Godmoding (sometimes spelled as "godmodding") is a term used in role-playing games to describe two behaviours of players. The term comes from the "god mode" found in many video games, allowing a player to activate features such as invincibility, unlimited ammunition or lives, or similar power boosts. Godmoding is almost always frowned upon by other members of the game, because it is regarded as a form of cheating against the game's tacit rules.
Godmoding can occur when a player describes an event or a series of events his or her character has taken against another character or interactive object, most often with the purpose of rescinding negative effects previously encountered or granting some other effect inconsistent with an objective view of the narrative. This is sometimes also termed "powermoding" or twinking. For example, a character may be afflicted with a disease only curable by rare ingredients, yet another character is "lucky" enough to find these ingredients in ten minutes. Godmoding is thus often used like a "Get Out of Jail Free card" when things don't go the way a player wants, rather than working with previously unfolded events.
It is also used to describe the act of creating or playing with an invincible character or using "perfect" equipment (such as unbreakable armor or weapons), possessing limitless power, or extremely powerful skills and attacks, etc. Some players will create a brand new character, and that character is automatically gifted with skills, and nearly impossible to take on right from the start. In many cases, this happens when a newer character goes against an established one: the newer player may roleplay his or her character as if it were equal in power and rank to the more experienced one.
Another type of godmoding involves deciding how a character who is not your own feels about your appearance or equipment. This technique is frequently used by the Mary sue, and would apply in situations where a character has usually spectacular physical or supernatural qualities and, in the description of the character, forces observers to feel a certain way, such as 'You are awed by her beauty,' or 'You are terrified by his very appearance,' without taking into account the opinions or abilities of the observing character.
Godmoding can also refer to the case where a player definitively describes the outcome of their own actions against another character or interactive object. For example, if player A states, "A strikes B and B takes damage", they could be considered to be godmoding. Another example of this might be where a character is facing multiple enemies, and they redirect one foe's attack onto another. For example, Player A states, "B misses A completely, and strikes C instead." This form of godmoding is also referred to as "autoing". The last 2 examples have also been called "calling consequences", where Player A doesn't leave A's actions against another character (B or C) open-ended and calls the consequence of said action, not giving Player B or Player C a choice about what happens to their characters. Active godmoding can also take the form of controlling characters that belong to someone else. Godmoding of this variety is also known as powergaming.
- Player A: Character A throws a punch at Character B.
- Player B: Character B dodges the attack, grabs Character A and throws him out of a stained glass window. Character A flies at Character B, who warps behind him and slashes Character A in the back.