Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part V

Mielikki Encounters
The hunt may bring more than what one may expect.

Roll 1d12
1. A bear suddenly emerges. The great beast stares at the party, their response will then determine its. Roll 1d8, subtracting one for every faithful follower of Mielikki (or similar divinity) present: [1 or less] leads party to a silver basket and golden cradle worth 3d6 x 50 gold pieces, [2-3] leads party to honey and apples that would provide 4 adult meals, [4-5] yawns and wanders off, [6-7] huffs and acts aggressively, [8] attacks! 

2. Here dwells a jovial and reckless man. This Lemminkainen-style ranger would like to find the Hiisi Elk (per #4 below), and will agree to train any who might help him in his special, Finnish wizard-warrior fighting ways (link). 

3. 4d6 evil, dark northerners rampage through a settlement, claiming that the local Finns have somehow belittled Pohjola. A captivating Finnish maid (see #12 below) approaches the party for aid, fearing the northerners may choose to enter and despoil the nearby woods.

4. Rumor has it that the legendary Hiisi Elk is nearby. Those who seek it out and hunt it down will find it to be (roll 1d4): [1] a hostile hill nature spirit, [2] an ill-tempered, dire elk (4 HD), [3] an ogre-elk hybrid (+20' speed), [4] just a pine tree.

5. Tapio is worshipped at this place. Amongst the great trees and stag heads, treat it as a Cernunnos encounter (link), but substitute select elements with Tapio, Finns, and Tapio's wife, Mielikki. 

6. Up ahead is the sound of squeaking. A small animal is stuck in a trap. It is a (roll 1d4): [1] squirrel, 
[2] rabbit, [3] wood grouse, [4] bear cub. Those who free it will gain a +1d2 bonus to all their rolls for the rest of the day, along with the ability to speak with animals of that type, thanks from Mielikki. Those who don't will suffer one of her divine tests instead.

7. Did you feel that? A fit woman traveler (per #12 below) walks by and notifies the party that the haltija (local spirits) are angered. Until the party does one of the following, they will become lost for 1d3 hours (roll 1d4): [1] put their clothing on backwards for 2d6 turns, [2] care for, plant, or save a tree, [3] save a trapped animal, [4] remove all clothing for 3d6 turns.

8. 3d4 cows graze here, chewing succulent plants at the forest's edge. Any who would disturb them will earn the ire of Nyyrikki, Mielikki's cattle-guarding son. 1d4 metsan haltija will materialize (treat them as Finnish satyrs) to set things right.

9. With enlivening and intoxicating scents, healing herbs sprout around the area. Those who harvest them sparingly will have enough to grant a +2 bonus to any roll for up to 3 spells, +4 if the casters are followers of Mielikki. Those who harvest them greedily will instead attract the attention of an angry bear.

10. The local lodge of Mielikki is seeking volunteers to investigate a similar (and potentially rival) group. Roll 1d4: [1] followers of Artemis, who are Greek and more vigilant, [2] Skadi devotees, who are Norse and more mountain-based, [3] Danu worshippers, who are Celtic and more river-based, [4] 'Greenwoodian' Mielikki followers, who are from some forgotten place and more unicorn-based. 

11. Did you hear that? Haltija (local spirits) are present. Those who commune with them wisely (via a Wisdom check) will gain the benefits of a Commune with Nature spell, becoming magically aware of the immediate area. Followers of Mielikki (and similar divinities) who do so will maintain that benefit until they leave the area. Those who are disrespectful though will instead summon a devotee of  Mielikki (see #12 below) to intervene.

12. One faithful in Mielikki, a rustic and friendly woodswoman, enticing and calming, says hello. She is actually (roll 1d12): [1-3] just a devout follower and/or blessed by Mielikki, [4-7] a cleric of Mielikki, [8-11] a druidess of Mielikki, [12] an avatar of Mielikki.

Next week: clerics of Ilmarinen!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part IV

Cleric Spells (Mielikki)
Gentle and succor-giving, the magic of Mielikki involves the hunt and beasts and the woods, but with little other rancor.

