Continuum II – Priests

   For today we have one of the Invocation-Wielding classes from Continuum II – the Priest.

   Like all the basic Invokers – Priests, Shaman, Demonologists, Druids, Witches, and Paladins – Priests draw on the energies and services of a particular type of entity. In their case, that happens to be “gods” (creatures which maintain simultaneous hyperspace and subspace aspects). Generic priests draw on a group of such entities – usually the patrons of a particular culture or area, or a group which shares some common concern. Servitor-Priests draw on the energies of a particular god, which generally gives them a more focused and more powerful list of magical abilities to draw on, but limits both the nature of their magic and their skill choices to those appropriate to the entity in question. For simplicities sake, “Priest” is used as the general term for all of them.

   Priests draw power from their patrons through mental attunement, opening a resonant astral link with their god or gods. As with all other Invokers, the process is not entirely voluntary; while it is most common for “Priests” to be trained by organized groups with strong philosophical or religious bents, some are natural talents, some simply share a fascination or an overriding idea with “their god” – and others simply share a common mindset or regard being a “priest” as a kind of practical business arrangement. Some do not even recognize that they are drawing on the power of a “god” at all. Still – even the most prosaic and businesslike beginning tends to develop into a religion when it involves a being of vast power that “bestows” power on those who carefully study and apply it’s ideas, follow it’s behavior patterns, and attempt to open themselves to it’s influence. While the study of favored philosophies and fascinations are less likely to develop into religious cults, they are narrower and more specialized – and so are somewhat less effective.

   Priests do have their problems. Perhaps the most “annoying” one is that they tend to start losing track of the distinction between themselves and their deity as their level approaches or exceeds their Wisdom. Those few who somehow attract the individual notice of a god or gods also have to deal with that. Otherwise, priests vary immensely with both their god or gods and with their approach to that being or beings.

   Recommended Attributes: Wisdom and Endurance. Contemplative priests may want to stress Intelligence and/or Perception, those wishing to address the multitudes may want Presence, and those with warlike tendencies may want Strength and Dexterity. A priests level limit is normally based on the lower of Wisdom and Will.

   Resistance Bonuses: General Priests enjoy a +2 bonus on all Resistance checks. Servitors gain an additional +2 bonus on checks related to their gods fields of influence and suffer a -2 penalty on rolls related to opposing fields of influence.

   Combat Abilities: Depend rather extensively on the priests deity, personality, and cultural background. There are three major variations;

  • Scholarly Priests use the “Noncombatant” (Level/3) Attack Rating and are restricted to light weapons and those with utility ratings of 2+, to light armor, and to a maximum of two skill points in any given martial art. They use D6 vitality dice. On the other hand, they begin with five major and five minor skills, as well as five bonus skill points and two extra general skills, although at least one must be associated with their god.
  • Most Priests use the “Tertiary Combatant” (L/2) Attack Rating, may employ medium weapons and armor, and may invest up to three skill points in any given martial art. They use D8 vitality dice – and have an initial choice of four major and minor skills, as well as four bonus skill points, and one bonus general skill associated with their god.
  • Warlike Priests use the “Secondary Combatant” [2(L/3)] Attack Rating, may use about what they please in the way of weapons and armor, and may acquire any given martial art up to the five point level. They also use D10 vitality dice. On the other hand, they only get three major and minor skills and begin with only three bonus skill points.

Priest Advancement Chart:

Level

Vitality Base

Skill Points

Spell Tolerance

Special Abilities

1

2D

+0

2 / 1

Literacy, Personal Mana

2

3D

+0

4 / 1

Minor Duties

3

4D

+1

7 / 2

Support

4

5D

+1

10 / 2

Minor Skill

5

6D

+2

13 / 3

Position

6

7D

+2

16 / 3

Major Duties

7

8D

+3

20 / 4

Reputation

8

9D

+3

24 / 4

Major Skill

9

10D

+4

30 / 5

Followers

10

11D

+4

36 / 5

Bonus Spell

11

12D

+5

42 / 6

Disciples

12

+3

+5

50 / 6

Contact

13

+6

+6

60 / 7

Major Position

14

+9

+6

70 / 7

Temple

15

+12

+7

82 / 8

None

16

+15

+7

95 / 8

None

+1

+3

+0.5

+15 / +1/2

None

   If Level exceeds Wisdom the priest will begin to be massively influenced by his or her god or gods, losing most of his or her free will. If it exceeds it by 6+ the priest will begin to be subsumed by his or her deity. Skill points may be invested to delay this process by one level apiece (to a maximum of seven levels), but that is a stopgap at best.

