Roleplayer #24, June 1991

Christian Clerics in Yrth

Ideas for Divinely-Granted Powers

by Steffan O'Sullivan

For those whose fantasy games are set in Yrth, the following is offered as an example of a Christian cleric, suitable for Megalos, Caithness or Cardiel (but note that magic works poorly in low-mana Caithness). This is in accordance with the rules for creating clerics in Chapter 5 of GURPS Magic.

This description is not meant to be truly generic. It fits my concept of Christianity, but it might not fit yours. In that case, use it merely as a starting point for designing your own Christian cleric.

In my version of Yrth, there are other priests and clerics that do not follow the precepts below. They have the 5-point Clerical Investment advantage – they have no divinely-granted powers. They may be mages, however.

In my world, Christian clerical magic is not resisted by Magic Resistance – thus, a Cleric may have the Magic Resistance advantage himself, and may easily heal Magic Resistant characters. However, I do not allow Christian Clerics to have the Magical Aptitude advantage.

Because the required disadvantages are so extensive, I allow Christian Clerics to have a total of -50 points in disadvantages.

Clerical Investment Cost:

10 points. Optional: +5 / per level bonus, maximum 3 levels. (Note that this is cheaper than Magic recommends, because the precepts are demanding.)

Required Advantages and Skills:

If your clothing reveals your clerical status: 5-point Reputation (+1 from every Christian, always). This may not be required if the campaign is set in Cardiel – only in Megalos or Caithness are Christians overwhelmingly in the majority.

Literacy, plus Theology at IQ level, and Latin at IQ-1 (or higher). (Instead of the Literacy, Theology and Latin prerequisites, a Cleric may take the Blessed advantage and Strong Will.)

Required Disadvantages:

-15: Pacifism: Self-Defense Only.
-15: Vow: Obey the five Church Precepts, which are:

1. Love God above all things. (Don't blaspheme, there is only one God, etc.)
2. Love everybody. (Forgive; don't injure; don't steal; etc.)
3. Strive to be Temperate, Just, Prudent, and Brave in the face of adversity.
4. Do not seek after material rewards; be generous in your alms-giving.
5. Try to be cheerful, that you may uplift the hearts of those around you!

Further Required Disadvantage: at least one of:

-5: Truthfulness;
-5: Vow: Chastity;
-5 to -15: Duty to Church;
-10 to -25: Poverty;
-15: Vow: Never refuse a request for aid;
-15: (Buy up to Full Pacifism);
-15 to -20: Sense of Duty;
(Or anything similar – check with the GM).

Powers are lost if any required disadvantage is broken, bought off, or gone against in any way. A month's penance is required to regain powers. This will usually involve praying, fasting, and possibly a pilgrimage.

Allowable Spells (none are mandatory):

p. 43-45 All Healing Spells
p. 21* Beast-Soother
p. 25* Resist Pain
p. 25Truthsayer
p. 27# Exorcism (P = Sense Spirit)
p. 30Purify Air
p. 35Purify Water
p. 42Purify Food
p. 46# Dispel Illusion (P = Know Illusion)
p. 47# Dispel Creation (P = Dispel Illusion)
p. 47Know Illusion
p. 47Aura
p. 53Dispel Magic
p. 53# Pentagram (P = Remove Curse)
p. 54* Bless
p. 54# Remove Curse (P = Dispel Magic)
p. 56* Bravery
p. 63% Death Vision
p. 63Sense Spirit
p. 64# Turn Zombie (P = Sense Spirit)
p. 64# Banish (P = Exorcism)
p. 66Heal Plant
p. 66Bless Plant

* = Clerical Investment is the only prerequisite needed for a cleric.

# = Alternate prerequisite (P = ...). For Christian clerics, this replaces the prerequisites given in the rules.

% = Powers are lost if Death Vision is used on an unwilling subject.

If there is no symbol, follow the prerequisites in Magic, substituting Clerical Investment for any level of Magery. Learned prerequisite spells not on the list above can be recognized (when cast by others), but only cast by the Cleric in a high-mana zone.

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