|The White Stone
By Nicholas Roerich c. 1933
I am currently running (mostly) a by-the-book AD&D one-to-one game with my wife that draws a lot of inspiration from the game Path of Exile and from Divinity: Original Sin II. And that will draw more than a few ideas from the OSR game Delve 2e. Specifically, the PC will begin exiled on an island controlled by a cruel Lich who uses crystal hypnosis balls to turn powerful heroes into his brainwashed minions, then makes them bring him slaves to serve in her city.
The campaign will entail a lot of wilderness adventuring on a ruin-strewn island, often spending weeks at a time in hiding away from "town."
Normally, I give PCs XP for monsters when they have had a chance to rest in a civilized place after an adventure, and give them XP for treasure when that treasure is returned to civilization. But in this campaign, that might be difficult.
So I had a great idea that adds a little flavor to clerics:
- Have them gain XP as if they had returned to civilization when they offer up prayers at remote shrines to their god.
- The PC must have been initiated into that god's worship.
- The Party cleric counts as an initiate and may initiate others who are of an appropriate alignment.
- Any treasure left or burned as offerings are counted as "returned to civilization."
- Taking back treasure from the shrine once it is offered not only takes away the ability to pray in the future, but causes the PC to become cursed with unluck until the treasure is returned and an atonement made.
This will have a handful of logical upshots to the game.
- I can place shrines at places near where the PCs are likely to be, so that they can still gain xp between adventures while survivng in the wilds.
- It will incentivize exploration, as they will be able to find the shrines mostly by scouring the hexes I place them in.
- It makes sacrifice and offerings meaningful.
- The PCs have an incentive to convert to one of the party's clerics' deities.
- I have a reason to build an interesting pantheon.
- The Cleric has an incentive to seek converts and recruit hirelings and henchmen of their faith.