Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Thoth

14th in the gods and goddesses series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Thoth, Egyptian god of knowledge, balance, and judgment.

1. During the next meditation, study, or prayer session, any spellcasters in the party become disturbed by an irritating noise. It is (roll 1d8): [1] loud talking, 
[2] laughing, [3] yelling, [4] barking, [5] music, 
[6] screaming, [7] roaring, [8] reroll twice. They must make Wisdom checks or have to take an extra hour to prepare any spells; that is, if the noise stops by then (a base 65% chance)!

2. The clear-mindedness of Thoth fills the immediate area. It lasts for the next hour and all affected who engage in calm action gain a +4 to such rolls.  

3. Upon the horizon, the moon shows large and bright. All Neutral beings (or those engaged in balanced pursuits) may reroll one roll of their choice once before it sets again, 1d6 x 10 minutes later.

4. The wisest member of the party seems to age mysteriously for the next 24 hours, gaining +2 Wisdom, but also an aspect of decrepitude (roll 1d6): [1] trouble with short-term memory, [2] difficulty urinating, [3] hard of hearing, [4] predilection to go on for 4d4 minutes at a time about ‘the good ‘ole days’ whenever possible, [5] plagued by aches and pains, [6] reroll twice. During this time, the Referee can require the one affected to make ability checks in order to do such things that would normally come easily in one’s youth.

5. A dog-headed ape leaps out suddenly. Though sacred to Thoth, this creature might end up monkeying around (a base 50% chance). In aani case, treat it as a baboon.

6. The basis of nearly all fell cults is their lack of reason. The party encounters 1d6 such lunatics who, along with giving the moon (and thereby Thoth) a bad name, espouse (roll 1d4): [1] near-constant yelling and other forms of loudness, [2] laboring all day in order to purchase overly priced goods that aren’t really needed, [3] facilitating the ethnic cleansing of their own people, [4] attempting to tyrannize those who they consider tyrants.

7.  A number of scrolls are uncovered. Those attempting to discern their meaning must make an Intelligence check first (roll 1d4): [1] a random Thoth cleric spell, [2] a historical record, [3] a philosophical treatise, [4] reroll twice.

8. A disciple of Thoth approaches the party. He turns out to be a (roll 1d12): [1-4] cleric, [5-7] priest, 
[8] lector priest, [9] monk, [10] mystic, [11] simply a faithful follower, [12} Thoth Avatar. He requests that they retrieve an item of knowledge for him.

9. As #8 above, except that the disciple now asks that the party help the cause of Thoth by promoting balance (roll 1d4): [1] assist a Lawful group, [2] weaken a Lawful group, [3] assist a Chaotic group, 
[4] weaken a Chaotic group

10. With an ancient trove of lore, the party uncovers a Hermopolis of sorts. Though it may be ruined (a base 50% chance), it will also contain at least one temple of Thoth, along with (roll 1d6): [1] a strange, hippopotaman temple of Set, [2] grotto burials, [3] an enormous ibis (treat as a roc), [4] associations with the Greek divinity Hermes (see Mercury in Volume II), [5] 2d4 dangerously large baboons (treat as man-eating apes), [6] reroll twice.

11. A merchant offers the ‘Book of Thoth’ to sell to the party for 1d6 x 1000 gold pieces. It turns out to be (roll 1d6): [1] authentic, granting its readers a +1 bonus to Intelligence or Wisdom, [2] an imperfect copy, only having a 50% chance of granting its readers +1 to Intelligence or Wisdom, [3] utter nonsense, 
[4] a cookbook- recipes have a 50% chance of actually being tasty though, [5] as the scrolls in #7 above, [6] cursed with vile deceptions, causing its readers a -1 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom. Any followers of Thoth will of course attempt to vigorously investigate the book (and the merchant), no matter what it does!

