Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Spirit Encounters IV: Events

Now that one might know what to expect when encountering spirits of various types, it would behoove us to determine when such spirits may be present. Still, they may go unnoticed unless the mortals there are cleric-types who  save vs. spell. If successful, they may then choose to interact with the spirits- see Divinities and Cults: Volume II and Spirit Encounters Part I, II, or III for additional details and encounter ideas. Note that shamans will notice the presence of any spirits automatically, but may wisely try to ignore them anyway. 

Roll 1d6
1. An invisible elemental is drawn here by the fighting, likely one of fire (a base 75% chance), though one of the other types (water, earth, or air) might have been attracted instead. In any case, things are likely to get intense, with all damage and healing occurring with a +1d6 modifier.

2. Mysteriously, a random combatant is bolstered by the essence of a totemic beast (see Part III for modifiers). There is also a 25% chance of an opposing totem bolstering one of his foes as well- one beast to face off with another.

3. Kill! Kill! An ephemeral demon is present, though whether drawn to the murder here or being its actual cause, few can tell. Whatever the reason, it compels those who would spare a foe to instead save vs. death or finish them off anyway. Still, an angelic spirit has a 50% chance of arriving too to counter it and will certainly not spare the demon. 

4. There's quite a score to settle. 1d3 random combatants feel the strength of their ancestors and gain a +3 to all rolls made to fight those of another country, creed, or breed.

5. How to choose the slain? 1d6 stunning valkyrie watch the battle, visible only to those about to die, waiting to bring the worthy to Valhalla. Even those who fight well and survive might earn their fair maiden attention (a Charisma check).

6. Wondering at all the fuss, an ethereal pixie causes an unlucky combatant to suffer a combat mishap- roll just a d10 on the Battle Event table found in Volume II. Maybe now they can go back to having some fun. 

Roll 1d6
1. Fey love, the attraction between the man and woman is whimsical, enchanting from the unseen faerie watching. It bestows a +3 boon to all romantic rolls they make, but such love is also fleeting and ends completely within 4d6 hour's time, effectively turning one of them into a pumpkin (save vs. spell negates the latter effect).

2. With an animal magnetism, either the man hunts for his mate or she draws him in with hers (an equal chance of either). They will then become quite passionate, but also aggressive, causing both to take 1d6 damage and to certainly sire offspring from such a rut.

3. A hidden, fair maiden muse is at work here, either secreted in the form of the woman loved or simply arranging the encounter to help inspire the man. If he properly interprets the experience (a Wisdom check), then she will help to get his creative juices flowing in any case.

4. Lust abounds, easily corrupted. A demonic essence watches the two, waiting to pounce and cause something nasty to happen as a result of their courtship (per Unharmonia in Volume I). If both save vs. death though, then they will be spared.

5. Loving you... After the encounter, either the man or the woman seems drained somehow and withdrawn. If the other persists, then the negative one will actually suck one character level away from them due to the undead haunt that has taken up residence within. Needless to say, the relationship has likely taken a turn for the worse.

6. Nature spirits rejoice in this act, driving the lovers to be all-natural and free, no matter who else can see. Only a save vs. spell can resist such an obvious mating display.

Roll 1d6 
1. A mighty totem makes its presence felt, granting the spellcaster a taste of its power for the next 2d6 rounds (detailed in Part III).

2. One always wondered whether he or she was watched over. Turns out that the spellcaster has been: by their guardian angel, granting a +1 to all rolls when being moral, -1 when not.

3. Chuckling with glee, 1d3 leprechaun spirits cause those who cast spells here to roll twice for their magical side-effects and have both occur.

4. Thanks to a profound elemental presence, the next spell involving fire, air, water, earth, or some other primal element is doubled in magnitude: power, area of effect, and range- even if the caster would not wish it to.

5. What of balance? If the caster forgoes using his magic for the next 1d6 turns, then he will gain a +1d6 bonus to all rolls for the next spell he casts after then. The nature spirit watching would certainly agree.

6. Ancestral phantoms become triggered by the casting, knocking over anything within 30' that's not a traditional item (at least 3d6 decades old), along with any whippersnappers who aren't the same.

