Cleric Domain: Hunger OR Survival

“Burning the ground, I break from the crowd;
I’m on the hunt, I’m after you.”

— D’rand ur’An, acolyte of Vardesain

And we’re back! The needs of the dayjob have held this next Cleric-mas installment in ‘draft’ for too long, but finally we arrive at the domain of Hunger or Survival.

This another domain taking direct inspiration from the Midgard setting by Kobold Press. Within Midgard, one of the big powers is the Ghoul Imperium, and at the heart of their culture is the compulsion to feed. So the idea was to design a domain that would both play directly to a living-dead priest but also to clerics and ascetics who are alive — but who put all their devotion to the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Negative Nancy

At first glance, this domain seems a bit anti-cleric. Negative energy? Free bite attacks? Optimized for undead or ghoulish PCs like the darakhul? Indeed. But this domain also encompasses ascetic traditions, as well as the deities who value survival and self-discipline. However the public at large may view their alignment, the Hunger/Survival cleric knows two things: that their path is righteous, and that they will survive.

For some clerics of this domain, they take on suffering so as to ease the suffering of others. For others, they forsake food so that the less fortunate — who have hunger thrust upon them — do not go without sustenance. For all Hunger/Survival clerics, suffering is the forge that tempers the steel of their faith. When that faith is tested in battle, the adherent’s ferocity is can be unnerving.

The Domain of Darakhul

That said, some clerics take this domain for less selfless reasons. A cleric may seek power over others, or they may enjoy suffering. Or they may be the living dead, like the darakhul race from the Midgard setting.

A couple months ago, I posted a re-envisioned darakhul PC template for the 13th Age system. The domain below is optimized for both the original from the Midgard Bestiary or my tweaked version. Depending which PC template you use, a undead cleric as a player character can create some contradicting rules & mechanics. Thus, the next Cleric-mas post will focus on undead clerics in 13th Age. But for the moment, let’s grab our forks and check out the domain:

Hunger is All. 
Survival is All.

Your divine patron does not look for a shining beacon of righteous channeling. No, your deity blesses those who yearn and hunger, those who outlast and survive. You survive by bringing your enemies lower than you. You survive by stoking the hunger that gnaws inside you, the hunger that drives you to emerge from your encounters by whatever means are available. The hunger is all.

Domain: Hunger OR Survival

Whenever you hit with an attack that deals energy damage, and your natural attack roll was 16+, the target is weakened until the end of its next turn.

At the end of your turn, if you did not take a quick action, you may immediately make a bite attack as a free action. This is an unarmed attack that does negative energy damage.

Invocation of Hunger/Survival: Whenever you or a nearby ally is dropped to 0 hp for the first time this battle, they are instead dropped to 1 hp and immediately lose a recovery. Creatures without available recoveries do not benefit from this ability.

Adventurer Feat: When you cause an enemy to be weakened, it is now a save ends condition.

Champion Feat: Once per battle, after you hit a weakened enemy with an a natural odd attack roll, remove all conditions from that enemy. It is now stunned (hard save ends).

Epic Feat: During a battle where you invoke this domain, you and your nearby allies can choose to take only half damage from any attack. Anyone who does so immediately loses a recovery; creatures without available recoveries cannot benefit from this ability.

It Stands Alone

Unlike all the other domains, I’m not including a spell with it. Instead, the next post will look at ways to incorporate undead PCs as clerics in the current 13th Age system. That said, there is an upcoming spell, Survival of the Fittest, which should appeal to the cleric of this domain. Until then, the only thing left to do is add the required words:

Usage — the Legal Stuff

This post uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by:

  • Kobold Press and Open Design, which are used under the Kobold Press Community Use Policy, and
  • Fire Opal Media, which are used under the Fire Opal Media, 13th Age Community Use Policy.

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