Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Clerics in the Twilight Empire

Designer's Notes

As mentioned in the last post, clerics in Twilight Empire are not assumed to be members of militant orders unless they have the Templar training package. As such, their fighting capability and weapon and armor proficiency is the same as that of mages. To compensate for this, clerics gain spells more rapidly than in standard OD&D, and they can lay on hands a number of times per day equal to their level. The lay on hands power also makes clerics more flexible in their choice of spells, by reducing the incentive to only prepare healing spells. 

Apart from the Templar, which is differentiated mainly in terms of military training, the remaining cleric training packages are differentiated mainly in terms of alignment. In Twilight Empire, alignment represents allegiance to a group of gods and spirits: lawful characters revere God and the angels, neutral characters revere pagan gods and elemental spirits, and chaotic characters revere demon lords and chaos gods (called "titans" or "elder gods"). 

In the previous version of cleric training packages posted on this blog, the neutral cleric training package was called a druid; this has been renamed "pagan priest" and its abilities changed, and druids in Twilight Empire are now treated as multi-classed cleric/mages (as in their original appearance as monsters in the OD&D Supplement I: Greyhawk).

Another change from the previous version of clerics posted on this blog is the move away from spell points and back to the standard OD&D "fire and forget" or Vancian magic system. While spell points fit the world of the Twilight Empire just fine, such a radical change to the game would likely have repercussions for game balance that I would rather not deal with right now as a referee. Note however that the spell progression has been "rationalized" compared to the irregular cleric spell table in the OD&D Men & Magic booklet. My hope is that a more regular spell progression will be easier to memorize and thus apply in play, especially for referees who have to juggle one or more spell-casting NPCs in addition to the usual monsters, traps, specials, and other who-ha.

A canon's sense chaos power is similar to the OD&D detect evil spell, but it detects whether a creature or item is aligned with the gods and spirits of chaos, rather than if a person has evil intent. 

The cultist's evil eye power is basically a low-powered curse, which will be detailed in a future post on cleric spells. I'm actually playing around with different versions of the evil eye spell, any number of which might be acceptable: perhaps the spell causes a small amount of damage (as with a standard attack in OD&D--1d6 damage) through an invisible force, like a gaze attack; perhaps the curse inflicts a -1 penalty on rolls of relevant kinds for a day.

Clerics

Prime Requisite:           wisdom
Hit Dice:                      1d4
Base Attack Bonus:     +1 per 3 levels
Armor Proficiency:      none
Weapon Proficiency:   club (or staff), dagger, mace
Class Powers:               cast cleric spells, lay on hands, spirit ward

Cleric Experience Level Table

XP Level
HD
BAB
SL 1
SL 2
SL 3
SL 4
SL 5
1
1d4
0
1
-
-
-
-
2
2d4
0
2
-
-
-
-
3
3d4
+1
2
1
-
-
-
4
4d4
+1
3
2
-
-
-
5
5d4
+1
3
2
1
-
-
6
6d4
+2
3
3
2
-
-
7
7d4
+2
4
3
2
1
-
8
8d4
+2
4
3
3
2
-
9
9d4
+3
4
4
3
2
1

Cleric Description

A cleric is a devoted worshiper of a god or spirit. Some clerics are hermits or wanderers, but most are leaders of religious communities.

The type of divine being served by a cleric depends on his alignment. Lawful clerics are monotheists who worship El (God), the saints, and angels. Neutral clerics are pagans who worship one or more of the elemental lords. Chaotic clerics are cultists who worship demon lords or elder gods. In addition to a general religious affiliation, every cleric has a specific divine patron of his player’s choosing.

Cleric Powers

Cast Cleric Spells

A cleric can learn to cast any spell from the cleric spell list. The maximum level of spell a cleric can learn is equal to his experience level divided by two. A cleric is required to learn spells individually, either by reading about the spell in a book or scroll, or by being taught the spell by another cleric who already knows it.

In order to learn a new spell, a cleric must spend one week in prayer and study per level of the spell, and he must make a successful wisdom roll at the end of the time spent. Failure means that the cleric must spend one more week in prayer and study before being allowed to make another wisdom roll.

The maximum number of spells of each spell level which a cleric can cast in a single day is determined by his experience level (see Cleric Experience Level Table, above).

Lay on Hands

A cleric can heal 1d6 lost hit points by laying hands on a damaged character or creature and uttering a short prayer. The power is usable a number of times per day equal to the cleric’s experience level. The cleric can combine multiple uses as a single action.

Spirit Ward

A cleric can attempt to ward off designated spirits within a 12” radius.

