Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part IV

Cleric Spells (Mielikki)
Gentle and succor-giving, the magic of Mielikki involves the hunt and beasts and the woods, but with little other rancor.

1st Level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Resist Cold, Sanctuary (in wooded areas), Animal Companion (D), Detect Snares and Pits (D), Entangle (D), Faerie Fire (D), Pass with Trace (D), Speak with Animals (D), Charm Person*, Feather Fall*, Shield*, Unseen Servant*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Reveal Charm, Charm Person or Mammal (D), Find Plant (D), Obscuring Mist (D), Stumble (D), Pass without Trace (D), Sleep* (targets may not be harmed though)

3rd Level: Animal Growth, Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object, Remove Curse, Striking (hunting weapons only), Plant Growth (D), Snare (D), Tree Shape (D), Protection from Normal Missiles*

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10' Radius, Speak with Plants, Hallucinatory Terrain (D), Passplant (D), Summon Animal I (D), Summon Sylvan Beings (D), Polymorph Others* (animal forms only), Polymorph Self* (the same)

5th Level: Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Commune with Nature (D), Summon Animal II (D), Tree Stride (D)

6th Level: Find the Path, Heal, Summon Nature Spirit (as Summon Aerial Servant), Wall of Thorns (D) 

7th Level: Shape Change* (animal or plant forms only)

Next week: clerics of Mielikki, Part V!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part III

The mistress of the forest can bring game to her faithful, but also the chase.

Divine Tests
1-4. Unless there is some hunting or a merciful act to attend to, the cleric must do little else but reflect on the ways of Mielikki for the next 2d6 turns.

5-9. The huntress calls and the cleric answers. She loses access to some of her spells (50% chance for each one), possibly including her turn ability. To get each back, she must do one of the following. Roll 1d6:
[1] Run unclad for at least 1 hour.
[2-3] Bring down a beast in an honorable way. All of it will be used and respected.
[4] Aid an animal, providing it food, freedom, or healing its wounds.
[5] Offer Mielikki the equivalent of at least 2d6 gold and 2d6 silver coins.
[6] Spend time in a wooded place, communing with the metsan haltja (forest spirits) and wildlife there for at least 3d6 turns. 

10-16. A forest friend arrives to greet (and test) the cleric. Roll 1d4 to see who it is.
[1] Bear: must be firm or it will wrestle. Make a Morale check: fail and take 1d20 damage; succeed and gain 1d4 Strength until the next dusk.
[2] Stag: must be calm or it will run. Save vs. spell: fail and be preoccupied for the next 1d4 hours; succeed and gain +15' speed until the next dawn.
[3] Squirrel: must be amiable or it will steal. Make a Charisma check: fail and lose a random item; succeed and gain 1d4 Dexterity until the next high noon.
[4] Metsan Haltja: must be observant or become unlucky. Make a Wisdom check: fail and take a -1d6 to all rolls; succeed and gain a +1d6 instead, both until the next midnight. 

17+ Mielikki transforms the cleric into a beast that matches her nature. The cleric is thus unable to speak or use any of her cleric abilities for the next 24 hours, plus 24 additional hours for every divine test result over 17. She can still understand things though and accompany her allies during that time, even fighting as the beast if need be. Afterwards, she will be able to speak with beasts of that type at will, even while she's in human form.

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Turn ability= Turn Unholy ability 
Morale check = make a Will save DC 15
Save vs. spell = make a Will save DC 15
Charisma check =  make a Fellowship check DC 15 
Wisdom check= make a Luck check DC 15 

Next week: clerics of Mielikki, Part IV!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part II

Magical Side-Effects
Savor the hunt, but don't take too much from it. Roll 1d12. 

1. Mercy: As forest-hostess, Mielikki provides. The spell will need to be helpful to its target, otherwise it won't work. 

2. Huntress Way: Armed with bow, the goddess selects her prey. The magic must involve hunting in some way, cast at a distance and without the target knowing. If not, then it will only function at 1/2 strength. 

3. Sylvan Domain: The woods are green and free. As soon as the spell's target is in a forest setting or at least passes by a tree, the effects will occur. Otherwise, they will only find their way to the target after 1d3 turn's time. 

4. Metsan Haltja: Are the spirits near? The cleric must make a Wisdom check to connect with them to make the magic happen. If within woods, she gains a +4 to her check; +2 if another natural place. If not, then she must leave a small, fitting offering for them instead.

5. Lucky: The hunt may not always go as planned, but Mielikki still provides succor. All within 60' gain a +1 bonus to their ranged attack and spell rolls for the next 2d6 rounds under her blessing. 

6-8. No Side Effect: The magic works as usual this time. 

9. Woodland Herbs: Such bounty in the forest aids in all magic craft. If the cleric has had at least 1d3 turns to collect from such a setting that day, then the spell's effect, range, or duration can be increased by 50%.

10. Simplicity of Mehtola: With an animal nearby, or at least being unclad like one, then the cleric can add 50% to the spell's effect, range, or duration.

11-12. Huntress's Blessing: The magic occurs for twice its normal effect, range, or duration, as well as it not being expended that day. What is more, if the cleric is being merciful, in the forest, or unclad when casting the spell, then she can also sense the direction to one thing she seeks, whether prey or bounty, with Mielikki smoothing the way.

