Cleric Rote: Guidance

Cleric Rote: Guidance

Cleric Rote: Guidance

I played a Cleric for the first time a few days ago and found myself casting Guidance (not to be confused with the Cleric’s starting move, Divine Guidance) a LOT. Every time we came to a crossroads my Cleric would pray to his deity Gi-Ohdee (Yes, pronounced as the letters G, O and D run together) for guidance. Our GM – Damian Jankowski – did a fantastic job describing how a form of Gi-Ohdee’s symbol on a sign or mine cart, etc. would point us down the “correct” path. It was great to always be on the “correct” path, but I feel like it short circuited the adventure.

At the end of our session we freed Gi-Ohdee from imprisonment despite rolling SEVERAL bad rolls at the WORST time (the entire party made really good rolls until it REALLY mattered, then we all rolled garbage) and I’ll be getting a level up as soon as we can rest. Fictionally, I think Divine Intervention is a great advanced move for my first level up because Gi-Ohdee will grant it to the Cleric for freeing him. But I also feel like the Guidance spell makes it too easy to find the “optimal path” so I think that having Gi-Ohdee revoke the spell permanently with a “you no longer need my guidance, trust in yourself and your allies to find your way” would not be terrible.

Am I just being stupid in thinking this way? Should I continue to take advantage of it? Has anyone else had similar feelings about Guidance (I DIDN’T until I used it so many times in one session)?

12 thoughts on “Cleric Rote: Guidance”

  1. What I would usually have done that I didn’t, was to either require a cost or something that would restrict how often worked. However, since it was a one-shot, I just like the players to get use their powers as much as possible. Even then I think you used it… twice?

    Also, a good GM should let you feel like you are awesome, but make it a challenge. Even though you were led in the right direction, I hope that I managed to set you up with challenges to keep it interesting. 😃

  2. Well, the sign “gestures towards the direction or course of action your deity would have you take” (emphasis mine). It doesn’t point to the correct way, just the way your god wants you to go. So yeah. I think it’s fine. The paths your deity wants you to travel aren’t always the safest, clearest, or easiest are they?

  3. Actually after posting this and walking upstairs to the bedroom I got to thinking that since Gi-Ohdee’s precept is Trial by Combat it would have been cool for his sign to point to fights rather than safe passage. That would give us a hard choice… follow the sign to combat, or steer away from it and anger Gi-Ohdee. If we get to pay these characters again Damian Jankowski​ I think that would be a cool way to handle it

  4. Brian Holland That’s a great point! I do often simply lead in the right direction. When I finished posting, I was also thinking that the symbol could appear on your weapon, or on your shoes if he preferred that you walk instead of travel by horse. Not a direction, but rather a method.

  5. I had a cleric use guidance several times during a campaign. I only ever showed her the way her goddess wanted her to go. And she didn’t always know exactly why she wanted her to head that way. I remember a couple of times when the party had to go in another direction because they thought the most pressing situation was another way. They traveled about three days in the wrong direction actually. But eventually their Grim Portents built up enough in one area that the goddess switched focus to the immediate area they were in to try and help her cleric stop the impending doom before it happened. They didn’t stop it in time, however. But they helped get the survivors to safety and the Cleric got to look like a bad bitch when she used turn undead for the first time to keep her and the rest of the party safe from a swarm of shades and zombies.

  6. Scott Selvidge In that scenario, what was the purpose of leading them three days in the wrong direction? I mean that as a genuine interest. What was it the Goddess wanted that was so different from the party’s plan? Was there any alignment between the two courses?

  7. Had a player with a cleric that worshipped a god of suffering. Guidance turned into Avoidance after the first few uses. I let them cast that as often as they wanted. Turns out that suffering can be the correct path as well.

    Gods are fickle and mortals are terrible at devining their wisdom. Signs and portents abound. Not all guidance needs to be obvious or helpful.

  8. Dave Bendit​, yeah that’s what I’m thinking when I say it will give us a hard choice. IMO, Guidance should be appended with “Take + 1 forward when acting on it”, or similar wording. I feel that would make the choice of following the guidance or not a tad more difficult.

    EDIT: OR EVEN “Take a -1 forward if you act against it” to represent going against your deity’s guidance

  9. Damian Jankowski Its a long and great story. I’ll try to sum it up. A character from a previous campaign was brought 1,000 years into the future by the cleric’s goddess, though he only experienced a night of passion with her after she drew him into her own domain. He arrived in the new setting, where he met the Cleric who had been told by the goddess where to meet him when he arrived. The character, Feynriel, later met an old friend (who he also slept with, he’s a bard so he does that) before the party left to search for the ruin of a mage guild he had visited in the last campaign during its prime. He wanted to find info on what happened while he was out of the normal time line, while other party members had their own reasons. Well, the goddess brought him there because a god war took place in the span he was gone, and during it a god took the immortality from elves (of which Feynriel was one and the goddess was the creator of). She slept with him to imbue him with some of her divinity so that he could pass it on and create a new goddess for the elves that could restore their immortality. He unknowingly passed the power on to the old friend (also an elf). So she was pregnant with the goddess/Feynriel’s child and the party was going somewhere else, so the guidance spell kept pointing back towards the unborn child. Again, the party had no idea any of this was occurring, and events (like the undead I mentioned in my last post, along with them having to dispose of a demon possessed sword) led them in a wide circle before they made it back around a month later. The supernatural pregnancy had already brought Myrna (the friend) close to giving birth by then, and it all got better from there!

    It was honestly one of my favorite story arcs my group has had and there were a lot of other great bits like the wizard who needed their help taming a sandworm and the underwater god temple, but yeah, thats the short of why they were going the wrong way.

  10. Scott Selvidge, I never even considered that the guidance may not have anything to do with the adventure at hand. It’s like someone praying for their team to win the Superbowl (I’m personally guilty of this, because no-one wants to go to work the next day and face everyone when their team tanked in the Superbowl lol)… God really doesn’t care who wins a football game! The deity could be guiding you towards it’s own agenda!

    It’s really up to the Cleric to interpret the guidance. I remember the story of the man sitting on his roof after a flood ripped through town. A boat came up and the man said “I’m waiting for God to help me.” Later, a raft comes up and he says again, “I’m waiting for God to help me.” After a third time of sending a boat away the man drowns. When he gets to heaven, God looks at him and says “I sent you three boats, why didn’t you get in?”

    I still like the idea of the guidance being related to the deity’s domain and/or precept!

Comments are closed.