12. The party comes across an Egyptian temple (see Volume III for details). Though many Egyptian divinities are worshipped there, its main patron is (roll 1d10): [1] Anubis, [2] Bast, [3] Horus, [4] Isis, [5] Osiris, [6] Ra, [7] Thoth, [8] the Pharaoh, [9] Apep, [10] Set.

Sample 14th Level Cleric of Thoth
Align: N
MV: 40’
AC: 6
HD: 14
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+2 (+2 staff) or 1d6+1 (+1 mace)
SP: Thoth turn ability, mysteries, Ibis Head, Lunar Headdress, Babi, A’ah-Djehuty (divine tests), 75% chance of being confused for a monster
Spells prepared:
1st level: (6+2) Cure Light Wounds (x2), Detect Magic, Sanctuary, Comprehend Languages*, Feather Fall*, Read Languages*, Scribe*
2nd level: (5+2) Augury, Find Traps, Know Alignment, Silence 15’ radius, Speak with Animal, ESP* (x2)
3rd level: (5+1) Cure Disease, Dispel Magic (x2), Locate Object, Prayer, Clairvoyance*
4th Level: (4) Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Protection from Evil 10’ Radius, Tongues
5th level: (3) Plane Shift, True Seeing*, Telekinesis*
6th level: (3) Find the Path, Heal, Legend Lore*
SV: C14
Mor: 9
Possessions: +2 Shield, +2 staff, +1 mace, 627 gold pieces, 4 random magic items, 6 useful scrolls (as #7 above), three 1st level Thoth cleric followers, one 3rd level Thoth monk bodyguard

Next week: cleric encounters, Apep!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Ra

13th in the gods and goddesses series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Ra, Egyptian god of the sun, pharaohs, and power.

1. The great light of mighty Ra shines down, bringing warmth and radiance, but also a base 50% chance of sunburn and desiccation.

2. The party uncovers a strange gateway. It leads to a far-off realm related to Ra, beyond the stars. Roll 1d4: [1] Ra’s Morning Barge (Mandjet), [2] Ra’s Nighttime Barge (Mesektet), [3] A domain where bird-headed folk fight crime and debate Law, [4] a world ruled by an Evil Alien Ra impersonator (see #4 below).

3. Ra can be very direct. To punctuate that fact, he blasts the closest Chaotic being in a random direction from the center of the party for 3d6 damage. If it happens to be a party member who is in that direction, closest, and Chaotic, then so much the better!

4. An Evil Alien Ra impersonator occupies the area, polluting the Sun God’s truth with creepy gazing and a weird voice. Treat as a (false) Avatar of Ra, except that it has a human head, its powers come from bizarre, magic-mimicking technology, and it has 2d4 similar cronies (5th level paladin imitators of various other Egyptian divinities) in which it attempts to rule the land.

5. Like the blazing solar disk above, Ra can take many forms, all of them reflecting his potent rulership. For the next 3 hours, all Egyptian cleric-types that the party encounter suffer a -3 to all rolls if they don’t see Ra as (roll 1d3): [1] having a direct relationship with them (Amun), [2] being the sole divinity in existence (Atem), or [3] being self-created and the original being (Atum). If unsure, there is a base 50% chance of an Egyptian cleric-type believing it to be true, though non-Egyptian cleric-types will never believe any of it!

6. The party stumbles across a patrol of Ra’s faithful. It contains 1d4 clerics, 1d4-1 priests, 1d3-1 paladins, and 1d6+2 pious Egyptian warriors. They are on their way to bring the Sun God’s light to the Underworld.

7. A Heliopolis is found, replete with pillars, obelisks, and at least one temple of Ra. It may also be ruined (a base 50% chance), though it will still have much lore and certainly have at least 1 Bennu (phoenix) residing there, since it is a sun city.

8. A cleric of Ra and his entourage (see #6 above) approach the party. He wants them to defeat some followers of (roll 1d6) [1-2] Apep, [3] Set, [4] Ptah or Osiris, [5] Isis or Horus, [6] Reroll twice. If anyone in the party follows that rival god or goddess though, then he will decide to simply defeat them instead!

