Revisiting Faith in the Age of Ruins

Uriel-mosaicIn yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I’ve been thinking about the idea of faith in my home game again; specifically the way the manifestation of divine power is reflected in the rules. Since there is no Arcane Background: Miracles edge or divine spellcasting in the setting, I originally outlined Faith as a skill modified by a few edges (and refined that outline a few days later). I put a link to that first post up on the Savage Worlds general forum; the first reaction I got was from a long-time frequent poster who said he thought the basic premise of treating Faith as a skill outside of a spellcasting function was just the wrong way to approach it.

At the time I thought he made some interesting points, but I was kind of stuck on that basic premise so I didn’t really think deeply about the alternative. But once my mind drifted back to the topic after giving it some time to simmer on the back burner, I started to wonder if maybe he was right. I also decided that I was almost certainly going to remove the Healing edges from the Faith edge progression, as I only really included them in the first place because a corner of my brain was being a slave to traditional D&D ingrained notions.

Side note to any players from my current campaign who may be reading this and are concerned about its impact on their characters (Hi, Joe!) — I do not plan on changing the way we are handling Faith in the current game, other than removing the option of the Healing edges, which haven’t come into play yet anyway. What I am posting below is the way I think I would handle it in the future. That future could be a new Age of Ruins campaign, or it could be a point in this campaign after any characters who currently have the Faith skill have met an untimely end and any new characters are introduced. (Of course, if you read this and feel strongly that you would prefer the system below, we can assess the situation.)

This incarnation takes the Faith skill out of the game altogether. Instead there is just a series of Faith edges. Because these edges are not considered Professional edges, any benefit gained from them stacks with any similar bonuses gained from other edges. Ultimately, what truly faithful characters are capable of barely changes from the previous system (except the already mentioned removal of divine healing). All that changes is the way those things are represented in the rules.

True Faith
Requirements: Novice, Vow Hindrance, Spirit d6+
Your deep devotion to a deity provides you with great inner strength. You get +2 on Spirit rolls to resist Fear and Intimidation, as well as +2 on Smarts rolls to resist mind-controlling magic. The benefits of this edge, as well as of any Faith edges, are lost if you violate your vow or consistently act in a manner contrary to the tenets of your faith. The GM determines when you have properly atoned and regain these benefits.

Requirements: Novice, True Faith, Spirit d8+, Strength d6+, Vigor d8+, Fighting d8+
Functions as described on SWD pg. 39.

Requirements: Novice, True Faith
You are an ordained priest, monk, or other recognized leader of your religion. You command respect and receive a +2 to Charisma when dealing with followers of your faith. In addition, you may gain role-playing benefits as appropriate to your station within the setting. Unlike other Faith edges, the benefits of Clergy can only be lost if word of a failure to keep your vows gets out.

Enduring Faith
Requirements: Novice, True Faith, Spirit d8+
You gain a +2 bonus to any rolls made to resist the negative effects of Hazards. In addition, whenever you are required by a Hazard to make a Vigor roll, you may roll Spirit instead.

Guardian of the Sacred
Requirements: Veteran, Champion, True Faith, Spirit d10+
Your bonuses gained from the Champion edge increase to +4.

Holy/Unholy Warrior
Requirements:Novice, True Faith, Spirit d8+
As an action, you may call upon your chosen deity to repulse supernaturally evil creatures, such as the undead, demons, and the like. It also works on characters of opposed faiths. Repulsing evil affects all such creatures within a range equal to your Spirit. Targeted creatures within that range must make an opposed Spirit roll (very powerful undead or demons may get a bonus to their rolls). When you win, the target is Shaken; a win with a raise means it is destroyed (Wild Cards suffer an automatic Wound instead). When a targeted creature beats your roll, they are unaffected. If any target beats your roll with a raise, you are Shaken. Multiple targets beating your roll with a raise do not cause any further effect; however, if any one target beats you with multiple raises, each additional raise causes a level of Fatigue. This Fatigue will heal one level per hour once you are no longer in the presence of the creature.

Unyielding Faith
Requirements: Seasoned, True Faith, Spirit d8+
You gain +2 to Spirit rolls to overcome being Shaken.

Requirements: Novice, True Faith, Spirit d6+, Notice d8+
You gain a +2 bonus to Notice rolls. In addition, your Notice skill may be used to detect otherwise imperceptible otherworldy presences and unholy corruptions, such as places where demons have been summoned in the past and nearby sites that are either strongly sacred or profane. It can also detect the mark of possession or otherworldy evil on other characters (such as infernalists and necromancers). This does not allow you to detect the specific intentions of others, nor does it detect those whose sins have been strictly worldly in nature, such as those who have murdered out of greed or anger.

Author: John Carr

Gamer, comic guy, office drone.

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