Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part IV

Propaganda (Uncle Steel Dwarf Spells)
Though his commissars would never admit it, Propaganda can be quite magical indeed.

1st Level: Command (+3 vs. Proletarians), Cure Light Wounds, Detect Capitalism (as Detect Evil but senses free market forces instead), Purify Food and Drink (reverse), Remove Fear (reverse), Resist Cold, Equalitarian Missile (as Magic Missile*, but only does damage to Capitalists), Message* (requires speaking into a device)

2nd Level: Bless (reverse), Delay Poison, Find Traps, Know Alignment (requires at least 1 turn of interrogation first), Hold Person, Resist Fire, Reveal Charm, Spiritual Weapon, Fire TrapD, Heat MetalD, Produce FlameD, Amnesia* (requires 1d6 turns of Reprograming first), Phantasmal Force* (for Indoctrination)

3rd Level: Cure Blindness (reverse), Dispel Magic, Glyph of Warding, Locate Object (in order to seize it), Remove Curse (reverse), Striking, Explosive Runes*, Stinking Cloud*

4th Level: Create Food and water (reverse), Cure Serious Wounds, Detect Lie, Arcane Eye* (usable only against those suspected of Counter-Revolutionary Behavior), Wall of Fire*

5th Level: Commune (requires 1d6 turns of grain, livestock, land, and/or general confiscation of others’ livelihood first), Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Capitalism (as Dispel Evil, but affects business folk instead), Flame Strike, Faithful Hound* (to guard against Dissidents)

6th Level: Animate Objects (if made of metal), Blade Barrier (appears as Equalitarian Firearms)

7th Level: Holy Word (reverse- works on Capitalists), Degenerate (reverse of Regenerate), Summon Devil*

Avatar of Uncle Steel Dwarf

Align: C
MV 20
 AC -10
HD 15
Atk: 1 slam or crush
Dmg: 3d8
SP: commissar propaganda/abilities (caster level 15), immune to any harm from metal, fire, or charm effects,  -4 when surrounded by Capitalists 
Magic resistance: 20%
SV: C15
Mor: 8

Hulking but squat, these embodiments of the Equalitarian Tyrant himself are red in color and made of hell-forged steel. Unless keeping an individual alive would serve his greater interests, the avatar will quickly redistribute his victim’s blood and bones all over the area via mighty slams and crushes.

The Amaranthine Wizard

Archenemy of Uncle Steel Dwarf, the Amaranthine Wizard stands in diametric opposition to him and Equalitarianism. Rather than espousing equality, he espouses hierarchy. Rather than attacking capitalists and eliminating private property, he attacks inhumans and seeks to forge pure human nation-empires.  Still, his clergy, the Amaranthineschaft, can be as ruthless as Uncle Steel Dwarf’s commissars. As a result, one can use their rules in a modified way until he can be dealt with in a separate article.

Next week: Priestesses of Diktynna / Britomartis!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part III

Counter-Revolutionary Behavior (Uncle Steel Dwarf Divine Tests)
1-4. Investigate. Who is Collaborating with Capitalists and Imperialists? The commissar better hope it’s not him! To make sure, he will look into others’ behavior, taking a -1 penalty per Counter-Revolutionary Behavior result (-1 to -4), double if he actually sympathizes (-2 to -8) for the next 1d6 hours.

