Human Variants II – Worlds of Faith

   The Crusader Kingdoms, like many other worlds, are a realm of faith, where the presence of both higher and lower powers is ever-evident and religion plays a central role in daily life. While few among mortals can directly detect their presence, the world is full of benevolent, malevolent, and unaligned spirits, and only a fool would undertake any serious task – whether that task is setting forth to battle or preparing the fields for planting – without a prayer to their supernatural patrons.

   That’s because, in such worlds, it works. Failing to do so forfeits some fairly important benefits. Without divine backing, illnesses and plagues will spread, wounds will take longer to heal, any labor will take longer, and be harder, and food will become scarce. With it, the people will live long, healthy, and reasonably happy lives. Without it, chaos will reign.

   People from the Crusader Kingdoms get:

  • Innate Enchantment: 1 CP (pays the base cost only, provides no abilities).
  • Enthusiast with Adaption (4 CP), Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect on Enthusiast, and for reduced cost on Adaption, (3 CP worth of abilities)/only usable to get 3 CP (up to 3000 GP) worth of Innate Enchantments. One point worth can be activated by regular personal prayer, participating in a religious observance can activate two points worth, and a formal blessing by a major religious figure or spiritual being of your faith can activate all three points worth of abilities. In general, benign entities only grant relatively subtle personal enhancements, while malign entities sometimes grant active powers. In any case, such blessings usually last for a day or so, and so must be periodically renewed. The precise nature of such blessings are usually determined by the powers invoked, and the privilege of receiving them may be revoked – either on an individual or widespread scale – as a divine test or punishment.
  • Immunity/The experience-point cost of Innate Enchantments (Common, Major, Trivial (covering level zero and one effects only), Specialized in Innate Enchantments paid for with Enthusiast (1 CP).
  • Privilege: As grants from deific powers, the Enthusiast-based Innate Enchantments count as supernatural powers (3 CP).
  • Immunity/Forced Religious Conversion (Uncommon, Minor, Major, 3 CP). Supernatural powers – whether magical, psionic, or oratorical – cannot force someone to change their faith, and they get a +6 bonus on rolls against persuasion. After all, their god helps them every day…
  • A +3 Speciality in Knowledge/Religion/Their Faith.
  • Accursed: Subject to religious justice; individuals in such worlds who betray their faiths (without converting to another) or act dishonorably according to the standards of their religion will loose access to their Innate Enchantment/Enthusiast powers until they repent and atone (-3 CP).

   In most cases this will mean:

   A casual personal prayer or parental blessing from one of the faithful will provide a single, and usually personal-only, level zero effect worth from 700 to 1000 GP. Typical effects in this category include:

  1. The Aid of Faith: a +3 Competence Bonus on a single skill (Skill Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter – and likely the most common benefit of all. 700).
  2. The Bearing of Burdens: a +1 Enhancement Bonus to a particular attribute (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter, 700).
  3. The Beckoning Hand: the character will never become lost in the wilderness or at sea (700).
  4. The Prayer of Recovery: Cure Light Wounds 2/Day, Relieve Illness and Relieve Poison (from the Hedge Wizardry spell list, from this site, 1/Day each), and Lesser Restoration 1/Day, all Personal Only and with the Ambient Magic limitation – meaning that they require several minutes to take full effect – to reduce the formulas to level zero, 700). As a rule, if anyone is ill or injured for long in a World of Faith, it indicates either a curse, that the victim is a mighty individual who can sustain injuries far beyond those of normal humans (and so will require longer to recover), or that someone has fallen from their faith.
  5. The Guidance of The Divine: a +1 Resistance Bonus on Saving Throws (Resist, 700).
  6. The Hands of Faith: being able to get 50% more work done on a particular project in a given period of time (1000).
  7. The Ward of Faith: A bit of protection against injuries – perhaps a single points worth against a general category such as energy or physical injuries, on up to five points worth against specific sources such as fire (an effect very useful to a smith) (Damage Reduction, from The Practical Enchanter, 700).

