Whereas wizards, clerics and elves feel the influence of the Metal Gods from the moments they first tap into their power, those adventurers who follow the path of the sword must first demonstrate their commitment to violence as a valid conflict resolution method before feeling the favor of the Metal Gods. For these swordsmen, the growing legend of their exploits propels them forward toward greater deeds nearly becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy; the more they do, the bigger their legends become and the bigger their legends, the more they are capable of doing. Eventually, should their deeds become great enough, these adventurers take their place in the halls of the celestial realms, joining the pantheon and becoming Metal Gods themselves.
Once a warrior, dwarf or halfling reaches the fifth level of experience, he may choose to walk the path of the Metal Gods; should he do so, he has chosen the path of violence and warfare, forsaking all others. Though he may pay hirelings and mercenaries, never will he command legions of men loyal to him and him alone, never will he be lord of realm, a baron or a king, never will he be more than that which he makes of himself with steel. To follow the metal way, the adventurer may be a folk hero, but a folk hero without a stronghold, without a title and without retainers more loyal than their salaries.
There are two methods of determining just what will grow the adventurer's legend sufficiently to join the pantheon of the Metal Gods in the hearts and minds of common folk. The method we will describe today is better suited for more casual campaigns or campaigns in which the strange or bizarre is more commonplace. The second method is better suited to more "serious" campaigns or campaigns that are more worried about internal consistency and in-depth storytelling and will be discussed at a later date.
The Path of Metal: Gonzo Version
Step Three: Breakout SingleFinally, it's time to go back through your chosen band's catalog and pick one song that could have been (or might have been) the band's breakout single. The one they'll still be playing on the radio thirty years later. It doesn't ever have to have ever been a single (most of my favorite metal bands have never gotten played on the radio nor will they ever) or anything like that, just the one song that you think should have been their breakout single. Get the lyrics from somewhere. Send these to the Judge. If you can find the track on YouTube or Spotify or something like that, send that over, too. The Judge is going to use this to craft the "capstone event" of your adventurer's career and, if possible, use it to describe and define your character's ascension to the ranks of the Metal Gods. Judges, turn up the volume (to 11!) on what your player hands you and take the journey where the song sends you; if the makes you believe that the only way for the adventurer to ascend to the halls of celestial glory is to kill the Sargovax of Pluur, then the Sargovax (and the adventurer) had better watch out.
I wasn't sure how to move forward with the Metal Gods for warriors, dwarves or halflings. I knew that I wanted them to be able to join the pantheon (however unlikely that may be for halflings), but wasn't sure how. A little while ago, when I wrote about using Sabbath's Paranoid as a campaign element generator, I planned on writing more of those sorts of articles, but that idea is on hold for now because I've had so many other irons in the fire. So, when I was looking for an answer for "how do these guys become gods?" the easy answer was "metal!"