Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mathetes to Diognetus Chapter 10

In the 10th Chapter of his Epistle to Diognetus, Mathtetes explains:
If you also desire [to possess] this faith, you likewise shall receive first of all the knowledge of the Father. For God has loved mankind, on whose account He made the world, to whom He rendered subject all the things that are in it, to whom He gave reason and understanding, to whom alone He imparted the privilege of looking upwards to Himself, whom He formed after His own image, to whom He sent His only-begotten Son, to whom He has promised a kingdom in heaven, and will give it to those who have loved Him.
For the purposes of world-building, the salient point here is the idea that humanity is created in the image and likeness of God. We are created with the potential to be like God. As Mathetes says:
And do not wonder that a man may become an imitator of God. He can, if he is willing.
Since the Trinitarian metaphor for our analogue of the Father is Tizan (Artisan), it follows that the main way of imitating God in context of our campaign world is that of co-creator. We are given creation by God and are expected to work it with our own hands and present something newly created back to God. This is why the eucharist is bread and wine and not wheat and grapes.

Mechanically, this suggests a house rule where PCs are given some kind of crafting skills. I see two distinct choices as to how to do this practically:

  • A table with various types of skills (like the Tool Proficiencies from 5e). Players would randomly roll on this table and their PC would then be skilled in that particular area. As long as the character is doing something reasonable using that skill, no roll is necessary. The character can do extraordinary things using the skill with an appropriate roll.
  • Crafting skills that are class-specific. This follows the logic of Holmes allowing 1st level magic-users to craft scrolls at a cost of 100gp and a week per spell level. Each class would be able to spend time and money create a class-specific item for use on an adventure. Given the one-use property of a scroll, this should probably be universal across all classes.
Here are some ideas for this latter approach:


  • Healing salve (equivalent of a Laying on Hands)
  • Incense (bonus to a single Turn roll)
  • Holy Oil (bonus to AC for a single combat)


  • Liquid Courage (bonus to hit for a single combat)
  • Baning Oil (bonus to damage for a single combat)
  • Ablative Armor (absorb 1 hit per damage die until destroyed; has 1d6+1 hits when made)


  • Scrolls
  • Duration Component (double the duration of a spell)
  • Range Component (double the range of a spell)


  • Liquid Courage (bonus to hit for a single combat)
  • Jury-rigged Tool (bonus to a single Thief ability roll)
  • Smoke bombs (bonus to a surprise roll)

Since scrolls are 100gp for a 1st level spell and all the various bonuses are less than what one would gain from a 1st level buff spell, I would suggest that the non-scroll items would all be 1d6 x 10 gp per use and would take 1d6 days to make.

1 comment:

David B. said...

Just want to say that I'm reading avidly your post on this subject, and I am stealing all your ideas (or if you accept, just burrowing them). I'm a christian running a D&D West Marches campaign and your "pantheon" has been integrated as the main religious undertone of the campaign. Thank you and good job. (I hope you don't mind)