Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Clerics of Hretha, Part I

Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Victory

Tenets of Hretha
* Make ready for battle
* Defend your folk
* Strive ever higher, achieve glory
* Laying one's enemies low 

Followers of Hretha
Special: Hretha is served by clerics and shield-maidens.
Allowed Weapons: Sword, spear, seax, lance
Allowed Armor: Chainmail & shield or lighter
Symbols: Wælcyrgie, Weapons, Wind
Can Turn: Those who they charge and fail morale
Mysteries of Hretha: Followers of Hretha can grant themselves or another an extra melee attack against a foe that they've just hit. They may do so up to once per day per level.

Folk Variations
Followers of similar goddesses can be created by modifying Hretha's rules.

Bellona (Roman): Her clerics seek victory in the name of the state, but are no less prone to wild slaughter. Allowed arms and armor should be Roman, and a number of her requirements can be changed to reflect both Roman duty and blood.

Hrouda (Germanic): Basic and primal, her seeresses see her as more as the embodiment of the mare and the wind. As a result, she can substitute some of the Germanic Magical Side-Effects shown in Volume II. She can also grant her followers access to horse totem abilities (link) instead.

Sigyn (Norse): Supporting her husband Loki, use the rules for Hretha, but her priestesses abilities instead focus on helping those who fail and/or are suffering. It is thus that they can achieve victory, even though they eschew arms, armor, and even violence.

Next week: clerics of Hretha, Part II!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Clerics of Hengist & Horsa, Part IV

Spells of Hengist & Horsa
Twin magic can be doubly advantageous- and if seen as demigods, Hengist & Horsa can only grant their clerics spells up to 5th level.
1st LevelCommand (on other Anglo-Saxons), Detect Rival Folk (as Detect Evil, but senses non-Anglo-Saxons), Protection from Evil, Remove Fear (reversible), Resist Cold, Charm Person* (via an attractive Anglo-Saxon woman who is within 60')

2nd LevelBless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Reveal Charm, Spiritual Weapon

3rd Level: Continual Light. Cure Disease, Glyph of Waring, Locate Object, Prayer, Striking

4th LevelCreate Food and Water (double potency if used to serve guests who will be stabbed to death afterwards), Lower Water, Neutralize Poison (reversible), Protection from Evil 10' Radius  

5th Level: Summon Ceorls (2d3, they arrive within 1d6 rounds, serve for at least 4d6 rounds thereafter, see stats below), Summon Seax (never be unarmed for long, the long knife (which does 1d5 damage) appears and lasts for 2d3 rounds), Mirror Image* (only makes 1 copy though)

6th Level: Dispel Evil, Flame Strike, Quest

7th Level: Control Weather, Holy Word, Restoration, Wind Walk

Dinner with Long Knives (an Anglo-Saxon Encounter)

Background: The party is invited to a meal by the cleric Aelfhea. A number of well-connected Anglo-Saxon nobles will be attending. 

"Don't worry", he explains, "you won't need to bring weapons: the cutlery is already provided."

A beautiful Saxon woman is supposed to be there too, Golderon, sweetening the pot (she does bring honey along with her 18 Charisma).

Main Event: The place is a hastily assembled tent area, roughly 40' wide by 100' long; a makeshift meadhall. There will be 1 thane (Anglo-Saxon noble) and 2 ceorls (Anglo-Saxon freeman) for every party member who attends. Golderon has a base 75% chance of showing up, 25% chance of showing up on time. Unarmed, even un-secretly-armed, servants will also be around to serve wine and roast mutton. They will make themselves scarce as soon as possible.

As the dinner progresses, hopefully with the party getting drunk, they will then be either made an offer to assist the thanes, or to die (via stabbing). 

- Any party members who are not noble Britons or some others whom the Anglo-Saxons wish to take land from will receive a request to assist the Anglo-Saxons in such matters, for a suitable recompense of course. 

- Those who are noble Britons or some others whom the Anglo-Saxons wish to take land from will be summarily attacked with hidden long knives (seaxes) that the Anglo-Saxons have hidden on them. Aelfhea will use the divine powers bestowed upon him by Hengist & Horsa (his spells, etc.) to help ensure things go smoothly (or so he hopes).

