An Alternate Druid Class for OSR Games

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Redon druidess

This take on the Druid Class was built for my Panzoasia setting, but would be useful for anyone who wants a Druid class that hews a little closer to Celtic legend. This conception of the Druid is less a “nature priest”, and more a magician and sage who draws their power from observing the kinds of mysterious bans and compulsions that are called “Geasa” in Irish mythology. It’s built on the same “5 Special Abilities + 2 Weaknesses” framework that I use for all my OSR Classes, allowing for easy customization by swapping characteristics.

Human Druid

Prime Requisites: Intelligence and Wisdom.

Special Abilities: Assume Animal Form, Druidic Spells, Friend of the Forest Dwellers, Nature Lore, Sylvan Languages

Restrictions and Weaknesses: Mysterious Ban, Mysterious Compulsion.

Hit Dice: d6 per Level, until 9th. Add 2 Hit Points per Level thereafter.

Alignment: Neutral or Good

Starting Age: 20+d4

Starting Language(s): Western Common, Fairy. (See the Special Ability “Sylvan Languages”)

Alternate Ability Generation: Str: 3d6 | Int: 1d8+10 | Wis: 1d8+10 | Dex: 3d6 | Con: 3d6 | Cha: 3d6

Druids are adventuring mystics who practices the Old Ways of magic. A Druid knows the secrets of the wilderness, and is learned in the lore of plants, animals, and minerals. They are the especial friends of the Fairy Folk.

Typical Starting Equipment for Druids

  • Linen robe (may be undyed, dyed green with weld and woad, or dyed red with madder).
  • Cloak of rabbit fur.
  • Wide leather belt.
  • Crown of leaves and antlers.
  • Metal torc.
  • Staff (doubles as fishing pole).
  • Sickle (1d6 damage).
  • Hand Axe.
  • Haversack of deer leather.
  • Carved wooden mask.
  • Bag of blue body paint, made of woad and bear fat.
  • 50’ of tree fiber rope.
  • 10 feet of catgut string.
  • 6 fishhooks.
  • Flint and pyrite stones (to start fires).
  • Kindling.
  • 2 rushlights (rush stalks dipped in bear fat, which burn like a candle for 1 Turn).
  • 1 pound of dried venison, wrapped in leaves.
  • 8 ounces of dried berries.
  • Wolf companion.
  • 1d4 gp.

Assume Animal Form

Beginning at 3rd Level, your character can assume the form of an animal of their own Hit Dice or lower, with the following conditions:

  • The maximum amount of time your character can remain in animal form is equal to 1 Turn per Level they posses.
  • A Druid can freely change between animal forms, so long as they haven’t exceeded their maximum time for that day.
  • At 3rd Level, your character can only assume the form of a non-predatory, terrestrial mammal (such as a rabbit or deer).
  • At 5th Level, your character can assume the form of predatory, terrestrial mammal (such as a wolf or bear)
  • At 7th Level your character gains the ability to assume bird or fish forms, as well as those of aquatic mammals.
  • At 9th Level, your character can assume the form of a reptile or insect. If they assume the form of a venomous reptile or insect, they can use (but not collect) its venom.
  • The first time your character Assumes Animal Form for that day, they are healed of 1d4 points of damage per Experience Level they posses.
  • All equipment your character carries becomes part of their Animal Form, and cannot be accessed until they resume their Human shape.

Druidic Spells

Your character begins the game knowing two 1st level Druidic Spells, of your choice.

  • With each Level they gain, your character automatically acquires the knowledge of two more Druidic Spells of your choice, of a maximum Level equal to half your character’s Level.
  • The Total Level of Spells a Druid can cast per day is equal to twice their Experience Level.
  • Your character can gain additional Spells from enchanted Forest creatures, Elementals, or Fairies, who are able to teach those effects corresponding to their own Special Abilities.
  • The total number of Spells your character knows cannot exceed the sum of their Experience Level and Wisdom score. Example: A 6th Level Druid with a Wisdom of 15 can never know more than 21 Spells in all.

