Part-Time Gods

2014’s New Year, New Game Sale on DriveThruRPG this week!

DriveThruRPG‘s annual New Year, New Game Sale is up and running, with 50% off the price of over 80 different corebooks both new and old!

This year’s sale has excellent titles that I can personally recommend that are worth checking out if you don’t have them yet:

Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition

A permanent fixture in my top 5 rpgs of all time, L5R presents a rich and unique pseudo-japan setting where honor is a force more powerful than steel.


Monte Cook’s Numenera is weird science fantasy writ large. Set so far in the future that technology and magic are one and the same, Numenera is D&D turned on it’s head with interesting mechanics that reward exploration and discovery over just combat.

Part-Time gods from Third Eye Games

Imbued with the spark of divinity, player characters step up onto the grand stage of godhood in Eloy Lasanta’s Part-Time Gods! Modern sensibilities play with mythic themes. Definitely a solid player in the “modern gods” genre of games that holds its own alongside Scion and Nobilis.

Savage Worlds Deluxe: Explorer’s Edition

If you’re looking for a rules-medium game that can run any genre, then Savage Worlds delivers fun without the mechanical complexity of other systems. I’ve had a great time running Savage Worlds before, and the system is well supported with imaginative and interesting settings like Deadlands and Solomon Kane!

Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition

20 years is a long time for a game to exist, but Onyx Path injects new life to Werewolf: the Apocalypse in the definitive new volume that compiles the very best of Werewolf. Those who haven’t gotten into it before, or missed out on this Classic World of Darkness line will do themselves a favor by picking this up.

Little Wizards

Kids and Adults will love this game as it presents an interesting world full of opportunities for all sorts of adventures, while giving vital advice to the adults on how to run kid-friendly games!

Divine Instruments for Part-Time Gods now Kickstarting!


Eloy Lasanta, writing machine and author of Part-Time Gods kindly let me know that Divine Instruments, a supplement for the line is now on Kickstarter! Ever since I first found out about it, Part-Time Gods has been my choice for the Urban Fantasy of Modern Gods type of games, and I’m more than pleased to see that Eloy has taken steps to expand and build upon his initial release.

One particular thing about this kickstarter is that the Stretch Goals are aimed to expanding the line even further. I feel that this is an excellent move on the part of Third Eye Games as it gives people something to be excited about beyond just this book. The supplements mentioned in the kickstarter page are intriguing, and I’m personally looking forward to Minions of the Source and Book of Theologies as directions for the game line.

Third Eye Games has also made Part-Time Gods available on a Pay What You Want basis for the duration of the Kickstarter, giving you a chance to check out the corebook for yourself to see if you like the game enough to support it through the Kickstarter.

Missions vs Sandbox, What’s Your Preference?

RPGs come in all kinds, but one particular distinction that bears paying attention to is if the game lends itself better towards mission-based play, or a more sandbox style approach.

Mission-based games are those that often have the player characters taking on a specific role relating to a group of PC types that are meant to achieve X goals via Y means.  Games like these often invest a lot of time and effort playing up the group that the players are meant to be a part of, to instill a clear range of acceptable behaviors and actions.  Some examples are:

  • In Flames by Greg Saunders – Features the Player Characters as the Exiles, a group of individuals working for a being calling itself Ghede to fight against abusive individuals known as “Barons.”
  • Eclipse Phase – At its default level assumes that the player characters are part of Firewall, a secret organization created to combat extinction-level threats.
  • All For One: Regime Diabolique – Assumes that the player characters are all part of the Musketeers, fighting against the darkness that is sweeping over France.
The advantage of Mission-based games is that it forms a common element that ties the group together.  This is excellent for games that rely on heavy teamwork and for groups that don’t care for that much player vs. player conflict.  Rather than spending time with keeping secrets from each other and otherwise politicking, the group can focus on a given objective.
Conflicts in this setup tend to be focused on external threats, and don’t leave a lot of room for introspective plot hooks.  This setup is also great for large numbers of players as everyone gets a chance to do something.
Sandbox style games are less specific about their arrangements.  Often, these games focus more on a situation rather than a mission.  While there are exceptions, one of the most common questions Sandbox games tend to offer is “Congratulations, you’ve just become a Vampire/Werewolf/Mage/Exalt/Godling/etc.  Now what do you do?”
White Wolf is notorious for catering to this form of game, but they’re definitely not the only ones:
  • Part-Time Gods – Has various factions, but certainly no unifying group and “mission” behind their existence.  The Player characters find themselves blessed (or cursed) with the divine spark of godhood and have to find out how to live in this strange new world of godhood.
  • Legend of the Five Rings – Is a game that is definitely broad enough to accommodate various sandbox themes.  While one could argue that a game about Duty, Honor and Sacrifice is bound to be mission-based, there’s arguably plenty of room for sandbox style play where one can track the life and significant events of the lives of the various Samurai.
Sandbox play is great for those who enjoy the concept of immersion.  Rather than having set goals and allegiances, the players are free to explore the social landscape of a game and make these decisions for themselves.  These decisions in turn, have consequences that manifest in various ways but always change the dynamic of the game.  Siding with one group will influence the world in one way, while siding with another will have other effects.
Between the two my personal preference falls towards Sandbox style.  Mission style stuff is convenient and fun, but I find Sandbox style games to be more rewarding from the point of view of a GM.  Mission based games are like a string of one-offs to me, barring a few recurring villains and NPCs, once a mission is done, it’s pretty much over.
Sandbox games appeal to me since it also involves the player characters in the act of changing the setting.  Everything they do and achieve alters the setting somewhat for better or worse.  While this means that some of the more wanton player types tend to make a mess of things, it also means that conscientious players can achieve far greater things with the right contacts and plans.
That said, neither style is “superior” over the other, and it’s purely a matter of preference.  I’m very curious to find out what people prefer to play though, and why.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

[Review] Part-Time Gods by Third Eye Games

The idea of playing godlings in a modern setting has always been something that I’ve enjoyed.  While-Wolf sort of tried to address that particular niche with the Scion line of games, but a few mechanical issues turned me off for it, and I’ve been without any other alternatives ever since.

At least, until now.  Part-Time Gods is an RPG by Third Eye Games, and from the looks of it, this might be the next game to try and take this niche:

You’ve been gifted with the spark of divinity. Will you give into the power and leave your mortal life behind? Or will you lead a double life and protect those closest to you? Choose wisely – You only have one soul.

Part-Time Gods is a roleplaying game where players take the role of ordinary people imbued with the powers of a god. Balancing one’s mortal and divine lives can be tricky, and divine responsibility doesn’t always pay the rent.

Powered by the new DGS-Lite system and packed with plenty of character options, players make any kind of character they can think of and can quickly jump into the world. Includes over 40 antagonists, flexible divine magic and an in depth view of the world from the eyes of the gods.

That’s a lot of promise for a single game, and I’m hoping that this game manages to pull off what they’ve said with the blurb.  I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I’m going into this blind.  I’ve seen the Kickstarer page for this before but I didn’t really pay that much attention to it.

However, the premise IS interesting.  I like the idea that balancing mortal and divine lives.  I like the odd situations that you’re forced to cope with now that you’re a divine being.  It’s exactly the kind of thing that got me into Scion.  So, let’s go take a look inside the covers, shall we?

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