Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sorcerers of Krampus, Part IV

Spells (Krampus)
Sorcerers of Krampus have access to the following spells. Remember that they are also subject to the rules of sorcery, requiring them to be of higher level to cast their spells, allowing them a chance to recast those spells each day, and even having a chance of their spells going off when they witness too much cheer or lack of fitting punishment.  See Part I for additional details:

1st Level: Create Frost (as create water, but makes snow or ice), Cure Light Wounds (reversible), Detect Naughtiness (as Detect Evil, but detects those who are misbehaving), Purify Food and Drink (as long as it isn’t cheery or sweet), Remove Fear (reverse), Resist Cold, Enlarge*

2nd Level: Augury (to determine if an action would be naughty or not), Bless (reverse), Know Naughtiness (as Know Alignment, but determines the nature of the naughtiness instead), Hold Person, Holy Chant (by singing a depressing Yuletide dirge), Silence 15’ Radius (-6 to save against if used to quiet mirth), Speak with Animal (reindeer only), Detect Snares and PitsD, Knock*

3rd Level: Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object (gifts only), Prayer, Tree ShapeD (coniferous forms only; spell immediately ends if the sorcerer is decorated), Invisibility* (can be used to conceal anyone or anything that is garish), Gust of Wind* (very chilly), Snowball (as Fireball*, but only harms those who are jolly or naughty)

4th Level: Animal Growth (reindeer only), Create Food and Water (nothing cheery or sweet!), Cure Serious Wounds (reversible), Detect Lie, Speak with Plants (conifers only), Hallucinatory Terrain DruidicD (wintry only), Tree StrideD (conifers only; 3d20 damage from a vicious partridge ensues if attempted on a pear tree), Ice Storm*

5th Level: Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Plane Shift (naughty ones forced to go with the sorcerer suffer a -6 penalty to their save), Quest (on the naughty). Antipathy* (usable against the jolly), Cone of Cold*

6th Level: Conjure Animals (reindeer), Freezing Sphere*, Heal (reversible), Word of Recall

7th Level: Control Weather (only to make it more wintry), Restoration, Summon Avatar (Krampus), Snow Sleigh (as Fire ChariotD, but is drawn by enraged, spectral reindeer, is only damaged by the jolly, and causes cold damage instead)

Avatar of Krampus

Align: N
MV: 35’
AC: 2
HD: 18
Atk: 1 staff or whip* or hot coals
Dmg: 4d10 or 2d6 or 1d4/ rd
SP: Krampus cleric spells/abilities (caster level 18), whip causes the naughty to suffer a penalty, hot coal attack, bestow practical present
Magic Resistance: 18%
SV: C18

Grumbling over ne’er-do-wells and foolish joy, a Krampus Avatar will often be found on a mission to punish the naughty, though he will happily direct his ire against those who are just merry or garish. Such miscreants he finds must face his whip and save vs. death or suffer a -2 to all rolls for the next 1d12 hours.

The whipping may even be followed up with a good pummeling from his staff, depending on how naughty the target has been (per Referee). On the other hand, the Avatar might just try to stuff hot coals in the target’s stockings for 1d4 damage each round. Those who offer him schnapps or other strong spirits have a base 33% chance of placating him instead.

On the other hand, those who have been generally good and morose enough will receive some sort of very practical gift, free of all ornamentation, mirth, and greeting card.

Krampus Encounters
The Germanic true spirit of Yule and his faithful can be found in various ways, but none of them jolly. Roll 1d4:
1. The party stumbles upon 1d3 sorcerers of Krampus singing Yuletide dirges in the woods. If they notice the party (and if any have been naughty), then the sorcerers will begin whipping them.

2. A joyous celebration that the party is attending is suddenly interrupted by a sorcerer of Krampus. He will begin to insult and berate those there and have 1d6 enraged reindeer standing by to assist him. He and the reindeer also have a base 50% chance of being intoxicated at the time.

3. Followers of another, somewhat similar divinity would like the party to investigate a nearby enclave of Krampus sorcerers. The divinity they inquire for is (roll 1d4): [1] Cernunnos, [2] Odin, [3] Maelfo, or [4] Thrym. What is more, they may wish for the party to later (roll 1d3): [1] attack the enclave, [2] offer an alliance with the enclave, or [3] forget their investigation ever happened.  

