View Full Version : holy place effects in low power games

2007-05-24, 10:03 PM
A bit of background first on the world I am working on developing. It has gone through a dark age and magic is limited simply because of the few who know its secrets. I didnít want clerics running around willy nilly but itís hard to restrict their power, and still have priests in small villages, etc.

My solution was that not all priests are clerics. That is they are expert class with knowledge religion, but not spell slingers. The church itself gives the levels of cleric, but only on the hallowed areas. The larger, more important churches/temples give higher level bonuses.

Hence a 0 level cleric might be able to cast first level spells, but only inside the church itself. This explains why holy sites ARE holy, and important, and gives reasons to defend/capture them in wars. It also explains why the good guys donít just go stomp on the bad guysí big unholy sites or vice versa. Itís incredibly dangerous, if that site give a level bonus of +10 or more. (Areas like the Vatican, the temple mount in the real world)

Relics can also increase the power of the level effect, which explains why adventures would seek them out but not keep them. Itís useless to them outside the holy sites, but can dramatically improve the ability of others to help them. It gives good reason to go "acquire in non-traditional means" the relics of the bad guys, to either use themselves, or keep out of the hands of others.

Any thoughts/ criticisms would be appreciated

2007-05-25, 04:05 AM
I love this. The DnD impression that every single clergyman of each and every religion has cleric levels and able to sling spells and break heads with a mace is ridiculous anyway.

But what's a 0 level cleric? You mean a pious commoner with no cleric levels can cast 1st level cleric spells in a church? A holy site granting +x effective cleric levels for spellcasting is, overall a good idea.

And the relic idea is interesting as well. And it'd be nice if they stack. The holiest site of a religion (maybe the temple built where the founder was born/died) with plenty of religious artifacts would likely have +20 level bonus, making it practically impossible to attack. And such a church would have its power multiplied.

The only possible downside would be making clerical organizations even more powerful, but you can't make an omlete without damning some heretics' souls.

I am yoinking this, and gonna incorporate this idea to all my homebrews...

2007-05-25, 04:48 AM
Really good idea, I like it.

I already use expert class for priests and clergymen to limit the power of churchs and it works really well.

For the casting-in-holy-sites I think you can borrow and tweak the magician idea from 2nd ed. Birthright setting (a caster limited in spell levels).

My idea is giving the priests simil-expert (new npc class i.e. clergyman, based on expert and cleric classes) levels with spell/day similar to clerics, but let them be able to cast only 0-level (or also 1-level) spells outside the holy grounds, retaining their full magical power only near hallowed areas. So you can still limit divine magic outside fortresses of faith.

Also, I would think of artifacts as portable hallow areas, or - justifying stealing attempts from other faiths - as holy power enhancers.
They will still be in holy sites, but mostly to be defended.

2007-05-26, 06:20 PM
Well, Adventurer Classes are not supposed to be representative of NPCs, only of PCs. It's a bit contradictory of the DMG when it says not all Priests are Clerics and doesn't provide an alternative (the Adept seeming less than suitable), but there you go.

Are you actually using 0 Level Characters? Seems a little odd in the context of 3.x (though possible).

You might want to restrict the power of Holy Places and you will certainly have to be careful about how such places are created.

So, what are the aims of this Campaign Setting? How will the balance of the game be altered by these changes? Are Druids, Wizards and Sorcerers going to operate as normal, or will they be similarly limited?

There are some good 'low magic / low power' fixes here and around abouts that may be worth looking into.

2007-05-26, 06:40 PM
Wow...I really like this idea. Heck, it even fits as a fix for all magic: if you want to sling the Arcana around, you'll have to do it in a place attuned to the arcane powers...natural nexuses of magical energy, fey courts, draconic ruins...

And I like the idea about relics being portable sites...maybe they let you connect to a site over a distance, but the power provided diminishes as you move further away? Or it can only hold so much of a charge before needed to be reattuned at a site?

Oh...the ideas! The ideas!

2007-05-27, 12:58 AM
This poses an interesting delima... I like (favor) battle druids. If you can magnify your power through a relic or place of worship, then there would/could many places for druids to draw power from. I think that part of the principles are already in place for you though. A holy symbol is required for priestly and druidic magic. Sorcs and Wizis could have secret stones (on their staff, in the handle of a sword, in a ring, ect). The secret of their power lies in the purity of these stones, allowing them to access certain levels of power.

Now the question of boosting Clerics in proximity of an artifact is certainly plausible, but should the artifacts have certain powerlevels? If you correlate them to spell levels it kinda works. A least artifact would grant 1 spell level and +1 to all effects of cantrips and first level spells. Yet, the penalization of clerics for being away from a holy place/item seems to offset their abilities quite a bit.

Meanwhile if the stones for wiz and sorc classes worked in a similar way it may be necessary to develope certain additional rules for them as well. Like any precious gem may be used to harness magic. Gems of various levels can store spells, and may boost the effects of certain spells. Like a perfect ruby the size of your fist may enhance fire spells 8th level and below, meanwhile the nose stud dimond your witch is wearing allows her to just channel any magic she has aquired. Thus she can cast a 9th level spell using the nose stud, but if she has stored a fire spell in a staff with said Ruby it is releases in a more potent form.