Divine Intervention

When the shit really hits the fan, and everything looks bleak, most adventurers naturally turn to the course of last resort — squealing for help from the Big Ju-Ju In The Sky. Of course, all the gods are subject to a constant barrage of supplication, and are adept at filtering it out like background traffic noise. To make an impression, you therefore need to do something special. In some religions, that means unpleasant things like tearing the still-beating hearts from the chests of willing or unwilling sacrifices, but there are less bloody ways of catching a god's notice.

Your average person has a terrifically small chance of being noticed by a god, even if they pray really, really loud. Heroes, being innately more noticeable, have a better chance, but it's still a tiny chance. And just being heard is only half the battle; you still have to hope the appropriate deity is feeling magnanimous towards you or else you've only made matters worse.

In a nutshell, what you have to do to get the favourable attention of a god or other divine entity is to sacrifice some of your own life-energy to it — in other words, you have to spend some Experience Points. The chances of attracting a god's attention are calculated as follows:

Base chance of getting any response: 1/216 (roll 3 on 3d6)

Character Points sacrificed by the supplicant*+1 per pt

* Character points sacrificed are expended regardless of whether or not there is any response from the deity in question.

Rituals exist which allow the supplicant to use the forced extinguishing of the life force of others in the same way as a willing XP sacrifice. Such rituals are not neccessarily pleasing to all gods.

Character Points sacrificed on behalf of the supplicant*†+1 per 3pts
Supplication made through a priest of the god+2
Supplicant is a priest of the god+4
Supplicant is an active worshipper of the god+0
Supplicant is a worshipper of another (friendly) god-1
Supplicant is a worshipper of another (neutral) god-2
Supplicant is a worshipper of another (antagonistic) god-4
Supplicant is working against the god's interests-2
Supplicant is working in the god's interests+2
Supplicant is working directly for the god (e.g. on a divinely-ordered quest)+4
Each divine intervention appeal (successful or not) within the last year-1

Assuming the roll is successful, you then have to hope the god is in a good mood and will help you. That's when you really need to have brushed up on your Persuasion skills.

Just as a matter of interest, any XP sacrificed to a god goes directly to increase the god's own power, so gods with many worshippers are almost always innately more powerful than those with fewer. One of the ways a priest can get favourable performance evaluations is by convincing as many people as possible to sacrifice XP, preferably without any direct action being required by the god. Gods are, by and large, pretty lazy.