A cleric is a divine servant of one or more gods, serving them through combat prowess and divine spells, investing their allies with divine power. They are divine leaders who inspire through their own strength of faith. Clerics gain their powers through training and activate them through prayers and rites in the name of their divine patron.

Culture[edit | edit source]

Religion is deeply important to the majority of people on Toril, who feel that the gods are a very real and active presence in their lives, something that is not very far from the truth. For this reason, serving the gods is something that most people do as just a regular part of their lives. Clerics are elite agents of gods, sworn to follow and obey the tenants of their deity's dogma in ways that the average mortal cannot. Clerics must be close to the alignment of their patron, usually within one step of the deity's alignment or less.

Gods are as varying as people and, as a result, so are their divine agents, such as clerics, who might be good or evil, lawful or chaotic, dependent on who they worship and why. Good clerics heal and protect, helping those in need while evil clerics terrorize and destroy, increasing the power of their deity and themselves. Generally, good, or at the very least nonevil, clerics are more common, since good or nonevil deities tend to attract worshipers more than evil ones do. However, some evil gods are truly powerful, such as Bane, and have a large legion of followers and clerics willing to do their bidding. Similarly, though many clerics belong to orderly and structured churches, chaotic gods have clerical servants as well.

Relatively few priests become wandering clerics, but those that do are often inspired with the desire to spread their deity's works, for good or evil. Others are sent by their superiors, dispatched on missions of importance for the church. The most active clerics are typically humans or dwarves, with half-elven, elven, and dragonborn clerics also being relatively common. A few others take on the adventuring lifestyle for more mundane reasons. Regardless of motivation, clerics are highly valued companions, serving as healers and occasional leaders to their compatriots. Additionally, clerics may be specialized in ways, based on the deity they worship, that put them on agreeable terms with other adventurers.

Nearly all clerics are ordained members of a religious organization of some kind, though a few operate more independently and even those who are bound to a hierarchy do not necessarily answer to superiors. Most make their career choice relatively early in life, seeking to uphold the ideals of his or her god. Churches are often, but not always, tied to a specific god and a few gods maintain separate churches, some of which war with one another over differing interpretations of their god's (or pantheon's) dogma.

A lot of specific recruitment lore is NDA right now thanks to a project I'm still working on that I can't talk about, but in general, I can answer you as follows . . . Everyone in the Realms "believes in" and knows the portfolio and basic tenets of all the gods, so from "common folk" to kings, individuals may not know details of the faith or internal schisms and debates, but they "get" who every god is and what they're about. Many large religious communities (monasteries, abbeys, important temples) receive a steady stream of "foundlings" (babies and children left at the temple by parents who can't support them or are afraid they'll be slain (thanks to feuds, war, inheritance battles within families, etc.), or who are directed to temples when they become orphaned (or in some cases, are brought to the temple by local lawkeepers, who expect the temple to then care for them). As every monastery/abbey/temple has lots of work to do (farming and cooking, sanitation, cleaning and building repair, etc.), many children grow up as hard-working "lay worshippers" and temple staff, and may be inducted into the priesthood if they show interest AND THE GOD DOES, TOO. This last bit is also the "way in" to the clergy for people who haven't grown up working at a temple, but just show up on its doorstep one day "feeling a calling" (real or feigned). The deity shows interest by visions sent to priests, or visions that hover above the altar for all to see, during prayers, that depict that young lay worshipper or this lad who's just shown up at the door asking to be a priest, as a robed and vested priest of the faith, doing something. In other words, the deity signals that they want a particular person or persons accepted into their clergy (and sometimes shows a role or deed they are "destined" to do, too). The existing clergy wouldn't dream of denying the god's wishes, so . . . That gets a character into the ranks of the novices/postulants, but of course they will likely be trained, tested, sent on tasks, etc. like any other underpriest of the faith. There is no age or gender or race requirement for the clergy of most deities, no application form or set of skills (priests tend to wind up well educated, but can start as illiterate and ignorant of the world beyond their town or village) . . . it all comes down to divine approval. For instance, in one of my library Realms campaigns, the Company of the Ardrake happened upon a village that had been raided by orcs. It was largely deserted (human inhabitants slain and carried off, presumably to be eaten), but they found two dazed children buried under an outhouse that had been tipped over on top of them. As they were debating what to do about these hungry, half-aware, wounded mites, at nightfall as the darkness grew ever-deeper, a bright rosy glow suddenly kindled around them. Obviously, a manifestation of Lathander, claiming these two children. So the PC adventurers tended and fed them, kept them warm as they slept in the adventurers' camp that night, and in the morning took them some thirty miles to the nearest shrine of Lathander, and gave them into the keeping of the priests there, mentioning the manifestation. THEN they turned back to find the trail of the raiding orcs, to pursue the adventure they'd been planning. So there are many "ways in," but they all boil down to the god's wishes, that override any obstacles mortal priests may raise to entry. An abbot may be looking for just human males of a certain age, and want them to be hale and handsome, too - - but if the god wants a passing drow female child be accepted into the abbey, that acceptance will happen (though the abbot may have some strong protests and bewildered questions for the god, the nest time he prays privately).

