Faith spells

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Faith spells

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:30 pm

So...7 or so years ago I wrote a list of Celebrant Only spells that were published in a supplement called "Deities and Divinities".

These kind of disappeared and every so often I would rewrite them, post them up for people to discuss and then nothing would happen.

Well, now that I'm in charge, I thought I'd try bringing them back. This was the last version I wrote in 2009:

Where there is a choice of affecting Holy/Unholy creatures we expect a modicum of common sense: a good way is to base this on whether your character is more likely to buy Purge the Unclean or Disgust the Pure.

Spells marked * can be cast with essence equalling your faith x 4

Faith 1

Desecrate
Essence Cost: 1-20*
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch
Where most Celebrant spells imbue the power of a chosen deity, this spell is used to remove them. It can also be used on people/items/places not affected by such spells with varying levels of success at referee’s discretion.

Eternal Rest
Essence Cost: 1-20*
Duration: Until dispelled/desecrated
Range: Touch
May only be cast on a dead body. Prevents a soul from re-entering the body (e.g being raised as Undead or resurrected).

Holy/Unholy Sanctuary
Essence Cost: 1-20*
Duration: 1 hour
Range: 20’ line/circle/room
By marking a line on the ground, the caster creates a divine aura which Holy/Unholy creatures may not be able to pass.

Sanctify
Essence Cost: 1-20*
Duration: Until dispelled/ desecrated
Range: Touch
This spell dedicates an item in the name of a God. This may then prevent it from being touched by any Holy/Unholy creature based on the amount of essence used.

Characters with faith in gods with very different attitudes may feel slight discomfort if they touch it (or other ill-effects at ref’s discretion).

Supplication
Essence Cost: 1-∞
Duration: Instant
Range: N/A
As a show of your faith, this spell allows you to give as much essence to your chosen deity as you wish asking for nothing in return. Anyone present may choose to willingly give their essence to your deity also. It is possible that your deity may grant you aid in return.


Faith 2

Divine Protection
Essence Cost: 3
Duration: Until used or until sunrise
Range: Touch
The next time the recipient is hit by a physical weapon the blow causes no damage as it is somehow turned aside.

Redemption (Stopping Effect)
Essence Cost: 1 immediately then 1 every 10 seconds
Duration: 10 seconds per point of damage, up to a maximum of one minute.
Range: Line of Sight up to 10’

This spell holds a single unnatural creature (e.g. Undead/Demon) and for each 10 seconds of continuous chant will cause 1 point of damage to the creature and will use 1 point of essence.

The spell is halted if the chant is broken, if someone passes between the caster and target or if the caster moves (except to speak). It is also broken if the caster or target takes any other damage.

Sacrifice
Essence Cost: 3
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch
You offer up a sacrifice to your chosen deity. The form of this sacrifice may take any form you choose though your deity may not accept it. It is possible that your deity may grant you aid in return.

Searing Touch (Domination**)
Essence Cost: 3
Duration: Until contact is broken.
Range: Touch
The Celebrant channels the power of their God through their hands or Holy Symbol to burn the infidel (do not strike someone with your Holy Symbol!)

Although this causes no damage, the target is wracked with excruciating pain. This pain continues until contact is broken.

**Both caster and target may add their respective Faith levels to their Soul to determine whether this spell takes effect.


Faith 3

Holy/Unholy Warrior
Essence Cost: 6
Duration: 5 minutes
Range: Touch
The target of this spell receives an extra three points per location and gains an extra point of magical damage with whatever weapons they are using.

The target of this spell must be a follower of the same god as the caster and the caster cannot cast it on themselves.

Prayer
Essence Cost: 6
Duration: As long as you wish
Range: Self
Although anyone can pray, by expending essence in the process there is more likelihood of receiving some benefit. You may talk to your deity, ask them for assistance, question them or simply ask for guidance. Even getting a response is completely at referee’s discretion!

Resurrection
Essence Cost: 10
Duration: Ritual
Range: Circle
According to the Book of Vitaea, only a Celebrant of Legendary reknown can harness the powers of Resurrection whereby a ritual is performed sacrificing appropriate skill, essence and soul to accomplish it. This is the spell to open said circle.


Faith 4

Divine Intervention
Essence Cost: 10
Duration: Until sunrise
Range: Touch
The next time the recipient is hit by an unfriendly spell, it takes no effect as it is somehow deflected.

Grant Faith
Essence Cost: 10 + 1 rank of faith
Duration: The Whim of the Gods
Range: Touch
This allows the celebrant to give away a rank of his own faith to another person who either has no faith or faith in the same deity. The caster drops a rank in faith and the recipient gains it. If a particularly good choice is made, the gods may reward the caster by allowing him to keep his rank of faith. If a bad choice is made, the recipient may quickly lose the rank of faith!

