2E Wemic Priest
Ability Requirements: Wisdom 15, Charisma 12
Prime Requisites: Wisdom, Charisma
Races Allowed: Wemic (others very rarely)
Wemic priests serve an important role in Wemic society. They interpret dreams and events, explaining the mysteries of life. They protect the Wemic people from those mysterious forces. They help find the essentials of life: food, water, shelter.
Wemic Priests who are wanderers or adventurers fill a different role. Some live lives away from other Wemics in order to protect holy places. Others are hermits, often on spiritual quests. Some are curious about other lands and people, wandering because they are restless. Even these, though, return to their people from time to time to share the stories and lessons they have learned.
The Wemic Priest is a priest of a specific mythos -- the worship of the Wemic demigod, who is known by different names from plane to plane. These Priests must be True Neutral in alignment. The character is more similar to the Druid that to the Cleric. With vanishingly few exceptions, a these priests must be of Wemic racial stock. A Wemic Priest must have a Wisdom score of at least 15 and a Charisma score of 12 or more. Both of these abilities are prime requisites. The character uses the Druidic Experience Point and Level Progression Table.
Weapons and Armor Allowed
The Wemic Priest is allowed to use only those weapons normally available in Wemic society, typically javelins, spears, clubs, daggers, knives, and swords (any variety). Of armor, only non-metallic types are allowed, such as leather and padded, because these can be fashioned by Wemic artisans. Any shield can be used. Metal swords and shields are allowed because Wemics often obtain these items through trade.
Wemic Priests have major access to the following spheres: all, animal, divination, healing, protection. They have minor access to the following spheres: charm, elemental, plant, sun, weather.
Here are the Spells Allowed to Wemic Priests based on these permitted spheres.
Note that whenever a Wemic Priest spell affects a "person," the spell effect extends to Wemics. The GM decides whether other spell casters treat Wemics as "persons."
Because Wemics do not read or write, no written items may be used by Wemic Priests. No scrolls, books, tomes, or librams are allowed.
Because the Wemic deity is a demigod, no sixth- or seventh-level spells may be used by Wemics.
Wemics may not Turn Undead.
While Wemic Priests can have any monetary amount of treasure, they cannot have more treasure than they can carry. Excess treasure must either be converted to a portable form or donated to a worthy institution (an NPC group, not a player character). This rule is modified if a Wemic establishes a residence or gains a pride of followers (see below).
Wemic Priests must take the following non-weapon proficiencies, each costing one slot:
Dream Reading: (Roll = Wisdom) The skill offers insight based on reported and remembered dreams. This insight into the future is limited to the next 30 days, and the knowledge gained is vague at best. If a successful proficiency check is made, the dream reader can foresee some general event -- a great battle, a friend lost, a new friendship made, etc. The DM decides the exact prediction (based on his intentions for the next few gaming sessions). Note that the prediction does not guarantee the result -- it only indicates the potential result. If the proficiency check is failed, no information is gained unless a 20 is rolled, in which case the prediction is wildly inaccurate. (If the adjusted score is a 19 or better, then on a roll of 20 no info is gained.)
Hunting: (Roll = Wisdom-1) When in wilderness settings, the character can attempt to stalk and bring down creatures who are unaware of the character's presence. A proficiency check must be made with a -1 penalty to the ability score for every nonproficient hunter in the party. If the die roll is successful, the hunter (and those with him or her) have come within 101 to 200 yards (100+1d100) of the prey. The group can attempt to close the range, but a proficiency check must be made for each 20 yards closed. If the stalking is successful, the hunter automatically surprises the game. This skill improves by +1 for every three levels the Wemic Priest has earned (3rd to 5th level, +1; 6th to 8th level, +2, etc.).
Religion: (Roll = Wisdom) Naturally, this version of the skill focuses on Wemic religion. It may include a small amount of information on Druids or other nature gods, at the GM's option. Note that if a Wemic Priest with enough experience points can make a Religion skill roll, then the Priest can train to advance a level without seeking out a higher-level Priest as teacher.
Tracking: This is exactly like the Ranger Tracking ability, but it costs the Priest one non-weapon proficiency slot to learn. As with the Ranger skill, this skill improves by +1 for every three levels the Wemic Priest has earned (3rd to 5th level, +1; 6th to 8th level, +2, etc.).
Other non-weapon proficiencies gained from Intelligence Language Slots or from advancing in level are treated normally. However, for each extra slot applied to one of the four above, a +2 bonus is given.