Ability Descriptions:

  • Spell Tolerance indicates the maximum number of spell points the cleric can have available at any given time by the number before the slash, and the maximum level of spell which can be used after it. These can normally be regained by a day or two of rest, but poor conditions, lack of sleep, food, or water, and similar difficulties may reduce the recovery rate and/or a priests effective level for magical purposes.
  • Literacy; Priests are almost always “literate”, even if that’s a distinct rarity in their culture. This may, however, mean different things in different cultures; a priest may be able to read nordic runes, knot-patterns, the abstract symbols of history-weavings, petroglyphs – or even the “writing of the land itself” in the case of totally untrained hermit-priests. In general, the more cumbersome or limited the method of “writing”, the more the priests will specialize in mnemonic techniques and in traditional tales / sagas / parables / songs /  poems / etcetra.
  • Personal Mana; Priests gain one bonus point of Personal Mana per level; even without power from a god, they can become adept at channeling their natural energies.
  • Minor Duties; Whether they’re the result of a divine decree, tradition, philosophical obligation – or simply the result of the the mindset needed to draw power from a particular god – all priests have things they have to do. This may mean celebrating feast days, dawn, or some other day or event, regular prayers, rescuing kittens from trees, protecting villages, spreading plagues, or aiding pregnant women. Minor duties are not especially burdensome, but will come up regularly.
  • Support; Competent priests may be supported by donations, by the local peasants, by a clerical order, by the local government, by trust funds, by wealthy patrons, or in many other ways – but they need no longer worry about minor expenses or making a reasonably comfortable living under ordinary circumstances.
  • Minor Skill; Gain an additional minor skill.
  • Position; A skilled priest will invariably be offered an official or semi-official position when he or she stays in one place for a reasonable length of time. Whether that position is at a shrine or temple, caring for the needs of a wealthy family, looking after a sacred site, or acting as an advisor to a band of outlaws, depends on the nature of the priest.
  • Major Duties; At this point a priests required activities – whether that’s assisting in the building of temples, teaching children, subverting the local government, training with the local men-at-arms, acting as a diplomat, or scraping up unending sacrifices, takes up quite a lot of the characters time and resources.
  • Reputation; While tales of the priests deeds may begin to spread through the nearby territories, and he or she will inevitably become locally well-known, at this point other priests of the same god or gods will begin to sense the presence of the priest through their shared resonance and will intuitively know a good deal about him or her when and if they encounter him or her.
  • Major Skill; Gain an additional major skill.
  • Followers; If the priest accepts a long-term position, or settles down in a particular location, he or she will soon attract a sizeable congregation of ordinary followers and a modest contingent of combative vocational types – enough to support a fair-sized temple or order.
  • Bonus Spell; The priest may now cast an additional spell of any type per combat round on top of the usual defensive and unrestricted actions.
  • Disciples; If the priest has accepted a long-term position or settled down and gathered followers, he or she will now attract (Charisma/3) -2 secondary priests, warrior-companions, or similar classed followers.
  • Contact; The priest comes to the direct attention of his or her god or one of his or her gods. He or she may request aid in developing some personalized spells, some great mission or prophecy, a bit of unique guidance, or some similar benefit – and can expect such a contact to reoccur periodically.
  • Major Position; The priest will now be offered a position as the head of a major temple or group of minor ones, as an assistant to the head of his or her religion, as councilor to a king, or some other position of considerable influence. Unfortunately, this is yet another thing that will tend to take up a great deal of the priests personal time.
  • Temple; The priest is now influential enough to begin the construction of a major religious center of some sort, and to – eventually – push the project through to completion.

Major Clerical Skill Lists:

  • Auric Mastery: Benediction, Channeling, Esoterica, Mindscaping, Psychic Shield, Spirit Contact
  • Cross Training: Climbing, Find Traps, Minor Magic, Nightvision, Open Locks, Stealth
  • Divine Lore: Divine Tongues, Mentor Spirit, Minor Divination, Prophecy (Scrying), Second Sight, Truthsense
  • Energy Channels: Arcane transfer, Enhanced Attunement, Inner Reserve, Levinbolts, Mystic Aura, Shielding Hand
  • Inner Disciplines: Advanced Meditation, Minor C’hi, Minor Psychomancy, Psychic Reservoir, Will Enhancement, Will Battle
  • Jyhad: Armored Maneuvering, Fervor, Martial Arts, Toughness, Veteran, Weapon Training
  • Mysticism: Life Extension, Repulsions, Shapechanging, Soulcarrier, Spell Focus, Stamina
  • Mystic Lore: Arcane Imbuement, Ceremonial Magic, Craft Talismans, Ritual Magic, Speciality Spells, Village Magic
  • Temple Lore: Astrology, Countermeasures, Drugs & Medicines, Linguistics, Runemastery, Scribe
  • Wanderer’s Way: First Aid, Holy Words, Otherworld Gates, Pantheon Special, Retainers, Servitors

Minor Clerical Skills:

  • Interactions: Awakening, Connections, Contacts, Horseman, Information Gathering, Mindlink
  • Mundane Skills: Administration, Estimate Value, Forgery, Herbalist, Intrigue, Streetwise
  • Priestly Skills: Ceremony, Chanter, Magic Sense, Oathbinder, Oratory, Theology
  • Seminary Schooling: Business Sense, Heirarch, Omen Reading, Proselytization, Religious Ritual, Scripture

   As always, if a Priest takes five skills from one sublist, they receive the sixth from that sublist as a bonus 

    It looks like the restrictions section of this file is somewhat corrupted: I’ll see if I can’t get it straightened out later. Next up, the Sample Priests section.

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