Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Divinities Cults: Volume II Conversion/ Updates

I’m nearly done converting Volume II to DCC RPG, as well as making slight tweaks and corrections to the Labyrinth Lord version that’s already out. For those who don’t have a copy yet, you should get one: I forgot how much information I put in there.

I’ll probably send the DCC RPG version out for Mr. Goodman’s review sometime next week and also upload the revised Labyrinth Lord version to DriveThru RPG around the same time. Those who already purchased their copy should be able to download the revised one for free.

So stay tuned! I’ll make another announcement when that’s all been done. Otherwise, I’ll be starting another series of articles on a Slavic Divinity next Wednesday, during our regularly scheduled blog time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Etruscan Clerics/ Clerics of Uni (Part IV)

The Sky, sacred to Uni, showing vividly over an Etruscan Palace (photo: Stock Art)

Cleric Spells (Uni)
Clerics of Uni have access to the following spells. As haruspices (see Divinities and Cults: Volume II), they gain a +3 bonus to cast all spells involving divination and space, but a -3 penalty to all others.

1st Level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Light (as celestial radiance), Purify Food & Drink, Protection From Evil, Purify Food and Drink (if presented with good table manners), Remove Fear, Resist Cold, Sanctuary (if in a civilized area), Divine WeatherD, Faerie FireD (as starlight), Allure* (only works while at a party or other social gathering though), Shield*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Know Alignment, Hold Person, Holy Chant, Reveal Charm, Spiritual Weapon (wielded by spirits)

3rd Level: Continual Light (seeming to come from the sky),  Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object (if it is one of good taste), Prayer, Remove Curse, Speak with Dead (only if its liver is available), Call LightningD, Gust of Wind*

4th Level: Create Food and Water (Tuscan cuisine), Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Temperature ControlD (to pleasant temperatures only)

5th Level: Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Control WindsD, Atmosphere Bubble*, Telekinesis*

6th Level: Find the Path, Heal, Summon Aerial Servant (as a particular type of spirit), Control Weather D

7th Level: Augury (greater)- can give more details about a future event, Astral Projection, Restoration, Wind Walk, Control Weather (greater) D

Etruscan Palace Encounters
Though it’s good to work to understand the Will of the Gods and to see the sky, one must have time for refinement and scandalous behavior too!

Features (roll 1d10)
1. Small temple to a random Etruscan Divinity (see Divinities and Cults: Volume II)
2. Statues (roll 1d6): [1] Man, [2] Woman, [3] Group, [4] Monster, [5] Deity, [6] Other (50% chance of being of mounted on a roof)
3. Painted columns (75% chance of being red)
4. Murals (65% chance of being lewd)
5. Gymnasium (50% chance of nudity, even the women!)
6. Baths (100% chance)
7. Industry (roll 1d4): [1] Vineyard, [2] Smithy, [3] Urn making, [4] Other
8. Especially-defensible position (roll 1d4): [1] built on an especially good hill, [2] thick-walled, [3] allied Palace nearby, [4] women inside are so beautiful that it’s hard to attack
9. Necropolis (85% chance of being wealthy)
10. Theatre (50% chance of being ribald)

Inhabitants (roll 1d10)
1. Nobles (men & women: 50% chance of being nude; 50% chance of being drunk; 100% chance of being clean-shaven and literate)
2. Servants (25% chance of being nude, drunk, clean-shaven, and/or literate)
3. Slaves (50% chance of being barbaric)
4. Soldiers (see the upcoming Volume III for special abilities)
5. Workers (50% chance of being skilled)
6. Entertainers (75% chance of being skilled)
7. Spirits (25% chance of being hostile)
8. Haruspices (most similar to clerics of Uni, if not the same)
9. Foreigners (75% chance of being aghast at the libertine lifestyle of the Etruscans)
10. Others (per Referee)

Events (roll 1d8)
1. Party
2. Feast
3. Hunt
4. Performance
5. Dance
6. Financial meeting
7. Orgy
8. Multiple (reroll twice)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Clerics of Uni (Part III)

Image: public domain, though it may not be fit for the non-gaming public!

Universal Decree
Uni wishes to bring her cleric back onto the correct, Etruscan path.

Divine Tests
1-3. How to determine the Inscrutable Will of the Gods? The cleric must attempt to discern what it is that Uni and the others would have her do, interpreting omens for the next 2d6 turns.

4-8. The haruspex of Uni 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 needs to do in order to regain it before then: [1] Engage in a very libertine act (such as that which is pictured above or even have women recline at banquets with men, etc.), [2] Oversee proper rituals for the next 1d3 hours, [3] Consult an omen which takes 1d6 turns to complete, but then only has a 50% chance of returning the spell that day, [4] Make a sacrifice worth at least 2d20 gold pieces, [5] Befriend someone (successful Charisma check required), [6] Make a living sacrifice! (does anyone have a slave around?)

