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!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wyrd Ways of Walstock is Now Available!

Can you save Walstock from itself?

‘Wyrd’ things are afoot. This town might seem like your ordinary, post-apocalyptic-now-turned-fantasy locale, but it is not! Fell Cults have begun to take over and it is up to the brave adventurers to stop one in particular: the Cult of the Shield Ghul.

But the ‘Wyrdness’ doesn’t end there. Though this adventure can be used to facilitate your typical wander-around-and-kill-everyone-to-take-their-stuff-type scenario, it also includes a sinister (and frankly genius) plot, feuding factions, plenty of hyphens, not to mention bizarre NPC’s and situations to either interact with or stab to death.

Prepare yourself for an unusual and memorable gaming experience. It could be just what the Barber-Dentist ordered!

Inside you will find:  
  • Background on Walstock and its many feuding factions
  • A detailed plot and suggested Fated Events
  • Random Character Background, Encounter, and NPC generation tables
  • Town maps by John R.L. McNabb
  • 44 Keyed Locations
  • Unique pieces of art by Jim Yoder, Jeff Call, Andrew Walter, and John Blaszczyk, along with Luigi Castellani's amazing cover art
  • And full details on the Cult of the Shield Ghul (Tenets, Healing Side-Effects, Tests, and more)!
Get it here!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Clerics of Potnia, Part I


Neutral Minoan Great Goddess of Snakes and Civilization

Tenets of Potnia
* Always bear your breasts bare, encouraging feminine affluence and potency
* Promote trade, the arts, beauty, and civilization
* Be generally peaceful, but honor labryses (double-headed axes), snakes, and bulls...
* Perform horrific sacrifices from time to time too!

Priestesses of Potnia
Special: Being usually peaceful and matriarchal, there are no Minoan clerics per se, but only Minoan priestesses, most of which follow Potnia. See Divinities & Cults: Volume II for additional details on Minoan Religion.
Allowed Weapons: None, though they may appear armed, bearing labryses, snakes, or simply their breasts.
Allowed Armor: None (see Weapons, above)
Holy Symbols: Labrys, Bull, Snake
Can Turn: Any who wear shirts (or at least shirts that don't reveal one's chest!)
Minoan Mysteries: Priestess of Potnia always gain a +1 bonus to their casting rolls whenever their bare breasts are bared.

Next week: Priestesses of Potnia, Part II!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wyrd Ways Promo #2

And, as promised, here are some excerpts from my upcoming Wyrd Ways of Walstock module...

The full module (PDF) will be available for sale sometime within the next week.  I'll post when it's ready!

Next week: we resume Divinity Updates with Priestesses of Potnia, Minoan Snake goddess: Part I!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wyrd Ways Promo #1

I wanted to take a two-week break from Divinity updates to pitch my upcoming (and very first) module to my many readers. As you can see from the wonderful cover picture by Luigi Castellani, it is a tribute to classic adventure with a twist of political satire thrown in.

From the cover:
“‘Wyrd’ things are afoot in Walstock. This town might seem like your ordinary, post-apocalyptic-now-turned-fantasy locale, but it is not! Fell Cults have begun to take over and it is up to the brave adventurers to stop one in particular: the Cult of the Shield Ghul.

But the ‘Wyrdness’ doesn’t end there. Though this adventure can be used to facilitate your typical wander-around-and-kill-everyone-to-take-their-stuff-type scenario, it also includes a sinister (and frankly genius) plot, feuding factions, plenty of hyphens, not to mention bizarre NPC’s and situations to either interact with or stab to death.

Prepare yourself for an unusual and memorable gaming experience. It could be just what the Barber-Dentist ordered!”

The party will essentially be tasked with apprehending a certain eccentric individual, causing a cascade of events to unfold of both an intriguing and bizarre nature. And as my playtesters found out, this isn’t your normal dungeon delve-type adventure: one even suggested putting a warning on the label.

Writing and design: Dan Osarchuk
Cover Illustration: Luigi Castellani
Interior Illustrations: Jim Yoder, Jeff Call, Andrew Walter, John Blaszczyk, and Stock Art
Walstock Town Maps: John R.L. McNabb

Labyrinth Lord & other Classic Game System Compatible 
Character Levels: 1-3
Pages: 30
Words: ~25K
Rating: A+, Freaking awesome!

