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Old 03-20-2018, 07:10 PM   #33
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Coquitlam B.C.
Default Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

Originally Posted by ecz View Post
After we discussed about a number of things (some interesting, some less interesting) and assuming that Steve will decide for the best it's time to share our experience with the priest and theologian talents. ...
Hi ecz, everyone.
I was not troubled by Priest and Theologian (P&Th) being powerless in TFT because I assumed that those talents were place holders. Eventually a supplement would come out and fix the hole. Then Metagaming folded and it was not to be.

For a long time I ran TFT as written with P&Th having no powers. I grew bored with this and so I messed around with things for a while. What I eventually ended up with was this.

I added a new attribute, Piety (PY). This started at zero for all characters and could be bought up with experience. Most clerics put a point or three into PY, but the real miracle workers wanted 8 or 10 points in it. (Yes, that did impact their other attributes.)

Anyone with even a single point of PY gains the ability to start sensing (via touch) holy auras, and detect evil influences (or at least enemy divine beings). At higher levels of PY the range gets larger and it does not require a concentrate action.

They could get rites (which were like spells that had to be paid for, often with fatigue (fST). Or they could get Miracles which the god paid for, but only rarely manifested. Taking P&Th talents helped get more and cooler rites & miracles.

A lot of rites were modified by the PY level. ("Smite the unholy with your sword, adding PY damage to the blow," so someone with PY 4 does a bonus +4 hits with their weapon vs. evil.)

Undead could be turned, etc. by clerics, which were 2, 3 or rarely 4 vs PY rolls, (called Virtue rolls). However, each undead had a minion number which modified the roll. So zombies (the easiest) were a +6. A PY of 3 + a 6 minion number = 9, so even a fairly weak cleric had a decent chance of turning zombies. A vampire? Forgetaboutit.

The key thing was that the rites and miracles were not a spell list. They were unique 'deals' between the cleric and the god. No two clerics were likely to the have same rites. This meant that an enemy cleric was nerve racking. You had no idea what they could do.

Additionally, the rites do not always work as advertised. If a holy being is impressed by the cleric, that +4 damage Smite might do +10 points and freeze the ungodly. If the cleric is wasting the gawd's time, then his or her rites might become less potent or just stop working.

This unpredictability added a lot, and helped the system from feeling like a rebaked magic system. And the new attribute directly fought attribute bloat.

Warm regards. Rick.
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