The Spiritual System

Basic Concepts

The Treasure Trap world features a number of Gods who have traditionally been divided into three pantheons, each headed by a single God.

Gods gain power through worship and by receiving the souls of their followers upon death. To further their goals they employ priests whom they empower with spirits to give them special powers, or ‘miracles’ (see below).

Pantheons can be broken and formed through major player action; gods which are not in a pantheon are unaligned. Gods within pantheons have an ‘opposed’ god in each other pantheon. These are listed in the book of faiths.

The book of faiths contains a complete list of gods, it is not possible to gain power from any other god and new gods can only be created through major player action, this is exceptionally unusual.

Spirit size

Spirit sizeLevel
Small1-3
Medium4-6
Large7-8
Huge9+

Priests

Whilst you do not have to be a priest to wield spiritual power, this is by far the most common way of doing so. For this reason, users of Spiritual power are typically referred to as “Priests”. Priests use the power of their faith to cast Miracles in the name of their god. Each Miracle has a different effect, which are listed on the Miracles page.

Necessary Priest Skills

In order to be a priest, you must buy ranks of ‘Spiritual Favor’. This puts you in tune with the spirits of the world. This process may begin at any time, with appropriate justification, during or after character generation. This also determines what level miracles you can purchase and cast. Spiritual Favor may not be bought above your character level.This skill also grants the ability to detect spirit.

Secondly, you must buy the skill 'Devotion'. This skill determines which god you follow, and which miracle Domains are available to you. It is only bought once, and grants a pool of 5 spirit to cast miracles with.

Finally, you must buy some miracles to cast. They require Spiritual Favor of equal level, as well as a few other restrictions covered in the ‘learning miracles’ section.

Holy Symbols

In order to focus their faith and cast miracles, Priests use Holy Symbols – a small religious icon in the shape of something specific to their God. Whilst all gods have lots of iconography, their holy symbol is a single unique glyph or image.

Example: Mallanite iconography often contains red roses, chains and iron fists. Only the chain may be used as a holy symbol of Mallan, however.

Your character may tattoo or cut a holy symbol into their body. This is unusual but sometimes used by the extremely devout.

The Holy Symbols of the gods are listed in the Book of Faiths.

Strictures

'Strictures' are a number of phrases that embody the god’s will and desires. Lay-worshippers (faithful who are not priests) often try to live their lives according to them.

Priests must obey the strictures of their god if they wish to be considered a priest and cast miracles. If a priest breaks the strictures, they become either ‘Spirit-Burned’, or 'Spirit-Wracked' (see below).

Lay-worshippers suffer no mechanical effects from breaking the strictures, although they may incur the ire of the priests or spirits of their God.

The Strictures are deliberately ambiguous. Often, different priests may have different interpretations of the strictures without issue.

Becoming Spirit-Burned

You should spirit burn yourself whenever your character stretches the meaning of a stricture to avoid a problem, or whenever you feel like your character is acting very close to the line of what a stricture allows.

You should remove 1 Spirit-Burn whenever following a stricture non-trivially inconveniences your character, or whenever you commit a notable act for your God (eg: converting an NPC of equal level, Slaying a priest of an opposed God, etc). Spirit-Burn can be removed by downtime actions.

Spirit burning is a self-reffed system intended to be ‘easy come, easy go’. Players should feel free to spirit-burn themselves, and free to remove their spirit-burn. Spirit-burn is a measure of how strict you are in obeying the strictures. If you commit a major offense, you may be spirit-wracked (see below).

Becoming Spirit Wracked

If a priest breaks the strictures of their god, then they become Spirit-Wracked when they next pray for spirit. This is an extremely painful process, during which the priest loses most of their ability to cast miracles. In addition, any Holy Symbols the priest possesses burn white hot until removed. If the holy symbol was inscribed on a body location, that location is destroyed (as if reduced to -3 hits), otherwise the Holy Symbol is painful but causes no mechanical damage.

In order to become un-spirit-wracked, a priest must atone for their sins. This usually means making some major act of atonement, such as going on a quest to seek redemption. It is not possible to atone in downtime. Atonement is handled by the ref-team. The difficulty of atonement may depend on the God in question and on the severity or extent of the breaking of the strictures.

Note: Becoming spirit-wracked is sometimes self-reffing (the refs are not omniscient). If you believe that your character may have broken a stricture, see a ref. In addition, if the ref team believes you have broken the strictures, they may spirit-wrack you.

Learning miracles

Each God has a list of domains they grant access to. A priest may only learn miracles from those domains. It is not possible to invent new miracles or learn miracles from other domains.

To learn a miracle, you must have enough ranks of Spiritual Favour and all previous miracles from that domain. Your primary domain miracle for each level will be granted when you buy Miraculous Power.

A priest may only learn miracles from a maximum of 4 domains: The primary, and up to 3 Auxiliaries.

Casting Miracles

Most miracles only require the priest to have 1 spirit, to speak the vocal and to be in contact with a holy symbol of their god. Some miracles have additional requirements, such as brandishing a holy symbol or laying down ritual wards.

Once the Miracle is successfully cast, the caster loses 1 Spirit regardless of whether or not the Miracle affects the target.

If you take damage whilst casting a miracle, the miracle doesn’t fail and you may continue casting. However, effects which prevent movement or incapacitate the target may interrupt the casting of a miracle, depending on the requirements of the miracle. Eg: If you can’t speak, you can’t say the vocal to cast. If you are made blind then you can’t target ranged miracles, etc. In such a case the spirit that would have been used is not consumed. You may elect not to finish a vocal; if you do spirit is not consumed and the miracle not cast.

Some touch miracles are able to 'charge' - the caster may cast them in advance, ad-libbing the vocal to extend it if necessary - and then after casting the miracle, they have ten seconds to touch their target, at which point they should call out the name of the effect. Should the caster not touch their target, nothing happens but the Spirit used to cast the miracle is still used.

