... now with 35% more arrogance!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Simple Spirits

I've mentioned my alternative version of the Cleric before:
  • Saint (Cleric): solves problems with spiritual aid
    • sense and communicate with any spirit
    • add HD bonus to persuade or command spirits
This version of the cleric is theologically neutral, possibly a holy man/holy woman, but could also represent a shaman or even just an extremely lucky adventurer with a guardian angel.

The setting detail I'm assuming here is that the world is filled with spirits, but most of them are invisible, unnoticed, and uncommunicative. There are invisible spirits everywhere, but sometimes one particular spirit will manifest, either because of an ancient curse or a PC causing spirits to manifest. Your basic spirit is 1 HD and has no real attack, other than to occasionally bestow a bonus or penalty. The maximum bonus or penalty is equal to the spirit's HD; more powerful spirits can thus be dangerous to cross. What annoys or pleases a spirit depends on its type:

  • ancestral spirit: annoyed by not behaving like they would have in life, appeased by remembrance ceremonies.
  • nature spirit: annoyed by mistreating the aspect of nature they represent (plants, animals, streams,) appeased by acts of respect or aid towards that aspect.
  • angelic spirit: like nature spirits, but focused on a religious cult or sect instead of an aspect of nature.
  • vengeful spirit: annoyed by the person(s) who wronged them and any who aid them, appeased by helping them exact their revenge.
  • mournful spirit: annoyed by conditions that duplicate their moment of pain, appeased by correcting the problem.
Some spirits can do more than bestow bonuses or penalties; spell spirits have a single cleric spell as a power. Unmanifested spirits can be convinced to cast their spell with a reaction roll (penalty equal to spell level,) but there's a chance of gaining ill-favor or unwanted scrutiny. Manifested spell spirits can use their spell to attack those they disapprove of or to force intruders to perform tasks for them. And, of course, curses or necromantic magic may bind an ancestral, vengeful, or mournful spirit to a corpse or transform it into a full-fledged ghost, wraith, or specter.

There'll be more on this in a future post.

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