Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saints of Isle Imperium

I believe that the inspiration for Saints in the Isle Imperium comes not solely from the Catholic / Christian tradition (though they do have halos) but also from a broader view from other religions and cultures.

Wikipedia notes the following characteristics of designated saints across religions:
  • exemplary model;
  • extraordinary teacher;
  • wonder worker or source of benevolent power;
  • intercessor;
  • a life often refusing material attachments or comforts;
  • possession of a special and revelatory relation to the holy.

In Isle Imperium, we definitely see the first three aspects in play; the latter three may yet be revealed.

Initially, the only Saints encountered were shards, and the basic mechanic of shards and purchasing abilities from those shards are explained in this older post. Much later in the campaign, during a sphere-hopping season, we found that they were apparently native to a sphere known as Gariun Arede and were capable of many more things when freed from the shackles of the Shard mechanism.

Here's a sample of the earliest abilities of a Saint from a Shard:

Umbra Beatus (Latin) / Saint of Shadows (Vernacular)

taxonomy: rogue

Weapons & Armor -- only usable equipment in shard form
  • weapon: blade
  • armor: medium
  • accessory 1: pouch
  • accessory 2: satchel

Actions* -- must be triggered consciously / any attacks with weapons count as actions / only one action can be performed per combat round 
  • action 1: sprint - triple all movement for a single combat round
  • action 2: mug - automatic success in stealing one mundane item from an opponent
  • action 3: steal health - allows taking hit points from allies or enemies as an action (but undead count as having negative hit points, so draining them does damage to you)
  • action 4: steal action - allows the Saint to temporarily take another shard's shard action and use it for one combat round (cannot be done if Saint hasn't seen that action performed)

* note: only the first action is visible initially; when that action is 'purchased' using brightlight released by Chaos-infested creatures or when given crystallized brightlight, the next action becomes visible until all actions are visible.

Supports -- always on
  • support 1: body +1
  • support 2: maintenance - cannot be stolen from (unless unconscious, even immobilized, it's proof against theft)

* note: only the first support is visible initially; when that action is 'purchased' using brightlight released by Chaos-infested creatures or when given crystallized brightlight, the next action becomes visible until all actions are visible.

Reactions -- trigger when near death  (last 10% of hp remains)
  • reaction 1: façade - auto-recover from poison, paralysis

* note: only the first reaction is visible; when that action is 'purchased' using brightlight released by Chaos-infested creatures or when given crystallized brightlight, the next action becomes visible until all actions are visible.

More Saints

Of course, the Saint of Shadows is but one of the many Saints.

Here's a short listing of the other Saints encountered in Isle Imperium:

Saint of Eaves (which would have been revealed to be the Saint of Evening)
Saint of Warrens
Saint of Swords
Saint of Consonance
Saint of Widows
Saint of Scholars
Saint of Promises
Saint of Scoundrels
Saint of Augers
Saint of Covenants

And there are many more out there, I'm sure.

Next Up: a better explanation of Shards and an approach on integrating them in D&D campaigns.

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