An Old Priest & A Young Priest

An Old Priest & A Young Priest is a mini RPG where you play Priests beholden to an ancient Triumvirate in a battle against a Demon that has possessed a human Vessel.

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The ritual is an ancient one and not many who speak the words of your faith still perform it. It is a cleansing, an eviction, a banishing; the ultimate test of all the power that your order wields to save an innocent from true damnation, or to stop that which should never be from seeing the light of day.

Your bag is packed with holy scripts, hallowed relics and, though you pray you will not need it, a heavy old pistol loaded with just two bullets. You are here to pit your very souls against this thing. Your lives are already forfeit.

You are an Old Priest & a Young Priest and tonight… you will perform an exorcism.

A black and white etching of a candle
Image in the public domain, taken from Amphitheatrum sapientiae aeternae solius verae, Christiano-Kabalisticum, divino-magicum, nec non physico-chymicum, tertriunum, catholicon [Heinrich Khunrath].

How To Play

An Old Priest & A Young Priest is a game for two players. You’ll take on a DEMON that inhabits a mortal VESSEL and attempt to drive it out with RITES that will test your Faith, harden your Resolve and tear at your Soul. To do this, you’ll draw cards from a deck, roll dice and pull blocks from a tower.

You will need:

  • A handful of d10s
  • A standard 52 card deck (The DEMON DECK)
  • A tumbling block tower
  • A way to write things down
A circle, with symbols and letters in it, containing multiple crosses and stylised Zs
Image in the public domain: A rosary, a medallion of St Benedict, a charm said to cause loss of eyesight, and hands showing lines and features to be interpreted by palmistry (including lines forecasting violent death); all illustrating ‘superstition’. Engraving.

The Priests

You are worshippers of a Triumvirate; a vengeful father, a possessive spirit, and a sacrificial lamb who share the same ancient body.    

You are here to perform a set of Rites that will allow you to banish a DEMON from an innocent VESSEL.

You have three BASTIONS, which each start at 3. If any of your Bastions reach 0, you are struck down and devoured by the DEMON.

FAITH – Your belief in your god

RESOLVE – Your belief in yourself

SOUL – What was of you before and may continue after

One of you must be The Young Priest, the other The Old Priest. Decide between yourselves, then find out more about your character below.

A figure with an enormous skeleton mask, holding a sword. It wears a cape and hood, which has pointed ears
Image in the public domain, taken from A skeleton dressed as a devil with sword. Lithograph by L. Crusius, 1898.

The Young Priest

Give yourself a name and make a mark next to 2 statements that apply to you:

  • I have studied the scriptures and learned the canticles. Each morning is an exultation (+1 Faith)
  • I have scarred myself with the marks of penitence. I am as pure as a flawed vessel can be (+1 Faith)
  • I came to this world with nothing and I have built myself upon the rock of faith and virtue (+1 Resolve)
  • I felt the cool breeze this morning and saw time stand still before the rising sun (+1 Soul)
  • I have spent a year in solitude and know myself before all others in my place before god (+1 Soul)

Next, answer…

WHO inspired you from an early age? Why are they the reason for your faith?

WHAT do you carry with you that displays your faith to others?

WHY did you become an Exorcist, when so many other paths lay before you?

The Old Priest

Give yourself a name and make a mark next to 2 statements that apply to you:

  • I have knelt before the corpse of my avenging father’s son and spent hours on the cold stone floor of his forgiveness (+1 Faith)
  • I have endured the trials of a life of sin and know the horrors of the darkness that lies beyond the bastion of my spirit. (+1 Resolve)
  • I am a stumbling up this ancient hill. I bear the instrument of my demise upon my crooked back. I am ready to fall. (+2 Resolve, -1 Faith)
  • There is a place I have been to each day since I was young. A place I have razed and will raze again. (+1 Soul)
  • I have learnt to raise in others the lie I cannot live myself. By inviting them to blindness I save them for a while. (+2 Soul, -1 Faith)

Next, answer…

WHO did you look up to, that you now despise? Why did they lose your trust?

WHAT scars do you carry that show the perils of your calling?

WHY do you continue to be an Exorcist, when this life has brought only pain?

The Vessel

THE VESSEL is a mortal whose body has become home to a DEMON. Their soul hangs in the balance while their physical form is wracked and tormented.

Give THE VESSEL a name and then expand on these 6 ASPECTS before beginning The Exorcism.

o A unique part of their appearance o A rare or special talent  o A memory from childhood o An activity in which they find joy o A scar or birthmark o A hope for their future

Whenever THE VESSEL receives a SCAR, mark off 1 ASPECT, which is taken from them by THE DEMON. If THE VESSEL receives 6 SCARS, then all that they are is consumed and they do not survive the Exorcism – their body is broken and THE DEMON is unleashed – pray for your souls and end the game.

A wooden cross, part of a contraption that seems to raise itself up
Image in the public domain. Civil engineering: diagrams for setting-out a sundial. Engraving by J. Pass, 1809.

The Exorcism

The Exorcism takes place over the 6 hours between Midnight and Dawn. At the start of each hour, draw 6 cards from the DEMON DECK and lay them face down.

Whenever a Priest begins a RITE, turn over a card and resolve it immediately.

