Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Dagon

1. The tide comes in. Ocean waters flood the immediate area, rising for 1d3 rounds at a rate of 1d3 feet per round (double if near the sea), likely making those caught within salty at best.

2. A giant crab skitters forth, being 3 HD larger if within range of the ocean! It will ignore any followers of Dagon and happily attempt to crush all others.

3. Arrrr! Like pirates, 4d4 sea raiders have descended upon the area, terrorizing the local populace, likely given to much drinking, plunder, and pillage. Will the party stop or help them? The local lords will certainly be in favor of the former.

4. Ahhh! Like locusts, 4d8 fish men have descended upon the area, either planning (if their numbers are less than), being in the process of replacing (if their numbers are about the same), or finishing off (if their numbers are greater than) the local populace. In any case, any locals who remain will know that something very fishy is going on.

5. The area within 60’ becomes overly moist and stinking, causing all to save vs. paralysis or slip and fall. Even followers of Dagon aren’t immune to this effect, though they’ll savor this manifestation of their fell lord regardless.

6. Suddenly, a large fish leaps out and attacks the party! It is a (roll 1d6): [1] giant catfish, [2] giant piranha, [3] bull shark, [4] great white shark, [5] giant rockfish, [6] giant sturgeon. If encountered on land, halve its HD and it will only last 2d4 rounds without water. If encountered deep in the ocean or in the presence of a cleric of Dagon, increase its numbers by 1d3 instead.

7. Dagon comes to you! All water in a 1/4 mile area becomes vile and dead fish-ridden, preventing its consumption and enjoyment by all normal folk. Followers of Dagon aren’t normal folk of course and actually find it to be quite delicious and pleasant.

8. Worshippers of the sea are in the area. Unfortunately, they follow Dagon! They are (roll 1d6): [1] 1d4 clerics of Dagon, [2] 1d3 priests of Dagon, [3] 1d3 witches of Dagon, [4] 1d4+2 cultists of Dagon, [5] 1d4+2 fish men, [6] reroll twice. They are especially interested in slaying followers of sea gods, though they’re also happy to weaken any other human institutional resistance to invasion as well.

9. Thus unto seamen. The next NPC that a party member lies with turns out to be a fish man or woman! Apart from the tainted offspring, the party member only has a base 50% chance of getting out alive, modified by how well they did this time in Love and War (see Volume III).

10. Ice is awful! Ice freezes Dagon’s people! Ice must be abolished! A mob of Dagon followers (roll twice on #8 above) are attacking another group because of their association with ‘ice’. The other group is only about half their size- it seems that Dagon’s forces are always many- and are (roll 1d4): [1] Thrym cultists, [2] Skadi worshippers, [3] watchmen tasked with removing invaders, [4] Krampus devotees.  The Dagonites have a base 66% chance of winning; that is, unless the party intervenes.

11.  The party uncovers a valuable-looking but somehow unpleasant horn. It actually fits into a statue that some fools believe will bring about a golden age. Of course, it will instead transform into a Lesser Avatar of Dagon (1/2 AC bonus, HD, Dmg, & special abilities)! It will likely take some sort of mighty barbarian to defeat it by ripping the horn out again.

12.  Look out! The disciples of Dagon have been busy. A minor invasion of the demon lord’s children occurs (sea people: whether fish men, sea raiders, or both), swarming the area at a rate of 3d6 per turn for the next 2d4 turns, likely making use of a Chain Teleportation spell to begin to replace the local folk forever. They might then say that it’s over, for such sea children seem no longer lost.

Sample 10th Level Cleric of Dagon
Align: C
MV: 40’ (swim 80’ w/ mask)
AC: 5
HD: 10
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+2 (+1 harpoon- as spear) or 1d4+2 (+1 fish knife- as dagger)
SP: Dagon turn ability, mysteries, Foul Water Gout, Sea Seed, Refuge (divine tests), 25% chance of being seen as an obvious monster
Spells prepared:
1st level: (5+2) Create Water, Cure Light Wounds (x2), Protection from Humans, Remove Fear, Sanctuary, 
Divine WeatherD
2nd level: (4+2) Delay Poison, Hold Person (x2), Speak with Animal (fish), Spiritual Weapon, Warp WoodD
3rd level: (3+1) Animal Growth (fish), Locate Object, Prayer, Water BreathingD (reverse)
4th Level: (3) Cure Serious Wounds, Confusion*, Polymorph Self (fish)
5th level: (2) Chain Teleportation*, Feeblemind*
SV: C10

Mor: 8
Possessions: +1 Scale mail, +1 harpoon, +1 fish knife, 165 gold pieces, 1 random magic item, plans for replacing the population of a nearby castle with fish men, two 1st level Dagon priest disciples, four Dagon cultists, pet bull shark (with a reversed Water Breathing spell cast on it if need be).

Next week: cleric encounters, Nergal!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Apep

15th in the encounter series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Apep, Egyptian titan of darkness, serpents, & apocalypse.

1. Serpent in the grass. All who pass through an area of tall grass ahead have a 1 in 4 chance of being bitten by a snake (1 in 2 if followers of Ra) for 1d3 damage and must also save vs. poison or take 4d6 additional damage.

