Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wanderhaven Sourcebook: The Priestess of Artemis and Background: Temple Orphan

As we were setting up our D&D Characters last weekend for our upcoming vacation campaign, my daughter Emma announced that she wanted to play a priestess.

Me: What kind of priestess?

Emma: I wanna be a priestess of Artemis.

Me: Um… what?

Emma: Artemis!  You know, she’s the goddess of the moon and hunting.  Oh Daddy, you’re so silly.

Sigh.  This is what I get encouraging my kids’ fascination with Greek mythology.  I’m personally a little more interested in the Norse mythos, but I’d have gotten it eventually… I think.

Apollo (Apollo) - God of the sun, poetry, music, and oracles.
Diana (Artemis) - Goddess of the moon, the hunt, innocence, and childbirth.

Apollo and Diana are said to be twins, not a married couple.  Apollo’s domain is the day and the arts while Diana’s is the night and the violence by which society feeds.  Together, they hold sway over fate and the future.

Apollo and Diana have a daughter named Luna.  She is the moon and the goddess of time.

Knowing Emma, she wants to focus on the aspect of Artemis that is the goddess of the hunt.

Domain of the Hunt
Hunting is perhaps the oldest and most important of the manly arts.  In ancient days, nomadic peoples followed the herds, hunting for their daily sustainance.  The hunt was not only the means for survival but was also ancient society’s most important bonding ritual.  A boy became a man when he made his first kill on a hunt.

Hunting  continues to hold a place of reverence in society, even in modern Wanderhaven, where it has become little more than a sport of the nobility.

Hunting Domain Spells
1st - Guiding Bolt, Sanctuary
3rd - Augury, Silence
5th - Speak with Dead, Spirit Guardians
7th - Divination, Locate Creature
9th - Commune

Bonus Proficiencies
You gain proficiency with the longbow and the short bow.  You also gain proficiency in one skill from the following list: Perception, Stealth, Survival.

Zen Archery
Starting at first level, you can use your bow as a holy symbol.  When you make ranged attacks with your bow, you can use your Wisdom modifier for the attack and damage rolls.

Channel Divinity: Artemis’s Blessing
Starting at second level, you can use your Channel Divinity power to increase the lethality of your allies’ ranged attacks.  When you use this power, all allies within 30’ of you gain advantage on ranged attack rolls for one minute.  Enemies within this area cannot benefit from invisibility or concealment, but cover remains as effective as normal.

Divine Hunter
Starting at sixth level, you make ranged attacks with your bow using arrows made of moonlight.  Your ranged bow attacks deal radiant damage as well as piercing damage, and you can never run out of ammunition.

Divine Strike
Per the existing Divine Strike power.

Background: Temple Orphan
You were abandoned as a baby and left on the steps of a temple orphanage.  The priests took you in, but it was a hard knock life growing up.  You learned your letters and a little bit about religion, and they gave you a trade, but mostly you learned to survive in a world that was at best ambivalent about your fate.  Maybe you used to dream about your parents someday coming to rescue you, but those dreams died hard a long time ago.

Skill Proficiencies: Religion, Sleight of Hand
Tool Proficiencies: One type of Artisan’s Kit or an Herbalist’s Kit and one Musical Intrument

Temple Background
What kind of temple were you raised in?  Did it leave you with faith in that temple’s god, or did you come out wanting nothing to do with religion ever again?

Type of Deity / Domain
Zeus - God of sky
Ceres - Home, harvest, motherhood
Apollo - The sun, poety, art
Ares - War and conquest
Athena - Wisdom, industry, the trades
Aphrodite - Love, beauty, gardens
Hephaestus - Smiths and the forge
Vesta - The State and the Sacred Flame

Feature: Background in Faith
Since you were raised in an sacred temple, you’re more than familiar with temple routines.  Whenever you see a temple of the type in which you were raised, you can use your background to pass yourself off as an acolyte of that faith.  This is usually good for a few nights’ lodging and a meal or two at the very least.

Suggested Characteristics
Temple orphans grow up hard.  They get a basic education from the priests and priestesses of their faith, but they don’t get love, and they learn early that they have to take care of themselves.  Some may become devout believers, but many are deeply cynical and maybe even shun religion entirely.

I didn't have time yesterday to do the Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. Sorry about that. It turns out that those take a lot more work than you'd think.


  1. Players can choose their own ideals, bonds, and flaws. The d6 tables are an aid. You could come up with d4 or even just some suggestions.

  2. That's true. Still, I meant to come up with something, but I hit a wall yesterday as I was writing this up, and it was frustrating. All I could think of was "I hate everything," and that would serve as all four aspects. Usually I can work through those sorts of things, but I wasted 15 minutes staring at the screen, and then the train got into NYC, and I had to put it away for the day.

    It was frustrating because orphans have been a thing around the house. My daughter was Little Orphan Annie in the school play, and my book is actually about a temple orphan--hence the need for the Background. But is passed out, and I doubt I'll ever get back to it.