The Church muddled up the invocation of saints!

Mechanics for invoking saints where first presented in RoP:D, and revised/expanded in TC (The Church)... with unclear results.

According to RoP:D, anyone can invoke any saint, though invoking any saint other than one's patron incurs a -15 penalty. Simple!

TC muddles the waters. As a result, it's not clear to me whether under TC rules

  1. one incurs the -15 "non-patron" penalty (barring special circumstances) when invoking a saint one is devoted to, but is not one's patron
  2. one can invoke help at all from saints one is not devoted to (barring special circumstances).

This also leaves unclear what happens in the case of a relic, which gives a Faith x2 bonus to the devotion's total when invoking that saint. Can one gain the bonus even without devotion to that saint? And if one is devoted to the saint, is this cumulative with the +1 bonus from RoP:D for touching the relic?

AFAICS TC p.13 The Benefits of Devotion modifies RoP:TD p.87 Invoking a Saint in only two ways:

(1) It allows to add to your roll for Invoking a Saint your Devotion score to that saint, on top of all other Invocation Modifiers from the RoP:TD p.87 box.
(2) It allows to make a Dominion Lore roll to gain a clue, whether a specific saint is appropriate to invoke in a specific situation. The storyguide is the arbiter here. If that saint is appropriate, the RoP:TD p.87 box penalty of -15 for Invoking a saint other than the patron saint is waived.

This makes personal devotion and traditions of the community meaningful for Invoking a Saint.

TC p.13 Relics & Devotion modifies RoP:TD p.87 Invoking a Saint when a relic of the saint is involved, likely replacing the simple RoP:TD p.87 box +1 bonus for Touching saint's relic.

This also is a special case of (2) above, valorizing the relics a community has, and their veneration.

If any of this becomes too complex for your saga, just drop the new rules and stick with basic RoP:TD p.87 Invoking a Saint!


Hmm, so OneShot, according to you any character can invoke for intercession any saint, regardless of devotion. And there's no difference between invoking a wholly unfamiliar saint, and invoking one you are devoted to, but have less than 5 devotion points invested in. Do I understand you correctly?

If so (and I agree it's probably the most literal reading of the text) how do you explain the initial text of the "The Benefits of Devotion", namely: "The character can invoke for intercession any saint he has at least one Devotion Point in a Devotion towards, regardless of whether or not the saint is the character’s patron saint or an appropriate saint to the matter at hand"? I mean, why wouldn't the author simply (re)state "The character can invoke for intercession any saint [strike]he has at least one Devotion Point in a Devotion towards[/strike], regardless of whether or not the saint is the character’s patron saint or an appropriate saint to the matter at hand"?


AFAICS you are reading too much into an introductory phrase of a chapter called The Benefits of Devotion. The phrase you quote here does clearly not state, that you need Devotion points to Invoke a Saint. Overruling RoP:TD p.87 Invoking a Saint requires a direct statement at least.


Hmm. Perhaps I am reading too much into it.
I do agree that, without an explicit statement, it's not obvious that "The Benefits of Devotion" overrules RoP:D (which in principle, allows any saint to be invoked, albeit with a penalty if not a patron).

Then again, as written the sentence in "The Benefits of Devotion" makes little sense -- while it would make perfect sense if one assumed that "The Benefits of Devotion" modified the more generic rules in RoP:D to say e.g. that:
a) If a saint is either your patron, or appropriate to the situation at hand (or one whose relic you carry) then you can invoke him without penalty.
b) Otherwise, if a saint is one you are devoted to, you can still invoke him, albeit at a penalty of -15 (but with a bonus equal to your devotion).
c) Otherwise, you simply can't invoke a saint at all.
(which to me would make sense: I can't go through a calendar praying to each saint in turn until a random one helps)
So I think it's legitimate to be in a state of "doubt" :slight_smile:

Basically, I think that a saint one is devoted to should be "closer" to a patron, in terms of how easy he is to invoke, than to a "random" saint. Even a devotion score of 0(1) is a big deal: to have it at character generation you must be pious and choose that saint as part of a tiny group of protectors, and to gain it later you need some important event (including a story) to affect the character. The only two interpretations of what I read seem:

  1. "random" saints can't be invoked, but saints one is devoted to can (albeit at a -15 penalty for lack of familiarity) or
  2. "random" saints can be invoked at a -15 penalty, and saints one is devoted to can be invoked at no penalty.

