Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Clerics of Ninhursag, Part I

Neutral Mesopotamian Goddess of Fertility and Mountains
Tenets of Ninhursag
* Honor the sacred mountains & growing things
* Engage in fertility rites, giving birth to many
* Nourish others with your bounty

Clerics of Ninhursag
Special: Ninhursag is mainly served by clerics, priestesses, and druidesses.
Allowed Weapons: Club. axe, staff
Allowed Armor: Furs or lighter
Holy Symbol: Omega, Mountains, Mountain Woman
Can Turn: Those who would harm mountains or plants (if not known, a base 66% chance if human or humanoid; 33% chance for all others)
Mysteries of Ninhursag: Up to once per day per level, a priestess of Ninhursag can gain a +2 to one of her spells when her breasts are bared or when she is standing upon a mountain, +3 if both are the case.

Magical Side-Effects
The power of Ninhursag reflects her mountainous and fertile nature. Roll 1d12 to see what happens when her clerics cast a spell.

1. Sacrifice: Rituals and offerings are needed for the spell to work: 1d3 rounds and 1d6 gold pieces per spell level. If upon a mountain or hill though, then none are needed.

2. Birth Pains: Enki may have gotten ill from the sacred plants, but Ninhursag took them from him, mothering many gods and goddesses in the process. As such, the magic must not cause any direct harm if it is to work and can even allow double healing if the cleric takes 1d3 damage.

3. Mountain Mother: Life-giving milk flows from the cleric’s bosom, granting the full effect of the spell to all who suckle. If not, then it only works for 50% its normal effect.

4. Upon the Fertile Rises: A 1d6 x 10’ area around the spell’s casting becomes verdant, hilly, and uneven, causing all non-mountainous, non-hilly types who walk upon it to move at only 1/4 speed. The area also remains quite fertile until dispelled.

5-9. Standard Magic: The spell works without side-effect this time.

10. Giantess Spell: The magic works normally and if the cleric allows herself to grow in size (as per the enlarge spell, treated as if the cleric cast it), she can gain a 50% bonus to its effect, range, or duration, thanks to her larger stature and better vantage point.

11-12. Bounty of Ninhursag: The spell works automatically for double the effect, range, or duration, triple if it is related to healing, nourishment, or fertility.

Next week: Clerics of Ninhursag, Part II!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sorcerers of Krampus, Part IV

Spells (Krampus)
Sorcerers of Krampus have access to the following spells. Remember that they are also subject to the rules of sorcery, requiring them to be of higher level to cast their spells, allowing them a chance to recast those spells each day, and even having a chance of their spells going off when they witness too much cheer or lack of fitting punishment.  See Part I for additional details:

1st Level: Create Frost (as create water, but makes snow or ice), Cure Light Wounds (reversible), Detect Naughtiness (as Detect Evil, but detects those who are misbehaving), Purify Food and Drink (as long as it isn’t cheery or sweet), Remove Fear (reverse), Resist Cold, Enlarge*

2nd Level: Augury (to determine if an action would be naughty or not), Bless (reverse), Know Naughtiness (as Know Alignment, but determines the nature of the naughtiness instead), Hold Person, Holy Chant (by singing a depressing Yuletide dirge), Silence 15’ Radius (-6 to save against if used to quiet mirth), Speak with Animal (reindeer only), Detect Snares and PitsD, Knock*

3rd Level: Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object (gifts only), Prayer, Tree ShapeD (coniferous forms only; spell immediately ends if the sorcerer is decorated), Invisibility* (can be used to conceal anyone or anything that is garish), Gust of Wind* (very chilly), Snowball (as Fireball*, but only harms those who are jolly or naughty)

4th Level: Animal Growth (reindeer only), Create Food and Water (nothing cheery or sweet!), Cure Serious Wounds (reversible), Detect Lie, Speak with Plants (conifers only), Hallucinatory Terrain DruidicD (wintry only), Tree StrideD (conifers only; 3d20 damage from a vicious partridge ensues if attempted on a pear tree), Ice Storm*

5th Level: Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Plane Shift (naughty ones forced to go with the sorcerer suffer a -6 penalty to their save), Quest (on the naughty). Antipathy* (usable against the jolly), Cone of Cold*

6th Level: Conjure Animals (reindeer), Freezing Sphere*, Heal (reversible), Word of Recall

7th Level: Control Weather (only to make it more wintry), Restoration, Summon Avatar (Krampus), Snow Sleigh (as Fire ChariotD, but is drawn by enraged, spectral reindeer, is only damaged by the jolly, and causes cold damage instead)

Avatar of Krampus

Align: N
MV: 35’
AC: 2
HD: 18
Atk: 1 staff or whip* or hot coals
Dmg: 4d10 or 2d6 or 1d4/ rd
SP: Krampus cleric spells/abilities (caster level 18), whip causes the naughty to suffer a penalty, hot coal attack, bestow practical present
Magic Resistance: 18%
SV: C18

Grumbling over ne’er-do-wells and foolish joy, a Krampus Avatar will often be found on a mission to punish the naughty, though he will happily direct his ire against those who are just merry or garish. Such miscreants he finds must face his whip and save vs. death or suffer a -2 to all rolls for the next 1d12 hours.

The whipping may even be followed up with a good pummeling from his staff, depending on how naughty the target has been (per Referee). On the other hand, the Avatar might just try to stuff hot coals in the target’s stockings for 1d4 damage each round. Those who offer him schnapps or other strong spirits have a base 33% chance of placating him instead.

On the other hand, those who have been generally good and morose enough will receive some sort of very practical gift, free of all ornamentation, mirth, and greeting card.

