by T.A. Saunders ©2012 v1.0
Religion is a waning power on Imarel, where magic and science hold the lion’s share of the Cosmic Balance. Before Humans became a sizable race on Imarel’s lands, talk of the Old Gods and the Spirits had all but become myth and superstition to the Asyndi race, who prefer relying on their own power, rather than the miracle of a deity. With the return from Ishaela and proliferation of Humans, who carry with them the ancient worship tradition of Dwarves and Elves, the power of Belief has managed to remain and with it, the presence of the Gods and Spirits of Imarel.
To this end, Priests have become increasingly important to spreading the word of their deities and assuring their power does not leave this world. Therein lies the Spiritual War, for the hearts and minds of all the races of Imarel that is fought in town squares, churches and on the battlefield, where divine might can win or lose the day. Because the needs of those who follow a religious path are so diverse, there are many sorts of priests that roam Imarel: The Cleric, the Monk, the Minister, the Druid and the Exorcist. One should note that with the exception of the Exorcist path, there is no restriction to what deity a priest can commit to. There can be monks of chaotic gods, minsters of neutral spirits and so on. As the Exorcist deals with the expulsion of infernal creatures from the world, they are exclusively the province of Lawful, Neutral, or even Chaotic deities, as long as the deity’s home plane is not Xos, the Frozen Dark.Priests pray to their deities for their powers. They do not have specific spells, as such but simply pray to their god and their god decides what measure of intervention will take place. The longer a priest has been in service of a particular deity, the more likely he or she will get the divine aid they are looking for. Hence, it is incredibly important to be careful what one prays for; both for the fact that they may actually get what they pray for and for the possibility of offending their deity. Priests going outside the edicts of their religion can very easily find themselves powerless.
Church Ranks (Descending Order)
Immaculate (Warden if Druid)
Grand Hierarch (Grand Hierophant if Druid)
Hierarch (Hierophant if Druid)
High Priest (High Druid, if druid)
Priest (Druid, if druid)
Abbot/Abbess (Friar if monk, Keeper if druid)
clergyman/woman (Wilder if druid)
NOTE: With each ascending rank all priests gain -5% mystic defense, culmulative.
Cleric: An armored servant of a deity, clerics come to the battlefield to bring the blessings of their god to the armies they march with. Empowered by incredible powers of healing over a large area as well as boosting the morale and strength of a fighting force, clerics are widely considered indispensable for a large army or mercenary troupe. When not in battle, they oversee the spiritual needs of their military flock as well as tend to any wounds a day’s fighting can bring. Clerics will use heavy armor and any form of weapon, though the god the cleric follows can heavily dictate what weapons are used Clerics are the strongest area of effect healers, have good ability to smite their enemies and have the greatest ability to create powerful defensive and offensive wards.
Druid: Keepers of the wilds of Imarel, druids observe natural law as the highest. While the vast majority of Druids follow Zorah, some follow The Spirit of Tranquility, or the Twin Goddesses. There are even a small sects of druids that worship Abador, Lord of Plagues. Whomever they pay homage to, Druids tend to avoid cities for obvious reasons, but will be more comfortable venturing into smaller towns and villages where they often help farmers during harvest or planting season, then move on. Depending on the deity follows, a druid may focus on rejuvenation elemental and abjuration spells or possibly disease and rotting spells for those who follow the Lord of Plagues. Druids may only wear armor they can craft from trees or animals and will use most weapons, save those that rely heavily on technology (firearms, complex clockwork/steam weapons, etc.). Druids are powerful healers over a small area but their true strength rests in regenerating limbs and recovering victims from crippling effects like bleeding, burns and similar wounds with rapid results.
Exorcist: The Exorcist is a priest specialized in the expulsion of infernal beings and unclean spirits from Imarel. Often put in opposition against powerful ritualists and priests of dark gods, the Exorcist is infused with the power to see the touch of such forces on mortals and can drive the possessing spirits and demons out. This fight against darkness can take a terrible toll on the exorcist however. Those who become possessed by the very demons and spirits they seek to drive out are known as Heretics and will masquerade as an Exorcist in order to aid infernal powers and spirits, rather than drive them off. Exorcists wear light armor and can use any manner of weapon. Exorcists are the third most powerful type of healer. Exorcists are excellent single target healers and are the best of all priests at directly smiting an enemy.
Minister: From the lowly friar to the head of an entire religious congregation, Ministers preach the word of their god to the masses and keep them strong in the faith. They are advisers to kings and powerful politicians, spiritual guide and in some cases law to the people they tend to and maintain the hierarchy within their church. Ministers are rarely found outside of their congregations, though they are known to travel with evangelical purpose from time to time. Ministers will only carry small weapons to defend themselves and wear no armor. Ministers are the most powerful single target healer and excel at removing curses, blights, hexes and diseases from those under their care.
