Setting Specific Classes, Inspired by the Cavalier

Episode 37 of my Dungeon Master's Handbook podcast covered the Cavalier class of the AD&D book Unearthed Arcana and my thoughts on it. One of the big lessons I got from this class was the usefulness of tweaking classes to fit the setting. I don't know why this came as such a revelation to me, but it did.

I've done it before, with the paladin. In my campaign, paladins are not just lawful good holy knights, they are champions of gods. [1]  I've permitted one of my players to think about how his monk might be different in terms of skills and abilities. Why not the other classes?

This is where the Cavalier class description in UA excels. It lays out the class in a very clear format that serves as a good template for me to start creating descriptions of other sub-classes.

1. Qualifications
2. Affects on Class Abilities
3. Bonuses/Restrictions
4. Roleplaying Guidelines

This leads to all sorts of fun ideas, and again, I'm surprised I haven't thought of this before!

Here's my first one, based off of a pagan goddess Mesha  (who comes from the old Judge's Guild supplement, The Unknown Gods). This is a valid option for clerics within my campaign!

Priest/tesses of Mesha 

1. Qualifications: Alignment of neutral or chaotic, Charisma/Wisdom of 14 or better

2. Class Abilities: Mesha's sphere of influence is the seasons and weather. She is capricious, but her chaotic nature is more about unpredictability than self-serving.

a. Her clerics, therefore, can use any druid spells related to weather/seasons and other non-animal related effects (e.g. fairie fire, pass w/out trace, predict weather, purify water, shillelagh).
b. Her clerics bless, chant, prayer effects vary, given how capricious Mesha is! It is a base 30% chance, +10% per 2 levels of the cleric (1st, 2nd is 0% bonus, 3rd, 4th is 10% bonus) that the bless will work normally. Less than 30%, it does provide any bonus. If the adjusted roll is 70% or higher, the bless is at +2!
c. If the battle goes badly or a cleric of Mesha finds themselves in life-threatening situations, they may forego use of spells for 1d6 days and appeal to Mesha for succor. There is a 10%/level chance that she will respond. Add +10% if the cleric is at 1/10th or less of their maximum hp. Mesha's assistance will be dramatic, but be an effect of nature (a rainstorm that blinds her enemies, allowing her followers to escape, a blinding sunshine light that distracts the enemy, etc.) She will not eliminate her enemies, but rather provide a way for her followers to survive and escape. The DM will need to adjudicate this carefully!

3. Bonuses/Restrictions:  Clerics of Mesha gain a +1 in saves versus cleric/druidic spells. Clerics of Mesha must always have the spell of sanctuary memorized. 

4. Roleplaying Guides:
a. The clerics of Mesha are just as unpredictable as their goddess. They revel in the change of the seasons and weather. Order and sameness are anathema to them, and they will seek to move on day after day, they will not willingly stay in the same place for more than 24 hours (place being defined as same room, building, general locale. They must lay their heads down someplace different each night.

b. At the change of each season, they will celebrate with a feast, spending at least 100 gold coins per level (or all that they own, if less!) in as public of a place as possible. These celebrations are known for their unpredictability! (Note: For those DM's who use "carousing for XP" rules, this counts as a carouse!)