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Clerics commonly use light or medium armor, simple weapons, and divine magic. Many clerics are also skilled in the use of heavy armor and shields. Clerics augment these spells, also known as prayers, through holy symbols of their deity that carry with them or wear.

Aura[edit | edit source]

A cleric of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the deity’s alignment. A cleric can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to her own or her deity’s. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Spontaneous Casting[edit | edit source]

A good cleric (or a neutral cleric of a good deity) can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that she did not prepare ahead of time. The cleric can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison or domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with “cure” in its name).

An evil cleric (or a neutral cleric of an evil deity) can’t convert prepared spells to cure spells but can convert them to inflict spells (an inflict spell is one with “inflict” in its name).

A cleric who is neither good nor evil and whose deity is neither good nor evil can convert spells to either cure spells or inflict spells. Once the player makes this choice, it cannot be reversed. This choice also determines whether the cleric channels positive or negative energy.

=Matters of Faith[edit | edit source]

A cleric adds their class level to all Knowledge Religion checks regarding their own faith.

Channel Energy[edit | edit source]

A good cleric (or a neutral cleric who worships a good deity) channels positive energy and can turn or harm undead creatures. An evil cleric (or a neutral cleric who worships an evil deity) channels negative energy and can rebuke or control undead creatures. A neutral cleric of a neutral deity (or one who is not devoted to a particular deity) must choose whether she channels positive or negative energy. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed. This decision also determines whether the cleric can cast spontaneous cure or inflict spells (see spontaneous casting).

Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the cleric. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two cleric levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the cleric's level + the cleric's Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channel energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total—all excess healing is lost. A cleric may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. A cleric can choose whether or not to include herself in this effect. A cleric must be able to present her holy symbol to use this ability.

Turning[edit | edit source]

Turn Check

A turning attempt is a burst effect with a radius of 60 feet. The cleric sets the DC of a turning by making a turn check:

d20 + cleric turning level + Charisma modifier

Saving Throw

Undead in the range of a turning must make a Will save against the DC set by the cleric’s turn check. An undead can Take 10 on this saving throw. Turn resistance is added as a bonus to this roll.

Effects of Turning

Even if an undead succeeds at their saving throw, they are still shaken as long as they remain within 60 feet of the cleric (-2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks) for the duration of the turning attempt.

Any undead affected by a turning attempt cannot approach within 60 feet of the cleric, nor can they take any action (direct or indirect) against the cleric or anyone within 60 feet of the cleric. Any undead affected within 60 feet of the cleric must immediately back away to a minimum of 60 feet. If the cleric approaches affected undead, the undead must back away as soon as possible.

If an undead fails their saving throw by 10 or more, they are frightened and must flee for 1 minute (as per the normal turning rules).

If an undead fails their saving throw by 20 or more, they are controlled or destroyed (as per the normal turning rules).