Monk: A rare sight outside the lands of the Taijuni people, monks are wanderers and spiritual teachers. They maintain a threadbare life and keep only what they need to survive. Rather than relying on fancy weapons or armor to protect them, monks have developed many hand to hand and weapon fighting styles that allow them to protect themselves and others. Augmented by faith in much the same way knights are a monk can survive incredible odds without so much as the robes they wear and their walking stick. While Monks cannot turn undead as other priests do, they may Disrupt them using their unarmed fighting technique. Monks may wear light armor and may only carry one weapon. Monks are the least powerful at healing, able to heal serious wounds on a single target and stabilize the those near death, but little more. Monks cannot dual-class.
Nakun-Ja (Adnorian Elemental Priests): The Nakun-Ja are separated into two subcategories, the Ki-Kunja, (the male Stone-Shapers) and the Yun-Ja, (the female Fire-Callers). While there is no gender-specific reason for the Taijuni to separate the two elements, traditionally, the Taijuni people believe that females have 'calmer minds,' and can control the tempestuous element better than men.
These elemental priests differ from both Channelers and Elementalists, in that they settle in sort of a middle ground between the two. While not having the fine-tuned manipulation Channelers do, or the far-flung, mass of destruction Elementalists do, the Nakun-Ja can do a little of both, plus offer auras, protections and wards versus opposing elements, for both groups and single targets; something neither Channelers or Elementalists can provide.
The Nakun-Ja serve more as war-priests, than healers, leaving such things to more traditional priests and mystics, though in a pinch, they are capable of single target healing, only somewhat better than a monk. Above all things, Nakaun-Ja are expected to maintain peak physical condition and martial skill. For this reason, Nakun-Ja wear medium grade armor, and can carry any weapon.
Spiritual Guidance: All priests can call upon the favor of their deity to give them divine insight into a problem. This can be anything from a sign to do the thing that would best fit with the ethos of the god in question (this is not necessarily the ‘right’ thing, but would fit the morality of the god) to having a moment of lucid wisdom at a critical time. This blessing can be sought but once per day. (Intuition rolls/Skill checks have 100% success).
Divine Favor: Priests are the foremost on returning the dead to the living. As such, whenever they are resurrecting the fallen they have a better chance than other classes to do so without negative penalty. This bonus always exists, though it can be negated by poor standing with the priest’s deity in question. Divine Favor also grants all priests a 85% chance to attack with divine magic. (+25% to resurrection rolls, 85% base to attack with divine magic.)
Blessing of the Faithful: A priest in good standing can beseech their deity for a blessing upon a person or a small group of people. These blessings can be anything from good fortune in battle to good health. The recipients of these blessings will gain a bonus at an appropriate time of critical need, ex. A man blessed with good health manages to avoid a plague infecting a city or a soldier blessed with protection in battle is ‘missed’ by a bullet that would have otherwise killed them. A character can only receive one such blessing but it is effective until the condition of the blessing is met. A priest can make such blessings three times per day, but must be on separate people and never upon themselves. (Blessing to avoid one combat or environmental determinant. Available 3 times per day. Cannot stack blessing.)
Paragon Class Abilities
(Available only to single class characters who spend 12 EP for all three skills.):
Paragon of Skill: Because an individual spends a great deal of focused effort and time to become a Paragon they learn things of their profession that those who dual-class would not otherwise discover. This skill translates into a bonus +15% to hit for their appropriate combat focus (+15% to melee hit for melee types, +15% to ranged for ranged attackers and +15% to spell hit for spell casters). Additionally, the Paragon gains an extra -20% to their overall armor rating and mystic defense versus all forms of attack.
Divine Intervention: When the need is dire, the most devout priests can call directly upon their deity to bring them aid. This aid is always the GM’s choice and could be subject to the cruelty of the god in question, but if the 25% chance roll is made, the divine intervention is granted the following round. Asking a deity for something that is opposing their ethos will result in an immediate smiting of the priest and denial of aid. Usable once per week. (Call for divine aid, usable once per week to receive a boon from your patron deity. 25% of the time you receive major aid, 75% of the time you receive minor aid).
Strength of Devotion: Those priests who truly dedicate themselves to their calling are looked over by their chosen deity. This devotion manifests in a +20% to hit with divine magic, including attacks centered around divine power, such as those of a monk. This also conveys a -15% to hit the priest with an attack of any kind, including magical. Finally, a priest whose soul is devout cannot have his or her soul captured, trapped or controlled by any power, including those of opposing deities.