5-9. Indoctrinate. Propaganda is the sharpest and strongest weapon of Equalitarianism and must be put to best use! The commissar loses access to some of his propaganda (50% chance for each one) possibly including his turn ability until he demonstrates his Correct Dedication to Equalitarian Ideals. Roll 1d6 for each to determine what he must do in order to get it back:
[1] Get at least 2d4 HD of Proletarians (laborers or peasants) to rise up against their masters, unless of course if those masters are Equalitarian. In this latter case, they have a 66% chance of actually needing to be imprisoned instead or even shot if they are deemed Kulaks- ‘affluent’ laborers or peasants.
[2] Compel two individuals of different races or even species to interbreed. Willingness of the participants and success of the coupling are Irrelevant- that they are working to make everyone Equal is all that matters! In any case, resulting offspring will be given to serve the State.
[3] Confiscate all the possessions from the next person you see in the Name of Uncle Steel Dwarf! If the person is Equalitarian, then he or she is of course given a pass; just confiscate all possessions from the next person you see. 
[4] Insult an Opiate of the Masses (a cleric) or violate a temple of another divinity. Fear not any reprisals: how many armies do they have?
[5] Disrupt a Capitalist Enclave (place of business). Feel free to beat them with anything that they would sell you.
[6] ‘Correctly’ count the votes of an election, secretly monitor a conversation, or disrupt a demonstration. Undermine some democratic custom or movement in order to force the people to have what’s best for them, whether they want it or not! (see Wyrd Ways of Walstock for details on how schemes of another cult might unfold.)

10-14. Liquidate. Death solves all Problems and the commissar has a new Problem to solve. With the power of his Equalitarian Firearm he must execute one individual and cannot use his propaganda for any other task until it is done. Who that should be officially depends on their type of Counter-Revolutionary Behavior, but commissars are good at finding fault with nearly anyone. Roll 1d6.
[1] a Capitalist (merchant, etc.)
[2] an Opiate of the Masses (cleric. etc.)
[3] an Imperialist (lawful, non-Equalitarian person)
[4] a Dissident (anyone currently not in the good graces of Uncle Steel Dwarf, a base 75% chance)
[5] Purge the entire family of one of the above. Reroll 1d5: in the case of another result of 5, expand to include the individual’s local community, then region, country, etc.
[6] Books, scrolls, or an object that is deemed Counter-Revolutionary.

15-16. Order 227. Trust no one, not even yourself, Comrade! Now it is an Equalitarian or servant of one who has been found Guilty of Counter-Revolutionary Behavior. Any the commissar knows (or very much suspects!) who has ever surrendered, fled, or even fell back in battle from non-Equalitarians must be shot, including himself. This is why, when it comes to the servants of Uncle Steel Dwarf, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

17+ Non-person. Unless he can find another to Officially Condemn and take his place within the next 1d6 rounds (requiring someone else present, a compelling argument, and a Charisma check that is increased by 3 for every Counter-Revolutionary Behavior Result over 17), the commissar is himself shot, becoming just another statistic. What is more, his entire existence is also erased, all record and memory. It would appear that the commissar’s evil has caught up with him, though the many that he had harmed and slain unfortunately continue to remain so.

Next week: Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part IV!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part II

Propaganda (Uncle Steel Dwarf Magical Side-Effects)
The magic of Uncle Steel Dwarf, known as Propaganda, is ruthless and harsh- what better way to force everyone to become Equal, comrade? Roll 1d12 every time a commissar does so.  But remember: failure to follow the orders of any resulting side-effects will make the commissar suspect of Counter-Revolutionary Behavior (see Part III)!

1. Liquidation: Someone has obviously been Counter-Revolutionary and must be shot for the propaganda to work. An intelligent being must be executed, carried out by the commissar with his Equalitarian  Firearm, either at the time of casting or by the next sunset... or else.

2. Redistribution: Uncle Steel Dwarf sees fit to Reallocate the funds of the wealthiest person within 60’ of the commissar at the time of the propaganda’s casting.  Since this means that all of their wealth is then given to the State (effectively gone- save vs. death negates), most commissars generally make sure that they have at least slightly less wealth than any of those around them.

3. Reeducation: Some don’t appear to be as devoted to Equalitarianism as they should be! If the propaganda is helpful, then the recipient must receive (re-)indoctrination into the Correct Way of Thinking, requiring 2d6 turns of listening to speeches and forced applauding, completed before the next sunset. If the propaganda is harmful, then the target is considered Sufficiently Reeducated for now.

