Last month I posted some ideas for conversions, shrine building, etc. as a way to give clerics more to do than heal and turn undead. Here I’ve done a bit of revising and present a cleric option that can be swapped in for regular clerics, offered as an option. Some of it is mechanical, some is flavor and all of it can be tinkered with. This cleric class is based on the LotFP Grindhouse rules (free rules pdf available here), but easily applies to any B/X or AD&D game.
Defender of the Faith
The Defender of the Faith is based on the cleric found in your system’s rulebook. You will find a high charisma score nearly as helpful as high wisdom.
You were once a pious monk or seminary student until your prayers started manifesting as minor miracles. You were immediately assigned to a new order where you trained in warfare, interrogation and oratory. You learned the signs and the heresies of the heathen faiths. Now, as initiated cleric of your order, you are sent into the world to maintain proper order and devotion in the Church, for as it is in the faith, so it is in the world.
Add one point to any of these skills on your character sheet to reflect your training: preaching, interrogation, cryptography, command.
You attack at +2 to hit when fighting clerics, soldiers or other enemies who represent any other faith, provided the conflict is about faith. There is no bonus for merely attacking those who are non-believers. Your GM will let you know when this applies.
In addition to any abilities you have as a cleric in the system you play in, you can call on resources in any community where there is a congregation:
When visiting a community with a church, abbey or cathedral you may request lodging on church grounds for up to one week for youself and a small party of companions (provided none of them are obviously prohibited by the rules of your faith).
Provided the head clergy of the congregation is not a higher level Cleric (or PC-class Priest) OR if the head clergy grants permission, you may call on the local congregation for monetary support. To do this, you must deliver a sermon, perform a ceremony, give a teaching or other service in front of the congregation. You make a roll vs your preaching skill plus your Charisma modifier and your Wisdom modifier.*
If you pass the check, you get the full amount on the table below. If you fail the check, you get half. If there is a critical fail, you get nothing and may not attempt this again in this or the four nearest communities for two months (and do so at a -2 penalty per critical failure in the region).
|Community Economic Level||Offering|
|Very Poor||1d6 x CHA/2**|
|Poor||1d6 x CHA**|
|Middle Class||1d10 x CHA|
|Rich||d20 x CHA|
|Filthy Rich||d100 x CHA|
*If you are not using LOtFP, make an ability check (or similar roll depending on your game) vs. Charisma with your WISDOM modifier added. I say make a charisma check as this is the more important skill in this situation.
**at least half the offering will be in livestock, food or other non-monetary form.
You may recruit (your level + d4) hirelings of first level skill who will serve you for up to a week without pay and without a share of treasure. At the end of that week, roll vs. your command skill level to have them stay another week (up to two weeks). If they have been treated well, they may be kept on as regular hirelings provided this does not exceed your hireling limits.
If there is a clear emergency involving matters of faith, you can raise a mob. First, you must make a successful skill roll vs. preaching or command, adding your charisma modifiers. You will identify in your speech who the target of the mob is, what they must do (don’t expect them to not injure or kill the target) and what doctrinal reason you have for condemning them (it need to be that logical).
If you succeed, you may raise up a mob of (d10+CHA score) 0-level fighters armed with farm implements, tools and the ocassional longsword (10% of mob). If you fail, your mob will be half that size. If the local head clergy publicly endorses you in this, add 1d10 to the number in the mob. If the local clergy publicly disagrees, the size of the mob is reduced by half (so a failed skill check plus local clergy opposition means 1/4 size).
This mob will obey your commands even at the peril of their own lives. They are fanatically in your service until you die, the target of the mob dies, or the mob is somehow convinced you are tricking them (example: they see you show mercy to the target, catch you behaving in a way antithetical to your faith, etc.). A mob will die out ofter three hours if the target is not encountered.
The Fine Print
You are married to the church and as such you must remain celibate. As far as the faithful are concerned, you are a pious and rightious holy man, who will be treated with the utmost respect by the faithful. When no one is looking, you are expected to do whatever is necessary to carry out your orders. You may be called on to kill, lead an army, extract confessions from the wicked and other less palatable duties.
Your GM will have you keep track of a faith influence number, which determines the likelihood of finding a temple or chapel in remote areas or foreign cities. Be sure to keep this on your character sheet.