Holy Moses, It’s a New Class!

Yes, a new class … probably the last new class of 2014 … based on Moses, that fellow who parted the Red Sea and held the Ten Commandments.

At least, it’s based a little on Moses, and a little on other old time prophets. In essence, it’s a non-warrior cleric with more flexibility in terms of spells, but fewer spells to choose from.

In a moment, the class. First, a couple words from our sponsor (which happens to be me)

Two new e-books up on Lulu over the past couple days. The long awaited (well, by me anyways – took me forever to finish it) NOD 24, and the even longer-awaited (again, by me) Bloody Basic – Contemporary Edition. From my descriptions on Lulu.com …

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NOD 24

2014 comes to a close with the 24th issue of NOD! In this issue, we continue the Ende hex crawl started in NOD 23, detail some Indian divinities, get into some court intrigue, make monsters with a dictionary, explore the ancient Red Sea as a campaign setting, tangle with space genies, and meet some 1920’s superheroes called the Roustabouts. 80 pages. $4.39 for 80 pages

Wow! What amazing bargains (if you’re into this kind of thing).

Now, back to our program!

The prophet is a cleric who goes way back … all the way to Moses in fact. The prophet is destined to be a religious leader of a people, if he or she can live long enough. Starting out in life, they are touched by a deity and tasked with leading their chosen people, or converting their chosen people, to their worship. They must eventually lead these people into the wilderness to found a new kingdom for them. The deity in question should be one that is, as yet, minor in stature, or a major deity that has largely been forgotten by his or her chosen people.

Obviously, this class is based on Moses. I won’t go over the story of Moses – it’s easy enough to find – but suffice to say he was a prince who discovered his true heritage and was chosen by God to lead his people through the Wilderness to the Promised Land. As an emissary for God on Earth, he could perform miracles, and as a man that was raised in a royal house, he had a good deal of non-spiritual leadership ability.

The prophet class has an innate ability to commune with the divine, a spell list based on the miracles attributed to Moses, other Biblical prophets and Christian saints. You’ll notice quite a bit of overlap with the normal cleric’s spell list. The prophet begins life as an aristocrat, and that means he has some capacity for fighting and leading people. His leadership abilities will continue to improve as he gains levels, though his fighting ability will improve more slowly. Prophets are not meant to be front-line warriors. A prophet’s spellcasting ability is in some ways more limited than a cleric’s, and in others superior.

Restrictions: Wisdom 13+, Charisma 9+, alignment must be LG, LN or LE

Hit Dice: d8 at first level, d6 at each level afterwards

Skills: Decipher Codes, Find Secret Doors

Weapons: Any*

Armor: Any*

Prophets are trained in the use of all arms and armor, but using arms and armor not allowed to a magic-user represents a lack of faith in their deity, and imposes a spell failure chance on them (cumulative):

Non-permissible light weapon +5%
Non-permissible medium weapon +10%
Non-permissible heavy weapon +15%
Non-permissible light armor +10%
Non-permissible medium armor +20%
Non-permissible heavy armor +30%

Spell failure chance should be rolled when the prophet beseeches her deity for a miracle. If the spell fails, the deity chooses to ignore her.

A prophet does not technically cast spells. Rather, he asks for miracles. A prophet is allowed a limited number of miracles of each miracle level per day. He does not need to memorize or prepare miracles, as long as he has access to a level of miracles, he can ask for any of them. The prophets’ miracles are listed at the end of this article.

Besides adventuring to earn money and power, a prophet’s most important job is to amass followers. To this end, a prophet must preach before multitudes, attempting to either convert them to his new faith, or reawaken them to an old faith. Treat conversion as a Charisma task in which the prophet is skilled.

The prophet can attempt to groups of 0 to 1 HD creatures, or individuals with more than 1 hit dice. With groups, the prophet makes a Charisma task check and, if successful, converts a number of followers equal to his 1d4 plus his level. Difficulties include differences in ethical alignment (law – neutral – chaos) and moral alignment (good – neutral – evil), or the people being strongly dedicated to another faith. The same basic process is used for individuals, with an additional penalty equal to the each level the target is higher than the prophet.