4. Proletarian Glory: A hammer, sickle, and/or inverted star symbol must be present for the propaganda to work, and there must be at least some red in it! If a portrait or statue of Uncle Steel Dwarf is also available (the only dwarf permitted to have a mustache), then the propaganda has +50% effect.
5-9. Standard Casting: The propaganda works without side-effect this time, comrade, though remember: Uncle Steel Dwarf is always watching you!

10. Workers’ Paradise: Proletarian hands forge the best! The propaganda works normally. In addition, if the commissar would also like it to have a 50% bonus, then he can have at least 1d3 workers, peasants, or similar types do work nearby to expedite it for 2d3 rounds. Still, they will likely end up also performing slave labor afterwards for the next 2d30 years (a base 66% chance), but such is the price of Equalitarianism.

11-12. Red Terror: The sounds of patriotic, left-wing music rise and the propaganda works automatically for the full effect (though a save still applies, if applicable).  In addition, if the propaganda would harm any Bourgeoisie or other Enemy of the People (property owners, business folk, free-thinkers.- if not known, then there is a base 50% chance) then the propaganda also has a 50% bonus!

Next week: Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part III!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part I

Uncle Steel Dwarf

Chaotic Demon Lord of Equalitarianism
Tenets of Uncle Steel Dwarf
* Everyone must become Equal, or else!
* All possession and distinction must become Merged!
* All who are Counter-Revolutionary must be Purged!
* Liquidate others as needed, as well

Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf
Special: Uncle Steel Dwarf is not served by clerics (since they espouse ‘Opiates of the Masses’), but rather by commissars. Most are red dwarves (see Part IV), but there are also a fair number of humans and members of other races in their ranks.
Allowed Weapons: Hammer, sickle, firearm (see below)
Allowed Armor: Leather or lighter
Holy Symbol: Hammer and sickle within an inverted star
Can Turn: Those who believe in freedom
Equalitarian Firearm: Up to thrice per day per level, a commissar of Uncle Steel Dwarf can emit a blast of fire and steel from his firearm at a target up to 60’ away, causing 2d6 damage if it hits. In addition, it does double damage to any allies that are retreating or trying to surrender.

Next week: Commissars of Uncle Steel Dwarf, Part II!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Shamans of Ukko/ Finnish Shamans, Part IV

Is your shaman ready for adventure? Illus: The Defense of the Sampo, Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Spells (Ukko)
Finnish Shamans have access to the following spells.

1st Level: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Sanctuary, Animal CompanionD, Unseen Servant*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Holy Chant, Snake Charm, Speak with Animal, Spiritual Weapon (held by a random type of spirit)

3rd Level: Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Locate Object, Prayer, Remove Curse (reversible),

4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius,

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Plane Shift, Raise Dead (also requires a drop of honey), Commune with NatureD

6th Level: Animate Objects, Find the Path, Heal, Stone Tell

7th Level: Astral Projection, Restoration, Summon Spirit (as Summon Aerial Servant, but can summon any type of spirit for the shaman to then request aid from)

Spells of Place
Finnish shamans can also access additional spells depending on where they commune each day. As described in Part I, the process takes 1d6 turns, allowing the shaman to gain a special ability. It also grants him access to up to 1d3 bonus spells of levels he can cast that day, determined at random. Note that a shaman can thereby gain a different selection of spells from two different forests, different fields, different mountains, etc., reflecting the great variation in the animistic world of gods and spirits in which they live. Consequently, mountains grant the highest level spells since it is the dwelling place of Ukko, chief of the pantheon, where he reigns at a point so high in reality that those who visit there must kneel.

Communion can be redone during the same day if the shaman spends 1d6 turns making offerings, chanting, drumming, and/or achieving trance states at a different place, but no matter what, he still can only cast the same number of spells each day as a cleric of the same level.

