Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Enlil

We continue our series on ways to incorporate the followers of various gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III into your campaign.  Here is Enlil, Mesopotamian god of air, storms, & rulership.

Enlil Encounters
1. The party finds a statue of a kingly-looking god. If they care for it, then they will earn Enlil’s favor. If not, then they will earn his wrath!

2.  A group of men are chopping down trees, led by a cleric of Enlil. He will either (roll 1d4): [1] insist the party helps with the chopping, [2] ask for assistance driving off some wild men who are interfering, [3] provide a concubine for his god (via him), [4] all of the above. What is more, if the party isn’t helpful, then he will direct his men to have one of the trees fall on them instead for 4d6 damage.

3. An argument can be heard up ahead. It is an attractive slave talking back to her master, who then whips her. The party may decide to intervene, but slavery is legal in the land where they are and the slave is pretty mouthy.

4. The wind kicks up suddenly, turning into a storm. It lasts for 3d6 turns, causing a -5 to all rolls to those caught in it, blowing away any light or unsecured objects, as well as having a base 30% chance of knocking over any less-than-solid structures nearby.

5. The party spots a man who is staring at a flying creature. Further investigation will show that the fellow’s name is Hawk and he’s trying to use his magic string to help tame a winged wolf that’s hovering in the air.

6. The sky immediately grows very clear and imperious. Those who don’t follow any specific gods or goddesses (or whose players haven’t purchased one or more of the Divinities and Cults books yet) must save vs. death or undergo one of Enlil’s divine tests. Those who do (or have made such wise purchases) are spared.

7. A small mountain appears in the distance. It actually turns out to be a ziggurat! Does the party investigate further?

8. An unlucky party member feels that he is all out of love and so lost for the next 1d6 hours. Devout followers of Enlil will wish to cut off the sad sap’s air supply.

9. The loudest member of the party is suddenly knocked back, either by a Jarring Hand or Wind Missile spell. The attacker is a priest of Enlil who only wanted the noise to stop.

10. The most attractive female party member (or woman the party has met if they have no female members) is picked to be Enlil’s newest concubine. One of his avatars will jump out and surprise the lucky gal with the great news within 2d6 rounds.

11. The party stumbles across an Enlil prayer group. If not faithful followers of Enlil themselves, then the party will be chastised!

12. Tidings of war can be seen: Mesopotamian warriors and chariots on the march to conquer a rival city-state. Those who don’t follow Enlil should tremble in fear! Those who do should get ready for battle!

Sample 2nd Level Cleric of Enlil
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 5
HD: 2
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6 (mattock) or staff (1d6)
SP: Enlil turn ability, mysteries
Spells prepared: Command, Cure Light Wounds, Remove Fear (reverse), Wind Missile*
SV: C2
Mor: 10
Possessions: Scale mail armor, horned helm, holy symbol, mattock, staff, 12 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Ereshkigal!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Enki

We begin a new series on ways to incorporate the followers of various gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III into your campaign.  Here is Enki, Mesopotamian god of deep water, magic, fertility, & creation.

Enki Encounters 
Roll 1d12
1. The party stumbles across an abzu (area of deep water). 1d8 followers of Enki are sure to be present or arrive within 1d20 rounds (equal chance of each). They are 75% likely to be cheerful too.

2. A cleric of Enki takes an interest in a fertile female character. He will either (roll 1d4): [1] attempt to charm her at his earliest opportunity, [2] cast a life missile at her in order to conceive his next child, 
[3] prepare her to be a concubine of his god, [4] all of the above

3. A follower of Enki has become quite intoxicated and starts giving away valuable items. Will the party accept them or put a stop to it? Whatever happens, he has a base 50% chance of remembering the following day and will seek to get them back.

4. A fisherman works at an especially fertile pond. He will assist the party in any way he can, also having a base 5% chance of actually being an Avatar of Enki.

5. The party keeps encountering dead sailors and river men. They may wish to uncover the reason why they seem to turn up everywhere. To do so, they will have to confer with one of the following to help find the answer (roll 1d3):  [1] a wise duck, [2] a sweet witch, [3] a dour cleric of Enki with 1d4 ex-wives

6. A random party member has apparently sinned against Enki and now has an albatross hung around his or her neck. All the others are then diced off for (saving vs. death) or apparently die. The situation lasts until the one with the albatross shows a great appreciation of water life (per Referee).

7. Stranded with two beautiful women, a captain, a mate, an older married couple, and an inventive priest of Enki, the party must uncover a way to escape, balancing the priest’s love for water with his love for civilization.

