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4.  Class (3)

4.3. Priest

Clerics are followers of a certain deity who are granted special (i.e. magical) powers by the gods.

The world of Gushémal knows many gods from several pantheons. (Note: For the purpose of this game – particularly in this early stage – we will deal with only a small selection of gods from a single pantheon. After all, the stories we have written so far deal only with one other “pantheon”, which is actually a monotheism, the Tonomai One True God. Later versions of the game will involve other gods from our main pantheon as well as other pantheons.)

Every mortal who devotes all her life to one god (especially priests, but also laymen) are given magical abilities by their god. These abilities are completely different from the spells of wizards, and suitably so they are called “blessings”.

Of the two major differences between spells and blessings, the first is that spells generate something entirely new and cannot directly affect something that already exists. (A fireball for example is created from magic in the hand of the wizard, it is the product of the spell – the ball of fire itself – which incinerates the target.) A blessing on the other hand cannot generate something entirely new but has to affect something that exists, for instance the most important of blessings granted to every kind of priest: healing.

The second difference is that clerics require no lengthy studies to effect a blessing. As long as they are faithful to their god, even the magically inept can work their blessings. As a result, the TL of a cleric is wholly inconsequential; their magical strength is defined by their Sacred Reservoir (SR).

 

Wizards are independent in their art, under nobody’s command. Clerics on the other hand serve their respective gods, always intent to further the god’s cause and increase the number of his followers. Every god has a specific area of interest, of power, of duty; this duty is passed to the priesthood as well.

Darawk, God of Knowledge, for instance has tasked his priests to gather all knowledge and make it available to any who desire it.

 

In order to become a priest one should (with a few exceptions) try to apprentice oneself to a priest in very young years and enter an order or monastery. If the local priests are interested as well, the apprenticeship begins. The duration of this time as well as the tasks demanded of the would-be priest differ greatly from clergy to clergy, but they are completed by a ceremony of testing.

In that ceremony (which again varies greatly) it is tested whether the deity accepts the supplicant as one of its priests. The god shows approval in many ways, most often a sign of supernatural power – but in special cases, the god might appear in person to welcome the supplicant.

 

After being formally introduced into the priesthood, the young cleric may now for the first time effect the ritual to receive magical energy for blessings. In this the cleric serves as a container of divine magic, a sacred reservoir (SR), from which he can draw the strength to work the blessings.

The sacred reservoir of each priest differs. It depends on two factors primarily, for one thing the time of service to the god, for another whether a priest has found favor with her god. (A favorable god is very likely to increase the SR of a cleric, so she can render even better service to the godly cause.)

The ritual has to repeated once every week, ordinarily on a specific day, to replenish their SR. If they do not follow this routine, the SR will be depleted right away. For the next week, until the regularly scheduled time of the next ritual, they are unable to bless anyone. (And let us not forget that their god will not be happy that a priest forgot the weekly ritual to praise the god.) In that case, the cleric must do penance to atone for her mistake.

 

GM Tips

This penance might serve as the hook of a new adventure. If the priest missed out on only one ritual, atonement could consist of a few days of special service somewhere in the temple. But more serious breaches of conduct require more serious penance.

That would apply in particular to a cleric who used to be dear to the god’s heart. How hurt must the god be now, that this very loyal and beloved follower seems to have turned away from the deity?! (Which should at least offer the player of that priest the opportunity to get some emotional work out of her character.)

Now the hook: Your party just completed their last adventure. It was a tough job, everybody is tired, and on the return trip the injured cleric hasn’t been able to perform the ritual. (The reason for that might be (i) injury, (ii) no probable need of magic in the future and she’s just too tired, (iii) the lack of a specific item required in the ritual, at least for her.) The party returns to the temple – and the priest learns of her god’s displeasure.

Barely has she set foot in her home temple that the high priest accosts her and tells her there is only one way for her to regain favor with the god: Go out and find a certain object of worship!

Now the priestess has to convince her friends – who are probably very intent on getting a bit of sleep into their tired bodies, not to mention tell tall tales at the inn – that they should just leave home again…

 

Clerics generally treat all other priests respectfully, as long as they serve gods from the same pantheon. Even those that serve dubious purposes, such as Shenaumac, God of Murder and Intrigue, or Middage, Goddess of Destruction and Disease.

On the other hand if the other priest acts against the cleric’s express purpose and interest, they react aggressively. Let’s just imagine if a group of Shenaumac priests intends to burn a library before the very eyes of a priest of Darawk, God of Knowledge!

 

Important Note: Dwarves cannot become clerics! Since they believe that the gods deserted their ancestors, no honest dwarf would ever stoop to being a priest. Of course, some of the clerical abilities ought to be open to dwarven characters as well, but dwarves have a special class instead of clerics: the ambrán. Unfortunately, we won’t introduce special classes for a few months yet.