1st Level: Light, Remove Fear, Faerie FireD
2nd Level: Continual Light, Detect Invisible*, ESP*
3rd Level: Plant GrowthD, Clairvoyance*
4th Level: Dispel Evil, Hallucinatory Terrain*

1st Level: Light (reverse), Remove Fear (reverse), Spider Climb*
2nd Level: Feign Death, Darkness Globe*, Scare*
3rd Level: Remove Curse (reversible), Speak with Dead
4th Level: Sticks to Snakes, Ray of Enfeeblement*

1st Level: EntangleD, Pass without TraceD, ShillelaghD
2nd Level: BarkskinD, Find PlantD, Web*
3rd Level: SnareD, Tree ShapeD
4th Level: Speak with Plants, Polymorph Self* (terrestrial animal forms only)

1st Level: Command, Divine WeatherD. Enlarge*
2nd Level: Animal Growth, Feather Fall*, Strength*
3rd Level: Call LightningD, Gust of Wind*
4th Level: Passwall* (through natural stone only), Polymorph Self* (avian animal forms only)
5th Level: Control WindsD, Interposing Hand*
6th Level: Stone Tell, Summon Aerial Servant
7th Level: Control Weather, Wind Walk

1st Level: Purify Food and Drink, Resist Cold, Allure*
2nd Level: Resist Fire, Obscuring MistD, Heat MetalD
3rd Level: Hold AnimalD, Haste* (reverse), Sleep*
4th Level: Charm Person*, Confusion*

1st Level: Create Water, Purify WaterD, Manipulate Fire* (actually reduces heat)
2nd Level: Reveal Charm, Warp WoodD, Magic Mouth*
3rd Level: Water BreathingD, Insect SwarmD
4th: Level: Insect Plague, Polymorph Self* (aquatic animal forms only)

Finnish Warriors
Not only do their shamans practice magic, but Finnish warriors have been known to do so, as well. In the tradition of Vainamoinen and Lemminkainen, they can:
- Wield any weapon, have a fighter’s hit die, and may don chainmail armor and shields or lighter.
- May commune, but only at one type of place (field, graveyard, forest, mountain, sauna, or water - determined at character creation) and can only cast 1 spell per day per level.
- Can otherwise cast spells and save like Finnish shamans do and can even benefit from communing at their type of place each day (se Finnish Shamanism in Part I).

For example, a Finnish Sauna warrior can commune at a sauna or similar place each day to gain either a +6 Charisma bonus when dealing with Finns (and similar types) or ignore temperature extremes for 2d6 turns. He also only works with Sauna spirits when it comes to healing, divine tests, and gaining extra spells.

Mve: 40’; AC 6; HD: 1+2; Attk: 1; Dmg: by weapon; SP: limited Finnish shaman abilities; Sve: C1; Mor: 9; Align: N

Next week: We find out about a tyrannical demon lord: Uncle Steel Dwarf!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Shamans of Ukko/ Finnish Shamans, Part III

Divine Tests (Ukko)
1-4. The shaman takes a -1 penalty per Divine Test result to all his rolls (-1 to -4). It lasts until he spends at least 1d6 turns communing with the spirits and/or gods in a particular type of place. Roll 1d6 to see where he needs to go.
            [1] Mountain spirits/ Ukko, Illmatar
            [2] Forest spirits/ Tapio, Tellervo, Mielikki
            [3] Water spirits/ Ahto, Kylikki
            [4] Sauna spirits/ Illmarinen, Akka
            [5] Field spirits/ Peko, Paivatar, Kuutar
            [6] Graveyard spirits/ Tuoni, Tuonetar, Loviatar, Kalma

5-11. The spirits require placation, causing the shaman to lose access to some of his spells (50% chance for each one). Roll 1d6 and consult the list above to see what spirits of place need to be interacted with. Then roll 1d6 again for each spell lost to determine what he must do in order to regain it (note that the spell cannot be cast again until he does so!)
   [1] Commune at a type of place for 4d6 turns.
   [2] Leave fitting offerings for the spirits there (per Referee).
   [3] Drum and dance at a type of place for 1d6 turns. Also have a 50% chance of hallucinating (as per the Confusion spell) for 3d6 turns afterwards.
   [4] Travel in astral form to the spirit world version of that place, which takes 1d6 turns but also causes 1d3 damage to one of the shaman's ability scores (determined at random).
   [5] Battle a being or endure a peril in the area for 2d6 rounds, taking 2d6 damage.
   [6] It is actually a Finnish god or goddess who must be placated. Roll 1d6 again twice to see what else has to be done to regain the spell. Additional results of ‘6’ should then be rolled thrice, etc.

