Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Utu

7th in the gods and goddesses series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Utu, Mesopotamian god of the sun, truth, law, & justice.

And if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you should! The Labyrinth Lord version is available now.

Utu Encounters
1. Bright light fills the area- is it the sun or another divine manifestation? Unless those who see it are followers of Utu or some other solar deity, they will be blinded for the next 1d20 rounds. Any beings of darkness take 4d20 damage.

2. Two individuals stand facing each other. They stare angrily with weapons at their sides, but those weapons are still sheathed for now. It is nearly high noon. Does the party intervene or run for cover?

3.  A cleric of Utu offers to accompany and assist the party in their quest. It soon becomes obvious though that, thanks to a divine test, his shoulders always shine light like a torch. Though his services might be much appreciated, he may actually hinder tasks that require subterfuge...

4. Signs for missing people are posted along the side of the road. Inquiry reveals that a troupe of horse-riding rakes is somehow involved. Further investigation shows that they are not only lawbreakers responsible for all the lost boys in this beachlike area, but are also foul creatures of darkness too (vampires)! Two adolescent followers of Utu might be the party's only hope.

5.  A snake, a bird, and a minor demon walk up to a willow tree. The snake must be killed, though the bird and minor demon can be driven off easily with enough yelling. Afterwards, there’s a 75% chance of a priestess of Ishtar arriving in order to command the party to turn the tree into her throne- all in the name of Utu! If so, then there’s a 100% chance she’s not joking.

6. Sounds of battle ring out up ahead. An armored hero is fighting some sort of winged dog-beast... and he is losing! Does the party intervene? If they do, they discover the hero to be a paladin of Utu and the monster to be a dreaded anzu!

7.  An attractive woman chooses to accompany a lucky male member of the party. She is actually a (roll 1d3): [1] Naditu (temple nun), [2] Shamhat (temple prostitute), or [3] priestess of Utu. In any case, she is likely also ‘brilliant’ and/or a ‘lioness’ (75% chance of each), no matter what her vows are.

8. The nearby folk have become entranced by strange boxes that show dancing images to those that look within them. The local lord (a devotee of Utu) has grown concerned, since the folk no longer work, but instead only lay about all day and stare. The boxes turn out to be the sorcerous work of the insidious demon lord Ghul-Ghul, who wishes to lull the land into weakness and thereby allow an invasion of Ugallu (lion men) and Uridimmu (dog men) to commence uncontested. That the name for the boxes sounds much like ‘Utu’ only makes matters worse.

9. The party stumbles across a grandiose hat. Unless already obvious, sages will show it to be that of a Mesopotamian god (for it is horned w/ a brim, etc.) and it allows the wearer to cast a random 1st level spell from Utu’s list up to three times per day.

10. Bathed in radiant sunlight, a Mesopotamian white temple is spotted up ahead. It either (roll 1d4): 
[1] is under siege by 3d6 Kulullu (fish men), [2] is hosting a celebration of 4d6 humans, [3] appears deserted, [4] seems normal. See also Mesopotamian Temples in Volume III, listed under Utu, for more details.

11. Suddenly, a golden chariot appears, piloted by a lone and shining individual. He is a (roll 1d4): 
[1] cleric of Utu, [2] priest of Utu, [3] paladin of Utu, [4] Avatar of Utu. If the party has been following the cause of Law and Justice then he will bestow a blessing upon them. If not, then he will attack!

12. Utu takes direct interest in the party’s affairs. If they are traveling and already on a quest, then he will aid them (see his divine test 17+ for ideas). If not, then he will set them on a quest and then give the aid anyway.

Sample 7th Level Cleric of Utu
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 2
HD: 7
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+3 (saw-sword) or 1d6+2 (javelin)
SP: Utu turn ability, mysteries, must see the dawn and must ride west in a chariot for 1 turn each day (divine tests)
Spells prepared:
1st level: Command, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Light, Solar Missile* (x2)
2nd level: Know Alignment, Hold Person, Resist Fire, Spiritual Weapon (x2)
3rd level: Cure Blindness, Hold Animal, Sunbolt*
4th Level: Cure Serious Wounds
SV: C7
Mor: 11
Possessions: +3 Scale mail, holy symbol, +2 saw-sword (treat as short sword), +1 javelin (x7), riding horse (HD 2) and light chariot, 177 gold pieces

Next week: we take a short break from cleric encounters to take a look at how to convert Healing Side-Effects to Magical Side-Effects, a modification currently being made to Volume I (for both Labyrinth Lord & DCC RPG)...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Divinities and Cults: Volume III (Labyrinth Lord) Now Available!


Have you unleashed the mighty power of Divinities and Cults in your game yet? 