2. The sky darkens, almost as if some fell, enormous, serpent is passing above. Not only is it harder to see (for diurnal types) for the next 1d6 hours, but all followers of Apep (and similar divinities) gain a +2 to all rolls during this time.

3. Serpent under one’s loincloth. For the next 24 hours, a random male member of the party will have his own member (roll 1d3): [1] become quite large and unwieldy, [2] become an actual snake (like that of Humbaba), [3] appear to become a snake but is really an illusion- likely caused by vampire tricks. In any case, if the member lies with a woman during this time, he will most certainly father a snake man child!

4. A great offspring of Apep slithers forth! It is a (roll 1d4): [1-2] giant python, [3] giant rattler, [4] wingless, legless wyvern. The party is free to negotiate with it, though it will only bite them in return.

5. Serpent in the party. A random member is compelled to do ill against another member, though their alignment will dictate its extent: Lawful- punish them for one of their crimes, Neutral- weaken them, Chaotic- attack them. In all cases, a save vs. spell negates, though Chaotic members might not need much coaxing.

6. Apep is never worshipped? Ha! Some reveal themselves now to prove all the wise men wrong (by trying to kill those present). They are (roll 1d6): [1] 1d3 clerics of Apep, [2] 1d2 priests of Apep, [3] 1d2 mystics of Apep, [4] 1d4+2 cultists of Apep, [5] 1d4 snake men, [6] reroll twice.

7. Serpent on the road. The party encounters a seemingly friendly individual who is in fact a vile worshipper of Apep! The individual appears as a (roll 1d4): [1] wanderer, [2] merchant, [3] innocent child, [4] local fellow. In any case, the individual will happily murder the first party member he or she can get alone in a manner pleasing to Apep (per Divine Test results #5-9).

8. Snaky thoughts infect the entire party, making them suspect that there is a serpent amongst them (per result #5 above). Each must make an INT or WIS check, otherwise they will believe another party member is about to betray them! Their suspicions last for at least the next hour, though the party might not.

9. Serpent in the blood. Whether through venom or other malady, an unlucky party member becomes poisoned, taking 2d4 CON damage. He or she may save to resist it, though there’s only a base 50% chance of determining its cause.

10. Like a snake shedding its skin, a related aspect of Apep is worshipped here, though it will likely bring as much darkness and doom as its Egyptian variety. Roll 1d4: [1] Python, the serpentine foe of Apollo that favors screaming sacrifices being consumed by huge snakes, [2] C’ps, the venomous cult of child-snatching that is done to ‘rescue’ them from their parents, [3] an unnamed, heretical cult of Skadi that enjoys dripping venom on victims like she once did to Loki, [4] Shield Ghul, the medical cult who has a Ghul Serpent as its symbol, a far cry from that of Asclepius- see Wyrd Ways of Walstock.

11. Serpent upon the page. The party comes across a Book of Overwhelming Apep. Not only does it grant its readers excellent advice on defeating Apep and its worshippers- via defiling, smiting, spitting, etc. on wax models and drawings of that serpentine titan - but it will also work against followers of similar cults, granting a +2 bonus to all rolls for the rest of the day to those who perform its 1d3 turn rituals first. Unfortunately, the book does not currently contain pictures of a god to keep Apep in check, so there is also a base 35% chance of the picture of Apep animating to bite anyone reading it for 3d10 damage! Followers of Ra will of course be well aware of such perils, as well as any confusion arising from the book’s title.

12. The next tunnel the party enters turns out to be the inside of an enormous serpent! Though the fanglike stalactites and stalagmites of its entrance have only a base 5% chance of giving it away, the crushing and acid coming from its weird walls, floor, and ceiling for 4d6 damage each round increases those chances greatly (to 100%).

Sample 13th Level Cleric of Apep
Align: C
MV: 40’
AC: 3
HD: 13
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d3+1 (bite, plus save vs. poison and paralysis), 1d4+2 (+2 whip) or 1d6+1 (+1 short sword)
SP: Apep turn ability, mysteries, Snake Head, Paralytic Bite (divine tests), 50% chance of being confused for an obvious monster
Spells prepared:
1st level: (6+2) Command, Cure Light Wounds (reverse), Light (reverse), Remove Fear (reverse), Charm Person* (x2), Sleep* (x2)
2nd level: (5+2) Bless (reverse), Hold Person (x2), Snake Charm, EntangleD, Detect Invisible*, Magic Mouth*
3rd level: (4+1) Animal Growth (serpents), Remove Curse (reverse), Striking, Infravision*, Suggestion*
4th Level: (4) Cure Serious Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds (reverse), Detect Lie, Polymorph Self (serpent forms)
5th level: (3) Commune, Cloudkill, Transmute Rock to Mud
6th level: (2) Blade Barrier, Heal (reverse)
SV: C13
Mor: 7
Possessions: +3 Scale mail, +2 whip, +1 short sword, 499 gold pieces, 3 random magic items, plans for sacrificing a nearby town, three 1st level Apep cleric disciples, six Apep cultists.

Next week: cleric encounters, Dagon!