Deus ex machina

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Artifacts of Godville
Deus ex machina
Type ⚙️Activatable
Description Unleash the god from the machine!
Cost 50% of godpower
Effect Affect in a good or a bad way (Black boxes)

The Deus ex machina is an activatable artifact that can affect a hero in a good or bad way.


"Deus ex machina" is Latin for "god from the machine." In literature, it is a plot device to solve an impossible problem with an unexpected event. Writers generally frown upon the use of a Deus ex machina and readers have been known to riot upon witnessing one.

A Deus ex machina in Godville is a small box of highly technological design. It is three times the size of a hero's fist and weighs about three pounds. Manufactured by the Machina Corporation in the town of Tradeburg, the items are sold or given to monsters on a daily basis. While the production process is a heavily guarded secret, it is believed that the contents are not placed into the boxes until after they have been fully assembled. Others believe that a specially assigned God inserts the items mere moments before activation so that each box’s content is specific to the hero.

Merchants commonly purchase a Deus ex machina for approximately 1000-2000 gold coins.


Like in bad literature, a Deus ex machina in Godville can affect a hero in a random or ridiculous way. It is the ultimate lottery in the Godville universe.

Activating the Deus ex machina will instantly instill the hero with the desire or urge to open, examine, disassemble, shake, rub, or take apart the item. If the hero successfully opens the item, he may find gold coins, one or more golden bricks, a notarized death certificate, a notarized document, a note, a spiteful gremlin, a scroll, or nothing at all. Opening the item and finding nothing though is an arduous task and a hero usually gains experience points in the process. If the hero shakes or rubs the Deus ex machina and nothing happens, he will become annoyed and will try to break it with a golden brick. Since Deus ex machinas are very strong, smashing it with a golden brick just damages the golden brick.

Example of use

This item can affect your hero in a good or bad way (requires 50% of godpower to activate this item)
!Hero's Diary
07:22 Felt a burning desire to open the Deus ex machina. Found inside something unbelievable — a scroll with instructions on how to get a premature level up!

!Hero's Diary
12:01 Suddenly felt like I had to make use of the Deus ex machina. Shook it as hard as I could and out came a new, shiny golden brick!


There are many possible outcomes of activating a Deus ex machina.[N 1]

  • Positive outcomes include finding the following inside:
    • Gold coins (around 100-9926, though more than 9926 gold coins have been discovered)
    • Golden bricks (usually one, but up to three have been discovered)
    • A notarized document stating that the hero has died fewer times than thought, which reduces a hero’s death count by one or two, and increases your position in the pantheon of survival
    • A scroll with instructions for a premature level up, which immediately increases the level of the hero by one
    • Nothing, but a hero gains experience points (around 3000) in the process
    • Tribbles, which are released into the hero's inventory
  • Negative outcomes include:
    • Finding a notarized death certificate inside, which increases a hero's death count by one, and reduces your position in the pantheon of survival
    • Finding a note inside stating that some of the hero's experience points were achieved by dishonest means, which reduces the hero's experience points
    • Releasing a spiteful gremlin from inside the item that will steal about half of the hero's gold coins
    • Nothing happening. If your hero has not completed their temple, the annoyed hero tries to break the Deus ex machina with a golden brick resulting in the loss of the item and the golden brick. If the temple is complete, nothing happens but the loss of the artifact and expenditure of godpower.

Overall, positive effects are much more likely than negative effects.


"Black Box" Activatable Artifacts 
Box with a question mark • Continuum transfunctioner • Davy Jones’ locker • Deus ex machina • Dimensional destabilizer • Improbability drive • Mystery box • Pandora's box • Surprising invite • Wonderbox