Dungeons. Dragons. Graph paper. Funny dice.

Tithes, chaos, and soforth

This passage from page 16 of U&WA confuses me:

Clerics will require passersby to give a tithe (10%) of all their money and jewels. If there is no payment possible the Cleric will send the adventurers on some form of Lawful or Chaotic task, under Quest. Generally Evil High Priests will simple [sic] slay Lawful or Neutral passersby who fail to pay their tithes.

This passage could be read in a number of ways. I find the most likely reading is that lawful clerics assign Lawful quests to lawful or neutral indigents, while chaotic clerics (EHP’s) assign Chaotic quests to chaotic passersby and kill those of other alignments.

That leaves unanswered the question of what lawful clerics do with chaotic passersby who are unable to pay. Any guesses? Or is there a better reading of the text?

woman offering tithe


Anonymous, July 1, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Seems to me that Lawful clerics send all passerbys who can’t pay on Lawful quests and Chaotic clerics send send them on Chaotic quests. EHP’s also may slay non-chaotic PCs. All EHPs are chaotic clerics but not all chaotic clerics are EHPs, right?

Greg Christopher, July 1, 2011 at 3:57 PM

I believe that paragraph is a cry for help.

It says “help, I need an editor”

Paul, July 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM

@mike, that may well be the intent—that lawful clerics would send chaotic characters on a lawful quest.

I’ve always understood the LBB’s to mean that all level 8+ clerics of chaotic alignment are EHP’s and vise versa. The consistent distinction between (Lawful) Clerics/Patriarchs and (Chaos) Evil High Priests makes a cursory reading of the second sentence in the quotation seem to mean that (Lawful) Clerics send lawful and neutral characters on Lawful quests, and that (Lawful) Clerics send chaotic characters on Chaotic quests. Which would be interesting.

@Greg, hah, yes. But I do enjoy playing the game of imagining what sort of play situations might emerge from unlikely textual interpretations.

Anonymous, July 1, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Lawful clerics would be happy to see chaotic characters converted to Law (a possible outcome of performing a lawful quest), chaotic clerics are just a bunch of kill-happy psychos who gain either way from the pay up or die scenario - or at least that’s my reading of it.

JDJarvis, July 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Lawful clerics would have no problem compelling Chaotics to act against chaos. If you are a chaotic vagabond stay away from those fascist patriarchs.

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