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

Next week: Clerics of Mielikki, Part III!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Clerics of Mielikki, Part I

Neutral Finnish Goddess of the Forest, Hunting, & Succor

Tenets of Mielikki
* Be one with the forest
* Live simply, respect Nature
* Hunt only what you need
* Care for animals & the innocent

Clerics of Mielikki
Special: Mielikki is served by clerics, druids (see Volume II), & tietaja (Finnish shamanic wizards).
Allowed Weapons: Bow, sword, spear, knife
Allowed Armor: Leather or lighter
Symbols: Tree, Bear, Stag
Can Turn: Those who work against nature. If not known: humans- base 50% chance, evil humanoids or undead- base 75% chance, all others- base 25% chance.
Mysteries of Mielikki: Animals and forest denizens generally don't attack clerics of Mielikki. If one's wicked or somehow compelled to, then a cleric of Mielikki can choose to have it stop attacking her, up to once per day per level. 

Next week: Clerics of Mielikki, Part II!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Wyrd Ways of Walstock Revisted, Part II

More ways to expand upon Wyrd Walstock, beyond even the ones discussed last week and in the upcoming revision. 

I. The Elk Order's Plot
Not content with paddling and being relatively unimportant, those in the Elk Order see an opportunity to seize power. Whether with the defeat of the Cult of the Shield Ghul, some other disruption to another faction (both likely caused by the party), or the return of Maria, they will establish themselves in one of the areas where a vacuum now exists (along with retaining Location 3). The power of their totemic spirit will accompany them throughout Walstock too, now granting a +3 to all elk-related rolls (+5 if Maria has returned). 

In addition, Order members have a 50% chance of having the Elk spirit cast Faerie Fire for them each round and of also causing 2d6 damage every 3 rounds to some interloper within 60' with its etheric antlers (save vs. spell negates). Last, the head of the Order has a name- the Elk Chief- making them sound much more important. Elves and unprotected behinds beware!

The Elk Chief 
AL: N; Mve 40’; AC 4; HD 3; Attk 1; Dmg: 1d2+2, +4 (+2 paddle, +4 vs. unarmored rear ends); SP: may call upon Elk Spirit (see above), Sve F3 Mor 7. Wyrdness: now thinks he' s important. Items: +2 rear end bane paddle, +2 elk-horn helm. Treasure Type: A

II. Golden Promises
With the many factions vying for control of Walstock, it's easy to forget an even greater threat: fiat currency. Roscoe the Head Banker (from Location 6) has begun circulating such paper money, giving very generous 'loans' to any who might ask for them with the help of Town Crier Kelwin (at Location 20). With only a small deposit of gold, he will grant any 10 times that amount in Golden Promises! Though most proprietors were unwilling to honor them at first, Roscoe has offered them extensive 'loans' too (also in Golden Promises) to make them more ameliorable. 

Of  course, such a situation cannot last long, though Roscoe's secret master (the dread force Geedeepee) can assist him in drawing it out as long as possible. Harnessing the power of Eternal Growth, Roscoe can now effectively create 'wealth' at will, thanks to Kelwin's printing shed, though of course when he does so, the prices of everything else in town increase proportionately. Already, standard costs are 50% more than normal, but don't worry- they'll be more Golden Promises to cover that. And when it fails (in 2d4 days' time), Roscoe will be nowhere to be found. Otherwise, the town will actually explode, bringing such growth to new heights.

III. Xue’rek’rek’slis's Importations
Added with the Wyrd Ways revision, Xue’rek’rek’slish (pronounced 'Jeff') is a fish man who has now uncovered a way to bring his 2,000 cousins to join him (likely via the Orifice- Location T10). With the changes here, in any encounter, there is a base 25% chance of 4d4 fish men also being present (there are always many of them). Once their numbers reach certain amounts per their accumulations by encounter, they'll begin begin behaving in certain, fishier ways:

20: begin attacking lone humans
50: take over 1 Location in Walstock, whether at random or one already abandoned
100: begin attacking groups of humans of 4 or less
200: take over 5 Locations in Walstock
500: begin attacking humans in groups of 50 or less  
1000: take over the entire town; begin mass-sacrifice of humans on fish hooks

See Volume III for more info on fish men and their dread lord, Dagon.

IV. Town Rampage
Riots aren't uncommon at the Pigsty (Location 21), but have gotten worse of late. Word is, a Tochenorff was particularly mistreated by the Watch and now his brethren are up in arms. But these disturbances are different. They've expanded to the Springing House and Downtown and are lasting days. Trendy Tochenorffs and other factions have even been donating to these miscreants as they smash windows, loot stores, and beat up passersby- all in the name of 'Justice'. Town Crier Morell (from Location 20), debased as ever, eggs them on.

Many out-of-towner bandits have joined in (likely followers of Tiamat- see Volume III) and someone has even been leaving them piles of rocks and incendiaries to use (agents of Nergal- also see Volume III). But with the Watch too paranoid to intervene, perhaps the trendy Tochenorffs will stop donating when the shops they frequent are destroyed?

Next week: clerics of Mielikki!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wyrd Ways of Walstock Revisited, Part I

With the upcoming release of the Wyrd Ways of Walstock revision, here are various ways to update the adventure for returning characters who are crazy enough to experience such a wyrd place again. And if your characters haven't yet done so, then they should.

