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War Priest Kitby Jennifer Guerra
In our campaign, many characters and NPCs are War Priests of a local Immortal. When we started out, we didn't have much material to draw on (just the core rules, the Complete Priest's Handbook, and the setting), so we developed a sort of kit for these priests. Well, as we added to our collection, we found that what we had developed almost identically matched the kit included in the Complete Book of Humanoids. I won't bore you with more details, but I've included a generalised version of that kit (with our adaptations) here for those who are interested. PLEASE NOTE that although we created this kit with AD&D core rules in mind, I am posting it here because I think that the kit goes well in OD&D Mystara campaigns too, with a couple of adaptations. Feel free to alter it to fit your needs.
THE WAR PRIEST
War priests are clerics of battle (the exact Immortal is the DM's choice, but I recommend one not already in the Canon). They preach a doctrine of might makes right, ministering to the body as much as the soul. Not only do they bring the faith to the warrior classes, but they also fight beside them when they march to war. War priests are clerics with better-than-average combat skills. They burn with the indignation of their violent Immortal, wielding weapon and holy symbol in harmony for their faith. War priests are chaotic, but not necessarily evil, although they usually walk a fine line between their love of war and the actual advocacy of the destruction it brings.
War priest sects cooperate with other sects of war Immortals, but may find themselves on opposite sides of a battlefield quite often. This is not seen as a conflict of interest, as it is the act of war itself which is holy, not the choice of battle or of sides. War priests will do nearly anything to thwart plans of Peace priests, whom they consider their ultimate enemy. War priests, in addition to the abilities below, may choose to specialise in a certain aspect of war, such as cavalry, tactics, battlefield healing, and so on.
REQUIREMENTS. This kit is open to all races (including humanoids) and both sexes, though male war priests are more common. They can be of any chaotic alignment. The minimum Strength score required for members of this kit is 13. The minimum Wisdom score is 9.
ROLE. War priests lead the faithful to battle, bringing clerical spells to the battlefield along with their weapon of choice or (optional) a weapon holy to their sect. They are respected among the peoples who engage in war as a way of life, and feared among those that prefer more peaceful solutions.
War priests usually attend to the spiritual needs of warriors, considering others as less worthy of their attention. They foretell when the Immortals want their followers to go to war. They prepare the troops with inspirational sermons and clerical blessings. They fight alongside their followers, bringing the wrath of their Immortal down upon their enemies.
Some war priests become adventurers at the bequest of their Immortal, going on long quests as part of their normal duties.
WEAPON PROFICIENCIES. War priests typically wield a weapon of their choice (including edged or missile weapons). Optionally, they may be required to wield the holy weapon of their order (for example, a morningstar) either exclusively or in tandem with a weapon of choice. War priests with the ambidexterity skill may learn to wield two weapons in combat, as a fighter (DM's option).
Required: Religion, Blind-fighting
Bonus: Knowledge of Battle Tactics
Recommended, General: Endurance, Intimidation, Riding (land-based)
Recommended, Warrior: Armourer, Blacksmithing, Close-Quarter Fighting,
Recommended, Priest: Healing, Spellcraft
EQUIPMENT. War priests may purchase any equipment they choose, including any armour. They can use any magical items normally available to priests.
SPECIAL BENEFITS. War priests can acquire warrior proficiencies without spending an extra slot.
War priests receive Constitution hit point bonuses as warriors.
War priests may use the optional weapon mastery rules from Combat and
Tactics as if they were warriors.
At third level, they acquire the special ability Incite Berserker Rage, ten rounds per day (for +2 to attack and damage). This ability can be used not only on the fighters under the war priest, but on the priest himself.
At fifth level, war priests can Inspire Fear twice a day (as the fourth level Fear spell).
MAGICAL ABILITIES. War priests are allowed access to the following spells.
Major Access: Chaos, Combat, Healing, Protection, War.
Minor Access: All, Guardian, Necromantic, Sun
Forbidden Spheres: All others.
FOLLOWERS AND STRONGHOLDS. Followers are received at eighth level and consist of one fifth-level priest, three third-level priests, and six first-level priests of the same order, plus two fifth-level fighters. The priest may take any or all on adventures or to battle (in addition to any army he may lead). The priesthood (if it is organised) will pay for half the cost of stronghold construction at eighth level. The stronghold must include a large armoury.
SPECIAL HINDRANCES. None.
WEALTH OPTIONS. War priests start play with 3d6x5 gp.
POSSIBLE SYMBOLS. Sword Across Banner; Polearms in Formation; Morningstar in a Mailed Fist (or other holy weapon).