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  1. #1
    c558382@showme.missouri.
    Guest

    Forces, Philosophies, Gods,

    Briefly,

    1) I think priests should be the most powerful character in the game.
    2) Most DM's whose campaigns I have observed don't actually require
    meaningful limitations on priestly PC's. This is a ROLE-playing game.
    Where is the sense of obligation, servitude toward higher powers or ideas
    in many campaigns. Way too often the priest is a corpsmen administering
    healing. I make my priests pay (in offerings, tithes, &c) for each spell
    that does not directly further the gods central needs. Knocking off a few
    goblins doesn't cut it. Devoted priests pay very infrequently, but have
    their activities curtailed by their ethos, worldly priests cannot violate
    their ethos, and pay to aid their treasure-hunting buddies.
    3) Forces and Philosophies is not an easy way out. To recieve the spells
    from a force, one must embrace the force, study its methods, same with a
    philosophy.
    4) Magic is a force. The barrier between mages and priests is artifical.
    While I favor keeping the barrier up, there is no denying (within my
    world-view) that mages are philosophers of the force of magic.
    5) Once a mage learns a spell, passes the INT check, he knows the spell.
    All he needs to do is study it and ta-da, a spell. The priest can have
    spells withdrawn because of how he treated those prisoners, that blass
    cast on that liar and fool, &c &c.

    Mages are masters of magic.
    Priests are servents of a higher power.

    That distinction is key.
    Kenneth Gauck
    c558382@showme.missouri.edu

  2. #2
    Neil Barnes
    Guest

    Forces, Philosophies, Gods,

    On Fri, 16 Jan 1998, Jim Cooper wrote:
    > I acknowledge all that stuff about alternate methods that priests can
    > get their powers from, but I never liked this capability given to
    > priests when The Priests Handbook came out, especially when applied to
    > the context of the Birthright campaign.

    I'm not sure I'd use Forces or Philosophies in BR - I think they disrupt
    the rather neat balance of power that exists.

    As for other campaigns, well it's an open playing field.

    > The basic idea of the priest class is that they get their
    > powers from some alternate source, right? Well, when you make that
    > source a force or a philosophy, you change the whole dynamic of this
    > class. A force is a physical manifestation of some kind of measureable
    > influence (i.e. a force is always described with adjectives/adverbs that
    > are 'measureable' - a *stong evil*, a *great good*, a *changing* balance
    > in the cosmos etc.).

    The best example of a force I can think of OTTOMH is the Cosmic balance
    from Moorcock's Eternal Champion stuff.

    > Well, a priest of these persuasions would then get their powers by the
    > following methods. : when the priest further advances
    > the conditions of this force, the force responds and reacts. What's
    > important to realize is that this 'force' is impersonal and does not
    > 'recognize' between differences - the good/evil struggle which is so
    > important in TSR games. Thus a force would ALWAYS react to situations
    > which favour it, no matter who did the action and whether or not they
    > meant to do it or not (so a good priest who did an evil act, no matter
    > how small, would have 'the force of evil' reacting to his actions and
    > giving him power; visa versa for good priests ... and the poor neutral
    > priest would be in a constant state of conflicting powers!

    I'm really not getting what you're saying here - a hypothetical Force
    only grants priestly abilities to those who 'worship' it. A priest of
    the Force of Good wouldn't be granted spells & stuff by the force of
    Evil unless he converted. (And while IMC gods are quite keen on
    One-up-manship - so if you convert from one deity to another as a priest
    you get to keep your level - the deity you're converting to is quite
    pleased to score points against the deity you're converting from...
    Forces lack the petty squabbling personalities that Gods have.)

    > On the other hand, a priest of a philosophy obstensibly gains his power
    > from internal belief/knowledge of the system they worship. Thus the
    > stronger his belief or knowledge in the philosophical system, the more
    > powerful he is, correct?

    Priests of Philosophies are like Zen Buddhist or Shinto priests on our
    earth.

    > Well then, is this not really the way a wizard
    > character gains his power (?) - the wizard understands the workings of
    > arcane knowledge, believes in them (because that person has *seen* how
    > it works and *knows* how it works), and studies to further that
    > knowledge to *gain* more INSIGHT into the mysteries of arcane power!