12-16. A spirit possesses the shaman or a nearby person, animal, or object. Though the one possessed will now benefit from special bonuses, the shaman must also save vs. spell to resist acting in a way that the spirit would promote- whether from direct influence of the spirit or by whomever or whatever it is possessing. What is more, the one possessed also experiences any of the restrictions the spirit might have (see Volume II).

First, roll 1d6 to see who or what is possessed. Note that even if the shaman is not himself possessed, the affected individual or object will stay with the shaman for the duration, attempting to affect his actions.
            [1-2] The shaman
            [3] The closest person in a random direction
            [4] The closest animal in a random direction
            [5] The closest object (including plant life) in a random direction
            [6] A random possession that the shaman is carrying

Then roll 1d8 to determine the type of possessing spirit and commensurate benefits the host receives:
            [1] Ancestral: gain the 1st level abilities of a random character class
            [2] Angelic: gain +4 to AC, saves, and rolls made against evil beings
            [3] Demonic: gain +2 to saves, “to hit” rolls, and damage
            [4] Elemental: gain immunity to harm from the element and +2 to damage
            [5] Fey: may reroll saves, initiative, and casting rolls once per round, but must keep 2nd result
            [6] Nature: gain +1 to all rolls made outdoors and the ability to cast a 1st level druid spell
            [7] Totemic: gain +4 to one ability score that matches the type of totem and also +10’ speed
            [8] Undead: gain +2 to AC, saves, and hit points unless in direct sunlight

This arrangement lasts for 1d6 rounds the first time this test occurs, 1d6 minutes the second, 1d6 turns the third, 1d6 hours the fourth, etc. Note that Fair Maidens usually don’t possess people or objects that aren’t already hot women.

17+ The shaman slips into the spirit world to undergo a journey and even seek out the Sampo. He is gone for one day per Divine Test result over 16. Those with the ability to travel to Otherworlds may attempt to find him before then (a base 10% chance of success per caster level). Otherwise, he takes 2d12 hit points of damage and gains 1% bonus experience for each day he’s gone; that is, if he survives!

Next week: we’re not quite ‘Finnished’- check out Shamans of Ukko, Part IV!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Shamans of Ukko, Part II

Healing Side-Effects (Ukko)
Like with their other spells, Finnish shamans call upon spirits of place, the Haltija, to facilitate healing magic. Then, depending on the type of spirit present, it will be better at helping with certain ailments more than others.

In the case of ailments that the spirit is good at healing, the spell works automatically for its full amount, unless the type of spirit has a particular dislike for the shaman (see below).

In all other cases, the shaman must bargain with the spirit, requiring a successful Charisma check, modified by how respectful the shaman has been to such spirits- per Referee, in order for the spell to work at all. If successful, then all spell effects are rolled normally. If not, then the healing fails.

To randomly determine what spirits are around or even how an injury has been caused, roll 1d12. Otherwise, select based on what kind of place the shaman is in when he casts the healing spell.

1-2. Mountain Spirits: good at healing wounds from iron, other metal, or stone weapons, as well as from falls and other rugged perils.

3-4. Forest Spirits: good at healing wounds from natural attacks or wooden weapons, as well as dealing with poisons and other sylvan dangers.

5-6. Water Spirits: good at healing diseases and paralysis, acid or gas attacks, curses, blindness, deafness, along with any other would-be permanent ailments.

7-8. Sauna Spirits: good at healing diseases, as well as damage or other ill effects from the elements, including magic.

9-10. Field Spirits: good at healing any harm from supernatural beings or methods (including magic), along with restoring bravery, mental faculties, and even level loss, thanks to the presence of smiling Ukko above.

