So I have a cleric in my game who is under threat of being possibly excommunicated from his faith.

So I have a cleric in my game who is under threat of being possibly excommunicated from his faith.

So I have a cleric in my game who is under threat of being possibly excommunicated from his faith. How do I handle a priest without a god to follow? Perhaps a compendium class? Will he be able to work any of his spells, or will he just be a religious man who is no longer accepted by his god?

To verify, hes being excommunicated by his God, not his church.

11 thoughts on “So I have a cleric in my game who is under threat of being possibly excommunicated from his faith.”

  1. Ah the old broken record of DW advice: ask the players. 🙂 I’d ask the players (especially those with a background in relevant lores, clerics, wizards, bards, etc.) if excommunicated clerics are a thing in your fantasy world.

    The mechanical consequences should follow the fiction. Why is being in a faithful order important for clerics in the first place? Do their magical powers come from the blessings of an external source (a god, a pantheon, a critical mass of faithful in one place, etc.) or does his magic originate from an inner faith? Is this cleric the first cleric EVER to be excommunicated, or do rumors about of those orderless faithful roaming the world?

    The opportunities for a GM are endless in this situation, there’s no worst case scenario. If the magic is from an external source then the cleric should be courted by new gods. (Or change play books to something more appropriate, but blah.) If it’s something internal that the cleric keeps, then the order/god would definitely not appreciate someone acting in their name without permission! Sounds like a hot bed of change, conflict, and excitement no matter what!

  2. I think it could go a few different ways.  Does the PC want to be excommunicated?  If so you could make them play as an average man until they get enough xp to choose a second class or you could have them picked up by a god that is more in line with their actions.  If they are following a ‘good’ god maybe a neutral or evil god starts to take notice of them.  Just a few thoughts.

  3. Depends on why he’s being excommunicated. Is it that the God is truly upset with him, or just that he’s upset some political enemies? If it’s just politics, then he gets to be a fun heretic with all his divine power intact. 😉

  4. To explain further, basically he stuck his neck out for another player, saying that he swore by his God that he would keep him out of these angelic beings business. The Angels took it literally and contacted his God, making a deal. Basically if the deal is broken, he will be cut off from his God because his religious is big on the law.

  5. To what extent do the character’s abilities depend on his being a member of the faith community? I mean, is he being excommunicated by the church or BY GOD? It seems to me like these are very different situations and your post doesn’t make it clear which is which.

  6. Well, is this a monotheistic world, where there is a single Creator God, or is it polytheistic, where there are many divine beings in various relationships?

    If it’s the former, he’s pretty much out of luck – assuming his supernatural powers are granted by God, if he’s cut off, those are gone…and maybe he’s cursed, as well.

    If it’s the latter, he’d lose the favor of his declared deity, but he might be able to turn to another. First one still might curse him, though. Makes for some interesting conflicts.

  7. What kind of Divine Being? Good, Bad, Cunning, Stern, Treacherous?

    Also I’m pretty sure the God would want him beyond Death’s Door before the Cleric’s noggin got picked for secrets.

  8. 1. Don’t be afraid to curtail the cleric’s powers until they have resolved the situation.  The most memorable RPG adventures are often those where the character(s) overcome seemingly enormous setbacks.

    2. Following your explanation about what happened, it probably depends on how hard the cleric tried to keep the other character out of the Angels business.  Also, the contract between the god and the angels happened offline, which means you can write the details of that however you want.

    If the cleric didn’t try very hard then they’ve effectively betrayed their god = lose their clerical powers until they dedicate themselves to a new god.  Of course, their choices of god are likely to be limited, because not many gods are going to be interested in a cleric who betrayed their previous god.

    If the cleric really did work to keep the other character out of the angel’s business but was thwarted by factors outside their control, then the god is likely to be more forgiving (assuming that’s within the god’s nature). This sounds like the ideal setup for a quest:

    They have to make good with the angels (it’s the contract between the god and the angels that really matters, after all); only then will they get their clerical powers back.

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