Spells of Legend

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Prime_Evil
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:46 am

Here's another quick idea for a new Divine spell that came to me this morning:

Dedication
Area (Special), Duration (Special), Rank Priest
This spell dedicates a significant public event (such as a seasonal festival or other important ceremony) to the caster's deity. For the duration of the event, all followers of the caster's faith who are within a radius of 1 km receive a +5% bonus to their Pact skill and / or Piety skill per Magnitude of the spell (up to a maximum of +25%). If participants leave the radius of the spell, this bonus fades away in 1d6 rounds. The maximum duration of this spell is one day per point of magnitude. This spell cannot be recovered or released for as long as it is maintained. In addition, the bonus provided by this spell cannot be stacked with any other spell-effect bonuses.This spell can only be cast during events that have a genuine cultural or religious significance to the local community and that it would be appropriate to dedicate to the caster's deity (GM's discretion).

Example: At the beginning of the local harvest festival, a priestess of the earth goddess performs a dedication ceremony that sanctifies the event to her faith. For the three day duration of the festival, all of the worshippers of the harvest goddess in the village receive a +15% bonus to their Pact and Piety skills, reflecting the favour of their goddess.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Bifford » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:18 am

Dedication I like! I might give that to my Witch wise-man Corinth :)

Can you think of any that the Gypsy group be able to do that our Carter would benefit from? She already has one to help pull things (used to pull stubborn animals into a walk, or a cart out of a rut etc). And of course the glamour one form the rulebook to make trinkets look better than they are. But I'd like something she can learn in her adventure that she may have seen the Gypsy's do at some point and which would be beneficial to her. (she has a pack mule atm but no cart of her own).


Hmm, and also, a spell that can be taught and learnt that allows a caster to see the traces of a magical leyline. That one could prove useful to my lot, but they'd have to learn it somehow....ooh, actually that works! I'm planning on having them come across a "long-lost" standing stone which they will only find if they persevere through certain things (so may not actually find at all LOL) and it could be an inscription on there which our Shaman might want to memorize!

So...lets run on that.....

Detect Leyline
Instant, Self, Duration (Special), Rank Acolyte

This spell will allow the caster to see the lands natural magical routes, known as Leylines, and therefore be able to utilise them easier. These routes, if used properly can help make a spell easier to cast, depending on the leylines power. A weak leyline can add 5% to the chance to cast, up to a maximum of 20% on one of the most powerful (and rare) leylines (GMs discretion). Duration is 5 minutes per magnitude of the spell and the user must be an Acolyte or higher to cast this. Priests may also cast this spell on a object, such as a ring or necklace, however this would make the power permanently on which is ill advised. A much safer option would be to cast it on the precious stone set within that ring or necklace, which fact means the spell is only activated when the stone itself is touched.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:29 pm

I was thinking of adding a Dowsing spell under Common Magic that would enable casters to locate Ley Lines (amongst other things). Mind you, I would also allow Adventurers to locate potential ley lines using nothing more than Lore (Cartography) and a ruler!
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Bifford » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:39 pm

Prime_Evil wrote:I was thinking of adding a Dowsing spell under Common Magic that would enable casters to locate Ley Lines (amongst other things). Mind you, I would also allow Adventurers to locate potential ley lines using nothing more than Lore (Cartography) and a ruler!

I like my version better! :D hehehe
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby soltakss » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:56 pm

alex_greene wrote:An excommunicate's Piety score is permanently reset to zero and dedicated POW returned to him.
I had several very long and detailed conversations with Paolo regarding this when looking at Merrie England Christianity. He made the very good point that Excommunication in that context did not remove your rank or status - an Excommunicated Bishop is still officially a Bishop, for example. So, we decided that it did not remove any of the Blessings (Divine Spells), Dedicated POW or Piety. What it did was to force the character to look for another congregation or change things so that he could be acepted back into the Church. This happened lots of times historically, when someone was Excommunicated several times. They could also join another church with the same status, so a Excommunicated Catholic Bishop could join an Orthodox congregation as a Bishop.
alex_greene wrote:Under Anathema, this condition could be reversed if the anathematised sinner completes a quest for his deity. Until then, the sign stays, the Piety score stays and there's nowt he can do about regaining dedicated POW or casting Divine spells - but he stays in the fold, even if as a black sheep.
So, that would better match the real-world Excommunication described above, apart from temporarily losing the spells.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:22 pm

