Sunday, September 30, 2012

[Labyrinth Lord] New Alternate Cleric Class

Clerics dedicate themselves to the service of a deity or pantheon of deities. They are trained in fighting and divine magic. The core inspirations for the cleric class are the Jewish Judges and Prophets, the miracle-working disciples of the early Christian Church, the Christian warrior-priests of the Knights Templar, and the Van Helsing character of Dracula.

Prime Requisite: Wisdom. +5% Experience for Wisdom 13-15, +10% for Wisdom 16-18.

Minimum Ability Scores: Strength 5, Constitution 5, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 9, Charisma 6.

Alignment Restrictions: Clerics must choose a deity that is morally Good or Evil; the cleric himself may be morally Neutral, however, morally Neutral clerics cannot advance beyond 6th level. Neutral clerics who follow a Good deity operate as per Good clerics, while Neutral clerics who follow an Evil deity operate as per Evil clerics.

Racial Level Limits: Dwarves 8th, Elves 7th, Gnomes 7th, Halflings 4th, Half-Elves 5th, Half-Orcs 4th, and Humans U.

Hit Dice: Clerics use eight-sided dice (d8) to determine hit points. Clerics gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable

Armor: Any, though sometimes restricted by choice of deity.

Proficient Weapons: Highly dependent on choice of deity. A cleric will usually be proficient in two to four weapons that are sacred or at least sanctioned by their deity.
Non-Proficiency Penalty: -3

Divine Focus: A cleric possesses a personal divine focus – a holy or unholy symbol of his deity – that is used in the casting of all spells. If the cleric does not have his focus held in hand he cannot cast his spells, Lay on Hands, or Turn/Control undead. A cleric can try to use another divine focus from a cleric of the same faith, but this requires a Spell Failure roll of 30%, and he suffers a -2 penalty to Turn/Control attempts when using another cleric’s divine focus. A cleric can try to use a non-enchanted symbol of his deity as a divine focus, but in such cases suffers a 60% chance of spell failure and a -4 penalty to his chances to Turn/Control.

Divine Spell Casting: A cleric knows the divine spells that are contained in his prayer book. From these spells he may memorize the number of spells listed below, plus a number of bonus spells based on his Wisdom score.

The cleric also has a number of Spell Points equal to his level plus a bonus based on his Wisdom score. A spell costs 1 Spell Point to cast per level of the spell (1 SP for a 1st level spell, 2 SP for a 2nd level spell, and so forth).

Casting a spell does not cause the caster lose it from his memory; the act of casting the spell is separate and distinct from the memorization of the spell. However, even if the caster knows a spell and it is in his prayer book, he cannot cast it unless he has it memorized!

Spell Points can be regained in several ways. The most basic method to regain Spell Points is through eight hours of uninterrupted sleep followed by 15 minutes of prayer. A cleric can also pray without sleeping beforehand and regains 1 Spell Point per hour of uninterrupted prayer.

Spells memorized can be changed out after eight hours of uninterrupted sleep (the same sleep regenerates Spell Points). After waking, the cleric must study his prayer book for 15 minutes per level of the new spell being memorized. The cleric can also switch out spells without sleep, but this requires one hour of study per level of the new spell being memorized.

Even when a cleric runs out of Spell Points, all is not lost! Clerics can make special pleas to their deity to perform miracles by expending Divine Favor points (see below). A 1st level cleric begins play with a number of Divine Favor points equal to his Wisdom score. Every level he advances, he automatically gains a number of Divine Favor points equal to the level gained.

Learning New Spells: A cleric begins play with at least four 1st level spells in his prayer book. Every level he learns one new spell of a level that he can cast for free through advancement in his hierarchy; this requires one week of time in prayer (at no cost) per level of the spell. The spells that may be chosen for free are from a much shorter list than the entire list of spells from each level, as each faith only teaches a certain list of canonical spells to its adherents.

A cleric can also add spells to his prayer book by finding them in scrolls or other spell books or through research into existing or wholly-new spells. The Judge will provide details on these procedures as they come up. Note that Evil clerics can never cast the Good versions of spells, even if they somehow learn them and put them in their prayer book. Good clerics however can learn the Evil versions of spells; even learning such makes them a heretic, and using such spells is likely to earn the wrath of their deity, or at least their superiors if they are caught. But such are the tempting ways of Evil that a Good cleric who learns to use such spells often rapidly falls to the ways of Evil and finds protection in the open arms of his former deity’s enemies as a welcome Apostate!

