Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Totems: Wolf, Part IV

"The wolf changes his coat, but not his disposition". ~ Traditional Proverb

Wolf shamans and other spellcasters who call upon the wolf gain access to more magical abilities in the form of knowing 1d2+1 of the following spells per level. Half of these are determined at random and all come from spell levels that they can cast.

1st Level Spells
Alpha Command: as Command, but only works on those who you have already established dominance over.
Detect Wolf: as Detect Magic, except that it senses the presence of wolf spirits, wolves, or those others who emulate their nature.
Howling Fear: as Remove Fear (reversible), except that it only removes fear from those with wolfish nature and causes fear with those who don't.
Full Moon Charm: as Charm Person*, but requires aggressive, animalistic seduction.
Lick Light Wounds: as Cure Light Wounds, but only works on those with a wolfish nature.
Lupine Protection
: as Protection from Evil, but only works against non-wolf-kind.
Wolf Companion: as Animal Companion (D), but must be a single wolf.

2nd Level Spells
Halt Prey: as Hold Animal (D), but only works on non-wolf types.
Howling Terror
: as Scare*, but the same.
Lupine Blessingas Bless, but grants a +1 initiative, to hit, and to damage bonus to allies instead.
Phantom Wolf: as Spiritual Weapon, but appears as a spirit wolf that can keep attacking even if the shaman doesn't concentrate, and has a 25% chance of attacking someone else of its choice each round instead.
Speak with Wolvesas Speak with Animals, but only works with wolves, who do become friendlier with the casting.
Wolf Spirit: as Unseen Servant*, but is faster and has better senses (like a wolf), and can even attack ethereal foes.

3rd Level Spells
Fang: as Striking, but the bonus can only be used by those with a wolflike nature.
Howl: as Prayer, but only helps those who are behaving in a wolflike manner and harms those who are not, whether actually friend or foe.
Wolf Cure: as Cure Disease, but only removes disease from those with a wolflike nature.
Wolfskin: as Polymorph Self or Other, but can only take on or grant the form of a wolf. 
Worg: as Animal Growth, but only works on wolf-kind.

4th Level Spells
Lick Serious Wounds: as Cure Serious Wounds, but only works on those with a wolfish nature.
Lupine Honor: as Detect Lie, but if one is detected, then the shaman must attack!
Pack Protection
: as Protection from Evil, 10' Radius, but only works against non-wolf-kind.
Wolf Call: as Summon Animal I (D), but only summons wolves. 
Wolf Terrain: as Hallucinatory Terrain (D), but can only appear as a forested and/or cold area.

5th Level Spells

Greater Wolf Call: as Summon Animal II (D), but summons a werewolf. 
Greater Wolfskin: as Polymorph Self, but can only take on the form of a dire wolf or werewolf. 
Lick Critical Wounds: as Cure Critical Wounds, but only works on those with a wolfish nature.
Lunar Gaze
: as Confusion* or Feeblemind* (determined at random whenever cast), though eye contact with the target must be made.
Wolf Communion: as Commune with Nature(D), but only works in forested and/or cold areas.

Next week: Totems: Wolf, Part IV! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Totems: Wolf, Part III

 “Hunger drives the wolf out of the wood.” – German Proverb

Totem Tests
-11. Lupine urges overwhelm the devotee, forcing him to lose access to one or more of his spells and/or special abilities (50% chance for each one) until he performs some deed. Roll 1d8 for each one lost to see what must be done to get it back.
[1] Take down one prey with only his has hands, teeth, or other natural weapons. 
[2] Guard at least a 1d6 x 100' diameter area from any non-wolf follower interlopers for at least 1d6 turns, killing them if need be.
[3] Establish dominance over another so as to best empower his pack.
[4] Breed with one's mate, or if unavailable, find a fitting one to breed with for the rest of his life.
[5] Run unclad in the woods, acting wolfishly, marking territory for 1d6 turns.
[6] Commune with wolf spirits, doing nothing else but drum, dance, chant, or the like for 2d6 turns.
[7] Slay at least 2d3 livestock and feast upon their raw flesh.
[8] Destroy a non-wolfish magic item.

12-13. The spirits demand more of the wolf follower, lasting for the next 7d4 days. Roll 1d4.
[1] His power wanes in the daytime and waxes at night, especially under the full moon. He suffers a -2 penalty to all wolf totem-related rolls when the sun is up, but a +1 bonus at night, +3 under a full moon.
[2] He behaves wolfishly, even when it would seem inopportune.
[3] Like the wolf, he may only have his hunger satisfied with fresh meat. Eating anything else will make him feel ill.
[4] His bite confers the wolf totem-hunger. When a worthy target 
(per Referee) is found, he must bite them. The target must then save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or become a wolf totem follower too. The wolf-hunger can only be conferred once per instance of this test. 