Krampus Encounters
The Germanic true spirit of Yule and his faithful can be found in various ways, but none of them jolly. Roll 1d4:
1. The party stumbles upon 1d3 sorcerers of Krampus singing Yuletide dirges in the woods. If they notice the party (and if any have been naughty), then the sorcerers will begin whipping them.

2. A joyous celebration that the party is attending is suddenly interrupted by a sorcerer of Krampus. He will begin to insult and berate those there and have 1d6 enraged reindeer standing by to assist him. He and the reindeer also have a base 50% chance of being intoxicated at the time.

3. Followers of another, somewhat similar divinity would like the party to investigate a nearby enclave of Krampus sorcerers. The divinity they inquire for is (roll 1d4): [1] Cernunnos, [2] Odin, [3] Maelfo, or [4] Thrym. What is more, they may wish for the party to later (roll 1d3): [1] attack the enclave, [2] offer an alliance with the enclave, or [3] forget their investigation ever happened.  

4. A lone man with the traits of 1d4 of Krampus’s #10-14 divine tests is spotted. He is either a (roll 1d6): [1-3] Krampus sorcerer, [4-5] Krampus shaman, or [6] Avatar. He also has a 25% chance of being seen punishing someone who he has deemed naughty, likely getting ready to stuff them down a chimney.

Next week: we head down to Mesopotamia in preparation for the release of Divinities and Cults: Volume III- due out in a few months!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sorcerers of Krampus, Part III

Krampus is eternally watchful: knowing whether his sorcerers are sleeping or awake. (photo: Krampus2 by media digest, Flickr)

Divine Tests
Naughtiness runs rampant and unwhipped, while Yuletide is dishonored with gaudy baubles and incessant mirth! If the sorcerer won’t put a stop to it, then Krampus will.

1-4. Happy holidays? Ha. The sorcerer experiences a true Yule Greeting in the form of a penalty to all his rolls equal to his divine test result (-1 to -4), double (-2 to -8) if he sees one more idiot with a wrapped gift or ridiculous look of merriness upon his stupid face. The penalties last for 2d3 hours, though the resentment is eternal.

5-9. ‘Tis the spirit of the season for Grandfather Krampus to take away the sorcerer’s presents for no reason. Krampus removes access to some of his spells: 50% chance for each one, including possibly his turn ability. Roll 1d5 for each to see what needs to be done to get it back- and he better not pout about it!
[1] Shove coal in the next stocking he sees, whether it is being worn at the time or not (charcoal is allowed- bonus if it’s hot at the time)
[2] Destroy 1d4+1 presents- any prized possessions will do
[3] Stuff someone in a chimney or other enclosed place, especially if they are fat and ‘jolly’
[4] Burn any ornaments or overpriced novelty cards he finds (including magic scrolls and spellbooks) for the next 1d3 hours
[5] Sing or play a depressing Yule dirge for the next hour, causing all non-faithful of Krampus who are within earshot to suffer a -2 to all rolls for the next 1d3 hours (save vs. death negates)

10-14. Krampus has checked his list twice and found the sorcerer worthy of permanent physical disfigurement! Each change also has a cumulative 25% chance of causing anyone he now encounters (and is not also a follower of Krampus) to either scream and flee in terror (if of lower HD) or scream and attack mercilessly (if of equal or higher HD). Ho ho ho!
[1] Agorned: the sorcerer grows either the horns of a goat or antlers of a reindeer and can now make a gore attack for 1d6 damage each round, double if he is charging someone naughty at the time
[2] Misshapen Face: the sorcerer’s face twists and boils, causing all (even those of equal HD or higher) to save vs. paralysis when they first encounter him or flee for 1d4 rounds
[3] Fanged: great teeth sprout from the sorcerer’s mouth, allowing him to make a bite attack for 1d3 damage each round, but also making him harder to understand (causing a -4 penalty to such rolls) 
[4] Fur Body: the sorcerer becomes quite hirsute, gaining an AC bonus of 3 and immunity to cold weather, though he now also suffers a -2 to all rolls when it’s warm or if anyone tries to decorate him

15-17. Darker tidings now come upon a midnight clear (or anytime really), bringing true Yuletide cheer to Krampus’s wintry heart, though perhaps not the sorcerer’s. Roll 1d4.
[1] Stampede: 3d6 enraged reindeer show up, ready to trample all who remain within 120’ of where this test occurs, and they cannot be placated. They will target any intoxicated grandmothers first of course.
     Reindeer, Enraged; MV: 80’; AC: 6; HD: 2; Atk: 1 trample; Dmg: 2d6; SP: Immune to magic, carrots
[2] Schnapps Weakness: From now on, if the sorcerer drinks fruit brandy in any amount (or is even offered it by an attractive woman), then he will lose all of his powers until they return 24 hours later, along with a base 95% chance of getting a hangover too
[3] Damn you, mistletoe! A perchta arrives to test the sorcerer. Also known as a holda or huldra, such fair maidens can lift even the darkest hearts, though they can also be as much deadly sirens as loving muses. If he’s been a good follower of Krampus (per Referee), then the two will conjoin for the next 1d3 hours, the sorcerer gains 5% bonus experience, and he is healed of all ailment. If he’s been naughty though. then she will slit his belly open and fill it full of straw and pebbles, causing 10d6 damage.

18+ On the first day of Yule... A swarm of overly merry beings converges on the sorcerer, attacking him for 1d6 damage each round for 1d6 rounds, along with anyone else unfortunate enough to be within 30’. Such is the carnage when doves, hens, calling birds, geese, swans, maids, ladies, lords, pipers, and drummers seek retribution upon such a follower of Krampus. And for every divine test total over 18, the deadly cacophony does 1d6 extra damage per round. In any case, those slain in this manner will be mocked by a lone partridge upon a pear tree.

Next week: Sorcerers of Krampus, Part IV