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Preacher of the Eternal Truth

by Giampaolo Agosta

Role: the Preacher is a devout scholar who leads the prayers in a temple of the Eternal Truth. He can be a priest, but also a scholar of philosophy, natural sciences, magic, history or any other branch of knowledge, as long as his studies are compatible with the doctrines of al-Kalim.

Requirements: Preachers may belong to any class, and the kit is open to non-classed NPCs. Many Preachers are priests, but bards and wizards are also common. The scholar must be Lawful, and have superior intelligence and wisdom (12 each). An high Charisma score is useful, but not required.

Class modifications: due to the need to spend most of their time at a temple, scholarly characters receive one less weapon proficiency slot, and one more for non-weapon proficiencies. Preacher thieves devote most of their skill points to abilities useful for their studies, like Read Languages for historians or Find/Remove Traps and Open Locks for students of mechanics. Pickpocketing is not a common ability, not even for its entertaining value, so Preacher thieves get a -15% penalty to that skill. On the other hand, they are more cultured than other thieves, and receive a +15% bonus to Read Languages skill.

Weapon Proficiencies: most common weapons are those traditional of the Ylari people, like the kouglar (dagger). Other weapons acceptable are those which required skill and concentration to use, like bows. Martial arts are practiced by the Dervishes, and can be used by scholars too.

Non-Weapon Proficiencies: all Preachers must be literate, and must be able to lead the faithful in their prayers. Therefore, they are required to take the Reading/Writing (Alasiyan) and Ceremony (al-Kalim) proficiencies. Since most of their time as junior preachers is spent debating religious matters with the elders, they receive a free Religion (Eternal Truth) proficiency. Once the character has been accepted by the leaders of his temple (3rd level), he must get the Sage Knowledge proficiency, in a field of his choice. Then, as soon as he gains his next level, he automatically becomes versed in a specific subtopic, as if he had spent another slot on the same area.
Sage Knowledge, Reading/Writing, Law, Oratory, Religion and Ceremony are always considered class skills for the Preachers.

Equipment: every Preacher must have a copy of the Nahmeh. They won't usually wear or even possess armour, or other costly items, unless they are useful for their studies. On occasions, the Preacher may prevail upon his temple's funds or possessions, provided that the use he does of them is to further or protect the goals of the Dream of Justice and Honour and the Dream of the Garden in the Desert.

Special Benefits: the Preacher is highly respected by all followers of the Eternal Truth, and thus he receives a reaction bonus equal to 1/4 of his current level (rounded down). The Preacher may be called to judge upon matters of faith and religious crimes, including any offence to another follower of the Way of the Scholar, the theft of goods belonging to the community and any attack against a fellow believer.

Special Hindrances: the Preacher's duty requires that he remains at his temple. He will leave only on his pilgrimage, or if asked by the lead Preacher of his temple, or by a very high religious authority.
The Preacher must strictly follow al-Kalim's word, as written in the Nahmeh. A Preacher believes that material wealth is a distraction from his studies, so he will not keep money. His earnings are given to the preacher elders, who use the money to support the temple or for charities.

Starting wealth: the Preacher receives a copy of the Nahmeh for free, and 1d4x10 dinars to buy other equipment. He cannot keep more than 1 dinar. The rest is given back to the temple.