While they vary dramatically by culture and function, at the heart of almost every religion or Faith path is a priestly order. Priests are individuals who both care for the sacred places of their Faith and minister to its followers. Completely devoted to their chosen Faith path, whether it be a deity or a philosophy, they are unshakable in their dedication and see themselves as responsible for maintaining or advancing its influence and reach. As either a conduit for their god into the physical world or a skilled teacher in their chosen path, a Priest is capable of performing miraculous feats through prayer, meditation, and supplication.
While Priests are typically some of the most prolific healers throughout the land, they should not be passed off as simple well-doers. They are just as capable at calling down the wrath of their gods to smite their enemies as they are in influencing a friend or foe with a vast array of powers. Some even delve into the sinister world of demonic forces, trading their very soul in exchange for immense power.
Despite lacking the versatility of a mixed Faith class, Priests are invaluable additions to any band of adventurers, providing the most reliable and potent application of Faith powers of any class. This comes at a price—wielding these miraculous powers with such proficiency requires a great deal of time and effort spent in quiet contemplation, leaving little time for martial training of any kind. This means that when a Priest takes to the field of battle, they typically do so wearing priestly robes and wielding ornamental weapons. They are extremely fragile and should be well-protected in combat to realize their full potential in a group.
Typical Roles: Healer, Support/Utility, Ranged Damage
Damage Types: Faith (Holy, Demonic, Psionic, Primal)
Class Mechanic: Faith
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Default Stats: During Character Creation you may choose to use the default stat line shown below, before racial modifiers. This can be instead of rolling for stats, or if after rolling ten sets of stats you don’t like the results.
During Character Creation you may choose to use the Default Stat Line, before racial modifiers, instead of rolling for stats, or if after rolling ten sets of stats you don’t like the results
Natural Armor Proficiency: Cloth
Trainable Armor Proficiency: none
Natural Weapon Proficiency: Knives, Bludgeons, Staves
Trainable Weapon Proficiency: Whips
See Equipment section for details. When using a weapon that your class is not proficient with, see Combat Penalties. There is no level or title prerequisite to train in a new proficiency, however you must receive the appropriate Training.
Priests carry the words of their Faith with them wherever they go. This most often includes the accepted mainstream Text of their faith, but also could include scrolls or letters by scholarly sources or long dead heroes of the faith. Regardless of how a Priest chooses to carry the teachings of their faith with them, they guard them with their lives for they are sacred and set apart. It is also an essential repository of knowledge that acts as a source book of sorts for all of the Faith Powers that they would have access to as part of their faith. Depending on the circumstance and character background, a GM might choose to restrict what Powers are recorded within those sacred writings and scriptures, however unless otherwise stated it contains the entirely of what would be available for their choose Faith Path (i.e. if following the Holy Faith, it would contain all Holy Faith powers from all Disciplines)
From this repository, a Priest can memorize powers for day-to-day use and for use in combat. For additional details see Learning New Faith Powers.
Chanting and Ritual
In order to actually cast any of their powers, a Priest, Monk, or Shaolin must chant sacred verses or recite memorized scriptures while focusing their mind on the desired outcome. For Priests this may also include calling out words of power and invoking the names of the powers they serve. This must be paired with symbolic or ritualistic casting gestures, often made with a symbol, relic, idol, or other such device of their faith (see Methods of Casting).
Most Priests are ill suited to combat and prefer to remain in the relative safety of their temples and churches. However a times they are called upon to venture out into the wider world and when doing so they tend to hang back and support their allies from a safer distance if possible. In combat they therefore rely on the same methods for casting as they would within their temples and churches, making both the verbal and physical components of their casting highly ritualized and thus tend to be vulnerable to their foes. While they make exceptional allies, priests must be protected at all times.
Priests use the following chart for levelling up:
- Max Faith Powers Known does not include Tier 0 powers (i.e. Prayers/Rituals/Systems/Mantras)
- Leveling up only increases the capacity for known Faith Powers, to actually learn new powers see Learning New Faith Powers for details
Specializations are recommended for advanced players only, and are accomplished through the Secondary Skill system (see Specialist Skills). Priests may choose to specialize their skills in up to one weapon use and/or two faith disciplines, but can not have more than two specializations in total.
- Max one Weapon Specialist skill (choose from: Knives, Bludgeons, Staves, Whips)
- Max two Faith Specialist skills (choose from any Discipline associated with your Faith Path)
Priests have several different ways in which they can gain titles. Ranging from a tribal or temple Priesthood, a Religious Order, or even a Cult. However all of these are essentially treated as an Order in their own right.
Priesthoods are most often found among tribal cultures and tend to lean towards Primal Faiths, ancestor worship, and veneration or deification of powerful extra-planar beings and natural demigods. Some Priesthoods may serve demonic entities, willingly or even through an elaborate deception by a Demon Prince. Centered around temple worship or tribal ritual and customs, members of a Priesthood may operate in relative autonomy, particularly at higher ranks.