As long as the cleric concentrates, a turning attempt lasts for 1 minute (10 rounds) per turning level of the cleric. Any new undead coming within 60 feet of the cleric during this time are affected by the turning unless they make the Will saving throw.

A cleric can use additional turning attempts to force new saving throws for undead previously unaffected, or to extend the duration of the turning. As long as no lapse in concentration takes place, these additional turning attempts do not allow a new save for any undead already affected by the turning.

Other[edit | edit source]

Many clerics are also fluent in Celestal or Abyssal and their related dialects.

Prayer domains[edit | edit source]

All magic, arcane or divine, comes from the Weave, clerics access prayers dependent on large categories called "domains,". Not all gods grant the same spells to their clerics. Each god has particular areas of expertise (represented by domains), and these affect what spells are available to a cleric of that god. Each god grants the spells listed for each of the domains below that they possess (whether the cleric has chosen the domain or not), as well as the spells listed for the "universal" domain. Note that a spell may have different levels for different lists; in such case, the cleric may choose which level he wants the spell to count as. If a cleric gains the ability to spontaneously cast a spell, he also gains access to that spell even if it is on none of his deity's domain lists. A cleric may use wands and scrolls of cleric spells that are one of his deity's domains, and must use his deity's available domains when determining valid effects of the Miracle spell.

At the beginning of their career, a cleric was required to choose two of the powers associated with their divine patron's available domains as the focus of their particular training and faith. These allow them to prepare domain prayers each day from those domains' set lists, in addition to their more general prayers.

Each domain also has another set power associated with it. For example, the Strength domain allows its clerics to increase their strength for one round per day by a number equal to their cleric level, and the Healing domain makes clerics more adept at casting healing prayers.

Divine Magic Use[edit | edit source]

Divine magic is power sent from a deity to a mortal. And what that power does depends on the target. There are three types of spells: Boon, Neutral and Bane. A boon spell has a positive effect on a target, such as a cure spell. A neutral spell has a neutral effect on target. A bane spell has a negative effect on a target. There are five possible categories of targets. Favored, Friendly, Neutral, Hostile, and Opposed.

  • Favored-This target is the most loyal to the deity and that deities ethos. Most often, but not always, this will be a faithful worshiper of the deity. It may also be an individual that shows true dedication to the deities ethos. A boon spell cast on a favored target will have a boon effect. This is most often a bonus +50% effect or duration, a bonus spell effect(often a 1st or 2nd level spell effect), or another beneficial effect. A bane spell will have it's effects and duration reduced by 50%. A neutral spell is the same.
  • Friendly-This is anyone who actively worships the deity, or at least follows the deities ethos. This is most often a +25% bonus to boon spell effect or duration, a bonus spell effect(often a 1st or 0 level spell effect). A bane spell will have it's effects and duration reduced by 25%. A neutral spell is the same.
  • Neutral-This target is in the middle. A boon spell has the normal effect. However no boon spell effect will last. A spell effect will only last for a maximum of one week(ten days) minus one day per spell level(so a 5th level spell effect would last five days). Neutral and bane spells are as normal.
  • Hostile-This target is hostile to the deities faith. A boon spell has the maximum of 25% of the normal effect. The duration of any boon effect is never more then a day. Neutral spells are the same. Bane effects have a bonus 25% to effect and duration.
  • Opposed-This target is opposed to the deities faith. The spell will have no effect on the target.

The priest must be holding a physical object to serve as the spell focus, and they must believe it is a holy symbol of their deity. Which means it either must be, or the priest must believe it is (because they are insane/deluded, or because the object is the right size, weight, shape, and texture and it's either too dark to see it or it looks identical to their holy symbol, and they BELIEVE it's their holy symbol). So a thief can't "depower" a priest by stealing a holy symbol and substituting an unconsecrated duplicate, because so long as the priest believes it's the real thing, the spells will work. And if the priest discovers such a switch BUT knows that spells cast with the "false" one worked, then the priest will believe that the deity has accepted the false symbol - - and it now IS a holy symbol, just like the "real" one was. Note that a sufficiently deranged/confused priest might believe that almost ANYTHING (a pebble, a dagger, a twig) is their holy symbol, if those around them insist loudly enough that it is, regardless of the size, shape, etc. of the "wrong" item. Also, a priest favored by the deity, who is calling on the deity to cast the spell, might be told/reassured by the deity that the item is indeed a holy symbol - - and if the priest believes it is, the spell works, regardless of the nature of the item (even if it's a holy symbol consecrated to ANOTHER deity, or a cursed item). Hope this is of help.

