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Bastion of Faith (2e)

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Who are the priests your player characters turn to for cures and healing? What is the temple like where they line up for holy water? What is the patron church for the zealous party paladin? Where did your party's clerics and priests train, and where do they go when the time comes to learn higher mysteries? Bastion of Faith has answers to these questions and many more!

Bastion of Faith a complete temple of priests and affiliates (holy warriors, devout rogues, and pious wizards) that can be placed into any campaign or adventure. Bastion of Faith follows the format of the popular Den of Thieves and College of Wizardry sourcebooks. This 96-page contains:

  • A complete roster of the priests and affiliates of the temple called the Bastion of Faith, including detailed descriptions for the temple's upper hierarchy.
  • Rules for incorporating nonpriest characters into the temple as affiliates
  • Maps of the temple, its public spaces? and the tainted catacombs beneath it.
  • New priest spells and new blessed magical items.
  • Four mini-adventures for priest or nonpriest characters.
  • The full story behind the Bastion's "Secret Doctrine" and the consequences for the temple should the truth ever get out!

Product History

Bastion of Faith (1999), by Bruce R. Cordell, is a generic priestly sourcebook for AD&D 2e. It was published in December 1999.

Origins (I): The Third Locale. Bastion of Faith is the third book in a series depicting locales for all the AD&D 2e occupation groups. It highlights priests by detailing a huge temple.

This concluded the series that had run through Den of Thieves (1996) and College of Wizardry (1998). Of course that left one occupation group out in the cold: warriors (fighters). Bastion of Faith does mention a nearby "prestigious martial academy", but alas that sourcebook was never produced.

Origins (II): A History of Bastions. Unlike wizard colleges and fantasy thief guilds, bastions of faith are very much a real-world phenomenon. One could point to any number of real-world churches, convents, nunneries, and temples as precursors to this book.

Within the world of D&D, temples and churches were pretty common too. One of the earliest lists of town locales, in the OD&D rules (1974), mentions "bazaars, inns, taverns, shops, [and] temples". In the AD&D 1e Players Handbook (1978) they even become something that players can aspire to, as part of a religious stronghold. They're also common in adventures. Most famously, a church of St. Cuthbert can be found in T1: "The Village of Hommlet" (1979) — and that's not even including the numerous ruined temples that are at the heart of D&D adventures.

Origins (III): Surprising Sources. Bastion of Faith includes a list of numerous sources, including expected books like PHBR3: The Complete Priest's Handbook (1990) and more unusual ones like DMGR7: The Complete Book of Necromancers (1995). It also sources numerous articles, such as a Greyhawk adventure called "Kingdom of the Ghouls" in Dungeon #70 (September/October 1998) and a description of the Red Death called "Seeds of Evil" in Dragon #249</>I> (July 1998).

However the most surprising source is certainly the John Carpenter movie, Prince of Darkness (1997) which was said to be an inspiration for the Bastion's secret doctrine. This is a secret Fellowship within the Bastion that guards over the reliquary of Ferrante, who could be reborn as a greenish ooze that grows into the form of the antiprophet; this is indeed quite similar to the liquid devil stored away in Prince of Darkness.

Exploring Neverness. Like the previous books in this series, Bastion of Faith offers suggestions for how it could fit into many of TSR's worlds. However it also suggests a new setting of its own: the city of Stormport, in the world of Neverness. The text also verifies that the Den of Thieves and College of Wizardry can be found in this same city — as can that martial academy that was never described.

Cordell linked together many of his writings of this '90s, and so various connections tie this world of Neverness to The Gates of Firestorm Peak (1996) and then to his more scattered works, such as the sea devils trilogy (1997) and the mind flayer trilogy (1998).

Exploring Greyhawk. Whether Bastion of Faith actually fits with the other Neverness books is a totally different question. That's because times were changing, as Wizards of the Coast took over the development of the D&D line. Thus, Bastion of Faith had design assistance from Greyhawk fan Erik Mona, and as a result it contains a large number of Greyhawk references.

To start with, the gods of the Bastion are Greyhawk deities. That could be explained away by the fact that Greyhawk deities were becoming generic as AD&D 2e (1989-2000) moved toward D&D 3e (2000-2007). However, the history of the Bastion also includes references to the Oeridian Migrations of Greyhawk's Flanaess. Meanwhile, the history doesn't crossover with the evocative backstory of the College of Wizardry.

So, Bastion of Faith may actually fit better into Greyhawk than into Neverness. However, there's no set place for it in Oerth — just a large number of possibilities.

NPCs of Note. The Bastion is dedicated to Heironeous, the Greyhawk deity of rightful combat and chivalrous deeds, who first appeared in Gary Gygax's "The Deities & Demigods of the World of Greyhawk" in Dragon #67 (November 1982). Champion of Evil Hextor also debuted there and recurs in Bastion.

Bastion of Faith also reuses numerous NPCs from WGR4: "The Marklands" (1993), again underlying the Greyhawk connection. However it goes back even further for another character: monk Luther first appeared in the original Rogues Gallery (1980) as the character of Helen Cook!

About the Creator. By 1999, Cordell was one of D&D's most prolific writers. He'd previously authored College of Wizardry (1998), the second of the locale splatbooks.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons — a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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TSR 11442
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File Last Updated:
April 29, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on May 02, 2017.