  • If a Priest succeeds in a RITE, pick 1: Discard the most recently turned card to the BANISHMENT pile, increase a BASTION by 1, remove a SCAR from THE VESSEL
  • If a Priest fails a RITE, turn over another card and resolve it immediately

If there are no more cards to turn, the hour ends. Compare the number of turned cards to the number of cards in the BANISHMENT pile. If the number of cards in the BANISHMENT PILE is equal or higher, make a HOLY MARK; otherwise, knock down The Tower.

Whenever The Tower is knocked down, that hour is lost to THE DEMON. Make one DESECRATED MARK and place a SCAR on THE VESSEL, then begin the next hour.

After the 6th hour has ended, Dawn has come. Compare the number of HOLY MARKS to the number of DESECRATED MARKS. If the number of HOLY MARKS is EQUAL or HIGHER, then you have learnt THE DEMON’S name and may speak a final prayer to cast them out.

If it is LOWER, then all is lost – THE DEMON is made manifest through the coming of the dawn. You may choose to end your lives before THE DEMON claims you.

A hand in a jar
Image in the public domain: Plate 28. Cupping devices for the arm and leg.


RITES are outpourings of devotion that call upon the power of The Triumvirate to dispel the DEMON from this world. Take it in turns to perform RITES.

Each RITE consists of a prayer that includes the name of the RITE, the BASTION which you are activating, any RELICS used, and an invocation to one or all of The Triumvirate.

When you perform a RITE, activate a BASTION and pick up d10 equal to its value. Next, give the RITE a name:

1PassionSaint Unctuous The Just
2TriumphOur Carrion Father
3DedicationThe Wandering Crow
4SacramentOur Faithless Mother
5ExultationsSaint Jeah Of Dawn
6ChorusCanoness Tyria
7ExcruciationThe Wingless Dove
8MutilationPope Austere XIII
9AnguishOur Avenging Host
10LamentationThe Sacrificial Son

Then, choose which RELICS your RITE will require. Your RITE does not need to use any RELICS, however for each RELIC used you will add +1 to your roll. Any RELICS used are consumed by the RITE and cannot be used again.

o The Finger Bones of St Aurelia            o The Femur of The Lonesome Mother

o The Heart of Our Martyred Reverend   o The Crown of The Weeping Child

o The Cross of Rusted Nails                   o The Iron Crest of Mourning

o The Skull of St Leviathan                    o The Surplice of Pope Evangelous III

o The Fractured Urn of Father Osuous    o The Powdered Blood of Saint Lycea

o The Brass Censer of Lady Gwynedd     o The Holy Waters of The River Eis

o The Shinbone of Rechel The Pious       o The Scribblings of August The Lost

o The Chalice of The Unconscious Sin    o The Silver Eye of Mother Cruxious

When you have prepared your RITE, speak the prayer and roll all your d10s. Take the highest and apply any modifiers. On 8+ the RITE is successful.

On 7 or below you may choose to draw on a BASTION. When you draw on a BASTION, select one of your BASTIONS to draw on and pull blocks from The Tower. For each block pulled, add 1 to the total rolled for your RITE. If The Tower is knocked down while you are drawing on your BASTION, reduce that BASTION by 1.

A leg in a jar
Image in the public domain: Plate 28. Cupping devices for the arm and leg.

The Demon Deck

As each RITE begins, THE DEMON will appeal to the darkest parts of who you are. Each time you turn a card, use the prompt to confess a sin, dark desire, or inner turmoil.

Once you have made your confession, roll a d10. If the number is EQUAL to or HIGHER than your active BASTION, reduce that BASTION by 1 or place a SCAR onto THE VESSEL.

AThe suffering you left in your wakeThe failure that holds you backThe prayer that always goes unansweredThe misery you wish to inflict
2The life you ruined with inactionThe lie you tell yourself to surviveThe loss you can never overcomeThe power you would take for yourself
3The cruellest act from your youthThe memory that you cannot forgetThe act of betrayal you witnessedThe lie you would have the world believe
4The reason you never go homeThe mistake you strive to correctThe first time you questioned your faithThe conceit you take in achievement
5The life you let fall from graceThe strain that will eventually break youThe pardon you should not have givenThe wisdom you imparted as your own
6The cruellest act of your adulthoodThe vice that you keep hiddenThe emptiness you feel when you’re aloneThe lie that you tell to claim glory
7The secret you keep from everyoneThe reason you despise yourselfThe hymnal that dies on your lipsThe vengeance you would take on another
8The spirit you broke with your wordsThe fight you will always loseThe faith you placed in vainThe promise you never intend to keep
9The life you left to the cruelty of othersThe truth you have always hidden fromThe doubt that sits in your mindThe daily bread you denied to the starving
10The life you ruined with your actionsThe struggle you bring upon yourselfThe desires that tug at your conscienceThe lust that you keep in your heart
JThe glory you stole for your benefitThe voice that keeps you up at nightThe words you question every nightThe desire you indulge in secret
QThe blood that stains your handsThe burden you choose to carry aloneThe passages you wish you had not readThe riches you kept for yourself
KThe words you can never unhearThe lie you buried to save yourselfThe prayer that catches in your throatThe sin you are glad you committed