Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Utu

7th in the gods and goddesses series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Utu, Mesopotamian god of the sun, truth, law, & justice.

And if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you should! The Labyrinth Lord version is available now.

Utu Encounters
1. Bright light fills the area- is it the sun or another divine manifestation? Unless those who see it are followers of Utu or some other solar deity, they will be blinded for the next 1d20 rounds. Any beings of darkness take 4d20 damage.

2. Two individuals stand facing each other. They stare angrily with weapons at their sides, but those weapons are still sheathed for now. It is nearly high noon. Does the party intervene or run for cover?

3.  A cleric of Utu offers to accompany and assist the party in their quest. It soon becomes obvious though that, thanks to a divine test, his shoulders always shine light like a torch. Though his services might be much appreciated, he may actually hinder tasks that require subterfuge...

4. Signs for missing people are posted along the side of the road. Inquiry reveals that a troupe of horse-riding rakes is somehow involved. Further investigation shows that they are not only lawbreakers responsible for all the lost boys in this beachlike area, but are also foul creatures of darkness too (vampires)! Two adolescent followers of Utu might be the party's only hope.

5.  A snake, a bird, and a minor demon walk up to a willow tree. The snake must be killed, though the bird and minor demon can be driven off easily with enough yelling. Afterwards, there’s a 75% chance of a priestess of Ishtar arriving in order to command the party to turn the tree into her throne- all in the name of Utu! If so, then there’s a 100% chance she’s not joking.

6. Sounds of battle ring out up ahead. An armored hero is fighting some sort of winged dog-beast... and he is losing! Does the party intervene? If they do, they discover the hero to be a paladin of Utu and the monster to be a dreaded anzu!

7.  An attractive woman chooses to accompany a lucky male member of the party. She is actually a (roll 1d3): [1] Naditu (temple nun), [2] Shamhat (temple prostitute), or [3] priestess of Utu. In any case, she is likely also ‘brilliant’ and/or a ‘lioness’ (75% chance of each), no matter what her vows are.

8. The nearby folk have become entranced by strange boxes that show dancing images to those that look within them. The local lord (a devotee of Utu) has grown concerned, since the folk no longer work, but instead only lay about all day and stare. The boxes turn out to be the sorcerous work of the insidious demon lord Ghul-Ghul, who wishes to lull the land into weakness and thereby allow an invasion of Ugallu (lion men) and Uridimmu (dog men) to commence uncontested. That the name for the boxes sounds much like ‘Utu’ only makes matters worse.

9. The party stumbles across a grandiose hat. Unless already obvious, sages will show it to be that of a Mesopotamian god (for it is horned w/ a brim, etc.) and it allows the wearer to cast a random 1st level spell from Utu’s list up to three times per day.

10. Bathed in radiant sunlight, a Mesopotamian white temple is spotted up ahead. It either (roll 1d4): 
[1] is under siege by 3d6 Kulullu (fish men), [2] is hosting a celebration of 4d6 humans, [3] appears deserted, [4] seems normal. See also Mesopotamian Temples in Volume III, listed under Utu, for more details.

11. Suddenly, a golden chariot appears, piloted by a lone and shining individual. He is a (roll 1d4): 
[1] cleric of Utu, [2] priest of Utu, [3] paladin of Utu, [4] Avatar of Utu. If the party has been following the cause of Law and Justice then he will bestow a blessing upon them. If not, then he will attack!

12. Utu takes direct interest in the party’s affairs. If they are traveling and already on a quest, then he will aid them (see his divine test 17+ for ideas). If not, then he will set them on a quest and then give the aid anyway.

Sample 7th Level Cleric of Utu
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 2
HD: 7
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+3 (saw-sword) or 1d6+2 (javelin)
SP: Utu turn ability, mysteries, must see the dawn and must ride west in a chariot for 1 turn each day (divine tests)
Spells prepared:
1st level: Command, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Light, Solar Missile* (x2)
2nd level: Know Alignment, Hold Person, Resist Fire, Spiritual Weapon (x2)
3rd level: Cure Blindness, Hold Animal, Sunbolt*
4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds
SV: C7
Mor: 11
Possessions: +3 Scale mail, holy symbol, +2 saw-sword (treat as short sword), +1 javelin (x7), riding horse (HD 2) and light chariot, 177 gold pieces

Next week: we take a short break from cleric encounters to take a look at how to convert Healing Side-Effects to Magical Side-Effects, a modification currently being made to Volume I (for both Labyrinth Lord & DCC RPG)...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Divinities and Cults: Volume III (Labyrinth Lord) Now Available!


