Friday, April 17, 2015

Cleric Training Packages

Cleric Training Packages Table

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Training Package
Races
Backgrounds
Alignment
1
Canon
human
all
lawful
2
Cultist
all
all
chaotic
3
Druid
all
all
neutral
4
Templar
human
all
lawful

Canon

Piero di Cosimo, Anthony the Great 

Items: clerical vestment (10 g); healing poultice (100 g); holy water (25 g); silver cross (25 g)
Skills: divinity; scholarship; scribe
Powers: bonus spell points (4 per level)
Weaknesses: reduced attack bonus (+1 per 3 levels); reduced hit dice (1d4)
Races: human
Backgrounds: all
Alignment: lawful

Description: A canon (short for ‘canon regular’) is a clergyman in an organized church of lawful alignment. Examples of canons include priests, monks, and friars. Canons are trained as community leaders, scholars, healers, and exorcists; they are not trained to fight.

Bonus Spell Points: A canon receives 4 spell points per level, instead of 3 per level.

Reduced Attack Bonus: A canon has a lower attack bonus than other clerics of his level: +1 per 3 levels, instead of +1 per 2 levels.

Reduced Hit Dice: A canon uses 1d4 instead of 1d6 for his hit dice.

Cultist

From Compendium Maleficarum, 1608

Items: dark cloak (10 g); flask of poison (100 g); ritual dagger (unholy item; 25 g)
Skills: hide in shadows; move silently; occult lore
Powers: blood sacrifice
Weaknesses: none
Races: all
Backgrounds: all
Alignment: chaotic

Description: A cultist is a follower of a demon lord, chaos god, or other being of chaotic alignment. Cultists must generally operate in secret, since worship of chaotic beings is forbidden in human lands.

Blood Sacrifice: A cultist gains additional magical power by performing a blood sacrifice. A blood sacrifice may be performed once per month. The ritual takes one hour to perform, and culminates in the sacrifice of one or more persons. The sacrifice requires a ritual dagger, which costs 25 groats and one week to prepare, but which may be reused indefinitely. The sacrificial ritual also involves the burning of rare incense (50 g), and other materials costing 1d6 x 10 groats.

After the sacrifice has been performed, the cultist gains the ability to cast a number of spell points equal to the total hit dice of the person or persons sacrificed. The maximum number of spell points which a cultist can gain is equal to his experience level. The spell points may be “held” up to one month until cast.

Druid

William Stukeley, A British Druid

Items: fine robe (10 g); gnarled staff (1 g); golden torc (50 g); mistletoe (holy item; 1 g)
Skills: herb lore; occult lore; outdoor survival
Powers: saving throw bonus; one with nature; immune to charm; shape change (3 times per day)
Weaknesses: none
Races: all
Backgrounds: all
Alignment: neutral

Description: A druid is a pagan priest who worships one or more of the elemental or faerie lords. Druids spend a decade or more memorizing a large body of traditional lore, including astrology, grammar, history, laws, mythology, rhetoric, rituals, and spells. Druids are highly respected by members of their society, and they act as counselors, judges, and negotiators.

Saving Throw Bonus: A druid receives a +2 bonus on saving throws vs. any attack form associated with the material elements—earth, air, water, or fire.

One with Nature: At 2nd level and above, a druid is able to identify without error plants, animals, minerals, and pure water, and is able to pass unimpeded through dense foliage or other natural terrain.

Immune to Charm: At 5th level and above, a druid is immune to all charm spells or powers used by Seelie or Unseelie faeries.

Shape Change: At 5th level and above, a druid can change his shape into that of an animal. The druid can change shape up to three times per day in total—specifically, up to once per day in these three categories: bird, mammal, and reptile. When a druid changes shape, he also heals 1d6 x 10% of lost hit points (if any).

