Belief Conversion Optional Rules Set
Many alignments, deities, and clerics frown on killing, or are at least, less eager to kill than a combat-heavy character. An alternative to destruction for some may be to convert another character into an alternative way of thinking. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Am I not destroying my enemy by making him my friend?”
A character can attempt to “convert” another character to follow a particular deity, religion, or other belief structure. Successfully converting the character results in them attempting to alter their behavior and way of life to fit those of the proposed following. The character’s alignment is not changed, but they will now believe that their actions should correspond to those of that alignment. A chronic pattern of behavior can permanently alter their alignment.
To convert another character, the following circumstances must be true: 1) the initiating character must have the ability to fully communicate with the intended convert; 2) the target must have an intelligence of three or greater; 3) no participating parties may be in combat. The target does not have to agree to the attempt, but may choose to end the encounter by making any of the condition not true. This is primarily to GM discretion. The character who initiates the argument is the Initiator, and the character that the conversion is being attempted on is the Defender.
Conversion takes place like combat with initiative and sequential “attack” rolls. Each round, characters attempt to score a point by rolling an attack for their argument. The “attacking” character must roll a wisdom check, plus modifiers. The DC is equal to [10 + opponent’s wisdom score + modifiers]. Every time a character successfully “hits,” they score a point for their argument. The number of points a character must score to win an argument is equal to their opponent’s wisdom score. Once this happens, the argument is over.
If the Initiator won the argument, then their opponent has been successfully converted. If the Defender won the encounter, they suffer no penalties of conversion. If however, the Defender won by five or more points, then the Initiator is converted to the Defender’s stance.
If both parties engage the discussion as a debate, then they are both considered the Defender. This decision must be made by the Defender when the Initiator begins the argument.
- Charisma modifier: If a character chooses to, they may add half of their charisma modifier, rounded down.
- Attitude modifier: A character whose attitude is neutral toward you is at a 2], and every step worse a [-2]. For instance, a helpful character would be at a [+4], where a hostile one would be at a [-4].
- Alignment modifier: There is a [-2] penalty for every step more than one in difference between a character’s alignment and the one you attempting to convert them to. In example, converting a character from LN to LG would not add a penalty, but converting from CN to LG would add a [-4] penalty.
- Faith modifier: Holding an oath or a code to a deity provides a character with a 4] if they are granted, or believe they are granted, power or magic through the deity. This includes and is not entirely limited to divine casting.
- Familiarity modifier: A character who has practiced a belief structure in the past or who has lived in an area where the belief was treated as fact adds a [-2] penalty. This penalty increases to [-4] if they were once a cleric or other divine caster under this deity.
- Absurdity modifier: A character who is of a race or heritage which is fundamentally different from the faith that the initiating character is preaching gains a 4] is the race has a mechanical hatred or combat bonus to the opposition. An example would be a drow converting to a dwarven deity.
- Knowledge modifier: For every five ranks a character has in Knowledge (religion), they can add an additional [+2]. Additional or substituted skills may be used at the GM’s discretion (in example, Profession (scientist)).
- Heathenship modifier: A character takes a [-2] penalty for attempting to convert a character to one other than your own. This penalty increases to [-4] if the Initiator is not seen as following the conduct of the faith by the Defender.
A successfully converted character instantly loses any abilities granted specifically by deity or alignment. Additionally, they will lose abilities that are restricted by the alignment that they hope to achieve. Clerics may retain their cleric spells (assumingly granted by a new deity or pantheon, as a whole), but will lose domain spells. If and when a character’s original belief structure is restored, it’s possible that they may have to atone.
After a character has been successfully converted, they are allowed a will save every day for a number of days equaling half of their wisdom score, rounded down. The save DC is equal to [10 + half of the converter’s wisdom score]. If a character passes the save, they can choose to dismiss the conversion.
Failing a conversion attempt results in the inability to attempt another conversion again for a number of days equal to [5 – wisdom modifier] or until a character has proven their faith to their creed. In addition, the character suffers from the Shaken condition until they receive a full night’s rest.