1. Walstock has become overrun with plague. A certain Professor Fausti describes the situation, whether directly to the party or via a speech that they overhear. He warns that it has a contagion rate of 11 in 12 and will quickly overwhelm the town. The party may find this to be true- those exposed must save vs. death or become infected. Those infected lose 1d4 Constitution and take a -1d10 penalty to all rolls each day. They must save twice for two days in a row to recover- unless, of course, they wish to risk healing at the Hospitalia (Location 25).

2. The Cult of the Shield Ghul secretly enjoys this since it makes them  'Indispensable'. Ironically though, most townsfolk have become too terrified to even venture into the Hospitalia for normal treatments, such as removing an ingrown toenail for 14,357 gold pieces a visit.

3. Whether the Cult of the Shield Ghul is actually responsible for the plague or not, they may have had aid from one or more of the following groups: Cult of Pan-demic (twisted Pan worshippers who seek an end to civilization- add them to Location 23), Cult of R'ti (corrupted tutors who enjoy having the Schoolhouse closed, but still receiving their wages- they're at Location 1), Cherno-Baba Yaga followers (who enjoy plague-slaughter, doom-suffering for its own sake- add them to Location T7).

4. All in town are expected to wear masks and encouraged to be Antisocially Distant. Those who don't are thrown into the Gaol (Location 14) where most of the resident criminals have no problem with getting very close.

5. Whenever encountered, Cultists of the Shield Ghul have a base 50% chance of breaking out into dance (not just the nurses in the Hospitalia). They claim it is to relieve the heavy burden of dealing with the plague, but it's more likely they're overjoyed they still have plenty of coin when many others do not (see #9 below).

6. Since the townsfolk, whether Trenchaus, Tochenorff, or other, likely won't enjoy seeing nurses and physicians dancing (rather than caring for patients), then they will be forced to watch them. Such 'Salutes to Heroes' occur at sunset each day in front of the Hospitalia and will likely infuriate the Minervan Superheroines (at Location 12), not to mention those others singled out for not attending.

7. Even travelers wishing to pass through the wyrd town of Walstock will be forced to remain, Quarantined for their Own Good. Never mind that will force travelers into more contact with the plague.

8. Most of the locales in town are closed. Investigation will reveal that those still open are, conveniently enough, faithful followers of the Shield Ghul. They include Walstock Tea & Knick-Knacks (Location 16), Chohmps’s Family Barber-Dentistry (Location 18), Town Crier’s Office (Location 20), The Hospitalia (Location 25), and the Apothecary (Location 27).

9. Many people are destitute. Without means of making gainful employ, they become impoverished, and are not above begging, pick pocketing, or even brigandage. Any not connected to the Cult of the Shield Ghul or having a Treasure Type of B or higher may attempt one of those three (per their alignment) on characters they encounter (a base 33% chance). They will do their best to be Antisocially Distant while doing so, but will also be hard to understand with their masks on.

10. Rather than advocate for the common folk, Town Crier Morell (at Location 20) derides any who would say that the plague isn't that bad as a 'Denying Alarmist'. A gang of 2d4 Assurance Cultists will confront such Deniers the following night in order to reinforced that point (with their clubs). Those on 'the 'Deniers List' currently include Gamz the Dwarf (Location 4), Sir George (Location 15), and Father Farhred (Location 17), though more are soon to follow (likely the party members)!

11. Seeing an opportunity for greater control, Town Council Member Benedictia Trenchaus (Location 9) is now being supported as Mayor by the Cult of the Shield Ghul, in return for banning most daily activities in the name of Public Health. The Watch isn't too keen on being around citizens though, so enforcement isn't that consistent despite her many domineering decrees. This is good because she often ignores her own edicts as she scoffs at the commoners, going out to dine and get her hair done while they are forbidden from doing so.

12. Adventurers who remain in Walstock to put an end to this current threat (and not run away screaming) will uncover that Dr. Fausti has in fact entered into an infernal pact that has led to this very plague! It is with Beliah (see Volume II), of course, though any arch-devil would do (per Referee).

Next week: Wyrd Ways of Walstock  Revisited, Part II!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part V

Vainamoinen Encounters
Some things one quests for are already right behind them.

Roll 1d12
1. An evil northerner approaches- one of those of Pohjola! It is a (roll 1d6): [1] dire wolf, [2] 1d4 HD swordsman, [3] dire wolf and a 1d4 HD swordsman, [4] nakki (evil, shapeshifting, Finnish siren), [5] group of 2d3 pekko (hairy Finnish goblins), [6] hiisi (Finnish ogre).

2. Smiling, well-appointed, and well-proportioned, a selection of potential wives dwell here. There are 1d3 with Charisma scores of 14 + 1d4 to boot: blondes, brunettes, and redheads. Each is also faithful to either Mielikki (friendly, rustic), Ilmatar (graceful, quiet), or Loviatar (mysterious, harsh), and a faithful of Vainamoinen is pleased indeed and will be here too, sharply-dressed (see #12 below)! 

3. Two Finns face off. One is a faithful of Vainamoinen (per #12 below). The other is a (roll 1d5): [1] upstart, [2] angry brother at the Vainamoinen-type's wooing of his sister, [3] bad poet, [4] berry-born child (see #9 below), [5] rival faithful of Vainamoinen, [6] reroll twice. 

4. Sounds of crafting can be heard up ahead. Investigation shows it's an old man crafting a (roll 1d4): 
[1] canoe, [2-3] kantele, [4] metal rake. Despite his concentration, the old man has a 10% base chance of injuring himself each round if the party doesn't assist him and a 100% chance of being a follower of Vainamoinen. 