Have you unleashed the mighty power of Divinities and Cults in your game yet? 

Divinities and Cults: Volume III covers the gods and goddesses of both the Mesopotamian and Egyptian Pantheons, as well as a number of Evil Cults. Like Volumes I & II, this work provides detailed tenets, special cleric considerations, magical side-effects, numerous divine tests, and custom spell lists for all 19 of them. What is more, optional rules and random tables abound, organized by divinity of course. This excellent book is compatible with the various Old School Editions and their 'Retro-clones', especially Labyrinth Lord™! 
  • Detailed rules for playing clerics of 7 Mesopotamian and 7 Egyptian gods and goddesses, including Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Ishtar, Marduk, Nanna, Utu, Anubis, Bast, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ra, and Thoth
  • Full rules for also playing clerics of 5 Evil Cults, including Apep, Dagon, Nergal, Set, and Tiamat
  • 20 pieces of unique artwork by Luigi Castellani (note: some goddesses are depicted partially nude)
  • 7 random encounter tables, including afterlife, apsu, desert, inn, pyramid, tomb, and ziggurat
  • 20 new monsters
  • Other optional rules & sidebar sections
  • And much more!
 Get your copy now!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Nanna (Mesopotamian Zodiac)

Our 6th installment on gods and goddesses from Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Nanna, Mesopotamian god of the moon & wisdom. Fittingly enough, his encounters are organized by the Mesopotamian Zodiac.

And additional wisdom is coming very soon. The Labyrinth Lord version of Volume III will be ready for sale in the next few days! Stay tuned for the announcement here first on

Nanna Encounters
1. Gugalanna, the heavenly bull sends a bull lammasu in the service of Nanna to question the party. Those respectful of wisdom and law will be given aide. Those who aren’t will be trampled with righteous severity for 2d8 damage.  (Taurus)

2.  Mastabba, the zodiac twins have sent two thieves to mirthfully watch a priest of Nanna who has been blessed with a beard of lapis lazuli. The party notices this: do they intervene to stop the theft or do they help the thieves for a cut of the beard?  (Gemini)

3.  Allul, the celestial crayfish fills the immediate area with silvered waters, mimicking moonlight. Those within will either take a +1d3 bonus or -1d3 penalty each round for the next 1d6 rounds, due to the dancing light and shadows. (Cancer)

4. Urgula, the great lion summons forth a member of royalty who is single and ready to mingle. He or she is soon abducted by 2d4 dark lion folk (Ugallu) though and will require rescuing if the party is so inclined. In any case, they should wisely consider their options.   (Leo)

5.  Absin, virgin daughter of Nanna provides knowledge to the wisest party member in the form of a dream.  As long as he or she then tells only the truth the next day, they will receive a/an (roll 1d4): 
[1] one-word answer to any question they pose, [2] +1 bonus to hit, [3] AC improvement of 1, or [4] +1 bonus to all spell rolls; that is, if being so honest doesn’t get them slain first.  (Virgo)

6. Zibanna, the heavenly scales tip and the world changes for the party. This could be something as simple as a word assuming a different meaning or as major as the ground turning to green (lunar) cheese. Little do they know, they’ve slipped into a Lunar Realm, suffering a -1 to all rolls (at least), due to the disharmony. Though they will return to their home realm within 24 hours, trying to explain what has happened to others will only get them labelled ‘lunatics’.  (Libra)

7.  Girtab, the zodiac scorpion reveals a dark, but enticing opening. Within might be great treasures, but also poisonous perils, not to mention scorpion folk (Girtablilu), and even a potent scorpion woman-witch who likes to play games with the hearts of men- a base 50% chance of encountering each! It’s probably wise to avoid the place altogether...  (Scorpio)

