Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Divinities & Cults: Volume III, Preview #1

While I’m finishing up the final writing pieces and the art is about halfway done, I thought I’d provide you with your first preview. Take a look for yourself with this sample page of Enlil, illustrated by Luigi Castellani:

Divinities & Cults: Volume III covers the Mesopotamian and Egyptian pantheons, along with a number of related Demon Lords and the like. As with Volumes I & II, each divinity has his or her own unique tenets, weapons and armor allowed, divine tests, spell lists, other qualities, and related tables. In this volume though, they also have magical side-effects (for all spells, not just healing) and rules for encountering their avatars. I’ve also included a number of new monsters- a preview of them coming next week.

Mesopotamian divinities: Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Ishtar, Marduk, Nanna, and Utu.
Egyptian divinities: Anubis, Bast, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ra, and Thoth.
And the Demon Lords, etc.: Apep, Dagon, Nergal, Set, and Tiamat.

If you liked the free divinity articles for Ninhursag (here) and Sobek (here), you’ll enjoy the divinities provided in this volume, since they follow similar formats. Nevertheless, each god and goddess is unique and so too are their clerics- each one becoming its own, minor magical tradition as a result, extensively detailed for play.

Like with all my Divinities and Cults volumes, the first version will be for Labyrinth Lord, though if there’s enough interest, I’ll make a DCC RPG version as well. In any case, after I release this version of Volume III in a few weeks, I’ll be getting both versions of Volume I ready for print-on-demand to be ready by April.

Next week: Divinities & Cults: Volume III, Preview #2

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clerics of Sobek, Part III

Cleric Spells (Sobek)
Clerics of Sobek have access to the following spells:

1st Level: Cure Light Wounds (reversible), Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, Remove Fear (reversible), Locate CreatureD (up to 5x normal range via scent), Charm Person*, Enlarge*, Ventriloquism*

2nd Level: Bless (reversible), Delay Poison, Find Traps, Hold Person (can also be cast along with a successful bite attack), Lizard Charm (as Snake Charm, but works on legged reptiles instead), Resist Fire, Speak with Animal (legged reptiles only), Crocskin (as BarkskinD, but has a reptilian appearance), Detect Snares and PitsD, Detect Invisible*, Scare*, Strength*

3rd Level: Animal Growth (legged reptiles only), Cure Blindness, Dispel Magic, Feign Death, Hieroglyph of Warding (as Glyph of Warding, but very Egyptian), Prayer, Remove Curse (reversible), Striking (on allowed weapons only), Water BreathingD, Haste* (can only be cast when cleric is in water), Infravision*

4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds (reversible), Exorcise, Neutralize Poison, Logs to Crocodiles (as Sticks to Snakes, but can create 1d2 crocodiles from logs instead), Fear*, Polymorph Self* (crocodile form only),

5th Level: Atonement, Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Faithful Croc (as Faithful Hound*, but is crocodilian of course), Transmute Rock to Mud*

6th Level: Blade Barrier (appears as fangs in a crocodile mouth), Conjure Animals (crocodiles), Heal (reversible), Move Earth*

7th Level: Earthquake, Regenerate, Restoration, Summon Avatar (Sobek), Crushing Hand* (appears as a phantom crocodile that crushes with its jaws)

Avatar of Sobek
Align: N
MV: 40’ (swim 40’)
AC: 0
HD: 20
Atk: 1 bite
Dmg: 6d10
SP: Sobek cleric spells/abilities (caster level 22), humanoid giant form, Magic Resistance: 22%
SV: F22
Mor: 11

An avatar of Sobek appears as an enormous crocodile, though it can also take on the form of a humanoid giant with a crocodile head too, losing its swim ability, but gaining the use of its hands. In either case, it is always hungry, either for food or a mate, taking what it wants and woe be unto any who stand in its way!

Sobek Encounters
1. The party runs across a blond, beefy man with a strange accent who is trying to tame a crocodile or similar reptilian beast. Whether they intervene or not will be looked upon favorably by Sobek... or not.

2. 1d4 crocodiles emerge to attack the party. If the party counterattacks, then there is a 25% chance of a large or even giant crocodile (per Referee) being sent by Sobek to make things more interesting!

3. Individuals are encountered that have strange, little crocodile symbols stitched upon their clothing. They are actually Cultists of ‘I, Zod’, a heretical sect that worships Sobek as a Demon Lord of snappy dressing (literally).

4. A lone man with the traits of 1d4 of Sobek’s  #10-14 divine tests is spotted. He is either (roll 1d6): [1-3] a Sobek cleric, [4-5] one simply blessed by Sobek with such traits, or [6] a Sobek avatar polymorphed to look medium sized. In any case, the lone man also has a 50% chance of being in the process of either stalking live prey or a mate, most likely targeting one or more of the party (a base 75% chance)!

Next week: previews of the upcoming Divinities & Cults: Volume III!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Clerics of Sobek, Part II

Divine Tests (Sobek)
Sobek will bite into his faithful: will it destroy them or have them come out stronger?

1-4. The cleric becomes better acquainted with Sobek’s pointed teeth. He takes 1d2 damage per divine test result (1d2 to 4d2), extra (1d4 to 4d4) if he shows any fear when it occurs, requiring a WIS or Morale check.

