I've always had a bone to pick with the cleric. The bone I have isn't the fact that they exist, like some edgy atheist might have, thought that I am. It isn't even the fact that clerics are a Gygaxian one-up to another Gygaxian one-up. It's the fact that the cleric doesn't really simulate the viral nature of religion.
In game settings where clerics are prevalent, religious institutions are just assumed to be around. They don't really go into how these religious institutions came to be or how they interact with the world at large. Most of the time these settings don't even outline these institutions' structure: their commandments, moral codes, traditions, superstitions, etc. In fact all of that is conveniently hand-waved away. After all these religious institution only serve to provide a backdrop for clerics to exist without scrutiny. There's nothing wrong with this but I've always thought of it as a missed opportunity.
|Fear generic cleric man!|
Stop me if you've been in this situation before. It's Sunday morning. You're asleep, nude under the covers, and your hook-up from the night before is cradling your shoulder. The door bell rings, followed by a loud series of knocks. You wake up and you're sharply reminded of the hangover you now have from one too many screwdrivers the night before. The bell-ringing, and door-knocking and head-hurting continues. Your hook-up is crawling towards consciousness and they're probably doing as good as you right now. And the knocking persists. You scrounge your carpet for the closest pair of clean underwear and as if almost by instinct stumble towards the door; whatever to make the pain in your noggin go away.
You open the door. A voice rings out. "Hello! I was wondering if you would spare a few moments to talk about what God means in your life?" You think about grabbing a blackcat from your bucket of fireworks labeled JW, but decide to shut the door instead and flop back into bed.
When I mention the viral nature of religion, this is what I'm talking about. That Jehova's Witness knocking at your door is motivated. So motivated in fact that he has the willpower to get up at 6AM, get dressed in his short-sleeve white button up, slack, tie, and dress shoes; get to church at 7AM; leave church at 8AM; straddle his bike and go door to door to preach you the word of God.
I don't know what's so important about the word of God. But it must be pretty important if Jehova's Witness twinks are willing to wake me up at 10 AM on a Sunday to preach it at me.
This class is an attempt at making the cleric that Jehova's Witness twink.
|by Maksym Gospodinoff|
A +2 Power Words, +1 Faith Point, Convocation
B +1 PW, +1 FP
C +1 PW, +1 FP
D +1 PW, +1 FP
You're not sure why but wherever you utter certain words magic shit happens. When you say "Blood" people bleed. When you say "Love" people want to fuck.
Power Words are the cornerstone and commandments of your religion. "Though shall not kill" becomes "pacifist." "Respect thy neighbor" becomes "Neighborly."
When you cast spells, they are created by combining Power Words. You can combine "Blood" and "Love" into "Bloodlove." Whatever the effect is is up to you. You can mutate the word as much as you want as long as the root stays the same. "Pacifist" could be "pacify, pacifism," but not "peaceful."
Faith Points are like spell slots for convokers. Casting spells require that you invest FP into them. A spell that heals or deals damage does 1d6 per Faith Point invested. A spell with a duration lasts 1d6 rounds per Faith Point.
Faith Points don't refund at the end of each day. Instead you only regain Faith Points by doing one of the following:
- Increase your Convocation Score by at least 1. (2 point)
- Preach your religion in a public area filled with people for at least 4 hours. (1 point)
- Have your convocation sacrifice a 1 HD creature or 100gp to your faith during a ceremony, mass, Sunday Church, etc. (4 points)
This is your flock. These are the select few who actually buy into this faith dribble that you're spewing. It's your girlfriend, your best friend, that bum you picked up off the streets.
Your convocation is represented by your Convocation Score. It starts at 9 and increases by 1 for every new sheep you take under your fold.
Whenever you cast a spell, your convocation must be present and you must roll under your Convocation Score or else your miracle-working ways are unanswered.
If you fail a convocation roll, your members make a Morale check, and on a failure 1d4 members' eyes are opened to your scam and they leave.
You can command your Convocation like a true prophet. The Convocation has 1HP per member and they can manage to do just about as much as a single PC.
|Just another Sunday|
Example of Play
Garat has been pushing this Skizrakz the Blood-Letter idea around town and it seems to have caught on. The god is all about inclusivity and political correctness through the honored past-time of slaying your enemies and bathing in their blood.
Garat is a 1st level Convoker with a Convocation score of 11. (Him and his neighbors were ale to convince 2 vagrants to join in exchange for some soup and bread.) His Power Words are Blood and Love.
Every third Tuesday of the month everyone gathers together for BloodLove, in which they kidnap a passer-through and sacrifice him to Skizrakz.
The key to the entire ritual is Garat's Bloodlove spell, which is something to behold.
Garat casts Bloodlove on his volunteer. His player invests his only Faith Point and rolls Convoation. He succeeds with a roll of 9!
The victim's blood begins to explode from his body like a fountain and the convocation jumps for blood like they're at a GWAR concert. They wrap things up with a positivity orgy in which they sodomize each other but not before everyone has shared one compliment about everyone else.