Spiritual Proficiencies

Spiritual Proficiencies Slots Ability Modifier Prerequisites
Alms 1 Appearance 0
Burial Customs 1 Knowledge 0
Ceremony 1 Intuition 0 Religion.
Fasting 1 Health -1
Inquisitor (specify) 2 Willpower 0 Religion.
Occult Lore 1 Knowledge -3
Omen Reading 1 Intuition -2
Prayer 2 Willpower 0 Religion.
Religion 1 Intuition 0
Sacred Legends (specify) 1 Knowledge -2
Shamanic Rituals 1 Willpower 0
Spirit Lore 2 Appearance -4
Vision Quest 2 Willpower -3 Religion.
Zeal 2 Willpower -3 Religion.

Alms: Not dissimilar from Begging, some orders of priests rely on the charity of others for their support and livelihood. A character with this proficiency is able to find food, shelter, and clothing in return for the benefit of his wisdom and a blessing or two for his hosts. The quality of the charity the priest finds may vary widely, depending on the wealth of his prospective hosts, their piety and their recognition of his deity, and the way the priest presents himself. Generally, if there’s shelter to be had, the priest can make use of it, but obtaining food or clothing for his companions may require a proficiency check at the DM’s discretion.

Burial Customs: The character understands a range of methods for preparing, preserving, and disposing of the dead. It allows a character to actually assume the role of a mortician. The character can prepare the dead and perform funerals after the fashion of his own homeland and religion automatically.

This proficiency is broad, and many cultures share similarities. Therefore, with a -3 modifier to Knowledge, the character can try a proficiency check to understand and properly perform burial rituals of either another race/culture or another religion. He may also, by examining an interred corpse or a place of burial, identify what religion or culture it belonged to.

Ceremony: A character with this proficiency is well-versed in the various rites, observances, and ceremonies of his faith. He is qualified to oversee normal worship or devotions, but conducting the rites in difficult or unusual situations may require a proficiency check. This proficiency also includes familiarity with ceremonies such as weddings, namings, and funerals, and the character can perform these services appropriately.

The Ceremony proficiency can also be used by a Priest to cast spells beyond his normal allotment through the use of extended rituals. See Praying for Power for details.

Fasting: This proficiency allows a character to go long periods without food, though liquids are still necessary. Any amount of time under one week spent fasting causes no ill effects to the character. At one week, a proficiency check is required. Success means that the character suffers no ill effects and loses 5 lbs. Failure means that the character temporarily loses one point each from Stamina, Muscle, Health, and Fitness as well as 10 lbs. The character’s weight will not fall below 15 lbs per foot of height.

At the end of each week after the first, the character must make a proficiency check with a cumulative -1 penalty. If any of the character’s Ability Scores fall below 1, the character dies. Once the character is able or decides to end the fast, he must begin to eat slowly. Each day following the fast, the character recovers one point each of Stamina, Muscle, Health, and Fitness, and may only eat normally once fully recovered. Lost weight may be regained after this time if desired.

This skill is most often used in religious and mystical situations. Any character who chooses to fast before performing some sort of religious or mystical activity gains a +2 bonus (where applicable) per week spent fasting.

Inquisitor: Inquisitors are experts in arguing the canon of their faith with others. They are well-versed in every doctrine of their faith, and know every rule and observance by heart. A priest with this proficiency can cross-examine a subject who claims to follow the priest’s religion, to see if it is truly so.

Whereas the religion proficiency grants knowledge of other religions, the inquisitor proficiency focuses on one religion only, and all of its tenets, history, and legends. This includes an understanding, though not an acceptance, of any sects, splinter faiths, or heresies of that religion.

Occult Lore: The Occult Lore proficiency gives the PC a wide-ranging knowledge of the nature of the dark powers of the world, and the charms and rituals that can hold them at bay. A priest with this proficiency gains minor access to the Protection sphere of spells, even if he is otherwise not entitled to it, and gains major access to it if he already has minor access. Other characters gain knowledge of which spells and magical items can fend off which monsters.

