Per yesterday's discussion, here's the Friar variant that I'm working on for my campaign. I realize it is a step down in overall power level from the Cleric, but that doesn't bother me a great deal, as I still see a niche for this. I'm very curious to see it playtested--let's hope someone chooses it!
Right now, I've just limited spells to 4th level. I'm not totally satisfied with that, as I want to give him some rough cantrips and lower-level spells, but don't want anything to high-powered in there. Suggestions welcome--oh, and this is for Castles & Crusades system (though you certainly don't need to be fluent in that system to comment--I'd love some outside views!):
A Castles & Crusades Variant Class (hopefully suitable for other Classic-Style RPGs as well)
While Clerics and Paladins tend more towards larger-than-life holy crusading, it is the Friar that humbly protects the common people of the land. This less-vaunted brother of the church is often found in rough homespun, spreading the word through assistance to the poor, sharing their burden, and, when necessary, stout defense against the wicked.
Friars are generally down-to-earth, practical, and less concerned with doctrine than emotional response. Some may even be illiterate, but still manage to spread the holy scriptures by word and by deed.
Spiritual Discernment (Wis): More instinctual than doctrinal, Friars have a proclivity for discerning the holy or unholy qualities of a person, place, or thing. Upon a successful check, a Friar can tell these qualities, which often come in the form of hunches as “off”, “right”, or “wrong”.
Improvised Weaponry: A friar spends much time with the peasantry, and if defending a village or farm, he must use whatever is at his disposal. To that end, he may use any improvised weapon as its nearest analogue without any penalty (for example, a chair leg would do damage as a club, a boat oar can be used as a staff, and farm implements can be used as is, such as a scythe).
Magic: Only minor magics are the Friar’s to command, and they mainly follow those of the Cleric. However, even minor magics can have a tremendous affect on the lives of everyday people. They progress as the Friar Spell Progression Chart, listed on this page. They do not have to memorize a spell to cast it, but may cast spontaneously from their strong belief and practical strength.
The Friar chooses spells from the Cleric list.
Prime Attribute: Wisdom
Typical Races: Human, Dwarf
Alignment: By Deity
Starting Gold: 1d4x10. Any unspent is lost.
Hit Die: d8
Weapons: Staff, club, sling, improvised
Armor: Any light or medium. Friars generally wear their rough robes, but are practical enough to know the value of leather or a chain shirt in dangerous times.
Abilities: Spiritual Discernment, Improvised Weaponry, Spells
(Ok, both of the below tables will look like poo. Sorry for the poor formatting).
Friar Level Progression
Level HD BtH EPP
1 D8 +1 0
2 D8 +1 1601
3 D8 +2 3350
4 D8 +2 7601
5 D8 +3 15001
6 D8 +3 30001
7 D8 +4 60001
8 D8 +4 120001
9 D8 +5 240001
10 D8 +5 450001
11 +3 +6 625001
12 +3 +6 800001
(See comments for my replacement text for spells)
Friar Spell Progression (Spell Known/Daily)
Level 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
2 3 1
3 3 2
4 3 2 1
5 3 3 2
6 3 3 2 1
7 3 4 3 2
8 3 4 3 2 1
9 3 4 4 3 2
10 4 4 4 4 2
11 4 4 4 4 3
12 4 4 4 4 4
Special thanks to Orlandia and Old Guard Gaming Accoutrements for inspiration! This class is also available in pdf here.