July 29, 2012

Prophets (cleric sub-class)

Gods can do whatever they like, and their methods and machinations are often inscrutable.  Sometimes they may even find that granting full clerical powers to a follower is too impractical or overt.  When a deity wishes to bring their faith to a new world, they will often make use of prophets.  Through dreams, visions, and visitations the god will convince a mortal to spread the word and gather a flock of followers.

Prophets are almost exactly like clerics.  Prophets use cleric hp, xp, saves, to-hit, ect.  They even share the same spell list, but prophets keep all their spells memorized at all times.  The catch is that the prophet can only perform each of these miracles once, then they loose that spell forever.  A 1st level prophet has access to all the 1st level spells.  At level 2 they gain all the 2nd level spells, and so on.  Before long they will have access to the full spell list.  Prophets gain spells more quickly, but can only use each spell once.  To prevent dud miracles, certain spells may have increased durations, or may forgo saving throws.

Prophets are meant to teach and convert new followers.  This is especially important if they are the first and only worshiper of a new and unknown god.  If this is the case, whoever plays the prophet has full creative control over all aspects of the god.  Details about their deity and religion are gradually introduced by the player over the course of the campaign.  Feel free to make up any details you like about holidays and beliefs including any ethical restrictions or handicaps.  The Prophet is the head of a unique religious movement, and may claim to be an avatar of the deity, or anything they wish.  My advice is to keep your stories consistent.  A deity can have multiple prophets, but if they disagree about anything (even a minor detail) it can end up creating rival factions and splinter groups within the church.  Such infighting might never be resolved.

Special Abilities
1st Level - Turn Undead  
same as cleric

2nd Level - Recruit Disciples
Spread the faith by recruiting disciples.  Give your best sales pitch and then the NPC makes a reaction roll.  A disciple is a very special ally who rededicates their life to these teachings and helps convince others to take the prophet seriously.   Disciples almost never need to check morale... almost.  Each Disciple can repeat one spell/miracle that the prophet has already used, but then they loose this ability forever.  One miracle per disciple only.  Prophets can choose to recruit a number of disciples equal to their level, but any who die can never be replaced.

3rd Level - Cast Out the Spirits
Jesus uses the once per session d30
In biblical times, most illness was caused by spirits.  This ability does not heal physical damage, but it might help to relieve the symptoms of fever, disease, poison, madness, curses, magic or anything you can talk your DM into.  Roll 2d6 and consult the Turn Undead chart, twice.  The difficulty is determined by how many people are watching.  If you are showing off for just one witness, that's Ghoul; but performing for even a small crowd can be a real Lich.  Your disciples do not increase the difficulty.  The second roll determines how many of the bad spirits are cast out, it may take multiple tries to remove them all.  This ability is powered by your own lifeforce.  Take 2d6 damage if you succeed, 1 damage if you fail.  Love hurts.  If taking this damage drops the prophet below zero hp, then the prophet collapses and seizures for a number of rounds until they finally wake up with 1hp.

4th Level - Transfer Essence
Prophets can heal physical damage by transferring hp from one being to another.  The prophet must first remain in physical contact with both for a full round, then d6 hp are transferred each round thereafter.  The disciples are always willing to share their hp with others if the prophet asks them to.  Yes, you can totally kill someone by accident (or design) if they drop below 0hp.

9th level - At this level a Prophet can build a stronghold and gather followers like a cleric.  If this is the first church dedicated to their deity, then the prophet can choose a holy symbol for their religion and the god will begin to bring 1st level clerics into the fold.  The new god is known across the land, and now anyone can play as a cleric of that deity.

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