Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Totems: Wolf, Part I


Those who call upon the primal spirits of fierce beasts can tap potent forces, whether in magic or might.

Ways of the Wolf
* Honor your pack
* Hunt prey, especially in the cold and forest
* Be strong, resolute, & fierce
* Protect your domain
* Eschew modern, non-wolfish things, especially (non-wolf shamanic) magic!

Followers of Wolf Totems
Special: The wolf is typically honored by shamans and barbarians, though other cleric-types and fighters can do so as well. In these cases, substitute select wolf totem abilities and rules with the class's to an extent that matches a particular character's nature (see Part V for suggestions). 
Associated Divinities: Odin, Tyr, Fenrir, Loki, Apollo, Artemis, the Morrighan, Mars, Veles, Dazbog, Anubis
Allowed Weapons
: Spear, axe, sword, dagger
Allowed Armor: Wolf hide and shield or lighter (and often little else)
Spirit of the Wolf: Those who give themselves to the wolf will gain a random special ability for every odd level they have (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.). If the same result is rolled twice, then double the amount of time it can be used each day per level. In return, those who use such power (whether wolf shamans, wolf barbarians, or others) must:
1. Make a Wisdom check to make the special ability work: shamans must succeed at the check; barbarians must fail. If it doesn't work, then the wolf follower can try again each following round with a cumulative +1 bonus to make it work.
2. If it does work, then the follower must also roll for totemic side-effects (detailed in Part II).
3. He or she must also roll for totem tests (detailed in Part III) whenever they critically fail (rolling a 1 or a 20, depending on the situation) or when rolling a 13 when using such special abilities or spells, or when first gaining a new level.

Wolf Shamans: can abdicate the generic shaman abilities to turn, use a divinity's mysteries, and become ethereal (detailed in Volume II) and instead use one or more of the following (roll 1d6):
1. Wolf-skin: Assume the form of a wolf, becoming one in all ways but cognition, for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. The transformation takes 1d3 rounds, but doesn't count towards the duration limit. At 5th level, they can assume the form of a dire wolf instead, and at 9th level, a werewolf.
2. Spirit Wolf-skin: Can project their spirit as an ethereal wolf. The shaman's body is left behind for the duration, helpless and comatose. Otherwise treat as #1 above, along with the advantages discussed in #4 below.
3. Lupine Aspect: Gain either a wolf's bite attack, superior sense of smell, hearing, or speed for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, two can be used at once, and at 9th level, all three.
4. Wolf Guardian Spirit: Call upon an ethereal wolf ally to fight other spirits, scout an area, or even detect other supernatural forces. It will obey for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, it can be an ethereal dire wolf instead, and at 9th level, an ethereal werewolf.
5. Lupine Essence: Cause another who is within eyesight to save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or act in a wolfish manner, experiencing a +/-1d6 to select rolls for up to 2d3 rounds per level per day.
6. Wolf Breed: Gain a random wolf barbarian ability or even a magical ability from a similar totem, reflecting the wolf totem being a specific type of wolf (grey, arctic, steppe, dire, red, teen, or the like).


Wolf 
Barbariansgive up the fighter's ability to use most weapons or armor, as well as the ability to gain a steady bonus to hit, damage, or AC. Instead, they are followers of wolf totems, as described above, and thus have one or more of the following abilities (roll 1d6):
1. Fierce: Gain a +1d3 bonus per odd level that can be added to either their initiative, to hit, or to gain +5' speed each round, for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day.
2. Predatory: Able to track in cold or forested areas, following those they hunt with their superior scent or hearing, as well as hide and move silently, as a ranger or thief of equal level, for up to 1d3 turns per level per day.
3. Frenzy: Can fight in an especially wild manner for 2d6 rounds up to 1d3 times per level per day, gaining an extra attack each round while suffering an AC penalty of 4 while doing so. To stop the frenzy early, they must save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10, otherwise they may even attack allies until it's over. What is more, the barbarian has a base 33% chance of actually turning into a wolf for every 3 rounds that he is in frenzy, in which case it lasts 2d6 rounds longer and he also gains an extra wolf bite attack, senses, and speed during that time.
4. Howl: Able to cause the equivalent of either Cause Fear or Hold Person (due to fear) to affect a target by howling, determined at random whenever the barbarian would use it, up to once per level per day. 
5. Fury: When in a cold or forested area, can ignore up to 10 damage from iron or fire up to 1d3 times per level per day.
6. Wolf Breed: Gain a random wolf shaman ability or even martial ability from a similar totem, reflecting the wolf totem being a specific type of wolf (grey, arctic, steppe, dire, red, big bad, or the like).


Next week: Totems: Wolf, Part II!