Roll 1d6
1. It runs in the family... It is actually an ancestor that is causing the malady, either as some karmic price yet unpaid or simply the way things have always been. Traditional healing would be the only remedy.

2. Flowers and the earth's bounty can bring succor, but sometimes the reverse. A spirit of nature, either twisted somehow or perhaps it is the mortal who has been so changed, has caused this reaction. See Johnny Applewheeze for the result, though the remedy might be different herbs indeed.

3. Why not have a little more? An unseen sprite may have led the mortal a bit too far this time, into heavy overindulgence. Best now to abjure sweets and (especially) strong drink for a time.

4. With one's vital humors being so imbalanced, it is obviously an elemental at work here (roll 1d4): [1] fire - choleric, [2] water - phlegmatic, [3] air - sanguine, [4] earth - melancholic. The only remedy for such dyscrasia is a rebalancing with its opposite, or a good amount of bleeding (1d8 hit point's worth).

5. Taxing, this is. It drains and leads to unmet dreams of what cannot be had, one would think an undead specter had caused it. In reality, it's the work of a fair maiden, driving the mortal to seek the very love that causes such pain.

6. The only outlet for such a disease, itself nasty and wrong, is doing more wrong- just as the demon who laid the curse  would have it. Whether by angel, fair maiden, or totem (depending on the afflicted's way), only by a follower of a divinity who is served by such beings (see Volume II for the list), can the cure be made, and the demon banished.

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Save vs. death= Will save DC 10. 
Charisma check= Personality check DC 15.
Save vs. spell= Will save DC 15.
Wisdom check= Luck (or Wisdom, if using the optional rules in Volume I) check DC 15.

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part V!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Spirit Encounters III: Nature, Totemic, & Undead

And what of the remaining types? Often conflated with elementals, fey, or even fair maidens, nature spirits embody natural places, bestowing health, harm, or even nothing in their own inscrutable and often subtle ways. Totemic spirits rather bolster: a boon to those they help and a bane when applied to one's enemies. And finally, we have undead spirits who, unlike ancestral ones, have not only failed to move on from their mortal obsessions, but now seek to drain that very vitality from others. 

Nature Spirits
Roll 1d4
1. This natural place is exceedingly pleasant, with a (roll 1d6): [1] pond, [2] stream, [3] great tree, [4] copse of trees, [5] pleasant rock, or [6] general good feeling in which a nature spirit has a 50% chance of bringing succor to those who venture here by (roll 1d6 again): [1] healing all wounds, [2] removing all diseases or curses, [3] granting a +3 bonus to all nature-related checks for the next 2d3 hours, [4] granting a +1 bonus to all rolls for the next 1d3 hours, [5] showing direction to the nearest node (see Volume II for details), [6] reroll twice. 

2. This natural place is exceedingly unpleasant, which features (roll 1d6): [1] crawling bugs, [2] sharp brambles, [3] nasty critters, [4] flying bugs, [5] a general feeling of unease, or [6] reroll twice in which a nature spirit has a 50% chance of bringing pain to those who venture here by (roll 1d4 again): [1] inflicting 1 damage per round, [2] causing -1d6 to all rolls while here, [3] causing -1d2 to all rolls for 1d6 hours afterwards, [4] all three. 

3. Quietly, a landvaettir (see Volume I for details), watches from this natural area invisibly while nothing else occurs. It simply is, though those with the ability to notice and speak with it may uncover more (per Referee). 

4. 1d3 spirits of this place manifest as (roll 1d12 for each): [1] satyrs, [2] green men, [3] fauns, [4] wild men/ woses, [5] sileni, [6] nymphs, [7] naiads, [8] dryads, [9] hamadryads, [10] oreads, [11] giant version of (reroll d10), [12] treant. They engage with visitors in ways that comes naturally- fear not though, for their orientation is landscape. 

Totemic Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. The essence of a great beast fills a random party member (roll 1d8): [1] bear, [2] boar, [3] wolf, [4] lion, [5] stag, [6] bull, [7] eagle, [8] other. It grants them +1d4 (roll 1d6): [1] Strength, [2] Constitution, [3] Dexterity, [4] Charisma, [5] initiative bonus, or [6] Wisdom for the next 1d4 hours. It also causes them to have to save vs. spell whenever faced with a food or prey that type of totem possessing them would feed on. If they fail, then they must stop for at least 4d6 rounds to do so, unless they or a loved one is in grave peril during this time.