Places[edit | edit source]

A "cathedral" is a temple (usually very large, prosperous, and ornate, presided over by a very high-ranking priest (the equivalent of a real-world Roman Catholic bishop, or higher).

A "temple" is a permanently, at-all-hours staffed (by ordained clergy) house of worship to a Faerunian deity or deities. Usually priests capable of raising the dead dwell and worship there. A temple always has a consecrated altar to the deity, the staff wear holy vestments and make use of consecrated items in their rituals, and regular rituals (usually several times daily) are held. Lay worshippers (the general public) are usually admitted to rituals and for religious advice, aid, or discipline. Priests are often sent forth from a temple to minister to outlying faithful and to further church business (including actual commercial businesses).

A “monastery” (“nunnery” if the clergy are female only; if mixed, the term “monastery” is usually used, the exceptions being for female deities whose clergy is predominantly female, such as Sune and Sharess) is a religious community, often walled and usually in a remote rural location, with a temple (and usually a farm or other means of self-supporting food source, like mushroom-growing caverns, alpine sheep pastures, etc., plus often a business [mill, tannery, etc.] for generating income from the sale of goods). Priests (“monks”) always dwell on site, often lifelong or for years at a time, under a strict regimen or ‘rule’ of regular rituals, prayer, and work for the deity (which often really means work to advance the wealth and influence of the priesthood, from pursuing intrigues to making medicines and liqueurs for sale).

A “shrine” is a small, simple site for worship of a deity or deities. It is usually identifiable by the symbol of the god, and its altar may be either consecrated or improvised. It may or may not have a staff; many shrines are maintained by reclusive hermits or local lay worshippers, and only visited by traveling priests for cleansing, renewal, and collection of any offerings that may have been left there. Shrines to some deities (depending on the deity) may have caches of healing potions, holy water (or unholy water), or items consecrated to the god (holy symbols, weapons blessed by the priests of Tempus in a shrine to Tempus, dice blessed by the priests of Tymora in a shrine of Tymora, etc.). Shrines don’t usually have resident (staff) priests, but some faiths ‘man’ them with month-long shifts of clergy dwelling onsite.

A “chapel” is a small shrine or temple attached to a larger structure, or enclosed within its walls (e.g. a stone building within or built against the inside of a castle). In royal castles, ruling courts, or the keeps of the nobility, it’s quite often a room or rooms within the larger structure. Sometimes, chapels are reserved exclusively for the use of a royal or noble family, and their existence may even be kept secret from the wider world.

Lore[edit | edit source]

gods have ALWAYS showed their displeasure (and sometimes approval) of PC performance by controlling what divine spells are granted in return for prayers. In other words, the god can see if Priest X intends (at the time of asking) to use a spell for selfish purposes not in accordance with the faith, and bestow a lesser spell or nothing at all (or the spell plus a warning lecture). If the deity is particularly pleased with the performance or aims of Priest X, a spell or spells might be placed in the PC’s mind that they could never hope to gain by prayer (i.e. something beyond their level limits). In all cases, cleric PCs are on constant ‘performance review.’ If you fail in your mission due to circumstances honestly beyond your control, that’s fine, but if your actions and motives stray from the faith (or the commandments, however mistaken or foolish, of your clerical superiors, EXCEPT when you knowingly disobey because you can clearly see THEY are straying from the faith and by your disobedience you will be cleaving to it and furthering the aims and influence of the deity), you will pay a price. Sometimes it’s a penance, sometimes a difficult mission or test assigned to you, and sometimes it’s ‘shorting’ your requested spells. This is one of the key DM tools to making priests very different from “fighters who can cast healing spells, so the rest of the party had better suck up to them, or at least pay lip service to the priests’ gods.”

