Posts Tagged ‘ Catholic ’

Holy Disguise

And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them. But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. (The Gospel According to St. Luke 24:13-16)

Holy Disguise
Spell Level: Cleric, 1st Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 12 hours

By means of this spell, the Cleric appears to be a normal sort of resident or traveler native to a particular region. Those who see the Cleric do not notice any special vestments, holy symbols, et cetera. Furthermore, abilities that detect alignment show the Cleric to be of the same alignment as the detector. Even those who personally know the Cleric do not recognize him unless he performs a certain action or says a certain phrase, the nature of which is determined when the spell is cast. This spell in now way disguises the Cleric’s actions or grants any knowledge of languages or customs.

April 30th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Have No Fear!

The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 26:1, Douay-Rheims)

Last Sunday, I wrote about using turn undead as a way of transforming the Cleric into a melee master against affected undead. This seems especially appropriate for Clerics who follow deities devoted to battle, undead smashing, et cetera. Not all Clerics, however, fit that mold, so this Sunday I want to turn my attention to Clerics who seek to encourage their allies in conflict with the soul-rending terrors of the undead. Such a Cleric’s player rolls 2d10 and refers to the table for turning the undead as normal, but the results of success differ as follows:

* If the number on the dice is equal to or greater than the number shown on the table, the Cleric’s allies gain for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to-hit” bonus when fighting affected undead. Those allies also gain a +1 saving throw bonus against special attacks from the affected undead.

* If the table indicates “T”, the Cleric’s allies gain for 3d6 rounds +1 bonuses both “to-hit” and to damage. The saving throw bonus increases to +2. Furthermore, any ally who fails or who has failed a saving throw against a special attack from the affected undead immediately gains a reroll on that saving throw with that +2 bonus.

* If the table indicates “D”, the Cleric’s allies gain for 3d6 rounds a +2 “to-hit” and +2 damage bonus against the affected undead. Furthermore, the allies become immune to the special attacks of the affected undead.

January 22nd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Smite Those Undead!

…I am glorified in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is made my strength. (Isaiah 49:5)

Certain Lawful Clerics do not “turn” undead monsters. Instead, these Clerics call for divine assistance in direct combat with the undead. Such a Cleric’s player rolls 2d10 and refers to the table for turning the undead as normal, but the results of success differ as follows:

* If the number on the dice is equal to or greater than the number shown on the table, the Cleric gains for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to-hit” bonus and a damage bonus equal to the half Cleric’s level (round up) when fighting affected undead.

* If the table indicates “T”, the Cleric gains for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to hit” bonus and a damage bonus equal to the Cleric’s level when fighting the affected undead. Furthermore, the Cleric makes one attack per level each round against the affected undead.

* If the table indicates “D”, the Cleric gains for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to hit” against the affected undead. Any hit automatically destroys the undead monster, reducing it to dust. Furthermore, the Cleric makes one attack per level each round against the affected undead.

January 15th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Daily Bread

And it came to pass, that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” And he said to them: “When you pray, say….” (The Gospel According to St. Luke 11:1-2)

Daily Bread
Spell Level: Cleric, 3rd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 day

The Cleric casts Daily Bread on a common loaf of bread, breaking the bread during the invocation. The Cleric may then distribute the blessed bread to six people, plus one additional person for every two levels after 6th level the Cleric has earned. The effects of the bread depend on the recipient’s alignment:

Lawful: The bread cures 1d6 hit points of damage. For the remainder of the day, the recipient enjoys a special blessing. Up to three times, the recipient may call upon this blessing to receive a +1 to any attack roll or saving throw.

Neutral: The bread cures 1d4 hit points of damage. For the remainder of the day, the recipient enjoys a special blessing. Once, the recipient may call upon this blessing to receive a +1 to any attack or saving throw.

Referees who have a specific pantheon of deities for their campaign worlds are encouraged to tailor this spell’s object of blessing and effects using the above effects as a guideline. For example, a Chaotic Cleric devoted to a god of slaughter might bless a cup of blood that cures Chaotic recipients and grants a +2 bonus to damage three times per day.

July 25th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Sacred Places

In those days, the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. (Genesis 18:1-2)

When the divine appears to a person, that person experiences a theophany. Ancient literature, such as the Illiad, and ancient religious texts, such as the Book of Genesis, describe such experiences, which take a variety of forms but always lead to an important change, event, or revelation. Thus, as the story of Abraham quoted in part above continues, Abraham is told that his wife Sarah will give birth to a son.

The site of the theophany itself may take on new signifance as it marks a place where the sacred and the profane touched, transforming the latter into a place set now apart from the normal. For example, near modern-day Hebron, the Oak of Mamre, reportedly 50 centuries old, stands at the site said to be where Abraham welcomed three visitors from Heaven.

Such sites attract pilgrims, many of whom journey with specific intentions, such as hope for healing for themselves or a loved one. Often, these sites become the focus of a group of believers, and then a larger community that may include residents whose motives are primarily related to just making a living. Not everyone can live a life solely devoted to prayer or contemplation. Someone has to do the laundry and grow the food, and the larger the community around or near a sacred site, the more varied the motives of people in the community become. The city of Jerusalem is perhaps the most famous example of a community with a complex, rich history that attracts pilgrims year-round.

The inclusion of sacred pilgrimage sites is a good way to inject some verisimilitude into a campaign. Even in our postmodern age, where what appears to be a distressingly large number of people think that divine favor or good fortune can be curried by liking and/or sharing pictures on Facebook, the attraction exerted by sacred places ought not be too difficult to understand. Wars are still fought over holy places, and people still shed blood in the streets in defense of ideals that, while not necessarily religious, are clung to with religious fervor.

The potential for conflict, and the resulting adventure, grows when a site’s significance acquires various interpretations that conflict with each other, as when the persecution of Christians and destruction of Christian holy places in Jerusalem by the caliph of Egypt helped motivate Christendom into the First Crusade. Translate the events of the First Crusade into a swords-and-sorcery campaign and a GM at least has a dynamic backdrop against which his players’ characters adventure.

To this backdrop, add sacred places that ought to be important to the party’s religiously motivated members. What does the party’s cleric of Olidammara do when the local ruling hierarchy of Wastri decides to suppress all music that does not sing the praises of the Hopping Prophet? What happens when the faithful of Merikka take action against the planting rites of Sheela Peryroyl right under the nose of an adventuring cleric of Yondalla?

And, of course, don’t neglect putting some thought into specific game effects or events attached to the site of a theophany.

Six Things That Might Happen at a Sacred Site
1: A cleric of suitable alignment or faith receives an extra first level spell for the day.
2: A character of suitable alignment or faith is cured of an illness or freed from a curse.
3: Someone sleeping at the site receives a prophetic dream.
4: A pilgrim who possesses useful information or skills may help the party.
5: A divine messenger, probably in disguise, requests the party’s help.
6: A gang with reason to dislike what the site represents shows up to cause trouble.

July 18th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »