View Full Version : [Base Class] Theurge

2008-05-08, 10:08 AM
Greetings all,

Behold! My contribution to the First Class Creation Contest (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77988&page=1) ... and an attempt at creating a spontaneous divine caster -- an alternative to the cleric in much the same way that a sorcerer is an alternative to the wizard. I'll be tweaking the class, and soliciting feedback, at least until the end of the contest!

So here we have it, the ...


Noun (plural theurges) 1. One who works miracles, or persuades a god or spirit to perform supernatural work.

The specifics – this is long, so I’ve broken it into parts.

Part the first:

Eventually I may find a picture I like to put here … if you know of one I'll happily take suggestions!


Like the cleric, the theurge invokes the power of their god to promote that deity’s will upon the world at large. Focused and driven, theurges derive their holy (or unholy) powers from an inborn, innate spiritual connection with a particular deity. As intermediaries of the divine (or diabolic) will, a theurge’s magic comes from his god. However (unlike clerics) theurges act as a constant, living channel for their deity’s intercession. This allows a theurge to spontaneously cast a limited selection of clerical spells. Whether a theurge’s magic heals, protects and avenges or pillages, destroys, and sabotages is dependant upon the god (and the particular aspect of that god) the theurge worships.

Adventurers: A theurge prefers to adventure in a fashion that supports their god’s causes, at least generally. A theurge will rapidly lose interest in following a quest if he cannot find some way to make the quest benefit his god’s will. Theurges are more warlike, and less scholarly (or monastic) in their pursuit of their divine mandate than most clerics. Indeed, good aligned theurges can rival paladins in their near single-minded devotion to a holy cause. Theurges are rarely tied down to a particular township or community. Their ecclesiastical superiors (when theurges have them) tend to keep them mobile – sending them to a specific place for a specific task. Such tasks are those to which the theurge’s personal focus on the divine best suits him. A theurge specializing in healing may well be dispatched to a place where sickness is rife, while a theurge specializing in battle magics will find themselves tasked with destroying enemies of the faith.

Characteristics: Theurges are powerful conduits of divine magic. While they lack the versatility of clerics, what few spells a theurge knows he can call upon freely, and with greater frequency that their fellow invokers of divine magic. Theurges also gain limited abilities to affect undead, similar in strength to a paladin.

Theurges acquire combat training but what training they receive focuses more heavily on offense (smiting the foes of their god) and close combat than on ranged combat, defense, or protection. Their selection of melee weaponry is in some ways more extensive than a cleric’s, but they do not receive as much training with armors and none at all with shields.

Alignment: Like the gods they serve theurges can be of any alignment. However, due to his particularly close and personal connection to his deity, a theurge must be of the same alignment as his deity.

Religion: Every reasonably well known deity has adherents who manifest a personal connection with the god. As such, theurges can be of any religion. However, every theurge must devote himself to an individual god - unlike clerics, theurges cannot devote themselves to a 'cause' or other source of divine power. Theurges are always associated with a single deity and that deity's specific religious institution or particular practice of worship.

Background: Theurges are not formally trained, they manifest their connection to their god naturally and intuitively. Most commonly this affinity appears at an early age, although a theurge's 'awakening' into power can occur at any time. Some theurges claim to have the blood of gods (or the servitors of those gods) flowing through their veins. Such theurges believe that it is this divine (or diabolic) descent that connects them so strongly to their deity. In some cases this belief may even be true, particularly for aasimar or tiefling theurges. Theurges are not as tightly bound to their church’s activities as clerics are. Often theurges have no official standing within their church at all. Most theurges feel personally called by their deity to promote thier god’s interests in ways that the god's worldly hierarchy cannot. Highly charismatic, a theurge can sometimes be more intimidating than inspiring. Some of them seem to have an unusually sharp ear for discerning falsehood and keen insight into understanding a person's true motives. A theurge’s inner calling will often drive him far from home to fulfill the needs of his deity.

Races: All the common races are represented in this class, since deeply personal religious connections can form between any deity and their worshipers or chosen people.

Other Classes: In an adventuring party, the theurge can fill a variety of roles. They are comfortable in leadership positions and are often among the first to get into the thick of a fight, especially when they are facing enemies of their god. Theurges who focus on the restorative magic can be extremely capable healers, rivaling clerics in this regard, which makes them well liked by adventurers who often find themselves in need of curative magic. Theurges and clerics (or druids) of the same deity have sometimes been known to clash. This is because certain clerics object to how theurges tend to operate outside the conventional structure of most churches - a structure in which the cleric (or the druid) is seen as the primary intermediary between gods and mortals. Theurges, in turn, usually resent attempts by ecclesiastical bureaucracies, and their clerical representatives, to restrict theurges’ activities when it seems abundantly clear (at least to the theurges involved) that their common god wishes the theurges to be active in the world. Lawful- and neutral-good aligned theurges often get along well with paladins, who share the same sort of intense devotion to their respective gods.

Role: Theurges are powerful, highly focused divine spell-casters. Theurges are only able to cast a very limited set of divine spells (drawn from the cleric spell list) but they are capable of invoking those spells with great frequency and at a moment’s notice. Depending upon the individual theurge’s focus, they can heal their friends, harm their enemies, or produce a number of other magical effects. Even more than clerics, a theurge’s domain and spell selection greatly affect his role. The theurge also serves as a fairly capable (if only moderately armored) close combat fighter, often charging into melee while the more defensively inclined cleric hangs back. The best defense, many theurges would argue, is a good offense.

Part the Second:

Game Rule Information
Theurges have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Charisma determines how powerful a spell a theurge can cast, how many spells he can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist as well as improving their ability to turn undead. Wisdom affects how often a theurge (even a multi-classed theurge) may turn undead. A high Constitution score improves a theurge’s hit points while a high Strength score enables them to strike down the enemies of their faith more easily.

Alignment: A theurge’s alignment must the same as his deity’s.

Hit Dice: d8

Class Skills

The theurge’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Domains and Class Skills: A theurge who chooses the Animal or Plant domain adds Knowledge (nature) (Int) to the theurge class skills listed above. A theurge who chooses the Healing domain adds Heal (Wis) to the list. A theurge who chooses the Knowledge domain adds all Knowledge (Int) skills to the list. A theurge who chooses the Magic domain adds Knowledge (arcane) (Int) to the list. A theurge who chooses the Travel domain adds Survival (Wis) to the list. A theurge who chooses the trickery doman adds Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), and Hide (Dex) to the list. See Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells, below for more information.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the theurge.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Theurges are proficient with battleaxe, club, dagger (normal and punching), flail (light and heavy), halberd, handaxe, longsword, mace (light and heavy), morningstar, quarterstaff, short sword, trident, unarmed strike (with and without gauntlets), and warhammer. Theurges are proficient with light and medium armor, but are not proficient with heavy armors or any shields. Every deity has a favored weapon (see Deities, page 106), and his or her theurges often consider it a point of pride to wield that weapon. A theurge who chooses the War domain gains the feat Weapon Focus with their deity's favored weapon. He also receives the appropriate Martial Weapon Proficiency feat, if the weapon is one with which the theurge is not already proficient. See Chapter 5: Feats for details.

Table 3-6A: The Theurge
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th| 9th

+2| Living Symbol |5|3


+3| |6|5|-

+4| Turn Undead |6|6|3|-

+4| |6|6|4|-

+5| |6|6|5|3|-

+5| |6|6|6|4|-

+6| |6|6|6|5|3|-

+6| |6|6|6|6|4|-

+7| |6|6|6|6|5|3|-

+7| |6|6|6|6|6|4|-

+8| |6|6|6|6|6|5|3|-

+8| |6|6|6|6|6|6|4|-

+9| |6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|-

+9| |6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|-

+10| |6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3|-

+10| |6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4|-

+11| |6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

+11| |6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

+12| |6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6[/table]

Aura (Ex): A theurge of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the deity’s alignment (see the detect evil spell for details).

Part the third:

Spells: A theurge casts divine spells (the same type of spells available to the cleric, druid, paladin, and ranger), which are drawn from the cleric spell list (page 183). However, his alignment may restrict him from casting certain spells opposed to his moral or ethical belief; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells, below. Like a sorcerer or a bard, a theurge can cast any spell he knows without having to prepare it ahead of time.

To learn to cast a spell, a theurge must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Cha 10 for 0-level spells, Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving through against a theurge’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the theurge’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a theurge can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 3-6B: The Theurge. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells, page 8).

A theurge’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A theurge begins play knowing four 0-level spells (also called orisons) and two 1st-level spells of your choice. A theurge also knows the domain spell of each spell level he can cast, starting at 1st level. At each new theurge level, he gains knowledge of how to cast one or more new spells, as indicated no Table 3-6B: Theurge Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a theurge knows is not affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table 3-6B are fixed.) These new spells are chosen from the cleric spell list (page 183).

Table 3-6B: Theurge Spells Known





















Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered theurge level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a theurge can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the theurge “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. A theurge can never "lose" knowledge of any of his domain spells. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level theurge spell the theurge can cast. For instance, upon reaching 4th level, a theurge could trade in a single 0-level spell (two spell levels below the highest level theurge spell he can cast, which is 2nd) for a different 0-level spell. At 6th level, he could trade in a single 0-level or 1st level spell (since he now can cast 3rd level spells) for a different spell of the same level.

Unlike a cleric, a theurge need not meditate and pray for their spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level.

Deity, Domains, and Domain Spells: Choose a deity for your theurge. Sample deities are listed on table 3-7: Deities (page 32) and described on pages 106-108. The theurge’s deity influences his alignment, what magic he can perform, his values, and how others see him.

If the typical worshipers of a deity include the members of a race, a theurge must be of the indicated race to choose that deity as his own. (The god may have occasional worshipers of other races, but not theurges).

When you have chosen a deity for your theurge, choose one domain from among those given on table 3-7 for the deity. While theurges of a particular religion are united in the reverence for their deity, each theurge emphasizes a single, focused aspect of the deity’s interests.

The single domain chosen gives your theurge knowledge of an additional spell he can cast, from 1st level on up, as well as a granted power.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A theurge can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed his deity’s. For example, a theurge of a good deity cannot cast evil spells. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions (see Chapter 11: Spells).

Living Symbol (Su): A theurge has such a strong, personal connection with his god that he can use his own body as a divine focus for spell casting (for those times when his usual divine focus is unavailable.) However, doing so is draining. Each time a theurge casts a spell using only his body as his divine focus, he sustains 1 point of non-lethal damage per spell level cast.

Theurges that are capable of turning undead may also use their body in place of a holy symbol (usually presenting a hand.) Each time a theurge turns undead while using only his body as his holy symbol, he sustains 1 point of non-lethal damage per undead creature successfully turned, rebuked, or destroyed.

Turn or Rebuke Undead (Su): When a theurge reaches 4th level, he gains the supernatural ability to turn undead. He may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier. In all other respects he turns undead as a cleric of three levels lower would - three less than his theurge level is his effective cleric level for turning undead. (See Turn or Rebuke Undead, page 159).

A theurge with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Turn or Rebuke Undead for Multi-Class Theurges (special)

If theurge multi-classes to another class (or prestige class) that grants the Turn or Rebuke Undead ability (such as when a theurge multiclasses to a cleric or paladin) the theurge does not gain additional uses-per-day of the turn undead ability. Instead they do add their effective cleric level (for turning) from their theurge levels to their multi-class cleric (or paladin) cleric level for turning. A theurge retain his theurge based number of daily uses for this ability.

For example: a 5th level theurge / 1st level cleric turns undead as if he were a 3rd level cleric (1 cleric level from 1 level of cleric + 2 cleric levels from 5 levels of theurge) but he can still only attempt to turn undead creatures a total of 3 + Wisdom modifier times per day.

Bonus Languages: A theurge’s bonus language options include Celestial, Abyssal, and Infernal (the languages of good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil outsiders, respectively.) These choices are in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of his race.

A theurge who grossly violates the code of conduct required by his god (generally by acting in ways opposed to the god’s alignment or purposes) loses all spells and class features, except for armor and weapon proficiencies. He cannot thereafter gain levels as a theurge of that god until he atones (see the atonement spell description, page 201).

Like a member of any other class, a theurge may be a multiclass character, but multiclass theurges face a special restriction. While a theurge may multiclasses freely, if he multiclasses to cleric, paladin, or druid he must remain devoted to his same god, otherwise he becomes an ex-theurge.

Equipping a Character - Equipment a la Carte

Table 7-1 (addendum): Random Starting Gold
{table=head] Class | Amount | Average
Theurge |
4d4 x 10 |
100 gp

… hope you enjoy it!

** Edited for Spelling and Content **
** Most recent content update (evening) May 7th **

2008-05-08, 10:19 AM
This is almost identical to the Favored Soul from CDiv. FS can't turn/rebuke undead and can't use domains, but other than that, it's the same.

2008-05-08, 10:27 AM
Or the Cloistered Cleric (UA/SRD). Flavor is the cloistered cleric, spells is the Favoured Soul.

2008-05-08, 10:50 AM
Cool! :smallcool: I guess "great minds" think alike. Or maybe some of the poor souls that publish 3e sourcebooks think like me -- if so, they have my condolences!

It also looks like I may finally have to break down and actally acquire a copy of the CDiv and UA. :smallannoyed: Although I suspect that such books will become more economical in the not too distant future. Of course, if I do that, then I'll likely have to acquire a complete set of the various "Complete" books and that opens the door on the PHB2, DMG2 and ... isn't my library of gaming materials big enough already? I mean, seriously! I'm sure there are others out there who share my pain -- folks, like me, that have a mix of ancient and modern ... a set of the T.F.T. core books crammed in between Fantasy Wargaming, Palladium, and Warhammer, and various d20 settings ... near the shelves devoted to D&D. :smallamused:

I've not yet bothered acquiring the supplement books for D&D 3.5. I'd be curious to see how my "homebrew" differs from some of the others out there! Hmm. Cloistered Soul is in the SRD? I seem to recall seeing that online somewhere. I shall see if I can find 'em!

Thanks for the feedback!

2008-05-08, 11:09 AM
You can find the Cloistered Cleric in the SRD, linked in my Handy Haversack. It's under Class Variants. Most of UA is there.

2008-05-08, 01:08 PM
Sweet Wiki (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page) of Doom! :smalleek: The Unearthed Arcana (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Variant_Rules) has so many variant rules -- it looks like most every tweak I've considered making for my own campaigns has been scribbled up by someone else. Goodness, but this is an invaluable resource! Now, to plot and plan ...

... perhaps combine a slightly scaled down Defense Bonus (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Defense_Bonus) with Armor as Damage Reduction (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Armor_as_Damage_Reduction) and a ... aha ... I see Vitality and Wound Point system is not yet online, alas ... maybe their Weapon Group Feats (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Weapon_Group_Feats) varient as well? Hmm -- a 3d6 Bell Curve Rolls (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Bell_Curve_Rolls) variant? Perhaps tweak it to 2d10 instead.

Ooh! I might add in their Reputation (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Reputation) system as well -- maybe with some form of the Honor (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Honor) on there as well ... although that looks like it could use some tweaking ...

... toss in Spontaneous Divine Casters (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Spontaneous_Divine_Casters) and ... huh ... I think I'd like the resulting d20 system considerably better than the "core" rules (and I rather like the core rules!)

So much fun ... time to wander off dazed and muttering to myself ...

2008-05-08, 01:09 PM
Three hour double post. Impressive.

2008-05-08, 01:37 PM
Three hour double post. Impressive.

Yeah, well... After I posted the first one, I got "page not found." Since my Internet gets buggy in the afternoon, I decided to wait a little bit before trying to post again. I went back and got the forum to come up this time - and found the first one had gone through after all.

I deleted the second one, but I guess I didn't get it fast enough. :smallredface:

2008-05-08, 02:20 PM
This is almost identical to the Favored Soul from CDiv. FS can't turn/rebuke undead and can't use domains, but other than that, it's the same.