With a successful proficiently check, the character knows how to bribe, avert, or ward off a particular type of supernatural creature. He knows the weaknesses and abilities of most supernatural monsters. He also knows their customs, their likes and dislikes, and their enemies, improving the PC’s Bribery checks, Haggling checks, and reaction rolls by +2.

With powerful creatures of darkness (more HD than the PC has levels), the DM should roll the skill check. The skill still provides the nature of their weakness, if any—but on a failed check the supposed knowledge is completely false, and perhaps even makes the creature stronger.

Occult Lore deals with truly esoteric threats, and can provide information on all manner of supernatural monsters excluding: dragons, undead, and those native to other planes. It provides no benefit when dealing with mundane plants, animals, or humanoids.

Omen Reading: There are hundreds of myths and superstitions about the art of divination, or predicting the future through the reading of signs or indications. A character with this proficiency is skilled in a form of divination and knows the proper ceremonies and observances to use in order to obtain a valid reading. He is also familiar with the various messages or indications that characterize a form of divination. Omen readers use dozens of different methods for their auguries, including astrology, numerology, reading palms, examining animal entrails, casting bones, dice, or runes, and burning incense to observe the smoke, just to name a few. The exact nature of the character’s expertise is up to the player.

To use this proficiency, the omen reader phrases a general question about a course of action, such as “Is this a good day to start our journey?,” “Should we try to track the orcs to their lair, or wait for their next raid?,” or “When will the dragon return?” The DM then makes a proficiency check in secret; if the character fails, the DM can tell him that the signs were inconclusive, or make up a false answer for a spectacular failure (a natural 20 on the check, for instance). If the omen reader succeeds, the DM can give the character a vague answer based on his assessment of the situation. An omen is usually good, bad, or inconclusive, although an answer of “a day or two” or “proceed, but with caution” is acceptable as well. Omens aren’t guaranteed; if a party ignores a bad omen, they might succeed in their task anyway. An omen is nothing more than the DM’s best guess about a course of action.

Performing the ceremony of reading an omen requires an hour or more. Special tools or supplies, such as runesticks, may be necessary depending on the character’s favored form of omen reading. Some superstitious or primitive cultures may place a great deal of weight on omen reading, and a skilled diviner may be held in high regard by these people.

Prayer: A character with this proficiency can call upon the power of their faith to heal himself or his allies. After 1 round of undisturbed prayer, a successful check allows the character to cure 1d4 points of damage to a single creature. This healing can be applied to multiple targets by taking a -2 penalty on the check for each creature beyond the first to be cured, with a single check applying to all creatures to be affected. Once this ability has been used successfully, it cannot be attempted again for 8 hours.

In addition, the prayer proficiency can be used to call on a number of the Petty Gods worshiped in the Realms. Characters, of any class, may pray to a petty god (even if they worship a major deity), invoking their blessings by making a Prayer proficiency check. This use of the Prayer proficiency does not count against the limit of using prayer only once every 8 hours, but only works in those situations or areas over which the petty god holds sway (subject to DM discretion).

Priests with the Prayer proficiency may also use it in times of duress to pray for additional spells beyond his normal allotment (see Praying for Power for details).

Religion: Characters with religion proficiency know the common beliefs and cults of their homeland and the major faiths of neighboring regions. Ordinary information (type of religious symbol used, basic attitude of the faith, etc.) of any religion is automatically known by the character. Special information, such as how the clergy is organized or the significance of particular holy days, requires a proficiency check.

Additional proficiencies spent on religion enable the character either to expand his general knowledge into more distant regions (using the guidelines above) or to gain precise information about a single faith. If the latter is chosen, the character is no longer required to make a proficiency check when answering questions about that religion. Such expert knowledge is highly useful to priest characters when dealing with their own and rival faiths.

