Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Dionysus Encounters, Part I

Followers of Dionysus

Though his followers might end up abiding by all his tenets, some may emphasize one over all the rest. Such circumstances not only focus their approach, but it can also adjust the mysteries, magical side-effects, and divine test results available to them from Volume I.

Main Emphasis (d12)
1. Live a wild life (Agrios)
2. Don’t let yourself be held back by Authority, man! (Liber)
3. Lose yourself in wine (Akratophoros)
4. Lose yourself in music & dance (Enorches)
5. Lose yourself in theatre (Ekstasis)
Lose yourself in passion (Auxites)
Help others to lose themselves too! (Eleutherios)
8. Mystery tradition (son of Zeus, rebirth, old age/ youth, Orpheus)
9. Totemic tradition (bulls, serpents, leopards, or goats, and their mythic counterparts)
10-12(No emphasis- why would you push it??)

For example, if a cleric of Dionysus' focus is to lose yourself in music & dance, then he could gain a +2 bonus to one of his spell rolls when he's dancing madly instead, up to once per level per day- even if it's not a new experience. Similarly, rather than falling unconsciously drunk (as in Magical Side-Effect #3), he could start dancing, moving in a random direction each turn.


Female Classes (40% chance, d20)
1-2. Cleric (Bacchant)
3-10. Priestess (Bacchant)
11-20. Maenad (detailed at end of this article)

Male Classes (60% chance, d20)
1-7. Cleric (Bacchant)
8-13. Priest (Bacchant)
14-18. Shaman 
(Iatromantis, detailed at end of this article)
19-20. Mystic (see Volume II, likely following a tradition based on Orpheus)

Hair Color (d6)
1-2. blond
3-4. brunette
5-6. black

Complexion (d6)
1-2. fair
3-4. medium
5-6. tanned

Garb (d8, 33% chance of wearing ivy or vine garlands too)
One is never quite sure what a follower of Dionysus will be wearing (if anything!)
1-2. long robes
3-4. commoner clothing
5. fawn skin
6. leopard skin
7. vines and leaves placed strategically
8. nothing at all!

Special Possessions (percent chance each)
- charmed thyrsus: can summon a total of 1d6 gallons of milk, wine, and/or honey from the ground each day (15% per level)
- exotic mask (20% per level)

Main Weapon (d6)
1. blackjack
2. club (often shaped like a thyrsus)
3. dagger
4. dart
5. sling
6. staff 
(often shaped like a thyrsus)

Special Qualities (percent chance)
- divine blood (5%): gain +2 to Dexterity or Charisma (determined at random).

Sample Cleric-Types of Dionysus

Lvl 4 Greek bacchant (priest) of Dionysus, Align: C, MV: 40’, AC: 8, HD: 4, Atk: 1 (staff or dart), Dmg: 1d6 or 1d3, SP: cleric abilities, spells prepared (1st: Cure Light Wounds, Resist Cold (if sufficiently inebriated), Sanctuary (requires ample libations), Charm Person* (if they’re drunk), Dancing Lights* (x2, accompanied by the sound of crazy music), 2nd Level: Bless (requires libations), Snake Charm, Amnesia* (requires intoxication), Darkness* (accompanied by the sounds of a strange drama occurring), SV: C4, Mor: 7, Items: holy symbol, long robes, hide, charmed thyrsus, staff, 7 darts, 4 gold pieces. Main Emphasis: Help others to lose themselves too! (Eleutherios), Appearance: fair complexion, blonde hair.

, Lvl 2 Greek maenad of Dionysus, Align: C, MV: 40’, AC: 9, HD: 2, Atk: 2 (claws), Dmg: 1d2+1/ 1d2+1, SP: cleric abilities at 1/2 normal use per day, spells prepared (1st: Shield* (as long as the recipient is at least mostly unclad), rip for 2d3+1, can ignore up to 1d2 damage per round, SV: C2, Mor: 11, Items: holy symbol, ivy garland, nothing at all! Main Emphasis: Don’t let yourself be held back by Authority, man! (Liber), Appearance: tanned complexion, brown hair. 


Maenads (class)
* Treat as clerics, except that these wild women cannot wear armor.
* They also only have 1/2 the same amount of mystery and spell uses per day as a cleric of the same level, rounded down.
* In return, they can make two claw attacks each round for 1d2 damage, plus 1 per odd level they have, each. 
* Hitting with both allows them to rip their target for an additional 2d3 damage, also plus 1 per odd level they have (sparagmos).
* In addition, they can ignore up to 1d2 damage per round per odd level.
* They otherwise enjoy drunken debauchery, praise to Dionysus, and the like, often getting quite carried away (omophagia).

Greek Shamans (Iatromantis)
* Treat as clerics, except that they cannot wear metal armor, use shields, nor use non-shamanic magic items..
* In return, they can see spirits and other ethereal beings with a successful save vs. spell/ Will save DC 15.
* They must also roll for Greek Shamanic Magical Side-Effects when casting spells (see below). These results can be adjusted based on the Greek shaman's tradition, per Referee. 

Greek Shamanic Magical Side-Effects (d6)
The shaman must do one of the following, usually for at least 1d3 rounds, to make the spell work. Otherwise he or she will face a divine test.
1. Journey to an otherworld, the shaman's body will remain behind, senseless and defenseless (Katabasis).
2. Dance, working with the spirits sacred to their god or goddess (50% chance of chanting too).
3. Drum (50% chance of chanting too).
4. Partake of hallucinogens, becoming better able to commune with the spirits (whether real or not). It can be taken right away, but the effects occur 1d3 rounds later, making the shaman confused for 3d6 rounds.
5. Be possessed by a spirit sacred to their divinity, acting under its control for at least 1d3 turns, gaining +2d6 to all rolls too.
6. Fall asleep at the next sacred place they encounter, in order to experience a dream (Incubation).

Next week: Temples of Dionysus in Part II!