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In my quest to continually do things that make people scratch their heads, I decided to chargen a Catholic priest for SR4.

Not a New Templar type, just your average mundane priest.

Questions this raises:

1. How to represent their vows? Do any qualities work?
2. What skills would work to represent undergrad and seminary training?

Things I've decided:

1. It would be the rare priest, I think, who did not know at least one modern language besides their native tongue;
2. The priest must take their bishop (At least C 4) as a contact; If a religious, they must also take their provincial (again, at least C 4). Those whose bishop is in fact a Cardinal, their bishop is C 6 (There are no more than 120 active (under-80) cardinals at any one time, and the Church has a mandatory retirement age of 75 for everybody except the Pope, so it's not as insane as it sounds).

In case you're wondering, in the US, the sees traditionally held by Cardinals are:
New York
Washington (DC)
Los Angeles

Going by Runner Havens, apparently Seattle also got itself a red hat...I'm wondering now where else in the former US and Canada would win itself a cardinal.
Ancient History
Greek and Latin for favorites, Aramaic for the erudite.
Priests are typically fairly well educated, though what order they are from has an effect on that. Knowledge skills should be in abundance. Social skills would be a reasonable choice as well. Combat skills, if known at all, should be limited. Many orders practice one or more Artisan Skills (brewing, chant, cheese making, etc).
Check out Hudlum Preist in Prime Runners
i don't think you'd have to take your bishop, cardinal, or whatever as a contact. it's not the same thing at all.

for example, you can go to your fixer and ask him to find you an ares citymaster, an ares alpha, or a suit of full combat armor.

you can go to your mechanic and get a new drone, upgrade your vehicle, fix your old drones, etc.

you can go to a fence and sell all the stuff you swiped on your last run.

in comparison, try asking your bishop for an assault rifle. or to fix your drones which were damaged while performing illegal acts. or selling them the commlink you picked up off an unconcious guard on your last run.

sure, they've got lots of influence... but the problem is, that influence is not generally useful to you. unless of course they are extremely corrupt, don't care about their own or the church's image, and only care about making money for their own personal gratification.

now, while i am certainly going to agree that no priest, bishop, or cardinal is perfect, i find it hard to believe that this translates to "sure, i'd love to help you perform numerous illegal attacks and risk the church's reputation."

essentially, the only time the bishop or cardinal is going to be really of any use to you is when they are effectively acting as Mr. Johnson... so long as you are doing a job for them, they will help you out. but if you are not advancing the interests of the church, i just don't see them stepping in with their influence to give you a hand.
Ancient History
You might consider reading Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Seville Communion.
Prime Runners is *how* old? (Ne'mind I don't have it...)

And...It's SR1, too, if I recall. I dun want to think what converting it to SR4 would take.

AH: Actually, you'd be surprised how few priests know Latin, these days. Remember, it's been 22+ years IRL since the vernacular (English) was authorized for the Mass in the US (I forget when they first allowed the Mass in English...?), and there are already many priests who never learned Latin in seminary. Similar, but even moreso, with Greek.

However, those with advanced degrees in Theology might well know all 3 of those languages, plus Biblical Hebrew.

But most priests don't have those.

Hence why I said *Modern* languages.
Jaid: I'm not intending this char as anything shadowy. Just trying to build an average priest, say, for NPC usage.
It all starts with when a man loves a woman...
When I was in school, you had to choose a foreign language in 7th grade, either french or latin. My whole class choose latin.

In germany, latin is required or at least highly recommended for a lot of fields of study at the university, like germanistic, history, medicine, law, theology, even anglistic or american studies, to name a few.

My point: there are probably more people out there that know latin than you think biggrin.gif.
An "average" priest would probably have physical Attributes of 2-3, mental Attributes of 3-4, active skills would include etiquette, negotiation, and possibly an artisan skill at 3; leadership and/or data search at 1-2; knowledge skills would include theology and dogma at 5, one more at 4, and several more at 3 - possibilities would be church politics, Latin, etc.
How about something like this:

Uses: Information, private meeting space, additional contacts, sanctuary
Places to meet: The neighborhood church or soup kitchen.
Similar Contacts: Social Worker

Even in this day and age the local priest knows what's going on in his neighborhood. He won't reveal anything told to him in confidence, but he has his finger on the pulse of the local street. Priests are the arbiters of local squabbles, and many churches serve as sanctuaries from the chaos on the streets outside. Some particularly hallowed churches carry a background count formed from long years of worship, making them places of sanctuary from hostile spirits.

B  A  R  S  C  I  L  W  EDG  ESS  Init  IP
2  3  2  2  4  4  3  4  2    6    5     1

Active Skills: Influence Group 3, Instruction 2, Perception 2, First Aid 2
Knowledge Skills: Religious Doctrine 5, Local Gangs 3, Local History 5, Street Rumors 4, Psychology 4
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