Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Apollo Encounters, Part I

Followers of Apollo

Though his tenets generally appeal to all of Apollo's devotees, many focus on just one. This emphasis can not only guide their motivations and general personality traits, but it can also adjust the mysteries, magical side-effects and divine results available as written in Volume I.

Main Emphasis (d20)
1-2. Light (Lyceus)
3-4. Protection from Evil (Apotropaios)
5-6. Smiting Evil (Apellon)
7-8. Prophecy (Iatromantis)
9-10. Healing (Iama)
11-12. Music (Musagetes)
13. Wolves (Lycegenes)
14-15. Protection of Flocks and/or Crops
16-18. Self-Perfection
19-20. No special focus

For example,  if a cleric of Apollo's focus is protection from evil, rather than his spell needing to be cast in a sunny place (as in magical side-effect result #4), it might need to be cast to protect from evil instead. Such a cleric could also be able to use his Apollan Mysteries when doing so instead too.

Such modifications can serve to offer greater choices for Apollo's cleric-types while maintaining their relative applicability. Once made, they should generally remain set so as to not make them too powerful. Special quests can be undertaken though in order to change them again.

Male Classes (75% chance, d8)
1-2. Cleric
3-5. Priest (Hiereus)
6. Mystic
7-8. Seer (detailed at the end of this article)

Female Classes (25% chance, d6)
1-5. Pythia (per Seer below)
6. Priestess only (Hiereia)

Hair Color (d6)
1-3. blond
4. brunette
5-6. black

Complexion (d8)
1-2. fair
3-4. olive
5-8. tanned

Robes (d6)
Main color of garb, often with little else on (as climate and situation allows).
1. golden yellow
2-3. white
4-5. blue
6. red

Possessions (percent chance each)
- laurel head wreath (25%)
- lyre (10%)

Apollan Clerics only
- bow and 1d12 arrows (20% per level)
- sword (15% per level)
- armor (10% per level)

Special (percent chance each)
- divine blood (5%): gain +2 to a random ability score
- hyperborean blood (10%): immune to harmful light, cold, or psychic effects (pick one), but also a -1d3 penalty to all rolls when in darkness, heat, or when within 30' of dullards (bipeds with an Intelligence of 7 or less).

Sample Cleric-Types of Apollo

AdonionLvl 1 Greek cleric of Apollo, Align: L, MV: 40’, AC: 4, HD: 1, Atk: 1 (bow), Dmg: 1d6, SP: spells prepared (1st: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, SV: C1, Mor: 8, Items: holy symbol, chiton, Greek linothorax, bow, dagger, lyre, 1d20 gold pieces. Main Emphasis: Music. Appearance: tanned skin, blond hair, white robes.

Asclemondra, Lvl 1 Greek pythia of Apollo, Align: L, MV: 40’, AC: 4, HD: 1, Atk: 1 (bow), Dmg: 1d6, SP: Hyperborean blooded (immune to harmful light effects), seer (see below), spells prepared (1st: Detect Magic, Remove Fear, Divine Weather). Main Emphasis: Smiting Evil. Appearance: fair skin, black hair, red robes. 


Greek Seers (Mantis or Pythia)
* Treat as clerics, except that they fight as magic-users.
* They must also roll for Seer Magical Side-Effects when casting spells (see below). These results can be adjusted based on the seer's tradition and can also occur on their own once every 1d12 hours, per Referee.
* In return, they can cast any extra divination spell each day.
* In addition, they may also reroll any roll they make up to once per level per day, deciding which result to keep, since they are so attuned to prophecy and fate.

Seer Magical Side-Effects (d6)
The seer must do one of the following for the next 1d4 rounds.
Afterwards, he or she must save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or suffer a loss of 1d2 Constitution for the rest of the day, due to exhaustion.
1. Stare off into space, being shown prophetic events.
2. Interpret entrails.
3. Babble/ speak in tongues (a save vs. spell/ Will save DC 15 is required for those who wish to interpret it correctly).
4. Pronounce one's doom, as determined by the Fates, causing them a 1d12-6 modifier to one of their next 1d12 rolls.
5. Inhale cave vapors (or the like), seeking inspiration from their god or goddess.
6. Engage with the spirits, being disoriented due to the many visions they see, moving in a random direction each round.

Next week: temples of Apollo in Part II!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Clerics of Woden, Part IV

Spells of Woden
Such wildness brings what the wælcyrgie sings. In addition, Woden's healing spells have a 75% chance of requiring the cleric to describe what's being done (e.g. bone to bone, blood to blood, etc.), for every time they're cast.

1st LevelCure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Remove Fear (reversible), Resist Cold, Pass without Trace (D), Hold Portal*

2nd LevelAugury, Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Holy Chant, Spiritual Weapon (held by a wælcyrgie), Snake Charm, Warp Wood (D),  Knock*, Scare*

3rd LevelCure Blindness (reversible), Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Feign Death, Lesser Rune (as Glyph of Warding, but can trigger other spells too), Prayer, Remove Curse, Striking, Speak with Dead, Neutralize Poison (D), Snare (D), Explosive Runes*, Protection from Normal Missiles* 

4th LevelCure Serious Wounds, Divination, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Sticks to Snakes (reversible), Passplant (D), Confusion*, Fear*

5th LevelCommune, Cure Critical Wounds, True Seeing, Tree Stride (D), Feeblemind*

6th Level: Animate Objects (wooden statues only), Find the Path, Heal, Summon Spirit (wælcyrgie or landwing),  Dweomer of Rage*, Death Spell*, Legend Lore* 

7th Level: Irresistible Dance*, Restoration, Wind Walk, Finger of Death (D), Duo DImension*, Mind Blank*

The Weoh of Woden
an Anglo-Saxon Encounter
1. Fence: 5' tall, open slotted wood.
2. Outer Building: 8' tall at the peaked roof . Twin animal head gables at the north and south ends.
3. Gates: 5' wide, closed slots.
4. Open area: hardened ground, wooden columns supporting the roof above.
5. Wooden Idols: representations of Woden, and also Freo and Thunor placed behind a 4' high partition wall.
6. Sacrificial Pit: contains animal bones, 3' deep.
H. Hearths: sunken 3' deep, 5' in diameter, provide light and warmth to the temple as needed.

The Weoh (Anglo-Saxon Temple)
Administered by Coifbeald, a cleric of Woden (see below), the weoh can be placed in any Anglo-Saxon lands, even in ones newly acquired by them. And though idols to Freo and Thunor are also here, their worship is considered mainly supportive. The other divinities can be given more prominence or even be replaced entirely depending on what type of cleric is presiding. 

Magic Use
As with holy places of other cultures, Anglo-Saxon spellcasters can reroll their magical side-effect results while within the weoh. And since it is a somewhat unified pantheon, they may also pick which result they wish to keep if their divinity is currently prominent. Anglo-Saxon spellcasters only have a  50% chance of being able to do so if their divinity is in a supportive role though. Otherwise, they must abide by the second magical side-effect result.

Each time the party visits, the resident Cleric of Woden has a 75% chance of being present and the weoh being open. When he is there, Coifbeald has a 80% chance of behaving normally: removing his hood and assisting them if they are good Anglo-Saxons or allies, keeping his hood on and attempting to drive them off if they are not. 

He does have a 20% chance of behaving madly though, being taken greatly under the influence of Woden's inspiration.. In this case, he will grab his enchanted spear (which he usually leaves outside hidden behind a fence post), and start yelling at Woden and trying to stab his idol. Not actually being an idol, Woden will take little offense. Still others, not grasping the finer points of Woden's faith, may attempt to intervene, only to be targeted by Coifbeald instead. In any case, the cleric's rage will be sated after 2d6 rounds. He will then be exceedingly pleasant.

If asked about his outbursts, frequent visitors to the weoh will note that Coifbeald has done this on other occasions. They call it him being 'Coify' or 'Coifi'.

Coifbeald, Lvl 5 Anglo-Saxon cleric of Woden, Align: N, MV: 40’, AC: 6, HD: 5-1, Atk: 1 (spear), Dmg: 1d6, SP: Aged (x2, +2 WIS, -2 CON), Hooded One (+4 to drive away others; same penalty to receive affection), Inspired-Touched (x2, 20% chance of behaving madly per holy or unholy place encounter), spells prepared (1st: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Remove Fear (reversed), Pass without Trace (D), Hold Portal*; 2nd: Augury,  Hold Person, Spiritual Weapon (held by a wælcyrgie), Snake Charm, Knock*; 3rd: Lesser Rune, Protection from Normal Missiles*, SV: C5, Mor: 9, Items: holy symbol, hooded cloak, +1 spear, dagger, golden ring, 5d20 gold pieces.

The weoh can serve as a place for the party to rest and receive support, or for them to attempt to defeat. It all depends on whether they are seen as good Anglo-Saxons or allies or not, and how they see Coifbeald and his madness.

Next week: we begin a new series of divinity encounters, starting with Apollo!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Clerics of Woden, Part III

Divine Tests
Doom awaits us all. What will be uncovered along the way?

1-4. Deep pondering is required for 2d6 turns. Whether by gazing long or rune-study, it must be done unless there is some pressing magic, kingship, inspiration, or death to be done first.

5-12. The Great Irminsul must remain lofty above. Until the cleric performs some task, Odin's towering spear may not be so available, causing the loss of some of his spells (50% chance for each one), possibly including his turn ability. Roll 1d6 to see what the cleric must do to have each one restored.
[1] Learn something new.
[2] Contemplate alone for 1d6 turns.
[3] Establish dominance over someone or something.
[4] Work to sire or support his descendants. 
[5] Speak strangely to the next one he sees.
[6] Dance madly for the next 1d6 minutes.

13-17. Woden calls, and the cleric answers, being changed from now on. Roll 1d3.
[1] Aged: Gains 1 Wisdom, but loses 1 Constitution, unlocking discernment as he moves steadily towards demise.
[2] Hooded One: Known as father to many, though inscrutable to most, he gains a +4 bonus to cause others to be wary, but the reverse for them to have open arms.
[3] Wight-Touched: Gains a +4 bonus to befriend and negotiate with spirits, but the opposite with mortal folk.
[4] Inspired-Touched: Has a 10% chance of behaving madly and aggressively for the first 2d6 rounds of each new encounter when at a holy (or unholy) place.

18+ Woden calls a greater test upon his follower. He will undergo it sometime within the next 4d6 hours, being unable to receive healing for the duration, likely finding inspiration if he survives. And for every divine test result above 17, increase the duration of it x2, likely bringing even greater insight too. Roll 1d3.
[1] Hanging Tree: the cleric must hang upon a tree for 3d6 hours, having to save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or take 1d6 damage for every 1d3 hours of it.
[2] Tree Hanging: a nearby tree or wooden statue animates, attacking the cleric relentlessly (and any who might get in its way) for 1d6 hours. It's HD equals the divine test result, it strikes for 2d6 damage on a hit, and is only harmed by intense chopping or fire (AC 3).
[3] Wild Hunt: howling spirits, beasts, the dead, and maidens descend upon the area, lead by a shadowy Woden figure, causing all within 1d10 x 60' to act madly for the next 2d6 turns. Those affected must save vs. spell/ make a Will save DC 15 or (roll 1d6): [1] attack a random person, [2] scream, [3-4] dance madly, [5-6] remain utterly silent. Reroll every 1d3 rounds.

Next week: clerics of Woden, Part IV!