Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Elves, Part II

Additional Elf Abilities
Gray elves, wood elves, wild elves, and dark elves have different special ability considerations than high elves. Though each one comes with a disadvantage, elves can attempt to resist it by saving vs. spell/ making a Will save DC 15. If successful, they can act as they wish in that situation, but will have to save again to resist acting that way when another such situation arises. For example, an elf rogue can save to resist being secretive even when not using his abilities, but must do so again to not be unnecessarily secretive in the future.

Gray Elves
1. Elf Mage: can cast spells as a 1st level magic-user, but can't wear armor or use shields. They must also cast at least 1d3 spells per day. See also Part IV for magical side-effects.
2. Elf Rogue: can use the abilities of a 1st level thief, but must be secretive even when not using them.
3. Elvish Items: pick one item they possess. It now confers either a permanent +4 bonus to hiding, a +4 bonus to moving silently, lasts 4 times longer (if expendable), or weighs 50% less. If destroyed, the elf may use this ability once again to create a new elvish item, limiting the number that can be in existence at one time. If stolen, the elf will become obsessed with recovering it.
4. Elvish Mariner: gain a +2d3 bonus whenever making checks involving swimming, sailing, or when simply being around a large body of water. Will suffer a set -2d3 penalty to all rolls each day that they don't see the sea or some other large body of water though.
5. Elf Nymph: If female, gain general nymph traits, plus one nymph ability for every time this ability is selected (link). Are subject to a nymph's disposition though. 

Wood Elves
1. Elf Druidgain the magical abilities of a 1st level druid, but will only eat natural food (preferably prepared by elves). See also Part IV for magical side-effects.
2. Elf Ranger: gain a +1 bonus to all rolls made vs. orcs and goblinoids. Also gain a +2 bonus to any rolls made when in a terrain type of their choice (typically forests), but must be hostile to any who fail to give such places the utmost respect.
3. Hidden in the Wood: gain a +2d4 bonus when attempting to conceal themselves and move silently in sylvan settings, +1d4 when in other natural places too. Can also move through woodland terrain with 50% less impediment and chance of negative encounter., but also suffer a -2d4 penalty to all rolls when in populated areas.
4. Nature Friend: can speak with and gain a +2d4 bonus to befriend either animals, sentient plants, or other nature beings (pick an additional one each time this ability is selected). Also suffer a -1d10 to reaction rolls when dealing with civilized types, especially humans.

Wild Elves
1. Atavistic: gain one satyr aspect (horns, goat legs, or horse legs), but also the race's disposition at 1/2 the intensity (link).
2. Elf Hunter: gain a +1d3 bonus to hit and damage when first attacking an unaware foe, in addition to any other bonuses. Also gain a +2d4 bonus to rolls made to surprise or to evade ambush, but will not trust outsiders.
3. Elf Savage: can use a 1st level barbarian ability of their choice, see Totems for suggestions (link). Also lose 1d3 Intelligence though.
4. Elf Shaman: gain the spellcasting abilities of a 1st level shaman, but can't wear armor or use shields. They must also destroy any mechanical things they find. See Totems for suggestions and Part IV for magical side-effects.

Dark Elves
1. Black Elf: can cause a target within sight to save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or gain a random illness, typically causing 1d3 Constitution loss per day until cured. Usable 3 times per day, but they must let the victim know who did it!
2. Dark Sight: can see in the dark, but suffer a -1d3 penalty to all rolls when in brightly lit areas.
3. Elf Reaver: gain a +1 attack and damage bonus with one of their melee weapons of their choice, but will even betray allies at the earliest opportunity.
4. Elf Witch: can cast spells as a 1st level magic-user, but can't wear armor or use shields. They must also roll on the Elf Witch requirement table- see Part IV. Also prone to spontaneous cackling and cruelty, making their presence obvious.

Treat as a human character except that they gain one randomly determined elf ability. In return, they take a 10% experience penalty.

Bonus content: Patreon

Next week: Elves, Part III!

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Elves, Part I

We begin a new series exploring various mythical folk and how they relate to divinities and cults. 


Special: Elves begin play with the following modifiers.
     * +1d2 Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, & Charisma, along with -1d2 Strength & Constitution.
     * +2d4 bonus to sight- and hearing-related checks, being naturally good at noticing things.
     * Are quite long-lived and don't suffer from decrepitude.
     * Advance in level at a rate 25% slower than humans, being quite otherworldly and haughty.
     * Naturally hate orcs and goblinoids, and must save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 to refrain from attacking them on sight, even if inopportune. Dark elves may instead tolerate such humanoids as useful fodder.
     * They also generally dislike dwarves too.

