I’ve been spending a lot of time getting the magic in my system working in a manner that makes your choices of spells matter and influence your future actions. I did have a little rant about this quite a while ago, and I think I’ve finalized the last of the major changes I wanted to make. It’s been a tricky bunch of rules tweaking and playing out scenarios in my head, along with a fair bit of feedback from my players. They’re aware that things are quickly becoming more restrictive, but they agree, at least publicly, that the way things are becoming more restricting is actually good for character development and balance in general. I probably finished this a couple of weeks ago and totally forgot to post it to the blog here, but without further ado I give you my complication of Priest spheres, by level, including the 2e PHB, Tome of Magic, and Players Option: Spells and Powers sourcebooks.
I’ve got a couple of those spheres combined together and reorganized to allow for more robust selections of spells. When it comes to assigning them, take a look at how I worked out my Cleric of Tyr domain list. In my campaign he’s one of the very few greater deities and is allowed access to four spheres. This gives players incentive to choose more powerful deities that in turn have established temples, orders, rules, and expectations of a priest worshipping in their name. The greater deities are well represented in almost any city on the continent. Intermediate deities have access to three spheres, and generally have temples and worshippers in major cities or in specific places of worship that may be out of the way. Lesser deities are not represented publicly, but still have enough power to grant access to two spheres. Demi-gods are physically present in the world and have access to a single sphere while awaiting ascension to full god-hood and lesser status.
Anyway, take your own favorite gods, pick out a selection of spheres they control, re-compile the spheres into lists per god, and distribute to players as their deity specific prayerbooks. This takes a significant break from how classes that work with arcane magic attain spells. Essentially the priest has access to every spell their god provides, there’s no spell learning, no memorization, just a daily limit on how much the priest can channel through their physical body before the divine power starts to tear them apart. Priests, as a d8 HD, heavy armor wearing, combat oriented class, just ain’t got time for all that learning that arcane classes do. Now they get a book branded with the insignia of their temple from which they recite invocations and let their god do all the work. Essentially, this is how I feel the priest should be run as a character.
On another note, coming as soon as I find time to do a similar write up, I’ve got a new system for arcane spellcasters. I’ve separated their spells into the different major schools with good reason and similar intent. Keep an eye out for that early next week, probably.