Divinities and Cults: Volume III covers the gods and goddesses of both the Mesopotamian and Egyptian Pantheons, as well as a number of Evil Cults. Like Volumes I & II, this work provides detailed tenets, special cleric considerations, magical side-effects, numerous divine tests, and custom spell lists for all 19 of them. What is more, optional rules and random tables abound, organized by divinity of course. This excellent book is compatible with the various Old School Editions and their 'Retro-clones', especially Labyrinth Lord™! 
  • Detailed rules for playing clerics of 7 Mesopotamian and 7 Egyptian gods and goddesses, including Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Ishtar, Marduk, Nanna, Utu, Anubis, Bast, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ra, and Thoth
  • Full rules for also playing clerics of 5 Evil Cults, including Apep, Dagon, Nergal, Set, and Tiamat
  • 20 pieces of unique artwork by Luigi Castellani (note: some goddesses are depicted partially nude)
  • 7 random encounter tables, including afterlife, apsu, desert, inn, pyramid, tomb, and ziggurat
  • 20 new monsters
  • Other optional rules & sidebar sections
  • And much more!
 Get your copy now!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Nanna (Mesopotamian Zodiac)

Our 6th installment on gods and goddesses from Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Nanna, Mesopotamian god of the moon & wisdom. Fittingly enough, his encounters are organized by the Mesopotamian Zodiac.

And additional wisdom is coming very soon. The Labyrinth Lord version of Volume III will be ready for sale in the next few days! Stay tuned for the announcement here first on

Nanna Encounters
1. Gugalanna, the heavenly bull sends a bull lammasu in the service of Nanna to question the party. Those respectful of wisdom and law will be given aide. Those who aren’t will be trampled with righteous severity for 2d8 damage.  (Taurus)

2.  Mastabba, the zodiac twins have sent two thieves to mirthfully watch a priest of Nanna who has been blessed with a beard of lapis lazuli. The party notices this: do they intervene to stop the theft or do they help the thieves for a cut of the beard?  (Gemini)

3.  Allul, the celestial crayfish fills the immediate area with silvered waters, mimicking moonlight. Those within will either take a +1d3 bonus or -1d3 penalty each round for the next 1d6 rounds, due to the dancing light and shadows. (Cancer)

4. Urgula, the great lion summons forth a member of royalty who is single and ready to mingle. He or she is soon abducted by 2d4 dark lion folk (Ugallu) though and will require rescuing if the party is so inclined. In any case, they should wisely consider their options.   (Leo)

5.  Absin, virgin daughter of Nanna provides knowledge to the wisest party member in the form of a dream.  As long as he or she then tells only the truth the next day, they will receive a/an (roll 1d4): 
[1] one-word answer to any question they pose, [2] +1 bonus to hit, [3] AC improvement of 1, or [4] +1 bonus to all spell rolls; that is, if being so honest doesn’t get them slain first.  (Virgo)

6. Zibanna, the heavenly scales tip and the world changes for the party. This could be something as simple as a word assuming a different meaning or as major as the ground turning to green (lunar) cheese. Little do they know, they’ve slipped into a Lunar Realm, suffering a -1 to all rolls (at least), due to the disharmony. Though they will return to their home realm within 24 hours, trying to explain what has happened to others will only get them labelled ‘lunatics’.  (Libra)

7.  Girtab, the zodiac scorpion reveals a dark, but enticing opening. Within might be great treasures, but also poisonous perils, not to mention scorpion folk (Girtablilu), and even a potent scorpion woman-witch who likes to play games with the hearts of men- a base 50% chance of encountering each! It’s probably wise to avoid the place altogether...  (Scorpio)

8. Pabilsag, the great overseer illuminates an outrage: someone has slain unarmed priests in a nearby Mesopotamian temple! Yes, it may have been priests of the sun god Utu, but even the faithful of Nanna should investigate. Doing so reveals the murderers to be [1] followers of Tiamat! [2] followers of Nergal! [3] a treacherous anzu! [4] rampaging Greeks whose leader can only be slain by stabbing his heel!  (Sagittarius)

9. Suhurmash, the celestial goat brings forth a stubborn conundrum and thereby begs the question of just when did goats (and earth signs for that matter) have anything to do with fish? Perhaps the party has passed into a Lunar Realm where Sahurmash is some sort of goat-fish? In any case, they will be befuddled, taking a -1 to all intellectual and spiritual rolls (including spellcasting) until they confer with a follower of Nanna in order to set things straight.  (Capricorn)

10. Gula, the wave lord floods a random, lucky party member with +2 Wisdom for the next 3 turns, but also with the Nanna-like test of having to take 1d6 extra rounds to explain anything. Let’s hope they put it to good use and also that others will have the patience to listen. (Aquarius)

