Priests of Hephaestus - ROM, 26/Oct/05

Prime requisite: WIS (9+), also STR 12+, INT 12+, DEX 12+
Level  Experience  Identify  Enchantment
  1             0     5%     Temporary
  2         2,900    10%     
  3         5,800    20%     
  4        11,600    25%     One Use
  5        23,200    35%     
  6        46,400    40%     Charged
  7        92,800    50%
  8       185,600    55%     Self-Charging
  9       371,200    65%     Permanent, Keyed

 10       742,400    70%     Permanent, General
 11     1,113,600    80%
 12     1,484,800    85%
 13     1,856,000    90%
 14     2,227,200   100%     7th level spells
 15     2,598,400   105%
 16     2,969,600   115%     +1 level spells
 17     3,340,800   120%
 18     3,712,000   130%     +2 level spells

 19     4,083,200   135%
 20     4,454,400   145%     +3 level spells
 21     4,825,600   150%
 22     5,196,800   160%     +4 level spells
 23     5,568,000   165%
 24     5,939,200   175%     +5 level spells

There are no clerical spells of higher than 7th level; spell levels +1 to +5 exist to handle the fact that enchantment spells go up to 9th level, and that some enchantment is at a maximum of -1 to -3 spell level.

Though standard enchanters would only have a percentage chance of succesful enchantment at 1st to 3rd level, priests automatically succeed, as long as they are using a workshop in a temple. Otherwise, they could be treated as an Enchanter, but Hephaestus does not generally approve of doing work which the priest knows might be flawed. This also discourages priests from 'Pushes'.

There are no experience bonuses for priests for having high STR/INT/DEX; standard experience bonuses for WIS apply. Note that the minimum WIS is 9, and STR, INT, and DEX must be at least 12.

These clerics require somewhat more experience, due to the the fact that in addition to being clerics, they are also Enchanters. See the "Character Designer" notes, below.

Note that the enchantment rules in the 'Spell Smith' character class will be needed to play priests of Hephaestus. All the enchantment rules required from the Enchanter class should already be included, here.

Priests of Hephaestus have no weapon restrictions, though they tend to be fond of hammers as weapons. They may use any armour, or shields, and may make use of any magic items, unless the DM rules that it is both not one normally usable by clerics, and further is not a made or constructed item. They have no abilities with regard to the undead; their abilities with enchantment replace these. In all other respects they are as clerics.

In some settings Hephaestus is considered a patron deity of alchemy, more than the alchemy involved in smelting metals from their ores, and smithing work. If this is the case, then Neutral priests of Hephaestus can be dual class cleric/alchemists.

Almost all priests of Hephaestus are Neutral, with a few being Lawful, and the ordered nature of the religion and their workings makes it very difficult to be Chaotic. Priests usually at least tend towards Good, possibly more so than almost any priests of Greek deities.

Most priests are male humans or dwarves, with the occasional gnome. Half elf or half orc priests might be possible, but most halflings or elves do not feel the religion suits them. Female priests are uncommon, but might be more common among the dwarves and gnomes. In worlds where Moradin exists, dwarves may consider him to share many aspects with Hephaestus, and to maybe even be the same god, with a different name and legends for different races. If nothing else, his priests are likely to get on well with priests of Hephaestus.

Note that while there are many similarities between the Roman god Vulcan, and Hephaestus, Vulcan is considered a destructive god of volcanos, and while Hephaestus workshop might be in a volcano, he is considered a god of construction. However, the aspect called Vulcan Mulciber is likely very similar to Hephaestus.

Hephaestus is the god of smithcraft. He is a worker of iron, gold, copper, silver, and everything else that requires fire in the working. Protector of all crafts (something he shares with with Athena). His symbols are hammer, anvil and tongs. As he is a gift giver, his priests are expected to be generous with the products of their crafts.

The first workings Hephaestus did were jewelry, and this is one reason these arts are often practiced by his priests. Apart from that, anything involving working with metal (and gems), though large workings like buildings use stone. While the god is capable of working with other materials, such as the clay from which he made Pandora, his priests will almost always avoid this, except for things like leather or wood fitments, to accomodate the more fragile mortal users of their workings in metal.

It should be noted that in the religion of Hephaestus the sky is considered to be made of metal, generally bronze, though the god is not considered to have made it. This may be one reason that some of the more unusual workings of the god appear to be made of invisible metal, in particular things like chains and nets. This invisibility was sufficient to fool the senses of the other gods. In consequence, his priests are allowed to enchant (permanent) invisibility into metal, and add further enchantments to prevent it being detected.

Many of the greater works of Hephaestus were animated things of metal, in some cases closely resembling living beings, with many of their capabilities, and the strengths of metal. Some of these were intelligent, or even highly skilful at crafting in their own right, and making creatures like this may well be something priests will aspire to.

Priests must work with their own hands, to continue to be in favour with their god. Supervising the work of others is not sufficient. On occasion priests have be able to continue working, using enchanted hands of metal. If they are not based in a temple, priests often seek a patron, preferably a ruler, who will ensure they have a steady stream of work. Though, they will also do work for others, so they would be wise to make it clear they are not under exclusive contract to their patron. It is rare that a priest dedicates their time completely to a single project - they will almost always find time to do a little other work, such as jewelry, or planning future projects, on the side. Note that being rich is not important to priests, being able to continue to use their arts is.

Skills and Enchantment

Identify is the 'Identify Enchantment' ability to recognise enchantments, it increases 5% per level, and 5% if a new spell level is learned. This is done by sensing the magical aura around items and examining runes and materials; typically this can be done by careful examination of an item without touching it. There is a 1% chance, always, that considerable knowledge may be gained of the nature of the enchantment if not its precise description, there is a similar 1% chance of being totally wrong (01 and 00). Making the Identify Enchantment roll at all means something is known about the enchantment. If desired the full Spell Smith rules for Identify Enchantment may be used.

The full details of the enchantment process are basically equivalent to those of Spell Smiths, and costs in time and money are those for specialist, rather than non-specialist, enchanters. There is the same requirement for a workshop: initial setup (3+1D5) weeks, at a cost of 2000gp per maximum spell level of enchantment, upgrade 2000gp cost and one week per spell level increased; but a workshop may not be reliably set up until at least 4th level; low level priests typically get access to the temple worshops. The same rules as Spell Smiths may be used for workshops improving Identify Enchantment, and for 'Level Push' (though priests are typically reluctant to use this).

Note that in addition to their clerical spell list, on which priests automatically know all the spells, they also have a 'field' spell list (only usable for casting in the field for Instant Temporary Enchantment), a 'workshop' one, and a 'failed' one. The rules for Known Spells on these list are given in the Spell Smith spec, and the chance of learning a spell is the standard magic-user one, based on the priest's INT, i.e. a base 50% and 7 spells with the minimum INT 12.


INT     IE
13-14   +5%
15-16  +10%
 17    +15%
 18    +20%
 19    +25%

 20    +30%
 21    +35%
 22    +40%
 23    +45%
 24    +50%
 25    +55%

All priests are considered to be skilled smiths (without spending NWP slots on it). If more detail is required by a DM, they are considered to be skilled blacksmiths, whitesmiths, coppersmiths, silversmiths and goldsmiths; i.e. they are skilled in the working of all metals. A roll will not normally be required, but if it is then the smithing roll is 18 (a NWP slot would raise this to 19).

All priests are also weaponsmiths (this costs them an extra NWP slot), or armorers, or jewelers (gem cutters). These are effectively three/four NWP slots that they get to assign to a primary skill(s). The reason that this is three/four NWP slots, rather than two, is that all these primary skills are +1, as if a second NWP slot had been spent on them. Further NWP slots may be spent on them to increase them further by +1, as standard.

Priests may also acquire other craft skills, such as Bowyer/Fletcher, Glassblowing, and Stonemasonry; Carpentry, Cobbling, Cooking, Leatherworking, Pottery, Seamstress/Tailor, and Weaving are far less common. These will all cost one slot, as will in fact any craft skill. Armorer, Engineering, and Gem Cutting cost two slots, and Weaponsmithing costs three slots. Taking a second slot as standard gives +1.

For example, a priest with STR 15, DEX 13 is a jeweler, as his primary skill, so he will have Gem Cutting 12. Not being too interested in armour or weapons, he uses one slot to increase his smithing to 19, one slot on Stonemasonry 13, and uses his two remaining NWP slots on more common priestly skills.

Character Designer

Class    Priest of Hephaestus
HP       300
Saves    200
THAC0    600
Sp List  300+500
Sp Box   500
WP       200
NWP      150+50
Talents  100

BXP = 2900

Priests of Hephaestus are charged the extra 500bxp so as to gain the field, workshop (and failed) spell lists of Enchanters, and the extra 50bxp to have the NWP smithing skills of Spell Smiths. They do not get a seperate enchantment spell casting capability; they use their clerical spells for this, including 'Instant Temporary Enchantment', and gain spells beyond 7th level (the normal cleric limit) which are only usable for enchantment.

(c) Rory O. McLean, 1980 - Oct. 2005
    Permission granted to use for non-profit making purposes