The titles awarded by a Priesthood are as follows:
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Religious Order are the most structured and Hierarchical orders which priests may belong to. There is a strong emphasis on becoming a member of the clergy, a Priest who is ordained both by their god and their superiors. Most typical among monotheistic Holy Faiths, Religious Orders also tend to carry with them increasing degrees of governance. Within a strict Theocracy, the clergy may be among the most powerful offices of state.
The titles awarded by a Religious Order are as follows:
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Cults tend to worship their leaders as much as whatever power their leaders claim to serve. The ultimate goal of any Cult Priest is to reach a point where they become the personification of that power and gain the devotion of a multitude of followers. Some even go so far as to claim they are power incarnate, god in flesh. With personal power at its core, many Cults will be involved in Psionic Faiths due to its emphasis on self. However the path to personal power can also be easily forged by an individual willing to offer their soul to demonic forces. Cults are extremely dangerous, and if growing large enough can topple governments and destroy empires. Thankfully most cults operate in secret or on the fringes of society.
The titles awarded by a Cult are as follows:
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An apostate is typically a Priest who has chosen to walk away from a Religious Order, Priesthood, or Cult they once belonged to, with one of two goals in mind; to reconcile with their faith on their own terms outside of that Orders authority or to convert to another known faith without joining an Order associated with their newly chosen Faith. Apostates will sometimes be pursued by the Orders they have left, seeking either to convince them to return or forcing them to do so. In some cases an Apostate may simply be a Priest that follows a known Faith, but has never joined an Order.
A Heretic is one of the most hated a reviled outlaw titles for faith classes. These individuals have broken the most sacred doctrines of their faith, choosing to dabble in forbidden powers, or choosing to follow a faith path of their own making. While a Faith class may be able to hide these practices for a time, even maintaining other Titles, once found out they are either immediately branded Heretics or labelled so after a trial of some kind. The most militant orders will then seek to execute the Heretic as an example, while more lenient Orders may simply force the Heretic into exile. While a Heretic may escape the immediate wrath of his former Order, nothing will spare him from the attention of Zealots of the Faith.
Witch or Warlock
A Witch (female) or Warlock (male) is someone who does not follow an known faith of any kind and as such has never joined a Religious Order or Priesthood, as none would exist that would fit their particular beliefs. Sometimes witches and warlocks will form loosely structured organizations called Covens. These outlaw groups are typically quite small and serve as means for like minded individuals to dabble in powers that they would not be able to on their own. They lack the scope and cohesion of a traditional Religious or faith Order and so remain as a fringe element or gathering of outlaws.
Regardless of whether Witches and Warlocks join a coven or go it alone, they are shunned and often feared by the common folk. Likewise they are prime targets for Zealots of the faith, who would love nothing more than to force a confession our of them. As such Witches and Warlocks are forced to live in hiding or on the outer edges of civilization to avoid persecution and the attention of Witch Hunters.
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For a list of known Faith Paths and Priestly Orders within the Realm of Strife see:
Former priestess in service to the dark gods of the Sablewood elves, who placed her faith in the One God and together with the human Solider Taylor Lewis, became instrumental in the defeat of the Demon Prince Cerebus the Blood Thirster
“Revel and grow fat in your victory while you can mortals. I go to drink the blood of softer, more palatable worlds. But the memory of Cerebus is long enduring. I shall return one day, and drain this wretched world dry,” vowed the Demon Prince, his voice dripping with malice and contempt.
Collecting what little of his power remained, Cerebus began to chant in the demon tongue, speaking words that only the most powerful demons could even utter. Suddenly his oily hide ignited. Beginning with the bloated appendages that must be his legs, the hellfire began to crawl up his immense body, threatening to engulf Taylor. Dangling helplessly from the Drenn’Salar that was still lodged in the demon’s flesh, Taylor turned to look upon his friends and gave them a knowing nod of farewell.
“Taylor!” screamed Ebonethia, an edge of lunacy in her voice, “No!”
So taken aback by the heart wrenching cry, both Seleena and Blood-brood let the grip on their wild elf companion slip, if only for a moment. Free from their restraint Ebonethia sprang from the edge of the throne like some kind of wild animal, reaching desperately but hopelessly towards her beloved. As she soared though the air the flames rose eagerly to greet her, yet at the same time she began to shimmer with holy light. The elegant tresses of her hair trailed out behind her, seeming to grow longer, engulfing her entire body and at the same time becoming like the feathers of a bird. But then her companions lost sight of her, her body claimed by the flames.
In the same instant that their hearts were given over to despair the flames were parted by a set of powerful wings as a massive jet black raven soared out of the flames towards Taylor. With razor sharp talons extended it snatched the doomed soldier from certain death, now racing across the broad back of the demon. As his fingers were torn free from the shaft of the Drenn’Salar the weapon shattered into thousands of iridescent pieces, raining down and swallowed up by the hellfire now racing across the broad back of the demon. With only a moment to spare the giant raven landed elegantly back on the platform, Taylor’s heavily armored body still safely clutched in one powerful talon. The flames then fully engulfed Cerebus and the Demon Prince rocketed skyward in the blink of an eye, escaping into the depths of the cosmos just as it had arrived, a massive ball of demonic flame.
-An excerpt from the War of the Twin Terrors, Chapter 18: Drenn’Salar