11. Simmah, the heavenly swallower one allows a great intonation of tone to issue forth. Investigation reveals that it is caused by (roll 1d4): [1] 1d4 clerics of Nanna praying, [2] 1d3 monks of Nanna chanting, [3] 1d2 mystics of Nanna wondering where the sound is coming from too, [4] an anzu’s mating call (roll for initiative)!  (Pisces)

12. Luhugga, the field worker ram reveals in all his fiery glory that, after all this time, someone the party knows actually is an Avatar of Nanna. Even if the individual appeared to be a fool, it was only them testing the wisdom of others! In any case, the Avatar turns out to be [1] a random NPC in the party (including former ones if they’re all presumed dead), [2] the last person a random party member spoke to, [3] the last creature the party encountered, [4] a random one of the party members!  (Aries)

Sample 6th Level Cleric of Nanna
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 8
HD: 6
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+1 (staff) or 1d4 (club)
SP: Nanna turn ability, mysteries, must answer honestly (from divine test)
Spells prepared:
1st level: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Comprehend Languages*, Floating Disc*
2nd level: Augury, Hold Person, Holy Chant, Silence 15’ Radius, Levitate*
3rd level: Cure Blindness, Prayer, Clairaudience
SV: C6
Mor: 9
Possessions: +1 Bracers of armor, holy symbol, +1 staff, club, potion of healing, scrolls bearing wise writings, 125 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Utu!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Marduk

5th in the series on gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Marduk, Mesopotamian god of usurpation, empire, storms, & growth. Writing and unique interior art for Volume III is done, just waiting for the cover to be completed. Until then, here are a number of events related to Marduk.

Marduk Encounters
1. A green being with bird wings, bull legs, and an extra mouth, pair of eyes, and ears approaches the party about fighting a monster. He is actually a priest of Marduk, but unless the party members are familiar with his cult, there’s a 100% chance they’ll assume that he is the monster to fight.

2.  A man, cursed by the Gods, is discovered. Helping him will incur a random divine test unless the party prays for Marduk’s intervention. Doing so might lead to further problems with one’s deity though (unless it’s already Marduk) or if Marduk actually was the one who had cursed the man in the first place (a base 25% chance)!

3.  A random cleric, either in the party or one they know of, is attacked and dishonored. Investigation reveals that a follower of Marduk did it. How does the party respond? Would they like to dishonor the cleric too?

4. A 1d3 x 10’ area has been terraced via supernatural means. Non-Mesopotamians don’t do well there, taking a -2 to all rolls. There’s also a base 50% chance of the cleric of Marduk who caused it still being around.

5.  A vicious beast leaps out to attack. It has 1d4 of the following features: [1] long neck, [2] gore attack for 2d8 damage, [3] claws attack for 1d6 damage, [4] bite attack for 1d6 damage. It also has a 50% chance of being poisonous and a 100% chance of being able to see invisible foes. It is a sirrush!

6. An individual is being pilloried outside a temple of Marduk. The reason is (roll 1d4): [1] he violated the Code of Hammurabi, [2] he followed another god or goddess, [3] he associated with monsters, 
[4] he violated a sacred garden. There’s also a 50% chance of 1d4 monks of Marduk monitoring his punishment each hour in order to make sure it’s severe enough.

7.  The party runs into another adventuring group who is hauling a life-sized idol of a Mesopotamian god around with them. It is of course a Marduk idol. They treat it like a member of the party and it even has a 50% chance of being animate. In any case, if the party has clerics of other gods or goddesses amongst them, then the other group has a 75% chance of being hostile, 100% chance if any follow Enlil or Tiamat.

8. 3d100 Greek warriors guard a mountain pass. They turn out to be Spartans who barely wear any torso protection (or garments), though they’re quite good at defense. They are currently holding off a wave of 1d20 x 100 Mesopotamian warriors, and will slay any followers of Marduk on sight.

9. The cursed children of Tiamat roam the land! Roll to see what they are, though a paladin of Marduk will likely (a 75% chance)  be available to assist in the slaughter (roll 1d6): [1] 1 Musmahhu (7-headed hydra), [2] 1d3 Kusarikku (bull men), [3] 2d3 Ugallu (lion men), [4] 3d3 Uridimmu (dog men), [5] 5d3 Girtablilu (scorpion men), [6] 4d3 Kulullu (fish men).

10. A great tower rises in the distance. Exploration shows that it is sacred to Marduk and use of the Tongues spell is encouraged there. Followers of Enlil wish to destroy it and all its ‘babbling’.