Tracked down a description of the Favored (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cwc/20051206a) Soul (http://karuikage.net/dnd/favoredsoul.html) class ... yes, I do see a lot of similiarities. However the Favor Soul looks ... er ... a bit on the overpowered side? At least in comparison to the core cleric class (which I was attempting to design a "sorceric alternative" for ... it's nice to see what other folks have tried in this reguard.)

And I do note several differences between the Theurge and the Favored Soul:

Favored Souls get Shield Proficiency, the Theurge doesn't. And neither of 'em get heavy armor (which the cleric does.)

Favored Souls get all Simple Weapons, the Theurge doesn't -- instead Theurges get a selection of melee weapon proficiences with the "high end" damage being d10 (with either x3 or 19-20 x2 crits) ... so not as good as all martial weapon proficiency (none of those 2d4, 2d6, or 1d12 weapons, nor any weapons with x4 crits or 18-20 crits!) And in some ways not as good a Simple Weapons -- no ranged weapon (other than thrown daggers), no reach weapons.

Favored Souls get the best save progression in the game for all saves, Theurges get the Cleric save progression (good Will and Fort.)

Favored Souls (like clerics) can deviate (a little) from their deity's alignment, Theurges can't.

Favored Souls automatically get Weapon Proficiency with their Deity's favored weapon, Theurges don't.

Class Skill wise Favored Souls get Jump, Heal, and Knowledge (arcane) ... which Theurges don't, Theurges get Intimidate, Knowledge (history), and Knowledge (religion) ... which Favored Souls don't ... wait a sec, Favored Souls don't get Knowledge (religion)? How odd!

Favored Souls automaticaly get Weapon Focus with the Deity's favored weapon at 3rd level, Theurges don't automatically get that ability.

Favored Souls automatically pick up Weapon Specialization (whatever happened to making that a "fighter only" feat? :smalleek:) with the Deity's favored weapon at 12th level, Theurges don't get access to Weapon Specialization.

Favored Souls get energy resistance (three times, oh my!), flight, and damage reduction ... Theurges definately get none of that.

They do use the same spell-casting method (both Favored Souls and Theurges are Spontaneous Divine casters.) That's the biggest similiarity I see. And it's a biggie! Although Theurges use the Sorcerous progression for spells known -- Divine Souls seem to use the progression out of the Unearthed Arcana. Oh, and both Theurges and Divine Souls use Charisma to cast spells, both have the same HD as clerics, and both have the same skill points as clerics.

Differences in the Theurges favor? Well, let's see ...

Theurges do pick up Turn Undead (which Favored Souls lack) -- Theurges, starting at 4th level, turn as if they were a paladin. Multi-classed Theurges who get another "turn undead" class feature increase the power of their turnings, not the number of 'em. Turn undead -- it be nice.

Theurges get one Domain (which Favored Souls lack) -- not "an extra spell slot to cast per day" but "an extra spell known" bonus. Plus the appropriate Domain power.

Theurges get to cast spells and turn undead even when they don't have a divine focus (holy or unholy symbol) ... although they take (non-lethal) damage from doing so.

Hmm ... I was recently looking at the UA Spontanous Divine Casters (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Spontaneous_Divine_Casters) rule ... the Theurge (as I initially designed it) looks ... well ... weaker than a core cleric who is using that alternate rule!

In comparison to a UA:SDC (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/UA:Spontaneous_Divine_Casters) Cleric, a Theurge loses one domain (which means down one Domain power and down one known spell per level), three levels of turning power, alignment flexibility (including the ability to be "godless"), heavy armor and shields, and has a worse spell progression (both known and can-cast-per-day) to swap a couple of class skills out (+Intimidate, +Sense Motive, -Heal, -Knowledge (arcane)), shake up their weapon proficiencies (which has both pros and cons: Yay d10 non-crossbow 2-handed melee weapons! Boo no ranged or reach weapons!), and (really the only quasi-unique thing I'm seeing thus far) Theurges gain the ability to cast/turn without a divine focus.

Hm. Given that the Favored Soul is already part of the published rules, this little "Theurge Project" looks almost more like a rebalancing of that rather than a cleric-alternate! Of course, I suppose that is to be expected given that the Favored Souls is a cleric-alternate itself. Still much fun fiddling with 'em! :smallsmile: