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. Wolf 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).

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!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part V

Geedeepee Encounters

Roll 1d12 
1.  A wealthy man holds a  menacing influence over this area. Named Master Ignatius, he is as haughty as he is decrepit and rich, and if he hasn't yet begun to work with Geedeepee, he soon will. Even worse, he controls the local node (see Volume II).

2. With a blackness in the air, the party correctly senses that an unholy shopping event is about to befall the next market they visit. Once found, the townsfolk will fight madly for the newest item, happily stampeding any who stand in their way (including any party members foolish enough to do so), causing 3d6 damage to those who fail their save vs. paralysis/ Reflex save DC 15. Geedeepee will smile upon what a Dark Day it will be!

3. Rumors abound of the local Thieves Guild challenging some upstart banker. Once the latter calls upon the aid of Geedeepee though, it will be hard to see who the cruelest will be.

4.  A random, unlucky party member is suddenly overcome with the urge to spend all his or her gold on frivolous things. He or she might think that is bad until it also attracts the attention of a new confidant, one who shows great interest in their lack of financial restraint: a moneychanger.

5. Someone claiming to be a 'commissar' approaches the party, intent on rooting out 'Capitalist Scum'. Though he follows the fell Uncle Steel Dwarf, scrolls he shows do point to an actual Geedeepee plot, which they may wish to foil after they're done with him.
6. At the next tavern the party enters, all the working folk wear garish outfits and forced smiles. Whether serving wench or barkeep, they remain under the spell of a new owner, one keen on making a profit at everyone else's expense- very devilish indeed.

7. With a devastating roar, a large and strange bear emerges. The party may soon realize it's sacred to Geedeepee when their fortunes quickly drop...
Geedeepee Bear: Align: C, MV: 50’, AC: 4, HD: 7, Atk: 3 (2 claws, 1 bite), Dmg: 1d3+2/ 1d3+2/1d6+4, SP: those fighting it have all their rolls 
and their wealth halved  too (save vs. death/ Will save DC 10 negates, can be rerolled each round, though any lost wealth must be regained through the usual methods), SV: F7, Mor: 10

8. 1d4 random items that party recently purchased prove to be faulty: weapons break when parried, armor seizes up, waterskins leak, and the like. Though they originally seemed fine, on close inspection, they show shoddy craftmanship. Perhaps that's why they were so enticingly priced and had the face of a laughing coin on them?

9. Rumors of boxing clubs have sprung up in this area, intent on removing the greed and shallowishness of the local rulers. And though the boxers are harsh and subversive, it's nothing compared how the rulers are when crossed.

10. The greediest member of the party is visited by a number of ghosts during the night. The following morning, he must save vs. spell/ make a Will save DC 15 or forswear his avarice, otherwise he must become an official follower of Geedeepee.

11. Rumors tell of an exceedingly dangerous bull in the area. Those who stumble upon it find it to be one spawned by Geedeepee, and a pet of a local moneychanger.
Geedeepee Bull: Align: C, MV: 70’, AC: 2, HD: 4*, Atk: 1 (gore), Dmg: 1d8+5, SP: may charge for double damage; for every victim it kills, it gains 1 additional HD, though if it reaches 12 HD, it explodes- otherwise, its HD reduces back to 4 at the rate of 1 per hour, Save: F4*, Mor: 11.
12. A moneychanger counts his wealth at this place. He is level 1d10 and guarded by (roll 1d4): [1] 2d3 bodyguards with 1d2 HD each, [2] a Geedeepee Bear (per #7 above), [3] a Geedeepee Bull (per #11 above), [4] reroll 1d3 twice. Though formidable, there's also a base 25% chance that he abuses his protectors (since they don't have nearly as much treasure as he does), and if properly motivated, they could turn on him.

Next week: we begin a new series on totems, starting with the wolf!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part IV

Skilled at conjuring apparent wealth, holding it, and duping others, moneychangers must recruit the forces of other Fell Lords if they wish to work different magics. Such are the devilish ways of Geedeeoee, and such cleverness will come at a cost (1d10 gold pieces per spell level cast)Moneychangers who fail to pay up in these cases (or somehow otherwise foul the spell) will incur the wrath of that Fell Lord via a divine test with a +4 modifier, especially if they use Golden Promises as payment.

For example, if a moneychanger were to cast Command, then he'd only have to roll for Geedeepee's magical side-effects. If he wanted to cast Cure Light Wounds though, he'd also have to pay an additional 1d10 gold pieces to do so since the magic for that spell would be sourced out to the Arch-Devil of Ill-Healing, Tyranny, Waiting, & Cost. He'd also roll on the Shield Ghul's test table if he rolled a one on his casting roll or otherwise provoked a test, and that test would be more difficult than normal.