1st Level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Resist Cold, Sanctuary (in wooded areas), Animal Companion (D), Detect Snares and Pits (D), Entangle (D), Faerie Fire (D), Pass with Trace (D), Speak with Animals (D), Charm Person*, Feather Fall*, Shield*, Unseen Servant*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Reveal Charm, Charm Person or Mammal (D), Find Plant (D), Obscuring Mist (D), Stumble (D), Pass without Trace (D), Sleep* (targets may not be harmed though)

3rd Level: Animal Growth, Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object, Remove Curse, Striking (hunting weapons only), Plant Growth (D), Snare (D), Tree Shape (D), Protection from Normal Missiles*

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10' Radius, Speak with Plants, Hallucinatory Terrain (D), Passplant (D), Summon Animal I (D), Summon Sylvan Beings (D), Polymorph Others* (animal forms only), Polymorph Self* (the same)

5th Level: Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Commune with Nature (D), Summon Animal II (D), Tree Stride (D)

6th Level: Find the Path, Heal, Summon Nature Spirit (as Summon Aerial Servant), Wall of Thorns (D) 

7th Level: Shape Change* (animal or plant forms only)

Next week: clerics of Mielikki, Part V!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part III

The mistress of the forest can bring game to her faithful, but also the chase.

Divine Tests
1-4. Unless there is some hunting or a merciful act to attend to, the cleric must do little else but reflect on the ways of Mielikki for the next 2d6 turns.

5-9. The huntress calls and the cleric answers. She loses access to some of her spells (50% chance for each one), possibly including her turn ability. To get each back, she must do one of the following. Roll 1d6:
[1] Run unclad for at least 1 hour.
[2-3] Bring down a beast in an honorable way. All of it will be used and respected.
[4] Aid an animal, providing it food, freedom, or healing its wounds.
[5] Offer Mielikki the equivalent of at least 2d6 gold and 2d6 silver coins.
[6] Spend time in a wooded place, communing with the metsan haltja (forest spirits) and wildlife there for at least 3d6 turns. 

10-16. A forest friend arrives to greet (and test) the cleric. Roll 1d4 to see who it is.
[1] Bear: must be firm or it will wrestle. Make a Morale check: fail and take 1d20 damage; succeed and gain 1d4 Strength until the next dusk.
[2] Stag: must be calm or it will run. Save vs. spell: fail and be preoccupied for the next 1d4 hours; succeed and gain +15' speed until the next dawn.
[3] Squirrel: must be amiable or it will steal. Make a Charisma check: fail and lose a random item; succeed and gain 1d4 Dexterity until the next high noon.
[4] Metsan Haltja: must be observant or become unlucky. Make a Wisdom check: fail and take a -1d6 to all rolls; succeed and gain a +1d6 instead, both until the next midnight. 

17+ Mielikki transforms the cleric into a beast that matches her nature. The cleric is thus unable to speak or use any of her cleric abilities for the next 24 hours, plus 24 additional hours for every divine test result over 17. She can still understand things though and accompany her allies during that time, even fighting as the beast if need be. Afterwards, she will be able to speak with beasts of that type at will, even while she's in human form.

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Turn ability= Turn Unholy ability 
Morale check = make a Will save DC 15
Save vs. spell = make a Will save DC 15
Charisma check =  make a Fellowship check DC 15 
Wisdom check= make a Luck check DC 15 

Next week: clerics of Mielikki, Part IV!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part II

Magical Side-Effects
Savor the hunt, but don't take too much from it. Roll 1d12. 

1. Mercy: As forest-hostess, Mielikki provides. The spell will need to be helpful to its target, otherwise it won't work. 

2. Huntress Way: Armed with bow, the goddess selects her prey. The magic must involve hunting in some way, cast at a distance and without the target knowing. If not, then it will only function at 1/2 strength. 

3. Sylvan Domain: The woods are green and free. As soon as the spell's target is in a forest setting or at least passes by a tree, the effects will occur. Otherwise, they will only find their way to the target after 1d3 turn's time. 

4. Metsan Haltja: Are the spirits near? The cleric must make a Wisdom check to connect with them to make the magic happen. If within woods, she gains a +4 to her check; +2 if another natural place. If not, then she must leave a small, fitting offering for them instead.

5. Lucky: The hunt may not always go as planned, but Mielikki still provides succor. All within 60' gain a +1 bonus to their ranged attack and spell rolls for the next 2d6 rounds under her blessing. 

6-8. No Side Effect: The magic works as usual this time. 

9. Woodland Herbs: Such bounty in the forest aids in all magic craft. If the cleric has had at least 1d3 turns to collect from such a setting that day, then the spell's effect, range, or duration can be increased by 50%.

10. Simplicity of Mehtola: With an animal nearby, or at least being unclad like one, then the cleric can add 50% to the spell's effect, range, or duration.

11-12. Huntress's Blessing: The magic occurs for twice its normal effect, range, or duration, as well as it not being expended that day. What is more, if the cleric is being merciful, in the forest, or unclad when casting the spell, then she can also sense the direction to one thing she seeks, whether prey or bounty, with Mielikki smoothing the way.

