Specialty Priests of Dukagsh

Between 1996 and 2000, TSR (and later WOTC) published an additional volume of Dragon Magazine, the Annuals. The very first one of these issues contained a brilliant article on the Scro by Roger Moore, covering the history of the race and ideas for using them in terrestrial campaigns. Included in the article was a full write-up for Dukagsh in the Faiths & Avatars format, and included details for Dukagsh’s specialty priest class, the Warpriest. Unfortunately, in my view, it was too constrained by some specific game details that I felt made little sense, like a level limit of 5, while standard orcs had a level limit of 9. In the article below, I present a modified version of the Warpriest more in line with other specialty priests, as well as a new specialty priest class of my own creation. Finally, I included some new spells for use by Dukagsh’s priests, regardless of class.

The bloodtusks are a new type of priest that has arisen since the beginning of the Second Unhuman War, with a special focus on battling elves in close combat (including unarmed when necessary, hence their name). Spells that directly increase their personal combat abilities rather than help allies and spells that cause damage are favored. Warpriests on the other hand, while no slouches in combat, prefer spells that benefit multiple scro at once, although their wizardly abilities make them reasonably good at just about any task. It should be noted that scro also have clerics and crusaders amongst Dukagsh’s priesthood; the former tend to stay planetside are rarely part of any front-line force; they are usually only found on scro vessels as travelers or helmsmen. Crusaders tend to form elite teams of extremely well-coordinated warriors, but this role is increasingly falling to the new bloodtusks.

Specialty Priests (Bloodtusks)
Requirements: Strength 14, Constitution 14, Wisdom 12
Prime Req.: Strength, Wisdom
Alignment: LE
Weapons: Any melee weapon, plus wheel lock pistol
Armor: Any; open-faced helms only
Major Spheres: All, charm, combat, elemental fire, healing, law, protection, summoning, war
Minor Spheres: Divination, necromantic, sun (reversed only)
Magical Items: Same as fighters and clerics
Req. Profs: Blind-fighting, wheel lock pistol
Bonus Profs: Modern languages (elvish)

  • Warpriests must be scro.
  • Bloodtusks receive Constitution hit point adjustments to their Hit Dice as if they were warriors and may roll for Exceptional Strength if they have Strength scores of 18. In addition, they attack as a warrior equal to their priest level.
  • Bloodtusks may choose non-weapon proficiencies from the warrior group with no penalty.
  • Bloodtusks may never take proficiency in heavy weapons.
  • When bloodtusks attack with any unarmed technique (including wrestling and biting), they gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls.
  • Bloodtusks gain a +1 bonus to hit versus all elves and half-elves.
  • At 3rd level, bloodtusks can cast taunt (as the 1st-level wizard spell) or command or cause light wounds (as the 1st-level priest spells) once per day. Elves make any applicable saving throws versus these spells with a −1 penalty.
  • At 5th level, bloodtusks can cast strength (as the 2nd-level wizard spell) or cause moderate wounds (as the 2nd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 5th level, bloodtusks gain a +1 saving throw bonus against all spells cast by elves and half-elves.
  • At 7th level, bloodtusks can make three melee attacks every two rounds.
  • At 10th level, bloodtusks can cast poison (as the reverse of the 4th-level priest spell neutralize poison) once per day.
  • At 10th level, bloodtusks can an additional +1 bonus to their saves against elven spells, raising their total bonus to +2.
  • At 13th level, bloodtusks can make two melee attacks every round.
  • At 15th level, bloodtusks can cast Mordenkainen’s sword (as the 7th-level wizard spell) once per day. They refer to this ability as Dukagsh’s blade.

Specialty Priests (Warpriests)
Requirements: Strength 12, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12
Prime Req.: Strength, Wisdom
Alignment: LE
Weapons: Any
Armor: Any; open-faced helms only
Major Spheres: All, charm, combat, elemental, guardian, healing, protection, summoning, war
Minor Spheres: Divination, law, necromantic, wards
Magical Items: Same as wizards and clerics
Req. Profs: Healing, herbalism, spellcraft
Bonus Profs: Modern languages (elvish)

  • Warpriests must be scro.
  • All warpriests must be multiclassed wizard/priests. As scro are not able to become specialist wizards, the only wizard class open to them is mage.
  • Warpriests receive the combined weapon proficiencies and nonweapon proficiencies of both their classes (three weapon proficiency and eight nonweapon proficiency slots at 1st level), and may choose nonweapon proficiencies from the general, warrior, priest, and wizard groups with no penalties. They use the most beneficial saving throws from either their wizard or priest class.
  • Warpriests receive a d8 for hit points as clerics do (when they gain a new priest level) rather than averaging hit points between their wizard and priest classes as in normal multiclass characters.
  • Warpriests attack as a warrior equal to their priest level.
  • At 3rd level, warpriests can cast aid or hold person (as the 2nd-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 5th level, warpriests gain a +2 to their saving throws vs. poisons.
  • At 6th level, warpriests can cast strength of one (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 7th level, warpriests can make three melee attacks every two rounds.
  • At 9th level, warpriests can cast protection from good, 10′ radius (as the reverse of the 4th-level priest spell protection from evil, 10′ radius) once per day.
  • At 12th level, warpriests can cast recitation (as the 4th-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 13th level, warpriests can make two melee attacks every round.
  • At 15th level, warpriests can cast righteous wrath of the faithful (as the 5th-level priest spell) once per week.