8. Pabilsag, the great overseer illuminates an outrage: someone has slain unarmed priests in a nearby Mesopotamian temple! Yes, it may have been priests of the sun god Utu, but even the faithful of Nanna should investigate. Doing so reveals the murderers to be [1] followers of Tiamat! [2] followers of Nergal! [3] a treacherous anzu! [4] rampaging Greeks whose leader can only be slain by stabbing his heel!  (Sagittarius)

9. Suhurmash, the celestial goat brings forth a stubborn conundrum and thereby begs the question of just when did goats (and earth signs for that matter) have anything to do with fish? Perhaps the party has passed into a Lunar Realm where Sahurmash is some sort of goat-fish? In any case, they will be befuddled, taking a -1 to all intellectual and spiritual rolls (including spellcasting) until they confer with a follower of Nanna in order to set things straight.  (Capricorn)

10. Gula, the wave lord floods a random, lucky party member with +2 Wisdom for the next 3 turns, but also with the Nanna-like test of having to take 1d6 extra rounds to explain anything. Let’s hope they put it to good use and also that others will have the patience to listen. (Aquarius)

11. Simmah, the heavenly swallower one allows a great intonation of tone to issue forth. Investigation reveals that it is caused by (roll 1d4): [1] 1d4 clerics of Nanna praying, [2] 1d3 monks of Nanna chanting, [3] 1d2 mystics of Nanna wondering where the sound is coming from too, [4] an anzu’s mating call (roll for initiative)!  (Pisces)

12. Luhugga, the field worker ram reveals in all his fiery glory that, after all this time, someone the party knows actually is an Avatar of Nanna. Even if the individual appeared to be a fool, it was only them testing the wisdom of others! In any case, the Avatar turns out to be [1] a random NPC in the party (including former ones if they’re all presumed dead), [2] the last person a random party member spoke to, [3] the last creature the party encountered, [4] a random one of the party members!  (Aries)

Sample 6th Level Cleric of Nanna
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 8
HD: 6
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+1 (staff) or 1d4 (club)
SP: Nanna turn ability, mysteries, must answer honestly (from divine test)
Spells prepared:
1st level: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Comprehend Languages*, Floating Disc*
2nd level: Augury, Hold Person, Holy Chant, Silence 15’ Radius, Levitate*
3rd level: Cure Blindness, Prayer, Clairaudience
SV: C6
Mor: 9
Possessions: +1 Bracers of armor, holy symbol, +1 staff, club, potion of healing, scrolls bearing wise writings, 125 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Utu!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Marduk

5th in the series on gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Marduk, Mesopotamian god of usurpation, empire, storms, & growth. Writing and unique interior art for Volume III is done, just waiting for the cover to be completed. Until then, here are a number of events related to Marduk.

Marduk Encounters
1. A green being with bird wings, bull legs, and an extra mouth, pair of eyes, and ears approaches the party about fighting a monster. He is actually a priest of Marduk, but unless the party members are familiar with his cult, there’s a 100% chance they’ll assume that he is the monster to fight.

2.  A man, cursed by the Gods, is discovered. Helping him will incur a random divine test unless the party prays for Marduk’s intervention. Doing so might lead to further problems with one’s deity though (unless it’s already Marduk) or if Marduk actually was the one who had cursed the man in the first place (a base 25% chance)!

3.  A random cleric, either in the party or one they know of, is attacked and dishonored. Investigation reveals that a follower of Marduk did it. How does the party respond? Would they like to dishonor the cleric too?

4. A 1d3 x 10’ area has been terraced via supernatural means. Non-Mesopotamians don’t do well there, taking a -2 to all rolls. There’s also a base 50% chance of the cleric of Marduk who caused it still being around.

5.  A vicious beast leaps out to attack. It has 1d4 of the following features: [1] long neck, [2] gore attack for 2d8 damage, [3] claws attack for 1d6 damage, [4] bite attack for 1d6 damage. It also has a 50% chance of being poisonous and a 100% chance of being able to see invisible foes. It is a sirrush!