DCC RPG Conversion notes
Spell not being expended that day = gains a +2 bonus to its spell check 

Next week: Clerics of Mielikki, Part III!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part I

Neutral Finnish Goddess of the Forest, Hunting, & Succor

Tenets of Mielikki
* Be one with the forest
* Live simply, respect Nature
* Hunt only what you need
* Care for animals & the innocent

Clerics of Mielikki
Special: Mielikki is served by clerics, druids (see Volume II), & tietaja (Finnish shamanic wizards).
Allowed Weapons: Bow, sword, spear, knife
Allowed Armor: Leather or lighter
Symbols: Tree, Bear, Stag
Can Turn: Those who work against nature. If not known: humans- base 50% chance, evil humanoids or undead- base 75% chance, all others- base 25% chance.
Mysteries of Mielikki: Animals and forest denizens generally don't attack clerics of Mielikki. If one's wicked or somehow compelled to, then a cleric of Mielikki can choose to have it stop attacking her, up to once per day per level. 

Next week: Clerics of Mielikki, Part II!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wyrd Ways of Walstock Revisted, Part II

More ways to expand upon Wyrd Walstock, beyond even the ones discussed last week and in the upcoming revision. 

I. The Elk Order's Plot
Not content with paddling and being relatively unimportant, those in the Elk Order see an opportunity to seize power. Whether with the defeat of the Cult of the Shield Ghul, some other disruption to another faction (both likely caused by the party), or the return of Maria, they will establish themselves in one of the areas where a vacuum now exists (along with retaining Location 3). The power of their totemic spirit will accompany them throughout Walstock too, now granting a +3 to all elk-related rolls (+5 if Maria has returned). 

In addition, Order members have a 50% chance of having the Elk spirit cast Faerie Fire for them each round and of also causing 2d6 damage every 3 rounds to some interloper within 60' with its etheric antlers (save vs. spell negates). Last, the head of the Order has a name- the Elk Chief- making them sound much more important. Elves and unprotected behinds beware!

The Elk Chief 
AL: N; Mve 40’; AC 4; HD 3; Attk 1; Dmg: 1d2+2, +4 (+2 paddle, +4 vs. unarmored rear ends); SP: may call upon Elk Spirit (see above), Sve F3 Mor 7. Wyrdness: now thinks he' s important. Items: +2 rear end bane paddle, +2 elk-horn helm. Treasure Type: A

II. Golden Promises
With the many factions vying for control of Walstock, it's easy to forget an even greater threat: fiat currency. Roscoe the Head Banker (from Location 6) has begun circulating such paper money, giving very generous 'loans' to any who might ask for them with the help of Town Crier Kelwin (at Location 20). With only a small deposit of gold, he will grant any 10 times that amount in Golden Promises! Though most proprietors were unwilling to honor them at first, Roscoe has offered them extensive 'loans' too (also in Golden Promises) to make them more ameliorable. 

Of  course, such a situation cannot last long, though Roscoe's secret master (the dread force Geedeepee) can assist him in drawing it out as long as possible. Harnessing the power of Eternal Growth, Roscoe can now effectively create 'wealth' at will, thanks to Kelwin's printing shed, though of course when he does so, the prices of everything else in town increase proportionately. Already, standard costs are 50% more than normal, but don't worry- they'll be more Golden Promises to cover that. And when it fails (in 2d4 days' time), Roscoe will be nowhere to be found. Otherwise, the town will actually explode, bringing such growth to new heights.

III. Xue’rek’rek’slis's Importations
Added with the Wyrd Ways revision, Xue’rek’rek’slish (pronounced 'Jeff') is a fish man who has now uncovered a way to bring his 2,000 cousins to join him (likely via the Orifice- Location T10). With the changes here, in any encounter, there is a base 25% chance of 4d4 fish men also being present (there are always many of them). Once their numbers reach certain amounts per their accumulations by encounter, they'll begin begin behaving in certain, fishier ways:

20: begin attacking lone humans
50: take over 1 Location in Walstock, whether at random or one already abandoned
100: begin attacking groups of humans of 4 or less
200: take over 5 Locations in Walstock
500: begin attacking humans in groups of 50 or less  
1000: take over the entire town; begin mass-sacrifice of humans on fish hooks

See Volume III for more info on fish men and their dread lord, Dagon.

IV. Town Rampage
Riots aren't uncommon at the Pigsty (Location 21), but have gotten worse of late. Word is, a Tochenorff was particularly mistreated by the Watch and now his brethren are up in arms. But these disturbances are different. They've expanded to the Springing House and Downtown and are lasting days. Trendy Tochenorffs and other factions have even been donating to these miscreants as they smash windows, loot stores, and beat up passersby- all in the name of 'Justice'. Town Crier Morell (from Location 20), debased as ever, eggs them on.

