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Old 03-13-2018, 06:36 PM   #31
ecz
 
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Default Re: priest and theologian

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Originally Posted by tbeard1999 View Post
I always figured that the attractiveness of the priest/theologian talents depended almost entirely on the game world. In a setting where priests are accorded great wealth and status, those talents might be very attractive even if they imparted no magical powers. The reverse is true as well. By default, though, there's no real reason for player characters to take those talents. They are essentially highly rigorous mundane talents as David noted.

Like most long time TFT'ers, I played around with clerical magic systems. The problem is that I always wound up simulating the D&D concept of clerics. Not necessarily a bad thing, but definitely derivative.

Anyhow, while you can spruce up priest/theologian talents, you really need some conception of what the religions are and how they interact with rulers, followers, non-followers, etc. In a theocracy where priests have no special magical powers, Theologian might well be better described as "Administration" or "Bureacracy" or even "Law".

I think an easy, low footprint, tweak for priest/theologian is to give them modest positive effects on followers. For instance:

A +1 on initiative ("Brother Parvis brings God to our side").

Allow a very minor healing power (like say, a master physicker's ability to heal 1 point of damage without any tools), which could be magic or just a strong placebo effect.

Allow a prayer to grant a +1 on a particular task roll "O Lord, please grant Anselm the strength to open this barred door that he might carry out thy will..." I'd limit this to a few uses per day.

Grant a +1 reaction with any coreligionists (or anyone if the faith is particularly well respected).

Allow priests an advantage fast-talking gullible followers ("Do witches burn? What also burns...what also floats"), etc.

Provide priests with a monthly stipend, which represents donations and support.

Allow a more significant bonus (say +2) when doing something that requires willpower, as long as the priest is present to pray/encourage the figure/display the holy symbol, etc.

Etc.

The key to these "powers" is that they may be magical, or they may just be manifestations of the placebo effect. And they may be limited by the deity, or just sensibly limited by the priest (or his religious doctrine) so as to retain their novelty.
I think in my next CG (if any) I'll take this approach.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:40 PM   #32
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Default Re: priest and theologian

Though I think that +1 advantage for co-religionists ought to be offset by a -1 disadvantage for anti-religionists (whether that is people who dislike religion, or just ones who dislike YOUR religion...).
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:10 PM   #33
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Default Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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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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Old 03-29-2018, 01:49 PM   #34
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Default Re: Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post

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.
This unpredictability - was it GM's whim? Or was it some known random factor? or was it "feels right for the story" or similar?
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:14 PM   #35
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Default Re: Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
This unpredictability - was it GM's whim? Or was it some known random factor? or was it "feels right for the story" or similar?
Hi everyone, Aramis.
It was deliberate design. I've found that magic in most RPG is utterly predictable. When I was working out my cleric rules, I wanted something that was not "just-another-spell-list".

As for how I pick what unique rites a PC gets, it is based on what feels right for that god, what is interesting, and what won't be too powerful.

Does this answer your question?

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:37 AM   #36
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Default Re: Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi everyone, Aramis.
It was deliberate design. I've found that magic in most RPG is utterly predictable. When I was working out my cleric rules, I wanted something that was not "just-another-spell-list".

As for how I pick what unique rites a PC gets, it is based on what feels right for that god, what is interesting, and what won't be too powerful.

Does this answer your question?

Warm regards, Rick.
How did you decide whether or not the cleric was in good odor with his god? (Or, putting it another way, how did you decide when his rites were likely to fail?)
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Old 03-31-2018, 02:30 AM   #37
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Default Re: Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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How did you decide whether or not the cleric was in good odor with his god? (Or, putting it another way, how did you decide when his rites were likely to fail?)
Hi everyone, JLV.
The cleric is judged by his or her actions. If they are doing what the god expects, then they are in good. If they are behaving selfishly (unless it is an evil god), or acting far outside of expected behaviour then the rites and miracles are far more likely to be weak or simply fail.

With miracles (which require a fair bit of a Divine being's attention), I give a small chance of failure in any case. Some times the god (or at least the angelic helpers) are just too busy.

Warm regards, Rick.

Last edited by Rick_Smith; 03-31-2018 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Fixed spelling error.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:42 AM   #38
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Default Re: priest and theologian

Thanks, Rick! That makes sense.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:11 AM   #39
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Default Re: Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by Rick_Smith View Post
Hi everyone, Aramis.
It was deliberate design. I've found that magic in most RPG is utterly predictable. When I was working out my cleric rules, I wanted something that was not "just-another-spell-list".

As for how I pick what unique rites a PC gets, it is based on what feels right for that god, what is interesting, and what won't be too powerful.

Does this answer your question?

Warm regards, Rick.
no. It walks around it.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:53 AM   #40
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Default Re: Priests and Theologians in Rick's Campaign.

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
> Does this answer your question?

no. It walks around it.
Hi everyone, Aramis.
If you could be more specific as to what you want to know, I'll be happy to take another crack at it.

Warm regards, Rick.
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