8. A number of robberies have been occurring lately with the perpetrators being masked like former leaders of the land. The party may uncover that it is actually a group of Enki worshipping swimmers who mean well by what they’ve been doing, but have begun to become increasingly violent, crossed the line, and have to go down.

9. The area quickly becomes flooded. It is most likely water, though there’s a 10% chance of it being another type of life fluid.

10. The party stumbles upon a cleric of Enki who is hard at work. He is building a massive reed arc. If questioned, he claims that Enki told him a massive flood is coming and needs help stocking it. There’s a 50% chance that he insists one lucky party member needs to board it too in order to preserve their genetic stock for future generations.

11. A debate (i.e. argument) between a follower of Enki and a follower of Poseidon is ensuing over whether fresh or salt water is better. The party just might be foolish enough to get in the middle of it. No matter what they choose to do, things will likely turn brackish.

12. In a strange twist of happenstance, the party encounters a mystic of Enki in the process of fathering a child with a very mountainous woman. Each member will be overwhelmed with a feeling of (roll 1d4): [1] peaceful serenity, [2] universal insight, [3] embarrassment, or [4] attraction to the woman the mystic is with

Sample 1st Level Cleric of Enki
Align: N
MV: 40’
AC: 7
HD: 1
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6 (staff), 1d4 (dagger), or dart (1d3)
SP: Enki turn ability, mysteries
Spells prepared: Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Life Missile*
SV: C1
Mor: 10
Possessions:  Reed armor, reed hat, holy symbol, staff, dagger, darts, 22 silver pieces

Next week: Cleric Encounters, Enlil!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Divinities & Cults: Volume III, Preview #2

Not only does it have lots of information on Mesopotamian and Egyptian divinities, but Divinities and Cults: Volume III has tables and monsters galore.

Random Encounter Tables include: Afterlife, Apsu (Deep Water), Desert, Inn, Pyramid, Tomb, and Ziggurat.

And new monsters include: Ammit, Anzu, Bull man (Kusarikku), Dog man (Uridimmu), Enkidu,
Galla Demon, Humbaba, Fish man (Kulullu), Bull Lammasu, Lion man (Ugallu), Kur, Egyptian Mummy, Phoenix (Bennu), Scorpion man (Girtablilu), Sirrush, and Egyptian Sphinx.

Check out the sample above for two of the monsters included plus the spell list and avatar stats for Tiamat, the mother of many monsters.

Not only that, but there are also lots of optional rules and sidebars included in the book- everything from fighter types to different magical approaches to the layout of various temples!

Stay tuned to for further updates. Volume III for Labyrinth Lord should be ready in PDF sometime in the next few weeks.

Next week: we begin a series of random encounter tables by divinity, starting with the gods and goddesses in Volume III. It should further whet your appetite.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Divinities & Cults: Volume III, Preview #1

While I’m finishing up the final writing pieces and the art is about halfway done, I thought I’d provide you with your first preview. Take a look for yourself with this sample page of Enlil, illustrated by Luigi Castellani:

Divinities & Cults: Volume III covers the Mesopotamian and Egyptian pantheons, along with a number of related Demon Lords and the like. As with Volumes I & II, each divinity has his or her own unique tenets, weapons and armor allowed, divine tests, spell lists, other qualities, and related tables. In this volume though, they also have magical side-effects (for all spells, not just healing) and rules for encountering their avatars. I’ve also included a number of new monsters- a preview of them coming next week.

Mesopotamian divinities: Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Ishtar, Marduk, Nanna, and Utu.
Egyptian divinities: Anubis, Bast, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ra, and Thoth.
And the Demon Lords, etc.: Apep, Dagon, Nergal, Set, and Tiamat.

If you liked the free divinity articles for Ninhursag (here) and Sobek (here), you’ll enjoy the divinities provided in this volume, since they follow similar formats. Nevertheless, each god and goddess is unique and so too are their clerics- each one becoming its own, minor magical tradition as a result, extensively detailed for play.

Like with all my Divinities and Cults volumes, the first version will be for Labyrinth Lord, though if there’s enough interest, I’ll make a DCC RPG version as well. In any case, after I release this version of Volume III in a few weeks, I’ll be getting both versions of Volume I ready for print-on-demand to be ready by April.

