Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Totems: Bull, Part I

Ways of the Bull
* Graze and grow large
* Charge those who enrage you

* Show your power to the herd
Eschew non-bullish things, especially non-bull magic!

Followers of Bull Totems
Special: The bull is honored by strong shamans and barbarians, as well as more civilized cleric-types and fighters too. 
Associated Divinities & CultsPoseidon, Potnia (Minoan), Fufluns (Etruscan- neutral version of Dionysus), Mithras (with the Taurobolium), Uruz Rune (Norse), Tarvos Trigaranus (3-horned, Celtic), Enki (bull horns), Ishtar (via Gugalanna), Marduk, Nanna (bull lammasu), Tiamat (via Kusarikku), Apis (Egyptian), Cult of the Khalkotauroi (Colchis), The Sacred Bull (Yamnaya), Chernobog (via the Cherno-bull), Baphomet (demon lord). See also Minotaurs (link).
Allowed Weapons: Club, sword, axe, spear
Allowed Armor: Bull hide, horned helm, and shield or lighter
Spirit of the Bull: Those who follow the bull will gain a random special ability for every odd level they have. See the wolf totem (link) for specifics, as well as roll for totemic side-effects (see Part II) and even totem tests at times (see Part III.

Bull Shamans (roll 1d6)
1. Bull Leaperwhen unarmored and with one's hands free, gain a +2d3 bonus per odd level when attempting any acrobatics upon or near bulls and other cattle. Successful checks also grant the shaman a +1d3 bonus per odd level to their AC bonus too.
2. Bull-skin: Assume the form of a bull (HD 2), becoming one in all ways but cognition for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. The transformation takes 1d3 rounds, but doesn't count towards the duration limit. At 5th level, they can assume the form of a large bull (HD 4) instead, and at 9th level, a minotaur (HD 6).
3. Spirit Bull: Can either project one's spirit as an ethereal bull or can call upon an ethereal bull ally to fight other spirits in the area. Reroll to see which one is available at the beginning of each day. In the first case, the shaman can move around ethereally while his body is left behind for the duration, helpless and comatose. Otherwise treat as #1 above. In the second, the bull spirit guardian will obey for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, it can be a large ethereal bull instead, and at 9th level, an ethereal minotaur.
4. Bovine Aspect: Gain either a bull's gore attack (1d6 dmg), bonus when charging (+1d3 to hit and +50% damage if successful), carrying capacity (x4), or hit points (+8) for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, two can be used at once, or one can be used with double its usual potency (a 2d6 gore attack, a +2d3 to hit charge with +100% damage, etc.) At 9th level, all four can be used at once, or two can be used with double potency.
5. Graze: Can live well on just raw grass and water for up to 1d3+3 weeks per odd level at a time, not needing any other nourishment, and be immune to natural elements. Having many cows around would be a boon too.
6. Bull BreedGain a random bull barbarian ability or even a magical ability from a similar totem, reflecting the specific type of bull totem they have.

Bull Barbarians (roll 1d6)
1. Horned Charger: After charging (while being horned with helm or otherwise) and hitting a foe, can make an additional, immediate melee attack for every odd level they have.
2. Bull Rush: After charging and hitting a foe, the target must save vs. death/ make a Fortitude save DC 10 or be knocked back 1d3 x 5' and take 1d6 additional damage if they thereby collide with something else. Increase the damage done by +1d3 for every additional odd level the barbarian has.
3. Bull Rage: Seeing red, can fight in an especially outraged, bullish manner for 2d6 rounds up to 1d3 times per odd level per day, gaining a +1d3 to hit, +1d4+2 to damage, and +1d3 to hit points while suffering an AC penalty of 1d3. To stop the rage early, they must save vs. spell with a penalty of 5/ make a Will save DC 20, otherwise they may even attack allies until it's over. What is more, the barbarian has a base 33% chance of actually turning into a large bull for every 3 rounds that he is raging, in which case it lasts 2d6+3 rounds longer and he also gains +2d4 Strength and Constitution during that time.
4. Massive: Gain +1d4+2' in size, along with +1d4+2 Strength, +3d3 Constitution, -2d3 Dexterity, and -5' speed.
5. Mighty: Gain +1d4' in size, along with +1d3+1 Strength, +1d3 Constitution, -1d3 Dexterity, and +5' speed when in open areas- at least 10' wide.
6. Bull BreedGain a random bull shaman ability or even a martial ability from a similar totem, reflecting the specific type of bull totem they have.