Almost all clergies accept (and expect) offerings from worshippers in return for certain prayers (and almost all spellcastings) and services (burials, consecrations, blessings of a new business, etc.). Almost all clergies combine these funds to buy land and build properties, and become landlords, taking in a constant stream of rents from tenants, tenant farmers, and "rental" farmers. Many clergies serve as banks/safe deposits, securely storing all manner of things for commoners (from legal documents to Great-Grandma's mummified fingers), especially for poor commoners who may be homeless or fear for the security of their "stuff" when they're off working or trying to scrounge food...and for those who travel for work, like drovers, caravan guards, wagon merchants, etc. Temples also do the moneylending/moneychanging/valuables storage functions of real-world banks, and of course charge fees for doing so. And like real-world banks, they invest such funds, and the money they earn from offerings and rents, in livestock and farm crops and cargo ships and businesses, charging interest on such loans. So most urban and "verdant breadbasket rural" temples are wealthy, not poor.

There are of course many more sources of clerical income, such as the sale of holy relics and their lesser cousins, "favors of the god" (meant to bring good luck to the bearer or household), "tokens of the god" (holy symbols of recognition and veneration for the common/lay worshipper rather than the "holy symbol" a priest carries; i.e. the equivalent of a real-world Catholic crucifix worn by an "ordinary" man or woman), but you missed the BIG one: priesthoods delivering verbal and written messages, documents, and small valuables over vast distances, from one individual to another [e.g. to relatives or family members], "altar-sworn" for safe delivery (i.e. the priests swear before the deity to deliver whatever it is faithfully, without altering or distorting it, pilfering from it, or violating its privacy if possible [obviously, the contents of a verbal message are known to the bearer, but a written message will NOT be unsealed or read by any member of the priesthood, nor will they allow a third party to read it], upon pain of losing the favor of the deity = being expelled from the church), for fees. In other words, almost all faiths in the Realms offer a FedEx-like service, and derive cumulatively great amounts of income from doing so. (There's an interesting sideline to this: someone in possession of something unique that will get him or her killed, such as stolen royal regalia, may well in desperation deliver it into the hands of temple priests with a fee to deliver it to a fictitious person or one the sender, but few or no others, know to be dead . . . so the priesthood will now keep and conceal the item(s) "forever" as they seek to deliver them to the proper person . . . whom they will never be able to find.)

Healing[edit | edit source]

Asthma has many local names in the Realms (“roren” is an old, widespread but now nigh-forgotten one, that’s still used in Rashemen, Aglarond, Impiltur, and the ?Great Dale), but is most often and most widely called “lackwind” these days. The treatments are varied, from curative clerical spells to cantrips that oxygenate the blood without curing the condition, to local wisefolk remedies like inhaling the steam from a kettle (using clothing to hood the head so moisture can’t escape), to three or four herbal remedies that work (and dozens more that don’t). New remedies are discovered from time to time by herbalists, druids, alchemists, and priests (though monastery and temple “cures” tend to be closely-guarded secrets for as long as possible, rather than swiftly shared and spreading).

The effective remedies consist of:

1. Chewing the prickly, dark leaves and/or tiny yellow-white “flag” or “wisp” flower of a certain wild Heartlands and more northerly-growing weed (called “hammerwind” for its effects), that’s abundant but short and often overlooked (the darker-than-most-plants green leaves are the best way to spot it). They cause the lungs to pump rapidly, but the heart rate is also increased, skin goes bright red in the face, breast, and shoulders, and eyes sometimes bulge. The condition is alleviated for 1d2 days, but immediately after ingestion (and the first made rush of lung-pumping), the asthmatic may feel worn out and even weary-clumsy (“stumbling or fumbling exhaustion”).

