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Monday, March 22, 2010

Simple Spirits and Saints

To continue with the post on simple spirits, here's how I see Saints (Clerics) dealing with them.

The Saint, unlike ordinary people, can sense spirits. Saints can't identify the spirits, but they know they're around. They can also speak to the spirits and expect to be heard, and can sense their mood. The spirits don't speak, unless it's not the common sort of spirit or unless the Saint can cast a spell that makes the spirits speak. Therefore, the spirits can't normally provide detailed information, but they can react negatively or positively to a Saint's actions, providing a simple yes-no system for answers.

All of this is done with reaction rolls. Saints get a reaction bonus equal to their hit dice (or half level, round up, if using a Supplement I/AD&D-ish hit die system.) They can:

  • Ask yes-no questions, if the spirits are favorable. Reaction must be rerolled periodically, with a penalty based on number of rolls already made. Frequency of reaction rolls depends on current reaction:
    • Neutral: roll for reaction before answering each question;
    • Friendly: roll every 1-6 questions
    • Very Friendly: no need to re-roll reaction unless the Saint does or says something specifically offensive to that spirit.
  • Appease the spirits, if the spirits are unfavorable. Anyone can appease a spirit (see the other post for what kinds of things they want,) but Saints get an easier time because of that bonus.
  • Command the spirits. Reaction penalty is equal to the level of the clerical spell that most resembles the action requested. Reaction penalty for demanding physical actions of spirits bound to a physical form is equal to the spirit's HD.
  • Banish (turn) the spirits. Reaction is definitely unfriendly after a command to "begone!" Roll to see if the spirit obeys is at a penalty equal to the spirit's HD.
Some deities or demon-lords may grant a guaranteed minimum number of services by their minions to any cleric who has taken a vow to serve them. Use the original edition cleric spell progression to determine how many spells of each level the cleric can pray for without needing a reaction roll. However, you may want to roll the divine reaction every day or use a piety system to determine the cleric's divine favor.

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