1) Totem Bag: At first level, a new Wemic Priest is given a sacred totem bag, which must be worn around the neck as an amulet. The bag holds a relic, usually a claw or small bone, of an ancestral higher-level Wemic Priest. This bag serves as the Wemic Priest's holy symbol for spell casting.
If the totem bag is lost or stolen, the Priest cannot cast any spells that require a holy symbol as a component. If a lost totem bag is regained, it must be purified and blessed in a day-long ceremony. A Wemic Priest with no totem bag can obtain a new one through a holy pilgrimage that culminates in a week of ceremony and prayer (the GM may choose to arrange a mini-adventure or work the pilgrimage into the campaign plot-line). A Wemic Priest may have only one totem bag at a time. Under most circumstances, the totem bag will not be damaged by area attacks such as fireballs.
If a Wemic Priest defeats an opponent single-handedly (that is, the Wemic Priest is the only character to actually inflict damage), then the Priest can add a totem from the defeated opponent to the totem bag. The totem, a small bone, tooth, claw, or bit of horn, must be Blessed within one turn of death. After the totem is added to the totem bag, the Wemic Priest receives +1 to track, hunt, and attack others of the same race or species as the defeated opponent.
The Wemic Priest can't double up on totems from the same species; one totem per species is the rule. Totems cannot be made from other Wemics, aside from the initial sacred ancestral totem, which does not give a +1 against Wemics.
Totems cannot be added to the totem bag if they derive from certain kinds of creatures: undead, non-corporeal, other-planar and vegetable creatures are forbidden, as are any creatures requiring magic or silver weapons to attack. The GM may add other unnatural creatures to this forbidden list.
There is a limit on how many totems can be carried in a totem bag at one time. In addition to the most sacred ancestral Wemic totem, a totem bag can hold totems from up to eight defeated opponents. If a Wemic Priest wants to add a totem to a bag that is full, a previous totem can be removed and discarded.
The totem bag is slightly magical. If dispelled, it will still function as a holy symbol, but the hunting, tracking, and attacking bonuses are lost until a daylong purification and blessing is performed.
The contents of the totem bag are used by the Wemic Priest in place of the normal components of Augury and Divination spells.
2) Identify and Locate: At fourth level, a Wemic Priest can identify animals, plants, and pure water as Druids do at third level. When outdoors, a wandering Wemic Priest can also get a rough idea of what kinds of animals and plants commonly exist in an area, and whether drinkable water is nearby. Finally, the Priest can locate specific kinds of animals, plants, and pure water if a successful hunting roll is made. This ability extends roughly for about a mile to each side of a Wemic's path, at a normal movement rate. Only normal and giant-sized varieties of animals and plants are covered by this ability, although sometimes the GM may give hints about large monsters (or large armed groups) that leave more obvious signs behind them.
3) Omen Reading: At seventh level, a Wemic Priest gains the ability to read the meaning behind omens. Omens are the everyday events that skeptics describe as random: the pattern of clouds in the sky, the way entrails fall from a fresh kill, the duration of a rainstorm, the play of shadows in moonlight over a tomb. All Omen Reading functions require a successful Wisdom Check.
The ability primarily acts like Dream Reading but with greater foresight, detail, and accuracy. Note that both Omen Reading and Dream Reading are intended to aid play, help the GM advance the plot, and give the player clues. They do not determine future events, and the GM can simply cause Reading attempts to be vague or to fail if it is inconvenient for them to succeed. Generally, this ability is only used at the end or beginning of an adventure.
Say the GM plans an adventure with fierce trolls. Dream Reading might give the Wemic Priest an idea of great battle against large opponents. Omen Reading might reveal the image of many trolls. Or if the GM prefers, it might not.
As a secondary consequence of this granted power, a seventh-plus level Wemic Priest is only surprised if an Omen Reading roll fails. This takes the place of a normal roll for surprise.
4) Divine Vision: At tenth level, a Wemic Priest can spend a day in uninterrupted prayer, sacrifice a magic item or the Priest's most prized possession (except a Totem Bag) and enter into a Divine Vision. In the Vision, the Priest actually meets with the Wemic demigod or with the soul of a dead Wemic High Priest. The Wemic Priest then presents a problem or request. This petition must in some way help the Wemic people or religion, directly or indirectly.
For example, the Priest uses a Divine Vision to request that a human comrade be Raised from the Dead (Wemic Priests may not normally cast Raise Dead). This would be seen as trivial, since it does not help Wemics. But if the dead human (through a Speak with Dead spell) promises to convert to the Wemic faith and sacrifice several magic items, then it might indirectly benefit the Faith and be allowed. The GM always decides what is appropriate, and this may change from time to time. The Priest can not use Commune to ask if a petition would be acceptable!