4. A lone man with the traits of 1d4 of Krampus’s #10-14 divine tests is spotted. He is either a (roll 1d6): [1-3] Krampus sorcerer, [4-5] Krampus shaman, or [6] Avatar. He also has a 25% chance of being seen punishing someone who he has deemed naughty, likely getting ready to stuff them down a chimney.

Next week: we head down to Mesopotamia in preparation for the release of Divinities and Cults: Volume III- due out in a few months!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sorcerers of Krampus, Part III

Krampus is eternally watchful: knowing whether his sorcerers are sleeping or awake. (photo: Krampus2 by media digest, Flickr)

Divine Tests
Naughtiness runs rampant and unwhipped, while Yuletide is dishonored with gaudy baubles and incessant mirth! If the sorcerer won’t put a stop to it, then Krampus will.

1-4. Happy holidays? Ha. The sorcerer experiences a true Yule Greeting in the form of a penalty to all his rolls equal to his divine test result (-1 to -4), double (-2 to -8) if he sees one more idiot with a wrapped gift or ridiculous look of merriness upon his stupid face. The penalties last for 2d3 hours, though the resentment is eternal.

5-9. ‘Tis the spirit of the season for Grandfather Krampus to take away the sorcerer’s presents for no reason. Krampus removes access to some of his spells: 50% chance for each one, including possibly his turn ability. Roll 1d5 for each to see what needs to be done to get it back- and he better not pout about it!
[1] Shove coal in the next stocking he sees, whether it is being worn at the time or not (charcoal is allowed- bonus if it’s hot at the time)
[2] Destroy 1d4+1 presents- any prized possessions will do
[3] Stuff someone in a chimney or other enclosed place, especially if they are fat and ‘jolly’
[4] Burn any ornaments or overpriced novelty cards he finds (including magic scrolls and spellbooks) for the next 1d3 hours
[5] Sing or play a depressing Yule dirge for the next hour, causing all non-faithful of Krampus who are within earshot to suffer a -2 to all rolls for the next 1d3 hours (save vs. death negates)

10-14. Krampus has checked his list twice and found the sorcerer worthy of permanent physical disfigurement! Each change also has a cumulative 25% chance of causing anyone he now encounters (and is not also a follower of Krampus) to either scream and flee in terror (if of lower HD) or scream and attack mercilessly (if of equal or higher HD). Ho ho ho!
[1] Agorned: the sorcerer grows either the horns of a goat or antlers of a reindeer and can now make a gore attack for 1d6 damage each round, double if he is charging someone naughty at the time
[2] Misshapen Face: the sorcerer’s face twists and boils, causing all (even those of equal HD or higher) to save vs. paralysis when they first encounter him or flee for 1d4 rounds
[3] Fanged: great teeth sprout from the sorcerer’s mouth, allowing him to make a bite attack for 1d3 damage each round, but also making him harder to understand (causing a -4 penalty to such rolls) 
[4] Fur Body: the sorcerer becomes quite hirsute, gaining an AC bonus of 3 and immunity to cold weather, though he now also suffers a -2 to all rolls when it’s warm or if anyone tries to decorate him

15-17. Darker tidings now come upon a midnight clear (or anytime really), bringing true Yuletide cheer to Krampus’s wintry heart, though perhaps not the sorcerer’s. Roll 1d4.
[1] Stampede: 3d6 enraged reindeer show up, ready to trample all who remain within 120’ of where this test occurs, and they cannot be placated. They will target any intoxicated grandmothers first of course.
     Reindeer, Enraged; MV: 80’; AC: 6; HD: 2; Atk: 1 trample; Dmg: 2d6; SP: Immune to magic, carrots
[2] Schnapps Weakness: From now on, if the sorcerer drinks fruit brandy in any amount (or is even offered it by an attractive woman), then he will lose all of his powers until they return 24 hours later, along with a base 95% chance of getting a hangover too
[3] Damn you, mistletoe! A perchta arrives to test the sorcerer. Also known as a holda or huldra, such fair maidens can lift even the darkest hearts, though they can also be as much deadly sirens as loving muses. If he’s been a good follower of Krampus (per Referee), then the two will conjoin for the next 1d3 hours, the sorcerer gains 5% bonus experience, and he is healed of all ailment. If he’s been naughty though. then she will slit his belly open and fill it full of straw and pebbles, causing 10d6 damage.