Faith 5

Fate

Essence Cost: 20
Duration: Until used
Range: Touch
This spell enables the caster to choose a single character to be Fated. A character blessed in this way is ordained for greater things and is actually able to cheat death if slain!

If the character is killed, by some miracle, they will be restored to life. Maybe the wound wasn't as bad as it looked, or the character was only hit by the flat of the blade. Perhaps the vocals for the spell weren’t correct or some part of their clothing stemmed the flow of blood. For whatever reason, they cheat death and are restored to life after 5 minutes of unconsciousness.

Any wounds received will still need treating but won't be life threatening. Although this spell lasts until used, a single character may only have one person ‘fated’ at a time and the essence used to case the spell are not available until the spell is actually used. For this reason the celebrant is usually very careful about whom they grant this exceptional boon to and it is only ever given to those the priest views as ‘worthy’, often someone to whom they owe their life or another great favour.

It may NEVER be cast by the priest on himself and a single character can only ever be Fated once in their life.


I'm thinking of getting rid of a couple (particularly at the early end of the spectrum) but how do people feel about them generally?
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:43 pm

The idea is that you would acquire these spells once you had the appropriate Faith AND at least one circle of magic of that level.

(e.g. someone with Faith 2 able to cast circle 2 of any sphere would acquire circle 2 faith spells. They would only acquire circle 3 faith spells when they have gained Faith 3 and learned circle 3 in a sphere)
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Huw » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:32 pm

First impression is that a lot of them seem innapropriate for certain types of celebrant...i.e a celebrant of Yashmanar being able to cast Holy Warrior on someone. Or Fate.
Is it just leave it up to the players to decide what spell from this list are appropriate for their character/god?
Can these abilites be nullified by ref discretion - i.e "Wait, why does Onlurin care about undead?"

Might it work better to - like a ritual ability - simply say that a celebrant can perorm a rite that may or may not have an effect, this take into account sacrifices, player power level, appropriateness to gods invoked, faith rank and quality of roleplay in the rite?

Rather than "The rules say I can do X (even though it doesn't seem appropriate to my faith)"
It becomes "I did X, was it good enough to have an effect?" - gives more freedom to both players and monsters, and becomes about roleplay over abilities.




Divine Protection seems like having a limited Supreme Supernatural Dodge, but for a much smaller essence cost, and no threshold limit...




Also clarifications:

Are they encumbered abilties?

Difference in casting them if a Celebrant/Arch Celebrant?
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Will » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:35 pm

Sexy times, always loved these
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:42 pm

First impression is that a lot of them seem innapropriate for certain types of celebrant...i.e a celebrant of Yashmanar being able to cast Holy Warrior on someone. Or Fate.
Is it just leave it up to the players to decide what spell from this list are appropriate for their character/god?


Pretty much. Basically currently a good celebrant can buy Light and Life and Meta whether that is appropriate to their god or not: neither have anything to do with Gerethenax or Eremethal (for example) they're just a class feature.

Might it work better to - like a ritual ability - simply say that a celebrant can perorm a rite that may or may not have an effect, this take into account sacrifices, player power level, appropriateness to gods invoked, faith rank and quality of roleplay in the rite?


How does this differ from a ritual?

Basically there are a lot of things in there to stimulate roleplay and give people ideas. Anyone can pray, give up essence etc: this just reminds people they can do so and gives some structure.

Divine Protection seems like having a limited Supreme Supernatural Dodge, but for a much smaller essence cost, and no threshold limit..


That's exactly what it is. It costs less as it is set off by the next unfriendly spell no matter what. It might be level 1, it might be level 20.
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:44 pm

Any goodly Celebrant can buy "Turn the Unclean" whether they are a follower of Yashmanar, Onlurin, Gerethenax, Danahil or whatever.

These are something akin to an extension of that.
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Will » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:49 pm

Perhaps just use best judgement and if you us a spell inappropriate to your God you will lose faith?
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Luke » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:03 pm

My instant reaction is AWESOME.
My next is that most of the spells like Prayer, Supplication, Sacrifice should be roleplayed and don't require vague rules. I have 5 essence left, I pray to my god, because I didn't have six it's not legitimate.

Basically I love HoP because it has such an interactive referee team and magic is this unchained ritual-esque, unpredictable entity which we think we understand ''must be balanced, sacrifice must be relative to goal'' but really we fuck it up.

TLDR; adding rules where rules aren't needed.
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:10 pm

That's fair. I added it to give some guidance as to what is possible: it's very, very loose and doesn't stop people praying (as pointed out). It's just I've seen a lot of Celebrants (and others with Faith) who never pray.

