Divine Power at Your Command
Mastery of divine power is no longer reserved for the cleric or paladin. With devotion and dedication, any hero can become a divine champion and a force to shake the heavens. Your strength comes from the universe itself, and you can use your divine gifts to create, heal, or destroy. Your choices shape the world.
This book gives players and Dungeon Masters an unprecedented resource for using divine power and religion in their game. In addition to new feats, spells, items, and prestige classes, the Complete Champion game supplement presents exciting adventure locations, afilliation mechanics for different deities and organizations, and a system for designing your own religions based on the cleric domain system. Alternative class features for every standard class and more reserve feats provide extended options for players interested in creating or advancing characters along the road to divine power.
For use with these Dungeons & Dragons core books: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual.
Complete Champion: A Player’s Guide to Divine Heroes (2007), by Ed Stark, Chris Thomasson, Ari MArmell, Rhiannon Louve, and Gary Astleford, isn't what you might think. It's not just a sourcebook for paladins and clerics per se, as the title might suggest. Instead, it's an in-depth examination of how to integrate and expand the role of religion in your campaign world, using the pantheon of Greyhawk for examples.
Let's face it: 3rd edition D&D, both in the 3.0 and 3.5 editions, used Greyhawk as its default setting, but never really took advantage of this fact in the published works. As many DMs use their own gods or the gods of other campaign settings in their games, developing the Greyhawk pantheon took a back seat for some time. Complete Champion fixes that. The book allows every character a method for integrating their faith with rules crunch, and does so with balanced, interesting rules.
Affiliations, Organizations, and Faith. In Chapter 1, the churches of the Greyhawk gods are all detailed as individual organizations, each using the Affiliation rules presented in the Players Handbook II. Gaining respect and demonstrating loyalty within a religion puts characters in good standing, granting them certain advantages and benefits that vary between churches. Delightfully, churches aren't considered to be dogmatically consistent across every chapel and location; sects and variations of the religion are expected to exist, giving a DM plenty of latitude to twist the expected philosophy and credo into cults, adventures, and plot hooks. Fully 14 church organizations are detailed in the book, along with five abbreviated organizations for evil gods such as Hextor and Vecna. The first chapter also gives rules for building and fleshing out D&D churches in a non-Greyhawk campaign.
Organizations are presented in Chapter 2. Each organization has a prestige class associated with it, many of which have only three or five levels. The intent is to allow PCs to embody their church organization's philosophies and tactics by encouraging a dip into the associated prestige class. Doing so gives some nifty abilities, ties the PC more firmly into the world and into the politics of their church, and adds good plot hooks.
Rules and Options. As you'd expect, a multitude of new spells for divine classes are included. Every class gains alternate class features that focus on the organizations, the churches, the divine in general, and on the new prestige classes. They're a little uneven in usefulness, but all are entirely optional. New feats focus on domains and provide spell-like powers.
New magic items include holy symbols keyed to particular gods, power components that are also tied to specific deities, and magic staffs known as "domain staves" that help divine spellcasters specialize and differentiate themselves. For anyone who loved the more customizable domain system of 2nd edition AD&D (as our group did) and who was hoping for a similar approach to 3.5 D&D, this is worth considering.
Holy Ground. The book finishes up with holy sites and special quests. These pilgrimages and adventure seeds are designed to be integrated into any campaign using the default gods, but could easily be adjusted for other use. There's a focus on flavor here, indicating that there are mysteries that PCs may never know and magics that they will never be able to master. It's a welcome approach, encouraging awe and wonder for the heroes who worship D&D's gods.
DMs who use the 3e/3.5 core gods, or who play in Greyhawk regardless of edition, are going to get the most out of this book. Regardless, the concepts and rules here are easily transferrable to the deities of other campaigns, and this gives DMs a superb tool kit for expanding and customizing religion within their own campaign world.
About the Creators. Ed Stark is currently a content developer at Zenimax Online, working on Elder Scrolls Online.
Chris Thomasson's work includes the 3e Fiend Folio and DMGII.
Ari Marmell is a novelist and game designer who writes the Widdershins Adventures Young Adult series.
Rhiannon Louve is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and steampunk fiction, as well as contemporary Pagan theology and table-top roleplaying games -- and she's in the geek metal band Megatherium, which makes her particularly cool.
Gary Astleford has worked on numerous Star Wars and other RPG titles, and is currently Senior Content Designer at Carbine Studios.
About the Product Historian
History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.