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Help with faith based VPP


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Working on my world

 

OK, for faith based magic I have the core of the idea of how I want it to work, I would like the Community to help me fine tune it and build the mechanics for it

 

First of all I know I want to build it as a VPP, while the idea of building it as a high power contact is interesting, for how I see it being used in game I see that as more of a f/x than the actual mechanical build.

 

Second ANYONE can take Blessed of the Gods, the power to Pray for powers.

 

The way I see it working in game is this:

 

Blessed prays to their god, in a realistic way (A heavy Warrior) "Eli, protect your servent from these vile undead"

 

Then as the GM I will decide if Eli decides to help (Which he normaly will, otherwise why is the character being charged points for the ability) and HOW he will help. Maybe the Paladin's sword will gain +2d6 vs Undead, ot his armor +10 PD vs undead only, or what have you. Sometimes as the GM I will say no, for what ever reason, but that will be fairly rare

 

Now I realise some of what I need for this. First it is a VPP

 

Second, I am going back and forth on a Faith based roll system. While I do see it not always working, it is more about how appropriate the user has acted towards his god, and how I feel the god would react to the situation than a random roll of the dice

 

Third: Only while serving the purposes of (god's name) is a given

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

Does it need to be "only when serving the God's purpose", or should it be based on how well and consistently the character has been serving his God's purposes? Using your example, would Eli be more likely to help because he opposes the Undead, or because he really doesn't care about the Undead, but he is a Protector of the Heartland and the praying warrior has devoted his life to protecting the people of the Heartland, even though he wants protection from the Undead because he's raiding a tomb to raise money, a task towards which Eli is indifferent?

 

Maybe a variant RSR which effectively sets the likelihood of the deity co-operating based on the character's short and long term consistency with the deity's wishes would work. That is, perhaps you have an 13- skill roll, so the likelihood of aid is enhanced by the Warrior's lifelong dedication to Eli, but reduced because Eli is indifferent to what he's specifically up to at present.

 

Actually, an RSR based on the requestor's faith overall and a level of power based on what he's up to at present could be interesting. Because the warrior has been a devoted follower of Eli, defending the Heartlands, Eli is very likely to hear him and be inclined to aid. However, because he's indifferent to the task at hand, he only grants 1 DC, or +3 Armor, rather than the full 3 DC or +10 Armor the VPP could provide for.

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Guest Worldmaker

Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

"Only When Serving the God's Purpose" covers the situational modifier rather well, I've found. Regardless of whether Eli is a god who hates undead or whether he's just generally a protector god, if its in his best interest to help Blessed the Warrior with the ghouls, he'll respond, because either reason would be valid, and could be construed as part of his "purpose".

 

Here's what I use in my own campaign:

 

All Priests and Druids possess a Divine Spell Pool from which they cast their spells. The basic Spell Pools, included in the appropriate packages, are built as follows:

  • Druids: Druidic Magic: Variable Power Pool (30 Points) - No Skill Roll To Change Powers (+1)(60 Active Points); Can Only Change Spells After 15 Minutes Of Meditation And Prayer Per 10 Active Points Of The Desired Spell (-1/2), Divine Magic Only (-1/2), All Slots Take The Following: Requires A Power Skill: Faith Roll (-1/2), Only When Serving the Gods' Purposes (-1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Incantations (-1/4).// Total Cost: 37 Points.


  • Priests: Divine Magic: Variable Power Pool (40 Points) - No Skill Roll To Change Powers (+1)(80 Active Points); Can Only Change Spells After 15 Minutes Of Meditation And Prayer Per 10 Active Points Of The Desired Spell (-1/2), Divine Magic Only (-1/2), All Slots Take The Following: Requires A Power Skill: Faith Roll (-1/2), Only When Serving the Gods' Purposes (-1/2), Concentration (1/2 DCV; -1/4), Incantations (-1/4).// Total Cost: 51 Points.


