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Designing Prayer Books

Prayer books—any specific collection of scriptures which may include sacred stories, wisdom literature, hymns, creeds, codes, and liturgical formulations—are to divine casters as spellbooks are to wizards. You must have spells from the divine school on your class spell list to attune to a prayer book, and you may only be attuned to one prayer book at a time. Each prayer book has a spell list, and once attuned you may cast those spells, even if they are not otherwise prepared or known. You still must have spell slots of an appropriate level to cast those spells, even as a ritual. The more rare the prayer book, the more powerful spells and benefits they bestow. In addition, you may use an attuned prayer book as a spell focus.

  You can use calligraphy tools to copy or compile a prayer book just like creating any other magic item. In addition to quality materials, you must also have sufficient scripture and religious documents (how much is at the Narrator’s discretion). 

  When creating a custom prayer book, work with the Narrator and use the following guidelines. 

  • A prayer book exists to help players explore the world and should encourage interaction with in-world faith in a rich way. The prayer book might relate to a church or religious organization, but it should pose questions, allude to mysteries, and include hints about the world.
  • Mechanically, prayer books offer a small set of reliable spells. This helps a divine spellcaster prepare other spells, or expand their limited set of known spells.
  • The rarity of a spellbook informs its power. A prayer book offers a maximum spell level based on its rarity:
    • Common: 1st-level only.
    • Uncommon: Up to 2nd-level.
    • Rare: Up to 3rd-level, +1 spell attack and save DC when used as a focus.
    • Very Rare: Up to 5th-level, +2 spell attack and save DC when used as a focus.
    • Legendary: Up to 8th-level, +3 spell attack and save DC when used as a focus. 
    • Artifact: Any spell level, +3 spell attack and save DC when used as a focus.
  • Ordinary prayer books should offer no more than 5 spells. Artifacts may offer more.

  When creating prayer books, Narrators should consider the following questions:

  • What are the various religious groups and people groups in this campaign? Whose story should be told? Whose story is worth knowing more about?
  • What are the important time periods in the history of this faith group? What are some of the religious phrases, beliefs, texts, and practices that originate during this time?
  • Through the ages, how would this people reflect their beliefs and experiences in art?
  • Are there any traditions, powers, or secrets that were suppressed over time? Were they suppressed by the group in question, or by a rival group?