Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Spirit Encounters II: Elemental, Fair Maiden, & Fey

Continuing our examination of how spirits can be brought into one's campaign, we present elemental, fair maiden, & fey encounters. Not concerned with ethics and morality (or immorality) the way ancestral, angelic, or demonic spirits are, they instead espouse either the way of their element, guide specific mortals to victory or doom, or simply live in the way of whimsy- especially if one seems to have lost one's pants.

Elemental Spirits
Roll 1d4
1. The elements show intensely here, making it very (roll 1d4): [1] hot, [2] cold, [3] wet, [4] dry. Those who enjoy such a state gain a +1 to all rolls, while those who don't suffer a -1 instead. What is more, there is a 75% chance of a 1d10 hit die elemental matching the type of weather at work manifesting here, a spirit to show just how intense it is. 

2. Such beauty. The party notices a (roll 1d4): [1] bright flame, [2] gentle breeze, [3] shapely stone, [4] nearly crystallized pond. Any magic cast here that matches that element is doubled in range, effect, or duration by the spirit present. What is more, there is only a 25% chance of either a fire giant, cloud giant, stone giant, or frost giant showing up to destroy the interlopers. 

3. Danger is nearby in the form of a great (roll 1d4): [1] wildfire, [2] windstorm, [3] avalanche, [4] flood. Those who don't escape to at least 1d6 x 100' away within 4d3 rounds must save vs. death or take 4d6 damage. Even then, the danger has a base 25% chance of moving in a random direction, possible following them up to that very distance away! Beware!

4. Not all that is elemental is merely physical. A feeling comes over every man and beast within 120'. They must save vs. spell or become (roll 1d8): [1] angry, [2] impassioned, [3] whimsical, [4] active, [5] stubborn, [6] stalwart, [7] saddened, [8] balanced. Such a state persists for the next turn. 

Fair Maiden Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. A random party member is blessed with the love of a beautiful spirit woman, though whether or not she's real, it's very hard to tell. In any case, she does seem to stay with him (roll 1d4): [1] via an armlet, [2] via a tattoo, [3] via an invisible presence, [4] in near-physical form. Doing so grants him a +1 to all rolls that lasts for up to 1d6 hours each day, though if a mortal woman approaches him for romance, the spirit woman will gladly try to slay her (save vs. death negates). He is hers!

2. The next woman that one of the party members lies with turns out to actually be a fair maiden nymph. It is an experience like no other, with her being able to guess and meet his every need and desire even if he doesn't know what that is, granting him the same bonus from result #1 above. Still, he finds no pleasure in any other lover afterwards, unless she too is actually a fair maiden, and actually the opposite result if he persists in doing so.

3. Unrelentingly, all men within 120' of here are pulled towards an intoxicating (roll 1d4): [1] song, [2] scent, [3] sight, [4] je ne sais quoi. Though the siren it emanates from certainly appears fair, that those affected must save vs. spell to resist experiencing one of the following to get to her (roll 1d4 again): [1] falling off a cliff for 6d6 damage, [2] being dashed upon rocks for 3d20 damage, [3] walking past an enraged 3d4 HD monster, [4] be unwilling ever return again- doesn't. For those who find the will to fight her (and if she happens to take physical form), see the article on Aphrodite, Part III *here*. 

4. The next male character to fall in battle is strangely spared, though he loses 1d3 of his class levels instead. Unbeknownst to him, it just happens to be that his spirit guardian- a muse- sacrificed herself to save him, even if doing so might rob him of much the inspiration she had provided throughout his life. 

Fey Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. The animals in this area seem normal enough; that is, until they start talking. Obviously the work of the fey, their accents also have a 100% chance of being Britannic (roll 1d6) for type): [1] Noble Saxon, [2] Gaelic, [3] Pictish, [4] Cymric, [5-6] Cockney. 

2. This place has very bright colors, almost glowing in pastels and scintillating chromaticism. A fey being (see Volume II for generation details) is understandably quite fond of it here, though any visitors can (roll 1d4): [1] brandish something made of cold iron, [2] take off their clothes and put them back on again backwards, [3] guess the fey being's name and say it three times, or [4] knock on wood in order to save vs. spell and thereby dispel the whole place. 

3.  It is said that a man in these parts cannot (roll 1d4): [1] lose a race, [2] age, [3] lose a bet, [4] be hated for longer than 3d3 rounds. What is not said is that he has entered into a fey bargain to do so and must cause others to act out a certain fairy tale in order to maintain his boon (roll 1d4): [1] Little Red Riding Hood, [2] The Three Little Pigs, [3] Goldilocks and the Three Bears, [4] Humpty Dumpty. Doing so typically causes them to save vs. paralysis or take 4d6 damage and he believes the party would make excellent candidates.

4.  A mysterious (roll 1d4): [1] rabbit hole, [2] twister, [3] mirror, or [4] closet is discovered. With it, the party may thus enter a fey realm- see Volume II for details- though being able to leave such a place may be another matter entirely. 

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Save vs. death= make a Will save DC 10
Save vs. spell= make a Will save DC 15
Save vs. Paralysis= make a Reflex save DC 15

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part III!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Spirit Encounters I: Ancestral, Angelic, & Demonic

As the edits for Volume II and its revised pdf are wrapped up over the next few weeks, we begin a special series on spirits. Unlike divinities and fell lords, spirits are localized and much less potent, though they can still cause adventurers quite the memorable experience. And, as mentioned in Volume II, though they can usually be turned, they can rarely be harmed by sword or spell. Unusual methods may be required in order for them to be overcome.

Here are ancestral, angelic, and demonic spirit encounters, for those beings who espouse tradition, morality, and immorality respectively.  

Ancestral Spirits
Roll 1d4
1. A random item in one party member’s possession is an heirloom indeed. Possessed by the spirit of a dwarven ancestor, it grants its bearer a +1 to all rolls made against (roll 1d4): [1] orcs, [2] elves, [3] goblins, [4] trees. Of course, he or she will hate all four with a passion even if the heirloom doesn’t grant a bonus against them. 

2. With a strange air about him, a man approaches the party, asking them to set some issue right. Though he is actually an ancestral spirit, the cause he requests is fully material (roll 1d4): [1] set a certain descendant of his back on the right path, [2] harm a rival clan, [3] recover a family heirloom, [4] restore an old custom in town. 

3. A small tomb is discovered. Apart from the 1d6 x 100 gold pieces in valuables it contains, its potent spirit will attempt to possess a random interloper (save vs. death negates). Oddly enough, it won’t then necessarily try to slay the party, but will instead seek to destroy an ancient foe and any of its representatives that it encounters (roll 1d6): [1] dwarves, [2] orcs, [3] goddess-followers, [4] shoe-wearers (sandals or boots are acceptable, but certainly not slippers), [5] the shirtless, [6] those men who refuse to wear proper mustaches. Still, if any in the party does match one of these, then it will end up trying to kill them after all. 

4. Everyone within 60’ must save vs. spell or immediately revert to the way of their early ancestors, eschewing fire, metal, clothing, and other new fads. Such a state can only be relieved by quieting the spirit at work here (roll 1d4): [1] appeasing it with a proper offering of animal fat poured upon the ground, [2] getting at least 1d4 others to give up such new fads for 1d4 hours too, [3] assisting the spirit's nearby kin who are quite primitive too, [4] finding its burial plot and threatening to defile its remains. 

Angelic Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. How moral have you been? If so, then a mighty angelic spirit arrives to grant each party member a +1 to +3 to all rolls (depending on how much) for the rest of the day. If not, then it will punish them with a -1 to -3 for that time- even if just one has been immoral- unless they all agree to smite some other evil instead. 

2. It is rumored that those who pray hard enough before a bright fire will encounter an angel clad in white. He grants a one-time prophecy to all who are pure of heart, hoping to guide them onto a righteous path even if they aren’t already on one. 

3. A man in this area has been healed. Others have tried too, but with mixed results (only experiencing such healing 50% of the time) even if they've lived a goodly life. The secret is that they must also be (roll 1d4): [1] peaceful, [2] artistic, [3] engaged in good works, [4] all three. Doing so brings the chances up to 75%.

4. A shadow falls upon this 1/4 mile area, but it is also strangely comforting. Of course, those who have been wicked will instead be revealed and smitten for 4d6 damage, not find it comforting at all.

Demonic Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. An unlucky party member begins to experience terrible nightmares. He is unable to sleep well, suffering a -1d6 to all rolls until the demon who has taken up residence inside him is exorcised

2. In a bizarre manner, the next foe the party encounters is unusually vicious and powerful, gaining a +3 bonus to all rolls made to do harm. The clue as to the cause is that (roll 1d6): [1] its eyes are completely black, [2] its head twists around, [3] it engages in unnecessary profanity, [4] it has horns or wings and a red or black hide, [5] it performs music backwards, [6] all five. Once slain, things get even worse, for the demonic spirit within the foe gets released and tries to possess one in the party (save vs. death negates)! 

3. Something seems off to all within 60' who fail to save vs. spell (roll 1d6 for each one affected): [1] a weird pain or itching, [2] a rotten smell, [3] disturbing sounds, [4] something moves and shifts just in the corner of their vision, [5] painful flatulence, [6] dour looks from everyone they see. Each lasts for 1d6 turns, though engaging in a cruel act ends it immediately, signifying that some sort of demonic force is at work.