11. A random, lucky party member is visited by a disguised Avatar of Marduk. He or she is shown how to defy Enlil’s domination of the sky with his or her own 2nd wind. In any case, the party member is repeatedly reminded that they’re only human! At the end of the encounter, they are given a small, metal musical object that works via the breath and the Avatar vanishes.

12. Stunning, hanging gardens can be seen ahead. Those who explore might find a/an (roll 1d12): 
[1] amazing plant, [2] apkallu interloper, [3] Avatar of Marduk, [4] cleric of Marduk, [5] concubine of Marduk, [6] incredible water, [7] Mesopotamian warrior, [8] monk of Marduk, [9] paladin of Marduk, 
[10] priest of Marduk, [11] sirrush (see also #5 above), [12] windstorm. Otherwise, see Ziggurat Encounters in the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III (coming soon!)

Sample 5th Level Cleric of Marduk
Align: L
MV: 40’
AC: 3
HD: 5
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+2 (scepter) or 1d6+1 (short bow) or net
SP: Marduk turn ability, mysteries, Bull legs divine test
Spells prepared:
1st level: Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, 
Divine WeatherD, Burning Hands*
2nd level: Bless, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Spiritual Weapon
3rd level: Dispel Magic, Gust of Wind*
SV: C5
Mor: 10
Possessions: +2 Scale mail, holy symbol, +1 scepter (treat as mace), +1 bow, pet young sirrush (1 HD), 75 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Nanna!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Ishtar

Coming on the heels of Easter, we present 4th in the series on gods and goddesses from the upcoming Divinities and Cults: Volume III: Ishtar, Mesopotamian goddess of love, war, & magic. Not only does her listing in the book contain bonus rules for determining Victory in Love & War, but also various options for Mesopotamian Magic. Until then, here are a number of memorable happenings within her purview.

Ishtar Encounters
1. A random, lucky woman in the party is granted a +3 bonus to all rolls to hit by Ishtar for the next week, but only if she acts as qadishtu (sacred prostitute) at least once before the next dawn.

2. A gate has been found smashed open. Investigation will reveal that it was broken by an enraged (roll 1d4): [1] cleric of Ishtar, [2] lammasu, [3] gallu demon, [4] sirrush

3.  It is rumored that a local leader is being controlled by a priestess of Ishtar. If investigated, it’s found that there’s a base 50% chance of it being true and also a base 50% chance of him liking it.

4. The party discovers a strange, knotted hook. The item grants a +3 to all saves vs. magic but only to those who follow Ishtar’s tenets. Otherwise, it has the opposite effect.

5.  1d3 lions leap out suddenly. They will attack followers of Ishtar or similar divinities last, unless said followers escape before the lions are finished feeding.

6. Two individuals are dueling. The reason turns out to be (roll 1d4): [1] one insulted the other, [2] one boasted that they were better at fighting than the other, [3] the winner gains the favor of a lover, [4] the duelists are lovers.

7. While being interrogated, a woman keeps uncrossing her legs, revealing her lack of undergarments (as well as her forbidden zone). Any who attempt to stop the interrogation (or her risqué movements) will then experience one of Ishtar’s divine tests!

8. The next woman a party member lies with turns out to actually be: [1] a priestess of Ishtar, [2] a qadishtu, [3] a red devil woman, [4] an Avatar of Ishtar. In any case, she has a 66% chance of being at least mildly dangerous and a 100% chance of causing a mild heart attack.

9. A beautiful woman wants to duel a lucky party member. If victorious in the battle, she’ll then see if he’ll also be victorious in the bedchamber. If not, then she’ll see that he receives eternal rest.

10. The party stumbles upon an enkidu chastising a cleric of Ishtar. Do they intervene or not? How about when the cleric begins to stab him to death?

11. The last foe or foes that the party defeated returns as zombies, escaped from the Underworld thanks to Ishtar’s wrath, in the name of waging more war. Hopefully, they aren’t seeking love too.

12. Tidings foretell that a great, falling star will be impacting soon, obliterating all within a 1d6 quarter mile area. It will land within 1d20 hours and woe unto any who remain.

Sample 4th Level Cleric of Ishtar
Align: N
MV: 40’
AC: 4
HD: 4
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+1 (rod) or 1d8 (sword)
SP: Ishtar turn ability, mysteries, Qadishtu divine test
Spells prepared: Command, Cure Light Wounds, Detect Magic, Charm Person*, Star Missile*
Bless (reverse), Hold Person, Knock*, Mirror Image*
SV: C4
Mor: 10
Possessions: +1 Scale mail, holy symbol, +1 rod (treat as mace), sword, romantic oils, 1 slave, 47 gold pieces

Next week- Cleric Encounters: Marduk!