9. Shimmering and golden, a Uraeus Crown is found. Not only does it grant its wearer a +2 bonus to all rolls to invoke his or her authority, but the serpent upon it can animate for up to 2d3 rounds per day, attacking as a spitting cobra.

10. The party comes across an obelisk. Over 20’ tall, it would be an impressive monument to Ra. The only problem is, it is attuned to Chaos, not Law!

11. An Egyptian war party is on the move. Fittingly enough, the Sun Pharaoh (Ra) is its patron and includes: 1d4 x 10 Egyptian warriors, 2d4 chariots, and a leader with 1d4+2 cleric levels.

12. The party discovers a pyramid! See Volume III for details on how to generate it.

Sample 13th Level Cleric of Ra
Align: L
MV: 40’ (fly 90’ via sun chariot- divine test)
AC: 3
HD: 13
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d6+3 (+3 staff) or 1d8+2 (+2 khopesh)
SP: Ra turn ability, mysteries (sun beams improved by divine tests), Falcon’s Head, Eye of Ra, Uraeus, Sun Chariot, 40% chance of accidentally shooting someone he looks at and is angry towards with his sun beam
Spells prepared:
1st level: (6+2) Command, Create Water (reverse), Cure Light Wounds (x3), Detect Evil, Floating Disk*, Solar Hands*
2nd level: (5+2) Bless, Find Traps, Hold Person, Resist Fire, Spiritual Weapon, Solar Missile* (x2)
3rd level: (4+1) Continual Light, Cure Blindness (reverse), Hieroglyph of Warding, Clairvoyance*, Solar Ball*
4th Level: (4) Cure Serious Wounds, Exorcise, Arcane Eye*, Polymorph Self (falcon forms only)
5th level: (3) Commune, Cure Critical Wounds, Teleport*
6th level: (2) Find the Path, Disintegrate*
SV: C13
Mor: 10
Possessions: +3 Scale mail, +3 staff, +2 khopesh, 850 gold pieces, 3 random magic items, orders from the Pharaoh, 1d4+1 1st level Ra cleric followers (number varies because he may have accidentally killed some with his sun beams)

Next week: cleric encounters of Thoth!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Osiris

12th in the gods and goddesses series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Osiris, Egyptian god of life, death, growth, & resurrection.

Osiris Encounters
1. The plants are very tall and lush here. Though they reflect the fertility of Osiris, they also (roll 1d4): [1] provide edible sustenance, [2] provide wine-like nectar, [3] make navigation difficult, [4] conceal bandits.

2. The party uncovers a colorful pillar. Being a djed, it is, fittingly enough, sacred to Osiris (as god of the dead). It grants the use of one of his spells up to once per day to a Lawful individual who prays before it. Still, it is the size and mass of an actual pillar, so moving it would require a hefty spine indeed.

3. A mummy shambles forth! Those who are observant (and knowledgeable) will notice that it bears the symbols of Osiris though and the being is actually not evil- unsurprising, since Osiris is a daddy.

4. Like Osiris, a lucky party member fathers a son. There is a 50% chance of him being partially divine and a 50% chance of the party member being dead when he is conceived.

5. A nearby river flows. It also (roll 1d4): [1] is flooding, [2] is running dry, [3] hosts bathing pilgrims, [4] has a coffin floating in it. Whatever the party decides to do, they should make sure they’re not in denial.

6. Unless unconscious already, a random party member immediately falls asleep for the next 5d6 minutes and vividly dreams of the Duat (Egyptian Otherworld). He or she thereafter gains a +1 bonus to all Afterlife Encounters (see Volume III), glancing through a Book of the Dead, conversing with Shabti, and the like. Hopefully, the character’s required unconsciousness won’t cause him or her to have to apply the bonus right away.