14-16. The wolf shows more apparent in the follower now. He transforms forevermore, gaining some wolf trait, along with a cumulative 15% chance of causing fear or revulsion in any non-wolf types who notice it. The trait also increases the chances of experiencing the totemic side-effect Carnage! by one by replacing another totemic side-effect with it too. Roll 1d6 to see which trait is bestowed, rerolling if the same is rolled more than once, becoming increasingly a wolf hybrid.
[1] Wolf Eyes: gain a +3 bonus on rolls made to cause and resist fear.
[2] Wolf Ears: gain superior hearing, allowing a +8 bonus to such checks.
[3] Wolf Snout: gain a superior sense of smell, allowing a +12 bonus to such checks, and a bite attack for 1d6 +STR mod damage.
[4] Wolf Claws: gain +15' speed.
[5] Wolf Fur: gain a +3 AC bonus.
[6] Wolf Tail: gain a +5 bonus to checks involving hiding in woodland or cold settings.

 The moon rises and the devotee howls to greet it. It is then that the test begins, lasting 4d6 hours per totem test result over 16. And if he dies in the process, he can save vs. spell/ make a Will save DC 15 and barely survive instead. Roll 1d4.
[1] The devotee is turned into a werewolf, full of bloodthirsty frenzy.
[2] The devotee is turned into a normal wolf, though for 4d6 weeks instead,
[3] One dire wolf per totem test result over 16 tracks and attempts to eat the devotee and his comrades, arriving within half the time remaining of the test's duration. Its HD will be equal to the devotee's level.
[4] The devotee is sent to a Wolfish Otherworld, his body lying comatose and his spirit returning with 1d10 hit points lost  per 3 hours gone.

Next week: Totems: Wolf, Part IV!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Totems: Wolf, Part II

Totemic Side-Effects
"It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be" - Virgil.
Roll 1d12 whenever one who calls upon their wolf totem to use a special ability or spell.

1. Carnage!
The wolf demands blood or some other carnal satisfaction. The follower must attack 
prey for at least 1d4 rounds, either when the magic is used or soon after. A save vs. death/ Will save DC 10 is required to resist even going after the first tasty person he sees. If not, then he must go after someone or something else- he will not rest until it is done.

2. Stay Back! Those who violate the wolf's territory should beware. The follower must drive off one interloper who is within sight, even a party member if they are foolish enough to not respect the wolf. Marking his territory too also wouldn't hurt.

3. With Wolfish Grin: The follower takes on the appearance of his totem, gaining anything from very wolfish features to actual wolf parts. Those not partial to such traits may respond with fear (save vs. death/ Will save DC 10 negates). This effect lasts for the next 1d6 turns when he would otherwise appear human, though the follower might wish it was longer.

4. Hunting Ground: A lupine presence is felt by all, granting a +2 to hit, +4 against those who are wounded or notably sheepish. The area affected is 1d6 x 10' and it lasts for 2d6 rounds.

5-8. No Side-Effect: Though one might feel a cold, forest breeze or hear howling in the distance, the spell or special ability occurs normally.

9-11. Wolf Pack: If the follower has at least one other wolf follower ally who is present and also working against the same foe, then he can increase the special ability or spell's range, effect, or duration by 50%.

12. Who's Afraid of the Wolf? Not only can the follower add 50% to the special ability or spell's range, effect, or duration, but he can also have the foe he faces save vs. spell/ make a Will save DC 15 or flee in terror!

Totem Spells
In addition to rolling on the table above, shamans and other cleric-types also must perform a certain task for at least 2d3 rounds when casting a wolf totem spell. The task must be done before the spell can be completed, though if they make a Wisdom or Charisma check (DC 15) to better placate the wolf spirits, it need only be 1d2 rounds. Roll 1d6.

1. Chant or Sing                                        2. Dance or Be Wolfish            3. Drum or Rattle     
4. Make Offering or Wear Wolf Parts    5. Lie Comatose or Babble      6. Roll 1d5 twice      

Next week: Totems: Wolf, Part III!


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Totems: Wolf, Part I

Those who call upon the primal spirits of fierce beasts can tap potent forces, whether in magic or might.

