An interesting comment showed up on the Tao of D&D blog about non-spell cleric powers which immediately brought me to mind of the clerical rituals I want to draft up for my game setting (if not for Beacon proper). Rituals would be magical effects that would take hours or days instead of one round as a spell would. They would be used to flesh out the magic system without buggering up combat so much. I had already thought that one of the rituals should deal with consecration or sanctification - that would be a second or third level ritual. There should be a ritual for messing with souls (possibly resurrection) and a ritual for imbuing items with magic (hence certain magic items...). I'd like to find one for each magic level and make them part of church training but very hard to attain (questy). After reading that discussion, I figured out where to start. The first ritual should be preaching.
Saying a sermon or a mass, and being able to influence players and NPCs should be the first divine 'ritual'. It's the way the religion is spread and the primary contact between the church and the population at large so it would be taught early. Anyone can give a speech but for a real fire and brimstone footstomper you would need a invested cleric. Game-wise, it would be something that the character could do, it would be something the locals would seek out - a service. It would be something they would do when the townsfolk are bracing for an attack, or for solders before the battle, or for a good harvest, or a wedding, or even before a ship leaves port. Mechanically it would be some sort of morale boost - I can see it used by NPC priests to whip their minions into a frenzy. It could also sway opinion towards the players and increase the possibility of henchmen and retainers being retained by a party - and it could influence these retainers during the dungeon crawl. I can see this as working in conjunction with the cleric's bonus to the communication skill in Beacon to make them the leaders that motivate and muster the troops. So it would be a low level mass charm - in effect making the audience slightly more disposed towards the cleric and increasing their morale for a short time. Since it would take an hour or more to perform and be a loud affair I'm not too worried that it would devalue the Enchanter's charm spell.
I probably won't call it preachin' however.