Meet the Party: D&D Faithful Casters

An acolyte of a deity of knowledge who has made a pact with their god, roaming the world in such of lore to add to the divine archives. A solitary believer in the power and nature of magic, growing closer to his deity with every spell he learns and masters, receiving even more spells in return. Every Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. This time we’ve Unearthed some more Arcana to find a pair of spellcasters who put their faith in magic itself, for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition!

There are a lot of deities across the various D&D settings that claim magic itself as their Domain: Greyhawk’s Celestian, Forgotten Realms’ Azuth and Oghma, Eberron’s Aureon, and Dragonlance’s Gilean, to name a few. And there was nothing to stop magic-users from worshipping these deities . . . but that worship didn’t really have a mechanical effect. Even if your magic-user kept a different type of god close to their heart, no mechanical effect unless they’re a cleric. The latest Unearthed Arcana, The Faithful, looks to try and change that with a new build each for the Warlock and the Wizard: The Seeker as a new Otherworldly Patron, and Theurgy as a new Arcane Tradition.

A Warlock who makes a Pact with The Seeker has bound themselves to “any deity or other powerful entity dedicated to knowledge or forgotten lore”. Rather than the selling of souls, deeds needing to be done, or horrible squamous things best left unspoken, a Seeker Warlock travels the world looking for lore that can then be shared with the Seeker. A theurgist, on the other hand, is a wizard who takes up the scholarly study of magic as a religious exercise. They’re not merely delving into the arcane, but into a greater understanding of their deity. Essentially, they’re tackling much of the same narrative points as a cleric, but using the path of a wizard to get there. So, now that we know what kind of adventurers we’re going to be dealing with, let’s meet them and see what they can do!

Deirdre Lorechaser, Half-Elf – Level 14 Warlock

HP: 101  AC: 14

Str: Con: 14 Dex: 16 Int: 14 Wis: 10 Cha: 20

Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Fey Ancestry, Skill Versatility (History, Perception), Extra Language x3, Otherworldly Patron: The Seeker, Shielding Aurora, Pact Magic, Eldritch Invocations (6), Pact Boon: Pact of the Star Chain, Astral Refuge, Far Wanderer, Mystic Arcanum (2), Astral Sequestration, Background: Acolyte, Shelter of the Faithful

Gear: Light Crossbow with 20 Bolts, Arcane Focus, Scholar’s Pack, Leather Armor, Quarterstaff , Daggers x2, Holy Symbol Prayer Book, Stick of Incense x5, Vestments, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch, 15 GP, A Glass Orb Filled With Moving Smoke

Skill Proficiencies: History, Perception, Arcana, Investigation, Insight, Religion

Tool Proficiencies: None

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

Deirdre Lorechaser was always an Acolyte of a god of knowledge; forming a pact with her chosen deity merely gave her more ways to prove her faith. With the same powers and abilities of any warlock, her Expanded Spell List adds spells like jump, locate object, and clairvoyance. Shielding Aurora allows Dierdre to throw out a shield of radiant energy, gaining resistance to all damage for a turn and searing any foe who stays near her. Far Wanderer later removes the need to breath, and gains her permanent resistance to fire and cold damage. Her Pact Boon allows her the augury spell as a ritual without taking up a slot, and once per rest can grant her advantage on an Intelligence check. Astral Refuge allows her to vanish from reality and hide in the Astral Plane for a turn, during which she can use two actions to cast spells upon herself. Finally her Astral Sequestration grants her a special ritual: after five minutes, she can hide herself and up to ten others within the Astral Plane. Once there, they can all gain the benefit of a short rest and perform any actions that such a rest allows. Once the short rest ends they return to the world, with not a moment having passed there since they vanished.

The Seeker warlock strikes me as not particularly flashy, but focused on simple but effective utility. It’s Expanded Spell List options lack anything that can be practically used in a fight, but is chock full of spells that can help a Seeker warlock get around and find things. Its Pact Boon is more of the same on the information front, with a nice little bonus for an Intelligence check. The seeker warlock’s other features focus on keeping the warlock safe, buying them some time to cast more spells, and being able to force a short rest. None of these are particularly mind-blowing, but you’re not going to hear your fellow party members complaining about getting to take a short rest in five minutes and perfect safety. There’s also just some really interesting story ideas, I think, in a warlock who is not following a capricious fey/fiend/freak but a god of knowledge instead. Not that it means said god is a nice deity, though.

