A few of you have mentioned how much you enjoyed the rules for how mages’ desire to conduct magical research created a nee for monster parts, which led them to create dungeons. But you pointed out that clerics lack similar incentives to do clerical things, such as build temples or gather faithful. Below I present new rules that should appear in v17 of ACKS. Please let me know what you think.
When a divine spellcaster creates a magic item to further the goals of his patron deity, he may substitute an equivalent value of spiritual essence for some or all of the special components required for the item. Spiritual essence is drawn from the faith of the divine spellcaster’s congregants. Every fifty congregants can yield up to 10 XP worth of spiritual essence per week of faithful worship.
Spiritual essence is ephemeral. It is only accumulated while the divine spellcaster is actively creating a magic item. If not enough spiritual essence is accumulated while the item is being created, the divine spellcaster must either use special components to finish the item, or delay the completion of the item until he has accumulated enough spiritual essence. Any spiritual essence remaining when the item is created is lost.
To qualify as congregants, characters must be of the same alignment as the divine spellcaster, worship his deity, and consider the divine spellcaster to be their spiritual advisor. A divine spellcaster’s party members, retainers and followers usually form the core of his congregants. Divine spellcasters can recruit additional congregants by dispatching missionaries, constructing temples, and performing charitable deeds. Each month, the GM should total the gold piece value of all spells charitably cast on behalf of peasants (use the costs for spells from the Spell Availability by Market Table in the Hirelings, Retainers, Specialists and Mercenaries section). To this amount, add the gp value of any hirelings deployed as missionaries and the GP value of any religious structures erected. For every 1,000gp so expended, the divine spellcaster gains a number of congregants equal to 1d10 + CHA bonus.
More established divine spellcasters can amass congregants by assuming rulership of a domain, or becoming the spiritual advisor of a domain ruler. A domain ruler can simply command his subjects to worship his god, creating vast congregations within his domain. Of course, not every subject in a domain will faithfully worship on command – the domain’s morale will make a large difference. A ruler who asks his subjects to worship a god foreign to them will suffer large penalties to domain morale, so most divine spellcasters will seek to establish long-term relationships with rulers and subjects familiar with his deity. The Domain Worship table lists the value of spiritual essence a ruler can extract from the peasant families in his domain. To become the spiritual advisor of a domain ruler, the divine spellcaster will generally have to be the highest level divine spellcaster with whom the ruler has Friendly relations (as per the Monster Reaction Table). For rules on establishing domains, peasant families, and domain morale, see Strongholds and Domains later in this section.
EXAMPLE: Balbus, a 9th level Cleric of Ammonar, rules Ammantavus, a domain of 2,500 peasant families (12,500 people) with a domain morale score of 0. Each week, Balbus gains 4xp worth of spiritual essence per 10 families (50 people), or 1,000xp value total, from his domain. If Balbus’s subjects were more loyal to him, he could gain much more spiritual essence from his domain.
Domain Worship Table
Morale Spiritual Essence per 10 Families per Week