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12/04/2015 4:35 pm  #1


Replacing the Priest

The Priest class has rubbed me the wrong way for a while (Chainsaw, don't say it!). Partly it's because while I can see its role and why it should exist, there's nothing mechanical in the class that reinforces Priests "paragons of faith and worship." With my players, at least, they end up being piles of Cure Light Wounds instead. Which is not a knock against them as players--they're looking for an edge to survive, and why not use what each character is due in order to achieve that. But I wanted something that by its nature was weirder and showed the overweening devotion to the collection of interplanar bizarreties that are the gods of Hyperborea.

So I have adapted the Mystic from the excellent blog Last Gasp Grimoire. The post that defines the Mystic is here: http://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/religion-is-a-nest-of-serpents/.

To see how the author adapted to some religions in his game: http://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/full-of-clerical-errors/

And the tables that I refer to are here. I adapted the Malpractice table from his template.

And you never know when tables from here,http://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/do-not-take-me-for-some-turner-of-cheap-tricks/
And especially here http://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/do-not-take-me-for-some-turner-of-cheap-tricks/#abyssalsideeffects
 might get used!

I want to stress that all the heavy lifting was done by Logan Knight! I'm just adapting for Hyperborea. I've done a Xathoqqua mystic but need to do the other gods at some point. We've had this character in for one session so far, and the shaman will no longer accept healing after the incident with the tongue.

Anywho. Here it is.

http://i66.tinypic.com/15yhnqc.jpg

http://i65.tinypic.com/2cpw19s.jpg

http://i68.tinypic.com/2hfun4h.jpg

 

12/06/2015 9:47 pm  #2


Re: Replacing the Priest

I completely agree with your belief that the Cleric seems to add a certain one sided effect. I to would burden my Cleric with every heal spell he could manifest. But on a world where the chief god is Xathoqqua, it seems a bit tame that they would even care to heal another and not let them go through their doom as would seem fitting, if bleeding from a wound for example, the logic would be "The wound bleeds, let it flow!"

Do you intents this as a  New Character Class, or are you replacing Cleric Abilities with these new abilities?

 

12/06/2015 10:16 pm  #3


Re: Replacing the Priest

Caveman wrote:

I completely agree with your belief that the Cleric seems to add a certain one sided effect. I to would burden my Cleric with every heal spell he could manifest. But on a world where the chief god is Xathoqqua, it seems a bit tame that they would even care to heal another and not let them go through their doom as would seem fitting, if bleeding from a wound for example, the logic would be "The wound bleeds, let it flow!"

Indeed, which is why I set up the sorcery of clerics to not necessarily have to be "spells handed down by the god," because, frankly, the god may not care a shred. If you look at the sorcery of clerics, the development of spells is described as so:

Typically these [spells] are acquired via spiritual revelation, piecing together abstract theologies, or otherworldly favour.​

Also, in Volume II: Sorcery, we've got this: 

These spells are the culmination of sacred rites, meditation, prayer and supplication, and wisdom granted by otherworldly beings, ancestral spirits, and other strange entities.

It's a little vague, and that is by intent. The idea is that clerics (and their spell-casting subclasses) might be gaining their sorcerous knowledge from daemons, ghosts, spirits, and the piecing together of forbidden knowledge, etc. So, when that cleric of Xathoqqua casts a cure light wounds spell, it doesn't have to mean it came straight from the Toad God -- or even indirectly.

Also, there is this: I try to make it clear (especially in the cleric's main description) that the cleric is not necessarily a single-god worshiper. He may serve multiple gods/otherworldly beings/daemons/entities that each represent different purposes. Or he can just serve one, if you want to run it like that. It's a subtle shift from the 0e/1e/2e paradigm, but it allows for a more open-ended play-style for players who want to role-play a different kind of spiritual character.


