Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Clerical Relics

I've been thinking recently about cleric spells. While it's pretty easy for magic-users to find or develop new formulas, [OD&D] clerics are stuck with the same minuscule and often slightly dull list for their entire careers.

At the same time, I have also been thinking about giving religious relics some sort of objective power within the context of Agrivaina that could lead to struggles of power between temples even within the same religion.

Thus I came up with the idea that relics, when consecrated at a temple or church, grant the power of a new, unique spell to all members of that specific church of temple.

Thus if Brother Mark, a second level cleric in the service of Giles Village Church, finds the skull of St. Valentine and consecrates it before the alter, all clerics capable of cast spells and belonging to the Giles Village Church would have access to a new spell. Likewise, Sister Karen at West Minster Church across the river would NOT have access to that spell even though they are both Christian clerics.

Relics associated with another religion (such as the Lion Skin of Heracles) would not, whoever, grant a new spell, but could still be stolen to prevent foes from access to that prayer.


  1. That sounds about right. Even in the real world, there were fights over relics. In both the ancient World and the medieval one.

  2. Love the idea of religious relics with powers. Of course, that brings up the manufactured relic industry--does a random bone have power simply because people believe it does?

  3. I'll have to think about that, Trey. Thanks for bringing thet up and reminding me.

  4. That is an interesting twist, do you have any concerns about the formation of "Mega churches"? (if that is even a bad thing)

    Or perhaps a way for new relics to appear?

  5. I'm OK with mega churches, but they probably won't last too long due to proximity issues (can't really attend mass there if you're 50 miles away) and conflicts between diffident faiths.

    Also, new relics CAN appear. While most are from mythic times, name-level clerics become saints and one of their possession and body parts will become a relic.

  6. I like the idea of gaining new spells from relics, and Trey's comment is a good one. I have always liked to think that the gods get their power from belief, so why not relics too... you could apply a similar thought to magic items too, come to think of it. Legends forming the item, as much as the other way round.