Blessing of Battle: Once per day, a Cleric can bless an entire group, whether it be a troupe of adventurers or an entire army with the strength of their deity. This blessing confers a +10% to all combat rolls and a -5% to all attacks made against the group so blessed. This blessing can stack with other combat bonuses but only one Blessing of Battle can be given to any one group in a 24 hour period. (+10% to attack, -5% vs attackers, once per day).
Turning/Controlling the Unclean: As representatives of a deity on the battlefield, lawful and neutral clerics have the ability to influence undead and infernal creatures in a wide area, while chaotic ones affect undead and celestial beings. This requires the possession of their deity’s symbol and its forceful presentation, within 20′ of the targeted beings. A cleric can affect 4d10+10 lesser undead in this fashion, or 2d10 lesser entities. More powerful undead (including player characters) or named entities can be turned in this way, but it will affect only the singular target, and will be invulnerable to outright destruction depending on strength. This turning has a 70% chance of success and can be used three times per day, with an additional 20% chance to destroy/banish the turned outright. In the case of chaotic clerics, they may maintain control over undead until their destruction at the end of combat. (Mass turning of undead/entities 3 times per day with a 70% chance of success, and additional 20% chance of absolute destruction/control).
Divine Aura: A cleric is blessed by their deity in such a way that they are always protected in battle. This protection conveys the cleric in question with the ability to put attackers at a disadvantage while fighting them (-10% to all attacks against a cleric). This protection is a perpetual thing and will even apply to special and surprise attacks against the cleric. (-10 to all attacks against a cleric. Bonus always available.)
Natural Selection: The druidic form of turning undead and extra-planar creatures (meaning druids can affect both celestial and infernal beings as well as creatures from other dimensions), this talent has a different effect depending on what it’s used on. On undead, the druid has a 65% chance to drive any unintelligent undead within 60′ of the druid in question into the ground where such creatures will be crushed and destroyed. The effect on intelligent undead is lessened to 55%. When used on extra-planar creatures of any sort, there is a 50% chance to force said beings back to their plane of origin for 1d20 days. This ability can be used once per encounter. (65% to drive lesser undead into the ground, 55% for intelligent undead and 50% to banish extra-planar creatures for 1d20 days).
Cry of the Hunt: Three times per day, the druid can summon 1d10 wild animals of a specified type to the aid of the druid. It should be noted that in order for the summoning to work, the druid must spend one full round concentrating on the summoning and must summon an animal type appropriate for the area (i.e. summoning sharks to a land-locked area will waste the talent and accomplish nothing). These animals are completely obedient to the druid and cannot be feared or counter-controlled in any way. These animals will remain for one hour before dispersing on their own. (Summon 1d10 wild animals of a specific type for one hour, 3 times per day.)
Fury of the Storm: Once per day the druid can call down the Fury of the Storm. This isn’t weather control in the manner a group of Seers are capable of, but rather a summoning of a tremendous thunderstorm that lasts 1d4 rounds. This storm will pelt all forces hostile to the druid with hailstones, buffet them with wind and driving rain and strike them with lightning bolts. The total effects of these environmental changes are 50% slowed movement, blurred sight and 50% chance to get struck by arcing bolts of lightning. This chance increases to 95% for those wearing metal armor. A lightning strike will stun its target for 1d4 rounds and has a 5% chance to cause Catastrophic damage to those thus stricken. The druid can do no other activity while calling this storm and if he or she is sufficiently damaged, this talent may end early. (Summon a storm for 1d4 rounds with 100% blurred vision, slowing of movement by 50% and a 50% chance to get struck by lightning, 95% if wearing metal armor.)
Slayer Proficiency: An Exorcist is exceedingly talented at destroying dark spirits and infernal creatures. Because of this, they have a +25% to attack rolls versus any infernal creature or dark spirit. This includes any weapon attacks or prayer attacks they might attempt. For Heretics, this bonus changes to +25% to attack rolls versus celestial beings and priests. (25% attack vs. infernal beings and dark spirits. Heretics gain 25% attack vs. celestial beings and priests).
Exorcism: Once per day, the Exorcist can drive out a dark spirit or an infernal entity from a person or area with 85% chance of effectiveness. This specialized and powerful form of turning has a drawback however. There is always a 5% chance that when the spirit or infernal power is driven out, it possesses the Exorcist instead. Should this happen the Exorcist will either need to be exorcised themselves (at a -30% penalty) or become a Heretic under the control of the spirit/infernal creature that possesses them. This form of turning does not work on corporeal undead of any sort, nor infernal demons manifested on the Prime Plane. (85% to exorcise a dark spirit or infernal being, once per day. 5% chance to become possessed).
