11 August 2018

Cleric Magic using the Turn Undead table

So, after a lot of thought and number crunching, I think I have reached a solution for making clerical magic unique. Essentially I am replacing the vancian casting mechanic with the turn undead mechanic. With this I will keep the spells already in the books, and not rewrite the whole magic system.

Each spell is a called a prayer and takes a turn to perform instead of a round (maybe multiple turns based on level). Each spell also requires a component part, such as a holy symbol, holy water, consecrated oil, blessed bread/wine, etc. There will not be a large variety of components, I see this as more akin to tracking ammo than individual components. When performing a prayer a cleric has to roll to see if this favor is granted, by rolling 2d6 and getting above 7,9 , or 11 based on the level of the prayer and the cleric's level. if looking at the turn undead chart, a 'T' would indicate the prayer takes effect as normal, and a 'D' indicates that the prayer has its maximum effect. For cure light wounds a prayer at the 'D' level would automatically heal 8 hp instead of the normal 1-8. The success of a prayer lines up with the turn undead table as shown below

Undead
Skeleton
Zombie
Ghoul
Wight
Wraith
Mummy
Spectre
Vampire
Phantom
Haunt
Level of Prayer



1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Level 1
7
9
11







Level 2
T
7
9
11






Level 3
T
T
7
9
11





Level 4
D
T
T
7
9
11




Level 5
D
D
T
T
7
9
11














Level 6
D
D
D
T
T
7
9
11


Level 7
D
D
D
D
T
T
7
9
11

Level 8
D
D
D
D
D
T
T
7
9
11
Level 9-10
D
D
D
D
D
D
T
T
7
9
Level 11-12
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
T
T
7
Level 13-14
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
T
T
Level 15-16
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
T
Level 17-20
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D

When a cleric gains access to a new prayer level he is given/has to make a prayer book of the prayers of that level. I haven't decided whether I want to limit the number of prayers a cleric can know based on their normal vancian spells/level chart.

1 comment:

  1. From the Google+ group OSR

    Lance Duncan:
    My attempt to make clerics different from wizards while keeping the normal spell lists.

    Dismaster FraNe:
    I like this. It is not completely to my tastes (I don't like looking at tables) but it's close. Thank you!

    Ian Borchardt (Reverance Pavane):
    The "clerics" in my"D&D" have antipathetic magic (whereas magic users have sympathetic magic). In other words their magic is entirely based on their ability to banish the supernatural (aka their Turn Undead ability). The meta-reason being essentially that the supernatural is unnatural, doesn't belong in the world the gods have made, and thus vulnerable to the cleric/god's magic.

    One interesting result of this definition is that I reverse the names of many of the standard cleric spells in order to align them with the idea that clerical magic is focused on banishment rather than creation and summoning (which is the provenance of magic users). So you get interesting spells like banish light wounds, banish thirst, and banish darkness completely. Which also leads to interesting side effects for the magic that works very well. For example banish darkness completely does it's normal job of driving off or destroying creatures of darkness such as vampires (remember the equivalency to full daylight for continual light), but also eliminates any darkness in the hearts and souls of the people in the area to the benefit of their morale. Besides I like the idea of the inky blackness of darkness roiling at the border of spell's effect, seeking entry again into the area where it is currently denied. And people imagining they can see things hidden in it (and perhaps there are).

    Works well.

    Alistair Langsford:
    I like this. And the table will be part of my ready reference so shouldn’t be hard to lookup (I don’t like table look up either so like rules that are easily kept in my head, or summarized briefly in text). Also like +Ian Borchardt ‘s definition. I can see combining both for a future game as each provides a very different feel.

    Lance Duncan:
    +Ian Borchardt interesting alternative. I do have a system for miracles/rituals for different religions, but it's for a different game. I'm making a series of houserules for dnd. So, the point here being to first of all make cleric magic different than wizardly magic, yet maintain a feeling of dndness. Also I want to make it as simple as possible while maintaining cross compatibility with dnd and other osr games, so that means I need to maintain the original spell list too.

    Ian Borchardt (Reverance Pavane):
    +Lance Duncan: BTW it is the original spell list - just renamed to eliminate the creation aspects (which are now the provenance of the magic user), and bring it into alignment with the idea that it's the cleric's banishment power (I've always allowed clerics to use their Turn Undead power on more than the undead) that is the source of how they apply their magic.

    [It's not even expressly written down anywhere IMG because everyone does the translation automatically in their head. ]

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