The above-listed pools are a base. With GM approval, a character could begin with a higher-point Variable Power Pool, or could expand the size of his pool through Experience Point expenditures.

 

I've got other types of Holy Men who use other rules for their spells and magical abilities. Gothi shaman use a multipower, and Kukzo Laraar buy their powers as individual abilities rather than put them in a Framework.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

As I see it, the need for a Skill Roll depends on the psychology of deities in your campaign. Are they always fair and reasonable as 'modern' monotheistic deities are expected to be? Or are they more like the squabbling, petty and vengeful gods of Greek myth?

 

If a god will always treat his/her followers with favour as long as they follow certain rules of behaviour then a skill roll is inappropriate. If they are likely to show disfavour to trusted servants because they got out of the wrong side of bed that morning then a roll, at least to activate, is more reasonable.

 

Alternatively, you coul state that a Faith roll, (as distinct from the 'only when serving the god's purposes' limitation), has nothing to do with the god's own preferences and instead relies on how much raw faith the worshipper can muster at a given moment. Perhaps the god has only so much time and energy to devote to a single worshipper and will only be swayed to perform miracles by a truly heartfelt prayer. Perhaps the god actually transforms the power of a follower's prayer into the divine energy which powers a miracle, not enough mojo means that the miracle fails. You could even state that a god is constantly bombarded by a babbling cacophony of different prayers and is only able to 'hear' those which are the most desperate or heartfelt.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

"Only When Serving the God's Purpose" covers the situational modifier rather well, I've found. Regardless of whether Eli is a god who hates undead or whether he's just generally a protector god, if its in his best interest to help Blessed the Warrior with the ghouls, he'll respond, because either reason would be valid, and could be construed as part of his "purpose".

 

Let's assume Eli is the God of Free Trade. He neither likes nor dislikes the Undead. He has no reason, based on his sphere of influence, to assist the supplicant praying for aid against the Undead. None whatsoever. The supplicant is not serving Eli's purpose.

 

But the supplicant has negotiated numerous trade agreements, and spread the Word of Eli for many years, diligently.

 

If the limitation is "only when serving Eli's purposes", the supplicant should get no assistance whatsoever. A broader RSR type limitation which is modified favourably for the supplicant's years of dedicated service would better simulate a result where Eli decides to grant his servant's prayer, not because it has an immediate benefit to Eli's goals, but because the supplicant has been a loyal servant in the past (and possibly because Eli anticipates he will continue to be such in the future). Maybe Eli even helps out when the actions taken go a bit against his interests since, on balance, the supplicant is a loyal and valued servant.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

Yup, this is all the stuff that has been going on in my head

 

Having said that I am having a bit of trouble with the modeling of the "You pray for what you need then the god decides on how he will answer you"

 

In some ways it is similar to both the VPP limitations on no choice of when/how powers change. But at the same time the character does have SOME control over it (he can ask for the change and expect to get it, he can also expect to get something useful anf along the lines of what he asked for even if not exactly what he wanted)

 

It is also similar to NCC: only to activate

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Guest Worldmaker

Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

If the limitation is "only when serving Eli's purposes"' date=' the supplicant should get no assistance whatsoever. A broader RSR type limitation which is modified favourably for the supplicant's years of dedicated service would better simulate a result where Eli decides to grant his servant's prayer, not because it has an immediate benefit to Eli's goals, but because the supplicant has been a loyal servant in the past (and possibly because Eli anticipates he will continue to be such in the future). Maybe Eli even helps out when the actions taken go a bit against his interests since, on balance, the supplicant is a loyal and valued servant.[/quote']

 

 

It could thus be argued that helping Blessed the Warrior is in Eli's long-term benefit, and thus fitting his purposes... :D

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

It could thus be argued that helping Blessed the Warrior is in Eli's long-term benefit' date=' and thus fitting his purposes... :D[/quote']

 

That Limitation is falling off drastically in value...