2. Putting a single leaf of some little-known mountain flower on the tongue of the asthmatic. This works fast, but brings on euphoria (and for some, orgasm). The leaf must have been treated properly to be effective, and the plant and this “proper treatment” is apparently plentiful but little-known (except among some northern Harpers and dwarves, and the Witches of Rashemen). The leaves are small and almost perfectly triangular, and some say the plant is called “arritches,” while others refer to it as “storndown.”

3. The green, unripe “flower” (it actually looks very much like the harvested fruit of the hops plant) of the wild tortendril vine, crushed and brewed into a tea and drunk, gently and slowly alleviates asthma symptoms. It may take an hour or more for breathing to be comfortable, but if the tea is sipped (even cold and old), relief can last for days, even during exertion such as travel and moderate lifting and climbing.

4. “Auglauken” (pronounced “Aww-GLOCK-enn”) is the dried berry of a certain wild vine, that goes so brown and hard that some folk believe it is a nut. (Think: ovoid and smooth unpopped popcorn kernels.) This vine literally grows all over the known surface Realms that isn’t desert or frozen, but doesn’t produce berries all that often. Ingesting a raw, moist auglauken berry (enclosed in a slender pod often unnoticed among the side-tendrils and leaves of the vine) is as effective as hammerwind, but without some of the flushing/blushing and fierceness of the lung-pumping . . . and eating a dried one brings a gentle, lasting relief (stretching for most of the waking hours of a typical day). As a result, these berries are a staple of most healers’ and herbalists’ shops, and are not inexpensive (1 sp a berry in cities, 2 or 3 berries for 1 sp in rural areas where many folk know where and how they can be harvested). They travel and last well (often for years) if kept from the damp, or sundried within a day or two of every time they do get wet.

Some allergic reactions are seen as "touches of the gods" (and even retribution by a god), some are seen as curses or other "dark magic" cast by enemies, some are seen as signs particular monsters (known in the area, at least in legend) are returning and are close/have touched the afflicted, some are seen as diseases, some as unintended contact with "fell plants" or small defensive magics left active by the fey or other "unseen place spirits," and so on. The short answer is: what the reaction is seen as being varies widely by location, person afflicted, who's seeing that affliction, the past history of a family or group the afflicted belongs to, what else may have recently happened locally (temple catching fire, spell-duel between mages, etc.), and other factors. And yes, there are magical diseases. I've revealed some in the past, but a lot more are NDA right now due to future publishing plans.

Markustay, there are MANY cases of individuals being allergic to magic, but none of them, so far as I know, have been allergic to ALL magic. Rather, they are allergic to specific types of spells (e.g. translocation) or to magics in combination with something (drunkenness, proximity to particular plants, etc.), or to combinations of magic (e.g. protective magic cast on person, they are then struck by another spell, and the combination causes a reaction). When such things are clearly the result of magical contact, they are sometimes called "the curse of Mystra" or "the disfavor of Mystra," but it's often a mystery as to how the "cursed" person earned that curse/disfavor - - particularly as such reactions tend to be rare, and sometimes one-time things (i.e. the same person doesn't react in the same way again, because the combination of magics, or the circumstances of magical exposure [proximity, strength of effect, etc.] aren't precisely the same as the earlier incident.

In short, magic retains its mystery, in these matters as in others. I doubt someone allergic to all magic could survive birth, or more than a few hours after birth, due to the innate prevalence of magic in the Realms (not just cast magic, but "natural" magics).

1. Gods sometimes answer the prayers of anyone with extra, or more powerful, spells than normally granted, usually because the supplicant is dedicated to doing something, RIGHT NOW, that the god very much approves of. This can take the form of unusual and unexpected multiples of the spell desired (nine flame strikes instead of one, nine heal spells instead of one), or spells "higher in level" than those usually granted to the supplicant (either a mighty spell given to a novice, or even a spell put in the mind of a non-priest, such as a faithful to the deity woodchopper or farm wife or child. Often, but not always, these are divine responses to worshippers pleading in desperation, with their lives in immediate peril.

