Clerics in GLOG

Edited after some input.

So I’ve been perusing a few OSR blog sites for the past year or so and discovered that I quite enjoy the GLOG system by Arnold K. It has a few OSR design principles that I greatly enjoy.  Specifically every class should be unique and should have some system that makes them useful and feel useful.

His wizard rules are extremely elegant. If you haven’t read them I recommend it. The design principles can be found here and some of the actual classes can be found here. The idea behind them has been picked up by other blog authors and they’ve come up with their own traditions of wizards. In case you haven’t read it yet (you really should) I’ll summarize.

  • Wizards get a Magic Die (MD) per level (max level of four in GLOG.)
  • They get six spells at first level and the next two new ones each level.
  • To cast a spell the wizard declares they are using as many spell dice as they want, up to their level.
  • The wizard rolls the dice. Some spell effects are determined by the number of dice used. Other effects (usually damage) are determined by the sum of the dice used.
  • If a die comes up as a four through six the die is exhausted for the day, otherwise it returns to the wizard’s MD pool.
  • If the dice come up with doubles then a mishaps happens. The wizard rolls on the mishaps table for their tradition and it happens immediately. Mishaps are bad but not necessarily fatal.
  • If the dice come up with triples a Doom happens. Dooms are bad. Really bad. Each tradition has three and they start bad and get worse. The first two impair you pretty severely for a temporary amount of time or a minor impairment permanently. The third either kills you or majorly impairs you permanently. There are workarounds but they are quests in and of themselves.

So you commit MD to cast spells. The more MD you commit the more powerful a spell is likely to be. If a MD rolls well that spell benefits from it but then the MD goes away for the day. If the MD doesn’t roll well then the spell kinda sucks but you don’t lose any resources. Using more dice is also risky because you might have Bad Things happen to you. I like it. It’s simple, easily understandable, powerful, and capable of being twisted into new forms but I still feel something is missing. That thing is clerics.

I’ve been in a few GLOG games and we really haven’t had a good cleric class. I would really like to see that and I’m not going to reinvent the wheel on magic dice so I’m just gonna gut the GLOG wizard and sew it back together as a divine caster.

Image result for hand coming out of grave
*cue maniacal laughter*

Every GLOG wizard school has some perks, restrictions, 12 spells, 2 legendary spells, a mishaps table, and a doom table. So let’s lay down the generic rules for a cleric and see how easy it is to work with.

Class: Cleric

Restrictions:

  • You are part of a religion and that religion has tenets. Unfortunately for you, your divine patron, or one of its servants, actually checks up on you enough that it matters whether you follow them or not. Work with your GM to determine five tenets for your religion, two major, and three minor.
  • Major tenets should ban you from doing something. They get you into trouble and tempt you to break them.
  • Minor tenets should be discrete actions that you are encouraged to seek out and do.
  • If you break a major tenet lose all your current MD.

Perks:

  • Your religion has tenets but luckily your patron, or one of its servants, checks on you enough that you get to ask for clarification in the rules. Once a session you can work with your GM and change a tenet. Your patron is obviously infallible but maybe that prophet misheard them or maybe there are new rules for a new age.
  • If you uphold a major tenet when it is inconvenient, gain two MD.
  • If you perform a minor tenet, gain a MD.
  • You can only gain MD from any single tenet once a session.

Special Mechanics:

Cleric MD don’t work quite like a wizard’s do. They don’t come back with rest and always exhaust when used to cast a spell. However clerics can recover MD during the day through their tenets, never suffer mishaps, and never suffer dooms.

Clerics generate MD when they follow their tenets and their MD don’t expire until they have been used to cast a spell or the cleric breaks one of their tenets. The ability to change their tenets will hopefully keep a cleric from being in a situation where they can’t gain MD for more than a session.

They still prepare their spells normally and have spell slots like a normal wizard. They can cast spells out of spellbooks, scrolls, wands, and staves.

At level 3 instead of gaining the Vancian magic ability they gain Practiced in Faith. When you prepare you spells declare one is practiced. Once during that day before you cast the spell declare it’s Practiced and the MD invested in it return on a roll of 1-3 like a normal wizard.

Crusader

Tenets:

  • Major: Do no harm to lawful practitioners of your religion.
  • Major: Do not use slashing or piercing weapons.
  • Minor: Sincerely pray aloud at least once a day.
  • Minor: Tithe ten percent of your wealth to the church.
  • Minor: Seek out and destroy undead.