 

At the end of the day, the description on the page needs to be backed up with "how this will work in game". A -1/2 limitation based on "when it is convenient, I follow the tenets of the deity" is clearly overvalued, while a -1/2 limitation meaning "only when I am directly advancing the core tenets of my faith" seems very much undervalued for most faiths.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

Which is why I usually go with a -1/4 version "Only While In Good Standing With Faith", which is a bit more flexible and defines the concept more clearly IMO.

 

The stronger -1/2 version I call "Only In Accordance With Religious Beliefs"; meaning actions are possible only if they fit within the spirit of the religion in question.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

Which is why I usually go with a -1/4 version "Only While In Good Standing With Faith", which is a bit more flexible and defines the concept more clearly IMO.

 

The stronger -1/2 version I call "Only In Accordance With Religious Beliefs"; meaning actions are possible only if they fit within the spirit of the religion in question.

 

I like these. To clarify the latter, would this be similar to "not if in conflict with religious beliefs"? That is, would the power be available for an action that the character's religious beliefs are more or less indifferent to - neither condemning nor congratulating it?

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

I like these. To clarify the latter' date=' would this be similar to "not if in conflict with religious beliefs"? That is, would the power be available for an action that the character's religious beliefs are more or less indifferent to - neither condemning nor congratulating it?[/quote']

 

Yes, to an extent. Enough stuff in the grey area might add up though. Its more of a...does this action makes sense within the umbrella of my religious beliefs and what my patron stands for. It's more limiting than "Only While In Good Standing With Faith" because a character might be in good standing, but still couldn't do something counter to the nature of their religion's belief structure no matter how good their actual standing at the moment.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

I remember an Old AC issue which had something similar. one feature which he had was an End Res. This simulated how far the god was willing to go to help you. Small reserve meant he was keeping tabs on you but not to much. Large reserve meant he was an active part of you life. The costs of a "spell" would vary based on whether you were serving the god's plans. All cost end, but some more endurance if it wasn't directly in the gods interest. Recovery was likewise limited getting recovery based on what you did to advance the god's cause.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

In the same vein as the "Only While in Good Standing" limitation, my spiritual magic uses the Side Effect limitation to represent the concept.

There is no "Only When..." limitation, you can use your spells anyway you choose but if you use them in a way that runs counter to your higher power then there are consequences.

Perhaps your END is drained, or your powers. You might be enveloped in cleansing flames. Or perhaps you are cumulatively transformed into something.

As a GM I can create dramatic situations by playing temptation, or even necessity, against the consequences of the side effect and I can fit the side effect to the situation.

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Guest Worldmaker

Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

"Only While In Good Standing With The Faith" also raises the problems of what to do when the priest is in good standing with the faith, but the faith itself is no longer in good standing with the God.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

"Only While In Good Standing With The Faith" also raises the problems of what to do when the priest is in good standing with the faith' date=' but the faith itself is no longer in good standing with the God.[/quote']

 

Well, that's a little existential for gamist purposes I would say. In the real world declaring one sect or church as having become heretical is generally just an exercise in name calling and finger pointing among coreligionists due to the lack of measurable effects of divine origin. However in a magical setting the lack of the ability to cure light wounds or what have you soon experienced among the members of a sect or religion that had bumbled a bit too far from their patron deities comfort zone would be a pretty good clue that they were drifting and have some atoning to do.

 

At any rate, if a GM were to inject something along these lines in to their setting, it would likely either be as a deliberate story element or just background flavor for something peripheral to the plot or setting.

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Guest Worldmaker

Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

At any rate' date=' if a GM were to inject something along these lines in to their setting, it would likely either be as a deliberate story element or just background flavor for something peripheral to the plot or setting.[/quote']

 

 

Aheh. Given that those are basically the two options, yes, I suppose it would be the only reasons why...

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

I would like to point out that the player's inability to control which powers his character gains is different than the character's inability to control which powers he gets.

