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Faction Domains


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Jem's picture

Any faction would find clerics useful -- even the Athar have priests of the Great Unknown -- but clerics of particular gods or belief systems will either be namers only, or divided in their beliefs, unless they honestly consider their religion and their faction philosophy to meld into a single spiritual path. More common than such theological balancing acts might simply be those clerics who draw their power from the faction philosophy.

 Clerics zealously devoted to a philosophy can draw strength from it as followers of a deity can draw from their gods, and "zealous devotee of a philosophy" is pretty much the basic description of a wide-ranging cross section of Sigil's population.

Though these clerics would have their individual interpretations, most likely certain spells would be very common, and enterprising research theologians might well isolate from the faction's belief domains specific to those tenets. Such an achievement would certainly mark a philosophy as worthy of note, capable of organizing a cleric's spirituality and granting power in return for adherence.

This is a suggested spell list for Domains that arise from fervent faith in a faction's philosophy, and some possible granted powers. These Domains would also be useful for arcane casters taking the Arcane Disciple feat from Complete Divine; for the Knowledge (religion) requirement of that feat substitute Knowledge (factions and guilds) if the game is using this skill from the PSCS.

The spells listed come from the 3.5 SRD, and sometimes the PSCS. In a Pathfinder game, remove the granted powers and select from among the spells listed those of roughly appropriate level to give clerics at the appropriate experience thresholds as "you can cast 1/day" abilities. The granted powers may occasionally be useful as 1st-level domain abilities; higher level faction feats that usually require prerequisites could substitute for later levels.

The granted powers probably would frequently be either "+1 caster level on domain spells," or faction feats from the PSCS, generally the ones with no other significant prerequisites. Unique granted powers are certainly possible, though. A few suggestions are given, along with other standard Domains that zealous belief in a faction philosophy might provide as a cleric's second Domain choice.

Athar Domain

Granted Power: Once per day, you may pit your belief against that of a cleric of a specific deity. Make opposed caster level checks using your caster level in the class that grants you the Athar Domain. If you succeed, your words echo in his heart, distracting him: for 24 hours any divine spell that cleric casts requires a Concentration check at a DC of 10 + your caster level.

Other possibilities: Faithless Blessing.

1st: Remove Fear 2nd: Gentle Repose 3rd: Remove Curse 4th: Dismissal 5th: Spell Resistance 6th: Banishment 7th: Resurrection 8th: Spell Immunity, Greater 9th: Mage's Disjunction

A cleric devoted to the Great Unknown often manifests the Knowledge Domain. Any faction priest could probably select an appropriate alignment Domain.

Believers of the Source Domain, Godsmen Domain

Granted Power: possibly Cumulative Life Experience, or Talents of the Past.

1st: Endure Elements 2nd: Restoration, Lesser 3rd: Heroism 4th: Polymorph * 5th: Commune 6th: Legend Lore 7th: Vision 8th: Planar Ally, Greater 9th: Shapechange

* The forms available through this Domain spell are limited, and vary from Godsman to Godsman; they believe the spell gives them access to the forms of past lives. It always grants the same form to any particular being, though these will differ among beings. It is theoretically possible, one supposes, for an intelligent being to be on her first life -- in which case this spell would not function! The Believers of the Source would be extremely interested in such a person.

Priests of the Source frequently manifest the Creation Domain.

Bleak Cabal Domain, Bleaker Domain

Granted Power: Already Mad, Apathy, or the granted power of the Madness Domain from Complete Divine. Numb (a PSCS Dustmen feat) would also work.

1st: Sleep 2nd: Calm Emotions 3rd: Deep Slumber 4th: Crushing Despair 5th: Barmy Touch (PSCS) 6th: Symbol of Fear 7th: Insanity 8th: Symbol of Insanity 9th: Weird

Bleaker Priests might manifest the Domain of Madness as well.

Doomguard Domain

Granted Power: Destruction Embraced, or Sift.

1st: Entropic Shield 2nd: Shatter 3rd: Rage 4th: Weight of Entropy (PSCS) 5th: Ecstatic Decay (PSCS) 6th: Disintegrate 7th: Destruction 8th: Horrid Wilting 9th: Implosion

Appropriate Domains would also include Chaos and Destruction.

Dustmen Domain

Granted Power: The Dead Truce would be paramount if this is not already required in the campaign some other way; Dead Inside would work if so.

1st: Deathwatch 2nd: Ghoul Touch 3rd: Speak with Dead 4th: Blessed Forgetfulness (PSCS) 5th: Slay Living 6th: Antilife Shell 7th: Finger of Death 8th: Symbol of Death 9th: Power Word Kill

Death and Repose are natural Domains for priests of the Dead.

Fated Domain, Taker Domain

Granted Power: Extra Skills or Self-Sufficient, perhaps.

1st: Unseen Servant 2nd: Arcane Lock 3rd: Vampiric Touch 4th: Secure Shelter 5th: Secret Chest 6th: Contingency 7th: Instant Summons 8th: Clone 9th: Summon Monster IX

Many Priests of the Fated would doubtless find reason to enjoy the Nobility Domain.

