Wednesday, 11 July 2018

OSR Class: Mystic

"I hear the song of the celestial heavens, and the music is cacophonous. It is strange but I find comfort in its dissonance..." - Farseer Taldeer, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade.

Clerics annoy me. The GLOG has essentially solved same-y wizards given how easy it is to build a host of different magic schools each with their own cantrips, perks and drawbacks, but clerics remain annoyingly bland. Skerples has posted on how stock D&D clerics are Sunday School miracle workers and this sums up my dislike of clerics - there's no variety between the devotees of different gods and they all play pretty much identically. In addition, Vancian magic being what it is, a cleric simply gets an allotted amount of spells per day and that's that. The rules don't feature anything about clerics being penalised or rewarded for following or going against the tenets of their faith. This leads to PCs for whom religion should feature heavily just playing as a slightly less tank-y fighter with healing powers. In addition, I dislike the stock D&D concept of multiple temples/churches having holy warriors, literally imbued with divine power, scattered about like confetti - they should be similar to wizards, by which I mean comparatively rare total weirdos risking terrible dangers while potentially not even understanding exactly how their powers work.

Logan Knight, of the Last Gasp Grimoire, has some excellent rules for running clerics (or Mystics) in his games and it is this that has spurred me into making a GLOG-based cleric/Mystic class. This class will be similar to a GLOG wizard in that it will have a base class featuring the central class components and then a number of traditions/schools that are then added to the base class in order to represent different holy traditions or cults. The gods worshipped here are barely comprehensible by human standards (and vice versa) - holy traditions are cargo-cult dogma designed to rationalise the actions of beings beyond mortal understanding - and mortal minds are imperfect at channelling their power or communicating the nature of our reality. Thus a Mystic's powers can be extremely dangerous to use.

This isn't a Pike & Shotte class (I want to keep pseudo-17th century Europe free of direct godly influence outside of a hedonistic and divided church) but I've included elements of a nascent setting I've had swirling around in my head. I'll also be using this in my Egradus campaign to replace clerics.

Loose Setting Details
The Divine created the world, because a god needs something to do. Things were good and people were happy, building loads of nice stuff and generally being cool. Over time, the Divine allotted some of His power to chosen followers for embodying His ideals. They inevitably became leaders. Eventually at least one of them became jealous and devised a plan to invade Heaven and seize the Divine's secrets of creation for themselves. This went poorly. The Divine was killed and Heaven ruined. The backlash tainted the world and twisted pristine life into beastly, foul forms. Madness and chaos reigned as magical energy poured from the broken firmament. Sorcerer-kings, magical beasts and the first daemons ran amok. Eventually the Long Night passed and some semblance of normality resumed, but the broken Heavens have cursed the land and those living upon it. The Divine no longer answers prayers but fragments of the dead god still dream, and the astral carrion-eaters that feast upon its corpse gains power all of their own.

Credit, Gonzo Apestegui

NOTE: This is a template class and will not be complete without an associated Sacred Tradition. In addition, there are some tangential tables mentioned below that I have compiled at the bottom of this post.

Class: Mystic

Starting Equipment: Small weapon, holy symbol, book of scripture/philosophical texts/insane ramblings.

A: Favour, Miracles, Sacred Tradition, First Liturgy
B: Benevolence, Second Liturgy
C: Third Liturgy
D: Fourth Liturgy

You gain +1 HP and +1 to Saves vs Mind-Altering Effects for each Mystic template you possess.

Your entreaties to your god are nothing if they do not value you. Favour is a currency, of sorts, exchanged between you and your deity. You may spend Favour before invoking Miracles, or as otherwise detailed in your abilities. Spending Favour prior to invocation allows you to reroll a number of dice on the Invocation roll equivalent to the Favour spent. You can stop at any time but must keep the final result. You can gain and lose Favour by performing actions according to your Sacred Tradition.

Your connection to your god allows you to channel their power in the form of Miracles. You do not cast spells like a wizard, instead you call upon your god to grant you power. State what you want to happen (the Liturgies of your Sacred Tradition will provide a rough guide to what actions and power level your deity would support), determine how much Favour you are spending, and roll 4d6. If you are attempting something that your deity wouldn't logically support, you make the invocation roll with 2 Banes. If your Miracle has an ongoing effect, roll on the Duration table to determine it's length.