Many out-of-towner bandits have joined in (likely followers of Tiamat- see Volume III) and someone has even been leaving them piles of rocks and incendiaries to use (agents of Nergal- also see Volume III). But with the Watch too paranoid to intervene, perhaps the trendy Tochenorffs will stop donating when the shops they frequent are destroyed?

Next week: clerics of Mielikki!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wyrd Ways of Walstock Revisited, Part I

With the upcoming release of the Wyrd Ways of Walstock revision, here are various ways to update the adventure for returning characters who are crazy enough to experience such a wyrd place again. And if your characters haven't yet done so, then they should.

1. Walstock has become overrun with plague. A certain Professor Fausti describes the situation, whether directly to the party or via a speech that they overhear. He warns that it has a contagion rate of 11 in 12 and will quickly overwhelm the town. The party may find this to be true- those exposed must save vs. death or become infected. Those infected lose 1d4 Constitution and take a -1d10 penalty to all rolls each day. They must save twice for two days in a row to recover- unless, of course, they wish to risk healing at the Hospitalia (Location 25).

2. The Cult of the Shield Ghul secretly enjoys this since it makes them  'Indispensable'. Ironically though, most townsfolk have become too terrified to even venture into the Hospitalia for normal treatments, such as removing an ingrown toenail for 14,357 gold pieces a visit.

3. Whether the Cult of the Shield Ghul is actually responsible for the plague or not, they may have had aid from one or more of the following groups: Cult of Pan-demic (twisted Pan worshippers who seek an end to civilization- add them to Location 23), Cult of R'ti (corrupted tutors who enjoy having the Schoolhouse closed, but still receiving their wages- they're at Location 1), Cherno-Baba Yaga followers (who enjoy plague-slaughter, doom-suffering for its own sake- add them to Location T7).

4. All in town are expected to wear masks and encouraged to be Antisocially Distant. Those who don't are thrown into the Gaol (Location 14) where most of the resident criminals have no problem with getting very close.

5. Whenever encountered, Cultists of the Shield Ghul have a base 50% chance of breaking out into dance (not just the nurses in the Hospitalia). They claim it is to relieve the heavy burden of dealing with the plague, but it's more likely they're overjoyed they still have plenty of coin when many others do not (see #9 below).

6. Since the townsfolk, whether Trenchaus, Tochenorff, or other, likely won't enjoy seeing nurses and physicians dancing (rather than caring for patients), then they will be forced to watch them. Such 'Salutes to Heroes' occur at sunset each day in front of the Hospitalia and will likely infuriate the Minervan Superheroines (at Location 12), not to mention those others singled out for not attending.

7. Even travelers wishing to pass through the wyrd town of Walstock will be forced to remain, Quarantined for their Own Good. Never mind that will force travelers into more contact with the plague.

8. Most of the locales in town are closed. Investigation will reveal that those still open are, conveniently enough, faithful followers of the Shield Ghul. They include Walstock Tea & Knick-Knacks (Location 16), Chohmps’s Family Barber-Dentistry (Location 18), Town Crier’s Office (Location 20), The Hospitalia (Location 25), and the Apothecary (Location 27).

9. Many people are destitute. Without means of making gainful employ, they become impoverished, and are not above begging, pick pocketing, or even brigandage. Any not connected to the Cult of the Shield Ghul or having a Treasure Type of B or higher may attempt one of those three (per their alignment) on characters they encounter (a base 33% chance). They will do their best to be Antisocially Distant while doing so, but will also be hard to understand with their masks on.

10. Rather than advocate for the common folk, Town Crier Morell (at Location 20) derides any who would say that the plague isn't that bad as a 'Denying Alarmist'. A gang of 2d4 Assurance Cultists will confront such Deniers the following night in order to reinforced that point (with their clubs). Those on 'the 'Deniers List' currently include Gamz the Dwarf (Location 4), Sir George (Location 15), and Father Farhred (Location 17), though more are soon to follow (likely the party members)!

11. Seeing an opportunity for greater control, Town Council Member Benedictia Trenchaus (Location 9) is now being supported as Mayor by the Cult of the Shield Ghul, in return for banning most daily activities in the name of Public Health. The Watch isn't too keen on being around citizens though, so enforcement isn't that consistent despite her many domineering decrees. This is good because she often ignores her own edicts as she scoffs at the commoners, going out to dine and get her hair done while they are forbidden from doing so.

12. Adventurers who remain in Walstock to put an end to this current threat (and not run away screaming) will uncover that Dr. Fausti has in fact entered into an infernal pact that has led to this very plague! It is with Beliah (see Volume II), of course, though any arch-devil would do (per Referee).

Next week: Wyrd Ways of Walstock  Revisited, Part II!