Next week: Divinities & Cults: Volume III, Preview #2

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clerics of Sobek, Part III

Cleric Spells (Sobek)
Clerics of Sobek have access to the following spells:

1st Level: Cure Light Wounds (reversible), Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear (reversible), Locate CreatureD (up to 5x normal range via scent), Charm Person*, Enlarge*, Ventriloquism*

2nd Level: Bless (reversible), Delay Poison, Find Traps, Hold Person (can also be cast along with a successful bite attack), Lizard Charm (as Snake Charm, but works on legged reptiles instead), Resist Fire, Speak with Animal (legged reptiles only), Crocskin (as BarkskinD, but has a reptilian appearance), Detect Snares and PitsD, Detect Invisible*, Scare*, Strength*

3rd Level: Animal Growth (legged reptiles only), Cure Blindness, Dispel Magic, Feign Death, Hieroglyph of Warding (as Glyph of Warding, but very Egyptian), Prayer, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking (on allowed weapons only), Water BreathingD, Haste* (can only be cast when cleric is in water), Infravision*

4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds (reversible), Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Logs to Crocodiles (as Sticks to Snakes, but can create 1d2 crocodiles from logs instead), Fear*, Polymorph Self* (crocodile form only),

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Faithful Croc (as Faithful Hound*, but is crocodilian of course), Transmute Rock to Mud*

6th Level: Blade Barrier (appears as fangs in a crocodile mouth), Conjure Animals (crocodiles), Heal (reversible), Move Earth*

7th Level: Earthquake, Regenerate, Restoration, Summon Avatar (Sobek), Crushing Hand* (appears as a phantom crocodile that crushes with its jaws)

Avatar of Sobek
Align: N
MV: 40’ (swim 40’)
AC: 0
HD: 20
Atk: 1 bite
Dmg: 6d10
SP: Sobek cleric spells/abilities (caster level 22), humanoid giant form, Magic Resistance: 22%
SV: F22
Mor: 11

An avatar of Sobek appears as an enormous crocodile, though it can also take on the form of a humanoid giant with a crocodile head too, losing its swim ability, but gaining the use of its hands. In either case, it is always hungry, either for food or a mate, taking what it wants and woe be unto any who stand in its way!

Sobek Encounters
1. The party runs across a blond, beefy man with a strange accent who is trying to tame a crocodile or similar reptilian beast. Whether they intervene or not will be looked upon favorably by Sobek... or not.

2. 1d4 crocodiles emerge to attack the party. If the party counterattacks, then there is a 25% chance of a large or even giant crocodile (per Referee) being sent by Sobek to make things more interesting!

3. Individuals are encountered that have strange, little crocodile symbols stitched upon their clothing. They are actually Cultists of ‘I, Zod’, a heretical sect that worships Sobek as a Demon Lord of snappy dressing (literally).

4. A lone man with the traits of 1d4 of Sobek’s  #10-14 divine tests is spotted. He is either (roll 1d6): [1-3] a Sobek cleric, [4-5] one simply blessed by Sobek with such traits, or [6] a Sobek avatar polymorphed to look medium sized. In any case, the lone man also has a 50% chance of being in the process of either stalking live prey or a mate, most likely targeting one or more of the party (a base 75% chance)!

Next week: previews of the upcoming Divinities & Cults: Volume III!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Clerics of Sobek, Part II

Divine Tests (Sobek)
Sobek will bite into his faithful: will it destroy them or have them come out stronger?

1-4. The cleric becomes better acquainted with Sobek’s pointed teeth. He takes 1d2 damage per divine test result (1d2 to 4d2), extra (1d4 to 4d4) if he shows any fear when it occurs, requiring a WIS or Morale check.

5-9. Sobek hungers! Unless the cleric does two of the following by the next sunrise, the Crocodile God will consume some of his spells (50% chance for each one) including possibly his turn ability, making him unable to use them. Roll 2d6 to see what the cleric needs to do:
[1] Mate with an attractive mate, one that has a CHA of at least 14 + 1d4
[2] Bask in the sun for 2d3 turns
[3] Guard the immediate area (120’ from where this test takes place) for 1 hour, attacking any non-crocodiles or faithful of Sobek that come too close
[4] Bite someone who doesn’t properly fear crocodiles, causing at least 3d4 damage to them
[5] Swim in a river for at least 2d3 turns
[6] Kill and eat someone within 1 hour, whether they are properly afraid or not
If unsuccessful, then the spells are lost for the next 6d6 hours- after a while, crocodile!

