05 August 2007

The Healing Hand

The following is the Class Description for a new class, the Priests of the Healing Hand. I should note that while these folks may look extremely powerful, they are poorly adapted to to adventuring, as they are virtually incapable of causing damage. They are fantastic "boosters", however, and due to their ethos, their temples (which are, basically, hospitals) are usually the first point of call for an adventuring party entering a new city with wounds, ability damage, or a PC who, for whatever reason, has assumed room temperature.

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Background: The Theocracy of the Hand in Ekhan ended with the defeat and overthrow of the White Hand in the year 1001. The clerics and paladins of the Hand were given a choice: to repent of their evil and misdeeds, and hitherto live a pure life, doing no harm, and helping others; or to go into exile. Those who accepted exile and founded the state of Mirabilis continued to worship Vara, incarnated as the White Hand; those who recanted formed a new religion, in which the smiting hand of justice became the Hand of Healing. There are no paladins of the Healing Hand.

Game Details: Priests of the Healing Hand accept a strict regimen in exchange for their powers:

- They wear no armour and bear no weapons of any kind, except for a staff, which they may use only in self defence (and which they cannot use to kill, see below).
- They may not wear footwear of any kind. This can cause problems, except at higher levels where they can ignore the effects of the elements.
- They are forbidden any form of ostentation; no headgear of any kind is allowed, and they may not wear any form of ornamentation, including jewelry (although dispensations can be obtained, through prayer, if the items are magical and enhance the wearer’s protection or healing powers).
- They are forbidden to acquire individual wealth; they may not accept money in exchange for healing, and any treasure gained must be given to the poor and needy, either directly or through the church.
- If they ever intentionally kill a humanoid (or any intelligent creature), they lose all divine powers until they can Atone.
- They must “max out” their Heal skills.

In exchange for these sacrifices, they gain enormous powers:
Xarda’s Mystery: A Cleric of the Healing Hand gains the “Healing” domain twice; he adds +2 to his Caster Level when casting healing spells, and gains two bonus spells per day (which must bear the “Healing” descriptor).
Shield of Thanos: A Cleric of the Healing Hand adds his Wisdom rather than his Dexterity bonus to his Armour Class. This is lost in any circumstance that deprives the character of his Dex bonus (e.g., surprise), until 7th level, when (unlike the Dex bonus) it becomes permanent so long as the character is conscious.
Armour of Varaneth: A Cleric of the Healing Hand (who is not already immune to such effects) adds his Wisdom as well as Constitution bonus to all Fortitude saves to resist ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, disease, drug addiction and poison.
Once per day, as a free action, a Cleric of the Healing Hand may invoke the Blessing of Vara on himself; when struck by an attack, but before damage is rolled, he may state that he is attempting a Will save (against the DC of the attacking effect or spell, or failing that, against the attacker’s attack roll). The Will save and damage are rolled simultaneously. If the Will save fails, normal damage is taken (subject to further saves, i.e. reflex saves in the case of a breath weapon). If the Will save succeed, the following rules apply: If the total damage exceeds his normal maximum hit points, he takes half damage from the attack; if it is equal to or lower than his normal hit points, he takes no damage from the attack. The Blessing of Vara protects against any attack that causes physical harm, regardless of its source (including falling damage, instantaneous disintegration, petrification, etc). In the case of an attack that already permits a save (e.g. to resist disintegration), the Blessing save is made first, followed by the normal save.
Once per day, as a move-equivalent action, a Cleric of the Healing Hand may invoke the Blessing of Vara on others; this is a Mass Cure effect that heals (1d8+Caster Level) HP for all allies within a radius equal to 10'+10'/level, regardless of the total number of allies involved.

In addition, a Cleric of the Healing Hand gains numerous powers as he advances in level. These our outlined in the table heading this post. A few notes to this table:
(*) A Cleric of the Hand adds his “Fast Healing” bonus to all Cure spells.
(**) If the XP loss causes loss of a level, Cleric must make a Fort Save against (DC 10+HD of all creatures raised/resurrected); failure means Cleric takes 1d10 Str, 1d10 Con and 1d10 Wis temporary ability damage.