2. A totem now gives a random party member a more animal appearance (see result #1 above for type) along with the ability to use one of the following each round for the next 1d4 hours (roll 1d5): [1] bite attack for 1d4 damage, [2] claw attack for 1d2 damage, [3] gore attack for 1d6 damage (requires a charge), [4] +3 AC bonus, [5] +15' move bonus 

3.  Bad tidings: it is now the party's next enemy that is bolstered by a totem spirit, per result #1 or #2 above! 

4.  A mighty animal stalks into view. Whether it is a rare case of a totemic spirit given physical form or simply of a giant beast augmented further by its totemic namesake, the party should beware. Treat it as a giant (10 HD) version of one of the animal types listed in result #1 above, as well as it being able to turn invisible. It will also only harmed by magic weapons and 3rd level spells or greater and will attack if sufficiently provoked. 

Undead Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. Many say that an otherwise normal man lurks in this area, obviously possessed. Those who seek him will find that to be true, though the undead entity inhabiting him can exhibit that possession in a variety of ways (roll 1d4): [1] obsession over finding the one who had killed the spirit's original body, [2] seeking out life force to drain (per #2 below), [3] having a disease, [4] all three.

2. The spirit of the next foe the party vanquishes in battle rises again as a fell undead. Treat it as a ghost, though what harm it does depends on its obsession in (un)life, draining with a hit (roll 1d4): [1] 1d3 levels (getting ahead), [2] 2d6 years of life (having youthfulness), [3] 1d4 Strength (being mighty), [4] 1d4 Wisdom (shirking responsibility).

3. 1d4 party members get the nagging suspicion that they are being watched. Those who investigate find that it is an undead spirit (see #2 above), though it will only reenact the nature of it's death; that is, unless they taunt it by displaying what it obsesses over. 

4. Something dark dwells here. A spirit lost to that what was once given, but then became unrequited, doomed by love itself. Attacking like some sort of  wraith, it looks for any others who now have what it lost, draining them of 1d3 Charisma. Who could love them now?

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Referee= Judge 
Constitution= Stamina
Dexterity= Agility
Charisma= Fellowship
Wisdom= either use the optional rules in Volume I or Luck
Save vs. spell= make a Will save DC 15

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part IV!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Spirit Encounters II: Elemental, Fair Maiden, & Fey

Continuing our examination of how spirits can be brought into one's campaign, we present elemental, fair maiden, & fey encounters. Not concerned with ethics and morality (or immorality) the way ancestral, angelic, or demonic spirits are, they instead espouse either the way of their element, guide specific mortals to victory or doom, or simply live in the way of whimsy- especially if one seems to have lost one's pants.

Elemental Spirits
Roll 1d4
1. The elements show intensely here, making it very (roll 1d4): [1] hot, [2] cold, [3] wet, [4] dry. Those who enjoy such a state gain a +1 to all rolls, while those who don't suffer a -1 instead. What is more, there is a 75% chance of a 1d10 hit die elemental matching the type of weather at work manifesting here, a spirit to show just how intense it is. 

2. Such beauty. The party notices a (roll 1d4): [1] bright flame, [2] gentle breeze, [3] shapely stone, [4] nearly crystallized pond. Any magic cast here that matches that element is doubled in range, effect, or duration by the spirit present. What is more, there is only a 25% chance of either a fire giant, cloud giant, stone giant, or frost giant showing up to destroy the interlopers. 

3. Danger is nearby in the form of a great (roll 1d4): [1] wildfire, [2] windstorm, [3] avalanche, [4] flood. Those who don't escape to at least 1d6 x 100' away within 4d3 rounds must save vs. death or take 4d6 damage. Even then, the danger has a base 25% chance of moving in a random direction, possible following them up to that very distance away! Beware!

