Saturday, March 24, 2012

Specialty Clerics: Ehlonna

In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting and in the default pantheon of deities for the third edition of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Ehlonna is the goddess of Forests, Woodlands, Flora, Fauna, and Fertility. Ehlonna is known to theelves as "Ehlenestra." Her holy symbol is a rampant unicorn or a unicorn's horn.
- Wikipedia
New Prime Requisite: CHA (or, alternatively, meet Ranger requirements)
Alignment: NG
XP Penalty: 10%
Level 2: Track as Ranger
Level 2: Animal Friendship
Level 6: Locate Plants
*Name Level: Select Cleric or Ranger followers

Description of Benefits:
  • Track as Ranger: Clerics of Ehlonna may follow tracks as if they were rangers.
  • Animal Friendship: Clerics of Ehlonna gain use of the animal friendship spell. Originally, this spell was not granted until level 5. As the spell scales nicely with level to start with, however, I figured -- why not give the benefit at level 2, right off the bat?
  • Locate Plants: Clerics of Ehlonna gain use of the Locate Plants spell.
  • Name Level Followers: Clerics may select either standard clerical followers or may opt to use the ranger follower chart.

I consider animal friendship to be more of a class feature than a spell as it is so potent (-5%). Tracking is a weaker class function (-2.5%), as is the Locate Plants spell (-2.5%). The followers option is a slight bonus as choice is good, but it is a swap, not a new feature. A -10% penalty would be appropriate. If the character voluntarily takes on a vow of solitude or a vow of poverty (applying appropriate Ranger restrictions regarding companions or wealth) I would reduce the penalty to 5%.

This gives us a total of 10% in costs, -2.5% for the blanket offset for a total of 7.5%. However, because few of the abilities are really directly combat related, I will reduce it to a 5% XP penalty.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Specialty Clerics: St. Cuthbert

Rumored to have once been a mortal man, Saint Cuthbert is an intermediate deity. His alignment has been variously interpreted as lawful neutral (lawful good tendencies) and lawful good (lawful neutral tendencies). Saint Cuthbert hates evil, but is more concerned with law and order, with converting the uninformed, and preventing backsliding among the faithful.


Saint Cuthbert's priesthood is divided into three major orders.

  • The Chapeaux, whose symbol is a crumpled hat, seek to convert people into their faith. They are equally divided between lawful good and lawful neutral characters. Paladins of Saint Cuthbert, known as Votaries or Communicants, have an honorary position in the Order of the Chapeaux. Their role is not just to convert others, but to actually fight enemies of the faith.
  • The Stars, whose symbol is a starburst, seek to enforce doctrinal purity among those already dedicated to the saint. Most are lawful neutral, and they do not shy from using mind-reading magic in order to ensure that even the private thoughts of their flock are pure.
  • The Billets are the most numerous of Saint Cuthbert's clergy. Most are lawful good, and they seek to minister to and protect the faithful. These are well-beloved by the common folk. Their symbol is a wooden club. The Chapeaux often come into conflict with the Billets, because the former order wants to seek new converts while the latter wants to care for the worshipers they already have.

New Prime Requisite: WIS (must meet minimum)
Alignment: LN or LG
XP Penalty: 0%
Level 2: Piercing Club
Level 2: Friends (Billet Ministers only)
Level 3: Shillelagh (Chapaux Recruiters only)
Level 4: ESP (Star Inquisitors only)
Level 6: Heavy Club
Level 12: Brutal Club
Level 16: Fast Club

Description of Benefits:
  • Bonus Spells: Another straightforward benefit. Normally characters join only one order.
  • Piercing Club: The standard vs. AC adjusts for a club are -4 (plate), -2 (chain), 0 (leather), +1 (none). Change the heavy and medium adjustments to -2 and -0 respectively. Once per day, the character may treat a club as a magic +1 weapon; this effect has a 1/6 chance to end at the end of each round (if Shillelagh is also active, treat club as a +2 weapon).
  • Heavy Club: Roll 1d6+1 for damage vs. small-medium creatures with clubs.
  • Brutal Club: Increase club damage vs. large to 1d4
  • Fast Club: Reduce speed of clubs from 4 to 3.
The total cost is 5%, as only one minor spell of fairly marginal utility is gained but the player recieves substantial improvements to an otherwise neglected weapon. If the player joins more than one order, a 10% XP penalty is reasonable to compensate for the extra spells.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Specialty Clerics: Celestian

In the World of Greyhawk campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Celestian is the god of Stars, Space and Wanderers. His symbol is a black circle set with seven stars. His color is black.
An Oeridian god, he is called the Far Wanderer, and is brother to Fharlanghn. It is said that the two followed similar but differing paths. Celestian is Neutral Good, but his worshipers may be any alignment of good.

New Prime Requisite: INT
Alignment: NG
XP Penalty: 10%
Level 1: Featherfall
Level 3: Jump
Level 5: Levitate
Level 7: Spider Climb
Level 9: Fly
Level 11: Dimension Door
Level 16: Teleport

Description of Benefits:
  • Bonus Spells: Most of Celestian's benefits come in the form of bonus spells. Very straightforward.
The calculated cost should be 15%: 7-1 spells = 6 for a cost of 15% penalty to XP earned. However, some of the spells are of limited utility (Jump) or come at very late levels. They are handy though. I toned the XP requirement down to 10% -- as originally suggested in Greyhawk, actually -- but I tend to play no higher than name level. If I were to play up beyond that I'd be tempted to go with 12.5% or the full 15%. As a note, this variant cleric is essentially unchanged from the original specialty priest from Greyhawk. You could rearrange the bonus spells to go into the dead levels or increase the XP required as a variant on my variant.