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.

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