Friday, August 10, 2018

OSR: Prophet

                                                       by Tsabo6
To be a Priest is a respected, holy aim.  Priests will always be well received by the laity who worship their God, and respected by those who do not.  They are given places of honor at parties and allowed to stand alongside Kings and Emperors. Some of them are even called to crown the former, and to perform sacred rights.  Most Priests live in splendor or at least in comfort, wearing fine robes and eating rare foods.  They are considered holy, and in most places, to lay hands on a Priest is a sin, usually one that brings about the full weight of the Law.

And most Priests perform sacred, important duties.  They attend to the Gods, who dwell in the Temples at the center of cities, interpreting their commands and appeasing their whims, then communicating these divine messages to us.  This is dangerous and vital work, for a God that is not obeyed will heap suffering upon us until we repent, or might not protect us, allowing Plague or Discord to infest our city.  Furthermore, speaking with God is a perilous thing.  History is full of examples of those who have entered the presence of God and been struck down for some infraction, invisible fault, or hidden sin.  For this reason, this is why we send our Kings into the Holy Chambers, so that God can inspect them.  If he finds no fault in them, then neither should we.  Of course, if God wishes to punish us, he may allow a flawed King to pass anyway, to use this sinner as his instrument of vengeance against us.

But you are not a Priest.  For God dwells in his Temple, but he does not walk there.  God moves in the world, speaking as he will and surveying all he sees.  And God is displeased.  The world, it does not suit God.  Why?  Only he knows.  So he raises up a leader, a man who is bestowed with a small fraction of his power, who is given a direct connection to God.  This is a Prophet, the chosen instrument of God.

Those Touched by God

Prophets aren't Priests.  They don't have to have any formal education, receive any certificate, or be recognized by anyone. They need no credentials.  That is not to say that they cannot have them.  A Prophet can be anyone, from the son of a King  to a shepherd to a slave.  All you need to be a Prophet is have the Hand of God upon you.  To be a Prophet is involuntary in a lot of ways.  God chose you, and you cannot turn him down.  This is rarely an issue, however, as serving God is the highest honor anyone can receive, and God never picks someone who is likely to refuse.

Furthermore, Prophets also receive one other thing.  They have a direct pipeline to Heaven, and they are on a Mission from God.  God doesn't raise up Prophets for no reason.  They have a quest, a mission.  When you design a campaign or an adventure and one of your players is a Prophet, I would align the aim of the adventure with their mission.  Additionally, God can speak to the Prophet.  He can send them orders, and the Prophet should learn to trust these orders.  God cannot lie, and even if he could, he would not lie to his chosen instrument.  God will have many things to say to the Prophet, for example, he will tell them what to say in certain situations, what to do, where to go, and may sometimes answer the Prophet's questions.  But God should not be chattering in the Prophet's ears the whole time.  He should be silent, except when what he has to say is important.  Maintain God as a mysterious figure, one powerful and possibly benevolent, yet inscrutable to the mortal mind.

For further inspiration, seek out Abraham and the Old-Testament Prophets, and maybe Judas Maccabeus.  These are the men who should be your model for what a Prophet class should look like.

Starting HP: 1/3 Con
Fighting Spirit: +2 FS per Prophet level
Starting Equipment: Mace, Prayer Beads, Chain shirt, priestly robes


God with Us: You have an immaterial spirit floating around you, usually a chunk of your deity or something smaller, like an Angel.  You can petition this thing for Miracles.  You do this by spending a Faith Point and rolling 1d20.  If you roll under your Communion Number, you get it.  There are also modifiers that may or may not apply.  On a success, you are also refunded a Faith Point.  On a failure, you get nothing and the Faith Point is expended.

Other people may also petition this spirit, as well.  They use the same rules as you.  For people who aren't Clerics, they have a number of Faith Points equal to their Cha modifier, with a permanent +1 if they are of the same religion as you. 
Miracle Modifiers:
You can also get certain bonuses:
+1 if you are in a consecrated Place/on Holy Ground (can go up to +2 if you're in a really holy place)
+1 if you've been to a Mass/Church Service recently
+1 if you have a holy relic or token of faith with you
+1 if you are in the company of other Believers (+1 per other Believer)
You can also get penalties if:
-1 if you've committed any sins
-1 if you're in the presence of another (stronger?) deity
-1 if God is displeased with you
-1 if God asked you to do something and you're procrastinating

Dreams and Omens: God will tell you where to go and what to say in signs and visions.  He may also grant you visions of the future and hints about where you should go and what you should do in dreams.