    Priests of Philosophies only gain power from philosophies which have
    sufficient followers to accrue 'regency' from them. :)

    > In
    > fact, isn't it most likely that a philosopher and a wizard arrived at
    > the same point in their respective pasts that started them on their
    > prospective careers? philosopher experiences an event that they cannot refute (for whatever
    > reason) and decide to pursue knowledge in this area because of its them> instrinsic reality.

    Or the Shinto priest who's following the family tradition - I can find
    more than enough examples of this idea in Anime & Manga.

    > Putting aside the arguement that priests are priests and wizards are
    > wizards and the two aren't the same (because it would throw out the
    > whole AD&D game system as we know it) I have always thought the priest
    > class was *way* to powerful. Just think: a character class based on
    > wisdom (i.e *life EXPERIENCE* = xps, hey, how 'bout that!) and they have
    > the second lowest advancement table! This compared to the warrior class
    > who 'only' has to know how to swing a few weapons, and survive a
    > battle. Compared to the wizard class, the priest class is a huge
    > bargain: lower experience tables, better THAC0s, better armor, more hit
    > points, curing spells, turning undead capability, better saving throws
    > (because you advance faster), low ability requirements, lots of neat
    > little granted powers (which makes the priest class seem a deal even
    > when compared to the warrior class!).

    Fighters have their _amazing_ thaco progression. At medium to higher
    levels priests just don't compare. Especially if you use parrying or
    disarm rules. The higher hitpoints make a big difference too.

    Mages have much better spells. Much more versatile & combat orientated.

    Thieves are the ones who get really screwed. If a thief fails a Thief
    Skill check, they're usually in deep, deep trouble - either falling or
    surrounded by hostile enemies or poisoned by a needle trap. They've got
    really bad combat skills and saves and hitpoints. :P

    > No wonder AD&D players are frequently - power gamers/munchkins/Mad Dax
    > the Maxed out Sax with his Two-handed Axe - with super characters and
    > tons o' magic items; they are just trying to keep up with a run of the
    > mill priest character!

    It's a function of players not games. I've seen those players who
    munchkinise in AD&D do the same in Vampire, Ars Magica or Amber.

    > That's why I have always believed that a priest in an AD&D milieu gains
    > powers from an *individual* entity/persona/creature that has a defined
    > 'character' (for lack of a better word).

    But then you run into problems when trying to do anything other than
    cod-Indo-European cultures. As far as I'm concerned, the more variety
    the better. If anything Forces or Philosophies would be stricter with
    their priests than gods - who can be sweet-talked, bribed, charmed or
    entertained into overlooking small slights. Where as a Force would just
    lash out mindlessly. *Bam* Squashed priest.



    One of my rules as a GM is that I don't explain everything to myself.
    _I_ don't know what grants spells to the Serpent's priest IMC. Or how
    the Shadow World works. And this means that there's no way for the
    players to use knowledge about these things that they shouldn't have,
    because that information isn't out there.

    neil

  3. #3
    prtr02@scorpion.nspco.co
    Guest

    Forces, Philosophies, Gods,

    neil wrote:

    One of my rules as a GM is that I don't explain everything to myself.
    _I_ don't know what grants spells to the Serpent's priest IMC. Or how
    the Shadow World works. And this means that there's no way for the
    players to use knowledge about these things that they shouldn't have,
    because that information isn't out there.

    An excellent philosophy. One which I myself adhere to.

    If you spend the time trying to figure out *everything* in your game world,
    you'll find yourself spinning your wheels a lot instead of developing great
    stories.

    Randax

  4. #4
    Neil Barnes
    Guest

    Forces, Philosophies, Gods,

    On Mon, 19 Jan 1998, Randall W. Porter@6550 wrote:
    > An excellent philosophy. One which I myself adhere to.

    Do you think we can get spells off it? :)

    > If you spend the time trying to figure out *everything* in your game world,
    > you'll find yourself spinning your wheels a lot instead of developing great
    > stories.

    Obviously if you need an answer (The Mistress of the Direwood is...) you
    can come up with it. Good continuity makes it connsistent with all the
    stuff that's come before. Collapsing the unresolved waveform (all the
    physicists groan at this point..).

    neil

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