When 0 or 1 hit dice individuals join the prophet’s cult, you might need to determine what they are:

There is a 1 in 6 chance per person that they are wholly dedicated to their new faith, and need never check their morale. Others, however, may lose faith in the face of hardships (as determined by the TK). When this happens, the prophet must make a new conversion task check for each individual. If he fails, they decide to return to their homes and their old way of life.

A prophet must take care of his followers. He must provide food and water for them, protect them, provide some manner of shelter (tents at a minimum), and heal them when they are wounded or sick.

For one battle per day, the prophet can grant a benefice to his warriors in battle. As the prophet’s level increases, he gains additional benefices he can grant. Each benefice can be granted to one battle per day, and only one benefice can be granted per battle.

At 6th level, one of the prophet’s existing followers can become his acolyte. The prophet’s acolyte becomes a lesser divine servant of the prophet’s deity, gaining abilities as the prophet gains abilities.

A prophet with fewer than 10 followers by 6th level must perform a quest for his deity or lose his ability to request miracles. Likewise a prophet with fewer than 25 followers at 7th level, fewer than 50 followers at 8th level, and fewer than 100 followers at 9th level and each level beyond 9th.

A prophet that is killed might enjoy an apotheosis upon death. There is a 5% chance per level of the prophet. When an apotheosis occurs, the prophet transforms into an outsider of similar alignment with roughly as many Hit Dice as the prophet +1. In this form, the prophet remains in the material plane for one minute per level. Thereafter, he is called to his home plane and disappears forever unless resurrected. If resurrected, the prophet returns in his original body, not as an outsider.

FIRST LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Aid
2. Bless
3. Comprehend Languages
4. Control Light
5. Cure Light Wounds
6. Multiply Food and Water
7. Protection from Evil
8. Summon Nature’s Ally I
9. Sustenance
10. Turn Undead

SECOND LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Augury
2. Buoyancy
3. Calm Emotions
4. Consecrate
5. Cure Moderate Wounds
6. Detect Thoughts (ESP)
7. Gentle Repose
8. Levitate
9. Remove Paralysis
10. Speak with Animals
11. Summon Nature’s Ally II
12. Summon Swarm

THIRD LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Cause Disease
2. Create Food and Water
3. Cure Blindness/Deafness
4. Cure Disease
5. Cure Serious Wounds
6. Fly
7. Hold Person
8. Remove Curse
9. Summon Nature’s Ally III
10. Tongues
11. Water Walk

FOURTH LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Blight
2. Charm Monster
3. Control Water
4. Cure Critical Wounds
5. Divination
6. Flame Strike
7. Holy Smite
8. Restoration
9. Sticks to Snakes

FIFTH LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Awaken
2. Bilocation
3. Commune
4. Contact Other Plane
5. Healing Circle
6. Hold Monster
7. Insect Plague
8. Raise Dead

SIXTH LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Banishment
2. Geas
3. Move Earth
4. Wind Walk

SEVENTH LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Control Weather
2. Create Clay Golem
3. Transmute Matter

EIGHTH LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Earthquake
2. Holy Aura

NINTH LEVEL MIRACLES
1. Astral Projection

NEW SPELLS

BILOCATION
Level: 5
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 minute

For one minute, the prophet can be in two places at once. Each version of the prophet can carry out movement and actions as normal. The second version can appear within 1 mile per prophet level of the first. When the second version disappears, any damage or other effects he sustained, or any items he took possession of, return to the first version.

BUOYANCY
Level: 2
Range: Close (30 ft.)
Duration: 1 minute

One object within 30 feet designated by the caster becomes buoyant in water, and floats to the surface.

CREATE CLAY GOLEM
Level: 7
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 minutes per level

By fashioning a roughly human-sized and shaped object out of clay and inscribing a magic sigil on its head, the prophet can cause it to become a clay golem for 10 minutes per prophet level.

MULTIPLY FOOD & WATER
Level: 1
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous

This miracle takes existing food and water and multiplies, creating one extra portion per prophet level.