Friend of the Forest Dwellers

All forest-dwelling creatures are naturally predisposed to like your character – including Monsters of Evil Alignment (such as Green Dragons and Bugbears).

  • You roll all Charisma Checks with a +1 Bonus when your character is dealing with forest creatures, and they will never try to use any Charm powers they might posses on your character.

Nature Lore

You may roll a Wisdom Check (with a +1 Bonus) for your character to do any of the following:

• Identify a natural plant, animal or mineral (but not a magical or unnatural one).

• Identify a Fairy or Elemental (but no other type of Planar Spirit)

• Find a source of pure water (or know that that no pure water is present).

• Find game animals (or know that no game animals are present within a mile).

• Gather enough berries, leaves, nuts, lichens, and fungus to eat for 1 day (or know that there is no food to find).

• Find true North.

• Predict the next day’s weather.

Nature Lore can be useful in any natural environment – including caves and caverns.

Sylvan Languages

At 1st level your character can speak and write the secret language of the Fairies. With each Level past 1st, your character learns the language of another type of forest dweller. Some possible languages they might learn include:

  • The Songs of Birds
  • The Howls of Wolves
  • The Growls of Bears
  • The Signals of Deer
  • The Hissing of Snakes
  • Elven
  • Gnomish
  • The Bugbear dialect of Goblin
  • Draconic (Green Dragon dialect)
  • Centaur
  • Satyr

Mysterious Ban

Your character is subject to a mysterious prohibition that mystically maintains their powers. If they violate their Mysterious Ban, they will lose all of their Special Abilities for one full lunar month. Thereafter, they must thereafter sacrifice treasure and food (equal in value to 100 times their Experience Level squared) to regain their powers.

Some possible Mysterious Bans (d20):

  1. Cannot wear metal armor.

  2. Cannot use metal weapons.

  3. Cannot use missile weapons.

  4. Cannot wear any clothing or jewelry that was not once alive.

  5. Cannot wear or bear any red item.

  6. Cannot wear or bear any blue item.

  7. Cannot wear or bear any yellow item.

  8. Cannot wear (or bear) dyed cloth.

  9. Must not touch a dead man (or woman).

  10. Cannot carry silver.

  11. Cannot carry gold.

  12. Cannot touch iron.

  13. Cannot eat mutton.

  14. Cannot eat beef.

  15. Cannot eat pork.

  16. Cannot destroy or disturb mushrooms (including monstrous mushrooms, such as Shriekers).

  17. Cannot touch pure crystalline salt.

  18. Can never enter the sea.

  19. Can never accept payment for any services.

  20. Must remain celibate

Mysterious Compulsion

There is an action your character must regularly perform to maintain their powers. If their fail to perform their Mysterious Compulsion, they will lose all of their Special Abilities for one full lunar month. Thereafter, they must resume observance of the Compulsion – and sacrifice treasure and food equal in value to 100 times their Experience Level squared – to regain their powers.

Some possible Mysterious Compulsions (d12):

  1. Must always bear a sprig of mistletoe.
  2. Must always rhyme when speaking.
  3. Must wear blue body paint made from woad.
  4. Must wear a cloak of feathers.
  5. Must wear piece of meteorite.
  6. Must wear a specific type of quartz crystal.
  7. Must wear a headdress of feathers.
  8. Must wear a necklace of bones.
  9. Must wear a wolf skin (or the skin of some other animal).
  10. Must always bear a snake.
  11. Must offer milk and unsalted bread to the Fairy Folk.
  12. Must be married.

Destiny at 9th Level

Your character will attract 1d4 1st Level Druids and 1d4 1st level Bards who desire tutelage, as well as 1d6 ordinary people who desire to be initiated into the ways of Druidism. All will be of your character’s Alignment (either Neutral or Good).