Templar

Knights Templar

Items: chainmail (100 g); holy water (25 g); long sword (20 g); silver cross (holy item; 25 g)
Skills: divinity; riding; scholarship
Powers: armor proficiency (all); weapon proficiency (all)
Weaknesses: restricted magic weapon use
Races: human
Backgrounds: all
Alignment: lawful

Description: A Templar is a member of a militant religious order dedicated to defending his church and spreading the faith, through violent conquest if need be. Members of Templar orders are trained for war, but are fully ordained clergymen, who take sacred vows, such as poverty, chastity, and obedience. Templars often dwell in borderlands or other areas troubled by monsters, witches, cultists, or heretics.

Members of Templar orders are divided into knights and sergeants. Knights are of noble birth, and occupy most of the leadership positions in a Templar order, while sergeants are of common birth, and always rank beneath sergeants.

Templar orders also include some canons, who serve as preachers, confessors, and administrators, but who do not themselves take part in battle (except under duress).

Most Templars live together in commanderies, which are similar to abbeys, but which are more heavily fortified. Commanderies are found both in towns and in the country. Occasionally, a lone Templar or small group of Templars are stationed in a location which lacks a commandery. There are also itinerant Templars who patrol remote regions and borderlands.


Restricted Magic Weapon Use: While a Templar has proficiency with all weapons, he is unable to use most magic weapons. A Templar may only make use of a magic weapon if it was originally enchanted (sanctified) by a cleric of lawful alignment. 

Designer's Notes

I took the idea for Training Packages from Kevin Crawford's excellent Stars Without Number. They are essentially bundles or packages of bonus items, bonus skills, and powers and weaknesses, which provide differentiation to characters of the same adventuring class.

The canon training package represents medieval Christian canons regular, and can be used for most kinds of clergymen from "lawful" religions (including, perhaps, rabbis, Sufi sheikhs and other Muslim holy men, Hindu Brahmans, and Buddhist monks).

The cultist is based on traditional beliefs about witches and demon-worshipers. The Original D&D "Evil High Priest" (EHP) would be a cultist of 9th level.

The druid training package is based on the Original D&D druid, although the ITD druid's items, skills, and description are influenced by traditional accounts of ancient Celtic druids. The chief difference is that, unlike the Original D&D druid, the ITD druid does not have its own spell list, but rather uses the exact same spell list as the cleric. 

This might seem like a radical change, but there are two very good reasons for it: (1) In older editions of D&D, the spell-casting sub-classes often got shafted when it came to their spell lists (see also: the illusionist vs. the magic-user). The D&D druid has fewer healing spells than the cleric, for example, and not much else to compensate for this significant loss. (2) The cleric spell list actually represents the reputed abilities of druids about as well as it represents the reputed abilities of Christian clergymen and other priests or holy men. The D&D druid spell list is not based on traditional accounts of druids, but rather on modern fantasy accounts of druids

The Templar most closely approximates the standard D&D cleric, with the notable exception that a Templar is proficient with all kinds of weapons (not just "bludgeoning" weapons). The rule prohibiting Templars from using most magical weapons is intended to help preserve the fighter's niche, but is also inspired by the wording of the Original D&D rule governing cleric use of weapons, which on one reading only forbids clerics from using magical edged weapons: "they have the use of magic armor and all non-edged magic weapons" (Men & Magic, p. 7).

Values for items are listed in silver groats (g). A groat is the standard unit of currency in Into the Dark. One groat equals 4 pence, and 1 penny equals 4 farthings. The groat substitutes for the 'gold piece', the penny for the 'silver piece', and the farthing for the 'copper piece'.

The skill rules (such as they are) will be covered in a later post. Basically, a skill roll is an ability roll modified by the character's experience level. This is similar to the proficiency bonus in D&D 5e, except that the bonus for having a skill is exactly equal to the character's level. Characters in Into the Dark are not intended to advance much beyond 9th level, so there is a de facto cap of around +10 or so for skill bonuses (otherwise, the bonuses would not scale well with ability rolls for characters of very high level).