7. Whether a wise peasant or divine goddess, the Law of Ma’at sees that justice is done. Osiris applies the same to the party, blessing those who have done no wrong (at least according to the 42 negative confessions) with a +1 to all rolls for the next 24 hours. Particularly evil party members might be punished with the opposite, though with only a base 50% chance since Osiris is a generally forgiving god.

8. A ram-headed humanoid emerges. It may simply be some sort of bestial atavar or minotaur, though it may instead be a servant of Osiris blessed with the Banebdjed divine test (equal chances of either).

9. A number of followers of Osiris are engaged in his Mystery Play. They include 1d4 priests, 1d4-1 monks, and 1d3-1 mystics. In any case, the Osirians will offer their assistance once the performance is over, within 1d4 turns.

10. The next Lawful party member who eats bread and drinks wine has a base 50% chance of receiving a visit from an Osiris Avatar. If that occurs, then he will offer to shepherd him or her with some words of wisdom or even deliver them from some dire or evil threat.

11. Great Osiris waves his crook and flail and the last person or creature that the party had witnessed dying comes back to life. Though mortals might have their opinions about such a turn of events, only Osiris knows the truth.

12. The party is cast into the 12 Hours of Night (Egyptian Underworld). Luckily, they are only there a few moments, taking just 1d6 damage from the ordeal. Osiris hopes the experience will encourage them to keep their hearts light as feathers so they need never return, unless of course they are planning on visiting his house there (which is pleasant).

Sample 12th Level Priest of Osiris
Align: L
MV: 30’
AC: 6
HD: 12 (uses magic-user’s hit die and attack bonus^, modifications from divine tests- see below)
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d4+1 (+1 Crook of Osiris) or 1d6+1 (+1 Flail of Osiris)- see possessions, below
SP: Osiris turn ability, mysteries, priest rules^, Green Man, Mummy Wrapped, Wenennefer (divine tests), 75% chance of being confused for a monster
Spells prepared:
1st level: (6^+2) Create Water, Cure Light Wounds (x3), Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Drink, EntangleD, Shield*
2nd level: (5+2) Augury, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Holy Chant, BarkskinD, Feign DeathD, Find PlantD
3rd level: (4+1) Cure Blindness, Prayer, Remove Curse, BreathingD, Protection from Normal Missiles*
4th Level: (3) Cure Serious Wounds, Divination, Sticks to Snakes
5th level: (3) Atonement, Dispel Evil, Raise Dead
6th level: (2) Heal, Transport via PlantsD
SV: C12
Mor: 9
Possessions: +2 Bandages (as padded armor), +1 Crook of Osiris (those hit must save vs. death or take 1 Intelligence damage), +1 Flail of Osiris (those hit must save vs. paralysis or lose 5’ of speed), 5 gold pieces, 4 1st level Osiris priest followers

 Next week: cleric encounters of Ra!

Also, print-on-demand for Volume I likely won’t be ready until early July. As a result, I’ll be releasing the revised pdf versions in the next day or so. Those who already have their copies should be able to download the new ones from Drivethru RPG, etc. for free.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Cleric Encounters: Isis

11th in the gods and goddesses series for Divinities and Cults: Volume III, we have Isis, Egyptian goddess of kindness, motherhood, & magic.

Isis Encounters
1. Rain falls from the heavens, bringing nourishment and healing 1d6 hit points from Queen Isis above. What is more, it only has a 20% chance of causing a deadly flood.

2. A random female member of the party (or NPC if the party has none) becomes pregnant. Roll 1d6: [1] The child was conceived from a slain father, [2] the mother gains the abilities of a 1st level priestess of Isis until the child is born, [3] the child is bird-headed, [4] the child is an actual Avatar of Horus, [5] reroll 1d4 twice, [6] all of the above.

3. Two great lovers meet and become inseparable. They are certain to create children within a few years’ time, but are also certain to create much intrigue (that will greatly affect the land) much sooner. What is more, there’s a 75% chance that 1d4 followers of Set will work to destroy them.