Destiny at 14th Level

Once they become eligible to become either Grand Druid or Grand Druidess, your character will have a dream directing them to the great Stone Circle on the Isle of Testing. There, the reigning Grand Druid or Grand Druidess will test the worthiness of your character. If they pass, the reigning Grand Druid or Druidess will confer their title upon your character – afterward wandering off to pursue Immortality.

Permutations and Variations of the Human Druid

ELVEN DRUID

  • Special Abilities: Druidic Spells, Friend of the Forest Dwellers, Nature Lore, Nightvision (as per Elven Warrior-Wizard), Resist Paralysis (as per Elven Warrior Wizard).
  • Restrictions and Weaknesses: Mysterious Ban (Can never wear armor), Mysterious Compulsion.
  • Special: Unlike other Elves, Elven Druids do not incur the Enmity of the Bogeymen – and are, in fact liked by forest-dwelling ones!

Human Druid Advancement Table

Exp. Points

(Hours played)

Exp.

Level

Hit Points Level Title THAC0

[Attack Roll Bonus]

Forest Languages Spoken Max. Level of Druidic Spells Known Total Levels of Spells Cast per Day
0 1 1d6 Brother of the Earth /

Sister of the Earth

19 [0] Fairy 1st 2
2,250

(12 hours)

2 2d6 Brother of the Wind /

Sister of the Wind

18 [+1] Fairy, + 1 additional 1st 4
5,000

(24 hours)

3 3d6 Brother of the Waters /

Sister of the Waters

18 [+1] Fairy, + 2 additional 2nd 6
9,000

(36 hours)

4 4d6 Ovate 17 [+2] Fairy, + 3 additional 2nd 8
16,000

(48 hours)

5 5d6 Brother of the Moon /

Sister of the Moon

17 [+2] Fairy, + 4 additional 3rd 10
30,000

(60 hours)

6 6d6 Brother of the Sun /

Sister of the Sun

16 [+3] Fairy, + 5 additional 3rd 12
60,000

(72 hours)

7 7d6 Brother of the Stars /

Sister of the Stars

16 [+3] Fairy, + 6 additional 4th 14
120,000

(84 hours)

8 8d6 Brother of the Celestial Flame /

Sister of the Celestial Flame

15 [+4] Fairy, + 7 additional 4th 16
220,000

(96 hours)

9 9d6 High Druid /

High Druidess

15 [+4] Fairy, + 8 additional 5th 18
300,000

(108 hours)

10 9d6+2 High Druid /

High Druidess

14 [+5] Fairy, + 9 additional 5th 20
420,000

(120 hours)

11 9d6+4 High Druid /

High Druidess

14 [+5] Fairy, + 10 additional 6th 22
540,000

(132 hours)

12 9d6+6 High Druid /

High Druidess

13 [+6] Fairy, + 11 additional 6th 24
660,000

(144 hours)

13 9d6+8 High Druid /

High Druidess

13 [+6] Fairy, + 12 additional 7th 26
780,000

(156 hours)

14 9d6+10 Grand Druid /

Grand Druidess

12 [+7] All. 7th 28

Human Druid Saving Throws

Level Poison / Death Ray / Disease Wands / Psionics Paralysis / Petrification Dragon Breath / Explosives / Firearms Spell /Staff / Rod
1 13 14 15 16 12
2 – 3 12 13 14 15 11
4 – 5 11 12 13 14 10
6 – 7 10 11 12 13 9
8 – 9 9 10 11 12 8
10 –11 8 9 10 11 7
12 – 13 7 8 9 10 6
14 6 7 8 9 5

The Druids of Panzoasia

Once, Druids were widespread across the Ultimate West, feared and respected by all. Indeed, before the rise of the Depradators, Druids and Bards were the primary practitioners of magic among Humans – arcane Magic Users being few in number, and existing only in the Seven Cities. Despite their spells, however, the Druids could not stop the Monsters and Depradators from overrunning Panzoasia. But, the Druidic tradition ultimately survived the Reign of the Monsters, and Druids are far from extinct. Their kind are still numerous in Maeland, and roam the enchanted woods of Corthis. Many villages in Edister still extend hospitality to traveling Druids. Many Druids have found a new home in the religiously tolerant Free March. And while Druids are few in number in Bythebia, Ombratia, and Ydez, there are sacred groves yet remaining in those nations.

