Miracles & Wonders details a well thought-out system of replacing divine magic with miracles and ceremonial benedictions. It's divine "magic" in the style of the Bible, essentially making the cleric character a saint. Yet, despite its Biblical roots the system is made to accommodate pretty much any culture that believes that the god(s) would grant miracles to their faithful mortal servants.
In two decades now of FRPGs this is only the second time I've ever seen a system like this. The other, published in the UK during the early 80s, was called "Fantasy Wargaming". All other game systems have had divine spellcasters or simply ignored the idea altogether. I don't mention this to detract from the originality of Miracles & Wonders but rather to illustrate how rare it is for anyone to come up with s system for miracles and miracle-workers for an RPG. The only other thing I've seen remotely similar was in Genre Diversion's Ghost Stories and RPGObjects Blood & Relics, but these two gave the saintly character special powers rather than the ability to call down a specific miracle as needed by the situation at hand. Thus, this book is a rare gem indeed.
The divine servant gains two statistics, Grace (good) and Hubris (bad). Both act as influences on the die roll when attempting to perform a miracle. Needless to say, it is always up to the DM if a miracle manifests ? or if it was what the character requested, for that matter. The religion's doctrine (sins and virtues) are also given treatment, something that tends to be far too generalized in the standard system. It also covers what happens if the character betrays his religion in ways big and small; it's possible for a character to become cast out the gods grace and earn himself a lasting curse... and yet that might not be the end of his interaction with his god.
If you're satisfied with clergy being spellcasters then this book isn't really for you, although you may find it worth considering. However, if like me, you never liked the idea of a god's priests being spellcasters but didn't want to deny the influence of the gods in the setting without having them make regular appearances ala Greek mythology, this book is probably exactly what you're looking for (and it's inexpensive too).<br><br>
<b>LIKED</b>: Pretty much everything. The book is laid out well and, after a brief intro, gets to the point quickly without a lot of clutter. I also particularly liked the sample ?adventures? (not to mention the touch of humor there) which exemplifies the character's status as something of a saint rather than being just another cleric. In other words, the character is regarded as a true miracle-worker instead of the power of the gods being taken for granted as the typical power of clerics.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: As I said above, this system isn't for everyone. The only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars is that it assumes that the DM should be generous enough with miracles to fully equal the standard cleric's spellcasting power. I would have liked it if there had been a section on how to make up for it if you, the DM, didn't want to have miracles in your game so much, i.e., powers/feats/whatever that would re-balance the cleric if the DM doesn't want to be that generous -- although if you're using the standard D&D rules you essentially are having miracles being that prevalent (or more) in your game. Otherwise this book is excellent.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]