View Full Version : DM Help Re-consecrating a village temple to the pantheon

2016-02-28, 11:25 AM
Game is 3.5, modded because the players are my 3 kids age 7-10, just starting to play D&D. 2 Druids, 1 fighter.

Home base is a crossroads hamlet, 6 buildings (temple, tavern, store, 3 houses) at the crossroads, another 15 or so farmhouses scattered in the countryside.
Temple is a temple to the pantheon, with a single non-combatant Cleric 3, who spends his days praying and making the ritual sacrifices and ceremonies to the various gods in turn, with the community occassionally gathering to renew their faith in the pantheon (this devotion powers both the priest and undefined protections for the town/townsfolk.)

Next encounter will see a goblin barbarian 2 stride into town, punch a couple of people out before striding into the temple and beating the stuffing out of the Cleric with his bare hands.

PCs will return from patrolling the woods, hear the news, enter the temple, fight the barbarian, and almost certainly kill him.

The temple is now profaned and de-consecrated, both by having its high priest humiliated and by having blood and entrails spilled all over the main gathering area.

What are some idea for what to do to permanently consecrate a temple, and bestow its protections on the congregation?

Mechanics aren't important, flavor is.

I figure consecrate as a start. Bringing in a higher-level priest seems a must.

I want to have my 2 PC druids partake as supplemental casters, even if they don't cast anything.

THe community will have to gather. Prayers to the FAther and Mother and Child, to the Old Man (ancestor expys), the Farmer and Hunter and Herdsman, (that makes a nice Seven).

Also the Scribe, the Smith, the Weaver, the Beauty, the Warrior and the Joybringer. (That makes Thirteen, another good number).

Each household will dedicate the temple to their family's ancestor spirits. (The PCs should too.)

Something important I'm missing? Thoughts?

2016-02-29, 12:59 AM
Day One the priests and druids physically repair and cleanse the temple grounds first with common soap and water and then with holy water ending with the renewed dedication of the altar with incense and holy oils. These are private rituals though your PCs may attend.. The villagers are busy roasting and baking and stewing.

End of day One the villagers bring their household idols with new clothes to the temple to stay overnight. The PCs are anointed and stand vigil at the temple all night long.

Dawn of Day Two begins a day of fasting and prayer to the 13. There is a procession through town, a small ceremony relieving the PCs of their vigil , a long litany to each of the 13, consecration of the family idols, blessing of the village guilds, confirmation of the village priest, confirmation of the village headman, blessing of the oldest married couple in town, blessing of the harvest, blessing of the dead, blessing of the family . There might even be a brief dance where devils "attack" and are driven

2016-02-29, 01:13 AM
Gah. My phone did something there.

Anyway the ending was they all go back into the village for delicious BBQ under the stars.

You can make it that ornate where it literally takes all day or cut it down to your partys attention level. You might even have the party have to deal with problems like lost kids or beggars stealing food Without Interrupting The Rite because then it has to start over.

Medieval religion involved every aspect of communal life and it was held to be appropriate an necessary to spend time acknowledging every aspect. Modern services are quite abrupt by comparison.

2016-02-29, 01:38 AM
The temple is now profaned and de-consecrated

In my campaign, the player characters are about to consecrate a ruined church. They'll need to repair it sufficient for use; set it in order and clean it; perform a sacrament of penitence; all night vigil; bless the holy waters and set the relics in place; have a procession with singing as they carry the relics around the building three times; seal the relics in the altar; wash and anoint the altar; carry the holy fire and incense to the four walls, and inscribe symbols on each; set the fire in place on the altar; and have prayers.

While keeping a horde of zombies out.

2016-02-29, 01:48 AM
"Can we just focus on keeping the zombies out?"

2016-02-29, 02:25 AM
May I suggest building in some specific challenges tailored to the characters?
For example: if the ritual fire atop the altar is ignited by a torch made from Wood of Plot Relevance, it reinforces the protections. But alas, most of the villagers don't really know what Wood of Plot Relevance looks like, so they have gathered all the sticks they could find and now someone needs to identify which ones belong to the right sort of wood. If only someone could roll decently on a Kn:Nature check...

Something with specific herbs probably works too.

I'd also suggest there is a ritual where 7 of the villagers wear masks representing the 7 deities. Maybe it's a dance where the deities symbolically drive away the desecration. Maybe it's that the ritual torch must be passed between all of the masked villagers before it lights the altar, and there is a short vaguely fire-related metaphor to go with it. "We pass the flame to the Father and the Mother, so they can drive away dangers. We pass the flame to the Child so that the fire of joy burns on in their eyes. We pass the flame to the Farmer, so that the sun smiles down on our crops" etc
Give the PCs the option to pick one mask each and to participate in the ritual. Describe how heavy the torch feels in their hands, the smell of it... and of course masks invite all kinds of deception based shenanigans if you feel like stacking another plot on top of it.

2016-02-29, 07:28 AM
Thanks everybody. I was worrying yesterday how to avoid the problem of "PCs stand around while cool DM plot happens."

Having the druids in the ceremony starts to help, having them make Knowledge (Nature) checks to go find dreamroot helps too. The fighter can etch a dwarven poem to the Smith. Ooh, I like that--the druids can write short poems to the Huntress and to the Child, or the Joybringer.

I'm not sure rolling a Knowledge (Nature) check is enough to really keep the kids involved, and there really isn't an appropriate skill challenge for the Dwarven fighter. So I think composing a short poem might be the way to go.

I do sort of want to make the point that not everything in a D&D world revolves around killing things and taking their stuff to sell it to buy better stuff to kill with.

Sometimes you have to deal with the unpleasant aftermath of killing things and taking their stuff.