Most Druids are still Neutral in Alignment, but in Maeland there is a splinter order of Good-Aligned Druids who have adapted the practices of the Old Ways to serve the Powers of Light. Both kinds of modern Druids continue to wear the sacred “torc” – a rigid, collar-like neck-ring open at the front, and never removed from the neck once it is twisted into place. Both Neutral and Good Druids retain the same system of gradual initiation into the mystery of the Old Ways. There can be only a maximum of four Druids of 14th Level in the Ultimate West at any one time – a Grand Druid and Grand Druidess of Neutral Alignment, and a corresponding pair of Good Alignment.

Druids (both Neutral and Good) share symbols with the Neutral-Aligned Congregation of Life – the Tree, the Labyrinth, the Pentagram, the Spiral, and the Ouroboros (a serpent swallowing its own tail and forming a circle). Like the settled Priests and Priestesses of Life, Druids tend to dress in either undyed cloth, or else clothes colored green, red, or brown with natural plant dyes. While non-adventuring Priests and Priestesses of Life are almost always married couples, some Druids are actually under Mysterious Bans that prohibit them from taking permanent mates.

An Alternate Illusionist Spell List for B/X, BECMI, and OSR Games

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Hieronymus Bosch 051

Here’s a revamped list of “Tricks” (spells) for Illusionists. It combines some classic Illusionist spells with new ones (such as “Coin”, “Palm”, “Dove and Rabbit”, “Escape Bonds” and “Swallow”) that replicate well-known stage tricks.

Each Level of consist of an even number of Tricks, to facilitate random determination of spells known by NPCs and Dragons, or found scribed on Spell Scrolls.

Where necessary, the description of each Trick is followed by one, two, or three additional terms defining the area affected by the Trick, the effect’s duration, and the result of a successful Saving Throw.

  • If no [affected area] is indicated in brackets, a spell affects 1 target in visible range.
  • If no {duration} is indicated in curly brackets, a spell lasts 1 hour
  • If no *Save effect is indicates after the asterisk, no Saving Throw is ordinarily allowed.

