23. How should gods work in a game?
This really depends on what the game is trying to say. Based on the way the question is worded, it's safe to assume we aren't discussing a monotheistic setting.
The presence of clerics, paladins, divine and infernal magic users also plays a part in how gods might work in a game.
I always liked the idea of gods who gain power from the belief of their followers...the more followers, the more power the god has...but the more followers a god has, the more an individual follower needs to do in order to gain their deity's notice.
So, let's say every doubling of follwers increases a god's power level by a degree.
1 follower = lvl 1
2 followers = lvl 2
4 followers = lvl 3
8 followers = lvl 4
1024 followers = lvl 11
2048 followers = lvl 12
Gods form pantheons because a follower's belief in a pantheon counts as a half measure for all allied deities. They fight within pantheons for the biggest share of follower power, pantheons fight each other for the same reason but at a much larger scale.
Gods cannot fight each other except through their followers. They grant miracles to their mortals to advance their faithful and expand their influence, they need to grant these miracles sparingly, because they need the divine energy of the faithful to remain relevnt to their flock. A miracle used today migh mean that a miracle can't be used tomorrow when another god's seizmic disruption threatens to kill a large percentage of one's flock.
God's are in it for the long game, and as long as they've still got a single follower, they might be capable of becoming a powerful force in the future. This could be detailed far more, and there are numerous games I could write about this concept.