My wife wanted to try the Overdrive application on a non-Apple device (she uses an iPad) so she installed it on the Android tablet she gave me, and checked out a book about Greek history for me. I feel like a Luddite explaining it this way.

After getting something like three pages into the ebook, I remembered why my research tends to be so pointed and why I don’t spend much time reading fiction — I read something and then immediately reached for a pen and my notebook.

I’ve been going on about magic rings and abstract legacies to award player characters once they’ve reached the height of the paragon tier, when Greek mythology already has exactly what I need — heroes founding cities.

If being fragile at 1st level and encouraging the hiring of followers for defense helps the players to establish a rapport with NPCs, then providing them with a stronghold at 9th level helps cement their influence in the world, I think perhaps the logical next step might be giving them a city to rule and call their own.

Having a city then makes the following leap to godhood, or demi-godhood, that much more plausible in the context of a campaign’s internal mythology. Player characters become leaders, then founders, and eventually cult icons. Boom!

Perhaps more important than paving the way for player characters — this model can be used for villains. How does a villain gain followers? The same way the players do! How does a villain create an evil city? The same way the players do!

How does a villain attain godhood… I think you get the idea. Then it’s totally up to the players in your game to determine what makes them different.