Ending Miracles

Miracle Vocals

Miracle vocals must call upon the God in question. Each miracle has a sample, "common" vocal; you may use your own miracle vocals so long as they are at least as long as the common vocal. Many Gods have a number of names or epithets; consult a Ref if you wish to use an unusual name for your chosen God.

Vocals must include correct miracle grammar and be suitable for the effect of the miracle: after the vocal, you must say the activation phrase, which describes the effect you have just used. If the miracle causes damage, then you must call this damage clearly at the end or the target may ignore the miracle.

Battlegroups

A priest with the ‘Battle Group’ skill can add people to their battlegroup with a short ritual. They then remain in the priests battlegroup until dawn, when the group empties again.

Each battlegroup needs a name, which should be unique to the priest. You must tell each member of your battlegroup this name when you add them to the battle group.

When you cast a group miracle, you must loudly and clearly mention the name of the battlegroup in the vocal. This informs everyone around you who takes the miracles effects.

One person can be in multiple battlegroups, even if they’re a priest with their own battlegroup.

Regaining Spirit

In order to regain their spirit, priests must conduct a ritual observance once per day. Each pantheon conducts the ritual at the same time - dawn. If you are time-in at dawn, you may conduct the ritual in character in order to regain spirit. It should be a short role-played religious observance appropriate to the god your character follows. You should perform the ritual in the presence of a ref.

Any miracle with a duration of longer than 5 minutes requires an investiture of spirit for its duration. You will be unable to regain that power until the first daily ritual after the effect has ended.

Power Melding

Priests of the same pantheon can freely pass spirit between them. This process is known as 'power melding' and can be performed so long as both parties are conscious and consenting.

You cannot take more spirit than the target has remaining, nor more than you are currently missing from your total.

For a power meld to work, you must touch the other priest. You must say a short ritual stating that you are power melding with the priest giving spirit. The priest giving spirit must inform you, OC, of how much spirit they are willing to donate. The priest giving spirit must have more ranks of Spiritual Favor than you. This means that power melds can only pass spirit from someone with a higher spiritual favor, to someone with a lower spiritual favor.

Priests of gods outside a pantheon can only power meld with other priests of the same god.

Bestowing Miracles

This skill enables the character to give a single miracle to one other character to use as he or she sees fit. No character may have more than one miracle bestowed at a time. This bestowal comes with certain conditions, including requiring the beneficiary to respect the god's strictures. See the skill list for a full description of this skill.

Mind Control Miracles

These effects work normally on unconscious people though in most cases this will probably have no immediate effect. Being knocked unconscious does not break any mind effects you are under. You are still affected when you wake up unless the duration of the miracle has ended.

Spiritualism

Laying to Rest

It is known that when a person dies, their soul generally lingers in the body for hours, days or even longer before drifting off to Oblivion. 'Laying to rest' is a short ritual performed over the body of the deceased which sends it instead, to a deity.

The ritual to lay a soul to rest must include the words 'I lay you to rest in the name of _____'. If this ritual is interrupted, it must be started again.

Spiritualists may lay anyone to rest, attempting to send the soul on to the declared destination. In the case of the death gods, it’s assumed that they send the faithful on to their chosen God, if they share a pantheon.

If the rite is successful, the soul immediately leaves the body. Once this occurs, certain abilities no longer work on the target. In addition, the body cannot be raised as an undead.

Martial Spirit

The first rank of Martial Spirit allows priests to deliver charges of touch miracles with weapons. The maximum weapon size this can be done with increases with spiritual favor.

The second rank of Martial Spirit allows priests to cast miracles while both hands are busy using weapons and shields.

Spiritually-empowered weapons are attuned to the priest who empowers them. A priest may only empower one such weapon at a time, and the weapon in question must be of flawless quality. The weapon deals spirit damage and becomes immune to magical item destruction (e.g. the 'Disintegrate' spell).

Empowered weapons require an additional 'empowerment' lammy to be attached to the weapon phys-rep.

Bless and Curse

A spiritualist may use the power of their own soul to protect people or hinder them. This is known as blessing and cursing respectively. These both require a short IC ritual. Blessing usually involves celebrating someone's virtues and encouraging them to continue. Cursing usually involves loudly denouncing someone and charging them to change their ways.

Blesses provide spiritual protection to the person receiving them. This protection scales with the amount of training the spiritualist has, and is restored after 5 minutes of rest out of combat.

Curses amplify negative spiritual effects and reduce beneficial spiritual effects. The effects increase as the spiritualist trains this ability.

If you’ve learnt the skills for Finally Blessing and Dying Curse, then each IC day (OC at the start of each event) you declare one person to appear to if you die. If you then die that day, your soul will later appear to that person for a short time, during which you may bless or curse them. Blessing or Cursing them in this way is permanent, so long as they follow a stricture or have yet to complete a task. You should talk to the refs to decide on what this stricture or task should be.

A good example of Final Blessing would be Obi-wan Kenobi talking to Luke after death, encouraging him to follow the force. A good example of Dying Curse would be Jacob Marley appearing to Scrooge, tasking him to change his ways before it’s too late.

Life Drain

Life drain (sometimes known OC as Level Drain) is a spiritual attack used by certain types of undead, which can also occurs as a side effect of some miracles and geomantic rituals.

The effect of this is that the target immediately loses 1 hit from each location which cannot be healed and deals 1 degree less damage.

When the character next wakes up, they have lost the last 60xp that they earned, losing all skills in those 60xp. Unspent XP is lost before spent XP. The other effects of Life Drain are removed.

The effects of multiple Life Drains are cumulative, and may eventually kill a character if they are reduced to below 1st level.