D&D has a long and noble history of drawing elements of sci-fi into it’s fantasy gaming. The most well known of them all is Expedition to the Barrier Peaks which pits the adventurers against robots and Things From Space. That’s only slightly pre-dated (a mere 3 years) by the wonderful Ardiun Grimoire which blended… well, everything, really….. into one glorious stew. And not the Gnome variety.
Fast forward to 4e and we’re given a sci-fi/fantasy crossover on a plate right in the Core Books. I’m talking Laser Clerics, of course. Embrace the laser, I say!
DAZ Studio, no postwork.
Here’s this pitch:
Before they came we knew nothing of the Great Beyond. We knew nothing of Empires that spanned the stars, of their Trade Consortiums or their technomancy. We knew only our Demons and Lords of Death who we feared and placated. When they came they brought more than food, strange new ways and even stranger customs. They brought their lasers. They brought their skills and Powers we can barely comprehend.
And above all, they brought Hope.
Clerics aren’t Clerics in the traditional Fantasy sense; they are members and representatives of the various Trade Consortiums and Conglomorates which ply the Empire Space Lanes seeking new resources and planets to plunder. Each Consortium has a specific area of interest (BaHaMut specializes in the Arms trade and provision of Mercenaries, Core-Llon is New Media, P’lor is an Energy Provider, etc) but each is large enough to provide anything – if the price is right.
Clerics are known as much by their uniforms and badges of office as they are by their Laser Guns. Only Clerics are permitted to use these off-world weapons on low-tech worlds (to protect the company’s interests, of course), though some inneviatably find their way onto the black market. Treat such Black Market Weapons as an unreliable (DC10, no bonuses) Lance of Faith that’s usable by the wielder. Other Clerical Powers are similarly nothing more or less that Technology misunderstood to be Magic by the woldfolk.
Clerical players are 1st or 2nd generation Clerics; either non-natives who arrived with the traders or worldfolk eager to learn the new ways. Perhaps the newer 4e Races such as Eldarin, Dragonborn and Tiefling hail from the Great Beyond and are unfamiliar to this strange land; this would make a perfect explanation for the transition from 3e to 4e in your game. And it’s a heck of a lot more fun than killing off yet another bunch of gods. Forgotten Realms, I’m looking at you. Seriously, if I was a god in the Realms, I’d leave now. I’ve never seen a campaign setting with such a high deity body-count.
Laser Clerics. From space.
What’s not to love?