Saturday, June 10, 2017

On 'Create Food and Water'

Pictured: The result of Create Food and Water.

A single casting of Create Food and Water can support 15 people for a day.

As such, the minimum requirement to completely support a population using nothing but Create Food and Water, one fifth level cleric is needed for every 30 people, presuming two casts per day. That’s fair, but still a bit out of reach, – I doubt there have been may places or times in the world where there’s regularly a bishop for every 30 people.

We can chop that number down, though. While Create Food and Water is a third level spell, a bit of math and DM fiat means that the spell could be scaled up and down – five people can be supported per spell level.

A 1st level cleric would have 2 casts of Create Food and Water per day as a 1st level spell, enough to feed 10 people per day. We’ll consider that a 1st level cleric represents anyone who has been initiated into the secrets of this particular god, which could feasibly be finagled as one member of every family.

That’s step one.

Pictured: Breakfast in a Bhedu village

The God at the Bottom of the Lake

Long ago, a great famine fell upon the land. A nameless tribe, staving and dwindling, wandered through the dust-clouded wastes to the shores of a dried lake. Seeing that only poisoned dregs remained, the tribe said to one another “We can go no further: here we shall surely die.”

That night, they made a final camp at the at the bottom of the lake and discovered the god Bhedu.

Bhedu was a sickly god, starved of power, but the tribe took pity upon it – even in their greatest despair. They built an altar of lake-bottom stones and made a burnt offering of their last handful of grubs. They danced and sang in the ancient forms that had not been sung since the leaving of the rains, and prepared to die with their new god.

Bhedu accepted the offering and rose from the mother-of-pearl egg in which it rested, and said this unto the people.

For this mercy you have offered me, I shall pay you back a hundred-thousand-fold. From this day you shall be my people and I shall care for you, and there shall be a compact between us. You shall not go hungry again.”

From that day on the people were known as the Bhedu, and when the land had become green once more, their god’s promise was shown to be true.

Pictured: A bhedunin appraising an exotic fruit

Eat, Drink, Be Merry

The food created by Create Food and Water has no taste of its own. It’s edible and is nutritious enough to keep someone alive, but it is terribly bland. The Bhedu are constantly looking for something to supplement the (nonexistent) taste. Spices and flavoring herbs are obscenely valuable – more so than they are already or historically have been – and are used as hard currency. Gold has little value compared to paprika and orange zest and black pepper among the Bhedu.

The Bhedu remain semi-nomadic. The development of farming centered around the growing of supplements, spices, and flavorings – addition, rather than subsistence. These farms are controlled tightly by their founding families, but control of the spice does not necessitate control of the world: the smallfolk’s ability to just pick up and leave, combined with the competition provided by foreign traders, lends itself to a more friendly sort of oligarch – honey rather than vinegar (except for the family that handles vinegar, of course.)

Winning personalities and secret family recipes are the order of the day, as social power is dependent on the support of the public (by means of brilliant and delicious preparation methods). Non-farming families migrate between or cluster about settled flavor-fiefs they enjoy. Cooking schools become schools of philosophy. Fashion follows trends in dishes. The conflicts between families becomes sports. Grudges are solved through cooking competitions.

The average Bhedu is gregarious, boisterous, passionate, and terribly ignorant of how the rest of the world works. They prefer bright colors and spice-scented perfumes, and typically find formality silly. They are often characterized by outsiders as gluttons, despite their general love for an active lifestyle.

The Compact of the Bhedu

The Compact is simple – Bhedu will provide for the people, and the people will offer their firstborn children, both boys and girls, to the service of Bhedu as bhedunin priests. A child can receive all the necessary training to become a bhedunin in their own home (Bhedu does not require a great deal of dogmatic knowledge or theological study to become a priest). Those that wish to continue with their training in magic are sent off to temple-school where they will receive a few years of formal study.

When a bhedunin has finished their training and comes of age, they will be married off so they might start a family.

In game terms, a home-schooled bhedunin is equivalent to the feat listed at the bottom of this page, while a temple-educated one would have cleric class levels.

On The Family

The Bhedu traditionally practice tripartite marriages, with the bhedunin serving as a third parent. They will provide food for the family, lead the family in prayer, and train the firstborn in the priesthood. Other functions within the marriage vary according to personal circumstances and are considered private affairs, though it is highly frowned upon for the bhedunin to bear or sire children.

If the bhedunin of a family dies, neighboring families will often pool together their excess food to support them in their need. Those who are not helped, or those families who have been stripped of their bhedunin, are shunned from the community and must seek their lives in the outside world.

New Feat: Bhedunin Priest

You have been initiated as a priest of Bhedu. You can cast Create Food and Water as a first level spell, twice per day. Each cast creates enough food and water to support 5 people for one day.

For native Bhedu characters, this will be taken as part of a variant human racial package.

Bhedunin Domain Spells

1st – Create Food and Water (lvl 1 only), Detect Poison and Disease
3rd – Haruscpicy (As Augury), Continual Cooking Flame
5th – Memories of Famine (As Hunger of Hadar), Bhedu’s Tiny Home (As Leomund’s Tiny Hut)
7th – Control Food and Water, Banishment of Pests
9th – Commune, Insect Plague


  1. Hey, Dan! Are you ever active on G+?

    1. I'm still getting that hang of how it works, but I usually pop in when I log in to update / comment.