7 feasts and 6 fasts

“Did you not know that Lord Dillan is also a healer? He has taken the Inner Path, been a disciple of the Forest, with the Seven Feasts and Six Fasts behind him these many years.”
-Andre Norton, Star Gate (1958)

When I saw this as a descriptor of someone’s rank in a religious organization, I thought, “If he underwent a feast or fast every time he leveled up, that would put him at level 14 or higher.” Level 14 is pretty high in any edition: it’s around the time when someone should be world-famous.

The “Seven Feasts and Six Fasts” has a nicely ritualistic sound to it, and it dovetails with D&D spell lists, which already contain Heroes’ Feast and Traveller’s Feast. We just need a couple more feasts and fasts and we have some nice rite-of-passage flavor for clerics: and we have an in-game way for people to describe character level.

You might be able to base a cleric build around this – someone who gets a little class feature every level based on the feast/fast undergone. The actual ability might be on a fixed schedule, or shuffled, so that one cleric gets the Feast of St. Cuthbert ability at level 1 (maces can be used as holy symbols) while another doesn’t get it till level 10.

Holiday project: Come up with some feasts and fasts, along with the mini-power they grant!


2 Responses to “7 feasts and 6 fasts”

  1. Baf says:

    So, essentially a Rite of Leveling. I like this idea. D&D has always officially described leveling as something that happens in the downtime between adventures, but this is almost always ignored: players generally just level up at the end of the encounter that gives them enough XP. Making it into a ritual that could be performed in the field by the party cleric, given sufficient time and resources, would be a nice middle ground between the way leveling is officially supposed to work and the way players do it in practice. Better yet, it gives the DM opportunities to interfere with the process, by having monters attack in the middle of the feast, or kidnapping the officiating cleric, or just putting the players into a situation where they can’t get the necessary components. (I’m imagining a dish of bitter herbs as a necessary part of the feast, perhaps symbolizing the harsh lessons of experience.)

  2. Cool idea and a nice replacement for old-school level titles (which I always liked as a way to refer to someone’s level in-game). You could have similar rites for other classes as well – I am a student of the Fochlucan College and have memorized the seven secret stanzas! Pain is nothing to one who has endured the fourteen punishments of the Tree of Woe!.. well, you get the picture :)

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