Sense of Presence: Three times per day, an Exorcist can concentrate the divine will of his or her deity in a 30′ area and sense the presence of a dark spirit or an infernal creature. This talent will not bypass unusual measures taken to mask a presence or from exceptionally powerful entities. Furthermore, the Exorcist must have reason to believe there is such an entity in their vicinity, rather than simply wasting the power for sake of doing so. For the Heretic, this power becomes the ability to sense celestial beings and blessed individuals in a 30′ area, 3 times per day. (100% chance to sense dark spirits/demons, 3 times per day. Heretics sense celestial beings and blessed individuals 3 times per day).
Word of the Gods: Through their sermons, a minister can influence the minds and hearts of those listening to them, even if the listeners are not believers in the minister’s faith. For those who believe as the Minister believes, the minister will have +50% to charm said followers into non-lethal suggestions. Such suggestions could include paying tithe to the church or repenting for sins by fasting. Even things that cause non-lethal harm are acceptable.
Those who do not believe as the Minister does are stricken with a sense of apprehension and will either actively avoid the Minister in the future, or attack them at a -10%, depending on the situation. Allies of an ethos similar to the Minister who hear their words are likewise inspired and find themselves able to eke out more strength to fight for what they believe in, adding a +10% bonus to their attacks for the remainder of the encounter.
If multiple Ministers of the same ethos speak, it the bonus to hit is increased by +5% per Minister beyond the first. A Chaotic Minister preaching about the weak deserving to starve will not inspire a farmer, no matter how good a friends they may be. Abusing this talent against the god’s ethos can result in a minister being stripped of their divine power. This talent can be used three times per day. (50% charm on believers/avoidance or -10% to attack against non-believers, +10% bonus to attack checks by allies of a similar ethos within hearing range, +5% per additional Minister of the same ethos speaking).
Immaculate Cleansing: Once per day, the Minister can evoke the power of their deity and cure a grievous ailment, curse or wound, providing that ailment, curse or wound was not applied by another deity. This means limbs can be regrown, madness cured or loss of senses restored. This power will not work on those of opposing ethos to the minister. (100% chance to cure any curse/wound/blight on a single person, once per day).
The Holy/Unholy Word: Once per day the Minister is capable of uttering a word in the sacred tongue of their deity that will instantaneously destroy a single undead creature, or banish a single infernal entity. Lesser sorts of either sort have no chance of resisting the Holy Word, while more powerful sorts of demons and undead have a 50% chance to resist destruction/banishment. Those that do resist will be weakened for 1d4 rounds and unable to use special powers.In the case of the Unholy word, lesser celestial beings are instantly banished and unprepared mortals (non-adventuring sorts) are driven instantly insane. More powerful celestial beings have a 50% chance to resist banishment and more powerful mortals (such as adventuring types) have a 50% chance to resist being driven insane. Those who have other resistances to madness can roll those checks as well, after the initial check. (Once per day, the Holy Word can banish/destroy with 100% effectiveness a single lesser sort of infernal/undead creature and 50% for more powerful sorts. The Unholy Word instantly banishes/drives insane with 100% effectiveness a single lesser celestial beings/mortal and 50% for more powerful sorts).
Strike of the Devout: Monks learn an Unarmed Combat style at Proficient skill level without use of EP. They progress beyond Adept at their chosen unarmed combat style at half the total EP one would normally expend. Additionally, because of the divine/infernal nature of a monk’s inner power, monks use their spell hit with a 85% base rather than their melee hit to decide whether or not their blows land. Regardless what unarmed combat style they choose, monks also have an innate 75% chance to Disrupt Undead and Infernal (or Divine if a monk of a dark god) creatures when fighting them unarmed (check made once per round). Disruption will stun such creatures for 1d4 a total of 1d4 rounds, making any action other than retreat impossible for that time. Because of the exhaustive training Monks undergo, they are able to attack armored opponents as they would unarmored opponents, ignoring the penalty unarmed attackers have against armored adversaries.
For most Taijuni monks, the preferred fighting style is Ki Miju, or the Dancing Flame. The style involves many sorts of fluid kicks and punches that focus on pressure points and vital areas to defeat an opponent, while weaving in and out of striking range. Monks from other lands, while rare may or may not follow this fighting style and may have one of their own, though the same bonuses will apply.
Use of an unarmed fighting style does not allow for successful attacks against creatures that require Bane Weapons to wound (unless those creatures happen to be undead or infernal/divine creatures), but will work on creatures that require magical weapons to hit. (Learn an unarmed combat style at adept level, progress at half Event Point cost, armored opponent penalties negated, monks use spell hit for unarmed combat hit, Disruption of undead and Infernal/Divine creatures).
