Monday, January 29, 2024

Emirikol, Clerics, and Religion

Religion – especially in a game with real and verifiable gods – can be a big part of campaign prep. I remember being happy with the 3E rules for being so much clearer than 2E, which were so flexible as to make clerics easily unbalanced. 3E’s “armored defender of the faith using exorcism and support spells, with some specialized powers based on the god’s domains” was a nice mix of 1E and 2E.

Still, giving the powerful religious structure from Dumas the spellcasting ability of 3E would deform the setting. I kept the religions simple – elemental gods providing boons for sacrifices and empowering their intermediaries, the ghosts of family ancestors, and the ascended divine emperor. In other words, “hey I’d like to play a cleric with powers”, “I’m religious but I don’t care that much”, and “I’m a future Paladin, or an ally of one.” Plus, there are Chaos Cults, to be the bad guy evil gods, who we don’t have to overanalyze because they are chaos cults worshipping madness inducing beasts from beyond. You get it.

My decision to avoid undead cut into the clerics abilities. I compensated by a) switching up who could turn what and b) letting them also spend their uses of this to do other things. I swiped some stuff from the 3E book Defenders of the Faith; while I didn’t want to incorporate every 3E book some of the ideas were nice. 

·       Ancestors: Animal, Knowledge, Luck, Plant. The oldest of the religions, it has the spheres needed for farmers and animal owners, with the bonus of asking questions of ones ancestors. Divine Channeling can turn plants or give +2 sacred bonus to Fortitude saves to your allies in 60’ radius for charisma modifier in rounds.

·       Emperor: Law, Good, Protection, War. The emperor's spirit is the strongest force of stability in the world but has some muscle flexing with the War sphere: they are at war with Chaos. Divine Channeling can turn chaos, which is prevalent enough to not need a secondary effect.

·       Chaos: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, War. These are the Bad Guys. The Cults are agents of the great beasts, having infiltrated many families in Samaria with gifts of madness and promises of power. Divine Channeling can turn law, which is prevalent enough to not need a secondary effect.

·       Air: Air, Knowledge, Magic, Travel. Known for his words of wisdom and power, as well as for the need to travel to learn. Plus, winds power sailing, making him a prominent god on the coast. Divine Channeling can turn air elementals or give you and your allies +15’ movement for your charisma modifier in rounds.

·       Earth: Earth, Plant, Protection, Strength. Solid and dependable. His worshippers make up much of the imperial guard and army, even as the Paladins worship the spirits of the emperors. Divine Channeling can turn earth elementals or give your shield an AC and attack bonus equal to your charisma modifier, for a duration of your charisma modifier in rounds.

·       Fire: Fire, Healing, Sun, Trickery. The goddess of Fire is known for her purifying aspects but has a touch of chaos with the trickery sphere. Divine Channeling can turn fire elementals or give 5 points of fire or cold resistance for your charisma modifier in rounds.

·       Water: Death, Trickery, Travel, Water. The Empire practices water burial when possible, so water is associated with death. The Water Goddess is mercurial, but blesses people with transport. Divine Channeling can turn water elementals, or to add your charisma modifier to your weapon damage for charisma modifier in rounds.

In a nod to Dumas the local heads of the elemental churches were Cardinals, but each major population center has 4 of them, for the directions (So the Cardinal of the West Water, etc.), and the 16 of them together determine religious direction as a Congregation, under the guidance of the gods.


  1. ...You had..cardinal directions.

    Of course you did.

  2. Hehehehehehehehehe! The jokes are, as always, mostly there for me.