18+ On the first day of Yule... A swarm of overly merry beings converges on the sorcerer, attacking him for 1d6 damage each round for 1d6 rounds, along with anyone else unfortunate enough to be within 30’. Such is the carnage when doves, hens, calling birds, geese, swans, maids, ladies, lords, pipers, and drummers seek retribution upon such a follower of Krampus. And for every divine test total over 18, the deadly cacophony does 1d6 extra damage per round. In any case, those slain in this manner will be mocked by a lone partridge upon a pear tree.

Next week: Sorcerers of Krampus, Part IV

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sorcerers of Krampus, Parts I & II

Neutral Germanic True Spirit of Yule
Tenets of Krampus
* Punish those who have been naughty
* Give practical things to those who have been good
* Destroy gaudy baubles and silly ornamentation!
* Dwell alone and grim, especially on Yule

Sorcerers of Krampus
Special: Krampus bans clerics from his service for being too prone to merriment, allowing only sorcerers and some shamans to follow him.
Allowed Weapons: Staff, mace, spear, whip (for the naughty)
Allowed Armor: Hides, furs
Holy Symbol: Broken Ornament, Chains, Horned Old Man
Can Turn: the Naughty (per Referee), the Merry, and Purveyors of baubles and ornamentation
Krampus Sorcery: Being a true spirit rather than a divinity, his followers practice sorcery which can be quite unpredictable. Krampus sorcerers must achieve one higher level to cast spells than clerics of other gods do (for 2nd level spells and above). 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 50% chance of being able to cast each of their spells an extra time each day (roll after a spell is cast to see).

What is more, a Krampus sorcerer’s spells might even go off when he doesn’t wish them to! Whenever under stress- whenever he sees something overly merry, garish, or the naughty not getting their just desserts- there is a base 5% chance of one of his spells being cast on a random target in range. If this occurs, treat it as if the sorcerer cast it himself.

Krampus shamans will experience the same, though they have different spell selections, even requiring communion with the land to access specific terrain spells (if using Ukko’s rules). Otherwise, see Divinities and Cults: Volume II for other guidelines for  that class.

Magical Side-Effects (Krampus)
The magic of Krampus is grim and not at all jolly. Roll 1d12 to see what might happen whenever a Krampus sorcerer casts a spell.

1. Walking in a Krampus Wonderland... Chill winds blow and trampling, phantom reindeer abound, causing all non-followers of Krampus within 30’ of the spell’s casting 1d4 damage, double if they are particularly merry or are drunken grandmothers.

2.  Merry is Very, Very... Wrong! Krampus requires immediate placation. 1d4 presents must be taken away from those who have been naughty or who otherwise peddle nonsensical Yule baubles and ridiculously priced greeting cards and be burned in sacrifice, either before the spell is cast or soon after! Those being so punished likely won’t appreciate it (a base 85% chance). If no such presents are available, then the sorcerer will simply whip the next person he sees for 1d3 damage instead.

3. Wreck Your Halls: The magic will work, but only if it is used to punish the naughty, destroy ornamentation, or silence irritating mirth.

4. It’s the Most Grimmest Time of the Year! Where people got the idea to be jolly in the dead of winter and make nonsensical purchases all for the benefit of tinsel obsessed and crooked merchants is beyond Krampus. In any case, the spell needs to be cast when it’s cold, dark, and/or generally grim. Otherwise, it only has 50% of its normal potency.

5-9. No Side-Effect: The spell works normally.

10. Sinister Bells: You better watch out! Krampus’s disturbing chains jangle, causing all within 60’ to save vs. spell or flee in righteous Yuletide fear. If the spell’s target then remains, he or she experiences 50% extra effect from it.

11-12. Krampus Cheer: The target experiences the spell’s full effects (a save can still apply though). In addition, if it would be used to punish those who have been naughty or who are being ‘merry’, then the spell has twice the effect!

