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Salient Divine Abilities (SDA)

Salient Divine Abilities (SDA)
Meeting Gods In The Clouds by Cornelius van Poelenburgh (1594/1595-1667)

A salient divine ability (SDA) is like a feat – it gives a deity a new capability or improves one that the deity already has.

Deities & Demigods
By Rich Redman, Skip Williams, James Wyatt

A deity has one salient divine ability for each divine rank the deity has, plus additional salient divine abilities reflecting its status: Demigods receive one bonus ability, lesser deities receive two bonus abilities, intermediate deities receive three, and greater deities receive five.

Some salient divine abilities have prerequisites. Usually, the deity must have all the listed prerequisites to have the ability. A divine rank of 1 is a prerequisite for all salient divine abilities.

The most common salient divine abilities are described here. A few deities have unique salient divine abilities that are described in the deity’s individual entry.

Using Salient Divine Abilities:

Using a salient divine ability is a standard action unless otherwise noted in the ability description.

Using a salient divine ability does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Salient Divine Abilities and Antimagic:

A salient divine ability functions normally within an antimagic field, and is never subject to Spell Resistance.


Here is the format for salient divine ability descriptions.

Ability Name Description of what the ability does or represents in plain language.

Prerequisite: A minimum divine rank, minimum ability score, another salient divine ability, a minimum base attack bonus, a feat a skill, or some other condition that a deity must have in order to acquire this salient divine ability. This entry is absent if a salient divine ability has no prerequisite. An ability may have more than one prerequisite. All salient divine abilities have a minimum prerequisite of divine rank 1. Quasi-deities (rank 0) have no salient divine abilities.

Benefit: What the ability enables the deity to do. If a deity has the same ability more than once, its benefits do not stack unless indicated otherwise in the description. In general, having a salient divine ability twice is the same as having it once.

Notes: Additional facts about the ability that may be helpful when using the ability in play or when you are deciding to give the ability to a deity you are creating.

Rest: Some abilities require the deity to rest afterward. If no rest is required, the entry is absent. A resting deity can engage in light activities such as talking or walking at half speed. When attempting anything more strenuous than that, the deity can only take partial actions and suffers a Β–6 penalty on all attack rolls, saves, and checks.

The deity cannot use another ability that requires rest until its current rest requirement is fulfilled. Any time the deity spends performing strenuous activities does not count toward the required rest time.

For example, during a visit to the Material Plane, Ra uses the Create Greater Object ability to create a masterwork mighty composite longbow (+4 Strength bonus) worth 800 gp. Ra must rest for 70 minutes. If Ra were to spot his enemy, Apep, coming his way, Ra could fight or flee, but the time he spent doing either activity would not count toward the necessary 70 minutes of rest.

Suggested Portfolio Elements: This entry gives one or more portfolio elements that are associated with the salient divine ability in question. The information is provided as guidance for DMs who want to design their own deities and should not be taken as a rule.

For example, the suggested portfolio elements for Annihilating Strike are death, justice, vengeance, and war. More often than not, a deity that has this ability will also have one or more of those elements in its portfolio. However, a deity without any of those elements in its portfolio can still have the Annihilating Strike ability, as long as it meets the prerequisites.


Salient Divine Abilities Table of Creature Size and Scale

Attack and
AC Modifier
Special Attacks
Height or
Weight3Space4Natural Reach4Carrying CapacityMulitplier
Fine+8βˆ’16+166 in. or less1/8 lb. or less1/2 ft.0 ft.0 ft.Γ—1/8Γ—1/4
Diminutive+4βˆ’12+126 in.–1 ft.1/8 lb.–1 lb.1 ft.0 ft.0 ft.Γ—1/4Γ—1/2
Tiny+2βˆ’8+81 ft.–2 ft.1 lb.–8 lb.2-1/2 ft.0 ft.0 ft.Γ—1/2Γ—3/4
Small+1βˆ’4+42 ft.–4 ft.8 lb.–60 lb.5 ft.5 ft.5 ft.Γ—3/4Γ—1
Medium+0+0+04 ft.–8 ft.60 lb.–500 lb.5 ft.5 ft.5 ft.Γ—1Γ—1-1/2
Largeβˆ’1+4βˆ’48 ft.–16 ft.500 lb.–2 tons10 ft.10 ft.5 ft.Γ—2Γ—3
Hugeβˆ’2+8βˆ’816 ft.–32 ft.2 tons–16 tons15 ft.15 ft.10 ft.Γ—4Γ—6
Gargantuanβˆ’4+12βˆ’1232 ft.–64 ft.16 tons–125 tons20 ft.20 ft.15 ft.Γ—8Γ—12
Colossal and Colossal+βˆ’8+16βˆ’1664 ft. or more125 tons or more30 ft.30 ft.20 ft.Γ—16Γ—24

This modifier applies to the bull rush, grapple, overrun, and trip special attacks. Biped’s height, quadruped’s body length (nose to base of tail) Assumes that the creature is roughly as dense as a regular animal. A creature made of stone will weigh considerably more. A gaseous creature will weigh much less. These values are typical for creatures of the indicated size. Some exceptions exist.

