May 24, 2023 odnd


The Cleric represents something not present. A representative of an outside force - the Church hierarchy, or a God. The other classes could be agents in a similar way, but the Cleric alone must be. A mystic seeker seems better represented by the Magic User, unbound by the titles and ethos of a firm known structure. A Cleric cannot be a force unto themselves - unless they are a Heretic.

The Heretic is against an orthodoxy. They are unsupported by their home’ religion - consider that the OD&D cleric cannot call upon support from their religion, despite nominally being its representative. Rather than adventuring for the glory of the Church, they instead gather power to build a new temple - the centre of their new sect. They gather the faithful” (converts) and build strength, independent and answerable to only their God. By reading the Cleric as a Heretic, we solve many of the issues with them as adventurers, contrasting with the self-interested mercenary aspirations of Fighter or Magic-User. This also retains the different relationship to magic they have as compared to Magic-User: the MU uses Magic to achieve something. The Heretic remains devotional.

That even this most spiritual of classes must rely upon the acquisition of wealth through guile and violence seems notable. Contrast with the NPC Clerics who collect tithe from those passing by, or task them with missions, ensconced in their strongholds.

On the Thinking Adventures discord, Milton from The Last Redoubt found this extra context:

The turcopole”-type here as well is interesting and really lend this as well as your concept of clerics not being part of local power center.

During the period of the Crusades, turcopoles (also turcoples” or turcopoli”; from the Greek: τουρκόπουλοι, literally sons of Turks”)[1] were locally recruited mounted archers and light cavalry employed by the Byzantine Empire and the Crusader states.

A perennial problem for the Christian states of Outremer was the limited quantities of Frankish manpower, horses and weapons available. To a certain extent this weakness was redressed through the employment of locally recruited turcoples, riding indigenous horses and using the same equipment as their opponents.

The Mamluks also considered turcopoles to be traitors and apostates, killing all those whom they captured.

Previous post
Wolves 3rd Party Shit So you want to make shit (meaning books) for/with Wolves? If you want to just use the rules chassis as its own thing without using the name, feel
Next post
Wolves Upon the Coast Grand Retrospective 2 It’s been about two years since I started selling Wolves Upon the Coast Grand Campaign, and about 10 months since the last retrospective. I’m not