Make Magic Items: At 1st level a cleric can scribe a scroll containing a spell he can cast. It costs 100 gp and 1 week time per level of the spell to scribe the scroll. At 5th level a cleric can create holy potions. The cleric must learn each potion ritual separately as though he were learning a spell. Time to create a potion is one day per 100 gp cost or portion thereof, as per the alchemist class ability. If a magical component is used to take the place of half the cost, the time to make the item is based on half the cost. At 9th level a cleric can make other magic items, such as magic swords, wands, rings, and miscellaneous items.

Turn/Command Undead: Good clerics can Turn undead, while Evil clerics can Turn or Control undead. This requires a roll of 2d6 against a base target number of 7. Subtract 2 from the roll for each hit die the target creature has above the level of the cleric or add 2 to the roll for every level the cleric has above the hit dice of the target. If the roll succeeds, the cleric Turns or Controls 2d6 hit dice of creatures (minimum one creature) of that type.

If the cleric is at a total bonus of +6 or more, the check is automatically successful. If his total bonus is +10 or more, the attempt is successful and the number of hit dice of creatures rolled are destroyed rather than Turned. Add 1 HD to the total hit dice of creatures destroyed for every point of bonus over +10.

If the roll is successful yet does not Turn/Control all the undead in a group, the cleric may try again against that group. If any attempt to Turn/Control a group fails, the cleric cannot re-try against that same group again for 24 hours.

An Evil cleric can Control undead. He may Control a total number of hit dice of undead creatures equal to twice his level. He may choose to Control undead rather than turn or destroy them. If he is at his limit and he wishes to Control new undead, he may select the undead that are lost to his Control as he successfully Controls the new undead. Intelligent, free-willed undead get a saving throw against the Control of the Evil cleric, first when Controlled, and then as though they were under the effects of a charm person spell, based on their Intelligence.

Lay on Hands/Dark Lightning: Good-aligned clerics cure wounds by spending 1 Spell Point to cure 1d8+1 damage, 2 points to cure 2d8+2, 3 points to cure 3d8+3, and so on. A cleric can spend no more Spell Points in this way in one laying on of hands than his level (1 point at 1st level, 2 points at 2nd level, and so on). Evil-aligned clerics can spend Spell Points in a similar fashion to create dark lightning to cause wounds, which has a range of 10’ per level of the cleric, and requires that the target make a saving throw against Wands (save for half damage).

Divine Favor: A cleric earns Divine Favor by performing deeds above and beyond the normal call of duty to his faith. A Good cleric goes on crusade against Evil, heals the sick, feeds the poor, proselytizes the heathen, and so forth, beyond the every day shepherding of the flock and tending to ritual. Evil clerics do the same, only in reverse: they go on crusade against Good, cause wounds and pain, starve the innocent, forcibly convert the enemy, and so forth. Good clerics can sacrifice wealth; Evil clerics can sacrifice wealth and the lives of the innocent. In any rate, each cleric builds up points of Divine Favor, as adjudicated by the Judge. You can also lose Divine Favor by eschewing your basic duties as a cleric, performing minor or major transgressions, or otherwise failing to give your all in the name of your deity. If you ever fall below one point of Divine Favor, you lose all your cleric abilities until you successfully perform a quest in the name of your deity.

Whenever a cleric needs a miracle, either because he is out of Spell Points or because he needs something done that is beyond his spell casting ability or above and beyond spell casting in general, he may call for a Divine Favor roll. You roll percentile dice against your Divine Favor score. If you roll less than or equal to your Divine Favor, you get what you asked for; if you roll above your Divine Favor roll, your deity grants you no help and you are on your own. There is, however, a cost if you succeed. Normally, your successful roll is your new Divine Favor score. However, the minimal cost in Divine Favor is equal to the level of the spell, plus a number of points equal to the difference between your level and the minimum level to cast the spell (if it is normally beyond your power). If the request is something beyond spell casting ability, the Judge will tell you what the cost is…

1st Level Cleric Spells
At 1st level a cleric has detect evil, detect magic, and two other random 1st level spells in his prayer book, plus one additional random spell per bonus spell. The additional spells known by the cleric are determined randomly from the following table:

Aid: This spell grants the target touched (which may be the caster) a +1 bonus to morale, a +1 bonus to hit, a +1 bonus to damage, and a +1 bonus to saving throws. He also gains 5 bonus hit points, which are the first to be lost. The spell lasts for one turn. If the bonus hit points are lost through damage, they are not regained through application of the laying on of hands.

Animate Corpse [Evil]: The cleric can cause a skeleton or corpse within 30’ to rise and animate. A skeleton acts and attacks as a skeleton, a relatively fleshy corpse as a zombie. The corpse remains animated only so long as the cleric concentrates on animating the corpse. Once the corpse has been animated it may move beyond the initial range of the spell, but it cannot move out of sight of the cleric, or the spell ends immediately.