To determine the success of an attempted spirit ward, consult the following table, and cross-index the cleric’s experience level with the spirit’s number of hit dice.

Spirit Ward Table


Cleric Level
Spirit HD
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1
7
W
W
D
D
D
D
D
D
2
9
7
W
W
D
D
D
D
D
3
11
9
7
W
W
D
D
D
D
4
-
11
9
7
W
W
D
D
D
5
-
-
11
9
7
W
W
D
D
6
-
-
-
11
9
7
W
W
D
7
-
-
-
-
11
9
7
W
W
8
-
-
-
-
-
11
9
7
W
9
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
9
7

A number indicates the minimum result on a 2d6 roll which the cleric needs to successfully ward off the spirits. This Spirit Ward roll is modified by the cleric’s wisdom. If spirits of more than hit die score are designated by the cleric as targets, the same roll is used to determine the success of the ward against the various types of spirits.

A result of “W” indicates that the spirit is automatically warded.

A result of “D” indicates that the spirit is automatically dispelled to its realm of origin.

Up to 2d6 spirits are affected by a single spirit ward. If multiple types of spirits are designated by the cleric, spirits with lower hit die scores are counted as affected before spirits with higher hit dice.

A warded spirit is unable to attack, cast spells, or use powers which directly affect the cleric or his designated allies within the area of effect. A warded spirit is not forced to flee. A spirit ward lasts up to 2d6 turns.

A dispelled spirit is unable to return to the cleric’s realm unless it is magically summoned by another character or creature.

Cleric Training Packages

Cleric Training Packages Table

#
Training Package
Skills
Powers
Races
BP
AL
1
Canon
divinity
scholarship
scribe
sense chaos
human
any
lawful
2
Cultist
hide in shadows
move silently
occult lore
the evil eye
any
any
chaotic
3
Pagan Priest
herb lore
occult lore
scholarship
legend lore
any
any
neutral
4
Templar
divinity
riding
scholarship
improved AP (all)
improved BAB (+1/2)
improved HD (1d6)
improved WP (all)
human
any
lawful

Canon

Items:               clerical vestment (10 g); healing poultice; holy water; silver cross (holy item)
Skills:               divinity; scholarship; scribe
Powers:            sense chaos
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 parish priests, monks, nuns, and friars. Canons are trained as community leaders, scholars, healers, and exorcists.

Sense Chaos: A canon can detect chaotically aligned creatures, objects, or enchantments within 30’ with a successful wisdom roll.





Cultist

Items:               dark cloak (10 g); fine black robe (10 g); flask of poison; ritual dagger (unholy item)
Skills:               hide in shadows; move silently; occult lore
Powers:            the evil eye
Races:              any
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.

The Evil Eye: A cultist can cast the spell the evil eye a number of times per day equal to his experience level, in addition to his normal daily spell allotment.





Pagan Priest

Items:               fine white robe (10 g); gnarled staff (1 g); holy item
Skills:               herb lore; occult lore; scholarship
Powers:            legend lore
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all
Alignment:       neutral

Description: A pagan priest worships one (or more) of the elemental lords, or other neutrally aligned gods or spirits, such as the plant and animal lords. They are masters of the traditional lore of their people, including astrology, grammar, history, laws, myths, rhetoric, and rituals. Pagan priests are generally highly respected by their society, and act as counselors, judges, and negotiators.

Legend Lore: A pagan priest has extensive knowledge of myths and legends. He can identify the magical properties of an item and interpret other magical effects with a successful wisdom roll.



Templar

Items:              chainmail armor; helmet; holy item; shield; sword; warhorse, charger
Skills:              divinity; riding; scholarship
Powers:           improved armor proficiency, improved base attack bonus, improved hit dice, improved
                        weapon proficiency
Weaknesses:    reduced spell progression, 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 (no matter their experience level).

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

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

Improved Armor Proficiency: A Templar is proficient with all forms of armor.

Improved Base Attack Bonus: A Templar has a BAB of +1 per 2 levels.

Improved Hit Dice: A Templar uses d6’s as hit dice.

Improved Weapon Proficiency: A Templar is proficient with all kinds of weapons.

Reduced Spell Progression: A Templar gains the ability to cast spells at a slower rate than other clerics.

XP Level
SL 1
SL 2
SL 3
SL 4
1
-
-
-
-
2
1
-
-
-
3
2
-
-
-
4
2
1
-
-
5
3
2
-
-
6
3
2
1
-
7
3
3
2
-
8
4
3
2
1
9
4
3
3
2


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 sanctified by a cleric of lawful alignment.