ConsiderationsGetting in good favor with the Anglo-Saxon nobility and Aelfhea can be the party's ticket to easier living, better quests, and beautiful Anglo-Saxon women 

On the other hand, getting stabbed to death by them would likely be undesirable. If the party has attempted to make wise decisions but still faces being murdered, the Referee may wish to be merciful and have Aelfhea decide to only enslave them instead.

Note: Any allies (or potential allies) of the Anglo-Saxons will be spared, but still restrained from assisting their unfortunate friends who have accompanied them to dinner. Aelfhea's Hold Person spell would do well for that.

Wilhere, Beornmund, Beorhyweald, and others
Thanes  Align: N, MV: 35’, AC: 4, HD: 3, Atk: 1 (seax- hidden), Dmg: 1d5+1, SP: can add 2 to their bonus either to hit, damage, or AC each round when defending lands that their people have conquered (including this makeshift meadhall), SV: F3, Mor: 10, Items: chaimail, helm, (seax), 3d20 gold pieces.

Anglo-Saxon Maiden Align: N, MV: 40’, AC: 9, HD: 1-1, Atk: 1 (seax- hidden), Dmg: 1d5-1, SP: CHA 18, SV: T1, Mor: 6 (2 if thanes fall), Items: Attractive garb, (seax), golden brooch, honey pot.

Ethbrin, Lambin, Pohtgils, Botwulf, Turold, Burhred, and more
Ceorls  Align: N, MV: 40’, AC: 7, HD: 1, Atk: 1 (seax- hidden), Dmg: 1d5, SP: none, SV: F1, Mor: 8 (4 if thanes fall), Items: Fur coats, (seax), 3d20 copper pieces.

Aelfhea, Cleric of Hengist & Horsa
Lvl 3 Cleric   A
lign: N, MV: 35’, AC: 4, HD: 3, Atk: 1 (seax- hidden), Dmg: 1d5, SP: turn ability, can grant himself or another a +2 AC bonus for 1d3 rounds (3/day), spells prepared (1st: Command, Detect Rival Folk, Charm Person; 2nd: Bless. Hold Person). SV: C3, Mor: 9. Items: chainmail, helm, (seax), holy symbol, 2d20 gold pieces.

Next week: our series on Anglo-Saxon divinities continues with Hretha!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Coming Soon

Volume IV: Finnish & Slavic

I am proud to introduce my latest work, Divinities & Cults: Volume IV. Coming soon, this tome explores the deities and myths of both the Ancient Finns & Slavs, allowing one to incorporate rules for their followers into old-school games via new tenets, follower guidelines, turn abilities, mysteries, magical side-effects, divine tests, and spells. With outstanding color art by Luigi Castellani and an amassing of new lore, this pdf book will be a welcome addition to your Divinities & Cults library.

Long-term fans of this site will recall that these divinities were previewed here years earlier. Their rules have now been updated and expanded. Many of the additional rules in this volume can be easily applied to other cultures too.

Contents include:

Additional Finnish Divinities (partial descriptions)

Baba Yaga
Vesna (partial description)

Loviatar (brief description)
Uncle Steel Dwarf

Bronze Age & Iron Age Magic
Clerical Bans
Summoning Monsters & Spirits
Variable Spells Known & Abilities
Variant Traditions

Bogatyrs (Slavic Heroic Knights) 
Druzhina (Slavic Warrior Bands)
Fighter-Wizard Variations
Finnish Shamans
Finnish Warriors
Kolduns (Slavic Sorcerers)
Priests (Finnish & Slavic)
Noitas (Finnish Shamanic-Witches)
Tietajas (Finnish Wizard-Shamans)
Vedmas (Slavic Witches)
Volkhvs (Slavic Oracular Priests)

Pohjolan Folk & Monsters
Slavic Vampires

Finnish Ancestral Spirits
Finnish Nature Spirits
Finnish Fey (Tonttu)
General Rules
Slavic Domestic Spirits 
Slavic Wilderness Spirits
the Summon Spirit Spell

There will be an announcement on this site once the book has been released. And, in thanks to my loyal readers, it will be offered at a reduced price for the following 48 hours!