1st Level: Command, Cure Light Wounds (via the Shield Ghul), Protection from Evil (via Beliah), Remove Fear (reversed, via Tezschnaz), Sanctuary (if at a market or place where wealth is stored), Charm Person* (with regards to money matters, for all others, via Unharmonia), Floating Disk* (via Enak), Hold Portal*, Identify*, Jarring Hand* (via Balor), Mending*, Message*, Read Languages* (via Ghul-Ghul), Shield* (via Enak)

2nd Level: Augury (with regards to financial issues), Bless (reversible, via Maelfo), Hold Person (via Orcus), Reveal Charm, Spiritual Weapon (wielded by a phantom bodyguard, via Thrym), Amnesia*, Arcane Lock*, Auditory Illusion*, Detect Invisible* (via Nergal), False Gold* (up to 100 gold pieces in Golden Promises can be created out of nothing per caster level), Invisibility* (via Maelfo), Knock*, Locate Object*, Magic Mouth*, Mirror Image (via Set), Rope Trick* 

3rd Level: Animate Dead (via R'ti), Cure Blindness/Disease (via the Shield Ghul), Glyph of Warding, Haste* (if recipient will be shopping or barreling over others to grab things), Protection from Normal Missiles* (via Beliah), Tiny Hut*, Suggestion* (with regards to money matters, for all others, via Unharmonia), Summon Monster I (via Tiamat)

4th Level: Create Food and Water (via Johnny Applewheeze), Confusion (via Dagon), Cure Serious Wounds (via the Shield Ghul), Divination (via Ghul-Ghul), Charm Monster (via Tiamat)

5th Level: Commune, Faithful Hound* (via Fenrir), Flame Strike (usable on those who owe the moneychanger money, via Surtur), Secret Chest*

6th Level: Animate Objects (via Enak), Word of Recall, Flesh to Gold* (as Flesh to Stone, but victim can then be converted into Golden Promises), Guards and Wards*, Invisible Stalker* (via Fenrir), Summon Geedeepee Bear or Bull (see Part V for stats)

7th Level: Instant Summons* (summoned item need not be marked and no gem is required-  moneychanger simply pays for it with Golden Promise when it arrives)s, Summon Demon* (via any Fell Lord)

Key to Fell Lords
Balor- see Volume II
Beliah- see Volume II
Dagon- see Volume III
Enak- see Volume II
Fenrir- link
Ghul-Ghul- link
Johnny Applewheeze- link
Maelfo- see Volume I
Nergal- see Volume III
Orcus- see Volume II
R'ti- see Volume I
Set- see Volume III
Shield Ghul- see Wyrd Ways of Walstock
Surtur- link 
Tezschnaz- see Volume I
Thrym- see Volume II
Tiamat- see Volume III)
Unharmonia- see Volume I

Next week: Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part V! 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part III

The bears and bulls might prove too much for even the greediest moneychanger.

Devil Tests
1-3. With diabolic scheming, the moneychanger must scry the Infernal Realm of Markets, taking at least 2d6 turns.

4-9. The Corpus of Geedeepee grows hungry, demanding its disciple take more initiative so it can feed upon his profit. The moneychanger loses access to some of his spells (75% chance for each one, possibly including his turn ability) until he commits such acts. Roll 1d6 for each one lost to see what it must be. 
[1] Trick someone out of at least 10d20 gold pieces.
[2] Hire a servant for a task, berate them, and then pay them poorly.
[3] Pollute, overharvest, and/or leave much refuse on a natural area that's at least 1d6 x 100' in size.
[4] Purchase new items for himself, worth at least 1d4x100 gold pieces in value.
[5] Attack a victim directly, call them lazy, and take their money.
[6] Have a victim slain by a bear or bull, then take their money.

10-12. Such devilry can come at a cost to one's health and well-being. Unless the moneychanger can find a willing dupe to take his place by the next dawn, he suffers a permanent 1d2 penalty to a random ability score as Geedeepee's corruption of life or distortion of mind takes hold of him too.

13-14. The earth cracks and moans beneath the moneychanger's fancy shoes, emitting noxious fumes, foul refuse, and a dismal air fitting for diabolic wealth. The area within a 1d6 x 100' diameter will grant a +2 to all rolls related to industry and commerce from now on, but also a -10 penalty to all rolls related health, happiness, freedom, and serenity.