Ways of the Wolf
* Honor your pack
* Hunt prey, especially in the cold and forest
* Be strong, resolute, & fierce
* Protect your domain
* Eschew modern, non-wolfish things, especially (non-wolf shamanic) magic!

Followers of Wolf Totems
Special: The wolf is typically honored by shamans and barbarians, though other cleric-types and fighters can do so as well. In these cases, substitute select wolf totem abilities and rules with the class's to an extent that matches a particular character's nature (see Part V for suggestions). 
Associated Divinities: Odin, Tyr, Fenrir, Loki, Apollo, Artemis, the Morrighan, Mars, Veles, Dazbog, Anubis
Allowed Weapons
: Spear, axe, sword, dagger
Allowed Armor: Wolf hide and shield or lighter (and often little else)
Spirit of the Wolf: Those who give themselves to the wolf will gain a random special ability for every odd level they have (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.). If the same result is rolled twice, then double the amount of time it can be used each day per level. In return, those who use such power (whether wolf shamans, wolf barbarians, or others) must:
1. Make a Wisdom check to make the special ability work: shamans must succeed at the check; barbarians must fail. If it doesn't work, then the wolf follower can try again each following round with a cumulative +1 bonus to make it work.
2. If it does work, then the follower must also roll for totemic side-effects (detailed in Part II).
3. He or she must also roll for totem tests (detailed in Part III) whenever they critically fail (rolling a 1 or a 20, depending on the situation) or when rolling a 13 when using such special abilities or spells, or when first gaining a new level.

Wolf Shamans: can abdicate the generic shaman abilities to turn, use a divinity's mysteries, and become ethereal (detailed in Volume II) and instead use one or more of the following (roll 1d6):
1. Wolf-skin: Assume the form of a wolf, becoming one in all ways but cognition, for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. The transformation takes 1d3 rounds, but doesn't count towards the duration limit. At 5th level, they can assume the form of a dire wolf instead, and at 9th level, a werewolf.
2. Spirit Wolf-skin: Can project their spirit as an ethereal wolf. The shaman's body is left behind for the duration, helpless and comatose. Otherwise treat as #1 above, along with the advantages discussed in #4 below.
3. Lupine Aspect: Gain either a wolf's bite attack, superior sense of smell, hearing, or speed for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, two can be used at once, and at 9th level, all three.
4. Wolf Guardian Spirit: Call upon an ethereal wolf ally to fight other spirits, scout an area, or even detect other supernatural forces. It will obey for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day. At 5th level, it can be an ethereal dire wolf instead, and at 9th level, an ethereal werewolf.
5. Lupine Essence: Cause another who is within eyesight to save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10 or act in a wolfish manner, experiencing a +/-1d6 to select rolls for up to 2d3 rounds per level per day.
6. Wolf Breed: Gain a random wolf barbarian ability or even a magical ability from a similar totem, reflecting the wolf totem being a specific type of wolf (grey, arctic, steppe, dire, red, teen, or the like).

Barbariansgive up the fighter's ability to use most weapons or armor, as well as the ability to gain a steady bonus to hit, damage, or AC. Instead, they are followers of wolf totems, as described above, and thus have one or more of the following abilities (roll 1d6):
1. Fierce: Gain a +1d3 bonus per odd level that can be added to either their initiative, to hit, or to gain +5' speed each round, for up to 1d3 rounds per level per day.
2. Predatory: Able to track in cold or forested areas, following those they hunt with their superior scent or hearing, as well as hide and move silently, as a ranger or thief of equal level, for up to 1d3 turns per level per day.
3. Frenzy: Can fight in an especially wild manner for 2d6 rounds up to 1d3 times per level per day, gaining an extra attack each round while suffering an AC penalty of 4 while doing so. To stop the frenzy early, they must save vs. death/ make a Will save DC 10, otherwise they may even attack allies until it's over. What is more, the barbarian has a base 33% chance of actually turning into a wolf for every 3 rounds that he is in frenzy, in which case it lasts 2d6 rounds longer and he also gains an extra wolf bite attack, senses, and speed during that time.
4. Howl: Able to cause the equivalent of either Cause Fear or Hold Person (due to fear) to affect a target by howling, determined at random whenever the barbarian would use it, up to once per level per day. 
5. Fury: When in a cold or forested area, can ignore up to 10 damage from iron or fire up to 1d3 times per level per day.
6. Wolf Breed: Gain a random wolf shaman ability or even martial ability from a similar totem, reflecting the wolf totem being a specific type of wolf (grey, arctic, steppe, dire, red, big bad, or the like).

Next week: Totems: Wolf, Part II!