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

12/06/2015 10:59 pm  #4


Re: Replacing the Priest

If clerics casting healing spells bothers you, require them to roll their spells randomly. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

12/06/2015 11:06 pm  #5


Re: Replacing the Priest

Also, although Xathoqqua is Chaotic, he's not just a god of random slaughter (at least not as Smith portrays him).  He's a god of sloth, dark humor, and capriciousness.  I could see him healing somebody because their whimpering was disturbing his sleep, and he was too lazy to get up and eat them.  Or because he foresaw that they would commit some amusingly horrible act in the future, provided they survived their wounds.  Or just because he felt like it that day.  And the next day, he might devour that same person... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

Last edited by Blackadder23 (12/06/2015 11:09 pm)


"The fear of death, its risk each time, is one of the most stimulating parts of the game. It therefore behooves the referee to include as many mystifying and dangerous areas as is consistent with a reasonable chance for survival." - J. Eric Holmes
 

12/07/2015 6:39 am  #6


Re: Replacing the Priest

Blackadder23 wrote:

Also, although Xathoqqua is Chaotic, he's not just a god of random slaughter (at least not as Smith portrays him).  He's a god of sloth, dark humor, and capriciousness.  I could see him healing somebody because their whimpering was disturbing his sleep, and he was too lazy to get up and eat them.  Or because he foresaw that they would commit some amusingly horrible act in the future, provided they survived their wounds.  Or just because he felt like it that day.  And the next day, he might devour that same person... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

This is exactly how the Priest of Xathoqqua in our campaign plays the class.  He behaves unpredictably as his god would.  Healing is simply a means to an end if big X has an actual end in mind...
 


"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,"
 

12/07/2015 6:45 am  #7


Re: Replacing the Priest

Ghul wrote:

It's a little vague, and that is by intent. The idea is that clerics (and their spell-casting subclasses) might be gaining their sorcerous knowledge from daemons, ghosts, spirits, and the piecing together of forbidden knowledge, etc. So, when that cleric of Xathoqqua casts a cure light wounds spell, it doesn't have to mean it came straight from the Toad God -- or even indirectly.

Which allows the player a lot of role-playing freedom. 
 


"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens,"
 

12/07/2015 9:51 am  #8


Re: Replacing the Priest

Ghul wrote:

Indeed, which is why I set up the sorcery of clerics to not necessarily have to be "spells handed down by the god," because, frankly, the god may not care a shred. If you look at the sorcery of clerics, the development of spells is described as so:

Typically these [spells] are acquired via spiritual revelation, piecing together abstract theologies, or otherworldly favour.​

Also, in Volume II: Sorcery, we've got this: 

These spells are the culmination of sacred rites, meditation, prayer and supplication, and wisdom granted by otherworldly beings, ancestral spirits, and other strange entities.

Yes, I notice that, which did allow me a moment satisfaction as I think the Cleric got it easy in other games as he could access the complete list of spells at their leisure. I did enjoy that twist to reality as even as a Player, I am losing out on many spells, I think the restrict adds a realism, and a almost structural reality to the varied religions, by making them work for their faith (or within) to gain power.

 

12/07/2015 10:17 am  #9


Re: Replacing the Priest

Blackadder23 wrote:

If clerics casting healing spells bothers you, require them to roll their spells randomly.

Yes, that would suit Xathoqqua.

Blackadder23 wrote:

Also, although Xathoqqua is Chaotic, he's not just a god of random slaughter (at least not as Smith portrays him).  He's a god of sloth, dark humor, and capriciousness.  I could see him healing somebody because their whimpering was disturbing his sleep, and he was too lazy to get up and eat them.  Or because he foresaw that they would commit some amusingly horrible act in the future, provided they survived their wounds.  Or just because he felt like it that day.  And the next day, he might devour that same person... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

True, I suppose it is a person's perception of this creature, and I can relate to yours Blackadder, it might be my perception of him is a little grimmer. But I do enjoy Handy's idea for this Mystic Priest as I personally would deign them any kind of armour (much like a mage) and the best weapons they could use is a knife (sacrificial) and some form of staff.

