Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Shamans of Ukko/ Finnish Shamans, Part III

Divine Tests (Ukko)
1-4. The shaman takes a -1 penalty per Divine Test result to all his rolls (-1 to -4). It lasts until he spends at least 1d6 turns communing with the spirits and/or gods in a particular type of place. Roll 1d6 to see where he needs to go.
            [1] Mountain spirits/ Ukko, Illmatar
            [2] Forest spirits/ Tapio, Tellervo, Mielikki
            [3] Water spirits/ Ahto, Kylikki
            [4] Sauna spirits/ Illmarinen, Akka
            [5] Field spirits/ Peko, Paivatar, Kuutar
            [6] Graveyard spirits/ Tuoni, Tuonetar, Loviatar, Kalma

5-11. The spirits require placation, causing the shaman to lose access to some of his spells (50% chance for each one). Roll 1d6 and consult the list above to see what spirits of place need to be interacted with. Then roll 1d6 again for each spell lost to determine what he must do in order to regain it (note that the spell cannot be cast again until he does so!)
   [1] Commune at a type of place for 4d6 turns.
   [2] Leave fitting offerings for the spirits there (per Referee).
   [3] Drum and dance at a type of place for 1d6 turns. Also have a 50% chance of hallucinating (as per the Confusion spell) for 3d6 turns afterwards.
   [4] Travel in astral form to the spirit world version of that place, which takes 1d6 turns but also causes 1d3 damage to one of the shaman's ability scores (determined at random).
   [5] Battle a being or endure a peril in the area for 2d6 rounds, taking 2d6 damage.
   [6] It is actually a Finnish god or goddess who must be placated. Roll 1d6 again twice to see what else has to be done to regain the spell. Additional results of ‘6’ should then be rolled thrice, etc.

12-16. A spirit possesses the shaman or a nearby person, animal, or object. Though the one possessed will now benefit from special bonuses, the shaman must also save vs. spell to resist acting in a way that the spirit would promote- whether from direct influence of the spirit or by whomever or whatever it is possessing. What is more, the one possessed also experiences any of the restrictions the spirit might have (see Volume II).

First, roll 1d6 to see who or what is possessed. Note that even if the shaman is not himself possessed, the affected individual or object will stay with the shaman for the duration, attempting to affect his actions.
            [1-2] The shaman
            [3] The closest person in a random direction
            [4] The closest animal in a random direction
            [5] The closest object (including plant life) in a random direction
            [6] A random possession that the shaman is carrying

Then roll 1d8 to determine the type of possessing spirit and commensurate benefits the host receives:
            [1] Ancestral: gain the 1st level abilities of a random character class
            [2] Angelic: gain +4 to AC, saves, and rolls made against evil beings
            [3] Demonic: gain +2 to saves, “to hit” rolls, and damage
            [4] Elemental: gain immunity to harm from the element and +2 to damage
            [5] Fey: may reroll saves, initiative, and casting rolls once per round, but must keep 2nd result
            [6] Nature: gain +1 to all rolls made outdoors and the ability to cast a 1st level druid spell
            [7] Totemic: gain +4 to one ability score that matches the type of totem and also +10’ speed
            [8] Undead: gain +2 to AC, saves, and hit points unless in direct sunlight

This arrangement lasts for 1d6 rounds the first time this test occurs, 1d6 minutes the second, 1d6 turns the third, 1d6 hours the fourth, etc. Note that Fair Maidens usually don’t possess people or objects that aren’t already hot women.

17+ The shaman slips into the spirit world to undergo a journey and even seek out the Sampo. He is gone for one day per Divine Test result over 16. Those with the ability to travel to Otherworlds may attempt to find him before then (a base 10% chance of success per caster level). Otherwise, he takes 2d12 hit points of damage and gains 1% bonus experience for each day he’s gone; that is, if he survives!

Next week: we’re not quite ‘Finnished’- check out Shamans of Ukko, Part IV!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Shamans of Ukko, Part II

Healing Side-Effects (Ukko)
Like with their other spells, Finnish shamans call upon spirits of place, the Haltija, to facilitate healing magic. Then, depending on the type of spirit present, it will be better at helping with certain ailments more than others.

In the case of ailments that the spirit is good at healing, the spell works automatically for its full amount, unless the type of spirit has a particular dislike for the shaman (see below).