5. Do you feel it too? The wise will know that a haltja dwells here. Refer to the spirit encounters series [link] to see what kind. Those who end up pleasing it may attempt to learn a synty related to the place- see Magical Side-Effect #9.

6. An old woman offers a random party member a flagon of ale. If foolish enough to drink, he will find it to be full of frogs, snakes, lizards, and worse- a gift from Tuonela, the Finnish Underworld! He must then save vs. death or be trapped in a net of metal, handiwork of Tuonetar's three-fingered son, unless he can be polymorphed into a snake or otherwise assisted by a follower of Vainamoinen. 

7. A chance for inspiration befalls a random party member (and their player). If he or she can compose an original poem (in trochaic tetrameter of course) of at least 2 x 4d2 lines within the next 2d4 rounds, then he or she may cast a random Vainamoinen spell once, up to 24 hours later.

8. With laughing buttons and transmuting foliage (or the like), the next spell cast takes on a distinctly Finnish air of animistic magic. Those who witness it may then know where the nearest tietaja is so they may receive training in such enchantment if they so wish.

9. A random woman the party knows becomes pregnant after eating a berry. A child is quickly born 1d4 days later with full intelligence and will chastise any who do not convert to monotheism. Those who fail to submit must save vs. spell or take 1d2 Charisma damage from the shame, especially if they have claimed that the child in very unnatural.

10. 2d4 Norsemen explore this area, seeking the fabled 'runes' of Vainamoinen. If they learn that such are simply poems without symbols, then they will likely simply begin pillaging instead (a base 75% chance).

11. Searching the area, a lucky party member uncovers a (roll 1d6): [1] swan feather, [2] barley corn, 
[3] wool ball, [4] milk drop, [5[ shaft of wood, [6] reroll twice. Little do they know, they're found a piece of the Sampo.

12. Here is one who both sings and woos, wisely coaxing creation. A follower of Vainamoinen, he is actually (roll 1d12): [1-3] one just very faithful in and/or blessed by him, [4-7] a cleric of Vainamoinen, [8-11] a tietaja of Vainamoinen, [12] an avatar of Vainamoinen.

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

Next week: we take a short break from our examination of the Finnish divinities to look at some additional encounters and ideas for the revised release of Wyrd Ways of Walstock!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part IV

Cleric Spells (Vainamoinen)
Songs of creation are Vainamoinen's province, and as such, so to are his cleric's magic. Naturally, all must be sung and/or played on a kantele in order to function at least, even if some desires will still remain out of grasp.

1st Level: Command (can't effect potential wives though), Create Water (reversible), Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Light, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear, Resist Cold, Sanctuary, Detect Snares and Pits (D), Entangle (D), Pass with Trace (D), Charm Person* (but not potential wives), Comprehend Languages*, Feather Fall*, Mending*, Read Languages*, Read Magic*, Scribe*, Shield*, Sleep*, Unseen Servant*

2nd Level: Augury, Bless, Delay Poison, Find Traps, Hold Person, Holy Chant, Resist Fire, Reveal Charm, Speak with Animal, Spiritual Weapon, Charm Person or Mammal (D) (but still not potential wives), Feign Death (D), Find Plant (D), Fire Trap (D), Obscuring Mist (D), Stumble (D), Warp Wood (D), Arcane Lock*, ESP*, Knock*

3rd Level: Animal Growth, Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Locate Object, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking, Hold Animal (D), Plant Growth (D), Snare (D), Stone Shape (D), Tree Shape (D), Water Breathing (D), Protection from Normal Missiles*

4th Level: Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Exorcise, Lower Water (reversible), Neutralize Poison, Protection from Evil 10' Radius, Speak with Plants, Tongues, Hallucinatory Terrain (D), Hold Vegetation and Fungus (D), Passplant (D), Arcane Eye*, Enchant Arms*, Globe of Invulnerability* (lesser), Move Earth* (lesser), Polymorph Others*, Polymorph Self*

5th Level: Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Dispel Evil, Plane Shift, True Seeing, Control Winds (D), Transmute Rock to Mud (D), Tree Stride (D), Distort Distance*, Hold Monster*, Passwall*, Secret Chest*, Telekinesis* 

6th Level: Animate Objects, Conjure Animals, Find the Path, Heal, Part Water, Speak with Creatures, Stone Tell, Summon Aerial Servant (or other spirit), Fire Seeds (D), Anti-Magic Shell*, Arcane Window*, Globe of Invulnerability*, Irresistible Dance*, Legend Lore*, Move Earth*, Repulsion* (reversible, but can't effect potential wives)

7th Level: Control Weather, Restoration, Wind Walk, Antipathy//Sympathy* (any but potential wives), Duo-Dimension*, Magic Sword*, Phase Door, Reverse Gravity*, Shape Change*

Common amongst the followers of Vainamoinen (since he was the first), treat these Finnish wizard-shamans as clerics, except that they fight as and have the HD of magic-users or wizards. What is more, to reflect the very colorful and animated nature of Finnish magic, roll on the following table whenever casting their spells, along with the d12 on their divinity's Magical Side-Effect table:

1-3. Aspects of the spell's target begin to change, taking on new forms and even a life of their own. He or she must save vs. spell: success means that the changes grant the target a +1 bonus to all rolls for the next 1d6 rounds; failure instead causes a -1 penalty to all rolls for the same. If the target is inanimate, then refer to results #8-10 below instead.
4-7. The spell is otherwise unchanged.
8-10. The tietaja must negotiate with the spell itself, coaxing it to do his will. He must save vs. spell: if he succeeds, then all of the spell's qualities (effect, range, and/or duration) are increase by 50%. If not, then they are decreased the same.

