Monday, April 4, 2011


C is for Clerics, our third installment of the Deepest Sea A-Z.

The world of the Deepest Sea has religion at its core, just as the real world does.  The various races approach the Divine in different ways, and some hold that they are really worshiping the same thing, aspects of a great single god.  Others argue that the immortals dwell on another plane of existence, and that the gods use the races as pawns in their own games for their own ends.  Religion though is serious business, and there are few that do not give at least public lip service to one or another faith.

Clerics have been part of D&D since nearly the beginning, which in some ways is sensible, considering the central nature of religion in human history.

There are three basic sorts of religious classes in D&D, the Druid, the Cleric, and the Monk (which typically avoids all actual religious trappings). The Paladin is also a religious character, based on the fighting man; however, I plan to address that class later. All four are present in the Deepest Seas setting; however, with some variation, and there are restrictions on which races and nationalities follow which gods, which narrows down the class choices considerably.

Elves for instance, worship a pantheon of gods.  Each god has its priests and other religious persons, and some of these are drawn to adventure.  Those, for instance, who serve Bella, the daughter of war, are paladins, where as those who serve Mortus are clerics, seeking adventure in order to end the scourge of undeath.

Most humans in the known world worship the Shepard, or if they are barbarians, more the more primitive Lightning god and his wives. Human worshipers of the Shepard are split into two groups, the Suphics and the Orthodox.  The Orthodox church, which is followed predominantly below the Rim, has a rigid church hierarchy.  Some priests of the church are drawn to adventure, and become adventuring clerics of priestly orders.  The crusader kingdom of Cadia, over the Deepest Sea from most of the human kingdoms has a tradition of paladin warriors.

Suphics are mostly in the Turq kingdoms, and have a more personal relationship with the deity.  Their adventuring religious class is monks.  Dwarves? No clerics, for reasons we will discuss later.  Havlings? Druids.  Orcs?  Clerics.  Each god, and religion, has a "favored weapon" as well as restrictions on behavior, as well as expectations. 

An important note for handling clerics in any game, is to consider their role in society, and their relationship with their god(s). Using the Orthodox church as our example, all clerics are subject to higher authority, either from bishops, or from the head of their order. While they may have day to day freedom (depending on their order), they are still subject to authority, and will have to account for their actions.  In a similar manner, clerics have day to day freedom of action, but are subject to the laws of the Shepard in the long run, particularly as they gain levels, and have more interaction with the deity's heavenly servants.  On the other hand a havling druid would not be subject to much temporal authority, but might have a more rigid set of rules from the natural world instead, with nearly instant feedback on misdeeds.

So, anyway, quick review of clerics of the Deepest Sea.

Tomorrow, more Deepest Sea A-Z, with a discussion of Dwarves.

No comments: