Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Clerics of Paul Bunyan, Part I

Paul Bunyan
Neutral Demigod of Lumberjacking, Manliness, & the Great Frontier

Tenets of Paul Bunyan
* Chop down trees whenever you can!
* The bigger, the better!
* And don’t forget to eat plenty of food as you explore the Great Frontier!

Clerics of Paul Bunyan
Special: Paul Bunyan is served by male clerics, all of whom are quite manly.
Allowed Weapons: Axe (any), club, short bow, knife
Allowed Armor: Hide, flannel, or bare-chested
Symbol: Axe, Ox (giant blue)
Can Turn: Wimps (males with both Strength and Constitution scores below 10)
Mysteries of Paul Bunyan: Up to once per day per level, clerics of Paul Bunyan can immediately cast a spell on someone they hit with their axe. Many prefer to even bestow their healing spells in this manner- ‘the lumberjack way’! In any case, being only a demigod, Paul Bunyan’s mysteries work just 75% of the time.

Magical Side-Effects
The magic of Paul Bunyan causes tall tales to abound, one way or another. Roll 1d12.

1. Get Them Flapjacks: Paul requires an offering for the spell to work, typically 1d6 pounds of food per spell level; half if it is lumberjack fare.

2. ‘Bunyan’? If a helpful spell, then the target’s foot grows strangely, reducing their movement by 25%. If not, then it is the cleric who is so affected. In any case, this homonym-derived hardship lasts for 1 turn, unless some cream is on hand to provide immediate relief.

3. Brrrr! The surrounding area drops 1d6 x 10 degrees for the next 1d6 hours. During that time, apart from the usual effects of colder weather, there’s also a base 25% chance of it snowing blue snow, freezing words on people’s lips, or even freezing torchlight  solid (roll for each if it is cold enough).

4. Babe? The next animal the cleric sees doubles in size permanently. He should hope that it is friendly, or else it might now be double the trouble.

5. Big Country: All within 1d6 x 10’ (including the cleric) grow 1d6 x 5’ in size for the next 1d6 rounds. For each 5’ of growth, increase the individual’s attack, damage, and HD (if any) by 1. Now that should be hard to top!

6-8. No Side-Effect: The spell works normally.

9. Chow Time! You can’t cast magic on an empty stomach. As such, the spell gains a 50% bonus to its effect, range, or duration. Afterwards, the cleric must of course eat all the food he finds for the next 2d3 rounds.

10. Alone in the Woods... Even a frontiersman has to express himself. The spell can gain a 50% boost to its effect, range, or duration, but only if the cleric sings a hearty song for the next turn that he’s outdoors, evoking the little lumberjack inside of him or even his secret enjoyment of less-than-manly garb and shopping. Consequently, such singing will increase the chance of having a random encounter three-fold, along with likely embarrassment.

11. Timber!!! The spell’s effect, range, or duration is doubled, but only if the cleric has felled a tree that day or chops down one soon after the casting.

12. A Tall Tale Indeed: The spell works for twice its normal effect, range, or duration, as well as it not being expended that day. In addition, if it causes something dramatic- making a target larger, more numerous, or otherwise obviously bending the laws of reality- then the cleric gains a +1 bonus to all his rolls for the next hour, not to mention +6 for all rolls related to chopping down trees!


DCC RPG Conversion notes:
Can turn= Unholy creatures
Constitution= Stamina
Spell not expended that day= spell gains a +2 to its spell check


Additional notes:
With some modifications, a similar format can be used to create clerics of Herakles, CĂș Chulainn, and other demigods. Of course, Paul Bunyan’s references to lumberjacking need to be replaced with some other manly aspect.


Next week: clerics of Paul Bunyan, Part II!



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gothic Clerics

Like with the Saxons, use either the Germanic tables in Volume II or the rules detailed below to create Gothic clerics, following Gautr, Fairguneis, Fraujo, and the rest.

Gothic Clerics
Replace the Norse magical side-effects with Gothic ones while still using the other rules for the equivalent Norse divinity. For example, a priestess of Halja would use Gothic magical side-effects to cast her spells along with the tenets, allowed weapons, holy symbols, mysteries, divine tests, and spell lists for Hel.

Allowed armor can be heavier, up to scale mail, banded, or even plate. For beings the cleric can turn, replace one or more of the Norse ones with the following Gothic monsters: vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghosts. Note also that Goths are more skilled horse-raiders, unlike the Norse, who are more skilled at sea raiding.

Last, monotheistic Gothic clerics can follow the rules as discussed in Volume I and also have two more of their magical side-effect results be considered Generic Casting instead: one that’s less than 6 and one that’s greater then 8, For example, clerics of Teiws would ignore side-effects #2 and #9, since he is a Lawful god. On the other hand, clerics of Lauguz would ignore side-effects #5 and #10, since he is Chaotic


Gothic Magical Side-Effects
Dark honor and going forth: do magic for the folk, but beware of fell spirits!

1. Blotan: What would you offer for this magic? A sacrifice worth at least 1d6 gold pieces per spell level or a captive of any price will do. What won’t is an offering of weapons though- those are needed for fighting!

2. Hex: Is it the will of the gods or something sinister? There is a 50% chance of the spell being granted by the latter, in which case the magic only has 50% of its normal effect unless it is a spell that does harm.

3. Gothic Realm: The magic now requires the cleric be in an area which is dark, grim, has tall arches, or he or she must be so clad at least. Such is the way of Gothdom and the magic will only happen once such conditions are met.

4. Mysterious Cast: The spell is all but invisible to the naked eye and its effects occur only 2d3 rounds later.

5. Ride Forth, Reiks! Who will protect the folk and maintain the ancient ways? If the cleric’s spell would help to do so, then he or she gains +1 to all rolls for 1 round after it is cast. If not, then the opposite is the case.

6-8. Generic Casting: The spell works without side-effect for now.

9. Unseen Ones: Spirits influence the spell to have a 50% increase in its effect, range, or duration. Still, what is their true purpose? If evil, like those who would mate with Haliurunnae witches to spawn the vile Huns (a base 33% chance), then the cleric will take a -4 penalty to all rolls for the next 2d6 rounds for having such a vile association.

10. Ancestral Vengeance: If the magic is meant to avenge one who has wronged the cleric or even his or her people, then its effect, range, or duration can be improved by 50%.

11. Dark Bargain: The spell can be cast for double its effect, range, or duration, but only if the cleric pays the proper ‘tithe’. If the bargain is struck, then in return the cleric (roll 1d6): [1] is tormented by haunting visions for the next 2d6 rounds, suffering a -5 to all rolls, [2] causes the next woman he or she looks at to faint, falling unconscious from fright for 1 minute, [3] loses his or her mount to a strange demise, [4] requires solitude for the next 2d3 turns, ending it early only if a grave threat is at hand, [5] is attacked sometime within the next 3d6 rounds by some Gothic horror, taking 1d3 damage to a random ability score each round for 1d3 rounds, [6] loses his or her lover, lamenting their passing forevermore.

12. Conqueror’s Way: Great glory is to be had for the cleric who is mounted or in an area which he or she has invaded. If that is the case, then the spell works for double its effect, range or duration, as well as it not being expended that day. In addition, if it is meant to help its target, then they gain a +6 bonus to saves vs. fear and for rolls made against those beings that the cleric can turn. This latter benefit lasts for the next 1d3 turns.


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


Next week: we begin our series on American divinities!



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Saxon Clerics

For clerics of Frea, Woden, Thunor, and the rest, see either the Germanic tables in Volume II or the rules provided below. Use whatever fits best for your campaign.

Saxon Clerics
Replace the Norse magical side-effects with Saxon ones while still using the other rules for the equivalent Norse divinity. For example, a cleric of Sceadu would use Saxon magical side-effects to cast her spells along with the tenets, allowed weapons, allowed armor, holy symbols, unholy creatures, mysteries, divine tests, and spell lists for Skadi.

The Saxons also had their own, unique divinities, including Seaxnot, their national god, Eostre, and others. These magical side-effects could apply to those clerics too.

Add the seax (short sword) to the list of weapons allowed and subtract another of your choice from the equivalent Norse divinity’s list. Armor can be the same, but note that unlike Norse helms, Saxon ones generally have cheek guards and animal imagery (especially boars) inscribed upon them. Some ceremonial ones can be quite ornate and feature full face masks, as pictured above.

In any case, here is what makes Saxon clerics unique:


Saxon Magical Side-Effects
Land and duty ring true, for it honors the gods and the wights too.

1. Weregild: The gods require either a sacrifice of an animal or 1d3 gold pieces per HD of the spell’s target. Therefore, helping or harming a 3rd level individual would require a 3d3 gold piece offering if no animal is given.  All must pay their fair share and show their worth, some much more than others.

2. Weoh: Be it one of the nine herbs, the proper leys, or the local wights, the magic requires the cleric be in a natural place. If not, then he or she is tasked to get to one by the next dawn, or else undergo a divine test.

3. Symbel: The same is said now, but for a mead hall or other place of drink. Where else to make oaths, boast, and rest between battles, and thereby honor the gods with spells?

4. Scildweall: Just as it wards Saxon warriors who band together, so too does the shield wall do the same for others. If the cleric has allies on either side, then he or she gains a +2 AC bonus until they fall or depart, and should likely bear his or her own shield as well.

5-8. Generic casting: The spell works without side-effect this time.

9. Aelf-Shot: The wights charm the magic for a 50% bonus to its effect, range, or duration, but if the cleric hasn’t been respectful of them (or even to demi-humans) then he or she suffers a -2 penalty to all rolls for the next 2d4 rounds. They are blessed by the gods after all.

10. Thegn’s Oath: If the spell is done in defense of the cleric’s land, burg, lord, or in the name of keeping one’s word, then its effect, range, or duration can be increased by 50%.

11. Hearg Cast: What better place to be than one sacred to your divinity? If the cleric is standing now or has already visited such a shrine or even landscape type that matches his or her god or goddess that day, then the spell works for double effect, range, or duration. For example, mighty (and lightning prone) single trees and rocks would correspond with Dunor, wooded places with good views of the sky would match Woden, and areas of exceeding beauty and wells would fit with Frea.

12. Rune Poem: If the cleric takes the time to scribe upon the spell’s target or even in the air the extra (and very much needed) Elder Futhork runes- taking 1d3 additional rounds, then the spell works for double its effect, range or duration, as well as it not being expended that day. In addition, if the spell is meant to help its target, then they gain a +2 bonus to any rolls that match the cleric’s divinity for the next hour. For instance, Woden would grant insight and wisdom; Thunor, strength and battle-might; Frea, love-prowess and bounty.


DCC RPG Conversion notes:
Spell not expended= +2 bonus to its spell check
Wisdom= use the optional rule detailed in Volume I or apply the bonus to spellchecks and Luck.
                                                                     

Next week: we turn east to Gothic clerics!


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wizards of Cronos, Part III

Spells (Cronos)
Wizards of Cronos automatically have access to and learn the following spells at each appropriate level, even gaining a +1 bonus to all rolls for them. In return, they only have (at most) a 25% chance of being able to learn other spells, taking a -1 penalty to such non-temporal magic even if they do.

LABYRINTH LORD
1st Level: Detect Magic, Resist Cold (if recipient is unclad in a Golden Age manner), Shield* (deflects via Time displacement), Time Missile (as Magic Missile*, but rather than causing actual damage, targets must save vs. spell or every 3 damage it would have done gives them a cumulative -1 penalty to all rolls for the next hour due to unnatural aging)

2nd Level: Augury, Bless (thanks to getting brief glimpses of the future), Hold Person (by freezing the target in Time), Amnesia*, Mirror Image* (showing an image of oneself from the past and/or future), Ray of Enfeeblement* (by causing rapid aging), Shatter* (the same, but to an object)

3rd Level: Dispel Magic (causing the spell to age to its rapid conclusion), Remove Curse (reverse; by disrupting Time around the target), Time Bomb (as Fireball*, but causes an aging effect like Time Missile, above, to those caught in the radius instead), Haste* (reversible)

4th Level: Bounty of the Titans (as Create Food and Water, but those who wish to partake of it must be unclad and/or in a bucolic setting, reflecting a Golden Age), Dimension Door* (freezing Time and then starting it again once the wizard arrives at the destination), Globe of Invulnerability: Lesser* (causing magic to rapidly age to its conclusion)

5th Level: Flame Strike, Feeblemind*, Teleport* (freezing Time, like with Dimension Door, above)

6th Level: Anti-Magic Shell* (causing all magic to age to its rapid conclusion), Temporal Gate (as Gate*, but opens a portal to other times only)

7th Level: Clone* (bringing a different temporal version of oneself into the present: no gold is required, but each round spent together triggers a Cronos test)

8th Level: Temporal Stasis*, Time Stop* (both available at an earlier spell level)

DCC RPG
1st Level (d8): Blessing (thanks to getting brief glimpses of the future), Detect Magic, Bounty of the Titans (as Food of the Gods, but those who wish to partake of it must be unclad and/or in a bucolic setting, reflecting a Golden Age), Paralysis (by freezing the target in Time), Resist Cold or Heat (if recipient is unclad in a Golden Age manner), Second Sight, Magic Shield* (deflects via Time displacement), Time Missile (as Magic Missile*, but rather than causing actual damage, targets must make a Will save DC 15 or every 3 damage it would have done gives them a cumulative -1 penalty to all rolls for the next hour due to unnatural aging),

2nd Level (d5): Curse (by disrupting Time around the target), Forget*, Mirror Image* (showing an image of oneself from the past and/or future), Ray of Enfeeblement* (by causing rapid aging), Shatter* (the same, but to an object)

3rd Level (d5): Bolt from the Blue, Time Bomb (as Fireball*, but causes an aging effect like Time Missile, above, to those caught in the radius instead), Dispel Magic* (causing the spell to age to its rapid conclusion), Haste*, Slow*

4th Level (d3): Planar Step* (freezing Time and then starting it again once the wizard arrives at the destination, or even can create a temporal gateway), The Dreaming*, Warp and Weft*

5th Level (d3): Magic Bulwark* (causing all magic to age to its rapid conclusion), Mind Purge*, Replication* (bringing a different temporal version of oneself into the present: no gold is required, but each round spent together triggers a Cronos test)


Avatar of Cronos
Align: N
MV: 35’ (fly 140’)
AC: -5
HD: 12 (24)
Atk: 1 scythe
Dmg: 3d12 (6d12)
SP: Cronos wizard spells/abilities (caster level 24), immune to any harmful time effects, may assume titan size for up to 1d12 hours a day (doubling in HD and damage done)
Magic Resistance: 65%
SV: M24
Mor: 11

Appearing as winged, aged men, Cronos Avatars care little for mortals except for those who interfere with Time. If they encounter those who have done so (including any who have cast spells on the Cronos Wizard list), then roll any die. Odds: the Avatar will reap the mortal by attacking them and anyone who gets in his way for the next 3d4 rounds. Evens: the Avatar rewards the mortal by removing 3d4 years of age from them. Note that even wizards of Cronos get no special treatment in this situation since they only follow his methods; they aren’t his worshippers. In any case, once finished, the Avatar will likely fly off in search of another Golden Age.

