Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Template: Dungeon Fantasy Style Cleric - Divine Favor Edition.

I like Divine Favor because it is based on Powers, meaning it is easy to customize. This is a very quick thought on converting the Cleric template from Dungeon Fantasy 1 from a version that uses the vanilla Magic-as-skills system to one that uses Powers.


The reason why I feel like this is a good idea is because Clerics feel kinda samey to me compared to regular casters in Dungeon Fantasy because they both use Magic-As-Skills. However, doing this kinda makes a Cleric infringe just a wee bit on the Psi's specialty, and that's powers. Divine Favor does distinguish itself from the vanilla Psi though because it includes a patron and prayer element. This distinguishes it enough for me.

Converting the Vanilla Cleric

We need to first pull out any points that are spent on Divine Investiture and clerical "spells". These will go towards the Divine Favor versions. This gives us 30 + 20 = 50 points. Let's re-apply 35 of these points towards learning Divine Investiture 7, giving us 15 left over. The other 15 points can now go towards "holy abilities".

We now have 40 points to choose from for "holy abilities". If you are following along at home, you might see that the list of possible holy abilities is on P. 22 of DF1. Most of these are easily converted to learned prayers, which uses the Alternate abilities mechanics for pricing. The ones that don't exactly make sense to me is the Ally advantage because of the way Alternate abilities do not let one maintain an ally while using other prayers and the resistance ones for the same reason. If you and your GM are fine with you having an ally that disables your ability to use any other prayers for her duration, that's on you, and likewise, if you want to pray for resistance at the expense of prayers, and it is fine with everyone involved, then knock yourself out!

As a suggestion with the combined pool of advantages: 40 for specific prayers, and 20 for other advantages, I heartily recommend investing in Divine Investiture 9 for an extra 20 points. This makes the petition mechanic of the Divine Favor system fairly reliable, and still leaves 20 for specific prayers, and 20 for other advantages. By the way, those 20 going towards alternative abilities can go a lot further than the 25 that are allowed by the vanilla cleric template, and could almost be conceived of as 100 points. That being said, Powers are a lot more expensive than Magic-As-Spells, so it's slightly balanced out.

Conclusion and Other Notes

You can probably make a "workable" Divine Favor cleric by removing the 50 points spent on spells and Clerical Investiture out of the template, and then buying 35 points worth of Divine Investiture 7 in the Divine Favor system. Allocate the extra points to "holy abilities" giving you a pool of 40 points worth. Change the holy abilities category to make it optional that 20 may be spent on 2 additional levels of Divine Investiture; those extra 2 levels make a world of difference if you like the "It's in my god's hands now" approach and feel to Divine Investiture though, 40 points worth of holy abilities isn't bad either. The rest of the vanilla cleric template may remain the same, but since each level of Divine Investiture has a different cost, be sure to check if a player spends a large amount of points on Divine Investiture that they don't accidentally get a discount... or overpay if they go beyond level 7.

It's almost a guarantee that you will want the healing ability from P. 22 if not the one from the Divine Favor book itself, and Divine Investiture 7 is good enough to at least pick that one up. Be flexible with whatever points may not be easily allocated. Several resources exist for powers that could be converted to prayers as long as they seem to fit the theme of the god your cleric would serve. You can find example powers in Powers, Divine Favor, Sorcery, Psi, etc, among others, and they are usually easy to convert. Just change the power modifier to Divine; most common power modifiers are at -10%, so it usually doesn't even require any extra math, with the exception of Sorcery on that list. 
Some weaknesses you might face with this version is that healing might be difficult without the Recover Energy spell to charge you slowly. You might consider investing in a better power item. On the other hand, a great deal of Divine powers don't require FP, so that is a pretty nice boon.
Getting a few extra levels of Divine Investiture is probably a good investment as well; bang for buck wise, reaching Power Investiture 12 is probably worth every point you throw at it just for how much it helps with petition rolls for general and specific prayers; though it might not be necessary if you are willing to take a very long time praying for bonuses-- this luxury might not be afforded in typical
Dungeon Fantasy settings though. After that, the benefits become a bit tenuous from a purely mechanical perspective. Advantages to enhance the reaction roll with your deity become more valuable at this point, if such a thing exists and is available for your cleric; maybe a very holy reputation, for example -- which is an advantage that might be difficult to out-right buy without performing great works in the name of the church.


  1. My personal experience playing a Warrior Saint in a DF campaign is that you desperately, deeply want Divine Favor 8 for the sole purpose of Smite.

    1. I can believe that. So did you go with something closer to a Holy Warrior than a Cleric? I looked at Smite by the way; looks incredibly useful in the right situation. It looks like it works best if you know you are going to be waging war against hell. Thanks for the recommendations!

    2. Check out Saints and Warrior Saints from Pyramid #3/50. Antony Ten Monros (yeah, yeah, I can't get the funky symbols on his name right) wrote up a Divine Favor using Cleric and Holy Warrior in that issue. It's great stuff, and if you check my blog for Cadmus the Warrior-Saint, you'll find a worked example.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...