Fantasy Wargaming cover to cover (XXIV)

Religion section three deals with all the other benefits and powers that come with worshiping a higher or lower power that don’t require making appeals.*  These are called Delegates, Routine, & Ceremonial Clerical Powers.  They all work automatically for the most part, but a cleric who is not in good standing with his power will lose some piety for doing them, as mentioned earlier under piety.  The effects of these powers range from morale boosts to magic.  They also raise mana for the Power worshiped, although only 25% of the total raised actually transfers to the Power, and the rest being lost (in the Ethereal plane?).

There is an extensive list of Christian ceremonies and sacraments with their game effects: Mass, High Mass, Benedictions, Maledictions, Ordination, Investment, Confession, Final Absolution, Excommunication, Interdiction, Baptism, Marriage, Exorcism, and so on.  Most of these affect piety (granting piety for attending the ceremony or receiving the sacrament); most boost morale; most also grant XP to the cleric and possibly the attendees.  A few also transfer mana to God, give bonuses to rolls for the recipients, and so on.  There is note that exorcism ONLY works on demons, and not on Norse deities, elves, and so on.  I guess that means an exorcism won’t force a spirit out of a dead body, so “turning the undead” will require an Appeal.

The ceremonies of Devil worshipers are mostly reversals/parodies of the Christian ceremonies, using blood rather than holy water and possibly involving sacrifices. We are also reminded that Witches may be a sort of mage/cleric hybrid because most Satanic ceremonies are followed by dances and orgies that build up the participants’ personal mana rather than transfer it to the Devil as the ceremonies do.  There is also a brief description of the Satanic Feast, which is similar to the pagan feast described later but which involves a continuous droning hum or chant which sounds truly frightening.

So most of the ceremonies list a Ceremonial Morale Factor (CMF).  After the ceremony this factor (and some others) are used to generate a number which will be used to roll to determine if there is a morale bonus for participants.  In some cases there may even be a chance for “Inspiration,” which provides a bunch of bonuses and a few penalties to simulate religious fervor.  If you’ve ever read about masses being said before battle in the middle ages you’ll understand why the CMF is so important.

Inspiration grants an increase in piety (to the next higher band), +2 morale, increased stamina, +1 to Physique, Endurance, Bravery, Charisma, and Faith; -1 to Intelligence & Agility; a bonus to Control tests (the berserking roll; Christians are less likely to go berserk, Pagans more likely!); and +3 to Appeals.  This is really potent and lasts until PB drops below 2.  There is also a 5% chance each day for the effects to wear off, but that is absolute, not cumulative, so one might remain inspired for days or weeks at a time.

Inspiration has a small chance of coming after a ceremony, and may also come spontaneously when a pious character: faces an enemy from a different religion’s powers or servants; sees a successful appeal; is rescued by a deity’s intervention, including exorcism.  Those with a very high piety (PB5 or PB-5 for Devil worshipers) may also test for inspiration after any notable event or victory occurs, even if it is not the result of an Appeal.

Lastly, Inspiration may come from an Appeal, and may affect an individual or an entire community.  Such inspiration can come to those not otherwise eligible for inspiration due to low piety, wounds or exhaustion, etc.  I imagine whole congregations of Devil worshipers, or a bunch of Viking berserkers inspired by Odin, terrorizing an area!  These communal inspirations use the same 5% chance of wearing off.

Next time: Ethereal hosts and hierarchies.  Then, the Norse religion and monsters and we are done with the book!

*Although, in the stream of consciousness style that characterizes much of the the book, one last kind of appeal does turn up, but in fairness it is for an effect otherwise normally induced by the ceremonies discussed here.

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Published in: on August 19, 2010 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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