4. Not all that is elemental is merely physical. A feeling comes over every man and beast within 120'. They must save vs. spell or become (roll 1d8): [1] angry, [2] impassioned, [3] whimsical, [4] active, [5] stubborn, [6] stalwart, [7] saddened, [8] balanced. Such a state persists for the next turn. 

Fair Maiden Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. A random party member is blessed with the love of a beautiful spirit woman, though whether or not she's real, it's very hard to tell. In any case, she does seem to stay with him (roll 1d4): [1] via an armlet, [2] via a tattoo, [3] via an invisible presence, [4] in near-physical form. Doing so grants him a +1 to all rolls that lasts for up to 1d6 hours each day, though if a mortal woman approaches him for romance, the spirit woman will gladly try to slay her (save vs. death negates). He is hers!

2. The next woman that one of the party members lies with turns out to actually be a fair maiden nymph. It is an experience like no other, with her being able to guess and meet his every need and desire even if he doesn't know what that is, granting him the same bonus from result #1 above. Still, he finds no pleasure in any other lover afterwards, unless she too is actually a fair maiden, and actually the opposite result if he persists in doing so.

3. Unrelentingly, all men within 120' of here are pulled towards an intoxicating (roll 1d4): [1] song, [2] scent, [3] sight, [4] je ne sais quoi. Though the siren it emanates from certainly appears fair, that those affected must save vs. spell to resist experiencing one of the following to get to her (roll 1d4 again): [1] falling off a cliff for 6d6 damage, [2] being dashed upon rocks for 3d20 damage, [3] walking past an enraged 3d4 HD monster, [4] be unwilling ever return again- doesn't. For those who find the will to fight her (and if she happens to take physical form), see the article on Aphrodite, Part III *here*. 

4. The next male character to fall in battle is strangely spared, though he loses 1d3 of his class levels instead. Unbeknownst to him, it just happens to be that his spirit guardian- a muse- sacrificed herself to save him, even if doing so might rob him of much the inspiration she had provided throughout his life. 

Fey Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. The animals in this area seem normal enough; that is, until they start talking. Obviously the work of the fey, their accents also have a 100% chance of being Britannic (roll 1d6) for type): [1] Noble Saxon, [2] Gaelic, [3] Pictish, [4] Cymric, [5-6] Cockney. 

2. This place has very bright colors, almost glowing in pastels and scintillating chromaticism. A fey being (see Volume II for generation details) is understandably quite fond of it here, though any visitors can (roll 1d4): [1] brandish something made of cold iron, [2] take off their clothes and put them back on again backwards, [3] guess the fey being's name and say it three times, or [4] knock on wood in order to save vs. spell and thereby dispel the whole place. 

3.  It is said that a man in these parts cannot (roll 1d4): [1] lose a race, [2] age, [3] lose a bet, [4] be hated for longer than 3d3 rounds. What is not said is that he has entered into a fey bargain to do so and must cause others to act out a certain fairy tale in order to maintain his boon (roll 1d4): [1] Little Red Riding Hood, [2] The Three Little Pigs, [3] Goldilocks and the Three Bears, [4] Humpty Dumpty. Doing so typically causes them to save vs. paralysis or take 4d6 damage and he believes the party would make excellent candidates.

4.  A mysterious (roll 1d4): [1] rabbit hole, [2] twister, [3] mirror, or [4] closet is discovered. With it, the party may thus enter a fey realm- see Volume II for details- though being able to leave such a place may be another matter entirely. 

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Save vs. death= make a Will save DC 10
Save vs. spell= make a Will save DC 15
Save vs. Paralysis= make a Reflex save DC 15

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part III!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Spirit Encounters I: Ancestral, Angelic, & Demonic

As the edits for Volume II and its revised pdf are wrapped up over the next few weeks, we begin a special series on spirits. Unlike divinities and fell lords, spirits are localized and much less potent, though they can still cause adventurers quite the memorable experience. And, as mentioned in Volume II, though they can usually be turned, they can rarely be harmed by sword or spell. Unusual methods may be required in order for them to be overcome.

Here are ancestral, angelic, and demonic spirit encounters, for those beings who espouse tradition, morality, and immorality respectively.  