SUSTENANCE
Level: 1
Range: Personal
Duration: Instantaneous

The prophet can go without food, drink and sleep for one day, but must sacrifice one point of constitution to do so. This constitution point cannot be healed while any casting of this spell is in effect. A prophet could, therefore, use sustenance for seven days straight, but would be without seven points of constitution on the seventh day, and would suffer the normal effects of a lower constitution. Constitution points sacrificed for this spell return at the rate of one per day of rest.

TRANSMUTE MATTER
Level: 7
Range: Touch
Duration: 24 hours

The prophet can transmute matter from one form to another, thus lead to gold or steel to adamantine. The effect lasts for 24 hours. At the end of this time, the object must pass an item saving throw (as its original matter) or disintegrate.

Rankin-Bass is My Dungeon Master

A party of misfits

If you ever spent time as an American kid in the 1970’s or 1980’s, you surely are aware of Rankin-Bass holiday specials. And back then, they were special. No VCR’s, DVD’s or internet, so you had once chance each year to see Rudolph, and if you weren’t home, you didn’t see it! Egad!

R-B did more than just Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1964 though. In Christmas specials alone, they produced The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Frosty the Snowman (1969), Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970, my favorite), The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975), Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1976), The Little Drummer Boy, Book II (1976), Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977), Jack Frost (1979), Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July (1979), Pinocchio’s Christmas (1980), The Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold (1981), and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1985).

So many holiday specials … and thus so much material to mine for a little RPG nonsense. So, in the spirit of Mother Goose is my Dungeon Master …

Races and Classes

First and foremost, we don’t have adventurers in Rankin-Bass D&D. We have “misfits”. Characters in this game are weirdos who don’t quite fit in, and thus leave Santa’s Castle or the Island of Misfit Toys to do some adventuring! Silver and Gold!

I’ll be your narrator for this adventure

Moreover, the DM isn’t a DM. He or she is the narrator, and they have to do the whole game impersonating an old celebrity. Something like The Caves of Christmas Chaos narrated by Sean Connery.

Humans have to be included as a playable race because of Yukon Cornelius. Other options could be elves (shorter than the traditional D&D elves) and reindeer (definitely a candidate for “race as class”). How about toys? Winter sprites? Lots of options there.

Classes – prospector, knight, winter warlock, dentist? Dentist!? Heck, you could even just stick with the old fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user standbys. A 3rd level elf magic-user, a 5th level reindeer fighter, a 2nd level dolly thief. How can you beat that?

Clerics need divine patrons, and R-B gives you Father Time, Mother Nature, Father Winter and of course Old Saint Nick himself.

Monsters

Only high-level misfits better tangle with this character

The bumble, King Moonracer is a shedu, giant vultures, town guards, elemental misers and their miserlings (mephits fit the bill very nicely for these guys), keh-nights (mechanical knights from Jack Frost) – many options here. Rankin-Bass adventures seem to be more centered around big villains with a collection of minions around them. That villain had better be threatening Christmas or New Years, too, or what’s the point?

Adventure Sites

You’re just loaded here. The North Pole, with Santa’s Castle and the reindeer caves and Yukon’s peppermint mine is a good home base. Burrow heavily from Candy Land and get a candy cane forest and gumdrop mountains. The Island of Misfit Toys is nearby, with its Shedu ruler King Moonracer. The weird Sea of Time that shows up in Rudolph’s Shiny New Year could and should be the site of a mega-campaign all on its own. Seriously – if you haven’t watched it, watch it. Great imagination fuel. You can go further afield with the Holy Land, Sombertown (apparently somewhere in Central Europe), the Russian Steppe and its Miserable Mountain, Southtown, etc.

The Game

It’s Christmas Eve, and your friends are over. Pull out Basic D&D or one of its clones, pick a place to adventure, make up a villain or bring back Burgermeister Meisterburger or Kubla Kraus, figure out how they’re trying to screw up the holidays and then roll up some elven dentists and human knights and jack-in-the-box whatevers and get to adventuring.

Oh, and don’t forget to put a little of that goodwill towards men in your hearts. Share your +1 short sword. Don’t be stingy with the healing potions. Give a little love, and get a little love back. It is Christmas, after all.

And no pouting and shouting if your character dies. Santa’s got his eye on you!

Note – All images are the property of their copyright owners. No intended infringement in this post – just a bit of holiday fun.