Salient Divine Abilities
Alter Size
Alter FormAlter Size
Shift FormDivine rank 6, Alter Size, Alter Form
ShapechangeDivine rank 11, Alter Size, Alter Form
True ShapechangeDivine rank 16, Alter Size, Alter Form, Shapechange
Alter RealityCharisma 29
Annihilating StrikeDivine rank 11, Base attack bonus +20, Strength 25
Arcane MasterySpellcaster level 1st, Intelligence 29, Spell Mastery
Spontaneous Wizard SpellsDivine rank 6, Spellcaster level 1st, Intelligence 29, Spell Mastery, Arcane Mastery
Automatic MetamagicSpellcaster level 1st
AvatarDivine rank 6, Charisma 29
BanestrikeBase attack bonus +20
Call CreaturesΒ—
ClearsightDivine rank 6, Wisdom 29
Command PlantsΒ—
Control CreaturesΒ—
Create ObjectDivine rank 6, Intelligence 29
Create Greater ObjectDivine rank 11, Intelligence 29, Create Object
Divine CreationDivine rank 16, Intelligence 29, Create Object, Create Greater Object
Divine Air MasteryAir domain
Divine ArcheryBase attack bonus +20, Dexterity 29, Point Blank Shot, Far Shot
Divine Armor MasteryArmor Proficiency (light), Armor Proficiency (medium)
Divine BardBard level 20th
Divine Battle MasteryFighter level 20th, Combat Reflexes, Intelligence 13, Dexterity 13, Dodge, Expertise, Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, War domain
Divine BlastCharisma 29
Mass Divine BlastDivine rank 6, Charisma 29, Divine Blast
Divine BlessingSelected ability score 40
Divine CelerityDexterity 29
Free MoveDexterity 29, Divine Celerity
Divine DodgeDexterity 29
Divine DruidDruid level 20th
Divine Earth MasteryEarth domain
Divine Fast HealingConstitution 29 orfast healing
RejuvenationDivine rank 11, Divine Fast Healing
Divine Fire MasteryFire domain
Divine GlibnessCharisma 29, Bluff 40 ranks, Trickery domain
Divine InspirationΒ—
Divine MonkMonk level 20th
Divine PaladinPaladin level 20th
Divine RadianceGood alignment, Sun domain
Divine RageBarbarian level 20th
Divine RangerRanger level 20th, Wisdom 25, Wilderness Lore 40 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 30 ranks
Divine RecallΒ—
Divine RogueRogue level 20th, Dodge, Improved evasion, Defensive roll
Divine ShieldCharisma 29
Area Divine ShieldDivine rank 6, Charisma 29, Divine Shield
Divine Skill Focus23 ranks in selected skill
Divine Sneak AttackRogue level 20th, Crippling strike
Divine Spell FocusΒ—
Divine SpellcastingSpellcaster level 20th
Divine SplendorDivine rank 16, Charisma 26
Divine StormDivine rank 11
Divine Water MasteryWater domain
Divine Weapon FocusΒ—
Divine Weapon SpecializationBase attack bonus +20, Divine Weapon Focus with selected weapon
Divine Weapon MasteryFighter level 20th, War domain
Energy BurstΒ—
Energy StormDivine rank 11
Extra Sense EnhancementWisdom 29
Extra DomainDivine rank 6
Extra Energy ImmunityDivine rank 6 Resistance to energy type selected
FootsoreTravel domain
Frightful PresenceCharisma 24
Gift of LifeΒ—
Life and DeathDivine rank 6 Gift of Life or Hand of Death
Mass Life and DeathDivine rank 16 Life and Death Gift of Life or Hand of Death
Grow CreatureΒ—
Hand of DeathΒ—
Increased Energy ResistanceΒ—
Increased Damage ReductionConstitution 29
Increased Spell ResistanceΒ—
Indomitable StrengthStrength 40, Strength domain
Instant CounterspellΒ—
Instant MoveDivine rank 6, Dexterity 29
Irresistible BlowsWeapon Focus, Improved Critical
Irresistible PerformancePerform 40 ranks
Know DeathΒ—
Know SecretsΒ—
Lay CurseΒ—
Lay QuestΒ—
Life DrainDeath domain
Master Crafter23 ranks in at least two Craft skills
Mind of the BeastΒ—
Possess MortalCharisma 29
Power of LuckLuck domain
Power of NatureΒ—
Power of TruthΒ—
See MagicMagic domain
Speak with CreaturesΒ—
StrideTravel domain
Sunder and DisjoinΒ—
Supreme InitiativeDexterity 29, Improved Initiative
True KnowledgeDivine rank 11, Intelligence 40, Bardic knowledge or lore, Bard or loremaster level 10th, Knowledge domain
Undead MasteryDivine rank 16 Cleric level 17th
Undead QualitiesΒ—
Wave of ChaosChaos domain
Wound EnemyBase attack bonus +20

Alphabetical Order

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