Fraternity of Order Domain, Guvner Domain

Granted Power: Intuit Pattern, regardless of other prerequisite (though what is a Guvner doing with less than Int 11?).

1st: Detect Law 2nd: Make Whole 3rd: Tongues 4th: Discern Lies 5th: Fabricate 6th: Analyze Dweomer 7th: Dictum 8th: Planar Union (PSCS) 9th: Wish

There are many natural choices for clerics devoted to the philosophy of the Fraternity: Law, the Mechanus Domain, Oracle, and Knowledge are all appropriate.

Free League Domain, Indep Domain

Granted Power: Faction-Free, Free Willed and Slippery are all good choices for the Indep Domain granted power.

1st: Sanctuary 2nd: Remove Paralysis 3rd: Celestial Refuge (PSCS) 4th: Freedom of Movement 5th: Break Enchantment 6th: Dispel Magic, Greater 7th: Ethereal Jaunt 8th: Spell Immunity, Greater 9th: Freedom

Zealous Indep clerics would very likely be attracted to the Liberation Domain.

Harmonium Domain

Granted Power: Team Player.

1st: Command 2nd: Status 3rd: Inspire Obedience (PSCS) 4th: Chain of Command, Lesser (PSCS) 5th: Telepathic Bond 6th: Chain of Command (PSCS) 7th: Hold Person, Mass 8th: Demand 9th: Hold Monster, Mass

The peculiar juxtaposition of attraction for the Community and Domination Domains is just another reason priests of the Harmony are looked upon oddly by observers.

Mercykiller Domain

Granted Power: Justice Blow or Know Lies.

1st: Detect Evil 2nd: Zone of Truth 3rd: Glyph of Warding 4th: Phantasmal Killer 5th: Mark of Justice 6th: Geas/Quest 7th: Forcecage 8th: Binding 9th: Power Word Kill

Whether a cleric of the Red Death is attracted to the Domains of Law, Inquisition, or Death tends to say something significant about their interpretation of the faction philosophy.

Revolutionary League Domain, Anarchist Domain

Granted Power: Slippery

1st: Protection from Law 2nd: Undetectable Alignment 3rd: Nondetection 4th: Detect Scrying 5th: Mage's Private Sanctum 6th: Veil 7th: Refuge 8th: Screen 9th: Gate

Liberation would likely be a common domain for Anarchist clerics, though Knowledge or Inquisition bespeaks an Anarchist truly dedicated to penetrating the power structure's lies.

The Sign of One Domain, Signer Domain

Granted Power: Dreamer or Powers of Imagination would be good. The ability to cast Conjuration (creation) spells at +1 caster level, enjoying the same synergy with Artifice and Creation as those two Domains already do, would also be interesting.

1st: Silent Image 2nd: Eagle's Splendor 3rd: Helping Hand 4th: Minor Creation 5th: Major Creation 6th: Programmed Image 7th: Limited Wish 8th: True Creation 9th: Wish

Artifice and Creation, discussed above, would be good Domains themselves. Nobility is also a possibility.

Society of Sensation Domain, Sensate Domain

Granted Power: Alertness, Extraordinary Sense, and Sensory Touch are all excellent possibilities. So is a +1 to caster level for divination spells, stacking with the bonus from the Knowledge Domain.

1st: Identify 2nd: See Invisibility 3rd: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance 4th: Arcane Eye 5th: Prying Eyes 6th: True Seeing 7th: Arcane Sight, Greater 8th: Discern Location 9th: Foresight

Knowledge, Oracle and Inquisition are all useful for the inquiring Sensate.

Transcendent Order Domain, Cipher Domain

Granted Power: Cadence Whispers.

1st: True Strike 2nd: Cat's Grace 3rd: Blink 4th: Dimension Door 5th: Teleport (Divine Agility from Complete Divine appropriate) 6th: Find the Path 7th: Teleport, Greater 8th: Moment of Prescience 9th: Time Stop

Clerics of the Cadence would doubtless frequently manifest the Celerity, Luck, and possibly Oracle Domains.

Xaositect Domain

Granted Power: Scramblespeak was the 2e defining ability of the faction. Unlikely Event could also be an interesting granted power.

1st: Detect Chaos 2nd: Blur 3rd: Supremacy of the Passions 4th: Confusion 5th: Feeblemind 6th: Mislead 7th: Word of Chaos 8th: Cloak of Chaos 9th: Storm of Vengeance

Common Domains for clerics of the Xaositect philosophy would certainly start with Chaos and Luck, with the Limbo planar Domain as another common choice.

An interesting variant on the Xaositect Domain would be the following: at the time of character creation, the GM rolls randomly to choose one SRD spell of the appropriate level from among all spells he decides are reasonably available: at the least, cleric and sorcerer spells not in conflict with the player's alignment. These spells form that player's Xaositect Domain. The character is aware of what each of the spells is or could be.

Frogretoric's picture
Joined: 2006-01-26
The variant for the Xaos

The variant for the Xaos domain is brilliant, I'll start using it in my campaign at once.

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