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    Berei and her Clergy
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    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:24 am  
    Berei and her Clergy

    I am thinking of including some clerics of this Lesser Goddess into a future campaign and have found only scant information thus far.

    Slavers has a mention of a priestess in Hardby, page 37, listing the following as Major Spheres for her clergy: All, Animal, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Plant, Protection.

    While this is helpful, there are no Minor Spheres listed (which I find highly unlikely!). In perusing her portfolio as a goddess of home, family, and agriculture in the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer, I would offer the following as likely minor sphere candidates: Elemental (all), Weather, and perhaps Creation, Charm and/or Necromantic. I've glanced at the other two main druidic Powers as comparisons as well, namely Beory (her Patron, as it were) and Obad-hai, as well as both Phyton (from The Scarlet Brotherhood) and Ehlonna, for their druidic slant yet Good alignments.


    I am also interested in suggestions regarding Armor and Weapons permitted, too, but leaning towards the 'typical' druidic options.

    Most likely they cannot Turn Undead, either (or at a severe penalty, as with Ehlonna, though Phyton does not grant it at all).

    Alignment for clerics should be Neutral Good, in my opinion.


    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:43 pm  

    Without diving deeply into this, here are some early thoughts.

    I am assuming Berei is the deity you reference in Slavers, pg 37.

    I agree on many of the minor spheres. My thoughts were elemental (gives her some offensive power with natural ties i.e. protect communities) and healing (again protect community).

    I tossed the idea of creation, combat and weather around. Creation is nearly covered with elemental. I would go with combat or weather or both.

    For weapons and armor, I would go with the druid armor but a wider variety of weapons if she is related to Hardby.

    Just some quick thoughts.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:44 am  

    I never got around to writing up Berei. See the book Player's Option: Spells & Magic, page 39, "Customized Priest Characters."

    I would build her priests as standard Druids, and tweak from there as desired to bring them closer to a rural home aspect than to the nature/balance aspect. You may wish to cut out some Druid abilities altogether and replace them with other abilities focusing on agriculture, protection, and community. Also, drop some of the major Druid sphere access (get rid of major Fire and Air, and limit priests to water an earth major elemental access for instance) here and there, and pick it up in other areas. I might let them keep a spell like fire seeds as an added spell, but nothing else major.

    You might add a cure blight spell, a variant of cure disease that purifies an area of plants (one acre per 2 levels or some such), one plant-based critter, or annihilate one mold or similar monster. You could also add spells having to do with vows or marriage blessings, or wards for homes. Anything relating to agriculture, family, and home (you could probably throw community in there as well) are suitable for her. Too many spells in the Priest's Spell Compendium to go through, so I leave it to you! Laughing
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    Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:53 am  

    Might be worth taking a look at the halfling deity Cyrrollalee, who is also a deity of the home.

    I'd go for a sphere selection something like:
    Major: All, creation, divination, elemental (earth, water), guardian, healing, plant, wards, weather
    Minor: Animal, protection, sun, travelers

    I'd look to powers useful for protecting/benefiting fields and spells for defense of areas, like glyph of warding or anti-vermin barrier.

    Turning undead could be warranted, as a defense of the home.

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    Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:50 am  

    Honestly, I don't see the need to add Minor Spheres. It's already good to have so many major ones! :) If you do see the need, then I wouldn't add so many. Weather makes sense, as does Creation. I'd probably limit Elemental to only one or two, maybe Water and Earth.

    My players tend to whine about their spheres all the time. I made a 4th type of Cuthbertine priesthood just so my player who has a Priest/Ranger could have spheres more appropriate to a ranger type, and I totally dropped Necromancy as one of the trade-offs. Now that they are higher level, he laments that he can't Raise Dead. Well, "Too Bad!" I said; you can't have your cake and eat it too!

    Anyway, I think the spheres make for more interesting play, insofar as all the priesthoods end up having powers that actually make sense. If we want to give too many sphere out, so that priesthoods have "offensive power" and such, then we may as well shelve the whole thing and just let them be jack-of-all-trades Clerics. To me it's not about balance; it's about role-playing. You want a priest of the hearth, don't whine because you don't have good combat spells! :)

    I would also not let them turn undead, or make them turn at negative levels, like a paladin maybe. I think the Player's Options also gives point values for all this, and that's a good place to check, to avoid giving too much.

    Joined: Oct 06, 2008
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    Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:24 pm  

    A Google search for Berei will tell you this:

    "Berei was first detailed for the Dungeons & Dragons game in the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1983), by Gary Gygax."

    Except that I have that publication and can tell you that it says nothing about her, except this:

    Berei - Flan/Common - Home, Family, Agriculture - NG - female

    That's on page 63 and it says nothing else.

    The other thing Google will tell you is this:

    "Berei was one of the deities described in the From the Ashes set (1992), for the Greyhawk campaign."

    The Index of the Gods can be found on page 80, however, she is not to be found among them. Therefore, I can only surmised that she is merely mentioned somewhere within its pages.

