View Full Version : Help me with an idea? Divine Vows

2014-09-05, 04:41 AM
Originally, this came from a really old thread, where, for some reason or other I can't remember, the question "why do clerics cast spells?" came up. Probably a discussion on why, if the fluff was so different, the arcane and divine spellcasting methods were so similar.

Anyway, I came up for an idea for quite different divine power. Oaths, or vows, I'm not quite sure which name to give them, yet. It's an amalgamation of fluff and mechanics from the paladin's code, a cleric's code, a druid's code, the atonement spell, sacred vows from the BoED, the binder and the wu jen.

When devoted to a god, one follows a code and swears vows to act in certain ways, to operate under a list of taboos, perhaps. For following these vows, one is in exchange imbued with divine power by a god. The mechanics would be a bit vestige-like, especially the idea of vestige influence. One could break a vow, but would suffer for doing so. I'm thinking of grading it: involuntary violation (small detriment), violation in spirit (a mild admonishment from the diety, temporary reduction in power, perhaps), violation of the law (temporary loss of the oath until atonement), grave violation (fragrant and blatant disregard. Punishment by the diety, perhaps). I'll have to see how to avoid the Paladin with a Stick up the Rear phenomenon on that.

Anyway, I need help consoldiating a list of vows, oaths and taboos. Just throw me a few suggestions, vague as you like, general things a cleric, paladin, crusader, etc. would promise his diety to do or not do, or that a god would demand of their followers. Potential benefits would be welcome too. I especially need ideas for, as strange as that sounds, chaotic and evil vows and oaths.

A few ideas I had, starting with the BoED, of couse:
Vow of Poverty. The big one. Would have to scale down the requirements, of course. Probably to something like "no outrageous unnecessary displays of wealth, no luxuries".
Vow of Nonviolence: divorce the benefit from spells, for one. Diplomacy bonus, perhaps.
Vow of Abstinence: works quite well. The benefit is a bit small and boring, I think here, I'd include a kind of mental benefit, too. For not using stimulants, you get better at, well, thinking.
Vow of Chastity: the general idea is fine, again, the benefit is too narrow.
Vow of Purity: I'd expand that to filthy things in general, not just corpses.
Vow of Obedience: needs more benefits. Especially active ones, too.

So, new ones:
Vow of Honour: no sneaky tactics. A bit like a Knight's Code.
Oath of Vengeance: find and destroy a certain person or organization. Tracking abilities, smiting.
Oath of Protection: the opposite, to protect a person or organization if at all possible.
Vow of Mercilessness: an evil one. Do not forgive violations easily.
Oath of Freedom: to help the oppressed.
Quest: as in, vowing to achieve a certain goal. A bit vague, I know. Like a germanic Heitstrenging.

2014-09-09, 12:16 PM
Oath of Destruction / Vow of Scorched-Earth: Wherever you go, leave no settlement or region undisturbed, wreak havoc in all places. Bonuses to sundering and ignore certain amount of object's hardness. [chaotic and evil]
Vow of Upheaval: Regardless of what regime is in place, you must make an effort to overthrow it, either directly or by sowing dissent. Strict adherence might allow wielded weapons to be treated as chaotic-aligned. [chaotic]
Vow of Universal Lawfulness: In addition to any other laws and regulations the character follows, any action which would possibly draw attention from an Inevitable is also considered to be unlawful. Not sure of benefits - maybe lawful weapons, as a parallel to Upheaval above? [lawful]
Oath of Sickness: Voluntarily infect yourself with one or more diseases and make an effort to spread the disease. Receive bonuses which offset specific disease chosen and then improve the abilities that were originally hampered. [evil]
Vow of Harmony: Must act as an arbiter or in some other way attempt to make peace between warring/feuding parties whenever the opportunity arises. Gain all Holy Word-type spells. [neutral]

Are these along the lines of what you're looking for?

2014-09-09, 12:36 PM
Quest: as in, vowing to achieve a certain goal. A bit vague, I know. Like a germanic Heitstrenging.

1. Convert the unbelievers.
2. Recruit an army.
3. Start a holy war/rebellion.
3. Build a monument/temple.
4. Raise an empire.
5. Bring the end of an empire.
6. Spread disease.
7. Free an enslaved nation.