6. An individual is being pilloried outside a temple of Marduk. The reason is (roll 1d4): [1] he violated the Code of Hammurabi, [2] he followed another god or goddess, [3] he associated with monsters, 
[4] he violated a sacred garden. There’s also a 50% chance of 1d4 monks of Marduk monitoring his punishment each hour in order to make sure it’s severe enough.

7.  The party runs into another adventuring group who is hauling a life-sized idol of a Mesopotamian god around with them. It is of course a Marduk idol. They treat it like a member of the party and it even has a 50% chance of being animate. In any case, if the party has clerics of other gods or goddesses amongst them, then the other group has a 75% chance of being hostile, 100% chance if any follow Enlil or Tiamat.

8. 3d100 Greek warriors guard a mountain pass. They turn out to be Spartans who barely wear any torso protection (or garments), though they’re quite good at defense. They are currently holding off a wave of 1d20 x 100 Mesopotamian warriors, and will slay any followers of Marduk on sight.

9. The cursed children of Tiamat roam the land! Roll to see what they are, though a paladin of Marduk will likely (a 75% chance)  be available to assist in the slaughter (roll 1d6): [1] 1 Musmahhu (7-headed hydra), [2] 1d3 Kusarikku (bull men), [3] 2d3 Ugallu (lion men), [4] 3d3 Uridimmu (dog men), [5] 5d3 Girtablilu (scorpion men), [6] 4d3 Kulullu (fish men).

10. A great tower rises in the distance. Exploration shows that it is sacred to Marduk and use of the Tongues spell is encouraged there. Followers of Enlil wish to destroy it and all its ‘babbling’.

11. A random, lucky party member is visited by a disguised Avatar of Marduk. He or she is shown how to defy Enlil’s domination of the sky with his or her own 2nd wind. In any case, the party member is repeatedly reminded that they’re only human! At the end of the encounter, they are given a small, metal musical object that works via the breath and the Avatar vanishes.

12. Stunning, hanging gardens can be seen ahead. Those who explore might find a/an (roll 1d12): 
[1] amazing plant, [2] apkallu interloper, [3] Avatar of Marduk, [4] cleric of Marduk, [5] concubine of Marduk, [6] incredible water, [7] Mesopotamian warrior, [8] monk of Marduk, [9] paladin of Marduk, 
[10] priest of Marduk, [11] sirrush (see also #5 above), [12] windstorm. Otherwise, see Ziggurat Encounters in the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III (coming soon!)

Sample 5th Level Cleric of Marduk
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 3
HD: 5
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+2 (scepter) or 1d6+1 (short bow) or net
SP: Marduk turn ability, mysteries, Bull legs divine test
Spells prepared:
1st level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, 
Divine WeatherD, Burning Hands*
2nd level: Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Spiritual Weapon
3rd level: Dispel Magic, Gust of Wind*
SV: C5
Mor: 10
Possessions: +2 Scale mail, holy symbol, +1 scepter (treat as mace), +1 bow, pet young sirrush (1 HD), 75 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Nanna!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Ishtar

Coming on the heels of Easter, we present 4th in the series on gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III: Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of love, war, & magic. Not only does her listing in the book contain bonus rules for determining Victory in Love & War, but also various options for Mesopotamian Magic. Until then, here are a number of memorable happenings within her purview.

Ishtar Encounters
1. A random, lucky woman in the party is granted a +3 bonus to all rolls to hit by Ishtar for the next week, but only if she acts as qadishtu (sacred prostitute) at least once before the next dawn.

2. A gate has been found smashed open. Investigation will reveal that it was broken by an enraged (roll 1d4): [1] cleric of Ishtar, [2] lammasu, [3] gallu demon, [4] sirrush

3.  It is rumored that a local leader is being controlled by a priestess of Ishtar. If investigated, it’s found that there’s a base 50% chance of it being true and also a base 50% chance of him liking it.

4. The party discovers a strange, knotted hook. The item grants a +3 to all saves vs. magic but only to those who follow Ishtar’s tenets. Otherwise, it has the opposite effect.

5.  1d3 lions leap out suddenly. They will attack followers of Ishtar or similar divinities last, unless said followers escape before the lions are finished feeding.

