Friday, September 30, 2011

Blasphemy Rights

So I was mildly amused by this post on the Center for Inquiry website. You know why I was amused, right? Yeah, it's because a cleric can't cast blasphemy until level 13. Of course he's not amused! Blasphemy cast at a caster level of 13 weakens and dazes the level 12 cleric, no save!

But it did get me to thinking seriously about blasphemy as a vitally important component of free speech, and how it kind of gets shafted in D&D, saddled with the [evil] descriptor and only affecting nonevil creatures, just like the ur-priest gets saddled with evil as an alignment requirement. Not all gods are good! And even the good ones can be opposed on legitimate, non-evil philosophical grounds!

Anyway, let's fix it. My first inclination was to simply turn it from an evil spell to a good spell, but no, turns out that already exists (so do Lawful and Chaotic versions). We could just make a Neutral version (which turns out to also exist: word of balance in the Spell Compendium), but instead, let's make an antitheist version.


Righteous Blasphemy
Evocation [Sonic]
Level: Ur-Priest 7, Paladin of Freedom 4
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 40 ft.
Target: divine spellcasters in a 40-ft.-radius spread centered on you
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None or Will negates; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
Any creature capable of casting divine spells (or which have spell-like abilities that mimic divine spells) within the area of a Righteous Blasphemy spell suffers the following ill effects.
HD Effect
Equal to caster level Dazed
Up to caster level -1 Weakened, dazed
Up to caster level -5 Paralyzed, weakened, dazed
Up to caster level -10 Killed, paralyzed, weakened, dazed
The effects are cumulative and concurrent. No saving throw is allowed against these effects.
Dazed - The creature can take no actions for 1 round, though it defends itself normally.
Weakened - The creature’s Strength score decreases by 2d6 points for 2d4 rounds.
Paralyzed - The creature is paralyzed and helpless for 1d10 minutes.
Killed - Living creatures die. Undead creatures are destroyed.
Furthermore, if you are on your home plane when you cast this spell, extraplanar divine spellcasters within the area are instantly banished back to their home planes. Creatures so banished cannot return for at least 24 hours. This effect takes place regardless of whether the creatures hear the righteous blasphemy. The banishment effect allows a Will save (at a -4 penalty) to negate.
Ur-priests and creatures whose Hit Dice exceed your caster level are unaffected by righteous blasphemy.


Additionally, here, have a feat (intended for Defiants, but any nontheist can take it):

Blasphemer [General]
Prerequisite: Must not worship any deity, character level 13th
Benefit: You gain righteous blasphemy as a spell-like ability at a caster level equal to your hit dice, usable 1/day.
If you are evil, you may choose to cast blasphemy instead. You may make this choice each time you use the spell-like ability.
Special: You may select this feat multiple times. Each time you do, you may use the spell-like ability one additional time per day.

No comments:

Post a Comment