Humble Request: God may also grant you another, smaller prayer, if it is within his nature and interest.  Each of these minor Requests works exactly like a Miracle, and should be rolled for.  Only the Prophet can ask for these.


Smite: You can bless your or someone else's weapon.  This makes it count as magic for purpose of damaging immaterial beasts or things that can only be hurt by magic.  This blessing lasts until the wielder uses the weapon for evil or the next day.


Blessing of Heroism: If your allies are within visual range of you and they fail a save, they may spend a Faith Point and beseech your Deity to protect them.  If they succeed on this roll, they may reroll their save.


Divine Intervention: Using the rules for lesser Miracles, you may beseech your God for a great work, a deed to shake the Heavens.  This can be anything from driving away an enemy army to bringing down the walls of a fortified city.

Double Portion of Spirit: For double the Amount of Faith Points, you can double the effect of a Miracle, and use the Miracle as written in "2x".

Blessing of Protection: If your allies are within visual range of you and an enemy hits them, they may spend a Faith Point and beseech your Deity to protect them.  If they succeed on this roll, the enemy must reroll their damage, and take the lower of the two results.

Blessed Form: Your Deity changes your physical body so that part of you now reflects their nature.  This should be some helpful ability that can be used at will.

Beatification: If you enter a combat encounter or dangerous situation with no Faith Points remaining, you automatically regain 1d6.

What Miracles do you speak of?

But what Miracles can I ask for?  Well, for Divine Intervention, you can ask for anything, though God will not always fulfill your request.  Additionally for humble request, you can also ask for anything, but it should be small and within your God's nature, otherwise it will probably be ignored.  But for more common requests, the Prophet has a list of six Miracles that they can ask for.  Two of these will be Lesser Miracles.  These are ones that anyone can ask for, not just the Prophet.  The other four, however, will be Greater Miracles, reserved for the Prophet alone.  To demonstrate this, here is a template for the Prophet of one of the Fiery Multitude, the Burning Volcano Gods that live beneath the Earth and only periodically emerge from calderas to speak their divine will.
The Fiery Multitude:

The Fiery Multitude are a vast pantheon of burning Gods made of obsidian and black basalt, with magma for blood and molten metal faces.  The Fiery Multitude have many-headed bodies, each one a humanoid hydra of stone, steel and sizzling blood.  They are fire and chaos made flesh, and their priests are old men with whispering voices, vocal chords ruined from inhaling the toxic smoke that wreathes the Multitude.  These fiery gods rule from volcanic temples, dwelling in lava palaces beneath the bubbling magma.  Petitioners get as close as they dare, protected by the priests, before offering their requests, wishes or curses.  They take these and carve them into tablets of basalt, then place them in the temple.  Then they approach the lava and hurl their sacrifice in.  These sacrifices can be anything from a pair of turtledoves to an entire family of slaves, drugged up to their eyes on opium and tattooed with holy symbols.  The Fiery Multitude will grant any wish of those they favor, but will scorn the prayers of those they despise.  They speak through the trembling of the Earth, the rumbles of the Volcano, and the color and amount of smoke currently pouring out of the volcano.  If the volcano is sending out puffs of white smoke, all is well.  If it is currently pouring black smoke, run.

The Fiery Multitude are Gods of Chaos, and as such, are very clear what they want.  They despise Law in all its forms.  From the divine Law of the Gods of the same to traffic laws, all are hated by the Multitude.  They demand an immediate repeal of all laws in areas they control, as well as an abolition of any civil government.  They hate money too, though they see its use, so they usually order the currency changed to something vaguely silly, such as grapes, sheeps, handshakes, or carved stone heads.  They demand that all hierarchies in their sphere of influence be voluntary or familial.  Some Chaos Gods hate all involuntary institutions, but the Multitude understand the value and complexity of families, and allow them to stay together.