Anyone else would chime in? Christian Jensen Romer is, I believe, both the author of that chapter and a poster on this forum (cj.23).

Read it as an introduction to the chapter, and its next phrase: obviously, Devotion makes characters

Nobody would do this, of course, because it
(a) doesn't help by the rules, as only

(b) clues off your SG and troupe, that you are trying to mess with the rules and their game world. Bad move.


Right. So, create any character who lacks truly exceptional piety -- anyone with a Pious score of 4 or less.
E.g. create a grog with the Minor Personality Flaw "Pious" -- a notable Pious personality score of 3. So the grog's devoted to 3 saints.
Explain to me how he is "likely to call upon more saints with greater success" than a character without any devotion to a particular saint.

Uhm... so you say, that I can't ask in a given day for a miracle to saint Peter, and for another miracle to saint Paul? I assumed the sentence meant I can't ask to the same saint twice, but I can ask to two different saints.

I think the intention is you may ask once a day for aid from a saint - if this fails, there is always the choice of threatening the saint. If this fails, you are screwed.

Having a modest amount of piety can either give you a head-start in gaining serious levels of devotion to your patron saint, or can give you more saints to be devoted to. Having more saints to be devoted to may not increase your chance of a miracle, but if you have a specific saint's power in mind the more saints you are devoted to the more chance you have of knowing a saint who has the exact miracle you need. "We're being threatened by a supernatural reptile? Shall I ask St George to smite the dragon or St Patrick to banish the snakes, or shall I just ask St Peter to shield me with Celestial Immunity?"

You can work round this by having an encyclopedic knowledge of Saints and their associated acts and miracles - so a big Dominion Lore (specialised in saints) helps, as does asking a priest who the local saints are and what deeds they have done every time you travel somewhere new. Engage whole-heartedly with the Mythic Church and there is a hope for a miracle.

Of course, you could engage in the vile sin of Simony and just obtain the best relic you can, by fair means or foul - there's enough corrupt nobles and bishops who've done that in the hope of protection.

That pious grog is inclined to spend a few otherwise free seasons Gaining Devotion Points (TC p.14). Have him do so, and you will see the difference.

Precisely. Think about: "Once a week you may borrow a book from this library."


Hmm. I was thinking more about: "I can call upon a friend at most once a day before I start getting obnoxious."

Why? As far as I can tell, it's your Dominion Lore that gives this knowledge. Whether you are devoted to 1 saint or 20 makes no difference mechanically. Now, I can totally see how Divine Lore should help you call upon the "right saint for the job", but that's a different story.

If you can call on any saint, and saints you are devoted to incur the -15 "unfamiliar" penalty just as every other saint, the issue is that devotion seems really not worth much "mechanically". Why spend seasons over seasons of effort to get a bonus that will only marginally offset that -15? Better to increase your Charm and your Dominion Lore, and make sure you always call upon the right saint for the job, negating the -15 penalty.

I would add that TC, and in particular the Devotion section, calls that -15 penalty as "the penalty for invoking an unknown saint". Indeed, RoP:D applies a -15 penalty to invoking a "non-patron" saint, but the identical -15 penalty for threatening an "unfamiliar" saint. I'd say that Devotion definitely makes a saint "familiar", so ... it would seem strange that it would help so much more in threatening a saint than in invoking him. Isn't it more natural to just assume that the authors meant that any saint you are devoted to counts as a patron/familiar saint for purposes of avoiding the -15 penalty?

That's an erroneous reading.

In that case, the phrase "Once a day you may ask a saint for aid, hoping the saint will respond with a miracle." would have had to express somehow, that the "once a day" in it refers to a specific saint, not just - as it does by grammar - to the process of asking a saint.

Your "before I start getting obnoxious" does imply that reference to a specific friend, which you imprecisely still just name "a friend". Better English would have been "I can call upon my friend at most once a day before I start getting obnoxious." or "I can call upon any friend of mine at most once a day before I start getting obnoxious."

Make sure, that this thread does not get known as "Fafnir muddled up the invocation of saints!". :slight_smile: