Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sorcerers of Gruagach/ Pictish Sorcerers, Pt. III

(illus: De Bry, 1588 “The True Picture of a Women Picte”)

Are Ye?
Gruagach might give ye a kick in ye arse, but are ye fit for what ye’re yearnin’? Are ye wild? Are ye a-seekin’ the sun and cattle? ARE YE?

Divine Tests
1-3. Up to ye oxters, are ye? Well then, ye must haud on, aye, or even faster yet, get in ye skuddy, woad, er steamin! The sorcerer must do nothing for 2d6 turns, or for only 1d3 turns if he can go nude, become painted, and/or get drunk.

4-9. Lost ye micht, have ye? Eh? Well then best ye get from all ye’re haverin’! The Gruagachan experiences a reduction in spells available- 50% chance for each one- possibly including his Turn ability, for the rest of the day. Roll 1d6 for each spell lost to determine what he needs to do in order to regain it before then:
[1] Get at least 1d6 others to be nude, woad-painted, and/or drunk for at least the next 1d3 hours (a base 25% chance that they will agree; 75% chance if they are also Picts).
[2] Acquire at least 2d6 cattle or sheep, preferably by raiding
[3] Hit an ally or other worthy (current) non-enemy with at least 1d3 rocks. Each one does 1d4 damage and the target is free to throw them back. Tossing logs or even trying to drink rocks will also do in this case, though they each cause 1d12 damage, also restoring 2 extra spells if lost.
[4] Make an offering to the fey or other spirits, based on the nature of the spell lost (per Referee). There’s a base 25% chance of the spirit being encountered to accept the offering. See Touch of the Fair Folk (Healing Side-Effect results #5-6) for its disposition. 
[5] Work on a stone carving or pictograph, requiring 1d6 turns and a Wisdom or Charisma check at its conclusion to see if it‘s good enough.
[6] Get to a broch (stone roundhouse or fort), or work on building one or another stone structure for at least 1d3 hours

10-12. Dinna ken who’ll gie ye a skelpit lug this time, will ye? Gruagach is just one of many Pictish divinities who also have a great deal of overlap due to their animistic ways. As a result, rather than experiencing Are Ye? in this case, reroll and consider the test to be for one of the following similar divinities instead (1d5):
[1] Brighde (as Brigid)
[2] Cailleach (as Trivia)
[3] Cern (as Cernunnos)
[4] Mhanainn (Manannan)
[5] Scathach (as Morrighan)
[6] Arcaibh (as Orcus- but is entirely Pictish in character, rather than orcish, also incorporating boars and the fey, rather than evil spirits - i.e. ‘the Orkneys’)
All are detailed in Volume II. The Referee should feel free to adjust any results to make them more ‘Pictish’: rustic, wild, and animistic.

13-17. Noo jist ye haud on! Many stereotypes exist for the Picts, and the sorcerer of Gruagach now takes on one of them- roll 1d4 each time to see which one:
[1] Battle: from now on, whenever provoked, the sorcerer must save vs. paralysis or have to fight. The save becomes 2 harder for each instance of this test.
[2] Babble: the sorcerer gains a +1 bonus to all saves, but others must also make a save vs. spell to understand anything he says at all from now on. The bonus increases by 1 and the save becomes 1 harder every time he experiences this test.
[3] Thrifty: Picts wear and carry little anyway, but now the sorcerer will often refuse to wear any garments at all or purchase items, even needing to save vs. paralysis if doing so would protect him from the elements or the like. The save becomes 2 harder for every time he has this test.
[4] Swalla: as per Lure of the Vine- see Dionysius in Volume I- though whisky will always be preferred to other spirits.

18+ Not afraid of ole Nessie, are ye? A great and terrible Loch Monster arrives within 1d20 rounds to show Gruagach’s displeasure, its long neck allowing it to even find him in the most unlikely of places. It will attack for 2d3 rounds, plus 2d3 additional rounds per Are Ye result over 18. Those who intervene or otherwise aid the sorcerer will become potential targets too, also increasing the Loch Monster’s fury for 1d3 rounds longer per ally involved. In any case, the sorcerer (and any allies brave enough to fight) must keep their heids and gie it laldly- ach!

Loch Monster
Mve: 30’, swim 120’; AC 4; HD 15; Atk: 1 bite; Dmg: 4d6; SP: cause fear (save vs. spell negates), aquatic, long neck allows reaching into 5’ wide areas; SV F15; AL N.


Next week: Sorcerers of Gruagach (Part IV)!




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sorcerers of Gruagach, Part II


Healing Side-Effects (Gruagach)
Gruagach naturally benefits Picts most of all, though those like them may receive assistance too. And, as with most Pictish deities, those who experience healing from his sorcerers at a node or other natural place of power can reroll their side-effect if they wish, though they must take the second result; that is, if they can understand what it means!

1-2. A Raid Will Do Ye: Ye must be acquiring some cattle or at least some sun to get ye health back! (Both might be a challenge in Pictish lands- unless already available, generally requiring 1d6 turns of work and only having a base 50% chance of success.)

3-4. Rustic Rite: Are ye tattooed, wild, and/or nekked? If aye, ye get ye healin’. If nay- ach! Ye don’t! (Healing requires dressing or acting like a Pict.)

5-6. Touch of the Fair Folk: Circle ye seven times or else get ye a charm-stone (a Pictish painted stone), ‘ere you receive good health today. But bear you in mind, that you might find, also a visit from the fey! (A base 33% chance of a fey being showing up along with the healing: the being will either be- roll 1d4: [1] helpful, [2] mischievous, [3] alluring, or [4] hostile- in any case remaining for 1d20 rounds.)

7-8. Caledonian Cure: Ye be one of the hard feet, are ye? Eh? EH?!  Dwellin’ on the rocky ground, being tough or just plain stubborn ‘round, sets one free. If nay, dinna fash yersel! Get yer healin’ anyway. If aye, a-plenty more fer yer to see! (Healing happens and with a 50% extra benefit if the recipient is ‘hard-footed’.)

9-12. Blessing of Gruagach: Curin’ is hoachin' and even grants ye more fer the lot of them!  (The patient automatically receives healing for the full amount, along with a +1 bonus to all rolls for the next 1d6 turns if tattooed, wild, nekked, raiding, or what have you- up to +2 if more than one apply.)

Next week: Sorcerers of Gruagach (Part III)!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sorcerers of Gruagach, Part I

Gruagach

Neutral Pictish God of the Rustic Way, the Sun, & Magic




















Tenets of Gruagach
* Grow your hair long, just like Gruagach
* Acquire cattle
* Acquire the sun (somehow)
* Eschew civilized things, live the rustic way!

Sorcerers of Gruagach
Special: Gruagach has no clerics in his service, only sorcerers, shamans, and druids. The latter two classes are detailed in Volume II.
 Allowed Weapons: Club, staff, spear, sling, rocks
 Allowed Armor: Woad paint, whether applied temporarily or permanently tattooed, it improves AC and chances to scare others by 2, but also reduces all Charisma checks made with non-Picts by 7
 Holy Symbol: Spirals, Ogham
Can Turn: Demons, mutants
 Gruagachan Mysteries: In keeping with their animistic ways, the faithful of Gruagach can gain a +2 bonus to all rolls related to spirits, but must not touch metal during that time and for at least 24 hours beforehand. Any contact with metal, whether a weapon, armor, or even a tool, utensil, doorknob, or coin, interrupts the bonus.

Pictish Sorcery: Being that their magic is quite archaic, Pictish sorcerers must achieve one higher class level to cast spells than clerics of other gods do. For example, if using Labyrinth Lord rules, they need to be 4th level in order to cast 2nd level spells (rather than 3rd), 6th level to cast 3rd level spells (rather than 5th), etc.

In return, they have a 3 in 6 chance of being able to cast each of their spells an extra time per day (roll after a spell is cast to see).

What is more, a Pictish sorcerer’s spells might even go off when he doesn’t wish them to! Whenever under stress- whenever he loses half his hit points, has to make a save, the sun sets, or the like- there is a 1 in 20 chance of one of his spells (determined at random) being cast on a random target in range. If this occurs, treat it as if the sorcerer cast it himself.

Consequently, they typically meet strange fates, either from their own magic or from irate companions who were accidental victims of said magic. Note that the followers of other Pictish divinities, such as Scathach, might have other triggers for the spells to be automatically cast, like the phases of the moon.


Next week: Sorcerers of Gruagach (Part II)!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Divinities and Cults: Volume I (Labyrinth Lord) 2017 revision


I’ve nearly finished editing Divinities and Cults: Volume I for Labyrinth Lord again this month. Thanks to those of you who have asked questions and let me know about any issues.

I did catch a couple more myself over these last 100-odd hours of work, and also adjusted some formatting, added a little stock art, and changed some sections to make them more balanced and interesting. One main update was making it so that each Divinity now grants bonus benefits for Healing Side-Effects results #8-12, though what those benefits are still depend on that god or goddess’s disposition!

Everything should be ready and re-uploaded to Drivethru by this weekend. I’ll send a message to let any who have already purchased the book know that it has been updated- you can then download the revised copy for free. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Collectors who don’t have their own copy yet should order now, since the original version will be unavailable once the new version is up.

I can also start working on revising Volume I for DCC RPG too if there is enough interest.


Next week, we return to the bonus Divinity article series with a Pictish god! Stay tuned...


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Priestesses of Potnia/ Minoan Clerics, Part IV


Cleric Spells (Potnia)
Priestesses of Potnia have access to the following spells. Remember, since she is a Bronze Age goddess, roll for Magical Side-Effects for every one cast, not just healing ones. Also, as priestesses, they can cast one extra 1st level per day, if using the optional rules found in Divinities and Cults: Volume II.

1st Level: Command (vs. those wearing chest coverings only), Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Light, Purify Food & Drink, Protection From Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Resist Cold, Sanctuary (only if at the sea, mountains, caves, or a labyrinth of some sort), Shield*, Detect Snares and PitsD (in Labyrinths only), Pass without TraceD (the same), Charm Person*, Comprehend Languages*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Find Traps (in Labyrinths only), Hold Person, Reveal Charm, Snake Charm, Speak with Animal (aquatic life, bulls, and serpents only), Spiritual Weapon (wielded by a spirit gorgon or minotaur)

3rd Level: Animal Growth (aquatic life, bulls, or serpents only), Continual Light,  Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding (usable in labyrinths or areas with indoor plumbing), Locate Object (if it is pretty), Prayer, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking (on Labryses only), Water BreathingD, Commune with NatureD, Clairaudience*, Clairvoyance*, Polymorph Self* Suggestion*, Summon Monster III* (Atavars only)

4th Level: Create Food and Water (Tuscan cuisine), Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Detect Lie, Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Sticks to Snakes, Tongues, Summon Monster IV* (Medusae or Gorgons [see Volume I] only)

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Summon Monster V* (wingless Griffons only)

6th Level: Animate Objects (in Labyrinths only), Conjure Animals (aquatic life, bulls, or serpents), Find the Path (requires a ball of thread), Heal, Part Water, Summon Aerial Servant (as a particular type of spirit- see Volume II), Summon Monster VI* (Minotaurs only)

7th Level: Astral Projection, Earthquake (use with care!), Regenerate, Restoration, Maze*, Statue* Summon Monster VII* (Greater Minotaurs [see Volume I] or Griffons only)


Mycenaean Warriors
Whether in boar’s teeth helm, bronze breastplate, and figure-eight shield, or even positioned on a chariot in the mighty (and very unwieldy) Dendra panoply, these fighting-men live for personal combat. As a result, they can gain a +1 damage bonus per odd level (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) when fighting a single opponent.

Mve: 35’ (Dendra: 20’; though much faster on a chariot!); AC 6 (Dendra: 3); HD 1+1; Attk: 1; Dmg: by spear or short sword; SP: +1 dmg per odd level when in single combat; Sve: F1; AL: varies


Minoan Warriors
Though more pacifistic than their Mycenaean counterparts, the Minoans must defend themselves at times too. They eschew armor though, instead dodging and bull-leaping out of the way of attacks. They thus improve their AC by 2 per odd level (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) when lightly clad (except if trapped or surprised, in which case their AC is 10), as well as gain a +2 bonus to all Dexterity checks too.

Mve: 40’; AC 7; HD 1+1; Attk: 1; Dmg: by spear or short sword; SP: improve AC and Dexterity checks by 2 per odd level when lightly clad; Sve: F1; AL: varies


Minoan Encounters
See also Etruscan Palace Encounters (listed on this blog under Uni) for Minoan locales, since they are similar, but don’t forget to add minotaurs, atavars, gorgons, and griffons to convert them into Minoan Labyrinths!


Next week: The revised version of Divinities and Cults: Volume I (Labyrinth Lord) should be available.

If you’ve spotted any typos in it (I’ve fixed a bunch over the last few weeks), now would be a good time to let me know!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Priestess of Potnia/ Minoan Clerics, Part III

Labyrinth of Minos

Potnia would test her faithful in Minoan ways....

Divine Tests
1-3. The priestess finds herself drawn into a mental Labyrinth of sorts, taking 1d6 turns to emerge and thereby understand the will of Potnia better. Perhaps Ariadne will help to lead her out?

4-9. The Minoan experiences a reduction in spells available (50% chance for each one) for the rest of the day. Roll 1d6 for each spell lost to determine what she need do in order to regain it before that time:
[1] Spend at least 1d6 turns enjoying the sea, mountains, caves, or a labyrinth
[2] Have a public meeting for 1d3 hours with at least 3 other women present, no chest coverings allowed (see picture above; 50% chance of triggering the unenlightened if not in Minoan lands)
[3] Touch a bull, snake, or related creature- it then has a base 50% chance of attacking her
[4] Sacrifice pretty objects and pour libations worth at least 3d20 gold pieces,
[5] Relax for 1d3 hours at a posh and comfortable place, preferably a palace, bereft of any walls or defensive works, but certainly having indoor plumbing
[6] Make a living sacrifice! (base 10% chance of also having to ingest it: does anyone have a slave around?)

10-12. As ‘the Lady’, Potnia was the main goddess over the pantheon, so consider this Test to be for one of the following Divinities instead. Their Linear B, Bronze Age names are listed along with their Greek, Iron Age equivalents, though the Referee should feel free to adjust any results to make them more ‘Minoan’ (matriarchal, artistic, and/or mostly pacifistic). Roll 1d10.
[1] Apaitijo (Hephaestus- see Vulcan in Volume II)
[2] Are (Ares- see Mars in Volume II)
[3] Atana (Athena- see Volume I)
[4] Atemito (Artemis- see Volume I)
[5] Diwo (Zeus- see Volume I)
[6] Diwonuso (Dionysus- see Volume I)
[7] Era (Hera- see Volume I)
[8] Ereutija (Eileithyia/Demeter- see Danu in Volume II)
[9] Paiawon (Apollo- see Volume I)
[10] Posedawone (Poseidon- see Volume I)

13-16. The power of the Great Goddess becomes immediately felt, causing all within a 120’ area of the priestess when this Labyrinth of Minos occurs to save or begin parading around and dancing unclad for the next 1d3 hours. What is more, other beings will arrive. And though they might be unclad, they are as likely to attack the participants as parade and dance (a 50% chance each). Note that if the priestess tries to counteract this Test in any way, she will lose access to all of her powers for the next 48 hours. Roll 1d4.
[1] 1d2 Griffins (50% chance of being wingless)
[2] 1d3 Medusae (see Volume I)
[3] 1d4 Minoan Daemons/Genii (lion/hippo beings- treat as Atavars click for link)
[4] 1d3 Minotaurs (see Volume I)

17+ Catastrophe! Alas, great (mostly) peaceful Minos might not last! In prediction of this, the priestess experiences one of a number of nasty fates.
[1] The priestess becomes lost in a Labyrinth for 24 hours. At the end of each day, she must make an Intelligence check in order to find a way out. If not, she must search for another 24 hours. Daedalus couldn’t escape his own, can she?
[2] 2d4 Mycenaean Warriors invade (see Part IV for stats), seeking to rule the priestess until defeated
[3] Like Pasiphae, the priestess becomes pregnant with a Minotaur. The child will be born in 1d12 months and might not be satisfied with simple milk (a base 75% chance)
[4] Like Thera, a volcano erupts within 1d20 rounds, destroying everything within a 1 mile radius of where this Test occurs.

What is more, for every Labyrinth of Minos result over 17, all results are doubled!


Next week: Priestesses of Potnia concludes with Part IV!


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Clerics of Potnia, Part II

*Magical* Side-Effects
Since Potnia is a Bronze Age goddess- a time when the role of priest(ess) and magician was even more blurred than with Iron Age divinities- Magical Side-Effects occur every time her priestesses cast a spell, not just with healing magic. Roll 1d12.

1. A Sacrifice! The Great Goddess gives and takes away. Depending on the level of the spell, either goods worth 1d20 gold pieces (1st-2nd level), an animal (3rd-4th level), a slave, criminal, or even a normal person (5th-6th level) must be given to Potnia (killed) for the spell to work, with the highest level ones (7th level spells) requiring the person be also given to the priestess’s belly. Woe unto those that she might have over for dinner in that case!

2-3. Worship of the Land. Many natural places show the many sides of Potnia. The spell requires that the priestess be at or at least be in view of the sea, mountains, caves, or a labyrinth. Using only representations of such places (frescoes, carvings, symbols, etc.) reduces all the spell’s effects by 25%.

4-5. Civilized Magic. No shirt? Great service! Or at least, bare one’s breasts! Any recipients of a beneficial spell with this side-effect must be dressed (or undressed) as such. On the other hand, those who would receive a harmful spell must be wearing such barbaric garb (i.e. shirts or other chest coverings), much as with the priestess’s Turn ability. Otherwise, all the spell’s effects are reduced by 25%.

6-8. Snake and Bull. The magic now requires animals sacred to the Great Goddess: whether snakes or bulls. Symbolic forms will do, including a labrys, though having the actual animal present or even creatures that are at least part snake or bull (e.g. gorgons or minotaurs), grants a 50% bonus.

9-12. Potency of Potnia: The recipient is either blessed or cursed by the spell, depending on whether it was a helpful or harmful one, automatically receiving its full effects (a save still negates, if applicable). What is more, those so affected and who would honor Potnia’s tenets gain a +1 to all rolls for the next 1d6 rounds, while those who would be so abominable as to cover their chest would receive the opposite!

Next week: Priestesses of Potnia, Part III!