Sure, being a deity sounds fun at first, who wouldn't want hymns sung in their honor, fancy marble temples erected where people worship you, a holiday with your name on it or virgin sacrifices? But trust me, being a deity is more work than benefit.

While it's easy enough to come up with some sort of message, whether it be Eternal Love, Divine Redemption, the Enduring Value of Gumbo or Quick and Violent Retaliation Against Enemies; you'll quickly discover that your holy message alone isn't enough to keep your devoted followers happy. Sooner or later, they'll require some sort of miracle. And once you start with miracles, the work never stops. If, for instance, you happen to have an uncanny talent that allows you to transform mere tapwater into a full-bodied but sprightly 1967 Chateau d'Yquem, you'll soon find that this useful party trick wears thin quickly. Your followers will soon be requesting miracles on a grander scale; they'll want healings, exhbitions which defy the laws of nature and the occasional resurrection. Performing any of these is time-consuming and could seriously hamper your schedule of basking in your own personal glory and hobnobbing with other members of the Pantheon. However, refusing to perform any miracles, at least in the early stages, is one the surest methods of being abandoned by your devoted. A novice deity is therefore forced to figure out a delicate balance between performing tricks on a scale grandiose enough to make David Copperfield blush and facing the subsequent and inevitable burnout that comes from the constant demand for something new and better and living la dolce vita with all of the other divinities and their nubile young clergies and risking becoming abandoned by their faithful and forgotten.

Once you've established yourself as a being of power, you'll be able to slow down on the miracles. However, the demands on your time will increase. A large and devout following means that people will be compelled to pray to you. This means that you will be constantly distracted by little girls who thank you for allowing them to pass their Algebra test as well as people who make constant demands on you for such trifles as forgiveness, personal wealth and the total annihilation of their enemies. At this stage, you'll also want to keep a close eye on your religious hierarchy (an obnoxious, but virtually inevitable bureacracy). If one of their overzealous marketing boys gets the idea that the fastest way of gaining converts is to meet new people and force them by sword, gun or spear-point to worship you, your name could be irrevocably ruined and you'll most likely be snubbed by the better class of deity and no longer receive invitations to the nicer immortal functions.

As you grow in power and influence, your loyal followers will most likely want you to make some sort of horrible personal sacrifice (See: Jesus, Mithras, Osiris and Dionysus. See also: Ragnarok), while this will cut down on the number of personal appearances you'll be required to make to keep the faith, it has the unfortunate downside of usually being grisly and painful. This step can be easily avoided if you set yourself up as some sort of Lord of Darkness or go around calling yourself an epithet like, "The Evil One", however, be advised that Gods of Evil are not nearly as popular as their stern, cuddly, wise or maternal counterparts. Also, inevitably some upstart new God or Goddess will pretend that He or She created you, and your status may get demoted to Evil Adversary or even Cosmic Underling.

The Road to Divinity can be rewarding, but is ultimately made difficult by impossible demands and whiny, obsequious devotees. You may want to answer yes to the question, "are you a God?", but if you're not prepared for that sort of long-term work, and some random stranger notices your glowing aura and the strange music that seems to well up around you, do what I do and reply, "No. No, I'm not. And if you ask again, I will smite thee with pox and plague thy Children's Children even unto the seventh generation". They won't ask again.

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