Ancestral Spirits
Roll 1d4
1. A random item in one party member’s possession is an heirloom indeed. Possessed by the spirit of a dwarven ancestor, it grants its bearer a +1 to all rolls made against (roll 1d4): [1] orcs, [2] elves, [3] goblins, [4] trees. Of course, he or she will hate all four with a passion even if the heirloom doesn’t grant a bonus against them. 

2. With a strange air about him, a man approaches the party, asking them to set some issue right. Though he is actually an ancestral spirit, the cause he requests is fully material (roll 1d4): [1] set a certain descendant of his back on the right path, [2] harm a rival clan, [3] recover a family heirloom, [4] restore an old custom in town. 

3. A small tomb is discovered. Apart from the 1d6 x 100 gold pieces in valuables it contains, its potent spirit will attempt to possess a random interloper (save vs. death negates). Oddly enough, it won’t then necessarily try to slay the party, but will instead seek to destroy an ancient foe and any of its representatives that it encounters (roll 1d6): [1] dwarves, [2] orcs, [3] goddess-followers, [4] shoe-wearers (sandals or boots are acceptable, but certainly not slippers), [5] the shirtless, [6] those men who refuse to wear proper mustaches. Still, if any in the party does match one of these, then it will end up trying to kill them after all. 

4. Everyone within 60’ must save vs. spell or immediately revert to the way of their early ancestors, eschewing fire, metal, clothing, and other new fads. Such a state can only be relieved by quieting the spirit at work here (roll 1d4): [1] appeasing it with a proper offering of animal fat poured upon the ground, [2] getting at least 1d4 others to give up such new fads for 1d4 hours too, [3] assisting the spirit's nearby kin who are quite primitive too, [4] finding its burial plot and threatening to defile its remains. 

Angelic Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. How moral have you been? If so, then a mighty angelic spirit arrives to grant each party member a +1 to +3 to all rolls (depending on how much) for the rest of the day. If not, then it will punish them with a -1 to -3 for that time- even if just one has been immoral- unless they all agree to smite some other evil instead. 

2. It is rumored that those who pray hard enough before a bright fire will encounter an angel clad in white. He grants a one-time prophecy to all who are pure of heart, hoping to guide them onto a righteous path even if they aren’t already on one. 

3. A man in this area has been healed. Others have tried too, but with mixed results (only experiencing such healing 50% of the time) even if they've lived a goodly life. The secret is that they must also be (roll 1d4): [1] peaceful, [2] artistic, [3] engaged in good works, [4] all three. Doing so brings the chances up to 75%.

4. A shadow falls upon this 1/4 mile area, but it is also strangely comforting. Of course, those who have been wicked will instead be revealed and smitten for 4d6 damage, not find it comforting at all.

Demonic Spirits
Roll 1d4 
1. An unlucky party member begins to experience terrible nightmares. He is unable to sleep well, suffering a -1d6 to all rolls until the demon who has taken up residence inside him is exorcised

2. In a bizarre manner, the next foe the party encounters is unusually vicious and powerful, gaining a +3 bonus to all rolls made to do harm. The clue as to the cause is that (roll 1d6): [1] its eyes are completely black, [2] its head twists around, [3] it engages in unnecessary profanity, [4] it has horns or wings and a red or black hide, [5] it performs music backwards, [6] all five. Once slain, things get even worse, for the demonic spirit within the foe gets released and tries to possess one in the party (save vs. death negates)! 

3. Something seems off to all within 60' who fail to save vs. spell (roll 1d6 for each one affected): [1] a weird pain or itching, [2] a rotten smell, [3] disturbing sounds, [4] something moves and shifts just in the corner of their vision, [5] painful flatulence, [6] dour looks from everyone they see. Each lasts for 1d6 turns, though engaging in a cruel act ends it immediately, signifying that some sort of demonic force is at work.

 4. Using supernatural powers, a strange, diabolic woman aids the party during their next time of need. All she requests in return is that they (roll 1d6): [1] perform just one bloody sacrifice to some fell lord, [2] lie, cheat, or steal at their next opportunity, [3] pay her proper homage, though she will soon insist on such homage becoming devil worship, [4] sign a confusing contract, [5] give her their souls, [6] change so that she can still love them.