5-9. Sobek hungers! Unless the cleric does two of the following by the next sunrise, the Crocodile God will consume some of his spells (50% chance for each one) including possibly his turn ability, making him unable to use them. Roll 2d6 to see what the cleric needs to do:
[1] Mate with an attractive mate, one that has a CHA of at least 14 + 1d4
[2] Bask in the sun for 2d3 turns
[3] Guard the immediate area (120’ from where this test takes place) for 1 hour, attacking any non-crocodiles or faithful of Sobek that come too close
[4] Bite someone who doesn’t properly fear crocodiles, causing at least 3d4 damage to them
[5] Swim in a river for at least 2d3 turns
[6] Kill and eat someone within 1 hour, whether they are properly afraid or not
If unsuccessful, then the spells are lost for the next 6d6 hours- after a while, crocodile!

10-14. A servant of Sobek should look like one! The cleric changes permanently. Each result also causes him to have a cumulative 25% chance of needing to kill and eat a fresh meal every 3 hours, along with the listed benefits and other possible drawbacks. Otherwise, he’s always considered to be a monster by the uninitiated. Roll 1d4.
[1] Crocodile Head: Treat as if the cleric is always wearing his Sobek mask, allowing him to also make 1 bite attack for 1d6 damage per round, as well as causing all prey animals to flee in fear when they spot him.
[2] Crocodile Senses: The cleric can see, smell, and hear with a +4 bonus, +8 if he is submerged or otherwise hidden at the time.
[3] Crocodile Tail & Feet: The cleric can swim at his normal land speed, hold his breath for 1 hour at a time, and also gains a +4 bonus to resist being pushed around or grappled.
[4] Crocodile Hide: The cleric’s AC improves by 4, though his speed is reduced by 10’.

15-17. Now the cleric of Sobek must undergo a greater challenge! Roll 1d3.
[1] Hunt the Crocodile Hunter: The cleric must find and kill one who hunts crocodiles or even worse, tries to tame them and keep them as pets! The cleric must work towards finding this individual for at least 4d4 hours, preferably feeding him to said crocodiles if and when he finds him- right, mate?
[2] Children of Sobek: 2d4 ordinary crocodiles, 1d4-1 large crocodiles, and 1d2-1 giant crocodiles show up suddenly, attacking all within sight. Though the cleric can try to avoid their attacks, he must also do his best to protect these children of Sobek from harm and even assist them in their rightful feeding frenzy. They remain for the next 2d3 turns unless they or the cleric are slain.
[3] Hand it to the River King: Most fools would tempt fate by seeing if a crocodile will bite when they put their hand into its mouth. The cleric will now too, risking a 50% chance of one of his hands being immediately bitten off by a phantom one.

18+ An avatar of Sobek arrives, intent on eating many (see Part III for stats)! It remains for 1 day per divine test total over 17, eating (or attempting to eat) all who come within a 1/4 mile radius. The cleric must remain too during this time, assisting the avatar and trying not to get eaten himself, though if that happens, Sobek won’t even shed a crocodile tear.

Next week: clerics of Sobek, Part III

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Clerics of Sobek, Part I

Neutral Egyptian God of Crocodiles, Wetlands, & Might
Tenets of Sobek
* Take what you want, preferably by force
* Eat those who oppose you, including those who oppose your hunger!
* Mate often, bathe often, and protect what is yours

Clerics of Sobek
Special: Sobek is served by clerics and shamans*
Allowed Weapons: Spear, mace, short sword, dagger
Allowed Armor: Scale mail or lighter
Holy Symbol: Crocodile
Can Turn: Those unready for battle
Mysteries of Sobek: Clerics of Sobek wear crocodile masks, allowing them to make a bite attack that automatically causes 1d8 damage, +1 per level. They may do so up to once per day per level, though their masks always look very intimidating.
 *Shamans of Sobek lose the ability to wear metal armor and to turn, gaining other abilities and replacing select spells instead (see Divinities and Cults: Volume II for details)

Magical Side-Effects
Sobek’s power is rife with toothy reptilian brutality- what else would one expect? Roll 1d12.

1. If I Could Just Get a Taste... The cleric will need to take a little nibble, preferably of someone, though something might do if no one else is around. In any case, he is compelled to make a bite attack within 1 round and it doesn’t count toward his daily total (per Mysteries of Sobek, above). The cleric’s got to eat!

2. Sacrifice: Rituals and offerings, equal to 1d3 rounds and 1d6 gold pieces per spell level are needed by Sobek for the magic to work. If nice, juicy morsels of freshly slain meat (or almost freshly slain meat) are given though, then no extra time or cost is required. 

3. A Unique Craving: The cleric has gotten hungry again, but only a certain kind of something will satisfy. He must either lie with an attractive mate (CHA of at least 14+1d4) or chew upon some upstart who doesn’t properly respect crocodiles (or both) within the next hour. If he doesn’t, then the next spell he casts will only be at half its normal power.

4. Fear Sobek! All within 1d6 x 10’ of the spell’s casting (whether good or evil) must save vs. paralysis or flee in terror for the next 1d6 rounds, as the cleric makes his presence known with a mighty roar!

5-9. No Side-Effect: The spell functions in the usual way... for now!

10. King of the River: The spell works normally and if cast while the cleric is at least partially submerged, it has a 50% bonus to its effect, range, or duration.

11-12. Wrath of Sobek! Sobek is mighty, but he is cunning too. The spell works automatically for double effect, range, or duration. In addition, if it is harmful and cast on one unsuspecting, then one of its aspects can be tripled!

Next week: clerics of Sobek, Part II!