   A full formal personal prayer before starting in on something can provide up to 1400 GP worth of bonuses, commonly including:

  1. Celestial Mana: the character will require only one-half the usual amount of food, water, sleep, and air (Sustenance, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  2. Favored of the Heavens: +2 Luck bonus to all Skill and Attribute Checks (Fortune’s Favor, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  3. Guiding Hands : a +3 Competence Bonus on group of related skills (Skill Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  4. Inspiring Meditation: a +2 Enhancement Bonus to a particular attribute (Enhance Attribute, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  5. Sheltering Wing of the Celestials: the ability to survive bad weather unprotected (Endure Elements, 1400).
  6. Shielding Hand: +2/- Damage Reduction against either physical or energy damage. (Flesh Ward, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  7. Touch of Heaven: Protection from Evil (1400).

   A formal religious service and blessing can provide up to 2100 GP worth of abilities, including a variety of military advantages. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any such advantages available through personal prayer, but, in such settings, no one would dream of setting out on a dangerous mission without a formal service. Such blessings include:

  1. Endurance of the Faithful: those affected gain an extra +(12 + 2 x Con Mod) HP (Immortal Vigor I, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  2. Favor of the Righteous: a +1 Luck Bonus on Attacks and Damage (Aura of Favor, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  3. Fervor of the Divine: a +2 Competence Bonus to BAB with a particular group of weapons (Weapon Mastery, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).
  4. Hands of Heaven: Being able to get three times as much work as usual done on a project in a given period of time (1400 GP). Probably the second most common blessing, usually provided by a religious functionary every morning during harvest season or any construction project.
  5. Might of the Faithful: Magic Weapon on the character’s weapons (1400).
  6. Righteous Wrath: +2 Morale Bonus to Str and Con, +1 Morale Bonus on Will Saves, and -2 to AC whenever active. (Wrath, from the Practical Enchanter, 1400)
  7. Shield of Faith: a +1 Luck Bonus on Armor Class and Saving Throws (Ward of Heaven, from The Practical Enchanter, 1400).

   A formal religious service and/or blessing conducted by a major religious figure or supernatural being can bestow up to 3000 GP worth of abilities – typically several lesser blessings.

   A blessing directly from a high-ranking divine messenger, or the primate of a characters faith, can bestow up to 3500 GP worth of abilities – the absolute maximum for this package. In such worlds, normal characters will generally never hear directly from their gods – and, if they do, they will never again simply be normal people.

   Those in the service of dark powers may obtain benefits such as:

  1. Bestial Impurity: the user may spend a minute gradually shapeshifting into a specific animal-hybrid form, in which he or she gets some of the animals physical attribute modifiers. Aspect of the Beast from The Practical Enchanter with the Arcanum Minimus Ambient Magic limitation (1400).
  2. Blessing of the Night: the user gains Low-Light Vision and Scent (1400).
  3. Cloak of Shadows: the user gains a +10 Circumstance Bonus to Hide Checks (1400).
  4. Swift Treachery: the user gains a +30 circumstance bonus to ground movement speed, a +10 circumstance bonus on jump checks, and DR 10 versus Falling Damage only, but is considered one size category smaller in a Bull Rush, Grapple, Trip, or Overrun situation (Light Foot, from the Speedsters spell list, 1400).
  5. The Hands of Pain: the user’s hands and feet become equivalent to +2 hand axes (1400).
  6. Underhanded Strike: Gain one additional attack at your full BAB which may be taken off-action (1400).
  7. Venomous Touch: the user gains +2d6 Sneak Attack (1400).

   Now that sort of things will make the perils of falling away from the faith clear to see; when faithless or heretic farmers – for lack of skill and the labor-multiplying effects of the Hands of Heaven – will be able to grow less than a third as much food as usual, and Celestial Mana will not help sustain the population through the lean times  of winter, a kingdom that loses the blessings of it’s faith will not long endure.

2 Responses

  1. […] Human Variants II – Worlds of Faith from Emergence Campaign Weblog ( […]

  2. […] to those who invoked him. For that, use the Endowment ability and bestow something like the “Worlds of Faith” package (a good reason to be part of a pantheon; that way each member only has to contribute […]

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