of an upcoming dungeon. It’s kinda fun to pick a deity first, then figure out the characters from there. it’s a bit different than digging through the rulebook for domains, then picking a deity that has both.

  6. I’ve always liked the concept of playing a demi-god of some sort. Shortly after Highlander came out my friend and I started a campaign where the players were being chased by a horrible black knight who wanted to chop off their heads and drink their godly essence.

    I revisited that campaign concept several times over the years with the most recent go I took a level 0 god (demi-god) from Deities and Demi-gods and divided it into twenty different stages that I used essentially as levels to tack onto the character’s basic class levels. It wasn’t a perfect solution and we started off playing pretty high level characters early but it was still a lot of fun.

    Godling sounds great, but I’m pretty committed to 4e now. Are there going to be conversions?

  7. I put the Mighty Godling to use in one of the closest combats my party has had. it went pretty well, especially if you pick domain powers that focus towards close combat, I recommend destruction. as for a 4e conversion, I don’t know, but most of Super Genius Games products have been for Pathfinder. I think we’ll have to ask Owen the next time he shows up.

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