Next week: Totems: Bull, Part II!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Totems: Boar, Part V

Boar Divinities & Folk Variations
Characters can opt to substitute select boar totem abilities, spells, side-effects, and totem tests for ones they would normally have, reflecting how the boar can charge into and snort in their lives. Select or roll 1d6.

1. Norse: Via Gullinbursti, Freyr's followers focus on the gold and prosperity aspects of boar magic, though having sharp teeth (Slíðrugtanni) so as to protect and enjoy those things is important too. Whether it be having its tusks plow the fields or receiving one as a sacrificial meal (like Sónargöltr), the boar reflects his fertility. Freya's devotees instead tend towards that which allows direct boar riding, transformation, and concealment. Still, martial and pleasurable pursuits are also key, merging such magic with her faithful's emphasis on love and battlevia Hildisvini.

2. Gallic & Brittonic Celts: Those who follow the Gallic Moccus promote becoming the boar and abiding by strict taboos. Those of the Brittonic Vitirus instead focus on its warrior aspects, especially of fighting well when cornered, bravely blowing one's carnyx horn. These cults may otherwise fully embrace the boar totem as their god. Druids who do so experience more steady results than their shaman fellows: they pick boar special abilities and spells, and the former's results are always the averages (a +1d3 is always +2, etc.), rather than rolling for them.

3. Celtiberians & Celto-Germans
Endovelicus is honored amongst the Celtiberians and is similar to Dis Pater, though emphasizing the interest in and hoarding of treasure and pleasure reflected in the boar. Arduinna instead is worshipped on the borders of the Germannic lands, and is akin to boar-riding Freya combined with the huntress aspects of Artemis.  

4. Anglo-Saxon: Espousing the heroic tradition of Beowulf, Anglo-Saxon boar totemists are quite fond of boar helmets, weapons, and high adventure. And since he is a famous hero, few follow the shamanic path, but many are actually fighters who select some of the totem's solely combative abilities. Doing so eliminates the random results of their barbarian counterparts (a 2d6+3 is always 7 or 8, etc.) Many also take bear and wolf totem martial abilities in order to honor their namesake even more.

5. Greeks: Via the Calydonian Boar & the Erymanthian Boar, those who follow Artemis and Hercules emphasize boar rampaging, especially giant boar rampaging. Followers of Artemis do so to keep interlopers out of natural areas and to avenge the innocent. The heroic tradition of Hercules instead honors dealing with such things physically, even capturing wild boars alive, and is therefore barbaric in nature rather than shamanic.
6. Boar Orcs: Often being piglike themselves, some orcs follow a corrupted form of the totem, combining it with demonic traits that reflect their own, depraved natures. Extreme aggression, obstinance, filth, and rampage are thus promoted over anything redeeming. Such are the outrages that true boar totem followers work to slay or at least drive them away whenever possible.

Next week, our series on totems continues with the Bull!


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Totems: Boar, Part IV

Boar shamans and other cleric-types who call upon the totem gain access to certain spells. Otherwise, they follow the guidelines of totemic magic (link). 

1st Level Spells (d8)
1. Boar Companion: as Animal Companion (D), but must be a single boar. And though it may not be pleasant, it can be ridden.
2. Boar's Heart: as Remove Fear (reversible), but only if the shaman is cornered or charging.
3. Detect Pleasures
as Detect Magic, except that it senses the presence of food, treasure, and other niceties at quadruple the usual range.
4. Gorge Away Light Wounds: as Cure Light Wounds, but only works on those who partake of food and/or other pleasures afterwards.
5. Hog's Mist: as Obscuring Mist (D), but also emits a hog odor, alerting predators that there is boar-kind inside.
6. Porcine Protection: as Protection from Evil, but only works in areas where food, treasure, and/or other comforts are available.
7. Squeaker's Constitution: as Strength*, but confers only 1/2 the bonus, and it is applied to the recipient's Constitution, rather than Strength.
8. Swine's Purify Food & Drink: as Purify Food and Drink, but those who partake will certainly eat like pigs.