Sacred Legends: A character with this proficiency is well-learned in the myths, stories, and tales of a single religion. This knowledge is not the same as the theology and practices that are gained with the Religion proficiency. The character, when confronted with a question or evidence of the faith’s past, may roll this proficiency to recall a specific event or legend that has relevance. For instance, when an ancient idol is discovered, a successful proficiency check might reveal that the statue resembles a long-forgotten paramour of the goddess, and the character could retell some of the important stories about them.

Shamanic Rituals: This proficiency allows a Shaman to cast spells that require ritual sacrifice (such as the create sanctuary spell, among others). Any time such a spell is cast, the shaman must make a proficiency check. On a failed check, the spell also fails.

In addition, a shaman versed in these rituals can make a proficiency check when attempting to interact with or call a spirit. A successful proficiency check (with an appropriate sacrifice), grants the Shaman a +10% bonus to his chance to call a spirit. A second proficiency check (and sacrifice) improves the spirits reactions towards the shaman by one step. Successful performance of a ritual sacrifice is often the only way to appease a spirit that the shaman has angered and made hostile in some way.

Non-Shamans who take this proficiency gain an understanding of shamanic spirit magic. A successful proficiency check allows them to identify a ritual spell as it is being cast, or to identify a spell-like ability as being granted by spirits.

A Shaman can also use this proficiency to cast spells beyond his normal allotment. See Praying for Power for details.

Spirit Lore: A character with the spirit lore proficiency knows methods to contact spirits, deities, and extraplanar powers. He can more easily communicate with these beings, gaining a +5% chance of success when attempting divinatory spells such as augury, contact other plane, commune, or speak with dead.

This ability may also be used to contact the dead without resorting to magic. Using pyromancy (divination by candles), tarot cards, or other mystical rites, the character can ask questions of these powers as if using a summon spirit or speak with dead spell. No body is required for this and there is no applicable time limit.

Before beginning the contact, the character must prepare for half an hour, making sure the area has no spirits around to confuse the readings. Contact with the dead is established if a successful check is made. A failed roll reveals nothing. If the roll is 10 or more under the number needed, a specific spirit can be contacted. A 20 reveals incorrect information, perhaps from an evil spirit. Individuals with the spirit sense psionic ability gain a +2 bonus on the check.

The summoner can ask questions of these spirits, but the spirits are not obligated to answer. If annoyed, the spirits can sever the link at will. The questioner can ask 1-3 questions, plus one for each additional slot spent on this proficiency. Contact may not be made more than once per day, and is not advisable more than once per week, as the dead do not appreciate being disturbed and may take revenge.

Vision Quest: A character with this proficiency may undertake a vision quest to seek an answer to any question. This vision quest may be performed no more than once per week and involves elaborate rituals and special materials, both of which are a reflection of the religious beliefs of the seeker. The exact contents of these rituals should be discussed with the DM at the time this proficiency is chosen. Usually it involves hours of prayer and chanting, sometimes with a musical instrument, and sometimes a small sacrifice is required. The time allotted to this activity should not exceed six hours.

At the end of the rituals, a secret proficiency check should be made by the DM. A natural 20 means that whatever god or spirit the character was trying to contact is angered at his presumption and sends him a false vision. Otherwise a failed roll indicates that nothing happens. Success means that the character receives some sort of vision, usually cryptic, which upon reflection, should provide enlightenment about the subject of the question.

Fasting before a vision quest is a helpful way to prepare and grants a +1 bonus for every three days spent fasting.

Zeal: A character with this proficiency can spend a round to imbue himself with holy zeal, giving him a single-minded ability to attack and advance. A successful check creates such zeal for 3 rounds. During that time, the character gains a +3 bonus on attack rolls and armor class, and deals an additional +1d6 damage. While the effects of zeal last, the character cannot retreat or withdraw from combat so long as any foe remains in sight. After zeal has been used successfully, it cannot be attempted again for 1 turn (10 rounds).

Spiritual Proficiencies

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