    It also says this:

    "Berei is described as one of the good deities that celestials can serve in the supplement Warriors of Heaven (1999)."

    She can be found among the lists of deities on page 120, which tells you pretty much what the '83 box set told you. Whether or not she can be found anywhere amongst its pages I don't know, but I doubt it.

    Google then goes on to say this:

    "Berei's role in the 3rd edition Greyhawk setting was defined in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000)."

    From this I can only surmise that Berei was little more than a name before the advent of the 3.5 Edition. This means that, for 2nd Edition, you can either go with the 3.5 information on her . . . or create her yourself.

    With this in mind, 1st Edition considered Berei to be an aspect of Beory which had taken on a life of its own, as it were. Edition 3.5 considers her to be the offspring of Pelor and Beory. For this reason, I believe Beory would be a better fit for comparison sake than would Ehlonna.

    In the 2nd Edition Complete Priest Handbook, on page 29, it tells us that Priests have two types of Access; Major and Minor. I can only assume that this is what your asking about in your query regarding Spheres.

    On page 28 are listed the sixteen (16) Spheres of Influence. Again, it speaks of the Priest having Major or Minor Access to these Spheres. So, again, I'm assuming that your asking for an opinion as to which Spheres Berei's Priest (Druids) should have Minor Access to, bearing in mind that Minor Access simply means that they cannot cast spells above 3rd level.

    In creating your Priests, the handbook ask about the Priest's access to Combat Abilities. For instance, it says:

    "If the priesthood is not allowed to use metal armors (or even any armors) and has access to a poor range of weapons, we say that it has poor combat abilities. It should have an enhanced access to magic, including:

    Major Access To: The “All” Sphere, and six other Spheres.
    Minor Access To: Six Spheres."

    So, it would depend on how you intend on building Berei's priesthood within your game. Even as Druids, forming the religion is referred to as "priesthood," but that doesn't mean they're not Druids.

    You've listed those Spheres to which you believe her Priest/Druids should be able to have Major Access -- meaning they can cast any and all spell levels of that Sphere -- and are interested in input as to which spheres they should be granted Minor Access.

    In truth, I think you already named them, simply because you've already listed a great many Spheres, especially considering the fact that she's a Lesser Goddess. Did you wish to grant some form of access to all sixteen (16) Spheres? I think that would be too much.

    Considering that Berei is the Goddess of hearth, home and agriculture, I would grant her Priests/Druids Major Access to the Spheres: All, Guardian, Plant and Protection.

    I would grant them Minor Access to the Spheres: Animal, Charm, Creation and Healing.

    My reasoning is simple: Home = Guardian, Family = Protection, Agriculture = Plant. Along with the All Sphere, that's your Major Access.

    For your Minor Access Spheres; Animal and Charm go along with your Rustic/Outdoor/Animal aspect for a Druid, and Creation and Healing go well with the Family and Home aspect of Berei.

    But that's just me.
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    Last edited by Mystic-Scholar on Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:36 pm; edited 9 times in total

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:14 pm  

    I appreciate everybody's input! I am OK with the spheres listed in the Slavers module for her clergy, and I don't intend to alter them, but those were only Major access. None were given for a Minor access, and I found that to be an oversight. Thus, my inquiry as to what additional spheres should be added, but only for Minor access.

    thank you again, and undoubtedly more queries to come!

    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:07 pm  

    The main reason I am partial to the points system is that I believe there should be not such thing as an "A List" version and a "D List" version of any class. In 2e, only the Priest gets crapped upon in this way. There is no "Oh, you want to play a Fighter from X. Well, you only get half the weapon proficiencies then, and can wear no armor heavier than chain mail." Or, "Oh, you are wizard from X. Well, you don't get access to two Schools, and if you choose to be a specialist then you don't get access to four Schools." Etc., etc. It is just plain B.S. to gut a class as the Priest was in way too many instances in 2E.


    If you want to really simplify things, you can do something like Mystic-Scholar suggested, and go with the basic Priest set-up and run with 6 Major and 6 Minor spheres. You already have the Major List; just add the Minor, perhaps these...

    Major: All, Animal, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Plant, Protection.
    Minor: Charm, Creation, Elemental (earth, water), Sun, Wards, Weather.

    Armor: chainmail + shield and lighter.
    Weapons: As Cleric, plus sickle.

    Turn Undead: -2 Levels.

    In recompense for limiting armor and Turn Undead ability, you might give them the ability to identify plants, animals, and pure water (appropriate), one more minor (but a bit more useful) power and add a few very appropriate spells not covered in the spheres to the spell list. People need to not forget the "Added Spells" bit. That should cover it though. The rest would just be descriptive window dressing.
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    Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:27 am  

    Much appreciated for your input! Thank you again for your suggestions. I do agree that priests get shafted with the new points system, so I have made some 'adjustments' of my own to help balance the field.

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    Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:50 am  

    The old greyhawk BBS had write ups of several deities.
    Berei was one of them. I believe they were all compiled in the Best of Greyhawk issue 9 that came out in the early 2000's
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