To Jeff

Also meant to communicate to Jeff that the Base Cleric in rules, suits Apollo and Artemis cults, which would probably be a better choice for heroic Characters (though not nessaccary ) Also Krimmr, I see your a great Conan fan, much like myself Jeff, and for Example the D20 Conan RPG by Mongoose has no Clerics or Healing spells. At first I was in a little doubt of how it could work (they give PC Fate Points, can be use for "left for Dead!  etc.) as in some battles if there was no Clerics, there would be pile of dead hero carcasses in every chamber of cert dungeon, but it does add a certain realism to Howard's idea of Crom and his Hyborian Age world, where he breathed strength and the will to survive into the Cimmerians and that was it, no more, survive or die! And this could relate to other Cultures of the Hyborian Age, whether civilised or not.

So, what I think I mean, is the Cleric suits some of the Gods in Hyperborea, but this Mystic Shaman/Priest seems like a good substitute, much like a Cleric Subclass for the game, though it not need to be official.




 

Last edited by Caveman (12/07/2015 10:18 am)

 

12/07/2015 11:23 am  #10


Re: Replacing the Priest

mabon5127 wrote:

Ghul wrote:

It's a little vague, and that is by intent. The idea is that clerics (and their spell-casting subclasses) might be gaining their sorcerous knowledge from daemons, ghosts, spirits, and the piecing together of forbidden knowledge, etc. So, when that cleric of Xathoqqua casts a cure light wounds spell, it doesn't have to mean it came straight from the Toad God -- or even indirectly.

Which allows the player a lot of role-playing freedom. 
 

True. But I find that role-playing grows out of the character as a game construction, not the other way around. That is, my players tend to RP the character they end up with as defined by the game parameters rather than having a RPing idea and making a character to fit it. And they're gamers: game theory is always right there behind their choices, which really are aimed at maximizing survival (and fun). So it would be rare for a priest not to load up on spells that the player sees as helping the party because all the players want to survive. I'm not saying this is bad, even. Far from it. And I love that all the RPing and stories grow out of this. It's just that I was looking for a way to encourage a more game-derived way of RPing a real devotee of a god.

Clerics I totally see being open to the pantheism of Hyperborea. Some are more zealous. Many go along to get along, dealing with all the numerous insane alien and bizarre natural intelligences that end up being called gods. The priest should clearly be a different matter, wholly devoted to a god. For a PC, I just wanted more structural encouragement of the mimesis of that devotion. NPCs would make fine priests. And NPC mystics might not even be all that fun, esp. for the DM. But I've found that, so far at least, this makes for an interesting combination of rules push and RPing for the players. And makes the rest of the party balance whether they even *want* healing from the mystic!

     Thread Starter
 

12/07/2015 1:23 pm  #11


Re: Replacing the Priest

I ruled that whenever a spellcasting class gains spells due to levelling up, the player may choose one of the gained spells but has to randomly determine the rest of them. It basically means that MU-types gain a spell of their choice (and have to quest for more), while C-types get 1 chosen and 2 random (or 3 random in the Priest's case).

I was also mulling about other ideas to differentiate clerics of different gods, such as unique banes and boons or god-specific spell lists, etc., but I never implemented any of these things.

Handy, have you tested your variant? How does it compare to the native classes of AS&SH?

 

12/08/2015 3:14 pm  #12


Re: Replacing the Priest

Ynas Midgard wrote:

Handy, have you tested your variant? How does it compare to the native classes of AS&SH?

We've had two sessions with him so far. I'd say it's going pretty well. It's definitely weird--but I think my game tends to run in that direction anyway, so it doesn't stand out all that much for us.

In terms of relation to the native classes, I'd say so far that things are pretty balanced. I realized after this one session that I should remind the player not to bother to attempt rituals that he doesn't have enough Favor to ever succeed with--just because it can bog things down and focus more than needed amounts of extra attention on the new class. I think that will smooth things nicely.

Also, this is a little buried, but the Mystics take at least a full round to cast any ritual, so that does limit their combat effectiveness. And when the Mystic's player on Sunday tried to summon a Weird War Hammer, which he had to spend Favor even to attempt, he ended up "blessed" by Xathoqqua in a twenty-minute rain of otherworldly lard. The DM does have to be ready to think on his/her feet and interpret the tables. I think I rose to that one!

     Thread Starter
 

12/08/2015 5:41 pm  #13


Re: Replacing the Priest

FYIW playing with a Mystic in the party is really fun.

 

12/09/2015 11:48 am  #14


Re: Replacing the Priest

I believe I may have caused some confusion, as I did focus on the Cleric and completely, did not remember the Priest Subclass (I new to game), but the theory still applies about the extensive healing capacity, but my error, I think!

I guess, the Mystic (Priest) does use the Priest Template, but...

Loses casting ability, which become Invocations.
Spells equals Liturgies.
Turn Undead is replaced by Ritual (Know Thyself).
Gains two abilities: Prayer in the Wilds and Pleasure of the Flesh. But presume he loses Dæmonwrack?

I guess he starts game with zero Favour?

The Mystic is the perfect divine madman, think I got the idea, but can be quite powerful if unleashed, I think he suite the more erratic gods of Hyperborea...

Edit: I read Know Self, again, what is the Abyssal Effect Chart? And have you yet to add it?

Also, does a Mystic get a TA bonus/level, and is it the same as normal Priest, or perhap a +1/2levels and the benefit of using Favour Points (FP) to enchance their ability?

 

Last edited by Caveman (12/09/2015 2:03 pm)

 

12/10/2015 8:38 am  #15


Re: Replacing the Priest

Caveman wrote:

I guess, the Mystic (Priest) does use the Priest Template, but...

Loses casting ability, which become Invocations.
Spells equals Liturgies.
Turn Undead is replaced by Ritual (Know Thyself).
Gains two abilities: Prayer in the Wilds and Pleasure of the Flesh. But presume he loses Dæmonwrack?

I guess he starts game with zero Favour? 

Right--loses Daemonwrack and starts with 0. Gains a Favor when leveling up or when the conditions noted obtain.

Caveman wrote:

The Mystic is the perfect divine madman, think I got the idea, but can be quite powerful if unleashed, I think he suite the more erratic gods of Hyperborea...  

I'm going to say yes with a but. There will certainly by Mystics of the Lawful gods as well. What I think the Mystic points up is the utter incommensurability between the powers we end up calling "gods" and people. This, I think reinforces the pantheistic nature of Hyperborean clerics--they are, to an extent, dabblers. That is, they dip into the river of power that flows from the "gods" just enough to use it safely, and they have to train and and train before they attempt greater effects. The Mystic opens a direct conduit because s/he is completely devoted to one of these alien intelligences. And said power tries to respond in kind (while making damn sure the Mystic furthers its own plans on Hyperborea) but sometimes just doesn't get it.

Caveman wrote:

Edit: I read Know Self, again, what is the Abyssal Effect Chart? And have you yet to add it? 

It's one of the tables from the original source. See here: http://www.lastgaspgrimoire.com/do-not-take-me-for-some-turner-of-cheap-tricks/#abyssalsideeffects

Caveman wrote:

Also, does a Mystic get a TA bonus/level, and is it the same as normal Priest, or perhap a +1/2levels and the benefit of using Favour Points (FP) to enchance their ability?

No, I don't think so. Just Favor. "Turning" undead is a byproduct rather than a vocation with these freaks.


 

     Thread Starter
 

12/10/2015 10:10 am  #16


Re: Replacing the Priest

Cheers Handy, that good to know...

Handy Haversack wrote:

I'm going to say yes with a but. There will certainly by Mystics of the Lawful gods as well.

Yes, true, guess I thinking of the possible full effect of every individual Mystic if their abilities actually work!

Handy Haversack wrote:

No, I don't think so. Just Favor. "Turning" undead is a byproduct rather than a vocation with these freaks.

If no TA bonus, it states that (In Know Thyself) Duration of Ability is Concentration +1 round/TA, but could be replaced with FP instead of TA?

Handy Haversack wrote:

Gains a Favor when leveling up or when the conditions noted obtain.

Example: Would that be based on level i.e. he gets 2 FP for gaining 2nd level, 9 FP for gaining 9th level?

 

12/10/2015 12:42 pm  #17


Re: Replacing the Priest

Caveman wrote:

Handy Haversack wrote:

No, I don't think so. Just Favor. "Turning" undead is a byproduct rather than a vocation with these freaks.