6. Two individuals are dueling. The reason turns out to be (roll 1d4): [1] one insulted the other, [2] one boasted that they were better at fighting than the other, [3] the winner gains the favor of a lover, [4] the duelists are lovers.

7. While being interrogated, a woman keeps uncrossing her legs, revealing her lack of undergarments (as well as her forbidden zone). Any who attempt to stop the interrogation (or her risqué movements) will then experience one of Ishtar’s divine tests!

8. The next woman a party member lies with turns out to actually be: [1] a priestess of Ishtar, [2] a qadishtu, [3] a red devil woman, [4] an Avatar of Ishtar. In any case, she has a 66% chance of being at least mildly dangerous and a 100% chance of causing a mild heart attack.

9. A beautiful woman wants to duel a lucky party member. If victorious in the battle, she’ll then see if he’ll also be victorious in the bedchamber. If not, then she’ll see that he receives eternal rest.

10. The party stumbles upon an enkidu chastising a cleric of Ishtar. Do they intervene or not? How about when the cleric begins to stab him to death?

11. The last foe or foes that the party defeated returns as zombies, escaped from the Underworld thanks to Ishtar’s wrath, in the name of waging more war. Hopefully, they aren’t seeking love too.

12. Tidings foretell that a great, falling star will be impacting soon, obliterating all within a 1d6 quarter mile area. It will land within 1d20 hours and woe unto any who remain.

Sample 4th Level Cleric of Ishtar
Align: N
MV: 40’
AC: 4
HD: 4
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+1 (rod) or 1d8 (sword)
SP: Ishtar turn ability, mysteries, Qadishtu divine test
Spells prepared: Command, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Charm Person*, Star Missile*
Bless (reverse), Hold Person, Knock*, Mirror Image*
SV: C4
Mor: 10
Possessions: +1 Scale mail, holy symbol, +1 rod (treat as mace), sword, romantic oils, 1 slave, 47 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Marduk!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Ereshkigal

3rd in the series on ways to incorporate the followers of various gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III into your campaign, we have Ereshkigal: Mesopotamian goddess of the great earth, life, & death.

Ereshkigal Encounters

1. The party hears word of a new queen in the land. She invariably has a dark personality and is also (roll 1d6): [1] a widower, [2] a stepmother, [3] rumored to be a witch, [4] quite rubenesque, [5] an Avatar of Ereshkigal, [6] reroll twice

2. A random member of the party feels the need to begin shedding his or her garments as Ishtar did when visiting Ereshkigal. The effect lasts for 10 rounds and he or she must save vs. spell each round or strip off a garment. At the end, there is a 10% chance of a priestess of Ereshkigal arriving per item removed.

3.  Suddenly, 1d6 undead emerge with equal HD to the party members. They attack and the party will earn the goodwill of the next follower of Ereshkigal they meet; that is, if they stand, fight, and survive.

4. A woman is crying at a grave. She then (roll 1d4): [1] continues to cry, [2] points to a random male in the party who must save vs. death or die, [3] wishes to enjoy some pleasures, [4] all of the above. There’s a 33% chance of her being a ghost. Otherwise, she’s just some deadly chick blessed by Ereshkigal.

5. The skies grow especially cloudy and grim, making all those who don’t follow Ereshkigal or another underworld deity suffer a -2 to all rolls until they see some clarity.

6. A random lucky party member stumbles across some remains. They are (roll 1d6): [1] unknown human, [2] known human, [3-4] animal, [5] monstrous, [6] indeterminate. And he or she finds them by (roll 1d6): [1] spotting them, [2] smelling something, [3] noticing carrion-eaters, [4] stepping on them, 
[5] falling onto them, [6] finding them in a pouch or container.

7. Two people are wrestling in the mud in an effort to bring them closer to the great earth goddess. They, and anyone who stays to watch, have an equal chance of either gaining a new beginning or an ending (per Referee). The wrestlers also have a 75% chance of being hot women and a 50% chance of being witches of Ereshkigal.

8. Plague has befallen the land. All who are infected suffer from near death experiences, whether they survive or not- by making two successful CON checks in a row. Those who lie with the local priestess of Ereshkigal are immune.

