Saturday, February 2, 2019

Mayahanist (Priest)

Started playing Planescape again recently, and this class was written and designed by one of the players. I'll not give names here for reasons of keeping worlds separate, but here you have it!

The Class
MMahayanists seek the liberation of all beings from samsara, and by hook or by crook there’s almost no wrong way to achieve this end. While Mahayanists do have a code of precepts, most of these are quite flexible in practice. Mahayanists are enjoined to do no harm to sentient beings, and as a result are not allowed to wear armor or wield weapons for the purposes of combat. If a Mahayanist engages in physical combat, they are not necessarily expelled from the order, but they must undergo a period of meditation and reflection before they regain their spellcasting abilities; and if a Mahayanist attempts learns how to use a weapon proficiently, they forever lose those spellcasting abilities. Sometimes Mahayanists think of such monks and nuns as “failed,” while others merely think that they have embraced a different form of skillful means to awaken other beings to the reality of Samsara. There are also Mahayanist “Paladins,” and some monks and nuns have been known to make the switch from one to the other as a result of some sudden awakening or command from a Buddha.

Mahayana monks/nuns are further restricted in that they may only acquire goods or money that are freely given to them. Ostensibly, this means that a monk or nun will starve if food is not offered to them, though they are allowed to gather plantlife and drink from streams. As members of an adventuring party they may not ask for specific treasure, and the most they can do is to remind those around them of their basic needs by offering an alms bowl. Even if the party should happen upon magical items especially suited for a priest, the monk/nun is not allowed to ask for such, and must accept what is given to them, even if it seemingly has no use. For this reason, monks/nuns begin play with a set of robes, prayer beads, and an almsbowl, and nothing else. They do not roll for starting gold or equipment.

Mahayana monks/nuns cannot be evil, lawful, or chaotic. Law represents form, chaos represents emptiness, and monks/nuns walk a middle path between these extremes.

As a Mahayana monk/nun, however, followers of the great Buddhas gain full access to the following Priestly Spheres:
Animal, Astral, Chaos, Charm, Divination, Law, Necromantic, Numbers, Thought, and Time

In addition to this, monks and nuns possess the power of Animal Empathy as per the Ranger ability. For every level past 1st, a Mahayanist also decreases their Armor Class by 1 point. In practice, this ability is often baffling to their opponents, as the monk/nun does not appear to be unusually dextrous or moving especially quickly; it is a manifestation of their alignment with nonduality, a chief principle of their philosophy. Every level, monks/nuns also acquire a new language, appropriate to whatever region they currently inhabit, or the region they intend to move to next, reflecting their basic missionary edict. Monks/nuns may also inspire their allies through chanting, giving them a +1 bonus to attack rolls and saving throws; the effect takes 3 rounds to start and lasts 1d3 rounds after they stop. Mahayanists also have a secret, unspoken language that they may use with one another. It is clear to those around them that communication is occurring, but no words are used and it is incomprehensible to those who are not also Mahayana monks/nuns. In addition, due to their deep practice reflecting on the nature of reality vs. delusion, Mahayana monks and nuns gain a +4 to their saving throws against all Illusion spells, whether cast by a priest or a wizard, and gain a regular saving throw against Illusion spells that normally do not permit one.

No comments:

Post a Comment