 

4.3.1. Class Abilities

Blessings:

                                           Level 1............................................ 0 EP

                                           Level 2............................................ 2,000 EP

                                           Level 3............................................ 4,000 EP

                                           Level 4 – 8.................................... TBD

Unlike a wizard, a cleric does not need to understand how a blessing works to cast it – but he needs to deserve the honor to be granted its power. Immediately after being consecrated to his god, the cleric can effect blessings of level 1. These aren’t particularly powerful, but they are a visible sign that the revered god has fully accepted the young cleric.

Level 2 allows the priest access to the power of healing. This is primarily designed to cure wounds, but also affects disease. Blessings of this level can imitate natural processes but not exceed them. This becomes possible from Level 3 onward.

Level 4 and above allows blessings that border on the miraculous. Upon reaching this level of power, a priest often receives important assignments from his god directly.

 

Sacred Reservoir Points (SR):                                          1,500 EP

A cleric requires the SR points to cast a blessing. The larger his Sacred Reservoir is, the more divine magic he can absorb and use in his blessings.

To gain an additional point of SR, the priest has to spend 1,500 experience points as well as fast and meditate for a day.

 

Create Healing Potion:                                                     2,500 EP

A healing potion cures 2d10 hitpoints. The most serious wound is the first healed. Should the effect be sufficient to treat other injuries, they are taken care of by order of their damage.

To create a healing potion, the cleric requires holy water, a healing blessing and 10 additional SR points. A priest can create one healing potion per week.

 

Create Advanced Healing Potion:                                     7,500 EP

The advanced healing potion cures 5d10 hitpoints. The most serious wound is the first healed. Should the effect be sufficient to treat other injuries, they are taken care of by order of their damage.

To create a healing potion, the cleric requires holy water, a healing blessing and 15 additional SR points. A priest can create one healing potion per week.

 

Create Potion:                                                                  1,000 EP

A priest can create magical potions for specific situations, such as an antidote to poison or the cure for a certain kind of disease.

To create a valid potion, the priest needs to know about herbalism, since herbs are an important – if not the most important – ingredient of a magical potion. At the very least, the priest must be assisted by someone knowledgeable in herbalism.

Aside from that, the cleric requires holy water. Further ingredients depend on the intended usage of the potion. For example, if one wishes to create an antidote against snake venom, a sample of the venom needs to be included.

 

Shield:                                                                             500 EP

The character has trained to use a shield in combat.

 

Shield Parry:                                                                   1,000 EP

The character can use his shield to parry an attack and no longer needs to use his sword. Shields are clearly better suited to this, and the character receives a bonus (cf. Shields).

 

Summoning Demons:

Like wizards, priests are able to summon demons from the nether regions into their world – but unlike the wizards, priests have no way of controlling the creatures. Moreover they can only call a demon whose name they know.

Since demons are generally associated with evil (for rather good reasons), if a priest calls them, that priest serves one of the darker gods and has been directly instructed to do so. Although the cleric cannot control the demon, the creature is probably in the service of the dark god and is fully aware of what has to be done.

This is not necessarily the case – or perhaps the demon hasn’t fully agreed to it. Its devotion to the god in charge may not be as complete as the summoning priest believes. For that reason clerics take a far bigger risk on themselves than wizards – which is also the reason why clerics quite rarely summon demons at all.

 

Like wizards, clerics require a ritual to summon a demon. There is no need for a protective circle or runes, since the priests aren’t able to control the creature, anyway.

There have to be at least as many priests in the ritual as the level of the demon; it might be more, but never less. The priests have to call the name of the demon, and they have to offer the creature a sacrifice – ordinarily one specified by the demon, such as a first-born son, a virgin, an alreu, etc.

At least one of the priests, the one who kills the sacrifice, must have the Summon Demons ability.

Also see 4.2.8. Summoning Demons (Wizards).

 

Unarmed Combat:                  1,000 EP

Text Box: Weapon Mastery Level
Level	Price
Level 1 (depends on class)	-
Level 2 (1 – 50)	1,000 EP
Level 3 (51 – 74)	2,500 EP
Level 4 (74 – 99)	5,000 EP
Level 5 (100 – 150)	10,000 EP

This style of fighting is so easy that anyone can use it – depending on their abilities, of course. The base value for this style is the same as the base value of the character class, i.e. 25% for fighters, 20% for priests, 15% for thieves and 10% for wizards.

Add to this the strength bonus and further practice. An inexperienced fistfighter receives only half his normal values.

Otherwise unarmed combat is considered a weapons ability, and therefore the rules of Weapon Mastery apply. To increase your experience, you need to spend 100 EP per increased point.

 

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