|Image of World of Xoth, Thulsa's blog.|
Truce of additional considerations ! We should rather see my interpretation of OD&D.
(1) "Clerics: [...] When Clerics reach the top level (Patriarch) they may opt to build their own stronghold, and when doing so receive help from "above". Thus, if they spend 100,000 Gold Pieces in castle construction, they may build a fortress of double that cost. Finally, "faithful" men will come to such a castle, being fanatically loyal, and they will serve at no cost. There will be from 10-60 heavy cavalry, 10-60 horsed crossbowmen ("Turcopole"-type), and 30-180 heavy foot. Note that Clerics of 7th level and greater are either "Law" or "Chaos", and there is a sharp distinction between them. If a Patriarch receiving the above benefits changes sides, all the benefits will immediately be removed! Clerics with castles of their own will have control of a territory similar to the "Barony" of fighters, and they will receive "tithes" equal to 20 Gold Pieces/Inhabitant/year."
3. Village Priest
1. Evil Acolyte,
2. Evil Adept,
4. Evil Priest,
5. Evil Curate,
6. Evil Bishop,
7. Evil Lama,
8. Evil High Priest.
-Men & Magic.
(4)"A full explanation of each spell follows. Note that under lined Clerical spells are reversed by evil Clerics. Also, note the Clerics versus Undead Monsters table, indicating the strong effect of the various clerical levels upon the undead; however, evil Clerics do not have this effect, the entire effect being lost. Note: There are Anti-Clerics (listed below) who have similar powers to Clerics. Those Clerical spells underlined on the table for Cleric Spells have a reverse effect, all others functioning as noted. The chief exception is the Raise Dead spell which becomes:
The Finger of Death: Instead of raising the dead, this spell creates a "death ray" which will kill any creature unless a saving throw is made (where applicable). Range: 12". (A Cleric-type may use this spell in a life-or-death situation, but misuse will immediately turn him into an Anti-Cleric.)"
(5)"Characters who employ spells are assumed to acquire books containing the
spells they can use, one book for each level."
-Men & Magic
(6) "Clerics will require passersby to give a tithe (10%) of all their money and jewels. If there is no payment possible the Cleric will send the adventurers on some form of Lawful or Chaotic task, under Quest. Generally Evil High Priests will simple attempt to slay Lawful or Neutral passersby who fail to pay their tithes."
(7) "Patriarchs are always Lawful, and Evil High Priests are always Chaotic. All other castle inhabitants will be either hostile to the adventurers (die 1-3) or neutral (die 4-6). "
-Underworld and Wilderness adventuresLet's briefly push the open doors : the cleric is a kind of Templar of a pseudo-Christian religion (orthodoxy is the most probable) progressing to status of patriarch (there may be several patriarchs, which can be a territorial division) and attracting at that time a bunch of fanatics in his castle.
(1A) Neutral clerics must choose their side at level 7 : Law or Chaos. More on this later but keep in mind that alignment is a stance.
(1B) Clerics receive "help from above"... does it refers to his superiors or his divinity? Well, we don't know. But I would tend to promote the divinity as Patriarch is the highest grade that can be achieved. And it also allows you to add a little flavor (i.e. the fortress was built where the Patriarch had his mystical ecstasy. His Lord guided him to a chest full of gold buried between the large roots of a tamarind etc.).
(1C) "Turcopole-type" riders ?! This is a precision that has always intrigued me. Turcopoles were Eastern Christians mercenaries who fought for the military orders and the Byzantine army. This fits well with the OD&D cleric-templar, but I have two points : First they are Eastern. Well managed, they can bring an exotic touch to the setting with perhaps different interpretations of the sacred texts or other religious customs, which can sometimes lead to misunderstandings between them and the clergy. Second, one can notice that they are also gathered by Chaotic clerics. More on that later.
(2) Two obvious irregularities : Bishops who do not have castle/cathedral and Lamas. porphyre77 provided an excellent explanation for the first irregularity with bishops in partibus infidelium who wander in the Wilderness to establish or re-conquer their episcopate. For the second irregularity, snorri has rightly pointed out that Lamas are sort of the doctors of the Law (Darhma). More on this later.
(3) Anti-clerics are Chaotic and evil. Note that they do not have an "evil village priest" nor "evil vicars". These guys are not found in the country and never make sermons in the village church. "Shaman" is an interesting title because it refers to paganism. Talisman calls Anti-Clerics heretics and heresiarchs and this is a nice point of view.
(4) No vade retro for evil clerics (which obviously refers to anti-clerics). Please note that the anti-clerics do not control the undead with the inverted vade-retro of the subsequent editions. By the way, I remind you that anti-clerics and clerics have only 13 spells in common (for information, the magic-users and clerics have 10 in common). The anti-cleric is truly a class apart from the cleric !
(5) Clerics HAVE spell books, as everyone seems to forget (the OD&D retro clone Delving Deeper and E&S are the only ones that I know which includes this rule). Clerics studying books of spells remind me strongly of Kabbalists and the like (hermeticism, gnosticism, mandaeism and manichaeism).
(6A) This paragraph seems oddly enough to distinguish between the Clerics (chaotic or lawful) that cast quests if not paid and Anti-Clerics who kills you if you do not pay them. This may be a drafting error or an unfortunate distinction, but remenber, any deviant interpretation is up for grabs.
(6B) Another interesting point is that it seems that the Clerics or Anti-Clerics, if they are paid, are the most friendly castellans (even the Evil High Priests !) compared to the Lords and magicians.
(7) This passage invalidates a previous remark unless... there is not only patriarchs and evil high priests (which is indirectly refuted by the random table, but we can try to see where it takes us). More on this later.
The remarks are completed, part 2 will be a synthesis of this mess to see how it can be used in game. You may be a little surprised by my own interpretaion.