Next week: clerics of Vainamoinen, Part V!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part III

Creation sometimes comes at a price, and it may not be for just a song.

Divine Tests
1-4. Let the time pass, let days go.... The cleric must pause for the next 2d6 turns, doing nothing else but sing a rune song or two while strumming his kantele. If he does so particularly well (a CHA check), then it need only be half the time.

5-9. What adventures one can find on the quest for the Sampo! The cleric loses access to some of his spells (50% chance for each one), including possibly his turn ability, in order to encourage him to seek them out. Roll 1d6 for each one lost to see what he must do to get it back.
[1] Venture to a new dark, cold, or northerly place.
[2-3] Defeat a worthy other in a song duel (with opposed CHA checks).
[4] Find a wife, or at least a good candidate in order to aid in one's creation.
[5] Fashion a new kantele, requiring 3d6 turns- using giant jawbones cuts that time in half.
[6] Spend time in a natural place, singing to and communing with the haltja (spirits) there for at least 3d6 turns. 

10-16. Oh, the lands sing, and the cleric should return the favor. He must immediately travel to a certain land type to perform a task there for the next 1d4 hours. If not, he runs the risk of going to Pohjola instead (per 17+ below, a base 66% chance). 
Land type (roll 1d6): [1] Mountain, [2] Forest, [3] Water, [4] Sauna, [5] Field, [6] Graveyard. 
Tasks (roll 1d6): 
[1] Build a canoe, but also have a 50% chance of accidentally striking his knee each hour for 1d12 damage.
[2] Be judged by strange, berry-born children: save vs. spell each hour or take 1d2 Charisma damage from the shame.
[3] Attempt to woo a suitable wife candidate if one is within range- careful she doesn't drown herself first!
[4] Compose a new poem, done in trochaic tetrameter of course.
[5] Attempt to
uncover a new synty (origin-word that grants a +2 bonus to any spell rolls made for that thing), but it must be something he can see at that land type- he can attempt to do so with an INT check each hour.
[6] Be challenged by 1 dark, cold, or northerly foe at the end of each hour who must be fought with a song duel.

17+ The Sampo calls and the cleric must journey now to the dark land of Pohjola. He and any nearby who wish to go with him are gone for 1 day. Unless the Referee decides to adjudicate the adventure more specifically, it is shown that upon their return (if they still live), each took 1d20 damage and had a 10% of recovering the fantastic item. What the Sampo is, depends (roll 1d3): [1] a magic item, [2] a new spell or ability, [3] an outstanding wife. For every divine test result over 17, increase the time they were gone by 1 day, the damage by an additional 1d20 each, and the chances of recovering the Sampo by an additional 10% total. 

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Charisma check = Personality check DC 15
Turn ability= Turn Unholy ability 
Save vs. spell = Make a Will save DC 15

Next week: clerics of Vainamoinen, Part IV!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part II

Magical Side-Effects
Creation starts with a word, even if it doesn't always work as planned. Roll 1d12. 

1. Seeking Aino: The spell may do the opposite of what's intended. Unless the cleric saves vs. death, a healing spell will harm, a harming spell will heal, or the like. Perhaps it's time re-tune one's kantele?

2. Laulu Taistelu: Only the best will win. The cleric must engage in a song duel with the spell's target (via an opposed Charisma check). If he doesn't win, then the target can choose to ignore the spell. 

3. Vaults of Ilmatar: Some say Vainamoinen came from the sky and sea, so the cleric must be in sight of one or both when casting the spell. If not, then it will only be at half its usual strength, though even seeing a duck egg will suffice. 

4. Ask the Haltja: A Charisma check is required here, imploring the local spirits to make the magic happen. Without it, the cleric will need to leave them a small offering instead.

5. Luominen: All within 60' experience Vainamoinen's way, gaining a +3 to their spell rolls for the next 2d6 rounds as creation unfolds. 

6-8. No Side Effect: The spell works normally this time, though it still must be sung, of course. 

9. Synty: Such power in the origin-words of things. The cleric may attempt to discern that of the magic's target (via an INT check), granting him a +2 bonus to any spell rolls made in regard to them from now on. 

10. Kalevala Rhyme: 'Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, answered in the words which follow'. If his cleric does the same, stating what the spell will do, in trochaic tetrameter (naturally), then the magic's effect, range, or duration can be doubled.

11-12. Bard's Blessing: The magic is sung for twice its normal effect, range, or duration, as well as it not being expended that day. What is more, if the cleric wins a song duel with the spell's target (per #2 above), then he may also attempt to learn the target's synty (per #9 above).