Coming soon to PDF on Drivethru RPG, unless the Hospitaliers exsanguinate me first!

Next week: Wyrd Ways Promo #2!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Clerics of Fenrir, Part IV

Cleric Spells (Fenrir)
The Great Wolf would rather his clerics bite and rip apart their prey, instilling fear and destroying all they encounter. But if they must cast a spell, then here they are- especially if such magic assists in biting off gods’ hands!

1st Level: Command, Cure Light Wounds (reversible), Detect Evil (reverse), Light (reverse), Protection from evil (reverse), Remove Fear (reverse), Pass without TraceD, Speak with AnimalsD (wolves only)

2nd Level: Bless (reverse), Hold Person (requires growling at them deeply), StumbleD, Detect Invisible* (via scent), Scare* (requires howling)

3rd Level: Animal Growth (wolves and other predators only), Cure Blindness (reversible), Cure Disease, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking (on bite attacks only, +9 vs. hands!), Gust of Wind* (usable against pigs and those in dwellings), Infravision* (also makes eyes look scary), Protection from Normal Missiles*

4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds (reversible), Detect Lie, Summon Animal ID (wolves only), Fear*, Polymorph Self* (only into grandmother forms that still have big eyes and teeth)

5th Level: Commune (requires making a gruesome kill first), Cure Critical Wounds (reversible), Dispel Evil (reverse), Summon Animal IID (wolves only), Fearsome Wolf (as Faithful Hound*, but far more upsetting and vicious)

6th Level: Find Path (involves much sniffing), Summon Animal IIID (wolves only), Dweomer of Rage* (no potion required), Globe of Invulnerability*

7th Level: Regenerate, Restoration, ConfusionD

Fenris Cleric Foes
Though particularly vicious players might certainly enjoy portraying clerics of Fenrir, they are far more likely to be encountered as adversaries (that is Fenris clerics, not vicious players in this case).

The following table provides stats for such foes at various levels. With some minor modification, it could also be used for other types of clerics too.

Fenris Clerics: No. Enc.: 1; Align: C...

1st level: Mve: 40’*; AC 7*; HD 1*; Attk: 2*; Dmg*: 1d3 (bite attack) and/or 1d4 (dagger); SP: Cleric spells, Turn, Fenris Curse (Save to not devour victims they have slain; gain a Strength bonus and hit points after doing so), Wolf-Hunger* (10% chance); Sve: C1; Mor: 6

3rd level (Shaman): Mve: 40’*; AC 6*; HD 3+2*; Attk: 2*; Dmg*: 1d4 (bite attack) and/or 1d4+1 (dagger); SP: Shaman spells, Become Ethereal 3 rounds/day, Fenris Curse, Wolf-Hunger* (30% chance); Sve: C3; Mor: 8
Note: Shaman spells and abilities are described in the Thrym entry in Volume II.

5th level: Mve: 40’*; AC 6*; HD 5+4*; Attk*: 2; Dmg*: 1d6 (bite attack) and/or 1d4+2 (dagger); SP: Cleric spells, Turn, Fenris Curse, Wolf-Hunger* (50% chance); Sve: C5; Mor: 10

* The effects of certain Divine Tests of Fenrir (Wolf-Hunger) can change his clerics permanently, granting them various boons and penalties that would affect the stats so marked. The cleric has a 10% chance per level of having experienced each of the following and would then be subject to the specific boons and restrictions thereof when encountered. See that section for specifics.

Roll for each:
1. An increased chance of hitting with their bite attack...
2. An improved AC & speed...
3. Larger size for greater Strength and Constitution...
4. Lycanthrope form...

In addition, beating the percentage by 20% or more means that the cleric has experienced that Test twice, thereby giving him double the bonus and penalty. For example, a 4th level cleric of Fenrir has a 40% chance of experiencing each of the above. On a d100 roll of 21-40, it’s shown that he’s experienced that Wolf-Hunger once. On a roll of 01-20, it turns out that he’s actually experienced that Wolf-Hunger twice!

Fenris clerics of higher levels can even have a chance of having experienced various Wolf-Hungers thrice or more (by beating the percentage by 40%, etc.), all depending on howl far the Referee is willing to go.

Next week: Preview of my upcoming module: Wyrd Ways of Walstock!