Power Sources (Patronage Supplement)

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Because there are no gods or primordials in the Patronage Campaign Setting, it may be difficult determining how to construct certain types of characters. A little guide follows by power source:

Arcane Power Source[edit]

Magic, as in most campaigns, is the manipulation of known principles of magic. In Patronage, the principles of magic are often associated with the nine Patron races. Each race is commonly associated aspects of reality, emotional states, types of metal, colors, numbers, and so forth. Soothsayers often try to tell a person's fortune based on obscure omens found in the celestial bodies associated with each Patron race, and their position at the time of the person's birth. But a rare few people can delve deeper and work true wonders.

Access to the complex knowledge required for magic can be found in a number of ways. Wizards use their prodigious intelligence to access the arcane arts through arduous study. Others, like sorcerers, have a natural but wild talent for magic. Bards access magic through song, a potent gateway to the arcane world. (It is said, for example, that the Avatars prevented the Leviathans from flooding the world by invoking a powerful song that lulled them deep into the Mists.) Finally, warlocks access these powers by making pacts with the Patrons.

Warlocks don't often meet the Patron with whom they make a Pact. Oddly, the Patrons do not seem to make pacts only with their own servile races. Most are encountered in dreams, Some report encounters deep within the Mists. Presently, there are only five Patron races known to have made pacts:

  • Fey (Fey Pact): Sometimes the Mists appear deep within the Free Kingdoms, engulfing mortals and transporting them to other places. Some of these mortals return quite changed, reporting that they traveled to the Fey Realm in a dream-state. When they return, they are bound by pact to those capricious Patrons. Fey Patrons compact with warlocks who take the Fey Pact.
  • Leviathans (Star Pact): Slumbering deep in the Mists, the Leviathans appear only a person's most twisted nightmares. Sometimes some part of an individual's soul finds the madness of the Leviathan visions to be truly alluring. They reach out, and are forever altered by the touch of the Leviathan. Leviathan Patrons compact with warlocks who take the Star Pact.
  • Oni (Infernal Pact): When someone is in the violent throes of emotion, they leave reason behind. This primal emotional state can place a person's consciousness close to churning emotions of the Oni. In the throes of grief, or the burning desire for vengeance, these fragile mortals may make pacts with the Oni that they may later come to regret. Oni Patrons compact with warlocks who take the Infernal Pact.
  • Shinigami (Dark Pact): The masters of the dead have a hold on every mortal's soul, because it is inescapable that every mortal shall die. Sometimes, when one is near death, one can envision their souls traveling to one of the fabled Shinigami mounds in Duat. There, a desperate mortal might plead for a second chance, and offer a bit of their soul to the Patrons in return. When they come back, they seem haunted by what they have done, but the pact is made, and shall last until the mortal's true final end. Shinigami Patrons compact with warlocks who take the Dark Pact.
  • Titans (Vestige Pact): The Titans dwell in the highest peaks of the Ochre Mountains, meditating deep within the Mists. Their minds stretch across Patronage, studying and contemplating. Sometimes mortals, deep in thought, unwittingly slip their consciousnesses into the Mists, where they might touch the awesome presence of a Titan. Many go mad from the experience, but sometimes a Titan might recognize a kindred spirit, or a useful tool. Awaking from their meditative trance, the fledgling warlock finds himself transformed. Titan Patrons compact with warlocks who take the Vestige Pact.

Divine Power Source[edit]

Without gods, it would seem there could be no divine power source, right? Wrong. Although there are no gods, there are clearly powers more powerful than mere mortals to which one can devote oneself. These powers are found in three groups: patrons, ancestors and community.

Characters are restricted in taking Channel Divinity feats as follows:

  1. Once a character chooses a Channel Divinity feat related to a deity, that character cannot take Channel Divinity feats related to different deities.
  2. Once a character chooses Channel Divinity feats related to two different Domains, that character cannot take Channel Divinity feats related to different domains.