This is a special Yuletide double posting. Next week: Sorcerers of Krampus, Part III!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Priestesses of Britomartis, Part IV

What spell shall we cast next, dear? Oh, those men love to watch!

Spells (Britomartis)
Priestesses of Britomartis have access to the following magic:

1st Level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Sanctuary (when near mountains or nets), EntangleD (appears as ropes and nets), Allure*

2nd Level: Bless, Find Traps, Hold Person (appears as a net), Charm Person*

3rd Level: Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object, Remove Curse (reversible on men only), SnareD, Water BreathingD

4th Level: Create Food (fare from the mountains or the sea), Cure Serious Wounds, Lower Water (reversible), Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Polymorph Self* (butterfly)

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Faithful Hound*, Commune with NatureD (mountain and aquatic environments only)

6th Level: Animate Objects (ropes and nets only), Find the Path, Part Water, Word of Recall (to a watery or mountain area)

7th Level: Astral Projection, Regenerate, Restoration

Avatar of Britomartis
Align: N
MV: 40’ (swim 100’)
AC: 2
HD: 17
Atk: 1 net or bow
Dmg: 3d8 (bow)
SP: Net entangles those within a 10’ area; priestess of Britomartis spells/ abilities (level 17); immune to harm from women, mountains, or the sea
Magic Resistance: 17%
SV: C17
Mor: 10

Enjoying her nets and mountains, an Avatar of Britomartis appears as a beautiful and free-spirited woman. She's thrilled to meet fishers, trappers, and others who make their living from the mountains or sea and especially favors females. In fact, any she meets will be granted a +1 to all rolls for the next 1d12 hours, thanks to her Good Maidenly love. Those who would harm women though, such as Minoan kings chasing them into the sea, will instead receive a curse.

Britomartis Encounters
There are many ways to include Britomartis and her followers in one’s campaign. Here are just a few. Roll 1d4:
1. The party arrives at an isolated enclave consisting solely of Britomartis worshippers. These women need some help with fixing various things... and with breeding.

2. A Britomartis priestess casts her net on the party, trapping all those who fail to avoid it. She is accompanied by 1d4 amazon warriors (see Divinities and Cults: Volume I) and will kidnap any women in the group for their secret rituals, leaving the men behind.

3. A false cult claiming to follow Britomartis wishes to force her ways upon an entire land. The party might need help from real followers of Britomartis to stop it and restore traditional ways again.

4. An attractive woman is spotted up ahead. She either follows the Path of Britomart, Diktynna, or Aegina-Aphaia. She also has a 10% chance of actually being an Avatar of Britomartis!

Next week: we spread some Yuletide cheer with a sinister being!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Priestesses of Britomartis, Part III

Divine Tests (Britomartis)
 The Good Maiden loves her faithful, though even they can get caught in her nets from time to time.

1-4. Struggling in the waters, pursued by Minos (whether metaphorically or not), the priestess takes a penalty to all her rolls equal to her divine test result (-1 to -4), double (-2 to -8) if she is actually trapped or being pursued by a man. In any case, the penalties last for 2d3 hours.

5-9. Great Goddess, how to make things right with you? The priestess will find out, losing access to some of her spells (50% chance for each) including possibly her turn ability. Roll 1d6 for each to determine what she needs to do in order to be able to use it again:
[1] Spend at least 1d3 hours in an area where there are only women (preferably on an island).
[2] Worship at a temple of Artemis or similar goddess for at least 1d3 hours, or even before a priestess of one.
[3] Engage in commerce (i.e. shopping)!
[4] Acquire a new piece of worked stone or wood for ritual purposes.
[5] Assist fishers, sailors, or even others who make their living from the mountains.
[6] Be followed around for 1d3 hours by 1d3 huge, vicious sacred dogs. They won’t harm the priestess and are actually overly protective, attacking any adult males that come within 30’ of her. Treat them as black bears.

