Friday, March 29, 2013

Interlude: The Minister

I'm still working slowly on the next adventure, but real life is making it hard to find time. Perhaps appropriately for Good Friday, however, I have an interlude featuring a religious fellow who could make for all kinds of roleplaying opportunities.


Interlude 39: The Minister
At first glance, it might seem unusual to introduce a minister into a Skull & Bones campaign. After all, the teachings of Christianity frown upon many piratical pastimes, such as pillaging, killing, stealing, whoring, drinking, gambling and the like. In spite of that disapproval, however, a holy person can make for numerous adventure hooks and roleplaying opportunities. Detailed here are just a few of the possibilities.
  • For one thing, the minister could become an unwitting companion for the pirates. This might happen when prisoners are rescued from the clutches of more wicked cutthroats, when they discover a group stranded due to mishap, or the like. Whatever the case, this makes for an odd couple type of relationship, as the minister preaches to the PC's while judging their deeds and misdeeds. To really sell this, the GM should be prepared with a series of Bible verses and other quotes that speak against the sins mentioned above.
  • Another interesting element is the fact that ministers act as confessors to those who are about to be executed. This situation could make them privy to various secrets revealed by the soon-to-be deceased, possibly including confessions, the locations of loot or other such details. Should a minister learn of such things, he could use said information in a variety of ways.
  • If the campaign includes divine magic of any kind--perhaps using the suggestions for subtle magic presented in the "Clerics of the New World" article--then Father Smith could be a source of blessings or other such help. Given that he has the Scribe Scroll feat, he might write prayers for faithful who need them later. He might also be required for using a holy relic, perhaps even providing access to healing magic.
  • Father Smith could seek out the PC's because he wishes to go in search of a relic, perhaps one lost at sea or hidden away in a treasure cache on a desert island. A variation on this idea is that he is brought to the PC's because he believes they were divinely chosen; carrying his Bible, he casts himself adrift in a rowboat, and the wind and waves lead him to them.
  • In a similar vein, Father Smith could decide to found his own religious colony, and he hires the PC's to transport him and his followers to the location selected for it.
  • Of course, Smith's faith in such "choosing" could be misguided; one possibility is that he's actually being duped by a playful onijegi such as Arukuma.

Father Malachai Smith
Cleric 6; CR 6; Size medium; HD 6d8+12; hp 35; Init +0 (+0 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 10 (+0 Dex); Atk +5 (1d6+1, cudgel) or +4 (ranged); SQ Turn Undead, spells; AL LG; SV: Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +8; Str 12, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 17, Cha 14.
Background: Religious (Diplomacy and Knowledge: religion).
Skills: Concentration +6, Diplomacy +11, Heal +12, Knowledge (religion) +12.
Feats: Combat Casting, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Scribe Scroll.
Fortunes: True Thomas.
Equipment: Clothing, cudgel, Bible, writing materials, pouch containing 20 poe.
Spells per Day: 5/4+1/4+1/3+1.
Domains: Good, Protection.

Father Malachai Smith is a very serious fellow. He is devoutly religious, and seeks to help others come to a similar understanding of the world's divine mysteries. For that reason, he does not engage in the sinful pleasures of the flesh; he would rather spend his time reading the Bible or praying. He is tenacious once he begins on a project, however, and can be contentious if crossed by those who are not interested in doing the Lord's work.

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