Spells:

  • Smite
    • Range: touch
    • Target: one creature
    • Make a melee attack against a creature as you rebuke it. Add [sum] to the normal damage that you roll. The attack counts as magical if it wasn’t already.
  • Heal
    • Range: touch
    • Target: one living creature
    • Heal the creature of [sum] damage.
  • Bless
    • Range: 50′
    • Target: [dice] creatures
    • Duration: 1 hour or until expired
    • Create a pool of [sum] points to be spent by target creatures. Spent points are added to any non-damage or non-casting roll before the roll is made.
  • Detect Evil
    • Range: 200′
    • Target: self
    • Duration: [dice] hours
    • You instinctively know when a evil outsider, undead, any mortal who has made a pact with supernatural evil entity, or any mortal or who is Truly Evil comes within range of the smell. This does not tell how powerful it is, what it is, or help you see through any disguise it is using.
  • Sanctuary
    • Range: touch
    • Target: one creature or object
    • Duration: [dice] rounds
    • You are protected from [sum] damage. Any attack completely absorbed does not connect and any secondary effects do not take place. If the target of this spell causes damage to anyone even indirectly, the spell ends immediately.
  • Dispel Evil
    • Range: 50′
    • Target: up to [dice] undead or evil outsiders
    • Duration: 10 minutes
    • Split [sum] damage among the targets as evenly as possible. Any surviving targets must make a save or be afraid of the caster for the duration.
  • Command
    • Range: 50′
    • Target: one creature
    • Duration: concentration + 1 minute
    • Give a command of [dice] words to the target. You have to be able to speak but the target doesn’t have to know your language. If the target fails their save they immediately begin following your order. If the command would cause the target to kill itself it hesitates for a turn and makes another save.
  • Shield of Faith
    • Range: 100′
    • Target: one creature
    • As a reaction to the target being hit by an attack add [dice] to their AC.
  • Aura of Courage
    • Range: 50′
    • Target: self
    • Duration: [sum] minutes
    • You and all your allies are immune to any mental compulsion or control targeting them. Any current compulsions are suppressed for the duration of the spell.
  • Call to Battle
    • Range: 50′
    • Target: Up to [dice] weapons
    • Duration: 10 minutes
    • Distribute the dice of this spell between the targeted weapons. For the duration the wielder of one of those weapons can spend a single die after a successful attack and add it to the damage. The attack counts as magical if it wasn’t before. The spell ends on a targeted weapon if it is dropped.
  • Restoration
    • Range: touch
    • Target: one living creature
    • Touch the target and choose an ailment as you say a prayer of recovery. If the dice you spend matches or beats the HD of the creature that inflicted it the effect is dispelled. The GM should determine the HD of any disease or poison not inflicted by a creature. This spell breaks the normal dice cap so you may spend as many as you have.
  • Divination
    • Casting time: 10 minutes
    • Ask the GM [dice] yes or no questions about an upcoming event or course of action. The GM must answer truthfully but can answer with “unclear” if the answer really is neither yes or no.

 

Legendary Spells:

  • Hallow
    • Target: 50′ square feet
    • Duration: special
    • The area becomes hallowed ground. Undead cannot be raised there. Evil outsiders and undead must save to enter it. The duration is determined by the [dice.] At 1 die, a day. At 2 dice, a week. At 3 dice, a month. At 4 dice, it’s permanent.
  • Resurrection
    • Range: touch
    • Target: one corpse
    • This spell restores a dead creature to life. The number of dice determine the amount of time the creature could have been dead for. At 1 die, a day. At 2 dice, a week. At 3 dice, a month. At 4 dice, a year. Your constitution is permanently lowered by the same number of dice spent on this spell for being too close to death.

Mishaps:

  • None

Dooms:

  • None

I’m not super happy with the Detect Evil spell but I think the others are pretty good. You should be able to dump the tenets section on a normal wizard and turn them into a cleric pretty easily.

The tenets are meant to be manipulated for what you think is coming up. About to fight a vampire who has mind controlled followers of your faith? It’s probably a good idea to change that tenet then. Heading back to town? Why not point out that a holiday is coming up and you need to perform a sermon for it.

Evil Option: Remember when I said that cleric’s MD always exhaust but never cause mishaps or dooms? Well that was just for the clerics of good gods. The evil ones grant more power but there are consequences for channeling that much power. Their MD only exhaust on 4-6 but have mishaps and dooms like normal wizards.

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