If no TA bonus, it states that (In Know Thyself) Duration of Ability is Concentration +1 round/TA, but could be replaced with FP instead of TA?

My feeling is that it makes more sense to use Favor only for the things Last Gasp already states: qualifying to try more powerful liturgies and rerolling dice. In this case, I think TA ( = CA = lvl.) makes more sense. Especially since it already lasts as long as the Mystic concentrates.

Caveman wrote:

Handy Haversack wrote:

Gains a Favor when leveling up or when the conditions noted obtain.

Example: Would that be based on level i.e. he gets 2 FP for gaining 2nd level, 9 FP for gaining 9th level?

My gut says just 1 FP on leveling. They should mainly be earned through deeds. Leveling is about *you*; your god cares only about *it*.

Also, I think the CHA requirement should be raised to at least 12 for Mystics, if not 15.
 

     Thread Starter
 

12/10/2015 1:29 pm  #18


Re: Replacing the Priest

Handy Haversack wrote:

My feeling is that it makes more sense to use Favor only for the things Last Gasp already states: qualifying to try more powerful liturgies and rerolling dice. In this case, I think TA ( = CA = lvl.) makes more sense. Especially since it already lasts as long as the Mystic concentrates.

So, let me get this right, Duration of Ability is Concentration +1 round/level?

Handy Haversack wrote:

My gut says just 1 FP on leveling. They should mainly be earned through deeds. Leveling is about *you*; your god cares only about *it*.

Seems just, 1 FP/level.

Handy Haversack wrote:

Also, I think the CHA requirement should be raised to at least 12 for Mystics, if not 15.
 

So you think 15 is probably best, as it restrict their being masses of Mystics?

I am constructing a few Pages for Mystic of Xathoqqua Subclass (added pictures), so just getting the facts, add in a few days, once sorted, it is looking quite good, so far.
 

 

12/10/2015 5:44 pm  #19


Re: Replacing the Priest

Caveman wrote:

So, let me get this right, Duration of Ability is Concentration +1 round/level?

Right! That's the way it works out.

Caveman wrote:

So you think 15 is probably best, as it restrict their being masses of Mystics? 

Yeah, the more I think about it, 9 WIS and 15 CHA makes sense.

Caveman wrote:

I am constructing a few Pages for Mystic of Xathoqqua Subclass (added pictures), so just getting the facts, add in a few days, once sorted, it is looking quite good, so far.
 

Neat! Remember that all the heavy lifting was done by Last Gasp Grimoire, so credit should be given.

Also, I think D6 HD rather than D4.

I have been thinking about favored weapons as well.

Attribute Requirements: Wisdom 9, Charisma 15
Prime Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma
Hit Die Type: d6
Alignment: Any, save Neutral
Armour Allowed: None
Shields Allowed: None
Favoured Weapons: Dagger, quarterstaff, sling, whip, WEAPON FAVORED BY DEITY
Saving Throw Modifiers: Death +2, Sorcery +2

That weapon favored by deity should be worked out between the DM and the player. Maybe it's a rock! I bet Lunaqqua would have no problem with a rock. Maybe Helios really favors morning stars. Krimmr maybe an iron mace. That sort of thing.

Xathoqqua would clearly like a lasso.
 

     Thread Starter
 

12/10/2015 8:33 pm  #20


Re: Replacing the Priest

Okay, looking good....

Duration of Ability is Concentration +1 round/level, it is.
Wis 9 and Cha 15, good.
1d6 hp/level, sorted, he does seem a little tougher if not demented.
Favoured Weapons: Dagger, quarterstaff, sling, whip, WEAPON FAVORED BY DEITY
Xathoqqua Favoured Weapon: lasso.

Last Gap, will do...

It actually the Mystic of Xathoqqua I constructing, even though the Mystic it a singular Subclass, I thought it best to not confuse issue with multiple choices. Just one Subclass for each god, though really just the Mystic with variant options. I wait to see your other opinions for the other gods.

Alignment: Chaotic.

I think that it sorted, I should have it finished in a couple of days...

 

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