DCC RPG Conversion Notes
Save vs. death= make a Will save DC 10
Save vs. spell= make a Will save DC 15

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part II!


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Divinity Encounters: Thrym

Tired of all this heat? See what Thrym has in store for bringing on the Fimbulwinter. Roll 1d12.

1. Towering and cold, 1d8 frost giants have been seen in the area. They are led by a (roll 1d10): 
[1-3] frost giant viking (apply stats from Volume I)
[4] frost giant berserker (the same)
[5-7] cleric of Thrym
[8-9] shaman of Thrym
[10] Avatar of Thrym. 
They also have a 20% chance of having 1d4 great arctic beasts as pets (see Volume II for a list).

2. What an uproar is warmth! The most fiery or hottest object within 60’ immediately burns out, unable to be warmed again. If no such thing is particularly warm, then it is a random body that is snuffed out- a fitting sacrifice to Thrym.

3. A chill wind blows, giving followers of Thrym and all others who enjoy such cold a +1 bonus to their rolls for the next hour. Those who don’t will suffer a -1, with fire types even suffering a -3 during that time.

4. The party is approached by a frost giant (see #1 above) who strangely doesn’t want to kill them. In fact, he has information on another cult in the area that wishes to bring about the end of the world (in a non-Thrymian way) and would be only too happy if the party put an end to it. That rival cult follows (roll 1d4): [1-2] Surtr, 
[3] an aspect of Thor who has gotten a bit too much into cross-dressing, [4] Apep. Only Thrym can say how the world will end.

5. Lurking here is a group of 2d4 blue-haired humans, ready to excoriate any others for lands apparently stolen from mountain folk. They follow Thrym in his aspect of the Glowing Spectral Personhood, though unbeknownst to them, he looks forward to the day when he can coldly eliminate such pawns too.

6. The area fills with an icy, blue liquid that smells funny. Those who investigate may wish they hadn’t, for it is a frost giant who has decided to relieve himself.

7. Beware! Word has it that a particularly antagonistic frost giant dwells in this area. A follower of Thrym, this thursir (see Volume I for details) will happily cause uproarious woe upon any unfortunates it captures, using its spells to create ice to both slip and injure.

8. With a sharp then dull pain, rimefrost covers all within a 1d6 x 10’ area. Those immune to cold find it quite pleasant; those who aren’t will find it quite unpleasant, being unable to move for the next 3d6 rounds, held fast and helpless for what those who are immune might do.

9. The next attractive woman the party meets turns out to be a transvestite warrior claiming he is actually a follower of Thor. Despite any misgivings they might have, he insists he’s doing it to kill frost giants, and there is a base 50% chance that it's actually true.

10. Howls can be heard around the corner, though they’re not just from the frosty wind. Investigation reveals that it is a group of 3 Thrym devotees, nude and rimefrost covered, tutors wishing to slay some rodent before it sees its shadow. How else will they ensure a snow day?

11. The air grows colder still. Time for a Cold Encounter- see Volume II- though there’s an additional 50% chance of a frost giant showing up as well (per result #1 above).

12. Brrrhh! The skies erupt with sleet and snow, soon becoming 1d6+4 feet deep.  It is a taste of Fimbulwinter and immediately triggers another Thrym-like encounter.

Hrontigar, Sample 1st Level Frost Giant Cleric of Thrym
Align: C
MV: 50’
AC: 4
HD: 11
Atk: 1 (axe)
Dmg: 4d6
SP: Thrymian mysteries, turn ability, immune to cold, double damage from fire
Spells prepared: [1st] Cure Light Wounds, Remove Fear (reverse)
SV: F12
Mor: 10

Possessions:  Unholy symbol, giant axe, giant chainmail, 105 gold pieces

Hrontigar, DCC Stats
Init +2
Atk axe +19 melee (4d8+4)
AC 18
HD 15d10
MV 40’
Act 2d24
SP: Thrymian mysteries, turn ability, immune to cold, double damage from fire
Spells known (with modifications as described in Volume II: [1st] Food of the Gods, Animal Summoning, Paralysis, Chill Touch*
Fort +12
Ref +2
Will +14

Next week: Spirit Encounters, Part I!