Patron Worship[edit]

Many mortal races revere the patrons that created them. Even mortals living in the Free Kingdom, who have no desire to submit themselves to Patron rule, can emulate those aspects of the Patrons that they most admire. For most people, this is a ritualistic veneration. Smiths and artisans might make an offering to the Elementals before crafting an object. Thieves tend to venerate the deceptive Fey, soldiers might offer a prayer to the Oni, hunters might whisper thanks to the Anthropophagi, while those facing death might beg the Shinigami for a reprieve. For a fortunate few, however, the devotion to the Patron takes on a faithful aspect, which allows them access to divine powers.

Most mortals worship the Patron associated with their race. Often, the psychology is most appropriate. Certainly, for an individual who hails from a Patron's Realm, the notion of worshiping a Patron other than one's own would be anathema if not blasphemy. However, in the more cosmopolitan Free Kingdoms, mortals might emulate any Patron race, regardless of their own origin. Even patronless humans and warforged have gained divine powers through the emulation and veneration of Patron races. Almost all mortals who worship Patrons have either traveled to the Parton's Realm, or have educated themselves so thoroughly about the Realm that they might as well be natives.

Ancestor Worship[edit]

Nobody knows what happens when one's soul passes beyond the Mists. Those few who have been raised form the depths can only recall their souls passing through the mists, to something "beyond." But it is clear that one's soul retains a connection to the world. Some people believe that that connection is familial in nature. They believe they can draw on the powers of their direct descendants to aid them in their endeavors. This "ancestor worship" is often so strong that it takes on a divine mantle, as strong as Patron veneration.

Ancestor worship is racial in nature. People can only venerate their direct ancestors, which necessarily means people of one's own race. However, some rare few individuals who were born in one race but adopted and raised in another, have so identified with their adoptive culture that they have been able to identify with their adoptive race and call upon their adopted ancestors.

Community Worship[edit]

Most priests are not adventurers. They are spiritual leaders of their community, who advise and guide their congregation through the moral quandaries of the day. Socially, these priests are most often called upon to invoke the landbond ritual, to either bind a peasant to the land, or to anoint a new noble. Some people trained to be such priests delve more deeply into the nature of the landbond and find a greater power within the land itself. Such priests worship no higher power. Rather, their divinity comes from a feeling of belonging to a community that uses the landbond, and the closeness of those ties forms its own divine spark. Such divine practitioners are often most concerned with defending a community (or, if that community has been destroyed, with avenging it). Sometimes these priests associate a specific philosophy with a community. Many become zealots, seeking to spread the message of this community to the world at large.

Martial Power Source[edit]

Martial classes are not different form those found in a typical D&D campaign. With sufficient training, dedication, talent, and skill, a martial artist can accomplish truly remarkable and otherwise impossible feats.

Primal Power Source[edit]

There are no Primordials in Patronage, but that does not mean there is nothing primal about Patronage. Those lands that are unfettered by a landbond to a monarch are called Wild Lands. In some areas, even the Patrons have not deigned to bond to the land -- most notably in the Green Lands, where the Oni rule, and Mongrel Island, where the Anthropophagi hunt. Minia, which has eschewed use of the landbond, has seen an increase in people able to access this power source. People have found that the raw power of these unfettered lands can be sublimated by someone attuned to the ebb and flow of the natural way. Many believe this is the same power harnessed by divine practitioners who engage in community worship. Primal practitioners can summon spirits resembling the beasts of the land, and can harness the powers of the winds and the sun and the rain. In this sense, the primal classes function no differently from those in other campaigns, although their practitioners do not anthropomorphize nature to the extent that other practitioners of primal power might.

Psionic Power Source[edit]

The Mists are not merely a physical impediment to exploring the lands beyond Patronage. They also appear in a metaphysical sense in the clouds of mortal dreaming. These Mists link everyone and everything -- plants, animals, mortals, even Patrons -- with intangible chains of pure thought. Some who contemplate the Mists sufficiently have been able to harness small bits of its pervasive influence to generate all manner of effects. Psionic classes in Patronage do not substantively differ from their counterparts in other lands, but the explanation for their abilities is vastly different.

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