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The Faithful - An Optional Archetype for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells Revised Edition

Work on the revised edition of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells is moving along. This will be a hefty tome, with a LOT of tools and new options to customize your campaign, keeping the style, simplicity and flexibility of the original game.

Today I come to present my lateste addition to the draft, a new Archetype for those that want to insert some elements of more tradiotional fantasy into the game. The Faithful is an archetype inspired by the Cleric of more popular RPGs, but with some twist to fit SS&SS better. Following it, there is a sample "God" to use with it.

The Faithful

The gods have chosen you to represent them in the mortal realm, or at least that’s what you believe. Most of the priests, monks and shamans perform their rituals without any hope to get an answer from their patrons, but you know you are being listened to. Your patron, your god or your ancestors help you and those that they deem worthy through you. Your faith can actually operate miracles.

The Faithful Archetype represents an uncommon type of character in sword and sorcery tales. One that is more common in the genre fantasy that was popularized by popular fantasy games. Thus, this Archetype is optional on Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, and Referees can determine they are not allowed in their campaigns. The Faithful receives gifts and blessings from supernatural entities that act as their patrons. They worship those beings, make offerings to them and act under a code of conduct in accordance to the deity’s dogma. Their gifts will vary with the supernatural entity that they worship and the Referee might need to create a few of them for their campaign world if they decide to use this Archetype.

Prime Attributes: Intellect and Willpower
Recovery Roll: 1d6+1
Special Abilities: 

  • I have faith: The Faithful reduces the Difficulty on any Avoidance Rolls and Resistance tests to avoid perils and effects (sometimes effectively doubling down on this reduction) due to their faith in their god and a higher purpose they have in their god’s plans.
  • Gifts of the Gods: The Faithful receives gifts from their gods in the form of special powers and blessings. Beginning at first level they receive 2 Gifts from their god and receives another one every level thereafter. Each god has a list of appropriate Gifts according to their dogmas and portfolios (see the sample gods below).
  • Begone Heretics: Each god has rivals and enemies which they fight against and rebuke. The Faithful, thus, can make a Willpower test to force creatures contrary to their god’s beliefs and sphere in the Eternal War of the cosmos. Characters worshiping lawful gods could rebuke undead creatures, demons, and chaotic beings, while those who worship chaotic gods would do the same with humanity and other races who worship lawful gos, celestials and neutral beings. A success would force 1d6 HD per Level of these creatures to flee as best as they can or suffer a Negative Die to all actions if forced to act against The Faithful. Failure, however, impose the Negative Die on the character while giving the creatures a Positive Die to all actions while in the character’s presence. This effect lasts for 1 turn per Level.
  • Invoke gods: In extreme situation The Faithful may call on their god to directly interfere on their behalf. When doing so, The Faithful makes a Luck Roll and makes a petition to their god. No matter the result, their Luck score is immediately reduced to zero afterwards. If the character is Lucky, their god answers their supplication and help them in a dramatic resolution in accordance to their tenements. This won’t usually solve all the character’s problems but will generally save them from a drastic consequence, buying them time. If The Faithful is unlucky their god has forsaken them for now, being preoccupied with their own affairs and resenting the petitioner for interrupting their concentration. Their Luck score will be restored according to the standard rules.

Irinae, The Iron Maiden

Some god were once mortals, and Irinae is one of them. Born a slave of a Zartarian Sorcerer-King, Irinae rose to the ranks of the warrior women who fought to overthrow this chaotic empire thousands of years ago. She forged weapons and trained the women and children to fight against their former masters, using iron to kill and to defend.

After thousands of years, the stories of Irinae turned into myth and finally a cult of the Iron Maiden. She is the goddess of strength, bravery, steeliness and iron. She is mostly worshipped by the Arthasians, the most common people of Anttelius, who face hardship on every turn. Her priesthood is mainly composed of women, who train anyone in the art of warfare and defense, especially mothers and single women. They are expected to protect the weak, fight injustice and persevere in the face of suffering.

Rebuked Creatures: Sorcerers, Undead, Demons, Tyrants, Cruel People.

Powers of Irinae
The Faithful of Irinae can receive any of the following powers as Gifts of the Gods.

Gifts of Irinae
Iron Strength - The Faithful can infuse themselves or those in need with the strength of Irinae, giving those a Positive Die in all Physique teste relating to muscle strength for a number of turns equal to their Level. They can affect a number of individuals per day equal to their Level. A Luck Roll may allow an additional use of this power.
Cauterize Wounds - Using hot iron, The Faithful can cauterize the wounds of their companions, healing 1d6+Level points of damage instantly. This ability can be used a number per days equal to the character’s Level. A Luck Roll may allow an additional use.
Forge Bond - Using a hot iron, The Faithful can mark a number of individuals up to their Level to fulfill a promise. All of those marked have to work toward fulfilling that promise or their mark will start to burn their skin, causing 1d3 points of damage per day. This damage starts after a full week without any progress or attempt to further the promise’s goal.
Vengeful Maiden - The Faithful throws a piece of iron on a body of water and pray for a full turn. After that period a warrior maiden will come out of the water with arms and armor to have vengeance upon those that have wronged the Faithful or someone in need indicated by them. The Maiden lasts for 1 hour per Level and has 1 HD per Level.
Avenging Sword - The Faithful imbues an iron sword with the will of Irinae and it will seek vengeance against a target the character chooses. The sword will fight as the Faithful, using their Willpower to make attacks and will last for a number of hours per day equal to the character’s Level.
Iron March - The Faithful and a number of additional individual equal to their Level can walk twice as much in the same day of travel as they normally would. This lasts for a number of days equal to the character’s Level, after which all the subjects must rest for a number of days equal to the amount of days traveled or suffer a Negative Die to all actions.
Iron Skin - The Faithful can utter a quick prayer to become a bulwark of steadiness and has their skin covered with hard iron. This will give them a DR of 5, but will only allow them to either move or act each round, while giving them a Positive Die on all Physique tests and imposing a Negative Die on all Agility tests. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to the character’s Level.
Stalwart Defender - The Faithful becomes a bulwark to defend their companions and those in need. They can make a number of defense action per round equal to their Level, making a Physique test to block or parry melee attacks against themselves or adjacent companions. This power lasts for 1d6 rounds per Level. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another 1d6 rounds.
Share the Pain - Giving an object of iron to another individual so both The Faithful and them are touching it at the same time, the character creates a bond of protection, making ay attack that damage either of the individuals to divide the damage caused between both of them equally. This effect lasts for a number of turns equal to the character’s Level. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another turn.
Punisher Mark - The Faithful points to an enemy within long distance and a burning mark will appear on them, marking them as enemies of Irinae and her followers. This mark will give a Positive Die to attack them for all those who believe in Irinae and will make their attacks inflict an additional point of damage too. The Faithful can only have a number of marks active at the same time equal to their Level, and can only place a mark once per Level per day.
Inspire those in Need - Raising their weapon high, The Faithful makes a speech of hope, perseverance and the need to fight back to inspire a number of individuals listening equal to their Level. Those gain 1d6+Level temporary Vitality points and gain a Positive Die on all tests to resist fear and effects to cloud their minds. This lasts for a number of turns equal to the character’s Level each day. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another turn.
Shame the Cruel - Pointing the finger at those that have wronged the innocent and invoking the name of Irinae, The Faithful imparts a great feeling of shame and resentment on the wrongdoers, imposing a Negative Die to all actions for 1d6 rounds per Level per day. One target per Level can be affected, and they can resist this like a normal spell. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another 1d6 rounds.
Flaming Blade - The Faithful can materialize a weapon made of pure fire with a quick prayer. This weapon is usually a sword and can inflict 1d6+Level points of damage with a hit. The Faithful can attack using either their Physique or Willpower and the effect lasts for 1 turn per Level. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another turn.
Iron Chain - Using a small link of chain and uttering a few sacred words, The Faithful can make a great chain appear and entangle an enemy within long distance they can see. The victim can resist this effect against a Difficulty equal to the character’s Level and it lasts for a number of hours equal to the same amount each day. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another hour.
Shield Wall - The Faithful summons a wall of iron shields that once defended the followers of Irinae to protect their companions and those in need. This power will grant a magic shield to the Faithful and an ally within medium range per Level, lasting a turn per Level per day. This magic shield can block 2 attacks per round, using the Faithful Willpower in the Attribute test. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another turn.
Burning Lies - With a burning torch and a prayer, the Faithful can interrogate a target and make a number of questions per day equal to their Level. The subject of the power will suffer 1 point of damage per Level if they lie, and will need to pass a Willpower test to resist showing signs of pain (which will reveal that they are lying). A Luck Roll can be made to ask each additional question.
Furious Visage - Irinae gifts The Faithful with the face of vengeance and fury, capable of shattering the will and morale of anyone who glimpses it. One individual per Level can be affected per day and they may resist the effect like a normal spell. If they fail, they will flee as fast as they can for a turn per Level, and if backed in a corner will act with a Negative Die on all actions. A Luck Roll can be made to use this effect for another turn.
Rust Iron - The Faithful can touch an object made of iron or metal and cause it to rust in a few minutes. One object of medium size, roughly the size of a longsword, can be affected per Level in a day. If the object is being held by someone, they can resist the effect if so desired. A Luck Roll can be made to allow an additional use.
Iron Soul - The Faithful calls for Irinae to strength their soul with the hardiness of iron. For a number of hours per Level per day, the character gains a Positive Dir on all Intellect and Willpower tests to resist effects to confuse, cloud their judgment or frighten them. A Luck Roll can be made to increase the duration of this effect by an additional hour.
Blade Barrier - The Faithful summons a barrier made of whirling blades with a length of 10 feet per Level and half as much height. Anyone approaching the barrier that is not aligned with the character suffers a number of attacks equal to The Faithful’s Level, suffering 1d6 points of damage per hit. This power can be used for 1 turn per day per Level.

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