Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Totems: Boar, Part I

Ways of the Boar
* Gore whatever corners you
* Fight to the end

* Take what comforts you can, enjoying the spoils
Eschew non-boarish things, especially non-boar shamanic magic!

Followers of Boar Totems
Special: The boar is followed by shamans and barbarians, though other cleric-types and fighters can do so as well. 
Associated Divinities: Freyr (via Gullinbursti), Freya (via Hildisvini), Moccus (Celtic), Beowulf (Anglo-Saxon Hero), Artemis (via Calydonian Boar), Hercules (via Erymanthian Boar)
Allowed Weapons: Axe, spear, sword, short bow, dagger
Allowed Armor: Boar hide and shield or lighter, boar-crested helm too
Spirit of the Boar: Those who follow the boar will gain a random special ability for every odd level they have. See the wolf totem (link) for specifics, noting that those who access the boar's power must also make a Wisdom check first, as well as roll for totemic side-effects (see Part II) and even totem tests at times (see Part III).

Boar Shamans (roll 1d6)
1. Boar-skin: Assume the form of a wild boar, 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 dire boar instead, and at 9th level, a wereboar.
2. Spirit Boar-skin: Can project their spirit as an ethereal boar. The shaman's body is left behind for the duration, helpless and comatose. Otherwise treat as #1 above, along with the advantages discussed in #4 below.
3. Swine Aspect: Gain either a boar's gore attack, speed, superior sense of smell, or hit points for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, two can be used at once and at 9th level, three.
4. Boar Guardian Spirit: Call upon an ethereal boar ally to fight other spirits, scout an area, or even detect other supernatural forces. It will obey for up to 1d4 rounds per level per day, but a Wisdom check (DC 15) must be made by the shaman every 1d4 rounds to get it to do so, since it is boarish. At 5th level, it can be an ethereal dire boar instead, and at 9th level, an ethereal wereboar.
5. Boar's Hoard: Can sense the presence of gold, comfort, valuables, and/or edibles within 240' for up to 3d3 rounds per level per day.
6. Boar BreedAcquire a random boar barbarian ability or even a magical ability from a similar totem, reflecting how the totem is a specific variety of boar.

Boar Barbarians (roll 1d7)
1. Resilient: Gain a +1d3 bonus per odd level that can be added to either make a saving throw or to reduce damage done to them each round, for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day.
2. Vicious: Can gain a +1d2 bonus to damage a foe that they hit after charging or when grappling for every odd level they have.
3. Boar-Wild: Can fight in an especially enraged. swinely manner for 2d6+3 rounds, up to 1d3 times per level per day. While doing so, they gain a +2 bonus to hit and damage, +3 when charging, with an AC penalty of 2. To stop going boar-wild early, the barbarian must save vs. spell with a -3 penalty/ make a Will save DC 18, otherwise he may even attack allies until it's over. What is more, he has a base 33% chance of actually turning into a wild boar for every 3 rounds that he is going boar-wild, in which case it lasts 2d6 rounds longer and he also gains +1d4 Strength and Constitution during that time.
4. Too Stubborn to Die: Can keep fighting even if at -1d3 hit points for up to 2d3 rounds. Increase both by 1d3 for every odd level the boar follower has.
5. Boarish: Gain +1d4' in girth, along with +1d3+1 Constitution, -1d3 Dexterity, -1d2 Charisma, and the ability (and desire!) to eat anything chewable.
6. Svinfylking: Can gain +1 to hit and to damage per odd level when flanked by other boar followers, but also a -4 to AC when they themselves are flanked or are retreating in such situations. 
7. Boar Breed: Acquire a random boar shaman ability or even martial ability from a similar totem, reflecting the boar totem being a specific type.

Next week: Totems: Boar, Part II!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Totems: Eagle, Part V

Eagle Divinities & Traditions
Characters can opt to substitute select eagle totem abilities, spells, side-effects, and totem tests for ones they would normally have, reflecting how the eagle can appear more majestically in their lives. Select or roll 1d8.

1.  Zeus, Apollo: Zeus's followers who have an affinity for the eagle will usually focus on its aspects of flight and transcendence, so as to transport to higher states. Those eagle totemists who follow Apollo instead incorporate being radiant and smiting the serpentine, especially Python.

2. Mars (the Aquila): Romans akin to the martial Aquila tend towards being sharp-eyed and stalwart, espousing vigilant duty. Any quick strikes they derive from the totem should be followed up with reinforcement, holding areas from those who might hold Rome. 

3. Lugh: followers of Lugh and other Celtic gods who emphasize the eagle tend to select aspects that transform into one, along with freedom and calling aquiline beings for aid. The Welsh especially focus on harnessing its wise vision, per the ancient Eagle of Gwern Abwy. 

Tyr, Heimdall: Norse who call the eagle their totem generally see it more from the vantage point of 
Veðrfölnir. Followers of Tyr who do so also focus on exorcizing spirits, while those of Heimdall usually prefer that which helps to keep a sharp eye out.

5. Svarog, Perun: Svarog's eagle totem followers espouse transforming and using the sky above. Perun's instead take more direct action with lightning strikes. Both seek to defeat the dark and serpentine, though they can also appreciate the importance of such things within the realm of Slavic dichotomy.