15-17. The moneychanger gains 3d6 zero-level workers to assist him, depressedly serving his every selfish whim for 1d4 copper pieces a day. Still, there's a base 66% chance each day of a 'setback' occurring, rolled for each of them (1d6): [1-2] fallen ill, the worker now has a -2 penalty to all rolls, [3-4] maimed, the worker loses the ability to walk, use one hand, or see out of one eye [5] worker is slain, [6] worker is on strike and now devoted to killing the moneychanger. If enough workers are affected at once, such 'setbacks' might actually become serious for the moneychanger.

 The markets collapse under the moneychangers fiat fallacies, causing all Golden Promises he has created so far to be adjusted to their true value (zero). Depending on how much he spent in a given area, many lives may be ruined, but he certainly will be, as an angry mob tracks him down sometime within 1d6 turns and inflicts 6d6 damage before he can escape. And for every devil test result over 18, the damage done increases by 3d6 more.

Next week: Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part IV!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part II

 Magical Side-Effects
Up and up Geedeepee goes, where it stops is when it crashes below. Roll 1d12.

1. Bust: The arrow dives and so too do the moneychanger's fortunes. Not only does his spell only work at 1/2 strength, but any Golden Promises he has to his name are halved in value as well.

2. Stand Atop the (Corpse of the) Little Guy: The spell will work, though a victim must lose some treasure or at least have their work lambasted first. However the moneychanger does so is fine with Geedeepee, just as long as its paid.

3. Reap & Reap Some More: What better way to get slightly ahead than to rape the earth? As the spell occurs, the nearest 1d6 x 10' diameter natural area in a random direction suffers some deprivation, whether it be (roll 1d4) [1] spoiling of the plants and soil, [2] collection of noxious refuse, [3] insidious harming of the health of any beasts or folk there, or [4] all three. Druids and other Nature-lovers will take a very dim view of this effect.

4. Oh, Geedeepee: The Arch-Devil's 'prosperity' abounds, with all within 1d6 x 10' of the spell's casting experiencing one of the following effects (roll 1d3): [1] have their wealth adjusted by +50 to -60% (1d12-7 x 10), [2] become physically ill, suffering -1 to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution, or [3] become mentally ill, suffering -1 to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. The latter two effects last for the next 1d12 days unless cured beforehand.

5-8. Standard Casting: Apart from the mysterious signs of money, whispering of arrows, and/or moaning of lives and lands ruined, the spell occurs normally,

9. The Path to Success: If the moneychanger is willing to spend at least 1d10 x 10 gold pieces at the next buying opportunity he has (preferably on frivolous things), then he can increase the spell's range, effect, or duration by 50%.

10. It's in the Numbers: Luckily for the moneychanger, the magic's range, effect, or duration is automatically boosted by 50% with Geedeepee's devilry, though he may still wish to consume wantonly anyway.

11. A Capital Notion! All it takes is a can-do attitude to get ahead, for those who can't enjoy rapid growth are just too lazy to appreciate it! If the moneychanger takes some initiative and decapitates or inflates to death a victim by the next dawn, then his spell's effects, range, or duration can be doubled. 

12. Boom: The arrow soars and so too does the moneychanger's magic, enabling him to double its duration, range. or effect, not to mention the value of any Golden Promises he has.

Next week: Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part III!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Moneychangers of Geedeepee, Part I

Lawful (Evil) Arch-Devil of Greed & Fiat Currency

Cult Edicts of Geedeepee
* Accrue wealth & possessions, no matter what the cost
* Take advantage of others whenever possible
* And consume all that you can from Nature too

Moneychangers of Geedeepee
Special: Geedeepee is served by a unique type of cleric known as the moneychanger.
Allowed Weapons: Cane or scepter (as mace)
Allowed Armor: None, though the wearing of fancy clothes is encouraged.
Unholy Symbols: Money & Greedy Folk, Arrows Angling Up, Bears & Bulls
Can Turn: Any who owe another money (if not known, a base 50% chance in civilized areas).
Mysteries of Geedeepee: Up to once per day per level, a moneychanger can transmute 3d20 gold coins into an amount of Golden Promises temporarily valued at 1d6+4 x 10% more. These promissory notes are much easier to carry around and must be accepted by those who would otherwise be paid in actual coin, though a save vs. spell (or Will save DC 15) resists such duplicity. Once taken, their value immediately drops to 1d10 x 10% less- much to the chagrin of their holders, depending on the fickle nature of Geedeepee.

Next week: Moneychangers, Part II!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Diviners of Ghul-Ghul, Part V

Ghul-Ghul Encounters

Roll 1d12 
1.  A disheveled, hipster-type accosts a random party member, accusing him of making 'antagonistic utterances' (saying bad word). Not that such an event is especially strange, apart for the fact that the hipster keeps chanting 'Ghul-Ghul' afterwards. Perhaps this is some type of Ghul-Gag?