9-12. Uni is often worshipped as part of a triad (or unit) that varied from time to time. Consider this Test to be for one of the following Divinities instead (roll 1d4): [1] Juventas (Artemis), [2] Tinia (Zeus), [3] Juno (Hera), or [4] Menrva (Athena). All four are detailed in Divinities and Cults: Volume I, though the Referee should feel free to adjust any results to make them more ‘Etruscan’ (mystical, superstitious, and/or ritualistic).

13-16. It is time for a celebration! Dancing, music, scandalous action, good table manners, and so forth must occur. Such a party will require at least 2d6 participants (including the cleric), supplies costing at least 5d10 gold pieces, and lasts at least 2d6 (uninterrupted) hours, both for preparation and hosting. During that time, the haruspex can do nothing else. If she fails to do so or if the celebration isn’t successful (a base 50% chance), then she will be uninvited from being able to use any of her powers for the next 48 hours.

17+ The cleric receives a visit from one of the Etruscan mythological figures. She has a 10% chance per level of reading the omens right. If successful, then the cleric gains a +4 bonus to all rolls of a certain type for the next 2d4 days. If unsuccessful, then the cleric loses access to all her powers for the next 2d4 days and also takes 2d6 damage. The nature of the bonus and the cause of the damage depends on which figure comes to visit (roll 1d3):
            [1] Vegoia: bonus to lightning, liver, and water-related rolls; damage is caused by either (roll 1d3 again): lightning strike(!), exploding liver, or mild drowning
            [2] Tages: bonus to plowing, age, and communication-related rolls; damage is caused by wise-looking child attacking cleric with a plough
            [3] Herkle: bonus to adventuring, strength, and deification-related rolls; damage  is from bad suckling!

What is more, for every Universal Decree result over 17, decrease the chance of success by 1% per level and increase the damage for failing to read the omens right by 2d6!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Clerics of Uni (Part II)

Healing Side-Effects (Uni)
In the Etruscan tradition, clerics of Uni grant healing in unique ways. What is more, those receiving healing in a Fanum (Etruscan sacred place) may reroll their Side-Effect result and pick which one they would rather experience.

1-2. Let us consider this chopped liver: In order for the healing to work, a fresh liver, removed from a living being and examined for at least 1d12 rounds is needed first. Of course, using the patient’s would be counterproductive in this case.

3-4. Healing Treasures: It is jewelry or other riches that is now required. The patient will be healed, but only up to 1 hit point for every 2 gold pieces in value sacrificed. Other ailments, such as diseases, might require the sacrifice of an item of 15 gold pieces or more (still a bargain at today’s rates).

5-6. We are kind... Simple friendliness and warmth makes Uni smile. The patient will too; that is, if he or she has been friendly and warm during the last hour (unlikely if they have been injured in battle though- only a base 10% chance). Otherwise, they will receive no healing until they lighten up!

7-8. Gods and Goddesses, Men and Women: Though it might seem perfectly normal to Etruscan-types for the sexes to mix together and be polyamorous, others might not think so. As long as the patient has taken such a libertine attitude to whom he or she associates and cavorts with for the last 24 hours, then the healing will work normally. Greeks and Romans probably won’t like them though, as a result (a 75% chance).

9-12. Blessing of Uni: The patient is healed for the spell’s full amount. In addition, if the cleric has examined a liver first or the recipient sacrifices 2 gold pieces in valuables for every hit point healed, is friendly, and/or cavorts freely, then the recipient gains a +2 bonus to all non-violent rolls made for the next 1d6 hours, up to a +6 if three or more apply.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Clerics of Uni (Part I)

Lawful Etruscan Great Goddess of the Sky
Tenets of Uni
* Everything happens for a reason, though what that is can only be guessed at by mortals
* Perform the proper rituals to gain a better understanding of the Gods' Will
* Live a prosperous life of leisure and civil community
* Irritate Romans with scandalous behavior too

Clerics of Uni
Special: Clerics of Uni are also known as haruspices (sing. haruspex). See Divinities and Cults: Volume II for additional details on them and Etruscan Religion.
Allowed Weapons: Staff, dagger
Allowed Armor: None
Holy Symbol: Peacock, Cow (not a little unicorn!)
Can Turn: Those not in accordance with the Will of the Gods (if not known: 55% chance if target is humanoid; 0% if wildlife; 45% otherwise)
Universal Mysteries: Clerics of Uni can gain a +4 bonus to casting divinatory spells after being able to consult the sky omens for at least 1d6 minutes first, up to once per day per level.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Joy of Random Encounter Tables

Perhaps these woods and hills have more than 2d4 ogres in them? (Photo: stock art)

No referee should be without them- we all know that. But many might not realize that random tables can also be used for much more than simply adding an uncertain element of combat to one’s adventures. Not only can they help to provide encounters for those characters who happen to wander haphazardly away from your intended plot, but they can also bring an increased level of detail and realism to your game, for both players and you, the Almighty Referee, to experience.