In all other cases, the shaman must bargain with the spirit, requiring a successful Charisma check, modified by how respectful the shaman has been to such spirits- per Referee, in order for the spell to work at all. If successful, then all spell effects are rolled normally. If not, then the healing fails.

To randomly determine what spirits are around or even how an injury has been caused, roll 1d12. Otherwise, select based on what kind of place the shaman is in when he casts the healing spell.

1-2. Mountain Spirits: good at healing wounds from iron, other metal, or stone weapons, as well as from falls and other rugged perils.

3-4. Forest Spirits: good at healing wounds from natural attacks or wooden weapons, as well as dealing with poisons and other sylvan dangers.

5-6. Water Spirits: good at healing diseases and paralysis, acid or gas attacks, curses, blindness, deafness, along with any other would-be permanent ailments.

7-8. Sauna Spirits: good at healing diseases, as well as damage or other ill effects from the elements, including magic.

9-10. Field Spirits: good at healing any harm from supernatural beings or methods (including magic), along with restoring bravery, mental faculties, and even level loss, thanks to the presence of smiling Ukko above.

11-12. Graveyard Spirits: good at attempting to bring back the dead, though the one returned has a 50% chance of coming back ‘different’ (evil)!

Spirit Type
If unsure how respectful a particular shaman has been to a spirit that’s encountered, determine what type of spirit it is beyond just the location where it dwells. Nature spirits will be more commonly encountered (naturally), though others could also be just as fitting (e.g. bear totems on mountainsides, forest fey, a fair maiden bathing in the water, ancestral graveyard spirits, etc.) In any case, roll 1d20:

1-2. Ancestral
3. Angelic
4. Demonic
5. Elemental
6-7. Fair Maiden
8-9. Fey
10-17. Nature
18-19. Totemic
20. Undead

See Volume II for more info on spirits and how their motivations might fit (or not fit) with a particular shaman. If they are especially congruent or incongruent in outlook, then the Referee might award some additional boon or even have the spirit attack the shaman instead, making the interaction more than just a Charisma check to facilitate healing.

Next week: Shamans of Ukko, Part III!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Shamans of Ukko, Part I

Lawful Finnish Great God of the Sky, Thunder, & the Harvest

Tenets of Ukko
* Honor your elders and ancestors
* Honor the spirits, the Haltija
* Honor the land and animals too

Shamans of Ukko
Special: Ukko has no clerics in his service, only shamans and sorcerers (detailed in Part IV).
Allowed Weapons: Hammer, axe, sword, club
Allowed Armor: Leather, furs, or lighter
Holy Symbol: Sky, Lightning, Hammer
Can Turn: None
Finnish Shamanism: Though Finnish shamans often follow Ukko above all others, they are very animistic, communing with various spirits and gods at different locations in order to gain their powers each day. 

After 1d6 turns of making offerings, chanting, drumming, and/or achieving trance states, they can gain one of the following benefits, usable a total of up to once per day per shaman level, depending on where their communion takes place:
Mountain: Gain a +4 Strength or Constitution bonus for 1d6 rounds
Forest: Be able to speak with animals or gain immunity to natural attacks for 2d6 rounds
Water: Be able to breathe water & swim at double speed or speak with water spirits for 2d6 rounds
Sauna: Gain a +6 Charisma bonus when dealing with Finns (and similar types) or ignore temperature extremes for 2d6 turns
Field: Add 2 to all rolls when casting a healing, weather, or element-related spell
Graveyard: Be able to leave one’s body and travel in spirit (ethereal) form at triple speed or be able to see spirits and other ethereal beings for 2d6 rounds

For example, if a 2nd level shaman communed at a sauna (or similar place) then he could either gain a +6 Charisma bonus when dealing with Finns or ignore temperature extremes for 2d6 turns, up to twice per day, no matter where he is when he calls upon the power.

What is more, Finnish shamans also have access to different types of spells depending on where they commune each day: additional details will be provided in Part IV.

Next week: Shamans of Ukko, Part II!

And also in case you didn’t know, Divinities and Cults: Volume II is now available in print for both Labyrinth Lord and DCC RPG. Get your copies today!

And finally, note our new domain name:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sorcerers of Gruagach/ Pictish Sorcerers

Spells (Gruagach)
Sorcerers of Gruagach have access to the following spells.

Note that as Pictish sorcerers, they must achieve one higher class level to cast their spells than clerics of other gods do and also have a 3 in 6 chance of being able to cast each of their spells an extra time per day. Last, they have a 1 in 20 chance of having one of their spells accidentally go off when stressed (see Pictish Sorcery in Part I for details).

