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Old 09-07-2016, 04:47 AM   #1
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default Moon Priests/Priestesses

I recently checked Dungeon Fantasy 7: Clerics to see if I could pilfer any interesting divine powers for holy warriors and divine servitors of a god of the moon.

What I found is that despite the plethora of moon goddesses/gods in mythology and fiction, that archetype does not seem to have made it into the book. On the other hand, it seems like a natural for a Pyramid article somewhere. Does anyone know if a moon-flavoured Dungeon Fantasy Cleric has appeared in latter supplement or a Pyramid article?

Failing that, I appeal to the forumites. What Special Powers suit a priest of a moon god?

Bonus points for worked examples, but suggestions that still leave me the work of statting them out are better than nothing. :-)

The specific god in question is a fantasy version of Na-an-na (Sumeric)/ Su'en (Akkadian). Sages of history and theology in the setting generally refer to the deity by the composite name Nanna-Sin and consider him to have died a few millenia back, with his divine duties being divided between a sister, distant cousin and even an interloper god or three.

Recent events, however, have challenged the scholarly consensus on the deceased status of Naanaru* Su'en, especially after the re-appearance of tens of thousands of people who disappeared from Shussel, the only city where there was still a temple to the god, and claim to have spent the last three years in the presence of the deity, being trained to war and great deeds by his angels and servitors.

My version of Naanaru Su'en is a god friendly to humanity, invoked by such varied persons as: cow-herders, merchants, sailors and shepherds caught in the dark, seeking guidance to the right path and protection from sharks, wolves or their human equivalents; children or others afraid of the dark; sleepless old men asking for widsom to make a decision; and anyone trying to counteract demonic influence or counteract a curse.**

Su'en is associated with change and travel, due to the phases of the moon, but perhaps oddly, seems at first glance fairly uninvolved in the mysteries of the human reproductory system, beyond a token role in being invoked to protect mother and child from evil influences during birth. The presence of several female goddesses in the same culture who have associations with the moon and women may help to explain this, especially as the primary fertility and love goddess is generally accounted his daughter.

On the other hand, Su'en may have been strongly associated with the female monthly cycle in oral mythology when he was still worshipped, but the image sages have of his worship has been mostly reconstructed through written sources, prestigious art and public works, all of which were more likely to relate to the more masculine duties of Su'en. It's entirely possible that a reconstituted church of Su'en might have priestesses with powers relating to blessing worshippers with more comfortable courses, divining the the proper date for successful and auspicious conception and aiding birth. There may also be secretive female mysteries embedded in the structure of the church. In light of the fact that sages agree that the senior figures of the church of Su'en were often women of royal or high birth, this is far from unlikely.

Su'en's iconic symbols are the crescent moon and the winged bull. While worshippers report visions of Su'en in many forms, the most iconic image is that of a vigorous old man in rich robes with a flowing long beard of lapis lazuli, bearing a crescent axe and sitting in a throne surrounded by bright silver-blue light. Sometimes, Su'en may be riding the winged bull and then he often appears in more warlike garb, wearing helm, bracers and cuirass over a padded linen kalasiris.

From what the PCs can determine, the most important considerations for Su'en in bestowing his favour upon a mortal are the altruism, compassion and resolution of that mortal. The three strictures laid on those who sought to become champions of Naanaru Su'en were to bring light into the dark places, to defend the innocent and to seek out and destroy evil.

The specific term used for 'evil' refers to supernatural evil, i.e. the influence of dark gods, demons and curses on the human realm. Naanaru Su'en may deplore the choices of callous, selfish and violent persons, but unless they give themselves over entirely to a malevolent superhuman entity which bestows dark powers on them, Su'en does not wish them destroyed or harmed, beyond what self-defence makes necessary.

As the 'Lightbringer', Su'en and his lammassu servitors stand guard over humans and their dwellings in the dark. They also succour those in need and shatter dark curses sent against the innocent. As the 'Bull of Heaven', Su'en and his shedim servitors stand against any infernal incursions into the mortal realm, hunting down demons and cultists, closing gates to the infernal realms and counteracting chthonic influences.

So, I'll need a list of nifty Special Powers for priests or holy warriors in the service of Naanaru Su'en.

*In addition to being the Sumeric name of the god known as Su'en in Akkadian, na-an-na also forms the root of an epithet in Akkadian that literally translates as 'Illuminator' or 'Lamp', but which I generally choose to translate figuratively as 'Lightbringer' or 'He Who Brings Light into the Dark Places'.
**The latter of which makes healing very much within his sphere of responsibility.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 09-07-2016 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
Never Been Pretty
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

I haven't seen any Moon related deities in GURPS material.

Looking at Powers, and its sample powers, Some possibilities include, a variant of Anti-Super for supernatural creatures or something to boost supernatural creatures, Body Alteration or Body Control, Darkness or Light, Divine, Gravity, Healing, and Water.

You mentioned travel, so that could include Astral Projection, Dimension Travel, and Teleportation. And change, could include Chaos.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

I think I would use whatever cleric power set seems most likely (probably the basic one), swap out a few spells if something else feels more appropriate, and treat sanctity as one higher during the full moon and one lower during the new moon.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:30 AM   #4
jason taylor
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

Spells to her could be engraved on silver as she is a moon goddess.