And while life under the Multitude is strange for humanoid races inclined toward Law, it is not necessarily bad.  The land is fertile and all are free.  Those who would interfere with the freedom of others are cast into the lava as sacrifices in the hopes that Farmer John's prayer for rain is answered.  People are less secure, but you don't have to pay taxes anymore.  Though everyone is a lot better armed then they were before, and most of the aristocracy has either left the area, been fed to the lava, or are pretending to be rice farmers.  But when the Multitude needs something, they will send forth their fiery tendrils and elect a Prophet.  These men and women are sent forth to proclaim the coming liberation of the nearby people, as well as preach about the folly of civil government, kingship, and legal systems.

Prophet of the Fiery Multitude:

Lesser Miracles: These are Miracles anyone can request, including the Prophet, though the Multitude will not grant Miracles to any of their foes. 

Fire of War

Cloaks a weapon of the Petitioner's choice in fire.  Does +1d6 fire damage.  This fire lasts until the end of the current combat or 1 minute.


Cloaks a weapon of the Petitioner's weapon in fire.  Does +2d6 fire damage, and counts as magic.  This fire lasts until the end of the current combat or 1 minute.

Flame in all of Us

Restores 1d6 FS to a target of the Petitioner's choice, provided the Volcano God is not angry at that person.


Restores all FS but 1d6 to a target of the Petitioner's choice, provided the Volcano God is not angry at that person.

Greater Miracles: These are Miracles reserved for the Prophet alone.

Big Growl

Causes a minor earthquake at anywhere the Prophet wishes, and affects everything for a mile around.  If outdoors or in the wilderness, terrifying but not that dangerous.  Beware of falling tree branches and bird's nests, but nothing else occurs.  If in an urban area or indoors, all buildings within 1 mile take damage and may fall over.  Assume a 25% collapse rate, with weaker buildings with no strong foundations suffering worse.  The peasant's huts will collapse, but the castle is likely to survive.  There are likely to be many injuries but few deaths. range take damage


Causes a major earthquake at anywhere the Prophet wishes, and affects everything for a mile around.  As normal, but the collapse rate for buildings is 50%, and large stone structures are no longer largely immune.  There will far more casualties, far more chaos, and much more suffering.  Also has the chance of causing underground structures to be damaged, torn apart, partially cave-in, or etc.

Breath of God

Creates a noxious cloud of gas that fills up to 50'.  This gas is poisonous and not breathable, and causes suffocation if anyone stays in it.  Smells terrible, and makes the eyes water.  Most people will avoid it.  The cloud is dispersed by wind and rain if outdoors, and will only last 1d20 minutes in clear conditions, 1d10 on a windy day, and less if it is raining.


Creates a noxious cloud of gas that fills up to 50'.  This gas is poisonous and not toxic, and causes 1d6 damage to anyone who enters it.  Additionally, anyone within it who needs to breathe will begin suffocating at once.  Otherwise, as normal.

I stand at the Door

If the Prophet needs to go somewhere, they can invoke this Miracle, and the Volcano God will open the way for them.  This way through can involve fire starting and burning a hole in a wooden structure, a minor earthquake knocking out part of a wall, or the ground collapsing to reveal a secret tunnel or empty lava tube that will allow the Prophet to pass underneath an obstacle.  This Miracle allows the Prophet to bypass any physical obstacle.  However, this merely opens the way, and will not save you from other dangers associated with the obstacle or the route itself.  The route is not necessarily safe, but it can take you to safety.


As normal, but now the Miracle can also help you escape from difficult social situations, certain death, or more esoteric dangers.  The Referee is allowed to use discretion on whether or not the Volcano God determines this a danger worth rescuing you from. 

Funeral Flow

Creates a pyroclastic flow that does 3d6 fire damage in a 60' cone, save for half.  Additionally, if someone is hit by this, they are buried alive in hot ash, and will have to dig themselves out to fight you.  Those who are killed by this ash are preserved like the citizens of Pompeii.  Being inside is no protection either, as nothing short of a foot of solid concrete can protect you from this blast.  However, every time the Prophet asks for this Miracle and their request is honored, they must first sacrifice an animal or a human to the Volcano.  If they fail to do so the Volcano understands, but will instead take its blood from elsewhere, and inflict 1d6 damage on the Prophet, with no save permitted.


As normal, except the pyroclastic Flow does 5d6 fire damage, and the sacrifice offered must be exceptionally good.  If no sacrifice is offered, the Prophet takes 2d6 damage, no save. 

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