2.  A long-term 'friend' of the party suddenly shows their true face. Not only does he or she refuse to talk to them, but the rascal even decries the party in the nearest public square! Little do they know that the apparent friend is dabbling with Ghul-Ghul and has experienced a Face-Tome demon test as a result.

3. Where is that song coming from? Up ahead a singer performs to an audience of 4d20. Unfortunately, there's a 10% chance each round of the platform on which she stands giving way and collapsing. Investigation will uncover that this was the doing of a Ghul-Ghul cultist wishing to placate Thou-Show.

4. A strange light leads to a shop that offers a surprisingly good supply of (roll 1d6): [1] torches, [2] rations, [3] ale, [4] caltrops, [5] sacks, or [6] per Referee. All are of good quality and at an excellent price. Those who partake will soonafter realize that such items are unavailable in the next 1d3 places where they should usually be. Maid-Buy will smile on such an occurrence, and happily send any so affected a Ghul-Ghul box to help it making it more commonplace yet.

5. Rumored in these parts is the Brave Lion, one who stands up to dread Ghul-Ghul. Whether some barely known god, totemic spirit, or simply a mortal group, the Lion will enable divination without torment, a truly rare thing amongst Interweb giants. In any case, such giants look to silence Brave Lion in the name of stopping 'false tidings'- a common thing amongst Interweb giants indeed.
6.  The party hears of a strange seeress who also acts a baker of foxes, cruelly alighting them on fire. She claims to stand against the tyrannies of Ghul-Ghul with her warped methods, but it is soon uncovered that her lizardine nature may even be a greater tyrant yet. The party may have to outfox her when she attempts to toss any non-corrupted diviners, their allies, or even those who have simply used their services off her devilish platforms into pits of doom.

7. Burly and with a strange look to his eyes, a lumberjack approaches who tells of many bizarre threats conspiring to destroy the goodly folk of the world- all done in order to usher in some Evil Order! If the party will let him, he will go on at length about (roll 1d6): [1] green-skinned rock-slitherers, [2] bad-smelling, corrupt aristocrats, [3] vampiric goblins with large bellies, [4] zealot dervishes intent on marketplace slaughter, [5-6] all 4. Such might seem to be the blatherings of a madman, that is, until he vanishes without a trace the next day. His name was Jalec Owens.

8. Local diviners complain of terrible monsters that not only interfere with their magics, but are nearly impossible to outwit. Treat them as trolls that can also scry on others' divinations that occur within 1 mile unless the diviner saves vs. spell (makes a Will save DC 15). Those who fail to save the first time must save a second, or won't be able to even access their results of their own divination. The wise might attempt to recruit such monsters in the fight against Ghul-Ghul, for they are Ruthenian Trolls.

9. 2d4 corpses are strewn about here. Their overly colorful garb and unholy symbols point to them being followers of Ghul-Ghul. Further investigation will uncover that it was a group of cultists loyal to either (roll 1d6): [1-2] Enak, [3-4] the Shield Ghul, or [5-6] both who slew them, angry over infringement of either their dark master's name and/or portfolio.

10. With howls of horrific outrage, a crowd is gathered here to sacrifice an aging man who has run quite afoul of nearly all the Interwebs Giants. Named Captain Salpinx, he still has a shock of blond hair, mouthy arrogance, and proudly wears a red helm that speaks of his realm's former glory. The crowd need only decide which one to placate first when its avatar arrives...

Interwebs Giant: Align: C, MV: 50’, AC: 2, HD: 11-16 (10+1d6), Atk: 1, Dmg: 3d6 + HD, SP: can cast 1 Ghul-Ghul spell of its choice each round at will; those slain by the giant must save vs. death (Will save DC 10) or rise again as a ghoul (a ghul-ghul), SV: F12, Mor:11

11. Doom impends upon this realm. Allying with another great evil (or evils!) the warped cultists of Ghul-Ghul's foul divinations have joined forces with at least one other demon lord to snuff out the goodly folk for... good. Roll 1d6: [1] Tiamat (see Volume III), [2] Orcus (see Volume II), [3] Uncle Steel Dwarf (link), [4] Louhi (in upcoming Volume IV), [5] Chernobog (the same), or [6] reroll twice.
12. A diviner. dwells here, seemingly innocent enough, except for the fact that he accesses the twisted powers of Ghul-Ghul. He or she is (roll 1d12): [1-8] a dabbler, [9-11] a devoted Ghul-Ghul cultist, [12] one actually turned into an actual ghoul (a ghul-ghul) due to an unpleasant encounter with an interwebs giant.

Next week: moneychangers of Geedeepee!