DCC RPG Conversion notes
Save vs. death = make a Will save DC 10
Charisma check = Fellowship check (DC 15)
Spell not being expended that day = gains a +2 bonus to its spell check 

Next week: Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part III!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part I

Lawful Finnish God of Wisdom, Song, & Creation

Tenets of Vainamoinen
* Fashion great things with hand and word
* Seek that which you desire
* Know that such seeking may be your downfall though

Clerics of Vainamoinen
Special: Vainamoinen is served by clerics, tietaja (Finnish shamanic wizards), & bards (see Volume II).
Allowed Weapons: Sword, staff, axe, crossbow
Allowed Armor: Leather or lighter
Symbols: Kantele (Finnish Harp), Sampo, Copper Boat
Can Turn: Evil northerners (like those of Pohjola)
Mysteries of Vainamoinen: Clerics of Vainamoinen can add 2 to one of their spell rolls by singing well (a CHA check), up to once per day per level. 
Note: Some traditions portray Vainamoinen as a demigod or simply a great hero.

Next week: Clerics of Vainamoinen, Part II!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Warlocks of Chernobog, Part V

Chernobog Encounters
Through dark lands they dwell, knowing that most things that end, don't end well. 

Roll 1d12
1. A certain individual is rumored to be prone to handwashing, avoiding coming too close to others, and other bizarre behavior. This ne'er-do-well even wears a mask at times. Obviously, they are some fell cultist of Chernobog (a base 50% chance- see #12 below). Otherwise, they know where one is and are trying to avoid his corruption.

2. The area grows dark, preternaturally so. In fact, things get so inky black that it behaves like an Oh, Charring Pitch spell cast by a 1d6+4th level warlock. Note that, depending on the size of the area of effect, it may also be unpleasantly hard to find one's way out (a base 5% per 5' of area of effect). Those who fail will continue to stumble about as they writhe in dark agony.

3. The area here has been devastated. All structures, plants, animals, and even folk lie shattered and broken in an almost sadistic manner. There's a base 50% chance of one faithful to Cherno-Perun showing up within 1d20 rounds (per #12 below), admiring his fell lord's handiwork, even if there's a 100% chance of that doom-corruption's divinity being to blame.

4. Sobbing is heard up ahead. 1d6 Slavs stand about, consuming hard spirits, crying, and grasping at their chests. Likely the work of Cherno-Lada (a base 75% chance, otherwise it's Unharmonia, q.v.), each may still foolishly wish to rejoin with their lost paramours (a base 66% chance ) and honor the heartless warlock bitch who made it happen. 

5. Without knowing (though a WIS check negates), a random, unlucky party member is the victim of a foul joke (roll 1d4): [1] pickpocketed, [2] mount or other means of transport sabotaged, [3] given a fee to pay that they didn't actually incur, [4] insulting sign hung on their back. Once they realize what happened and investigate, it is shown that a debased disciple of Cherno-Veles has done it and for no other reason than just to do ill to others!

6. Wrong events have occurred here (reroll on this table if unsure what they are), giving rise to a 'Big Mother'. This new ruler has taken all under her very particular and nagging wing, preventing folk from going out-of-doors, whether they wish to or not. Such (s)mothering is of course the work of Cherno-Mokosh, though Big Mother may not be fully aware of it (only a base 40% chance). 

7. With maddening screams, the party comes upon a place so affected by Cherno-Dazbog. All here believe they are something else, taking what would be natural shifts to disheveling extremes. Roll 1d6 for each of the 2d4 individuals who are present to what they take themselves to be: [1] a chicken, [2] the opposing gender, [3] a dog, [4] the rightful ruler of the land, [5] a random Slavic divinity, [6] dancing nurses and physicians. Reroll every 1d6 minutes that the party chooses to remain, just in case they start to believe that the mad folk are who they insist they are.

8. You think you're coming down with something? Plague is rampant here, infecting 11 in 12 of those exposed and yet only 1 in 12 develop to a serious state within 12+1 days (when they must then save vs. death or die within 1d4 days afterwards). Still, such a state is enough to lead the people into a downward spiral of isolation, poverty, gloating dance, and fear. What better way to show that Cherno-Baba Yaga is at work?

9. Here lies ruins: rubble, dried blood, horrid scratchings upon the walls, and discarded masks. A victim of at least one of Chernobog's many black ways, investigation will show that this was once a thriving (roll 1d6): [1] temple, [2] merchant's shop, [3] schoolhouse, [4] tavern, [5] barbershop, [6] sporting arena. It's all now gone, with just a strange well left with signs reminding one to wash their hands and stay far apart.

10. A certain individual is rumored to be prone to licking doorknobs, coughing on everyone they encounter, and hoarding  chamber pot rags. Quite disheveled and smoke-ridden, they are certainly some fell cultist of Chernobog (a base 99% chance). Otherwise, they are simply insane. 

11. Something terrifying and black-hided hunts this area. A massive bovine monster sacred to Chernobog, it exhales a strange, radiant, balefire darkness, and is known as Cherno-bull! Treat as a quadrupedal minotaur that can use the equivalent of an Oh, Charring Pitch spell as a 60' cone breath weapon up to thrice per day. The caster level of the effect can equal its HD. Those who face it must also save vs. death or die of radiant poisoning 1d3 days later.

12. Here is one who embodies the dark. A disciple of Chernobog, he's (roll 1d12): [1-3] one just very devoted to miscreancy, [4-9] a low-level warlock of Chernobog (1d6th), [10-11] a higher-level warlock of Chernobog (1d6+6th), [12] an avatar of Chernobog! What is more, he has a base 66% chance of engaging in an interpretive dance once his evil is done, celebrating his fell lord's doom on the rise.

