Praying for Power

See also Compiled Priest Spells

Each divine caster (Ranger, Paladin, or Priest) must have his or her own deity. It is then assumed that prior to becoming a first level divine caster, the player character received a course of instruction, served a novitiate, and has thoroughly read and committed to memory the teachings of and prayers to his or her chosen deity, so that the character is dedicated to this deity and is able to perform as a divine caster thereof. It is this background which enables the divine caster character to use first level spells.

Furthermore, continued service and activity on behalf of the player character’s deity empower him or her to use second and third level spells as well, but thereafter another agency must be called upon.

Divine spells of fourth and fifth level are obtained through the aid of supernatural servants of the divine caster’s deity. That is, through meditation and prayer, the divine caster’s needs are understood and the proper spells are given to him or her by the minions of the deity.

Divine spells of sixth and seventh levels (and, more rarely, Quest level spells) are granted by direct communication from the deity itself. There is no intermediary in this case, and the divine caster has a direct channel to the deity, from whom he or she receives the special power to cast the given spells of these levels.

Lesser divine casters, then, draw only upon their education, training, and experience to gain spells, just as higher divine casters do when they renew their first and second level spells. In order to gain middling level spells, however, higher divine casters must reach intermediaries of their respective deities in order to have these powers bestowed upon them from the plane of their deity. When divine casters become very great, they must petition their deity personally in order to receive the powerful words which enable the casting of spells of the highest level. It is obvious, therefore, that divine casters wishing to use fourth or higher level spells must be in good standing.

If they have not been faithful to their teachings, followed the aims of their deity, contributed freely to the cause, and otherwise acted according to the tenets of their faith, it becomes unlikely that they will receive intermediary aid unless they make proper atonement and sacrifice. There can be no question that such divine casters must be absolutely exemplary in their activities, expressions, and attitudes if they dare to contact their deity directly! In the former case, where the unfaithful divine caster desires fourth through sixth level spells, the minions (angels, demi-gods, or whatever) will be likely to require the divine caster to spend 2-8 days in prayer, fasting, and contemplation of his or her transgressions, making whatever sacrifices and atonement are necessary thereafter, before freely granting those powers once again. Sacrifice and atonement will probably be left to the discretion of the divine caster, and it is possible that the minions of the deity will empower him or her with spells to complete these steps, but the divine caster had better do the correct thing, or face the consequences.

Casting Spells Beyond the Normal Allotment

There come times in every holy-man’s life when he has exhausted his spells but still finds himself in need of a miracle. While every priest learns the basics of spellcasting and the prayers necessary for their daily lives, this training does not necessarily cover the proper forms for calling on one’s god in times of duress. The deep faith and esoteric mysteries involved in casting spells beyond the priest’s normal allotment are not part of these basic teachings.

When a priest has has need of spells beyond the normal daily allotment of those he has prepared, he may cast additional spells in either of the following ways:

Ceremonial Magic: This requires the priest to have the Ceremony non-weapon proficiency. A priest cannot cast a ceremonial spell of a level higher than he could otherwise prepare (thus a 3rd level priest can cast ceremonies of up to 2nd level). A spell cast using ceremonial magic requires the participation of the priest, plus a number of additional faithful worshipers of his god equal to the spell’s level (thus a 1st-level ceremonial spell requires the priest plus one celebrant). The priest must supply any normal material components for the spell, plus 1 stick of temple incense per level of the spell.

The casting time for a ceremonial spell is equal to the spell’s normal casting time, plus a number of turns equal to three plus the spell’s level (thus even a 1st-level ceremony requires 40 minutes to cast). At the end of this time, the priest should roll a Ceremony proficiency check. If the check is successful, the spell goes off normally. If the check fails, the priest may extend the ritual, making a second check with a -1 penalty to his score after an additional 3 turns (and consuming an additional stick of incense). The priest may keep retrying until such time as he succeeds, gives up, or his effective Ceremony score reaches 1.

A Shaman can use the Shamanic Rituals proficiency in place of the Ceremony proficiency for this purpose. This works as described above, but instead of burning incense, the Shaman must sacrifice an animal or animals with a total value of 5 gold pieces times the square of the spell level (such as a calf or ram for a 1st-level spell, a bull for a 2nd-level spell, or a prized war-horse for a 7th-level spell). Extending the ritual to retry a failed check does not require additional animal sacrifices.

Ceremonial magic, while slow and potentially expensive, is generally the most reliable method of expanding a priest’s repertoire, as there are no consequences for failure.

Fervent Prayer: When the priest does not have the time for extended ceremonies—he needs a miracle NOW—only his fervent prayers can save him. This may only be attempted when the priest has exhausted those spells normally granted to him by his god (he may have no spells remaining). The priest, calling on a miracle, may pray for any spell of any level (even those he normally could not cast) from those spheres granted by his god.

Praying for additional spells takes 1 minute (1 full round), during which the priest can take no other actions, and requires a Prayer or Zeal proficiency check. This check is made with a penalty to the priest’s proficiency score equal to the level of the spell he is requesting (-10 for Quest level spells), plus a cumulative -1 penalty for each time he has prayed for additional power in the last 24 hours. If the check succeeds, his god (or an appropriate intercessor) grants the priest knowledge of one spell of the selected level from among those spheres normally available to him. This spell remains until the next time the priest prays to regain his normal allotment of spells, and may be cast normally. The priest may not pray for another such miracle until the current one has been cast.

If the check fails, the priest’s prayer has been heard, but is granted, not by his god, but by some being inimical to his deity’s plans (a petty god feeling particularly petty, some minor devil or demon, or even a rival deity). The priest gains the spell being requested, but must roll 1d20 on the Chaos Reigns table when he goes casts it. Any effects of this unwanted intervention occur immediately before the spell effects are realized.

If the priest rolls a natural 20 on his proficiency check, his attempt to communicate with his god has awakened and angered one of those beings that dwell in the spaces between the known planes of reality. He does not receive the spell in question, and must roll 1d20 on the That Which Should Not Be table. The effects of this breach of the cosmic fabric occur immediately.

Praying for Power

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