Associated Divinities & Cults
     High Elves - Freyr, Freya, Lugh, Danu, Brigid, Artemis, Apollo, Mercury, Venus, Ilmatar, Dazbog, Lada
     Grey Elves - select from any of the Elf lists.
     Wood Elves - select from the High and Wild Elf lists, along with Tree Totem.
     Wild Elves - Cernunnos, Epona, Pan, Mielikki, Veles, Enki, Totem Animal
     Dark Elves - Hel, Arianrhod, Trivia, Hecate, Ariadne, Louhi, Baba Yaga, Maelfo, Dark Animal Totem (spider or bat)

And as a racial class, they have the following rules.
HD: d6
Attack Bonus: +1 per 2 levels, rounded down (0, +1, +1, +2, +2, etc.)
Saving Throws: +1 bonus per level to all
Allowed Weapons: Bow, sword, spear, dagger, & 1 more of their choice
Allowed Armor: Chainmail and shield or lighter
Special Abilities: Elves gain unique abilities as they advance in level. Each ability also gives a disadvantage too.
* They gain two abilities at 1st level: one selected at random and the other picked. 
* They can then pick an additional ability at every level thereafter
Each is listed under a particular elf type, but can be selected from different types with the Referee's permission, especially if wishing to create other types of elves (e.g. green elves, sea elves. polar elves, etc.) Each ability can also be selected more than once, allowing the bonuses to compound each other. For example, selecting Elf Mage twice would allow the elf to cast spells as a 2nd level magic-user. 

High Elf Abilities
Elf Lord: gain an additional +1 attack bonus with one of their allowed weapons of their choice. Can also cast a 1st level magic-user spell of their choice as a magic-user of equal level, though their experience penalty becomes 33% (instead of just 25%) because of their increased haughtiness. See Part III for magical side-effects.

Elf Warrior
: gain a
n additional +1 bonus to attack and a +2 AC bonus vs. foes they're aware of. Add 2 more weapon types to their allowed list too, but must save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or become hostile to any dwarves they first meet.

: gain +1d2 Intelligence and +1d2 Charisma, but also a -3d4 penalty to social rolls when dealing with low-born types, including most dwarves. 

: gain +1d6" in height and immunity to harmful light, cold, or psychic effects (pick an additional one each time this ability is selected), but also a -2 to all rolls when in intense darkness, heat, or when within 30' of dullards (humans, dwarves, or humanoids with an Intelligence of 6 or less). 

Bonus content: Patreon 

Next week: Elves, Part II!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Totems, Horse: Part V

Horse Divinities & Folk Variations
Characters can select various horse totem abilities, spells, side-effects, and totem tests to replace ones they would normally have, reflecting how the horse can bring one to new places. Select or roll 1d6.

1. Greek & Centaurs: Followers of Zeus can espouse Pegasus, mixing the swiftness of the steed with the flying ability of the eagle to assist with thunderbolt use and vanquishing monsters. Poseidon's acolytes may instead espouse Hippocampus which combines piscine water-abilities, Arion which emphasizes virility and battle. Other Greek divinities & titans are followed by centaurs, who can make for iconic horse barbarians and shamans (link).

2. RomanMars's devotees often enjoy harnessing the horse via Equus October, and thereby focus on its more martial and sacrificial aspects. Charioteering is emphasized too, see #6 below for details.

3. Celtic: Detailed here (link), as horse goddess, Epona represents a tie to the land. The totem can be used to emphasize that and to add a variety of choices for her faithful as well.

4. Anglo-Saxon: Until they can be described in more detail, Hengist and Horsa (stallion and horse) can be represented fully by the totem as divinities. Instead of shamans, they are served by clerics who use the Anglo-Saxon magical side-effect table 50% of the time instead (link). Similarly all random results become averaged. For example a +1d3 modifier becomes a +2, because the magic of divinities is more steady than that of totems.

4. NorseOdin's faithful can emphasize the horse's travel quality, even unto other realms, via Sleipnir. Such power can take on more abstractions with the Raidho (riding) and Ehwaz (horse) runes, granting might via transition and union respectively. The latter can become quite prevalent amongst the cult of Freyr especially.

5. Slavic: The horse's free movement can be emphasized in the followers of Jarilo. Dazbog's devotees too can harness the horse, though via his chariot, and is more swift and martial in nature. All would benefit upon the open plain.
6. Sintashta & Chariots: Following along the trend of chariots, the Indo-European Sintashta culture is perhaps the first to use horses to protect their lands and defeat their foes in such a manner. They, and others like them, can use many of the totems benefits, especially ones that aid in conquest. And with the chariot aspect, they can grant another who is next to them the same benefits at the same time, though with double the chance of a divine test. It is a powerful but dangerous endeavor indeed.

Next week: we move on from Totems for now and begin a new series on Folk, starting with Elves!

I now have a Patreon and SubscribeStar available. Those who join will get access to my articles sooner and in their entirety. Even better, you'll be supporting my work. The links are here