Hammer Horror & Cleric Power Delegation

I had not heard of Hammer Horror films prior to being a regular reader of Grognardia (see this post). After reading the argument that Van Helsing was one of the inspirations for the cleric class, of course I decided that I had to watch some of the Hammer films. So, I did some web research, and this DVD set seemed to be a good place to start. Quatermass and the Pit and The Devil Rides Out also seem interesting.

Speaking of clerics (this is my attempt at a segue), The City of Iron recently wrote about doing without the cleric class using blessings & pacts. I was just thinking about sources of cleric power, and one of my ideas was “Hierarch; source is a higher-level cleric (it’s turtles all the way up)”.

Following on that, what if delegation is a standard mechanic for cleric spells? Here’s how such a thing might work:

  • Any cleric can grant spells to other characters.
  • Max level of spell that can be bestowed is one less than the highest level the cleric can cast (e.g., a cleric that can cast third level spells can delegate first and second level spells).
  • As long as the spell remains granted, that spell slot is occupied.
  • The cleric can revoke the granted spell at any time.
  • The cleric will know when the spell is discharged, but not the specific circumstances.
  • Some monsters could also be able to bestow similar blessings.
  • Non-clerics can at most retain one granted spell.

I’m not sure if I would actually want to play with this system, but I think it is an interesting variation.

3 thoughts on “Hammer Horror & Cleric Power Delegation

  1. Brendan

    Yeah, I would revoke spells upon patron death. If you can find a way to destroy a cleric’s God, I would say that should revoke all the spells that god has granted as well. Which leads to some interesting adventure ideas, now that I think of it.

  2. Brendan

    This might also mean that going back to a superior and asking to be granted spells would be the analog for the cleric of a wizard studying a spell book.

    It would lead to interesting interactions like:

    “What do you plan on doing with that cause light wounds spell anyways?”

    And it would mean that a cleric that is cut off from superiors would be effectively cut off from power.

    Perhaps the cleric would only need to be personally delegated the highest two levels of accessible spells; they would be able to manifest the lower level spells from “inside” (or direct connection to God, or something else).


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