10-14. A servant of Sobek should look like one! The cleric changes permanently. Each result also causes him to have a cumulative 25% chance of needing to kill and eat a fresh meal every 3 hours, along with the listed benefits and other possible drawbacks. Otherwise, he’s always considered to be a monster by the uninitiated. Roll 1d4.
[1] Crocodile Head: Treat as if the cleric is always wearing his Sobek mask, allowing him to also make 1 bite attack for 1d6 damage per round, as well as causing all prey animals to flee in fear when they spot him.
[2] Crocodile Senses: The cleric can see, smell, and hear with a +4 bonus, +8 if he is submerged or otherwise hidden at the time.
[3] Crocodile Tail & Feet: The cleric can swim at his normal land speed, hold his breath for 1 hour at a time, and also gains a +4 bonus to resist being pushed around or grappled.
[4] Crocodile Hide: The cleric’s AC improves by 4, though his speed is reduced by 10’.

15-17. Now the cleric of Sobek must undergo a greater challenge! Roll 1d3.
[1] Hunt the Crocodile Hunter: The cleric must find and kill one who hunts crocodiles or even worse, tries to tame them and keep them as pets! The cleric must work towards finding this individual for at least 4d4 hours, preferably feeding him to said crocodiles if and when he finds him- right, mate?
[2] Children of Sobek: 2d4 ordinary crocodiles, 1d4-1 large crocodiles, and 1d2-1 giant crocodiles show up suddenly, attacking all within sight. Though the cleric can try to avoid their attacks, he must also do his best to protect these children of Sobek from harm and even assist them in their rightful feeding frenzy. They remain for the next 2d3 turns unless they or the cleric are slain.
[3] Hand it to the River King: Most fools would tempt fate by seeing if a crocodile will bite when they put their hand into its mouth. The cleric will now too, risking a 50% chance of one of his hands being immediately bitten off by a phantom one.

18+ An avatar of Sobek arrives, intent on eating many (see Part III for stats)! It remains for 1 day per divine test total over 17, eating (or attempting to eat) all who come within a 1/4 mile radius. The cleric must remain too during this time, assisting the avatar and trying not to get eaten himself, though if that happens, Sobek won’t even shed a crocodile tear.

Next week: clerics of Sobek, Part III

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Clerics of Sobek, Part I

Neutral Egyptian God of Crocodiles, Wetlands, & Might
Tenets of Sobek
* Take what you want, preferably by force
* Eat those who oppose you, including those who oppose your hunger!
* Mate often, bathe often, and protect what is yours

Clerics of Sobek
Special: Sobek is served by clerics and shamans*
Allowed Weapons: Spear, mace, short sword, dagger
Allowed Armor: Scale mail or lighter
Holy Symbol: Crocodile
Can Turn: Those unready for battle
Mysteries of Sobek: Clerics of Sobek wear crocodile masks, allowing them to make a bite attack that automatically causes 1d8 damage, +1 per level. They may do so up to once per day per level, though their masks always look very intimidating.
 *Shamans of Sobek lose the ability to wear metal armor and to turn, gaining other abilities and replacing select spells instead (see Divinities and Cults: Volume II for details)

Magical Side-Effects
Sobek’s power is rife with toothy reptilian brutality- what else would one expect? Roll 1d12.

1. If I Could Just Get a Taste... The cleric will need to take a little nibble, preferably of someone, though something might do if no one else is around. In any case, he is compelled to make a bite attack within 1 round and it doesn’t count toward his daily total (per Mysteries of Sobek, above). The cleric’s got to eat!

2. Sacrifice: Rituals and offerings, equal to 1d3 rounds and 1d6 gold pieces per spell level are needed by Sobek for the magic to work. If nice, juicy morsels of freshly slain meat (or almost freshly slain meat) are given though, then no extra time or cost is required. 

3. A Unique Craving: The cleric has gotten hungry again, but only a certain kind of something will satisfy. He must either lie with an attractive mate (CHA of at least 14+1d4) or chew upon some upstart who doesn’t properly respect crocodiles (or both) within the next hour. If he doesn’t, then the next spell he casts will only be at half its normal power.

4. Fear Sobek! All within 1d6 x 10’ of the spell’s casting (whether good or evil) must save vs. paralysis or flee in terror for the next 1d6 rounds, as the cleric makes his presence known with a mighty roar!

5-9. No Side-Effect: The spell functions in the usual way... for now!

10. King of the River: The spell works normally and if cast while the cleric is at least partially submerged, it has a 50% bonus to its effect, range, or duration.

11-12. Wrath of Sobek! Sobek is mighty, but he is cunning too. The spell works automatically for double effect, range, or duration. In addition, if it is harmful and cast on one unsuspecting, then one of its aspects can be tripled!

Next week: clerics of Sobek, Part II!