Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grim Dark Cleric Casting

Now I haven't posted in a while, and there is a good reason for this.

In between working and life I have been working on a HUGE homebrew system that isn't ready yet for public dissemination. Suffice to say its like if D&D in all its tropey iterations, with old school ethos had beautiful beautiful sex with Dark Heresy.

I will post it when its public ready and not a hybrid of copy and pasted good things from different systems. However I can say that it works on a 2d10 system trying to roll under your statistic. Beautiful beautiful normal distribution gameplay. 

One concept that it will be using will be rolls to cast, with doubles being miscasts, a mechanic ported over from fantasy flight games. This means that magic users can cast as much as they want, whenever they want, the only problem being that they risk horrible horrible effects. Go read the Dark Heresy phenomena and perils of the warp tables if you are not familiar with this.

For clerics however this is a little harsh, as I essentially want them to be hybrid casters. They get to wear armour and such so their magic should be a little weaker and more 'themed' than a generalist arcanist. It would seem a bit rough if they could randomly turn into a daemon.  Furthermore it just doesn't follow the fluff my system is trying to evoke.

Thus I propose a mechanic, that I will label, Divine Favour and this can be ported to any d20 system (or non d20 system, just convert the maths). Also someone somewhere has probably come up with this already and I just don't know it. But I think this is awesome so I am going to post anyway, and kudos to whoever they are.

Clerics get Divine Favour for doing things that honour their deity. Saving children for good deities, killing folks for evil ones.  Generally +1 at a time, and the clerics keep track of this on their sheet.  GM's should also penalise clerics who go against the tenets of their deity by reducing their Favour. -1 for not praying at a holy site etc.

Clerics have a number of spells that they can cast whenever. To cast a spell they have to succeed on a Spellcraft/Cleric check. This is either d20+wisdom+cleric level trying to beat 10+the spell level (for DC systems) or roll under the Cleric's Wisdom/Charisma stat (whichever you might use) +their level or relevant modifier. You include your Divine Favour modifier on all these rolls, whether it be positive or negative.

A success on this roll and the spell is cast at the Cleric's caster level. HOWEVER. Because they successfully cast the spell they reduce their Divine Favour, by the spell level.  Thus from casting they lose a store of their Divine Favour by invoking their deity to help them.

If a Cleric fails a spell casting roll, it indicates that they have momentarily fallen into disgrace with their deity and cannot cast until the next day or until they gain at least one more point of Divine Favour.

This is awesome because it combines the cleric's roleplay requirements with their class abilities, which means in order to get the bonuses of being a cleric, they HAVE to follow their deity, or they will lose spells, and this mechanic does it without requiring as much GM's fiat.

Sound epic? I think so.

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