9. The party stumbles upon a striking image of Ereshkigal. Taking offense, her (former) husband Gugalanna crushes any who find it attractive for 3d6 damage.

10. A strange chalice is uncovered. It is actually sacred to Ereshkigal. Those who drink from it can use her Mysteries once that day, but woe onto those who defy any of her tenets while doing so.

11. The party member with the highest Wisdom score has a vivid dream of earthy Ereshkigal. Though he or she gains the ability to cast one of her first level spells at will the following day, the dreamer also triggers one of Ereshkigal’s divine tests.

12. 2d3 strange, intersex demons blink into existence, intent on dragging the party to Irkalla (the Mesopotamian Underworld). They are gallu and the party better hope they have some lamb available!

Sample 3rd Level Cleric of Ereshkigal
Align: N
MV: 40’
AC: 8
HD: 3
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6 (mace) or 1d4 (dagger)
SP: Ereshkigal turn ability, mysteries
Spells prepared: Cure Light Wounds, Light (reverse), Shield*, Sleep*
Augury, Levitate*, Invisibility*
SV: C3
Mor: 9
Possessions:  Robes, holy symbol, mace, dagger, chalice, book of depressing poetry, 31 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Ishtar!

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!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Clerics of Ninhursag, Part III

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

1st Level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Sanctuary, Pass Without TraceD, Speak with AnimalsD (mountain varieties), Charm Person*, Enlarge*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Reveal Charm, Spiritual Weapon, BarkskinD, Charm person or MammalD, Find PlantD, Allure*, Strength*

3rd Level: Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Remove Curse, Striking, Plant GrowthD, Stone ShapeD, Gust of Wind*, Protection from Normal Missiles*

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Detect Lie, Divination, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Speak with Plants, Hallucinatory TerrainD, Summon Animal ID,  Pass PlantD, Polymorph Self* (animal, plant, or nymph forms only)

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Quest, Plane Shift, Raise Dead, Commune with NatureD, Summon Animal IID, Wall of Stone*

6th Level: Find the Path, Heal, Stone Tell, Word of Recall (to a mountain or other fertile area), Move Earth*, Easy Birth^ (new spell: allows a pregnant subject to give birth without pain or complication)

7th Level: Astral Projection, Regenerate, Restoration, Animate MineralD, Crushing Hand*, Stone to Flesh* (reversible)

Avatar of Ninhursag
Align: N
MV: 40’ (60”)
AC: 0
HD: 18 (22)
Atk: club, axe, or staff
Dmg: 2d8 (4d8)
SP: Can grow 10’ taller (stats in parentheses); cleric of Ninhursag spells/ abilities (caster level 22); immune to harm from mountain or plant perils
Magic Resistance: 50%
SV: C22
Mor: 11

Appearing as a large, fertile woman, a Ninhursag Avatar is happy to serve either as mother or wife to those she encounters. She is especially fond of children, wildlife, and those who enjoy fertility, granting them a +1 to all rolls for the next 1d12 hours from her ministrations. Those who attack will instead be met with her formidable abilities, though she's reluctant to use violence since she sees all as her offspring.

Ninhursag Encounters
How many ways are there to bring the Mountain Mother into a campaign? Let us count... roll 1d4:

1. A random member of the party becomes pregnant. Still, it only lasts 9 days, birth is painless, and the child matures to adulthood in just 9 days too. If no party members are fertile women, then the last fertile woman they spent time with will be affected and a random lucky party member will be the father!

2. Strange plants spring up in a nearby field or riverbank. Those that eat them will feel weird, suffering a -2 CON penalty, but also gain one of the divine test #14-17 benefits for the next 24 hours, determined at random.

3. A giantess wanders by, taking an interest in one of the party members. She also just happens to be a 1d4th level cleric of Ninhursag too...

4. A very fertile looking mountain woman is spotted who is also (roll for each): nude (75% chance), making love (25% chance), tending to nature (50% chance), tending to people (25%), and/or an actual Avatar of Ninhursag (10% chance).

Next week: in preparation for the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we move on to an Egyptian god, a reptilian one!