Yesterday, James over at Grognardia challenged the OSR community to come up with tables for character background modeled after Aaron Kesher's article in Issue #1 of Fight On! Considering that I have defended them in the past, and certainly believe that they could use a good bit of contextual polish, I offer my own background table for the Cleric:
MANY CLERICS (Roll 1d20 three times):
1. Bless people and things by anointing them with oil.
2. Are ritually scarred to set them apart.
3. Pray by singing Scripture.
4. Take on the name of their patron saint when they are ordained.
5. Sacrifice the first fruits of their labor.
6. Are either married or celibate.
7. Wear a beard that they never cut or trim.
8. Are tonsured.
9. Fast twice a week.
10. Know how to read and write a special ecclesial language.
11. Regularly gather with other clerics to discuss issues facing Church.
12. Pray for those who can't or won't pray for themselves.
13. Know a non-ecclesial trade.
14. Rely upon the intercessions of angels and saints.
15. Cannot freely travel without permission of their hierarch.
16. Will not eat food that isn't prepared according to ecclesial law.
17. Wear different colored clothes according to the season.
18. Pray facing East.
19. Bow to the four winds of heaven before any large endeavor.
20. Are all related.
SOME CLERICS (Roll 1d16 once):
1. Wear dirt or ash on their heads and faces as a sign of humility.
2. Have seen God.
3. Will not enter a home without being invited.
4. Pray laying face down on the ground.
5. Eschew material possessions.
6. Are Hesychasts.
7. Speak with angels.
8. Are attached to a monastery.
9. Have spent time as a Stylite.
10. Are not native to the area and have travelled from afar.
11. Are in exile.
12. Wear a sackcloth or hair shirt.
13. Are former slaves.
14. Foresook a great inheritance and/or a position of power in order to be ordained.
15. Will not lend or receive usury.
16. Will not enter a tavern.
SOME COMMON TRAVELING GEAR (1d16, 1d3 times):
1. Some bones of a martyr.
2. A phylactery.
3. Incense and a censor.
4. A stole to wear during prayer.
5. A candle with a wick that never gets shorter.
7. A piece of clothing worn by a saint.
8. A pouch full of ash.
9. An ecclesial hat.
10. A bell that tolls at the hours of prayer.
11. A letter of introduction.
12. A book of monastic order.
13. A keepsake from a former life.
14. A cup, spoon and knife which are never used.
15. An icon of a saint.
16. A bottle of myrrh.
13 hours ago