DCC RPG stats:
Init: -2; Atk scythe +13 (3d12) or titan form: +28 (6d12 +9); AC 24; HD 12d10 or titan form: 24d10; MV 25’ (fly 130’; Act 1d20; SP Cronos wizard spells/abilities (caster level 24), immune to any harmful time effects, may assume titan size for up to 1d12 hours a day (doubling in HD and damage done); SV Fort +22, Ref +12, Will +20; AL N


Cronos Encounters (1d4)
1. Emerging from the mists of time, the party stumbles across a/an (roll 1d8): [1] attractive woman who is dressed strangely, [2] pair of foolish but cheerful adolescents who consistently say ‘dude’, [3] muscular, emotionless man (who is actually mechanical on the inside and looking for a woman... to slay), [4] young man whose (time traveling) wagon went 11 miles per hour and can’t understand where (or when) he is now, [5] eccentric, but learned man with a scarf and long coat, [6] version of themselves from another time, [7] weird-looking being (a Time Traveler if using DCC RPG rules), [8] old man.

Of course, it might not be immediately apparent that the traveler is from another era. The party will likely only find out when he or she (roll 1d6): [1] uses temporal magic (and is therefore a level 1d12 Cronos wizard; 10% chance of actually being a Cronos Avatar), [2] blurts out something about the future, likely causing some sort of paradox (a base 65% chance), [3] shows that they themselves or one of their possessions is either quite primitive or advanced, [4] tries to kill the party in the name of ‘setting the future straight’, [5-6] all of the above!


2. Whether they’re actually having fun or not, time really flies by and the party is sent forward 1d1,000 (then roll 1d20): [1-5] rounds, [6-10] minutes, [11-14] hours, [15-17] days, [18-19] months, [20] years. Among other things, the world is now more (roll 1d6): [1] desolate, [2] dangerous, [3] bizarre, 
[4] harmonious, [5] advanced, [6] reroll twice. The further ahead they travel, the more noticeable the change.

Hopefully, the party can return via one of the following methods, even attempting to stop that future from ever happening if they so wish (roll 1d5): [1-2] immediately by going back the way they came, [3-4] they’ll automatically be brought back to their own time within 1d12 turns, [5] they cannot return, except by some other method that they might uncover. In any case, time might not fly by so much for them now.


3. A strange fog is spotted up ahead. If the party enters, then they may realize (eventually) that they have been sent back in time 1d1,000 (then roll 1d20): [1-5] rounds, [6-10] minutes, [11-14] hours, [15-17] days, [18-19] months, [20] years. Unless it’s known what transpired then, consider that it was/is more (roll 1d6): [1] primitive, [2] dangerous, [3-4] harmonious, as if a Golden Age, [5] primeval, [6] reroll twice.

Like with future travel, the greater the time change, the more noticeable it will be and might have the same possible ways to return. Unlike future travel though, there is also a risk of causing paradox- a base 5% chance per result on the d20 roll- if and when the party somehow returns to the present. Note that those chances will certainly increase dramatically for any people they slay, impregnate, prevent from being slain, or prevent from getting impregnated while there.

What is more, if the party does manage to change the present, then there’s a 66% chance of a follower of Janus (see Bonus Divinities tab above) arriving within 1d3 days to punish them.


4. Didn’t we just go through this? Cronos weaves the party into a Knot of Time, causing them to experience, over and over again, the same 1d6 (then roll 1d4): [1] rounds, [2] minutes, [3] hours, [4] days. It repeats 1d20 times before working itself out (or longer, if the Referee or Judge is so inclined), though the party has a 50% chance of breaking the cycle earlier if they (roll1d4): [1] assassinate a being that is caught in the loop too, determined at randomly and secretly, possibly even being a party member, [2] do something completely uncharacteristic and random (per Referee or Judge), [3] send a message back to themselves by remembering what not to do, requiring an Intelligence check, [4] learn to be especially kind and humble (and possibly nude), like in a Golden Age.

In any case, the party will likely be very unnerved by this (re)turn of events, while those unaffected by the loop will have absolutely no idea that anything strange happened at all.


Next week: clerics of Saxon gods and goddesses!