Bifford wrote:I like my version better! :D hehehe
Fair enough! Which brings up the next question - what are the effects of ley lines in your campaign?
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:47 pm

soltakss wrote:I had several very long and detailed conversations with Paolo regarding this when looking at Merrie England Christianity. He made the very good point that Excommunication in that context did not remove your rank or status - an Excommunicated Bishop is still officially a Bishop, for example. So, we decided that it did not remove any of the Blessings (Divine Spells), Dedicated POW or Piety. What it did was to force the character to look for another congregation or change things so that he could be acepted back into the Church. This happened lots of times historically, when someone was Excommunicated several times. They could also join another church with the same status, so a Excommunicated Catholic Bishop could join an Orthodox congregation as a Bishop
Very interesting. Given the theological distinction between excommunicating somebody and declaring them anathema, I've tended to treat anathema primarily as a social punishment - the target is effectively expelled from the religious community until they atone for their crimes. By contrast, the excommunicate spell in the core rulebook prohibits the victim from exercising any of the powers normally available to a follower of the cult.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Fonso » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:35 pm

Two aspects to consider, I think, is determining from where the spells came and the role of the cult at obtaining magic.

Is the divinity active or pasive in respect to casting magic?

If the divinity who determines whether or not to give the spells, I don´t think he server the access to a faithful follower because another cultist ask for it. In these circumstances, the god gains nothing doing that except losing a follower. It is the god himself who determines whether or not the follower deserves spells. If not deserve it, will reduce the Pact skill and will deny the spells.
When the god is a passive source of spells that is accessed by humans, a spell could do cut the access to spells. But I don`t think it can reduce the strenght of the link between human and god represented by the Pact skill.

Can the faithful communicate with the divine without the intervention of the cult?

Yes, they can. Well, the excommunicated follower loses access to the advantages of belonging to an organization, but not to spells or powers. t's a social punishment, not a magical one.
If they can´t contact the divinity without the help of the cult, it's a severe punishment. Not only the target loses the social benefits, but also the magic.

Depending on the setting the effects of a spell like this can be very different. Or at least I think they should be.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby rust » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:45 pm

It might be interesting for some settings that a connection
between the religion and the state can turn an excommuni-
cation or anathema into much more than a religious prob-
lem.

For example, in the Holy Roman Empire it was automatically
followed by an Imperial Ban, a sentence most dangerous for
anyone without the strong power base of a ruler or high no-
ble.

To quote Wikipedia:
People under imperial ban, known as Geächtete (from about the 17th century, colloquially also as Vogelfreie, lit. "free as a bird"), lost all their rights and possessions. They were legally considered dead and anyone was allowed to rob, injure or kill them without legal consequences.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:54 pm

Hmmmm...it might simply be worth noting that in some societies, being placed under anathema by the dominant religion may lead to forfeiture of property and / or loss of social status. This is something that should be handled by roleplaying rather than game mechanics though.

It's interesting to consider the question of how cults might use divine magic to maintain internal discipline. Excommunication and Anathema are extreme punishments used for serious transgressions, but I am sure that there would also be a range of lesser punishments. Also, I imagine that different religions would have different views on those who stray from the teachings of the cult. Some religions place a heavy emphasis on doctrinal conformance, while are comfortable with a range of different interpretations of cult teachings. Even those religions that are fairly permissive will have some crimes that they consider serious enough to expel the transgressor from the community. This may include mundane crimes such as sexual assault or embezzlement as well as religious offenses such as summoning demons or creating undead servants.

For lesser crimes, I suspect that the cult would require the transgressor to perform some kind of penance before they will be granted absolution. Hehe...now you've got me thinking that there is room for a penance spell as well!
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:16 pm

Sorry for the delay, but here's the first draft of the Absolution spell - any feedback would be welcomed:

Absolution
Instant, Rank High priest, Touch

This spell grants the recipient divine forgiveness for any sins or crimes committed against a religion. It removes any penalties associated with these transgressions, including excommunication or anathema. If the recipient's Pact or Piety has been reduced due to a loss of standing with their deity, the lost points are immediately restored. Unlike the Atonement spell (q.v), the recipient does not need to take any actions to “earn” forgiveness. However, absolution can only be granted by a high priest of the religion (although the GM may also permit holy persons with a Piety above 100 to grant absolution). In order to benefit from the absolution, the recipient of this spell must demonstrate repentance for their past actions. The character must roll against Influence or Piety (their choice) to convince the deity that their contrition is genuine. An individual can only receive absolution once per year, so cult members who repeatedly violate the tenets of their faith cannot use this spell to escape the consequences of their actions.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby rust » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:41 pm

