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  1. #1
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    From the stats post, from Osprey:
    Birthright got it half right: they made wizards rare (except among elves). They should have made spellcasting clerics equally rare. As part of the world's historical and current settings, this would make blatant magic fairly unusual if not rare. The priest with faith healing really IS a wondrous discovery, much like stumbling on a wizard in the wilderness. Magicians and bards, village wise-women, mystic hermits - these would be the more typical magic-users - magics that are subtle, invisible, tricks. A little herbalism and alchemy can explain (and disguise) an awful lot. There aren't many of these spells (even bard/magician/adept) beyond 0 and 1st level in D&D, unfortunately.
    Actually, it should be said that clerics should be made equally rare. IMC, there's about 2 or 3 spellcasting clerics for every true wizard. Many people initially bemoan this, but, when it comes right down to it, if you have a cleric or magical healer everywhere, your life span goes way up... for everybody. Which means MUCH larger populations. Why?

    Think about it. Cure disease, cure blindness, neutralize poison, cure light wounds.

    There are never plagues. Few die of natural poisoning (eg the snake biting your kid while out getting firewood, the black widow spider nipping you while sweeping your porch), and practically NO one dies of accident/injury. Why? Because, as long as they are initially stabilized, the cleric runs out, and heals 'em. One healing spell is all it takes... it's not like the 1st level commoner has that many hp for a cure light wounds spell to heal.

    Clerics are better than paramedics, poison control, and the CDC rolled into one.

    And let's not even get into the ugly issue of raising. Yes, we have the mechanic that a blooded character does not get their bloodline back.

    Fine. That still doesn't mean it won't happen.

    But how do you rationalize the rarity of clerics? After all, it's a calling, not an inborn talent like a sorceror, or a skill that is hard to find and learn, like a wizard.

    Simple. These are YOUNG gods we are talking about, none of them much older than 1500 years old. Perhaps the Old Gods, they were able to support more clerics with their power, but these ones have NO other worlds other than Cerilia, most likely. Whereas your "average" D&D god is usually multi-planar.

    Even if they have spread to other worlds, it would be comparitively minor so far. I mean, sure they got to inherit some temples on Cerilia, but even that took some time before everyone stopped believing in the old gods.


    It should be noted that clerics are a PC (or villain) class. Just as is fighter. However, fighter has a more "common", slightly weaker sub-class: the warrior. Clerics more common class, I would argue, would be a non-spellcasting priest. Part of the clergy, but not one of the chosen few of the gods...

    Yeah, this is partly a rant about low magic again... a topic we have seen time and again on this forum. At least I didn't put it in the post on vitals like I almost did. However, I really do think that Osprey touched on something there when it was said that clerics have to be rare. If you don't make 'em rare, then you are only halfway there.

  2. #2
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    There are many more spellcasting clerics than there are True Wizards. Non-blooded characters may become clerics, which does make them much more common than True Wizards.

    Book of Magecraft state that there are fewer than 150 true Wizards in all of Cerilia.

    Book of Priestcraft state that there is 1 minor site per temple level, 1 major site per 2 temple levels and 1 great site per 4 holding levels. Minor sites has 1-3 clergy, major sites has 5-8 clergy and great sites has 20-50 clergy.

    OIT in Diemed has a level 6 holding, a level 5 holding, a level 4 holding, 2 level 3 holdings and 1 level 2 holding. This means:

    Ciliene:
    6 minor: 12 priests
    3 major: 21 priests
    1 great: 35 priests

    Moere:
    5 minor: 10
    2 major: 14
    1 great: 35

    Aerele:
    4 minor: 8
    2 major: 14
    1 great: 35

    Duene and Bliene:
    3 minor: 6
    1 major: 7

    Tier:
    2 minor: 4
    1 major: 7

    Total number of clergy: 221

    About half of the clergy should be level 0, which in D&D probably means Experts, while the other half (about 110) consist of spellcasting clerics.

    However remember that Ciliene has around 60000 inhabitants. There is around 30 spell casting clerics in Ciliene, which means that there's 1 cleric per 2000 people. Of those 1/4 can cast 2nd level spells and there's 1 cleric that may be of a level where he or she can cast Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Cure Blindness, etc.

    With this in mind, I'm more prone to believing that there's around 6000-10000 clerics spread around Cerilia, with maybe around 2000 in Anuire. However only a few handful may have the power that you're looking for.

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Another thing to keep in mind is that one of the reasons that humans were as successful in their war with the elves is the fact they had clerical magic on their side.

    Now elves have a lot of wizards but no clerics so their internal balance is pretty good compared to humans who have few wizards and more clerics.

    If one looks at the magic items (at least the major ones) in the 2nd ed material most of them were crafted by elves. It is entirely reasonable, IMO to have elves have close to the normal D&D amount of magic items while humans have much less. But game-mechanics wise the absolute easiest method to have a low magic item setting is to use the suggestions from the Complete Warrior, to increase the market price of items (hence increasing their cost in gp and exp to create).

    The next step would then be to use the situational modifiers from the DMG to increase the EL of encounters due to there being less magic items around. Of course one should also remember that scions have blood abilities which helpt to balance things out in the long run. Remember that a scion can have minor blood abilities without taking any levels of scion class.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Of course one should also remember that scions have blood abilities which helpt to balance things out in the long run. Remember that a scion can have minor blood abilities without taking any levels of scion class.
    Perhaps, but in my experience scion powers are fairly minor in comparison to the powers of a minor spellcaster or the array of combat enhancements and magical powers granted by the standard expectations of the D&D system.

    In part this is because there are almost no bloodline powers that are direct "power-ups" to combat abilities as are granted by, say magical weapons and armor, or ability-enhancing items (headbands of intellect, belts of giant strength, cloaks of resistance, amulets of natural armor, etc.).

    The exceptions are the heightened ability powers, which are extremely limited (one ability score per derivation, and then only as a minor power; there are no major or great versions granting higher boosts), and the resistances, which are also quite narrow in scope.

    I'm not saying this is a bad thing, only pointing out that having bloodline abilities is more like having a few, mostly minor spell-like abilities - they don't come close to replacing the standard accumulation of magical gear that is the norm in the standard D&D system. I think adjusting the CR of monsters, or even better tweaking some of their statistics (like lowering some of their Damage Reduction qualities to make non-magical weapons viable), is pretty much a necessity for running a low-magic D&D campaign.

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