Old women with an especial sheen of gray hair could be considered blessed in some manner, perhaps forming a reverse-vestal like clerical guild.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

Throw in some fertility rituals, too. The link between the moon phases and menstruation is something that appears, repeatedly, in a number of different mythologies.
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:43 PM   #6
David Johnston2
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

DF 7 classes Moon gods in with the gods of night in general. That's where you should start from. Apart from that, what you should be looking at for the god's particular speciality are divination, detection and warning spells. I'd suggest replacing Body of Shadow with a new spell Body of Moonlight.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 09-07-2016 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:56 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

I'm not sure this will help you, but in a past campaign I had a diety named Cleo, a moon goddess whose worshipers must practice underground, as all such "old religions" are banned under the sorcerer-king Kirus. The write-up from my character creation guidelines is below. I included few powers, focusing instead on spells.

Cleonic Clerics
Cleo is a healer and protector, a rare source of light in the darkness. The moon goddess chooses only women as her priestesses, but a few elite men are chosen to be monks and can channel her power as well.
The moon goddess is known for being a bringer of life as well as a protector of justice, and many now wait for her to rise and save Pakal.

Priestess—may have up to 6 levels of Power Investiture as well as True Faith (Turning) (P84).
Required Advantages: Clerical Investment 1 [5]
Required Disadvantages: Sense of Duty: coreligionists [-10]; Disciplines of Faith (ritualism) [-5]; Enemy (Kirans, 6 or less) [-20] or Secret (priestess) [-10]
Required Skills: Religious Ritual (minimum 14); Theology (minimum 13)

Monk—may have up to 4 levels of Power Investiture as well as True Faith (Turning) (P84).
Required Advantages: Trained by a Master [30]; Blessed (any) [10 or 20]
Required Disadvantages: Disciplines of Faith (mysticism) [-10]; Vow: use no edged weapons [-10]; Enemy (Kirans, 6 or less) [-20] or Secret (monk) [-10]

Power Investiture 1: Aura, Awaken, Cold, Detect Magic, Dream Viewing, Gloom, Lend Energy, Lend Vitality, Light, Night Vision, Peaceful Sleep, Recover Energy, Sense Spirit, Shape Darkness, Shape Water, Share Vitality, Silence, Tell Time, Truthsayer, and Watchdog.
Power Investiture 2: Astral Vision, Continual Light, Coolness, Darkness, Dream Sending, Final Rest, Find Direction, Fog, Healing Slumber, Icy Missiles, Icy Weapon, Infravision, Light Tread, Minor Healing, Neutralize Poison, Purify Air, Purify Water, Relieve Madness, Resist Pain, See Invisible, Shape Light, Stop Bleeding, Turn Spirit, and Turn Zombie.
Power Investiture 3: Affect Spirits, Blackout, Command Spirit (any type), Daze, Dispel Possession, Dream Projection, Hide, Ice Sphere, Know Location, Know True Shape, Major Healing, Mirror, Nightmare, Remember Path, Repel Spirits, Resist Cold, Sense Life, Sleep, Strengthen Will, Suspended Animation, Tell Position, Vigil, Warmth, and Wisdom.
Power Investiture 4: Animate Shadow, Astral Block, Blur, Banish, Cleansing, Command, Compel Truth, Create Water, Cure Disease, Flash, Glow, Icy Touch, Madness, Mass Sleep, Master, Mystic Mist, Neutralize Poison, No-Smell, Relieve Paralysis, Resist Disease, Restoration, Stop Paralysis, Suspend Curse, and Vigor.
Power Investiture 5: Create Food, Dark Vision, Entrap Spirit, Frost, Gift of Letters, Gift of Tongues, Great Healing, Instant Restoration, Icy Breath, Images of the Past, Instant Neutralize Poison, Invisibility, Oath, Pathfinder, Regeneration, Resist Fire, Silver Tongue, Stone to Flesh, and Weather Dome.
Power Investiture 6: Bind Spirit (any type), Bless, Curse, Body of Shadow, Essential Food, Frostbite, Instant Regeneration, Pentagram, Planar Summons (Divine Servitor), Rain of Ice Daggers, Remove Curse, Sanctuary.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:32 PM   #8
Phil Masters
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
DF 7 classes Moon gods in with the gods of night in general. That's where you should start from.
Thanks. I didn't thank that I'd forgotten that standard bit (even if it isn't very dungeon-ish).
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

I'm looking for advice on Special Powers, i.e. powers built with Advantages, more than spells. I've already looked through GURPS Magic to spot likely spells. That said, if there are any published moon-ish spells in a Pyramid or supplement somewhere, that would be cool.

I'm looking for suggestions on supernatural granted powers, really. Something out of Divine Powers or Dungeon Fantasy 7: Clerics, but, of course, oriented toward my moon god.

Like a divine light that burns away curses and throws out possessing demons. Or a blessing that makes a doorway all but impassable to supernatural beings or influences from moonrise to dawn.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Moon Priests/Priestesses

Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Or a blessing that makes a doorway all but impassable to supernatural beings or influences from moonrise to dawn.
Out of curiosity: Why not from moonrise until moonset? Would you actually be so detailed as to keep track of moonrise without also keeping track of moonset? I find the "rise to set" option interesting since it would often include some day hours and exclude some night hours. It would occasionally exclude all night hours (at least for campaigns that are "our Earth except with this cool fantasy stuff").

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