11-12. Graveyard Spirits: good at attempting to bring back the dead, though the one returned has a 50% chance of coming back ‘different’ (evil)!

Spirit Type
If unsure how respectful a particular shaman has been to a spirit that’s encountered, determine what type of spirit it is beyond just the location where it dwells. Nature spirits will be more commonly encountered (naturally), though others could also be just as fitting (e.g. bear totems on mountainsides, forest fey, a fair maiden bathing in the water, ancestral graveyard spirits, etc.) In any case, roll 1d20:

1-2. Ancestral
3. Angelic
4. Demonic
5. Elemental
6-7. Fair Maiden
8-9. Fey
10-17. Nature
18-19. Totemic
20. Undead

See Volume II for more info on spirits and how their motivations might fit (or not fit) with a particular shaman. If they are especially congruent or incongruent in outlook, then the Referee might award some additional boon or even have the spirit attack the shaman instead, making the interaction more than just a Charisma check to facilitate healing.

Next week: Shamans of Ukko, Part III!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Shamans of Ukko, Part I

Lawful Finnish Great God of the Sky, Thunder, & the Harvest

Tenets of Ukko
* Honor your elders and ancestors
* Honor the spirits, the Haltija
* Honor the land and animals too

Shamans of Ukko
Special: Ukko has no clerics in his service, only shamans and sorcerers (detailed in Part IV).
Allowed Weapons: Hammer, axe, sword, club
Allowed Armor: Leather, furs, or lighter
Holy Symbol: Sky, Lightning, Hammer
Can Turn: None
Finnish Shamanism: Though Finnish shamans often follow Ukko above all others, they are very animistic, communing with various spirits and gods at different locations in order to gain their powers each day. 

After 1d6 turns of making offerings, chanting, drumming, and/or achieving trance states, they can gain one of the following benefits, usable a total of up to once per day per shaman level, depending on where their communion takes place:
Mountain: Gain a +4 Strength or Constitution bonus for 1d6 rounds
Forest: Be able to speak with animals or gain immunity to natural attacks for 2d6 rounds
Water: Be able to breathe water & swim at double speed or speak with water spirits for 2d6 rounds
Sauna: Gain a +6 Charisma bonus when dealing with Finns (and similar types) or ignore temperature extremes for 2d6 turns
Field: Add 2 to all rolls when casting a healing, weather, or element-related spell
Graveyard: Be able to leave one’s body and travel in spirit (ethereal) form at triple speed or be able to see spirits and other ethereal beings for 2d6 rounds

For example, if a 2nd level shaman communed at a sauna (or similar place) then he could either gain a +6 Charisma bonus when dealing with Finns or ignore temperature extremes for 2d6 turns, up to twice per day, no matter where he is when he calls upon the power.

What is more, Finnish shamans also have access to different types of spells depending on where they commune each day: additional details will be provided in Part IV.

Next week: Shamans of Ukko, Part II!

And also in case you didn’t know, Divinities and Cults: Volume II is now available in print for both Labyrinth Lord and DCC RPG. Get your copies today!

And finally, note our new domain name:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sorcerers of Gruagach/ Pictish Sorcerers

Spells (Gruagach)
Sorcerers of Gruagach have access to the following spells.

Note that as Pictish sorcerers, they must achieve one higher class level to cast their spells than clerics of other gods do and also have a 3 in 6 chance of being able to cast each of their spells an extra time per day. Last, they have a 1 in 20 chance of having one of their spells accidentally go off when stressed (see Pictish Sorcery in Part I for details).

1st Level: Command, Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Light, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear (reversible), Resist Cold, Detect Snares and PitsD, Faerie FireD, Pass without TraceD, ShillelaghD, Summon Familiar*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Dispel Magic (gained at a lower level than other clerics), Hold Person, Holy Chant, Resist Fire, Reveal Charm, Snake Charm, Speak with Animal, Spiritual Weapon (wielded by a phantom fey being), Produce FlameD, StumbleD, Warp WoodD, Detect Invisible* (via sunlight)

3rd Level: Animal Growth, Continual Light, Cure Blindness (reversible by use of sunlight), Cure Disease, Feign Death, Glyph of Warding, Locate Object, Prayer, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking (on non-metal weapons only), SnareD, Stone ShapeD, Water BreathingD

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Detect Lie, Divination, Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Speak with Plants, Sticks to Snakes, Hallucinatory TerrainD, Repel VerminD, Summon Sylvan BeingsD, Explosive Runes* (must traced over stone), Polymorph Self*

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Flame Strike, Insect Plague, , Pictish Geas (as Quest, though the compulsion can be to right any wrong, rather than  just undertake a quest), Plane Shift, Commune with NatureD, Transmute Rock to MudD, Cone of Sun (as Cone of Cold*, but does 1/2 damage and causes blindness to targets- save vs. spell negates; double damage and no save though to beings that hate sunlight)

6th Level: Animate Objects (by connecting with their spirits), Find the Path, Heal, Speak with Creatures, Stone Tell, Summon Aerial Spirit (can be used to summon Fey or Totemic spirits)

7th Level: Control Weather, Earthquake, Gate, Regeneration, Restoration, Symbol (must be scribed onto stone), Wind Walk, Summon Monster V* (Pictish Beasts only, see below)

Pictish Druids & Shamans
Gruagach is served not just by sorcerers, but by druids and shamans too. As discussed in Volume II, to make Pictish druids and shamans, follow these steps...

Pictish Druids
1. Replace select cleric spells with druidical ones, especially ones that involve plants and animals
2. Replace club, staff, spear, sling, or rocks with the sickle (scimitar) as one of the allowed weapons
3. Replace Turn ability with a 1st-level druid spell that can be cast at will (see Volume II for the list)
4. Can also have them experience some or all aspects of Pictish Sorcery, making them truly distinct from other types of druids

Pictish Shamans:
1. Replace select spells with the ones listed for shamans (see Volume II)
2. Lose the ability to Turn- instead can become ethereal for up to one round per day per level
3. And as with Pictish druids, Pictish shamans can still experience some or all aspects of Pictish Sorcery, making them truly distinct from other types of shamans

Pictish Warriors
Wild and wiry like their sorcerer counterparts, Pictish warriors happily don woad paint, run around in barely any clothing (or even none), and scream at their foes in thick accents that few non-Picts can understand. They thus can add 1 per odd level to any combat-related roll each round when doing so (+1 at 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, etc.) or even 2 per odd level to a non-combat related roll that involves being rustic or somehow involves spirits (whether intoxicating or ethereal) (+2 at 1st, +4 at 3rd, etc.). On the other hand, they will never use any armor (except for shields) and also experience the standard -7 penalty to all Charisma checks made with non-Picts for wearing woad paint, though they might be too busy screaming to even notice.

Mve: 40’; AC 7; HD: 1+2; Attk: 1; Dmg: by weapon; SP: +1 for combat rolls/ +2 for rustic or spirit-related rolls per odd level when woad-painted, barely any clothing, and yelling barely intelligibly; -7 CHA penalty when dealing with non-Picts; Sve: F1; Mor: 8; Align: N

Pictish Beasts
These amorphous, horse-like beings are highly respected by the Picts, appearing on much of their art. Pictish beasts are at home both in the water and on land, and also mix elements of the fey and totemic spirits. As a result, they are able to blink at will (as per the spell) and can each also empower up to one worthy Pict at a time, though they are also fond of eating Picts and other mortals when hungry enough (a base 50% chance whenever encountered).

(Illustration: Struthious Bandersnatch)

Mve: 60’, swim 100’; AC 5; HD 5; Atk: 1 bite; Dmg: 2d6; SP: blink, grant one Pict +2 to all rolls as long as he or she honors the beast, amphibious; SV F5; AL N.

Next week, we explore followers of a Finnish deity!