15-17Minor Devotion - the Invocation requires something immediately obvious that would please your god, or roll on the Minor Devotion table.
13-14Major Pact - you must agree to undertake a quest for your god in order for the Invocation to succeed. If you have already agreed to one and it has not been fulfilled then the Invocation fails.
07-12Inopportune Favour - you are honoured with a manifestation of your god's blessing, though the timing is poor. Roll on the Duration table, reducing the roll by 1 for each point of Favour spent. You gain d4 points of Favour.
04-06Brilliant Manifestation of Divinity - your body twists into a terrible avatar of your god, under the GM's control. Roll on the Duration table. At the end, Save or be rendered irrevocably insane by the experience.

Sacred Tradition
When you select your first Mystic template you must select the Sacred Tradition of your god, which grants you perks and drawbacks, as well as cantrips that are available to you. It also determines how you gain Favour and how it can all go horribly wrong. You cannot change to a new Sacred Tradition without an extremely good reason.

Liturgies are referred to in your Sacred Tradition and give a rough guide as to the measure of divine power that you can invoke in your Miracles. If you attempt to invoke a Miracle that is in line with a higher Liturgy than you have access to then you must spend Favour equal to double the level difference, e.g. if you possessed the Second Liturgy but attempted to channel a Miracle in line with the Fourth Liturgy you would need to spend 4 Favour to do so. This Favour does not allow you to reroll - you must spend additional Favour to do so.

You can invoke your powers to heal wounds (d6 + level HP), cure sicknesses and break curses. You can only attempt this once for a given condition, or once per person's wounds until they are fully healed.

You may use Favour for this in the same manner as Invocation.

15-17Success/Bestowed Mark - the influence of your Sacred Tradition manifests as a mutation or stigmata on the target's flesh. Roll on the Duration table unless you used Favour for the roll, in which case it is permanent.
13-14Bestowed Mark - as above, but the target does not gain the benefit of your Invocation.
07-12Unknowable Minds - the minds of gods are not those of mortals. Roll on the Unknowable Minds table (this will vary according to your Sacred Tradition).
04-06Brilliant Manifestation of Divinity - the target's body twists into a terrible avatar of your god, under the GM's control. Roll on the Duration table. At the end the target must Save or be rendered irrevocably insane by the experience.

Credit, Lena Richards

Assorted Tables

Minor Devotion (d6)
1. Promise of a pleasing offering.
2. Short-term abstinence or indulgence.
3. Manifest something holy from your flesh.
4. Perform a sacred ritual.
5. Recount your holy deeds (offer d4 Favour points or suffer a Mishap).
6. Religious fever (roll on Duration table).

Duration (d12)
01-09: d6 Rounds
10-11: d6 Turns
12: d6 Days

Unknowable Minds Template (d20)
The minds of the gods are unknowable to frail mortals:

1. Target takes light damage.
2. Ritual succeeds, but target is subject to an temporary debilitation - roll on Duration table.
3. Target is subject to an ongoing effect or alteration, no mystical healing or cures until it ends – roll on Duration table.
4. Ritual succeeds, but target is subject to a permanent effect or alteration.
5. Target is subject to an temporary debilitation – roll on Duration table.
6. Ritual succeeds, but target is subject to a permanent effect or alteration.
7. Target takes moderate damage.
8. Ritual succeeds, but target is subject to a permanent effect or alteration.
9. The ritual succeeds, but the Mystic takes moderate damage.
10. Ritual succeeds, but target is subject to a permanent effect or alteration.
11. Target is subject to an temporary effect or alteration – roll on Duration table.
12. Ritual succeeds, but target is subject to a permanent effect or alteration until they perform a task to remove it.
13. Major mishap involving detrimental alteration, loss of HP or stats, etc.
14. Target is subject to a major permanent effect or alteration.
15. Target is subject to a permanent effect or alteration.
16. Target is takes ongoing damage - roll on Duration table.
17. Area affect that everyone within 30' must make a save to avoid.
18. The ritual succeeds, but the target is subject to a progressing condition. The target must Save every day to prevent the condition progressing, taking a penalty to physical rolls for every stage it advances. To completely recover, the target must make 3 saves in a row, if they fail a save it regresses to its initial condition, and if they fail 3 times in a row the condition results in their spectacular death. Any healing from a Mystic of the same religion during this time will actually progress the condition.
19. Mystic must Save or suffer massive damage.
20. The ritual succeeds, but the target must Save the next night or die.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Yoon-Suin: Classes

I'll be using the following classes in my Lamentations of the Flame Princess game set in Yoon-Suin: Warrior Thief Magician Holy-Man...

Popular Posts