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

Next week: we start our series on the Finnish Pantheon, beginning with Vainamoinen!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Warlocks of Chernobog, Part IV

Warlock Spells (Chernobog)
Chernobog's warlocks learn fell magic in addition to those of their doom-corruption's divinity, bringing darkness and despair to the what would otherwise be the lighter ways of Belobog.

~1st Level~

Black Harm 
Range: 30' per caster level
Duration: see below
Effect: An invisible, horrid ray of malfeasance strikes a target, causing them to save vs. spell or suffer depending on the warlock's doom-corruption's divinity:
Cherno-Perun: take -4 to all combat rolls for 1 minute per caster level, due to admonishment.
Cherno-Lada: suffer -2 to all rolls for 1 hour per caster level, due to heartbreak.
Cherno-Veles: lose 1 random item on their person, due to mischief. It will turn up 1 day later per caster level, covered in smoky filth. 
Cherno-Mokosh: be only able to move at 1/2 speed for 1 turn per caster level, due to overindulgence.
Cherno-Dazbog: switch to a random alignment every minute for 1 minute per caster level, due to psychosis.
Cherno-Baba Yaga: flee in fear for 1 minute per caster level, due to creeping terror.

Shadow's Reward 
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 unpleasant minute per caster level
Effect: One of Chernobog's dark blessings permeate the subject, granting them a fell ability. Non-followers of Chernobog who receive them also have a base 33% chance of receiving a divine test:
Cherno-Perun: +2 to all combat rolls vs. those who are weaker or outnumbered.
Cherno-Lada: +8 to all rolls made to manipulate others emotionally.
Cherno-Veles: +4 to all rolls made to deceive others in any way.
Cherno-Mokosh: +4 to all rolls made to control others.
Cherno-Dazbog: +8 to all rolls made to confuse others (INT check if unsure).
Cherno-Baba Yaga: +2 to all rolls vs. those who are of a lower level than them (or lower HD if level is unknown). 

~2nd Level~

Soul of Dusk
Range: 5' per caster level'
Duration: once the nefarious condition is met, see below
Effect: Shadow sets upon the target's heart, causing them to save vs. death or engage in some malediction befitting the warlock's doom-corruption, doing so to the next person or group they encounter: 
Cherno-Perun: attack as long as it would be a dishonorable fight.
Cherno-Lada: show faux-interest so that it would cause great heartache.
Cherno-Veles: attempt to cause serious disruption in their daily doings.
Cherno-Mokosh: browbeat as best they can.
Cherno-Dazbog: tell an irrational falsehood to at least 2d3 strangers.
Cherno-Baba Yaga: put a lower level (or HD) individual through a fatal test. 

The Knowing Dark
Range: 30' per caster level 
Duration: 1 disturbing turn per caster level
Effect: The warlock senses any beings within range who espouse doom-corruption. Once found, he can then focus on the individual for at least 1d6 rounds to uncover more about the specifics of their impure ways (per Referee). Those with a mind to conceal such things may save vs. death to do so, yet those who follow the same doom-corruption's divinity as the warlock may not. 

~3rd Level~ 

Doom Door 
Range: see below
Duration: Instant
Effect: Stepping long through the domain of Chernobog, the warlock sets foot on an area of darkness to emerge in another entirely that matches his doom-corruption's divinity. Anywhere such corruptions occur or are honored will do; the warlock need only have an idea where he is going. Otherwise, the range of such traversement is up to 100' per caster level, simply emerging at another place of physical darkness that is closest to the stated distance hence. 

Oh, Charring Pitch
Range: 20' per caster level
Duration: 1 terrible round per caster level
Effect: Behold, a great darkness comes forth, filling a 5' radius area per caster level. Those within must save vs. spell or not only be robbed of their sight, but of 1d6 hit points per caster level as well, burning in charring, stinking, inky blackness. And while their sight may return once the darkness ends, the horror of it and damage taken will be another matter altogether.

~4th Level~

Black Tragedy
Range: 30' per caster level
Duration: per doom-corruption divinity
Effect: As Black Harm, above, but all malfeasance effects are doubled and durations are increased by one order of magnitude: Minutes -> Turns -> Hours -> Days -> Weeks. Such may otherwise be removed early as one would a curse. 
Chernobog's Hound
Range: 10' per caster level
Duration: 1 horrifying round per caster level
Effect: Come forth! The warlock summons some shadow thing to do his dark bidding. After 1d3 rounds, it arrives, attacking an individual within range at the warlock's direction each round, causing those so targeted to save vs. death or lose 1d4 from a random ability score via its horrifying, phantom bites. Others who even see the hound must save vs. spell or flee.

~5th Level~ 

Shadow's Form
Range: Self
Duration: 1 abominable minute per caster level
Effect: Calling upon Chernobog's might, the warlock assumes a form befitting his doom-corruption's divinity, gaining darkened eyes, the benefits of Shadow's Reward, above, along with the following:
Cherno-Perun: +4 bonus to Strength, Constitution, and AC. Can cast Shocking Grasp every 3 rounds at will.
Cherno-Lada: +4 bonus to Dexterity, Charisma, and all saves. Can cast Charm Person every 3 rounds at will.
Cherno-Veles: +4 bonus to Intelligence, Dexterity, and all saves. Can cast Invisibility every 3 rounds at will.
Cherno-Mokosh: +4 bonus to Wisdom, Charisma, and AC. Can cast Hold Person every 3 rounds at will.
Cherno-Dazbog: +4 bonus to Strength, Intelligence, and AC. Can cast Confusion every 3 rounds at will.
Cherno-Baba Yaga: +4 bonus to Wisdom, Constitution, and all saves. Can cast Cause Fear every 3 rounds at will.    

