Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pellatarrum: Priests

While I have tried to avoid crunchy mechanics as much as possible so as to make this setting accessible to the widest number of players, the fact remains that I am a player of Pathfinder/D&D 3.5 and sometimes talking about mechanics is unavoidable. I am confident that those of you who do not use these systems will be able to make all the necessary conversions (or ignore the whole thing as appropriate).

At character creation, Cleric PCs must choose a priesthood to join: the Church of the Light or the Cult of the Dark. This choice affects their starting alignments and domains.

Church of the Light clerics:
  • must be within 1 step of Neutral Good; however, Lawful Neutral is also permissible.
  • always channel positive energy.
  • receive their spells at dawn.
  • have access to the following domains: Air, Animal, Community, Earth, Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Plant, Protection, Repose, Sun, Water, and Weather. Paladins who have cleric levels also have access to the Law domain. Specific races have access to other domains (detailed later).
  • have access to the following subdomains from the Advanced Player's Guide: Cloud, Day, Defense, Family, Feather, Fur, Growth, Heroism, Home, Honor, Ice, Inevitable, Light, Metal, Oceans, Purity, Restoration, Resurrection, Seasons, Souls, Storms, Wind.

Cult of the Dark clerics:
  • must be within 1 step of Neutral Evil; however, Chaotic Neutral is also permissible.
  • always channel negative energy.
  • receive their spells at dusk.
  • have access to the following domains: Air, Charm, Darkness, Death, Destruction, Earth, Evil, Fire, Luck, Madness, Trickery, War, Water, and Weather. Anti-paladins who have cleric levels also have access to the Chaos domain. Specific races have access to other domains (detailed later).
  • have access to the following subdomains from the Advanced Player's Guide: Ash, Blood, Catastrophe, Cloud, Curse, Deception, Fate, Ferocity, Ice, Insanity, Loss, Lust, Metal, Murder, Night, Nightmare, Rage, Smoke, Storms, Thievery, Undead, Wind.

Racial Domains:
  • Dragons gain access to the Knowledge domain and the subdomains of Memory and Thought.
  • Dwarves gain access to the Artifice domain and the subdomains of Construct and Toil.
  • Elves gain access to the Liberation domain and the subdomains of Freedom and Revolution.
  • Gnomes gain access to the Magic domain and the subdomains of Arcane and Divine.
  • Halflings gain access to the Travel domain and the subdomains of Exploration and Trade.
  • Humans gain access to the Nobility domain and the subdomains of Leadership and Martyr.
  • Kobolds gain access to the Rune domain and the subdomains of Language and Wards.
  • Orcs gain access to the Strength domain and the subdomains of Ferocity and Resolve.

EDIT: I hasten to point out that Clerics do not have the spells and abilities of every domain listed; rather, they are available to be chosen at character generation. Clerics are still limited to 2 choices of domain.

All druids and rangers are members of the Gray Cabal. Other classes are capable of joining this priesthood but this is rare and requires DM approval. Of course, any PC without alignment restrictions may become a member of a Gray congregation.

Gray Cabalist priests remain unchanged from their descriptions in the Pathfinder RPG.


  1. That's a pretty harsh deal for an adventurer cleric.
    I suppose though that even if there were clerics dedicated to ideals (such as a Dwarven cleric of earth/dwarfiness) you could only get a halfling or orc cleric to actually leave his people and go out travelling unless there was a very dire need (and a good party probably wouldn't want an orc cleric of orciness travelling with them).

  2. Harsh deal how? I've given them tons of domain options from which to choose to make up for a reduced pantheon.

  3. From a rules-oriented point of view it's fine. They have plenty of option. From a roleplaying view. I mean, would you actually WANT a Church of Light official watching you that closely?
    The other option is having a character along that is, "at best" (from the standpoint of a "vaguely good-oriented party" which seems to be the norm) true neutral or chaotic neutral.
    For the average adventuring party the cleric would be one that is brought along because the convenience of having one along outweighs the inconvenience of having one along (value dissonance)

    P.S: Also, shouldn't the Knowledge domain be standard for church of light clerics just like Trickery is a standard domain for church of darkness?

  4. I think that's less of a roleplaying problem and more a case of "Don't be a dick to your fellow players". I mean, just because you a have a rogue in your party doesn't mean he's going to steal from the other PCs, so likewise a CoL cleric isn't necessarily going to be an anal-retentive inquisitor-type.

    (In fact, I often think the reason clerics become adventurers is because their church deems them troublesome -- maybe they have slightly heretical views or unorthodox tendencies -- and figure the best way to get rid of them is to send them a-questing. If they die, problem solved, If they live, they are bringing religion to the masses and cleansing evil. The only drawback is when they return 10 levels later gunning for your job...)

    Regarding Knowledge: nope. I tried to spin things so that CoL had domains which focused on life, creation, and healing, and CoD was aimed at stealth, corruption, and destruction. Knowledge is a bit of a gray area there, and given the long lives of dragons it seemed to fit them best.

    If anything, I probably gave the Cult and the Church *too many* domains. For a while there I was considering making Air/Earth/Fire/Water/Weather/Plant/Animal domains Druid-only.

  5. You probably could scratch a whole lot of those domanins (plant and animal are just two of the examples). But it's probably going to be hard justifying why the basic air/water/fire/earth wouldn't be the property of every cleric in a world like pellatarum (where you can literally see the elemental planes in your sky and winter has rocks the size of mountains raining down because it's earth-season).

    I personally would probably have restricted CoL/CoD elemental access to the minimum. Strictly the 4 basics and "basics laced with negative/positive" if there are those (ash?). Oceans, Storms, Wind, Cloud, Weather etc could have been druid only


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