Fantasy Wargaming cover to cover (XXII)

Well, believe it or not the combat rules were really what drew my brother & I into this game. Now I think the magic & religion rules are a lot more interesting. Twenty-two posts in and we are finally seeing the end. The religion rules are next, and then the monsters, and we’ll be done!!!

The first section of the religion rules covers Appeals, Intercessions, & Miracles. Clerical magic in FW is basically cast directly by the higher or lower powers. Anyone can make appeals for miracles, but clerics will have better success rates because God (& other powers) have a vested interest in making sure their Church is effective, so they continue to be worshiped and thus accumulate mana. The basic process is an appeal (request) is made, and if the power grants the appeal, either the power directly performs a miracle or it asks a higher-up to do so (intercession). You might appeal to a saint, for example, and the saint may or may not grant the appeal, and if he or she does, they may need to ask an archangel, or the Virgin Mary, or more likely God himself to perform a miracle. This very accurately models the fact that the Virgin Mary is typically prayed to intercede (she is a lot less busy than God, and compassionate, and as Jesus’ mother she has some pull!), as are saints generally in their areas of patronage.

Appeals are calculated by adding up a long list of factors, including the DD of the miracle asked for (as if it were a spell), the appellant’s Divine Grace/Devil’s Favor as appropriate, bonuses for giving proof of serious intent (offerings ranging from a mere thought days of fasting). Some notes:

  • The “Faith” attribute is actually more important for magic than religion. Recall that “Faith” is defined as awareness of the Ethereal world.
  • Successive appeals are a negative factor, as God-bothering apparently gets on His nerves.
  • Areas of control and interest are listed for each power, so you are better off asking St. Sebastian for protection from persecutors, but St. George is more helpful in dealing with Dragons, and so on. Astrology is an influence too (!).

The total of the factors will reach -5 to +25 (which is the biggest range yet) and the roll will result in a success or failure, with or without penalty. The “penalty” is always some piety loss, so it is possible to to have your appeal refused but at no penalty, or to succeed with a penalty (your god thinks less of you for asking but does it anyway) and so on.

On a success, whether or not there is a penalty, the power appealed to will do what was asked, casting a spell or counterspell, giving information, etc.  But if the power appealed to is not really capable of performing the favor asked, it will appeal higher up its hierarchy, possibly all the way up to God or the Devil.  This appeal (an Intercession) has a simpler mechanic, based mainly on the difference in rank of the powers in the hierarchy (an imp has less chance of successfully kicking a request upstream than does Beelzebub!).  There will be an automatic success, or a 25 or 50% chance, and that’s it.

Performing the actual miracle is uses the normal sorcery rules, although being Ethereal, powers obviously don’t need to establish a link, and go right ahead to BMC(2) and (3).  Additional factors and informational requests are given DDs on a chart, ranging all the way up to resurrections.  Lastly the rules for bonuses granted for holy sites, relics, and whatnot are given.  Even “fake” relics can give bonuses, because the power has been venerated through the item, which fits perfectly into the “Unified field theory” of the game.

The next section explains how to determine a character’s Divine Grace/Devil’s Favor.

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Published in: on August 17, 2010 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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