Dukagshite Spells
In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Scro Father may cast the 2nd-level priest spell treeburst, detailed in the entry for Gruumsh.

1st Level
Produce Delayed Flame (Pr 1; Alteration)
Sphere: Elemental Fire
Range: 10 ft. + 10ft./level
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: Special

When this spell is cast, the priest causes a small flame to briefly flare into existence anywhere within the spell’s range. However, he is able to delay the appearance of the flame by up to an hour if he so desires. While the flame is extinguished within moments of appearing, it will ignite any combustible material it comes in contact with, such as oil, paper, dry wood, or smoke powder. If the flame produced through this spell comes in contact with a creature, it causes 1d3 points of damage and requires a save vs. spell to prevent the flame from igniting any flammable equipment.

The priest cannot designate a point for the flame to appear that is hidden from view or inside a container. Once the spell has been cast, the priest does not need to maintain visual contact with the designated point, and is free to leave the area. If the specified point is on a movable object (cart, sword, crate, etc.), it will move with the object, but the caster cannot specify a point above a movable object and have that point move (a point one foot above a crate would stay where it is, even if the crate is moved, for example). A favorite tactic of scro is to create a magical disguise, infiltrate a ship or military base, and set off a store of smoke powder using this spell.

The material component of this spell is a pinch of smoke powder or a drop of Greek fire.

3rd Level
Charm Elf (Pr 3; Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere: Charm
Range: 120 yds.
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Special
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: 1 elf
Saving Throw: Neg.

In all respects, this spell functions as the 1st-level wizard spell charm person. However, this version is designed to pierce the normal resistance elves and half-elves have to such spells. An elf or half-elf targeted by this spell only receives half of their normal resistance the effects; thus, elves have a 45% chance of resisting, while half-elves have only a 15% chance to resist. Refer to the charm person wizard spell in the Player’s Handbook or Wizard’s Spell Compendium Vol.I for full effects and limitations on charmed individuals.

The material component for this spell is the priest’s holy symbol.

Elf Sleep (Pr 3; Enchantment/Charm)
Sphere: Charm
Range: 30 yds.
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 5 rds./level
Casting Time: 6
Area of Effect: Special
Saving Throw: None

When a priest casts the elf sleep spell, he is able to overcome an elf’s natural resistance to sleep effects and cause them to enter a comatose slumber. Any elf or half-elf within the area of effect of this spell has their normal resistance halved; normal elves have a 45% chance and half-elves have just a 15% chance of resisting the spell. As with the wizard’s sleep spell, 2d4 Hit Dice of creatures can be affected, and while the normal limit of 4+3 Hit Dice applies to most creatures, the upper limit for elves and half-elves is 8 Hit Dice. Elves and half-elves are affected first if they are within the area of the spell, but then other creatures are affected as per the standard sleep spell. In all other respects, this spell operates exactly as the 1st-level wizard spell.

The material components for this spell are the priest’s holy symbol and a few hemlock seeds, crushed during the casting.

Elven Double (Pr 3/Wiz 3; Illusion/Phantasm)
Sphere: Charm
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 turn
Casting Time: 1 turn/level
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: Special

This spell allows the priest to assume the appearance of any elf, provided he is familiar with the person whose appearance he assumes. The spell creates a complete illusion of the assumed identity—face, body build, and even voice. The spell does not provide any of the abilities of the individual assumed, nor his personal habits or mental patterns. Those observing the disguised individual have a 5% chance per level of detecting the disguise, provided they are familiar with the elf whose identity has been assumed. They notice a change in the behavior of the person, thus detecting the difference. Those who do not know the assumed individual or have only met him a few times automatically accept the disguise.

Actions entirely out-of-character allows all present to check to see if the disguise is penetrated. The disguised person radiates a faint aura of magic, noticeable to a detect magic spell. A detect illusion reveals the spell.

The standard material component for this spell is a personal item from the assumed elf. The item must be one that holds deep personal value or one that was used or carried constantly by the individual.

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3 comments on “Specialty Priests of Dukagsh

  1. I like these a lot, AuldDragon! I may choose to replace my current Warpriests with your rules, and I am actively DMing a scro-based campaign at the moment! Good job!

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