Also...there are times when refs are not around to witness a prayer and a player doesn't want to fetch a ref to witness their awezum rollplay™, however if they're spending essence doing so then they feel more comfortable summoning one.
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Luke » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:33 pm

Very true, I agree with that last point a lot actually. What I don't want to encourage is a sense of entitlement. I SPENT 10 ESSENCE I WANT 10 ESSENCE WORTH OF SPELLS WHAT I CAN'T CAST JUST CUZ.

Faith and divine intervention in HoP is special because we as players have little leash on it. We feel like we did good. Maybe it's just personally but I think adding rules and essence can detract from that a little...
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:46 pm

Good points (both from you and Huw)

I'll go back to the drawing board and see what I can come up with.
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Will » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:54 pm

Yeah, I mean rules can be unnecessary, but ultimately so long as they give a route for players to do extra cool stuff and aren't used to beat people over the head then go go!
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Hatsuo1980 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:45 am

The feel of what this is trying to achieve feels right. Whether the current form is or isn't shouldn't be the debate (that's why we hash out the specifics) but how do we feel about the general concept of a set of spells for celebrants only that they have, basically, earned through good roleplay?
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Huw » Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:14 am

Huw:

First impression is that a lot of them seem innapropriate for certain types of celebrant...i.e a celebrant of Yashmanar being able to cast Holy Warrior on someone. Or Fate.
Is it just leave it up to the players to decide what spell from this list are appropriate for their character/god?

Ben:

Pretty much. Basically currently a good celebrant can buy Light and Life and Meta whether that is appropriate to their god or not: neither have anything to do with Gerethenax or Eremethal (for example) they're just a class feature.


My worry is that these rules are open to the "Death Of A Thousand Justifications":

Example: Why does Lavelas grant his celebrant the ability to cage undead via Redemption? Because his (for the sake of argument Evil) follower is under attack by undead! Never mind that Lavelas has no beef with undead usually. A clever player can justify a lot of these abilities whenever it suits their purposes.

What the God stands for and what is appropriate for their faith might - though not necessarily - get lost or watered down in "I'M A CELEBRANT, THE RULES SAY I CAN DO X"



The rites I was talking about area way for refs to have a say in what's appropriate for that God - if the player thinks that their God should grant some ability or whatever, they should say what and why in the rite. If they didn't adequately explain, to the ref, in the rite, why God X would do Y, then the rite fails or works differently to the the player hoped.
It also gives a mechanism for the ref to "interpret" the consequences of player actions, which enhances events...

Ben: How does this differ from a ritual?


Fundamentally, it's the same. Here's a way I can see it working: "Open Ritual Circle" is a magic ability that is open to a player once they have Circle 4 in a sphere of magic.
"Divine Rite" is a Celebrant/Arch Celebrant-only ability that is dependant on thier faith in the God invoked: open to all Celebrant/Arch Celebrants and is affected by the faith of the god invoked. (If you like maths: multiply ritual sacrifices by 1.n where n is the character's faith in the god(s) they invoke.)

Ben: there are times when refs are not around to witness a prayer and a player doesn't want to fetch a ref to witness their awezum rollplay™, however if they're spending essence doing so then they feel more comfortable summoning one.


Faith abilites. A specific God gives a specific ability to their follower that is appropriate, the player doesn't need a ref around to use that ability. If they want a straight-up ability that isn't a Faith ability then they can bring it up between events, to the uniques team, on the HoP Rules forum, whatever...


Ben: I added it to give some guidance as to what is possible...I've seen a lot of Celebrants (and others with Faith) who never pray.


A good point, it's a good thing to give people ideas. But as Luke said...adding rules where rules aren't [necessarily] necessary. Make celebrants pray, rather than just giving them abilities. Though definately give them ideas for abilities and things to pray for...

Hatsuo1980: The feel of what this is trying to achieve feels right.


I agree, though I might not come across that way. I especially like the idea of (one or more) Celebrant/Arch Celebrant-only abilities, thus making Celebrants/Arch Celebrants more appealing.
I just think a "Divine Rite" ability is more freeform, encourages more roleplay and is less open to abuse than a list of codified spells.
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Re: Faith spells

Postby Luke » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:59 am

From a class balance point of view it is worth mentioning that celebrants (along with mages) are pretty strong and are played an awful lot. Their vows already give them a ton of free stuff so maybe giving them lots of free spells is making them too good. Obviously it depends on the details.

For flavour I'd love to see these or similar put in, but I'd also really love to see special mage spells, and special druid/ranger spells. I think it's a real step towards defining character classes and one away from the kind of blur that sometimes comes through of: ''Fighter. Wizard. Skirmisher."

This is very much an opinion and one I doubt every body shares but at times it can feel like a 3 class system.
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