I think I would also demand a significant donation to the character's
religion (= the high priest who casts the Absolution spell), otherwise
it would seem too easy for the characters to ignore their religious du-
ties once per year.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:46 pm

rust wrote:I think I would also demand a significant donation to the character's
religion (= the high priest who casts the Absolution spell), otherwise
it would seem too easy for the characters to ignore their religious du-
ties once per year.
I thought about requiring the recipient to sacrifice a point of POW to the angry deity in order to show their sincerity when receiving Absolution, but figured that this price might be too steep.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:33 pm

I don't think so. Absolution should HURT, after all the PC did something REALLY BAD to offend their Cult and their God. It shouldn't be easy to get back into their good graces.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:48 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:I don't think so. Absolution should HURT, after all the PC did something REALLY BAD to offend their Cult and their God. It shouldn't be easy to get back into their good graces.
I suppose. My thinking was that the PC would dedicate an extra point of POW to their god in order to demonstrate their contrition. However, the PC wouldn't be able to use this point of Dedicated POW for Divine Magic - the god essentially "confiscates" it as payment. Note that this spell can only be cast by a high priest, who needs to intercede with the wrathful deity on behalf of the sinful PC. The character may also need to convince the High Priest of the Cult that it is worth placing their own status on the line by intervening on behalf of the supplicant.

The alternative to receiving absolution is to undergo atonement - rather than dedicating POW to the deity in order, a character must earn forgiveness by performing some significant task on behalf of the cult. I've struggled a bit with the wording of this spell because I want to emphasize that this isn't a "soft" option - it is expected that the required task will test the character to their limits.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Prime_Evil » Thu May 03, 2012 1:05 am

I've updated the manuscript with a number of the new spells discussed recently plus the Piety and Sanctity rules that I published in a different thread - you should be able to download the latest version using the links at the top of the thread. Feel free to use the material in this document for your own projects - all of it has been designated as Open Game Content.

If anybody has any feedback or suggestions, please let me know!
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu May 03, 2012 1:34 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby jwpacker » Fri May 04, 2012 3:21 pm

Thanks for the updated version. Just noticed, however, that the Table of Contents did not get updated...

I'm on a fence over the Boon spells being common magic. They seem like the sort of thing that you'd learn, and then you'd cast it Every. Single. Time. you went to do something that would find it of benefit. Unlike, say, a Bladesharp spell, where you might hold off until you decided that the combat warranted it - there's no stress you're under when you're forging a sword or cooking a meal or sewing a dress, if you follow me.

I'm tempted to make them either less broadly powerful, or perhaps make them take a significant amount of time to work... Heck, initially I was going to make them divine spells, so that your average joe would have to go back to the temple to recharge them after every use, making them something that you saved for important work.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Simulacrum » Fri May 04, 2012 3:46 pm

jwpacker wrote: I'm on a fence over the Boon spells being common magic. They seem like the sort of thing that you'd learn, and then you'd cast it Every. Single. Time. you went to do something that would find it of benefit. Unlike, say, a Bladesharp spell, where you might hold off until you decided that the combat warranted it - there's no stress you're under when you're forging a sword or cooking a meal or sewing a dress, if you follow me.

I'm tempted to make them either less broadly powerful, or perhaps make them take a significant amount of time to work... Heck, initially I was going to make them divine spells, so that your average joe would have to go back to the temple to recharge them after every use, making them something that you saved for important work.
Try the Age of Treason approach - call the boon spells 'Blessings' that you may get when you turn up for worship. You can then invoke the blessing(s) when you are doing a particularly important piece of work (actually if, my livelihood depends on me making a nice carpet for my patron, it is a stress situation). I keep the number of blessings that can be stored up at 1 per 5 CHA or part thereof. You can also then GM what the boon is applied to in discussion with the player - any action that either directly comes under the god's area of patronage or furthers the god's interests in the human world might qualify, rather than narrowly 'carpetweaving'.
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Re: Spells of Legend

Postby Bifford » Fri May 11, 2012 9:36 pm

Just reading through the Cults of Glorantha pdf (I bought the Glorantha/RQ bundle that came out recently) and quite like the spell of Shelter Blessing! :) Good for a wanderer or woodsman I think.


Shelter Blessing
Duration Special, Area Special, Magnitude 1, Progressive

Shelter Blessing is cast on one makeshift shelter per spell casting.
The spell will bless a shelter of size POWx2 (metres squared) and remains in effect until the shelter is taken down, or a number of days equal to the magnitude passes. (A mag 3 shelter lasts 3x24 hours.) The blessed shelter is weatherproof against natural elements. It is always warm within (but not too warm), free from drafts, insects and rodents. The spell does not protect from weapon damage or from magically enhanced elements.
Last edited by Bifford on Sat May 12, 2012 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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