Weapon of the Faithful: Just as the monk uses physical training in an unarmed fighting style, a monk may choose a single sort of weapon to carry with them always that they may specialize in. This weapon is considered blessed and will strike targets that otherwise require magical weapons to hit. This weapon can be anything from a farmer’s sickle to a sword or a walking stick. Nothing is off the table, but this is the only weapon the monk will ever carry.
This Weapon of the Faithful has a +25% to hit and allows the Monk to attack four times per round with the option to lose one attack to block an incoming attack with their weapon. This blocking has a 75% chance to reflect/riposte an attack, where appropriate. This obviously does not apply to area of effect or Catastrophic damage. Like their unarmed combat, Monks do not use their melee hit base, but rather rely on their spell hit base of 85% to calculate their hit chance. (+25% to hit, 4 attacks per round with the option to block at the lose of one attack. 75% to reflect/riposte, Monks use spell hit base of 85% rather than melee hit).
Focused Spirit: Once per day, a monk may focus all of their Spiritual Energy into one offensive strike. This offensive strike must be done unarmed and suffers the same penalties unarmed combat suffers in regards to giant and bane weapon-required creatures. This offensive strike has a +50% to hit and a 35% chance to outright kill its intended target. Failing to kill the target of Focused Spirit still renders the opponent unconscious for 1d6 rounds. Using the Focused Spirit attack is exhausting however and the Monk cannot attack for one round after using the Focused Spirit ability. (+50% to hit and 35% chance to kill outright. unconsciousness for 1d6 rounds caused by the attack should a kill not be achieved. Exhaustion penalty).
Elemental Harmony: By means of this spell, the Nakun-Ja can increase the spell hit for all spell casters utilizing Adnor's chosen elements (fire/stone) by +15%, and a +15% penalty to mystic defense to targets of those spells. This skill can be called upon once per day. This skill also stacks with other bonuses, but cannot be modified by magic items/tattoos. (+15% spell hit, +15% penalty to enemies, vs. Adnor's elements. Useable 1tpd).
Fire and Brimstone: While turning undead, and creatures summoned from Xirorya, that are based on either water or air, both Ki-Kunja and Yun-Ja do so by calling forth a ring of blessed molten brimstone, that expands outwards from the priest, and consumes utterly any unintelligent undead/elemental beings caught within its expanding, 60’ radius, with 65% likelihood, +5% past the Priest rank. Intelligent undead/elemental beings will also have a 50% chance to resist destruction, but be forced to flee the area. This ability does not affect named beings, infernal beings or creatures with elemental power, that are bound to Adanum. Mortal beings are likewise immune to this ability. The Nakun-Ja may attempt to turn undead in this way, thrice per day. (60’ ring of molten magma, 85% to destroy undead/water and air elementals, 50% for intelligent undead/water and air elementals to be instead, forced to flee. Useable 3tpd).
Aura of Elements: The bread and butter of the Nakun-Ja, they are, by will of Adnor, able to pray for and give elemental auras to both people and objects, including themselves, weapons or other items, though nothing beyond humanoid size and mass. These auras allow the recipient to either be granted -150% Mystic Defense against a particular element, or gain the ability, temporarily to wield that element as a weapon, with a +50% Mystic Defense penalty against the target. For example, a person given a fire aura can throw fireballs from their fingertips, or a hammer temporarily given an elemental stone aura can stun an adversary for a short time. These auras last 1d6 rounds, +1 round per rank of the Nakun-Ja, starting at Priest rank. Obviously, the aura in question must be fitting to the particular Nakun-Ja casting it, ex. a Yun-Ja would only be able to do fire, etc. (Power to grant elemental auras, duration: 1d6 rounds + 1 round per rank, starting at Priest).
Bashuda (Ghozothian Elemental Priests): As a response to the Nakun-Ja, the Albadosian holy sect dedicated to Ghozoth’s glory, known as the Bashu, developed prayers and sought favor with their Uncaring Lord of the Deep, to match the Nakun-Ja on the field. Thus, was born the Bashuda.
Mechanically, the Bashuda are exactly like Nakun-Ja, save for the following changes:
- Bashuda are not segregated by gender, but must choose an element to favor.
- A Bashuda must go through a ritual where they are nearly drowned.
- Elemental Harmony for them affects air/water, rather than fire/stone.
- Fire and Brimstone is called Wind and Waves, but mechanically does the same thing.
- Aura of Elements is water/air, rather than fire/stone.