Soul of Midnight
Range: 10' per caster level
Duration: see below
Effect: As Soul of Dusk, above, except that the effects last until dispelled, or as a curse, removed. The subject otherwise behaves in the warlock's particular doom-corruption's way, even needing to save vs. death at the stroke of midnight each night or decide to willingly pledge themselves to Chernobog! In such an event, nothing will save them then.

~6th Level~ 

Black Catastrophe 
Range: 50' per caster level
Duration: per doom-corruption divinity 
Effect: As Black Tragedy, above, but the area affected is a 5' radius per caster level, potentially making many befall terrible malfeasance.

~7th Level~ 

Stroke of Doom
Range: 100' per caster level
Duration: Instant
Effect: The warlock brings forth a great calamity, causing Chernobog's night to eclipse all hope depending on which doom-corruption's divinity is served. In all cases, a general 1/4 mile area is affected, though due to the nature of the calamity, its corruption may also spread.
Cherno-Perun: a 'natural' disaster occurs, devastating all who fail to escape within 3d6 minutes' time.
Cherno-Lada: torn with love-loss-longing, all must save vs. spell or be at each others' throats, murderous within 3d6 hours. There is a base 25% chance of the events spreading in a random direction.
Cherno-Veles: items go missing or are sabotaged, making all within suffer 4d6 damage from the mishaps occurring over 5d6 hours. Such anarchy has a base 50% chance of spreading in 1d4 directions.
Cherno-Mokosh: an oppressive leader comes to the fore, dragooning all within 2d6 hours, lasting until he or she is removed. There is only a base 10% chance of it spreading in a random direction though.
Cherno-Dazbog: madness descends on those there, causing them to generally behave as the results for (roll 1d4): [1] Cherno-Lada, [2] Cherno-Veles, [3] Cherno-Mokosh, or [4] Cherno-Baba Yaga. Reroll every hour for 2d6 hours.
Cherno-Baba Yaga: a heinous plague unfolds, killing just 1 in 12 of those who catch it within 1d12 days, but spreading to 11 in 12 anyway, likely ranging far beyond its original area.

Next week: Warlock of Chernobog, Part V! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Warlocks of Chernobog, Part III

Light comes to an end. Chernobog rises again.

Divine Tests
1-3. Abjure all contact! The warlock must seek sanctuary, eschewing others for fear that corruption might find him too. Once there, he shall do nothing else but remain for the next 3d6 turns, contemplating his own dark doom.

4-9. How much disaster can you spread? The warlock will find out, losing access to some of his spells (50% chance for each one), including possibly his turn ability, until he performs certain deeds. Roll 1d6 for each one lost to see what is required.
[1] Seriously disrupt a place of commerce for its own good.
[2] Close a schoolhouse, thereby causing all other forms of chaos.
[3] Spread the ways of one's specific doom-corruption's divinity: whether devastation, manipulation, anarchy, or the like.
[4] Attack 1d3 followers of one of the Slavic gods while salivating profusely, hoping to get their temple to close.
[5] Cough on everyone and everything encountered for the next 1d3 hours on purpose.
[6] Hoard sundry (and generally unnecessary) items, especially those related to chamber pots, for the next 1d3 days.

10-14. The blackness within the warlock now becomes obvious for all to see. Whenever this test occurs, roll 1d4 to determine what permanent change there is.
[1] Smoky: his gaseous stench makes those facing him in melee save vs. poison or take -2 to all rolls, but it's also obvious if he's been somewhere within the last 1d6 turns.
[2] Dark: gains a +6 bonus to being concealed in shadows, but also suffers a -2 to all rolls when in bright light.
[3] Disheveled: enjoys a +4 modifier against being held in place, but only has a base 40% chance of finding something on his person.
[4] Fatalistic: gains a +2 bonus to all saves, but must shout about it for at least 3d6 rounds whenever he does so.

15-17. The Law of Contagion demands that the warlock fear all he had come close to. Each person who he ventured within 6' of during the last 1d12+2 days has a base 25% chance of casting a random harmful Chernobog spell on him! Use the warlock's level to determine which spell levels to select from and also the intensity of the spells selected. If unsure of the warlock's contacts, then consider there to be 1d12+2 of them, making it likely that he may end up 6' under, as a result.

18+ Doom falls and all within 60' take 3d6 damage as horrible blackness oozes out of their body parts (see below for which body parts specifically ooze based on the warlock's doom-corruption's divinity). The warlock then realizes that his dedication to catastrophe may not be all that he thought it would be and suddenly shifts to Belobog, effectively becoming a follower of the non-corrupted version of his divinity, a true cleric of that Slavic god or goddess in all respects for the next 24 hours. For every divine test result over 17, increase the range by 60', the ooze-orifice damage by 3d6, and the length of his shift for another 24 hours; that is, if he survives that long.

Cherno-Perun: mouth and ears
Cherno-Lada: heart and generative organs
Cherno-Veles: eyes and ears
Cherno-Mokosh: navel and generative organs
Cherno-Dazbog: eyes and nose
Cherno-Baba Yaga: navel and anus

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Save vs. poison= make a Fortitude save DC 15 
Turn ability= Turn Unholy ability

Next week: warlocks of Chernobog, Part IV!