Cause Fear [Evil]: The target who fails his save has a 50% chance of dropping anything he is carrying before he runs away.

Command: Any use of this spell that causes the target to perform an Evil act is an Evil use of the spell.

Create [Element]: This spell enables the caster to create up to four gallons of pure water, four gallons of rich soil, a campfire’s worth of fire (1’ diameter sphere per level), or four hours worth of pure air for one person per level. What kind of element is created depends upon the exact spell; there are four different spells. Each of the elements created is permanent until used or destroyed, this is, of course, based on what exactly the element is used for. Note that none of these elements can be created directly on or in a living being (no creating fire right on one’s enemies, for example). A fire created thusly would exist for only a number of rounds equal to the caster’s level before it went out, unless fuel were provided. And so forth. Generally this spell is used in religious ceremonies, but as usual, questing clerics have adapted the spell to other needs. Range is only 10’.

Darkness [Evil]: Changes as per light, below.

Destroy [Element]: This spell permanently destroyed a like amount of the specific element, as per the create element spell. Destruction of any element is not necessarily an evil act.

Detect Evil: This spell does not detect Evil alignment in mortals, merely immediate intent to harm! Anyone can see the glow of the creatures and items that are supernaturally Evil. Note that this spell is neither Good nor Evil, as such.

Detect Magic: Anyone can see the glow of items that are magical. There is no reverse of this spell for clerics.

Light [Good]: The caster may choose the color of the light. If the spell is cast on a worked gemstone, the effect lasts for one hour per gold piece value of the gem; when the spell ends, the gem shatters to dust.

Protection from Evil: This does not create a ward against creatures of Evil alignment, only those of evil intent, i.e., those intending to harm the target of the spell. Note that ANY sort of attack against a summoned creature by the warded creature drops the ward against ALL summoned creatures! The spell can be cast by touch on a willing target. The spell can be cast on a holy or unholy symbol, and it will ward the bearer of the symbol. Note that this spell is neither Good nor Evil, as such!

Purify Food and Drink [Good]: This spell is easily cast upon a gemstone of at least 10 gp value. If done so, the gem can be used to detect poison in a drinking glass simply by the expedience of dropping the gem in the liquid; if it shatters (which it does so loudly and powerfully enough to destroy the chalice), the liquid was poisoned (though it is thereafter inert). The gem remains enchanted until it detects poison.

Putrefy Food and Drink [Evil]: This spell makes fresh and clear food and drink mildly poisonous; the caster can choose to make it look and smell putrefied or remain seemingly fresh and pleasant. Anyone who eats or drinks the putrefied food and/or drink must make a saving throw against Poison or suffer severe gastro-intestinal stress, including vomiting and diarrhea, for 1d6 hours plus 1 hour per level of the cleric. In this sickened state the victim suffers a -2 penalty to hit, -2 penalty to saving throws, moves at one less movement rank, and has a 10% chance of spell failure (whether arcane or divine in nature).

Remove Fear [Good]: During the duration of the spell the recipient is immune to fear and need not make morale checks.

Resist Heat and Cold: The target of this spell, which must be touched, can endure extreme heat and cold, from -30˚ to 130˚ Fahrenheit. Below or above those extremes the character suffers no more than 1 hit point per hour for natural temperatures. The spell provides no protection against damage from fire, frost, ice, or any sort of magical forms of cold or fire. The spell lasts for two hours per level.

Sanctuary [Good]: As the spell listed in the AEC, page 38. The duration, however, is 2 turns, +1 turn per level.


  1. There's a typo - instead of Alternate Cleric you should have typed Improved Cleric. ;) Nice job.

  2. This is more akin to a Jedi-type class than a class inspired by the Jewish/Christian prophet/priest. I have two quibbles, from this POV. The first is limiting God to a personal holy symbol (a view pilloried by the church on several occasions); the second is the dualism hardwired into the mechanics.

    However, if the goal is to have a magic wielding Jedi-like warriors running around your campaign world, this is great.

  3. Argh! Stupid internets! Lost a long post I made in reply, pulling out samples from the Bible through the Middle Ages... oh well. Suffice to say, it's not designed to emulate Christianity, but inspired by it. Not supposed to be some sort of statment of faith or argument in some theological debate, just a game...

    1. I am not arguing that specific powers aren't inspired by Scripture (I am the first to argue that they are); however, you are absolutely correct that is does not emulate Christianity/Judaism/a fantasy Church analog. My quibble is that theologically your otherwise excellent work cannot be used to emulate a fantasy Church analog. Rather, due to mechanics and the theological underpinning those mechanics represent, this class has far more in common to Star Wars than Scripture.