The Miracle System: Cleric Replacement Project pt. 2

Find part 1 here.

So this replaces the old Miracle system completely. Only a few miracles will included in this post; more will be dependent on pantheons, which will be part 3 of the Cleric Replacement Project.

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There are gods, and there are faiths, and there are philosophies, and all three are unique in that they change reality if one believes in them strongly enough. A miracle is this singular event, this one moment where you trust so wholeheartedly into a greater power or ideal that in that moment what you wish for comes true.

Every player character can attempt to invoke a miracle. The Referee, in turn, can have one NPC or monster attempt to invoke a miracle once per session. Once a PC has successfully invoked a miracle, they can never benefit from another one. Faith proves itself but once and beyond that all things stem from casualty.

Invoking a Miracle can be done at any point during the game. It can be the PC's turn, the monster's turn, or someone else's turn entirely. When you do so, roll 1d6. You must roll above a 6 for the miracle to be invoked. Naturally, there are modifiers that can be added to this roll. The Referee always chooses which miracle is invoked. They should either choose that which most suits the player's needs, or somehow decide randomly which occurs.

Miracle Modifiers are thus:
  • Every Backing Power (a pantheon/belief/philosophy) has 1-4 sacraments. If all are performed the session of miracle invoking by the would-be Miracle Invoker, then add +1 to your roll.
  • If the would-be Miracle Invoker is about to die, either from damage or a failed saving throw, add +1 to your roll.
  • If the would-be Miracle Invoker is about to lose something absolutely essential, like a fellow PC they are romantically involved in or the Rod of Lordly Might, add +1 to the roll.


Performing Miracles: Roll 1d6 at any point. A 7+ results in the miracle being performed. Gain a a +1 modifier for each of the following: performing your Backing Power's sacraments that session, in danger of immediate death, and losing a crucial thing. Referee chooses what miracle happens.


This system is meant to achieve a way for religious characters to have their religions mean something in game without relying on a spellcasting system. Any character can be religious, and any character can be chosen by their Faith to receive a miracle. It will be rare that this happens (unless one is a Saint, which will be another future blogpost), and a PC can only have one once, but miracles are miracles for a reason.


Here are some sample miracles, and the format in which they'll be communicated. More next post when I go into Backing Powers (as each Backing Power should have a suite of miracles unique for it). Consider these miracles "Generic Miracles" that any backing power can achieve.

You can't keep a good man down, even with the finality of death. This miracle has been witnessed and documented throughout history, and those who see you perform it will know at once that you are their messiah, regardless of that being true or not.
EFFECT: Upon death, you will be reborn 1d12 days later. All wounds you suffered will be half-healed, meaning you are at full hit points but the wounds are somewhat still visible. While dead, you will have a chance to either meet your Backing Power or experience some great meditation or revelation. Your return is accompanied by a great show of divinity, such as angels singing or herds of animals gathering around your place of rebirth. 

Everyone has lost something in their life. All existence, the wise know, is to steal from and to be stolen from. This miracle undoes this, and that which is taken is no longer so.
EFFECT: You will discover something of great value (either personal or worth at least 1,000 s/gp) the next round of having invoked this miracle. It must be something you have owned before, and how it is returned to you depends on your backing power. Odin could send his valkyries to deliver it to you, or the river styx could geyser forth and leave it drenched in soul-dew at your feet.

The supernatural is a disease on reality. Undead, fey, even angels or the agents of other powers are cancers devouring our world for their own purposes. To kill them is a task for heroes, but to undo them utterly is the domain of faith and faith alone.
EFFECT: Once this miracle is invoked, any and all supernatural effects within 1' mile x character level end. Additionally, any supernatural creatures are banished back to whatever foul domain from which they came and are then utterly destroyed. Demons will be hurled back into hell, ghosts will be ripped from their possessees, and the prideful horrors of warlocks will unravel into stardust. Until an equally cursed miracle happens in this area, never again will the supernatural bleed into this section of reality.

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Saints and their Endless Miracles: The Cleric Replacement Project pt.

I don't like the Cleric class. I don't like the name of it, I don't like that they just cast spells, and I don't like Turn Undead as their calling card power. It isn't bad, just not my taste, and I'm a vain, ugly blogposter.

So, I've begun work on my replacement. This'll be a rather big project, because it needs to replace the Cleric in my Lamentations games and the Cleric in my 5E games. I like the former more than the latter, so that's where we'll start.

For reference, see this post on miracles. It's the prototype for this whole idea.

P.S: I know I'm not unique in replacing the Cleric, but none of the other replaced Clerics have been to my taste either.

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Clerics - I need to replace the Cleric as an idea in my games. This means no more people who randomly get chosen to go do whatever they want with divine right. But that basic idea kernel of doing something with divine right should still be there. I guess what I'm really doing is removing the Van Helsing/Abrahamic influence for something else. 

Divine Magic - I don't want the replacement to be a spellcaster. You can argue that magic might as well be done through spellcasting because of ease of access, but I'm a firm believer that magic systems are coolest when they all have different, slightly esoteric rules--makes the whole thing just feel strange to me. Also, most standard Cleric spells are boring to me. So, these gotta' go.

Turn Undead - As mentioned above, I'm stripping out the Van Helsing/Abrahamic influence that hitherto now has been firmly wedded to the Holy Man archetype. Turn Undead can still be some sort of miracle, but that's neither here nor there.

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I'm taking my inspirations for this new direction from the following sources: Joan d'Arc, St. George, Jesus, the entirety of the Mesoamerican aristocracy, the Oracle of Delphi, and the countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Wisdom Kings from Buddhism's various branches. What these things all have in common is that they are people who either do extraordinary things out of sheer will/faith or they do something frankly impossible, enabled by their pantheon/deity. Both of these things are called Miracles.

Also, all of the above are considered saints in some way, shape, or form. So then, what we have is...

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A Saint is someone who creates Miracles. These can be miracles of war, miracles of life & death, or miracles of fate; regardless of their classification, they are supernatural feats of incredible potency. Always there is a deity, pantheon, or philosophy that backs the Saint. This will determine the type of Saint we're dealing with. Are you a warrior-hero, like St. George who slayed dragons? Are you a people's savior, like Jesus? Are you someone who is trying to save humanity from its own suffering, like the Buddhas? Regardless of the type, you someone who will have a special set of skills in relation to your backing power; a unique set of miracles that you can work; and access to sacraments and relics for your day to day adventuring needs.

Some might ask why a Saint is an adventurer. Well Strawman, the answer is simple: a Saint is someone who creates Miracles. Miracles can only be created when there is great need for them. When will there be greater need then when the thief gets stuck in a spike trap and loses both his legs? For those of you who want more direct story hooks for your characters, those can be given, but otherwise, you're there because you can only exist as a class in that situation. A thief steals. A fighter fights. A Saint...saints? Hm.

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The following things need to be done to complete this project:

  1. The Miracle system revamped to be something that can support both the Saint class and other characters who want to make use of it.
  2. A system for the backing power (deitiy/pantheon/philosophy) established. This will probably be me using some standard ideas to expand on.
  3. The Saint as a class actually written.
  4. Sacraments and Relics theorized and then written.
  5. Playtesting. 
  6. The 5E Version created, since I run that as well. This means more playtesting.
  7. Once that's all done, I'll probably edit it heavily, throw it into a PDF, and upload it somewhere.

So there we have it--declarations of intent and a plan set out. Step 1 will begin next blog post.

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