Saturday, July 2, 2016

Anti-Clerics for DCC RPG (Edited: Second draft)

I started a new group of DCC RPG with a (not Hangout) group. Until now all my DCC games where through Hangout (which is excellent, but I’m literally Old School and nothing beats a real table with face-to-face roleplay experience/dynamics). This group started because two member of my local group finally start reading DCC RPG and found the True Enlightenment ;-)

The fact that Brazil is getting its first Portuguese translation of DCC RPG is also helping a lot.

OK, to the post! I find the Cleric class as written perfect… if you’re a Law Cleric. I can’t say why but I believe a Chaos Cleric (even a Neutral one) should work differently. Coincidentally, the party’s (Lawful) Cleric just feel in the Wheel of Souls, during their first run of Sailors in the Starless Sea. He defeated the Chaos Champion (a.k.a. as the Minoutaur) but emerged from the Wheel corrupted by Chaos. Now, I’m tempted to try my homemade Chaos Priest. I’m calling him Anti-Cleric, both as a homage to OD&D and to make it clear that this isn’t the Cleric Class from the core book.

This is just my first draft, still requiring playtest. Any feedback is really welcomed!

The Anti-Cleric

Hit Points, Attack, Crit Die/Table, Saves, Spells: as the Cleric.

Choosing a god: only chaotic ones (of course).

Weapon training: I’m thinking on axe (any), swords (any), dagger, dart, flail, spear and trident. Anti-Clerics may wear any armor and their spell checks are not hindered by its use, but the armor must be made of metal (spiked only), human skin or bones. Anything sufficiently “METAL!” will do.

Alignment: Guess...

Caster level: an Anti-Cleric has a natural caster level of 0. They need Power to increase their caster level above 0 (see below on Magic).
Unless otherwise decided by the Judge, the Anti-Cleric's maximum caster level is equal to his character level + 3 (artifacts or unusual blessings are good ways to increase it, besides traditional stuff like daemonic heritage, lichdom etc.).
Rising you caster level above your character level brings certain risks (see below).

I f*cking loved this movie!

Magic: to cast a spell an Anti-Cleric needs Power. This can mean a relic or a unholy place, although most of the time it means a Sacrifice (more on this soon) or Drain Life (idem).
Power works like an Anti-Cleric’s magic points. It supplements his spellcasting, increasing his caster level above 0. Without Power, the Anti-Cleric just rolls a d20 + his Personality modifier.
Power naturally depletes at the rate of 1 point/hour. Carrying too much Power can be dangerous (see below).

Sacrifice: an Anti-Cleric can sacrifice an intelligent victim (willing or not) to get Power. The victim must be healthy (usually above half their full hit points), bound or otherwise helpless and must be ritually killed in the Name of the Anti-Cleric's Patron God.
This usually takes a maximum of 1 minute of mumbo-jumbo before the death strike. The Anti-Cleric gains a number of Power points equal to the victim's total hit points (stronger creatures may require 1 minute of ritual per HD, at the Judge’s discretion).

Command Chaos: this works like the traditional ability of Evil priests in D&D. Instead of turning unholy creatures, Anti-Clerics can try to enslave undead, demons, dragons and "chaotic" monsters (Judge's call). This is resolved as a normal Turn Unholy check (but remember that an Anti-Cleric may need to spend Power), just ignore the Holy Smite column and any reference to damage.
If the Anti-Cleric gets a "Turn" result (like a T1) he can control the target creature for a number of turns equal to Turning Unholy check, minus the total HD of controlled creatures, to a minimum of 1 turn. The duration of the command is kept secret from the Anti-Cleric player (this is, after all, CHAOS!).

Drain Life: this is the Anti-Cleric's main source of Power. The Anti-Cleric roll a d20 + his Personality modifier against a target at 30 feet. The result is the DC for a Will save to resist the hit point drain. The damage is calculated using the ‘Opposed Column’ of the Lay on Hands ability, from the Cleric class. Half the drained hit points are converted directly to Power points. A target can't be drained below 1 hit point (that requires a Sacrifice).
Drain Life is a difficult skill and using it makes the Anti-Cleric goes last in the round. If attacked, the Anti-Cleric is forced to make a Will save (DC equal to 10 + damage) or lose his action. That's why Anti-Cleric love servants and bodyguards.

Lay on Hands: Anti-Cleric always heal others using the Opposed Column of the Lay on Hands ability.

The dangers following the Chaos Powers (besides burning in a pyre erected by Law Clerics and Paladins): Chaotic gods don't follow the normal Disapproval rules. Instead, each time an Anti-Cleric suffers Disapproval do this instead – roll a 1d10 for every point on the spell check (for a natural 1 on the spellcasting check roll 1d10, but if the Anti-Cleric rolled a natural 4 and that counted as Disapproval, he would roll 4d10). Check the final result against the Wizard's corruption tables (1-10 is a minor, 11-20 is major and 21+ is greater). This roll is reduced by the Anti-Cleric's Luck modifier (and he can also burn Power to reduce the roll, but he must spend ALL available Power at once).

Using Power to cast a spell above your normal character lever is dangerous and increases your Disapproval level by the same amount, for that roll. For example: a 2nd-level Anti-Cleric with Disapproval 3 that casted as spell increasing his caster level to 4 would suffer Disapproval on any natural roll of 7 or lower).

Likewise, nothing can stop an Anti-Cleric from sacrificing an entire village and filling himself with lots of Power. However, for every 20 Power, his Disapproval level is considered +1 higher. Besides, if a Anti-Cleric carries more than 20 Power, he's considered an unholy creature for the purpose of Turn Unholy (of Law Clerics) and always register as a magical/extraplanar/demonic creature (he's just carrying too much fell power).

The good part is that Chaos Powers don't care about sinful use of their magic and won't inflict Disapproval for that.

Edited (Version 1):
- Power now depletes more slowly and isn't completely erased after a long rest/sleep/knock out.
- Drain Life deal damage as usual, but now only 1/2 is converted to Power.
- Carrying too much Power inscreases the chance of gaining Corruption (i.e. Mutations).