Dark Sun for Sword of Cepheus: Part VIII – Elemental Clerics

Here’s the next career for my Dark Sun conversion to Sword of Cepheus – the Elemental Cleric.

The AD&D cleric and the Sword of Cepheus cleric are considerably different. I’ve combined some information from the Dark Sun book Earth, Air, Fire and Water (DSS2), the sorcery system from the Sword of Cepheus rule book, and Flynn’s Guide to Magic in Traveller to make a cleric career I think should work. It’s still a bit of a work in progress, and I’ll probably update this as I playtest this more.

For now, I’ve left out the concept of Clerical Kits and Paraelemental Clerics. I still haven’t decided if I’m using any the special powers for each cleric type.

I’ve also added Agriculture as a separate skill from Animals.

Each cleric must choose a element to serve – Air, Earth, Fire, or Water. Each element has their own holy symbol, method of recharging spells, and special traits. (see Elemental Chart)

Elemental Chart

ElementHoly SymbolRecharging Spells NeedSpecial Abilties & Traits
AirThe cleric’s own breath.A slight breezeDM +1 to all Survival rolls involving navigation.
EarthChunk or rare earth mineral (granite, quartz, silver, or gold)Stone or soil (not silt)Get Agriculture-1
FireObsidian Stone, carved as a flame.A torch-sized flameDM +1 to all Survival rolls involving fire.
WaterVial of pure waterPour out a canteen of waterGain Dowsing trait

Elemental Magic

I’ve made the new skill Elemental Magic. An Athasian cleric can tap into the power from her chosen elemental plane through her connection with elemental beings to cast spells. The cleric must continue to serve the interests of her elemental patrons to maintain her powers. 

I’m putting together a list of spells for each Elemental type. These will appear in future posts.

Casting Spells

Clerical spells each have a Circle of difficulty, just like a Sword of Cepheus sorcerer. To cast a spell, a cleric throws a Elemental Magic roll with the same difficulty as Sorcery spellcasting in the SoC rule book (pg 66). Elemental magic has no corruption.


To keep the ability to cast spells, each cleric must make a daily Elemental Magic 4+ roll each day to recharge his spell abilities. The roll will have a DM -2 if the cleric does not have access to their Recharging Spells Need (see Elemental Chart)

Holy Symbols

Elemental Clerics need a holy symbol to cast spells effectively. It works as a focus that can hold three spells. They must make a Elemental Magic roll to put a particular spell into the focus. Without their holy symbol, it takes 10 minutes to cast a spell. Spells can be cast from a holy symbol even if the cleric has failed his roll to recharge that day.
Creating a holy symbol is an Elemental Magic 8+ roll. 

Breaking the Pact

If a Elemental Cleric does anything against their duty to his elemental patron (ex. a water cleric who fails to protect a water source), he may lose his ability to cast spells for a period of time. A re-occurrence may strip him of spells permanently.

Useful Traits for Clerics: Battlemage, Mystic Aura, Sensing Power, Will to Live

New Traits for Clerics

Sacrifice: When a defiler casts a spell near the cleric, she can choose to prevent the defiler from stealing energy from the land by sacrificing one point of damage for every level of the spell cast. GMs may want to give they player a hero pint every time they do this.

Wind-Sailing: Has the ability to create and pilot wind powered sailing vehicles such as cliff gliders and wind carts. Only available to air clerics.

Dowsing: DM +2 on all survival rolls to find water.

QualificationINT 6+
SurvivalEND 5+
AdvancementEDU 8+
RankTitleSkill or Bonus
1Elemental Magic-1
6+1 SOC

Mustering Out Benefits

11 cp+1 END
25 cpHoly Symbol
350 cp+1 INT
45 spMount
510 sp+1 SOC
650 spMagic Item
710 gpShrine

Skills & Training

1DPersonal DevelopmentService1DSpecialistAdvanced Education
1+1 ENDReligion1ReligionLeadership
2+1 INTLiaison2SurvivalDeception
3+1 EDUAgriculture3CraftScience
4Melee CombatElemental Magic4AgricultureMedicine
6AthleticsArt6RidingElemental Magic


1Injured! You are attacked for your faith. Roll on the Injury table.
2Enemy of a Sorcerer King! You’re a little too successful with your preaching. A Sorcerer-King knows your name. Gain an Enemy.
3Break the Pact! You fail to fulfill your vows and lose your connection to your elemental power. You may stay in this career, but you must give up all your Benefit rolls and reduce your Rank to Rank 0. You lose the Elemental Magic skill and cannot get it back during your career. At the end of your career, you have a chance to restore your standing with your elemental power. You may roll INT 8+ to restore Elemental Magic-1.
4Scandal! You are caught up in personal indiscretion, or are framed for one, and must leave your religious order indisgrace. Lose one point of Social Standing.
5Betrayed to a Templar! You are betrayed by a friend. One of your Allies becomes an Enemy. If you have no Allies, you are betrayedby an acquaintance and sell gain an Enemy.
6Schism! You get into a ugly disagreement with a rival sect. Throw STR 8+ to avoid a roll on the Injury table. Gain an Enemy.


2Disaster – Roll on the Mishap table, but you stay in your fiath
3Sacrifice – You get the Sacrifice trait
4Templar Attack  – Throw Melee Combat 8+ or Athletics 8+. If you fail, roll on the Injury table.  Either way, gain a level of the skill you rolled.
5Conversion – You no longer believe your element is the true path and convert to another elemental power. Lose one rank and yourbenefit roll for this term as you change sects.
6Pilgrimage – You go on a religious journey to a holy shrine. Throw EDU 8+ to gain one level of Survival, Elemental Magic, orReligion.
7Life Event – Roll on the Life Event table.
8Secret Knowledge – You learn something that could disgrace a powerful figure. (tribal leader, templar). If you disclose this information, gain an extra Benefit roll and an Enemy. If you keep it secret, gain a DM+2 on your next Advancement roll and an Ally.
9Purge – You spend time expunging heretics from your sect. Gain one level of Investigation, Stealth, or Recon. Gain anEnemy.
10Preacher – You spend time trying to convert city dwellers to your faith. Gain one level of Carousing, Medicine, or Streetwise
11Elemental – You witness a miracle releated to your element. Gain one point of SOC and a Holy Symbol.
12Psionics – A latent psionic ability becomes active – roll on Psionics Table

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