 

I created a character that was extraordinarily lucky. I used a VPP but did not use the NCC. I controlled the mechanics of it, with GM approval. My character had no control over what happened (or didn't happen for that matter).

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

Drifting from the subject a little, but. . . If the Gods are objectively real, do you need religion?

 

But then, a priest who strayed from the teachings of his God would know that He would turn up and punish him/rebuke him/revoke his powers.

 

And this also raises the question of just how personal your relationship with your God can get? :o And how you get those powers? :eek:)

 

(It raises other questions, too, but this isn't a theology thread)

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Guest Worldmaker

Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

I had a schism occur in the central religion of my FH world... and the supposed "heretical" priests kept getting their spells just fine. And so did the "doctrinally correct" ones. The PC priest's player kept wondering what that meant, exactly.

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

I had a schism occur in the central religion of my FH world... and the supposed "heretical" priests kept getting their spells just fine. And so did the "doctrinally correct" ones. The PC priest's player kept wondering what that meant' date=' exactly.[/quote']

 

Well it probably means either:

a) those spells don't come directly from the God,

or

B) the God doesn't mind/doesn't care about the supposed heresy.

 

In my game, magic is quite deliberately seperated from divine power, but the actual mechanisms behind clerical magic are a bit fuzzy to the people living in the game world, so phrases like Heresy can be tossed around fairly freely. Since the gods don't manifest, there's even room for atheism.

 

In a game world like your typical D&D setting (Our group adventures in the Realms, for example) there's no such room for doubt. If you stop obeying divine guidelines, your clerical magic stops working until you atone and get back on track. In the recent past, two gods turned up and fought it out mano-a-mano in the harbour, and one of them won (after a fashion) by calling on his worshippers (who died in large numbers providing a divine boost-up). My character lost his parents in that, but after the God's return started manifesting divine abilities. Characters who die can can be bought back to life, and after death they go to a specific heaven or hell (and can come back and tell you what it's like!). Heck, you can even travel to those places physically. In a world like that, there's really not much room for doubt (or faith, for that matter). It's more a question of choosing sides.

 

Exactly which of those styles (or where in between) your game sits depends on the GM.

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Help with faith based VPP

 

I had a schism occur in the central religion of my FH world... and the supposed "heretical" priests kept getting their spells just fine. And so did the "doctrinally correct" ones. The PC priest's player kept wondering what that meant' date=' exactly.[/quote']

 

Some gods might present different facets. In fact, for more dynamic gods I've often run with this. Back in my greyhawk days I used Erythnul and a few other gods who I identified as being spin offs / aspects of him in this way -> same underlying diety w/ various fronts. In my San'Dora setting the entity Tzoruul is similar:

 

---------------

TZORUUL

 

Tzoruul (ZOAR-ool): (God of Retribution, Revenge, Regret, Reward, Reversals): worship of Tzoruul caters to those with a grudge to bear; a dynamic (or chaotic if you prefer) force, Tzoruul is an agent of change for good or ill.

 

Most worshipers of Tzoruul seek vengeance, societal change, or disruption of the status quo. Tzoruul is fairly generous with granting Gifts to the faithful, and Tzoruul's worship is popular among the downtrodden, so there are a lot of different, seperate Cults of Tzoruul scattered around.

 

Among the Kor this entity is worshipped as Vashi.

 

DOMAINS

 

A very adaptible and accomodating entity, Tzoruul grants access to any three of the following Domains based upon the focus of a particular cult of followers: Chaos, Chromata, Destruction, Evil, Good, Knowledge, Magic, Travel, Trickery.

 

FOLLOWERS

* Fists of Tzoruul (Chaos, Chromata, Destruction)

* The Friends in Shadow (Knowledge, Good, Trickery)

* Zerlaaga Sept (Magic, Good, Evil)

* Kor-vashi (Destruction, Evil, Travel)

---------------

 

Not all deities will necessarily insist on a singular doctrine or dogma.

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