In the process of playtesting Wyrd Ways of Walstock, I had the pleasure of using a number of random tables from Divinities and Cults: Volumes I & II. These tables are designed to be more than a mere ‘monster factory’ list of things wandering around for adventurers to stab to death. Instead, they allow characters to also experience such things as a change in the weather, wildlife that isn’t trying to kill them (right away), some notable landform, or other occurrence to make their trip more memorable. These are things that one might likely experience during a journey through the woods or hiking along a pleasant meadow, for example. But don’t worry: there are still plenty of encounters listed for the party to stab to death.

Like all random encounter tables, these not only make the game more interesting for the players, but also for myself too, as Referee. I always enjoy being pleasantly surprised with something unsettling and randomly determined to throw at the party, especially in a module that I was still writing and hadn’t had the time to detail every square foot of yet. And even better, when something did arise that was terrible for the party, it wasn’t really my fault, because it occurred at random.

And not just that, but these unique encounter tables help with guiding the plot too.  Their more universal range of possible experiences (weather, terrain, sights, etc.), as well as how they are organized by Divinity, allow mini-adventures to be built on the fly more easily. Thus, when adventurers are wandering around in a forest, far away from the place I want them to go, I can at least take solace in the fact that they are wandering around in a place sacred to Artemis, far away from where I want them to go.

That is the magic of random tables. And for yet more magic, here is part of a table I’m working on for Wyrd Ways, which involves a great deal of political intrigue in the form of everyone knowing everyone else in a small town. To use this table, roll on all three columns if the NPC is someone from the character’s family; only roll on the last two if the NPC and character might know each other another way.




Distant Relation



Third Cousin


Second Cousin


First cousin



Aunt or Uncle



Brother or Sister









Great or grand- (reroll 1d8)


Laid back

The full table will be released with Wyrd Ways of Walstock, coming this Spring.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Clerics of Frey (Part IV)

Illustration: Frederick Sander, 1893
of Skirnir, the original matchmaker

Cleric Spells (Freyr)

Clerics of Freyr have access to the following spells:

1st Level: Create Water (when near a field), Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Light (with an appearance from Gullinbursti), Purify Food & Drink, Protection From Evil, Sanctuary, Charm Person*, Enlarge* (on one’s ‘sword’ only: see Fertile Ways results 12-13 for details), Divine Weather D, Entangle D, Faerie Fire D

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Holy Chant, Resist Fire (when mounted), Speak with Animal (boars and horses only), Rope Trick* (rope leads to the extradimensional galley of Skidbladnir instead)

3rd Level: Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Prayer, Remove Curse, Striking (on swords and other pointy objects only), Tiny Hut* (as Rope Trick, above), Plant Growth D, Summon Animal ID (boars and horses only)

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Blodughofi (as Dimension Door*, but requires cleric to be mounted), Enchant Arms (swords only), Summon Sylvan Beings D, Temperature Control D

5th Level: Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Plane Shift (to Alfheim only), Distort Distance*, Gullinbursti (as Faithful Hound*, but is a phantom boar that can also cast Light at will), Commune with Nature D

6th Level: Find the Path, Heal, Summon Aerial Servant (can only be used to retrieve a suitable mate for the cleric, though making threats is fine too), Control Weather D

7th Level: Regenerate, Restoration, Magic Sword*, Skidbladnir (as Teleport*, but requires a folding ship model that can teleport up 12 individuals at a time or alternatively, transform into an actual sea vessel), Control Weather (greater) D

Fertile Field Encounters

Roll or pick to determine what one might find in such places sacred to Freyr.

Special Features (roll 1d8)
1. Magic Node (see Divinities and Cults, Volume II)
2. A nice well
3. Abundant crops
4. Especially fertile livestock
5. Unclaimed gold coins (1d20)
6. Potent Nature Spirit (see Divinities and Cults, Volume II)
7. Great sunbathing spot
8. Burial Mound

Folk (roll 1d6)
1. Swedes
2. Elves
3. Other Norse
4. Other humans
5. Attractive Giants
6. Unattractive Giants

Notable Wildlife (roll 1d6)
1. Boar
2. Horses
3. Weather change
4-6. Per Meadow Encounters (see Divinities and Cults: Volume I)

Events (roll 1d4)
1. Group Fertility Rite
2. Random spirit encounter (see Divinities and Cults: Volume II)
3. Wagon or Ship procession
4. Lovers in the fields