2nd Level Spells (d9)
1. Boar Hide: as Barkskin (D), but  only works on those who follow the ways of the boar.
2. Boar Spirit: as Unseen Servant*, but is faster (like a boar), can only push things, and can even attack ethereal foes.
3. Hog's Health: as Neutralize Poison, but only works on those who follow the boar's ways.
4. Not By The Hair On My Chinny Chin Chin
: as Find Traps, but works on potential ambushes and deceptions instead.
5. Phantom Boar: as Spiritual Weapon, but appears as a spirit boar that can keep attacking even if the shaman doesn't concentrate. It also has a 25% chance of either stopping to partake in pleasures or to charge a random individual each round though (equal chance of either).
6. Pig of the Sounder's Constitution: as Strength*, but the bonus is only applied to the recipient's Constitution and only works on those who have just partaken of food, treasure, and/or other pleasures.
7. Porcine Blessingas Bless, but grants a +2 bonus to hit and to damage to allies who are either cornered or charging instead.
8. Speak with Boarsas Speak with Animals, but only works with swine-kind, who do become slightly friendlier with the casting (they remain boarish though).
9. Swine Stink: as Stinking Cloud*, but must be targeted on those located behind (or at least downwind of) the shaman.

3rd Level Spells (d8)
1. Boar Cure: as Cure Disease, but makes the recipient hot and boarish for the next 1d6 turns too. They also must engage in some pleasure afterwards.
2. Boarskin Magic: as Polymorph Self or Other*, but can only take on or grant the form of a boar or other porcine creature. 
3. Entelodont Size: as Animal Growth, but just works on boar-kind.
4. Goring: as Striking, but the bonus can only be used by those who are cornered or charging.
5. Old Boar's Constitution: as Strength*, but the bonus is only applied to the recipient's Constitution and with a +2 bonus, along with no limit of 18.
6. Porcine Protection 10' Radius: as Protection from Evil 10' Radius, but only works in areas where food, treasure, and/or other comforts are available.
7. Smell Object: as Locate Object, but detects any treasure, food, or other pleasure, even if specifics about them aren't known.
8. Swine's Create Food & Water: as Create Food & Water, but must then be 'pigged-out' upon.

4th Level Spells (d7)
1. All the Way Home: as Haste*, but can only be used to aid in retreating or escaping.
2. Boar Call
: as Summon Animal I (D), but just summons boars. 
3. Boar's Exorcism: as Exorcism, but only works on non-boar type spirits.
4. Enchant Boar Arms: as Enchant Arms*, but only works on those allowed by the boar totem.
5. False Boar's Hoard: as False Gold*, but boarish-types are immune to the ruse.
6. Gorge Away Serious Wounds
: as Cure Serious Wounds, but only works on those who partake of food and/or other pleasures afterwards.
7. Grand Old Boar's Constitutionas Old Boar's Constitution, above, but the bonuses are +4.

6th Level Spells (d5)
1. Boar Communion: as Commune with Nature (D), but only works in areas where boars inhabit.
2. Feast of Sæhrímnir: as Create Food and Water, but can be consumed once again after it's finished.
3. Gorge Away Critical Wounds: as Cure Critical Wounds, but only works on those who partake of food and/or other pleasures afterwards.
4. Greater Boar Call: as Summon Animal II (D), but summons a giant boar or wereboar.
5. Greater Boarskin Magic: as Polymorph Self or Other*, but can just take on or grant the form of a giant boar or wereboar.

7th Level Spells (d5)
1. Boar Chariot: as Fire Chariot*, but is drawn by boars who aren't fiery, and each 
can be ridden separately instead. 
2. Boar's Hold: as Guards and Wards*, but can only be used on a place holding food, treasure, or other pleasures.
3. Hog's Path: as Phase Door*, but must lead to a place containing, food, treasure, or other pleasures.
4. Porcine Realm: as Plane Shift, but only transports to and from places dominated by boars and porcine-beings.
5. Swine's Summons: as Instant Summons*, but no gem is required and the item can be worth no more than the caster's level x 50 gold pieces.

Next week: Totems: Boar, Part V!