1st Level: Command, Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Light, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear (reversible), Resist Cold, Detect Snares and PitsD, Faerie FireD, Pass without TraceD, ShillelaghD, Summon Familiar*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Dispel Magic (gained at a lower level than other clerics), Hold Person, Holy Chant, Resist Fire, Reveal Charm, Snake Charm, Speak with Animal, Spiritual Weapon (wielded by a phantom fey being), Produce FlameD, StumbleD, Warp WoodD, Detect Invisible* (via sunlight)

3rd Level: Animal Growth, Continual Light, Cure Blindness (reversible by use of sunlight), Cure Disease, Feign Death, Glyph of Warding, Locate Object, Prayer, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking (on non-metal weapons only), SnareD, Stone ShapeD, Water BreathingD

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Detect Lie, Divination, Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Speak with Plants, Sticks to Snakes, Hallucinatory TerrainD, Repel VerminD, Summon Sylvan BeingsD, Explosive Runes* (must traced over stone), Polymorph Self*

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Flame Strike, Insect Plague, , Pictish Geas (as Quest, though the compulsion can be to right any wrong, rather than  just undertake a quest), Plane Shift, Commune with NatureD, Transmute Rock to MudD, Cone of Sun (as Cone of Cold*, but does 1/2 damage and causes blindness to targets- save vs. spell negates; double damage and no save though to beings that hate sunlight)

6th Level: Animate Objects (by connecting with their spirits), Find the Path, Heal, Speak with Creatures, Stone Tell, Summon Aerial Spirit (can be used to summon Fey or Totemic spirits)

7th Level: Control Weather, Earthquake, Gate, Regeneration, Restoration, Symbol (must be scribed onto stone), Wind Walk, Summon Monster V* (Pictish Beasts only, see below)

Pictish Druids & Shamans
Gruagach is served not just by sorcerers, but by druids and shamans too. As discussed in Volume II, to make Pictish druids and shamans, follow these steps...

Pictish Druids
1. Replace select cleric spells with druidical ones, especially ones that involve plants and animals
2. Replace club, staff, spear, sling, or rocks with the sickle (scimitar) as one of the allowed weapons
3. Replace Turn ability with a 1st-level druid spell that can be cast at will (see Volume II for the list)
4. Can also have them experience some or all aspects of Pictish Sorcery, making them truly distinct from other types of druids

Pictish Shamans:
1. Replace select spells with the ones listed for shamans (see Volume II)
2. Lose the ability to Turn- instead can become ethereal for up to one round per day per level
3. And as with Pictish druids, Pictish shamans can still experience some or all aspects of Pictish Sorcery, making them truly distinct from other types of shamans

Pictish Warriors
Wild and wiry like their sorcerer counterparts, Pictish warriors happily don woad paint, run around in barely any clothing (or even none), and scream at their foes in thick accents that few non-Picts can understand. They thus can add 1 per odd level to any combat-related roll each round when doing so (+1 at 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, etc.) or even 2 per odd level to a non-combat related roll that involves being rustic or somehow involves spirits (whether intoxicating or ethereal) (+2 at 1st, +4 at 3rd, etc.). On the other hand, they will never use any armor (except for shields) and also experience the standard -7 penalty to all Charisma checks made with non-Picts for wearing woad paint, though they might be too busy screaming to even notice.

Mve: 40’; AC 7; HD: 1+2; Attk: 1; Dmg: by weapon; SP: +1 for combat rolls/ +2 for rustic or spirit-related rolls per odd level when woad-painted, barely any clothing, and yelling barely intelligibly; -7 CHA penalty when dealing with non-Picts; Sve: F1; Mor: 8; Align: N

Pictish Beasts
These amorphous, horse-like beings are highly respected by the Picts, appearing on much of their art. Pictish beasts are at home both in the water and on land, and also mix elements of the fey and totemic spirits. As a result, they are able to blink at will (as per the spell) and can each also empower up to one worthy Pict at a time, though they are also fond of eating Picts and other mortals when hungry enough (a base 50% chance whenever encountered).

(Illustration: Struthious Bandersnatch)

Mve: 60’, swim 100’; AC 5; HD 5; Atk: 1 bite; Dmg: 2d6; SP: blink, grant one Pict +2 to all rolls as long as he or she honors the beast, amphibious; SV F5; AL N.

Next week, we explore followers of a Finnish deity!

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


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)!