 4. Using supernatural powers, a strange, diabolic woman aids the party during their next time of need. All she requests in return is that they (roll 1d6): [1] perform just one bloody sacrifice to some fell lord, [2] lie, cheat, or steal at their next opportunity, [3] pay her proper homage, though she will soon insist on such homage becoming devil worship, [4] sign a confusing contract, [5] give her their souls, [6] change so that she can still love them.

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Save vs. death= make a Will save DC 10
Save vs. spell= make a Will save DC 15

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part II!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Divinity Encounters: Thrym

Tired of all this heat? See what Thrym has in store for bringing on the Fimbulwinter. Roll 1d12.

1. Towering and cold, 1d8 frost giants have been seen in the area. They are led by a (roll 1d10): 
[1-3] frost giant viking (apply stats from Volume I)
[4] frost giant berserker (the same)
[5-7] cleric of Thrym
[8-9] shaman of Thrym
[10] Avatar of Thrym. 
They also have a 20% chance of having 1d4 great arctic beasts as pets (see Volume II for a list).

2. What an uproar is warmth! The most fiery or hottest object within 60’ immediately burns out, unable to be warmed again. If no such thing is particularly warm, then it is a random body that is snuffed out- a fitting sacrifice to Thrym.

3. A chill wind blows, giving followers of Thrym and all others who enjoy such cold a +1 bonus to their rolls for the next hour. Those who don’t will suffer a -1, with fire types even suffering a -3 during that time.

4. The party is approached by a frost giant (see #1 above) who strangely doesn’t want to kill them. In fact, he has information on another cult in the area that wishes to bring about the end of the world (in a non-Thrymian way) and would be only too happy if the party put an end to it. That rival cult follows (roll 1d4): [1-2] Surtr, 
[3] an aspect of Thor who has gotten a bit too much into cross-dressing, [4] Apep. Only Thrym can say how the world will end.

5. Lurking here is a group of 2d4 blue-haired humans, ready to excoriate any others for lands apparently stolen from mountain folk. They follow Thrym in his aspect of the Glowing Spectral Personhood, though unbeknownst to them, he looks forward to the day when he can coldly eliminate such pawns too.

6. The area fills with an icy, blue liquid that smells funny. Those who investigate may wish they hadn’t, for it is a frost giant who has decided to relieve himself.

7. Beware! Word has it that a particularly antagonistic frost giant dwells in this area. A follower of Thrym, this thursir (see Volume I for details) will happily cause uproarious woe upon any unfortunates it captures, using its spells to create ice to both slip and injure.

8. With a sharp then dull pain, rimefrost covers all within a 1d6 x 10’ area. Those immune to cold find it quite pleasant; those who aren’t will find it quite unpleasant, being unable to move for the next 3d6 rounds, held fast and helpless for what those who are immune might do.

9. The next attractive woman the party meets turns out to be a transvestite warrior claiming he is actually a follower of Thor. Despite any misgivings they might have, he insists he’s doing it to kill frost giants, and there is a base 50% chance that it's actually true.

10. Howls can be heard around the corner, though they’re not just from the frosty wind. Investigation reveals that it is a group of 3 Thrym devotees, nude and rimefrost covered, tutors wishing to slay some rodent before it sees its shadow. How else will they ensure a snow day?

11. The air grows colder still. Time for a Cold Encounter- see Volume II- though there’s an additional 50% chance of a frost giant showing up as well (per result #1 above).

12. Brrrhh! The skies erupt with sleet and snow, soon becoming 1d6+4 feet deep.  It is a taste of Fimbulwinter and immediately triggers another Thrym-like encounter.

Hrontigar, Sample 1st Level Frost Giant Cleric of Thrym
Align: C
MV: 50’
AC: 4
HD: 11
Atk: 1 (axe)
Dmg: 4d6
SP: Thrymian mysteries, turn ability, immune to cold, double damage from fire
Spells prepared: [1st] Cure Light Wounds, Remove Fear (reverse)
SV: F12
Mor: 10

Possessions:  Unholy symbol, giant axe, giant chainmail, 105 gold pieces

Hrontigar, DCC Stats
Init +2
Atk axe +19 melee (4d8+4)
AC 18
HD 15d10
MV 40’
Act 2d24
SP: Thrymian mysteries, turn ability, immune to cold, double damage from fire
Spells known (with modifications as described in Volume II: [1st] Food of the Gods, Animal Summoning, Paralysis, Chill Touch*
Fort +12
Ref +2
Will +14

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part I!