6. Enlil, Ishtar: rising above, royal and majestic, Mesopotamian eagle followers focus on the high ground and might of the totem, dominating the earthly rabble. Those who do so and follow Enlil often use such aspects for victory in kingship; those for Ishtar, love and war.

7. Horus, Ra: Egyptian eagle totemists emphasize its radiant and protective qualities in the name of preserving Ma'at, with Horus targeting the darkness of Set and Ra focusing on the serpentine doom of Apep. 

8. The Amaranthine Wizard: purging the shadowy and the serpentine might require taking on some of those aspects oneself. With the dark eagle ascendant, the Amaranthine Wizard will allow his followers to gain might in its iron claws, though the danger remains that such a resolution might be worse than the original peril. 

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

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Totems: Eagle, Part IV

Eagle shamans and other cleric-types who call upon the totem gain access to certain spells. A number require the shaman to fight the offending spirit- see details at the end of this article. They otherwise follow the guidelines of totemic magic (link). 

1st Level Spells (d8)
1. Aerie Protectionas Protection from Evil, but only works in elevated areas.
2. Cure Light Eagle Wounds: as Cure Light Wounds, but only works on those who follow the eagle's ways.
3. Eagle's Command: as Command, but lasts for 2d3 rounds and requires fighting the target's guardian spirit...
4. Eagle Companion: as Animal Companion (D), but must be a single eagle.
5. Eagle Eye: as a reversible Remove Fear, but must stare at the target rather than touch them.
6. Eaglefall: as Feather Fall*, but any subjects must be clothed at least mostly in feathers.
7. Elevated Detection: as Detect Evil, but detects dark and/or serpentine beings.
8. Radiant Eagle: as Light, but will not illuminate dark and/or serpentine beings, even if hidden or disguised.

2nd Level Spells (d6)
1. Eagle Blessingas Bless, but grants allies a +1 to Saving Throws and to hit bonus instead, along with a +4 bonus to sight-based checks too.
Eagle's Nest: as Levitate*, but must be used to attack at some point during it's duration.
3. Phantom Eagle: as Spiritual Weapon, but appears as a spirit eagle that can keep attacking even if the shaman doesn't concentrate. It also attacks at up to double the range, but must target any dark or serpentine beings first.
4. Raptor's Gaze: as Hold Person, but requires the caster locking eyes with the target.
Serpent's Bane: as Delay Poison, but grants full immunity from that of serpentine and/or dark beings.
6. Speak with Eaglesas Speak with Animals, but only works with eagles and eagle-beings.

3rd Level Spells
1. Aerie Protection 10' Radius: as Protection from Evil 10' Radius, but only works in elevated areas
2. Eagle's Break: as Remove Curse, but someone or something else within 1d6 x 10' must gain the curse instead and the shaman will do his best to then destroy it.
3. Eagle's Cure: as Cure Disease, but requires the shaman fight the disease spirit...
4. Eagle Dispel: as Dispel Magic, but the same...
5. Eagleskin Magic: as Polymorph Self* or Polymorph Other*, but can only take on or grant the form of an eagle.

4th Level Spells (d5)
1. Aerie's Call: as Summon Animal I (D), but just summons eagles.
2. Aquiline Truth: as Detect Lie, but the shaman must immediately attack any confirmed liars.
3. Cure 
Serious Eagle Wounds: as Cure Serious Wounds, but only works on those who follow the eagle's ways. 
4. Eagle's Domain: as Commune with Nature(D), but must be in a place where eagles dwell.
5. Exorcism of the Eagle: as Exorcism, but the shaman must fight the offending spirit...

5th Level Spells
1. Cure Critical Eagle Wounds: as Cure Critical Wounds, but only works on those who follow the eagle's ways.
2. Dispel the Dark: as Dispel Evil, but works on serpentine and dark beings too, if they are fought... 
3. Eagle Flight
: as Fly*, but recipient cannot hover unless pointing directly into steady wind.

4. Eagle Strike
: as Flame Strike, but the damage is done by phantom eagles that do +2 damage vs. dark or serpentine beings. 

6th Level Spells (d3)
1. Eagle Ally: as Summon Monster, but summons one creature or being that is eaglelike and has a HD of 7 or less.
Eagle Realm: as Plane Shift, but only transports to and from aerie places dominated by eagles and aquiline beings.
3. Summon Aerie Servant: as Summon Aerial Servant, but it appears as a phantom eagle, it can't be sent to retrieve items, but it can be sent to attack a dark, serpentine, or controlling individual. What is more, it does not return murderously insane if it fails at its mission.

Fighting Spirits
Eagle shamans and those who follow certain other totems sometimes prefer to fight spirits directly as part of their spells. To do so, they must make a Wisdom or Charisma check (DC 15). Success means the spell works. Failure indicates that the shaman must try again next round. Rolling a natural 1 shows that the spell fails and is lost, and the shaman must also save vs. spell/ make a Will save DC 15 or have the offending spirit inhabit them instead!

Shamans who rely on such an approach can opt to fight/ exorcise other spirits that they encounter this way as well.

Next week: Totems, Eagle Part V!