If the demigod or high priest is angered at a trivial or presumptuous petition, the Vision ends and the Priest is stripped of fifth level spells until an atonement is complete.
If the petition is valid, the demigod or high priest may offer advice or give information or cast a spell or allow the Priest to cast a usually forbidden spell on a one-time basis.
Divine Vision can be used as the final stage in creating minor magical items.
5) Higher Powers: At thirteenth level or perhaps higher, the demigod Tirth may grant special powers to his high priests, perhaps resembling those given to druids who become hierophants. But Wemic Priests of such high levels are very rare, and they have not disclosed any details. These powers, if any, are left to the GM to determine.
Residence and Followers
If an eighth-level Wemic Priest (or Fighter/Priest) discovers a place that is sacred to Tirth, the Priest may establish a community of priests to live there, if no other Wemics currently guard the site. Temporary dwellings of wood or hide are the norm at these sacred places. Such communities seldom establish permanent constructions at holy sites, unless they are needed to protect the site. Wemic Priests may store wealth at such places as needed for construction and maintenance. Aside from these kinds of communities, Wemic Priests may not settle in a single place.
If an eighth-level Wemic Priest establishes a sacred site, then a group of 4d4 first-level Priests and Fighter/Priests (25% Fighter/Priests) will join the player character Wemic Priest at the site. A few (25% of these will be female, but any cubs they bear generally go off to seek their fortunes at maturity. There will also be one priest or fighter that is second or third level, who will lead the group when the player character Wemic Priest is away.
Alternately, an ninth-level Wemic Fighter/Priest (and only a Fighter/Priest) may establish a pride by defeating in single combat a Wemic Chief and taking over the existing pride. No spells may be cast in this combat. In this case, the pride members become the Wemic Fighter/Priest's followers, all as first-level fighters. If the deeds of the Wemic Fighter/Priest become famous (as determined by the GM), he will also attract a first-level Wemic bard to his pride.
Wemic followers are non-player characters with levels. They do not start with 5+8 hit dice. They can gain levels. Females are treated as males for abilities and level advancement. If a player character treats followers well, but some die through no fault of the player, the GM may allow followers to be replaced or Raised (through Divine Visions). Player characters generally do not need to provide for or spend funds on followers, but extra spending can boost morale and loyalty.
Wemic Priests can employ hirelings and henchmen without restriction, although it may be difficult to find non-Wemic hirelings who will agree to long-term employment by a Wemic.
Ethos and Theology
Wemics believe that every thing that exists is alive, from the skies, the sun, and the earth to gnats, dust motes, and grains of sand. These living beings -- animals and plants, hills and valleys, ponds and rivers, winds and mists -- interact in ways that are mysterious to everyday folk. Wemic Priests interpret the actions of living beings and the events of life, explaining the deeper meanings. These Priests can sometimes intercede with the living things of nature on behalf of common folk.
Because every thing is alive, there is motive and purpose behind everything that happens. Nothing occurs by chance. The events of a dream, the way leaves fall from trees, the flight of a flock of crows -- all mean something. Skeptics deride these meanings as "superstition," but Wemic Priests see the import of such occurrences and can use and act on their knowledge.
Wemics believe that all living things are part of the larger world that is Nature. Since all life has a place in the scheme of things, all living beings have a right to exist, as a species at least. This attitude leads the Wemic Priests to the alignment of True Neutrality. However, things that are unlife or animatrons are repulsive and outrageous to this philosophy, because they do not fit in. They are abominations. Therefore, Wemic Priests always oppose things such as the undead, golems, and simulacra. They have no special power over these things, but they are glad to destroy them when they can.
Wemic Priests act first to sustain and protect their race. They help prides and larger groups of Wemics find good hunting grounds, shelter, and water. They provide guidance and counsel in spiritual and other affairs. They interpret omens and dreams, and manipulate events when they can aid their kind.
To a lesser degree, Wemic Priests offer respect and aid to other natural living beings -- in this they are like druids. They do not care about individuals, but they care about the races and species near them. A Wemic sees no contradiction in killing a single antelope while defending the antelope herd from overhunting by others.
Wemic Priests as Player Characters
Remember that Wemic Priests are normally limited to seventh level. Those with a Wisdom and Charisma of 14 or 15 can rise to eighth level; those with both ability scores in the 16 to 17 range can rise to ninth; and those with 18s in both can rise to tenth. Because of the level limits imposed on Wemic Priests, most Wemic Priest player characters will be multi-classed Fighter/Priests.