Rulbert Raulnor, Rock Gnome – Level 14 Wizard

HP: 86  AC: 12

Str: 8 Con: 15 Dex: 14 Int: 20 Wis: 14 Cha: 10

Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Gnome Cunning, Artificer’s Lore, Tinker, Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Arcane Tradition: Theurgy, Divine Inspiration: Knowledge, Arcane Initiate, Channel Arcana (Knowledge of the Age, Divine Arcana, Read Thoughts), Arcane Acolyte (Blessings of Knowledge Arcana, History) Extra Language x2, Arcane Priest, Arcane High Priest: Visions of the Past, Background: Hermit,

Gear: Dagger, Component Pouch, Explorer’s Pack, Spellbook, Scroll Case Full of Notes, Winter Blanket, Common Clothes, Herbalism Kit, 5 GP, A Sheet of Parchment Upon Which is Drawn a Complex Mechanical Contraption

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Investigation, Arcana, History, Medicine, Religion

Tool Proficiencies: Tinker’s Tools, Herbalism Kit

Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

Rulbert Raulnor is as versatile as any other wizard, but rather than specializing in a given school of magic he’s tapped into theurgy to provide himself with divine-granted abilities. His Divine Inspiration and Arcane Initiate grant him the Knowledge Domain of a Cleric, letting him choose from that Domain’s spell list whenever he would gain a wizard spell. If he learns all of the Knowledge Domain’s spells, then he can instead choose any cleric spell in place of a wizard one. Channel Arcana grants him the Knowledge Domain’s Channel Divinity ability, as well as the Divine Arcana option which allows him to boost his spells. Arcane Priest later adds the Knowledge Domain’s level 6 Channel ability to his roster. Arcane Acolyte grants him the Domain’s level 1 benefit, which in this case grants him proficiency with advantage for Arcana and History checks, along with some extra languages. Finally, Arcane High Priest grants him his Domain’s 17th level ability ahead of schedule, Visions of the Past, which allows him to see the past events surrounding objects and locations.

A Theurgy Wizard is a very interesting can of worms, approaching the magic-worshipping idea from the exact opposite direction as the Arcana Cleric Domain from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Since every Domain is a potential choice for a theurgist there’s a lot of variety available, and also quite a bit of potential synergy. I’ve already seen someone mention the Tempest Domain chosen by a Wizard who specializes in lightning spells, for instance. I went for the Knowledge Domain for Rulbert for thematic reasons, but it’d be interesting to see how all the different Domains play out. There’s also the fact that a Theurgy Wizard, once they run out of Domain spells to choose, can pull from the entire Cleric spell list. That’s a good number of options that other types of Wizards aren’t going to have access to.

Who They Are and How They Interact

Deirdre was raised in the faith of a god of knowledge, believing firmly that it was through knowledge of lore and the mastery of the arcane that mortal beings could master the world they were born into. When she came of age the priests granted her the right to communicate directly with her deity. To the surprise of many, including Dierdre, she emerged from that communication greatly changed. She left her fellow believers behind, wandering out into the world invested with her deity’s power, seeking out forgotten lore and new discoveries in the name of her god.

Rulbert has long been entranced with the mysteries of the world around him, and with magic most of all. The gathering of knowledge and spells never seemed to him a matter of collecting resources and tools. Rather, he views an increase in what he knows and the number of spells he can cast as increased closeness to one of the great deities who governs the very fabric of reality. After spending some time alone in the wilderness contemplating the nature of these things, he set out on the path of an adventurer, always on the lookout for a greater understanding of the arcane.

The pair of spellcasters are very close, and often remark to others that they came from different directions to meet at the same destination. Dierdre receives every one of her spells from her god, sharing a bond with the divine that Rulbert views as particularly special and amazing. Rulbert, meanwhile, is ever seeking out knowledge for knowledge’s sake, which in Dierdre’s opinion is comfortably akin to the tenets of the Seeker. When they’re not combing through ancient libraries or delving into a dungeon to consult some long-forgotten oracle, they spend their time on the road or in taverns debating lore of various kinds. A mutual friend once assumed they were a couple, but the pair laugh at this; they are simply great friends who found each other on the road, now walking in the same direction.

 The Future

What secrets and lore will Dierdre and Rulbert find on their travels, as she serves her god and he seeks to grow closer to his? Will they uncover secrets that will change the world, or risk unleashing secrets that might threaten it?

Will the Pact of the Seeker and the tradition of Theurgy hold up against other player options, or will they change according to the experiences of the player base?

That’s for you (and your dice) to determine!

Originally posted 8/5/16 on the Mad Adventurers Society!

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