Friday, February 28, 2014

Cleric Sage Studies IV

Three more down, five more to go for the cleric.  It is good to remember, as I said on Tuesday, that this is something that can be refined with use, as players think of questions to ask and the specifics of each study/accomplishment are hammered out.


Amateur:  identify from reference, know acts
Authority:  know if living or dead, know location, key abilities and resources, retell detailed myths
Expert:  identify associates, recognize heroic traits
Sage:  sense accomplishments in the bearing of others, location or destination of a hero’s soul upon death

Recognizing a hero’s name from a reference about something someone did is simply, “Ah, that was so-and-so.”  Knowing an act does not mean knowing the whole tale; Hercules killed the lernean hydra.  How?  That requires an authority.

Knowing the present location of a hero means only generally; the location where a hero will go upon death, or where a dead hero has gone (Elysium, Heaven, Happy Hunting Grounds) is a deeper, more profound knowledge.  Key abilities would be what a hero was able to do, or what resources (magic items) they possessed.  Associates are living people who aided or knew the hero, if that is possible—it wouldn’t be if the hero were long dead.

Recognizing heroic traits in others would be knowing from communication that an individual’s ability, or level perhaps, was far in excess of appearance.  Sensing accomplishments does not give details about what was done, only that the individual has clearly mastered something great (if they have), though that may not have been made known.


Amateur:  empires, wars
Authority:  biographies of great figures, events, regions
Expert:  biographies of lesser figures, cultures, diplomacy, trends
Sage:  conspiracies, plots, subversive diplomacy

History is not limited to times long past—even something that happened last week is still ‘history.’  The lesser historian may be consigned to details, persons or moments of change, but the greater historian begins to see sweeping trends (which would be what regions seem to have meant to do, or are meaning to do) or even be aware of conspiracies that lie behind the visage of what everyone else sees.

I expect this study, and what can be known at what level, to evolve considerably as the study is employed.

Law & Customs

Amateur:  civil laws, local criminal laws
Authority:  capital crimes, cultural moralisms and practices
Expert:  business law, property law, tariffs, taxes, trade
Sage:  jurisprudence, precedents, settlement making

Knowing local criminal laws are those that typically pertain to the lowest class, and presuppose the character having had time to investigate ... ie., a day or two.  Civil laws are those regarding assault, minor destruction of property, slander, etc.

Capital crimes are more widely distributed, and are those for which death, amputation or an imprisonment of years is involved—which vary in detail according to how heavy is the penalty and how action is affected by religion or morality.

Business law et al allows a useful knowledge of the right amount to pay, the right palms to grease, the right manner of setting up a business, or knowing where and the means to obtain permits, etc.

Jurisprudence is to argue the meaning and scope of the law itself, why it was created or how it came to be.  Precedents allows a court trial to be dismissed or reduced to a lesser crime, something that would probably require a wisdom check to invoke (half wisdom or less to suspend, wisdom to reduce sentence, failure of check to have no effect on trial).  Settlement making would be the cleric having the wherewithal to settle a dispute amicably between others simply on the basis of knowing how others in the past have faced a similar quandary.


  1. As it pertains to your "Law & Custom" section, I am not deeply familiar with your game world, but as stare decisis only exists in common law systems, would the knowledge of "precedents" have the same sort of relevance to you?

    Also, would "mediation" more effectively convey your meaning of "settlement making," or are you going more for the ability to negotiate effectively in a legal system? "Settlement-making" implies a negotiation, but your description describes a more of a mediator role (or even the role of an arbitrator, which may be a difference you'd be interested in exploring).

  2. James,

    Precedents were invented by the Romans, and incorporated into the Justinian Code, which was largely followed by most ad hoc courts at the time my world takes place. These were being reworked, but I am not quite in the enlightenment, so I am satisfied with the medieval code. So, I guess the answer would be yes, the same relevance to me.

    Mediation would probably be a better word. I did have an idea that this might apply not only to legal disputes, but diplomatic disputes also, or decisions handed down by a king, a high priest, etc. - arbitration, as you say.

    You seem to have a good grounding in law, which I have not. I must include the law in my list of studies, however, so there it is. I do feel that questions such as you're asking are the way to tweak this thing in the game, as more information and greater distinctions are made.

  3. I would hope I have a good grounding in law, otherwise I am just in the wrong field. It's really cool stuff, I've learned a lot about a variety of topics from your work.


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