Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Role of Clerics in Space Fantasy Adventures and Campaigns

Years ago, when I was more involved with the RPGA, I remember seeing an advertisement that read: "Don't worry, we won't make you play the cleric." That always struck me as curious, because I'd played 2nd Edition D&D and played a couple of enjoyable cleric characters. I do recognize that 3rd Edition and Pathfinder both made improvements on that class, however. With all of that in mind, this article presents ways in which cleric characters can be brought to the forefront in adventures and campaigns.


The Role of Clerics in Space Fantasy Adventures and Campaigns
While it is also true in more traditional fantasy RPG scenarios, the party cleric(s) can play especially integral parts in adventures and campaigns set in space. After all, being far from Homeworld means that the cleric might be the highest-ranking member of one's church on a particular planet. As such, that character might be called upon to perform ceremonial duties in a variety of circumstances, including the possibilities detailed below.

  • When a child is born, there is often some kind of naming ceremony held for it, presided over by a priest and recorded in the annals of the church. 
  • Holidays are usually marked by some kind of observations, often including some kind of sermon or homily delivered by a leader in the faith community.
  • For any major undertaking—such as a voyage of exploration or the the launching of a military expedition—the powers that be could seek a cleric's blessing at the start.
  • Most cultures have a ceremony to establish the marriage of two individuals, again led by a cleric and recorded for history.
  • In many societies, the coronation of a new monarch is overseen by a priest, since it is believed that said ruler is granted authority by the will of one or more gods.
  • Perhaps the most important ritual, of course, is that which honors the life of a deceased person and that helps said individual's soul move on to whatever existence it is that comes after this world.

Sunday, December 2, 2018


An unusual phenomenon seen at times throughout the galaxy is these disturbances of space itself. Each one looks like a dark ring shrouded by pulsating energy and filled with the same. It is, essentially, a portal that connects two points in space, ones that can be separated by an unlimited distance; in that way it acts like a dimension door spell, albeit one with unlimited range. What is more, wyrmholes work with the following guidelines.
  • Wyrmholes tend to open near sources of gravitational pull, such as stars and planets, but do not open to closely to those sources. There appearance is unpredictable.
  • Additionally, any sources of notable gravity—such as an aethership—inside a wyrmhole prevents it from closing. In this way, it seems that vessels traveling through them cannot be trapped in between location; it is not known, however, if individuals are so protected.
  • To determine if a wyrmhole is present in the Sol System at any given time, roll 1d100 once per fortnight (every two weeks); 1-50 means that one is in the system, and 51-100 means that it is somewhere else.
  • If a wyrmhole is present, then refer to the system's Planetary Tracker to determine its location. Roll 2d4 to determine the quadrant (northwest, northeast, southeast or southwest) and vector in that quadrant; then roll 1d6 to determine just how far away from the primary it appears.
  • Note, too, that wyrmholes cannot appear in sectors occupied by planets. Should such a result occur, then reroll it.
  • To find the destination on the other end of wyrmhole, roll 1d12; a result of 1-4 leads to the planet Draconis, a 5-8 leads somewhere else in the same system (determined in the same manner as the entrance, above), and 9-12 takes travelers somewhere else entirely (such as to another star system, the verge of a black hole, or something similar).
  • The DC for a Perception check to notice a wyrmhole from a distance is ten times the number of sections on the Planetary Tracker that separate it and the viewer.
  • At the GM's discretion, wyrmholes could even lead to other planes of existence.
  • There are, of course, many stories of lost ships that disappeared into these anomalies—ones that were engaged in important business, and that might contain valuable information or treasures.
  • Finally, it sometimes happens that weird creatures emerge from these wyrmholes and wreck havoc upon the unfamiliar places in which they find themselves.