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Shepherds of Rad

by David Knott

I remember that I was once planning to write up something on those Shepherds of Rad. I figured that they should be able to learn Priest spells, but they would learn them through Wizardly methods -- in a very similar manner to Elven Treekeepers. At various points I toyed with two different approaches:

1) Shepherds of Rad could learn Priest spells as Wizard spells of two levels higher. This would give them "Cure Light Wounds" at fifth level. The problem with this approach is that it would give them access to basic healing a bit late and eventually give them access to all Priestly magic -- a bit too powerful for what should be relatively weak characters.

2) Shepherds of Rad would follow the Wizard spell progression but would interpret it slightly differently, as follows:

Spell Level 1 = Wizard 1
Spell Level 2 = Priest 1
Spell Level 3 = Wizard 2
Spell Level 4 = Priest 2
Spell Level 5 = Wizard 3
Spell Level 6 = Priest 3
Spell Level 7 = Wizard 4
Spell Level 8 = Priest 4
Spell Level 9 = Wizard 5

I prefer this approach for a number of reasons:

1) The "Cure Light Wounds" spell is available to 3d level Shepherds -- a mere 5000 XP is required to reach that level. This compares favourably with the 1500 XP that an OD&D Cleric is required to earn to gain similar ability. Even in an AD&D campaign a Glantrian party with a Shepherd of sufficient level would be viable.

2) Shepherds would have a tough time earning "noble" status in Glantri. Since they do not have access to 5th level Wizard spells until they reach either 18th level (AD&D) or 21st level (OD&D), they are at a considerable disadvantage relative to other Wizards. Of course, when the time finally comes that they can take the graduation exam at the Great School of Magic, they will have an easier time at the test. But just qualifying to take the test is their challenge.

3) Shepherds cannot raise the dead, as they never gain access to 5th level Priests spells or 6th level Wizard spells. So in Glantri, the dead generally stay dead. They may be reincarnated by normal Mages, but of course reincarnated characters lose whatever social position they may have held previously.