4. Deranged brigands are, of all things, using the goddess of kindness’s name to wage a campaign of terror! The local temple of (the real) Isis will happily reward any who put a stop to such brigands and are fine if those who do so aren’t kind about it!

5. A strangely shaped ankh is uncovered. Those who are knowledgeable will determine that it is in fact a tyet and it grants the use of a random Isis spell of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level up to once per day to any who wear it. On the other hand, the lascivious will only stare at it if exposed (save vs. petrification negates), associating it with something (or things) else.

6. A lucky spellcasting party member is blessed by Isis with a +1 caster level for the next 24 hours. He or she must roll on the Alternate Magical Side-Effects table during that time whenever casting a spell though. See Volume III.

7. Seven scorpions join the party during their next rest. They offer their protection (whether the party wants it or not) by happily sparing all who are kind, motherly, and/or magical. They will also happily sting all others.

8. Isis is known throughout many lands, allowing the powers of those who follow her to be quite versatile. As a result, any clerics in the area can immediately decide to permanently swap up to three magical side-effects, divine tests, or spells of hers with those of their own god or goddess, thereby customizing their clerical abilities further. On the other hand, those who already follow Isis can do the same with another divinity they’re familiar with.

9.  A potent and motherly woman arrives. She is (roll 1d8): [1-4] a priestess of Isis, [5-6] a mystic of Isis, 
[7] simply a faithful follower of Isis, [8] an Avatar of Isis. In any case, and due to the light in her eyes, she’s also likely somebody’s darling (or mother- a base 75% chance of each), though she always walks in Egyptian fashion, striking poses upon chariots.

10. A random husband that the party knows is chopped up (to death), thrown in a coffin, and tossed in a river. There’s a base 75% chance of it being done by a follower of Set, but only a base 25% chance of his wife falling to pieces afterwards.

11. The party is invited for dinner by a very matronly hostess. Besides her being an obvious follower of Isis, during the meal it is revealed that (roll 1d6): [1] the food is exceedingly good, [2] her husband is a potent follower of Osiris, [3] her son is a potent follower of Horus, [4] the hostess is a potent follower of Isis too (see #9 above), [5] the hostess insists the party eats more than they want to, [6] reroll twice.

12. Thanks to the mercy of Isis, an oasis is found. Along with offering sanctuary from Set’s deadly desert, it also (roll 1d6): [1] grants a +1 bonus to all spell rolls, [2] has waters that heal all wounds, [3] is guarded by an Egyptian sphinx, [4] has a potent follower of Isis present (see #9 above), [5] houses a temple of Isis with 2d4 potent followers, [6] reroll twice.

Sample 11th Level Priestess of Isis
Align: L
MV: 40’ (fly 70’)
AC: 6
HD: 11 (uses magic-user’s hit die and attack bonus^)
Atk: 1
Dmg: 1d8 (cow horns: can counterattack only)
SP: Isis turn ability, mysteries, priest rules^, Hathor horned, throne crowned, winged arms (divine tests), 75% chance of being unable to fit in enclosed spaces nor run
Spells prepared:
1st level: (6^+2) Command, Cure Light Wounds (x3), Detect Evil, Sanctuary, Divine WeatherD, Mending*
2nd level: (4+2) Bless (x2), Find Traps, Hold Person (x2), Obscuring MistD
3rd level: (4+1) Continual Light, Cure Disease, Dispel Magic, Clairaudience*, Protection from Normal Missiles*
4th Level: (3) Create Food and Water, Cure Serious Wounds, Globe of Invulnerability (Lesser)*
5th level: (2) Commune, Telekinesis*
6th level: (1) Astral Projection
SV: C11
Mor: 10
Possessions: Bracers of armor, fine robes, 206 gold pieces, 1d4 random magic items, 4 Egyptian warrior bodyguards

Next week: priests of Osiris!