10-14. For better or for worse, the priestess merges with Britomartis, becoming more like her goddess from now on. Roll 1d3.
[1] Like mountains rising above the sea, so too does her bosom expand. The priestess gains +2 Charisma, but also -5’ speed due to its new bearing and weight.
[2] The sea nets of Britomartis can be ensnaring. From now on, any who stand next to the priestess and is romantically compatible must save vs. spell or become charmed by her scent, also suffering a -1 penalty to all rolls for the next 1d6 turns.
[3] Some take Britomartis to be a nymph and so too now do they take the priestess. She becomes immune to any ill effects of climate (often barely clad to emphasize that fact) and gains a further +2 Charisma bonus with regards to attractiveness. Still, she now also suffers a -1 to all rolls unless she spends at least 1d6 turns each day in a watery or mountainous environment.

15-17. The priestess experiences one of the three paths of Britomartis. Roll 1d3.
[1] Way of Britomart: A true virgin warrior maiden, she can now wear any type of armor but will suffer a divine test if she ever violates her chastity and takes a -1 to all rolls for the next 1d6 turns if she even considers doing so.
[2] Way of Diktynna: A queenly Minoan bull priestess, she can now wield two Labryses or other types of axes at a time and gains a +2 bonus to all rolls related to women. On the other hand, she must always bear her breasts bare, suffering an AC penalty of 2 and stares from those unfamiliar with Minoan ways, as well as a -10 penalty to resist or escape nets of any type.
[3] Way of Aegina-Aphaia: A mysterious river nymph, she can now breathe water at will, swim at double speed, and detect treasure within 60’, though a person may become jealous of her wealth or she might be carried off by Zeus to a random island to bear his child (a base chance each day of 20% with the former; 3% with the latter).

18+ Her nets draw her down, her mountains rise as she struggles to be free. The priestess remains confined to the nearest body of water for 1 day per divine test total over 17, unable to escape during that time. She can then only be moved by fishermen or similar types until the test’s duration is over.

Next week: Priestesses of Britomartis concludes with Part IV!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Priestesses of Britomartis, Part II

Just what does Britomartis require for this spell? (Illus: Brons)

Magical Side-Effects (Britomartis)
Britomartis favors women of course (who doesn’t?) but is not especially harsh towards men. Roll 1d12.

1. Sacrifice: What have you gathered in your nets and upon your mighty rises? A 1d3 round ritual and offering worth 1d6 gold pieces per spell level are required. But if it is bounty from the sea or mountains, then no ritual is needed and any offering is fine.

2. Sisterhood: If helpful, then the spell will only work on females. If harmful, it will only work on males, as well as those of unknown gender.

3. Devotion: Like a good maiden, the priestess of Britomartis must kneel and offer praise to her goddess for the next 2d6 rounds... and if the spell is beneficial, then the recipient must do so too! In any case, including lyric poetry (requiring a CHA check or the player quickly making up an original one) will grant the spell +50% effect.

4-9. Standard Casting: The magic occurs without side-effect.

10. Diktynna Way: The spell works normally. If the priestess would also like it to have a 50% bonus, she can either become a wooden cult statue (unable to move or speak, but cannot be easily harmed), stuck in nets (unable to move and can be harmed, but can speak), or become ‘mannish’ (able to move and speak, but unable to use her magic). Whatever form she chooses, it lasts for the next 1d6 turns or even provides double the benefit if she chooses for it to last for 2d3 hours instead.

11-12. Love of Britomartis: The spell works automatically and for full effect (though a save still applies). What is more, if the priestess has remained untouched by men for the last 24 hours, then the spell has a 50% bonus.

Next week: Priestesses of Britomartis, Part III!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Priestesses of Britomartis, Part I

Neutral Goddess of Nets, Mountains, and Womanly Love

Tenets of Britomartis
* Remain a sweet maiden, loved by Artemis
* Assist fishers and sailors, encouraging commerce
* Nourish one’s nets and mountains
* Avoid the love of men

Priestesses of Britomartis
Special: Britomartis is served exclusively by women (for obvious reasons), most of whom are priestesses. In Minoan areas, she is known as Diktynna.
Allowed Weapons: Net, sword, bow, dagger
Allowed Armor: Leather or lighter
Holy Symbol: Net, Butterfly, Coin, Mountain
Can Turn: Men who would harm women
Mysteries of Britomartis: Up to once per day per level, a priestess of Britomartis can gain a +2 to one of her casting rolls when located near a net or mountain, as well as anything resembling them.

Next week: Priestesses of Britomartis, Part II!