2. On home "holy ground" (i.e. inside their temple or close to an altar of the deity or the burial place of a powerful holy worshipper of the deity), any priest gains extra power if they need it. So a novice or young girl with a broom guarding an altar against an orc raiding band could smite them with holy spells she desired but that would normally be far beyond her. (Were this not so, shrines and temples across the Realms would be constantly and casually robbed by brigands, adventurers, and soldiers of the local rulership.) This is a key ingredient in skeptics truly believing in the gods, even if they don't think them worthy of worship. Those intending to vandalize or plunder a temple will often taste fierce and unexpected resistance from opponents who would be puny annoyances elsewhere.

Daily Acts[edit | edit source]

In the 'home' Realms campaign, we Knights did indeed have 'patron' deities, and all of us Knights carried a token, holy symbol, or remembrance of our primary god, whom we normally prayed to briefly in the morning (if we didn't awaken under attack or in some emergency), at moments of crisis (such as healing a wounded friend, trying to keep a sick or poisoned person alive), and, in a more lengthy private prayer, just after our evening meal. We'd pray to our deities for guidance, which sometimes came in the form of dream-visions or even 'waking' mental visions (snapshot scene tinged with a feeling of favour or disapproval), and VERY rarely came in the form of a 'manifestation' (Lathander, for example, was a rosy glow, around a weapon, or one of us, or a keyhole or secret door, or moving along a route).

Upon arrival in a town or village with a formal shrine or temple to a patron deity, we would attend a service, and give an offering (if coin-less, trophies from fallen foes would suffice [for Tempus, of course, weapons from beings we'd defeated were considered the most valuable offerings], and if we had absolutely nothing, information about our doings and what we'd seen reported to a priest was accepted). Paltry or verbal-only offerings usually resulted in a priestly request to do a service, either something as simple as "help move this temple furniture" or "confess in full to the superior priest tomorrow" or "help guard the temple doors tonight."

If we found an untended or desecrated shrine of a patron deity during our travels, the PCs venerating that deity would cleanse it and pray there (one of the elaborate prayers, sometimes involving a chanted or sung ritual), and Ed had provided us with some prayers, small couplets of creed-advice, and even approved oaths for invocation of the god (which we uttered in play, sometimes causing great amusement). If we found a hermit or travelling priest of a patron deity, we would expect to share food and drink, and would offer to encamp with the priest and offer our protection.

If we were staying in one locale with a temple, we would attend services at least once every two days. Priests in Ed's campaign do a lot of "influencing the laity" work by dispensing news and gossip that's been carefully slanted to promote the importance of their god and the creed and aims of the faith, and to motivate the people hearing it to do certain things that further the work of the god, and they customarily do this at the end of formal services, sometimes while 'blessing' worshippers (the old "priest stands at the door to speak to everyone leaving" tactic :}). From them we also learned temple or priestly sayings that weren't part of the official creed (example, for Tempus: "We come in peace: smite to slay!")

Other gods were to be prayed and offered to in appeasement (we've got to cross the Neck in a boat, so Umberlee, please don't sink us, and Talos, send no storms . . . and if the body of water was large, we'd be praying for navigational aid, too), and NO gods were to be treated disrespectfully. Their worshippers and clergy, yes, and sometimes (for followers of good-aligned deities opposed to human sacrifice) their altars shattered, too, but the gods themselves were considered very real -- when thwarting their mortal servants, 'tis always best to NOT defame the god while you're at it. Mocking their holy sayings is about as far as it goes (example, when slaying a priest of Talos: "Send a storm -- now REAP a storm!").

In practical terms, except for the tasks set by priests for our cleric PCs at each level (and in one special case, given Florin personally by Mielikki!), once we were adhering to our faiths, this all faded into the background. Like driving a car, we no longer paid a lot of attention to: "Now I'm turning the key, with my foot on the brake pedal, and now I'm -- " . . . we just did it. Torm, of course, endlessly teases the rest of us: "Now, would Lathander REALLY want you to do that?"

Yet we've learned to ignore Torm or give him back as good as he gets ("Well of course I upended you into the horsetrough! Lathander told me to so serve over-clever, mouthy servants of Mask!")

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