Trouble in Hiyasan
Patrons of Power
(Work in progress!)
In a world of established religions, the exisiting hierarchy of spellcasters typically occupy the position of priestly / divine power, whereas heresies are relegated to witchcraft or arcane power. In Kalupaan, however, a centralized religion does not exist. Because of this, the line between the arcane and the divine is blurred. Whether the supernatural patrons whose power is drawn are arcane or divine is irrelevant. What is important is that diwatas simply provide this power in the first place.
The main differences between the spellcasting classes, then, lies in how the power of their patron is channeled. (At this point it should be noted that classes who gain their magic through study or through their own natural powers are not included in this exploration.)
- Clerics carefully control the amount of influence that their patrons have over them. They do not attune themselves so much to their patrons – what they do is closer to veneration of the aspect of existence that they represent.
- Warlocks, on the other hand, become vessels of the patrons, themselves. They call upon their patron directly so that they may spiritually bind themselves and use their powers through this connection.
- Rangers are attuned to the minor diwata all around them. Their spells are not their own magic, per se, but the magic of the diwatas who lend them help.
- Paladins draw their power from the vows they took in the presence of the diwata. The power they hold is theirs, but the diwatas can cut this connection should they ever falter in their oath.
Druids are… well, they’re druids.
A diwata patron does not automatically have the ability to grant all spells to the mortal that reveres it. Many diwata can only grant lower-level spells; only gods in particular can provide spells of 6th level or higher.
For example, suppose a cult fanatic that draws its power from a dryad. However, a dryad is a weak diwata that can only grant up to 1st level spells. Thus, the cult fanatic will not be able to prepare level 2 spells even though it has the spell slots.
Note, however, that this only blocks the 2nd level spells, themselves. The cult fanatic can still use the 2nd level spell slot to cast 1st level spells, as normal.
Some diwatas can cast the spells that they grant, but this is not a requirement.
Player Character Patrons
Player characters are not beholden to a singular diwata, and most diwatas are not jealous of others, so long as it receives the attention that it believes it deserves.
For that matter, most player characters will start with a principal patron that is a major diwata. This assures that spells of up to 4th or 5th level are available to them with little extra effort. Ancestor spirits (fey), star maidens (celestial), and Type III demons (fiends) all fall under this category, and they are usually the diwatas most interested in influencing or corrupting mortal affairs, anyway.
The gods rarely take any interest in mortal affairs. But they do recognize power. They will take notice when characters of sufficient power seek them out to channel the strongest spells (clerics, druids) or to take part in a mystic arcanum (warlocks.)
Alternatively, a player may opt to start with a lesser diwata. Such a diwata will only be able to provide 3rd level spells, at most. (Perhaps it will even be lower!) The character may then seek out progressively stronger diwatas to acknowledge her as she herself gains in power. This could be an interesting long-term goal in and of itself.