1st Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Arcane Mark: Illusionist places a magical inscription up to 6 letters long upon an object or creature, visibly or invisibly. [1 square foot] {Permanent on object; 1 month on creature}
2 Cause Fear: One target within 50’ is overwhelmed with Fear, and will flee. {1 Turn} *Save negates
3 Coin: Illusionist produces a coin of any type, that will pass every test until is disappears. {1 Turn}
4 Color Spray: Multi-colored rays of light shoot at the eyes of a single target. Roll d6 to determine effect. 1 = Stunned for 1d4 Rounds, 2 = Blinded for 1d4 Rounds, 3 = Knocked Unconscious for 1d4 Rounds. [1 target within 25’ of the Illusionist] *Save negates.
5 Create Flame: Illusionist creates a small flame from their finger, equal to a lit candle in size, heat, and illumination. The flame is real, and will ignite combustibles. {1 Round, until flame is transferred}
6 Darkness: All light within a 50 foot radius is extinguished, creating total and impenetrable darkness that clouds all normal vision. Only Infravision allows sight. Darkness dispels Light. {1 Hour}
7 Detect Secret Doors: Illusionist can detect the presence and location of any secret doors or passages within a 25′ foot radius. A Wisdom Check reveals how to open a detected door. {Until Illusionist moves}
8 Disguise Self: Illusionist can change the details of their own appearance in order to appear to be somebody else. Gender and general frame must remain the same, but the appearance of clothing and equipment can be changed. Voice and smell are unchanged. {Until dawn}
9 False Magical Aura: Illusionist can make something magical seem mundane (or visa-verse), fooling Detect effects (such as Detect Magic). [1 item weighing 5 pounds per Level] {Permanent until dispelled}
10 Ghost Lights: Illusionist can create either 1 – 4 floating balls of light (equal to torches), or one glowing humanoid shape, which can be move anywhere in visual range. {1 hour}
11 Hypnotism: Illusionist commands the attention of one person with 25’. Victim will perform easy, apparently safe requests for as long as the Illusionist pays undivided attention to them. Afterward, the Victim will forget the whole experience. {No more than 1 hour} * Save negates.
12 Nightvision: Illusionist can see in conditions of very low light with an ability equal to a cat. {Until dawn}
13 Open/Close: Illusionist opens or closes a container, box, bag, average-sized door, pouch, or other such item at a distance. The item must not be locked, or otherwise secured. [Visual range] {Instantaneous}
14 Palm: An item that can be completely hidden in the hand disappears into an extra-dimensional pocket. The item can be recalled at will. Only 1 item can be Palmed at a time. {Until item is recalled}
15 Phantasmagoria I: Illusionist induces a hallucination involving one sense: vision, smell, taste, touch (including temperature), or hearing. The sensory experience can be anything the Illusionist has personally experienced. No real damage can be inflicted, however. [A 10′ cube per Experience Level, located anywhere in visual range] {Concentration} *Save reveals, if viewer has reason to disbelieve.
16 Phantom Flame: Illusionist creates a perpetual phantom flame which give slight equal to a candle. The flame doesn’t shed heat or consume air, but is dispelled by sunlight. {Permanent}
17 Shroud of Smoke: Illusionist, or one visible Recipient, is shrouded by smoke (of any color desired), granting a +2 on their AC. The Recipient can see out from the smoke as if it wasn’t there. {1 hour}
18 Sleep: A visible, living Victim with no more HD than the Illusionist falls asleep until dawn. *Save negates.
19 Ventriloquism: Illusionist’s voice appears to come from some other place within 50’, while the Illusionist’s lips do not move. {1 hour} *Save reveals deception.
20 Whispered Message: Illusionist can have a whispered conversation with one or more desired Recipients at any distance, regardless of ambient noise. [1 Recipient per Level of Illusionist, who must be initially visible but can subsequently be any distance away] {1 hour}

2nd Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Blurry Vision: The vision of 1 visible target becomes blurry, inflicting a -2 Penalty on Attack Rolls. Penalty is ignored by creatures that don’t need eyes to attack. {1 Turn} *Save Negates.
2 Colorful Cloud: Illusionist creates 50’ diameter cloud of colored fog (in any color, or combination of colors desired) that emanates from any desired point within visual range. Visibility within is 5’. Those more than 5’ within are invisible from outside. {1 hour}
3 Confusion: Recipient become disoriented, and acts randomly. Roll d10 each round: 1-3 = normal action, 7 – 10 = pointless action, 10 = attacks nearest foe or friend. [50 feet] {1 Turn} *Save negates.
4 Dove and Rabbit: A held object up the size and weight of a longsword is temporarily transformed into a dove or rabbit under the Illusionist’s control. Animal can be transformed back any time before expiration. {1 Turn}
5 Hypnotic Pattern: Illusionist creates a fascinating pattern of either smoke or colored light in the air. 2 HD of viewers per Illusionist Level can do nothing but watch. {Concentration} * Save negates.
6 Invisibility: Recipient vanishes from all forms of non-magical sight, until they cast a spell or attack another. [1 human-sized subject per Illusionist Level] {Until dawn}
7 Levitate: Illusionist, Recipient, or object floats in the air at a height controlled by the Illusionist. Attacks made while Levitating are at -3. [100 lbs per Illusionist Level, within visual range] {1 hour} *Save negates.
8 Mirror Image: Illusionist surrounds themselves with as many illusory copies of their body as their own Level. An attacker must make a successful Save to hit or affect the real Illusionist {1 hour}
9 Phantasmagoria II: Illusionist induces a hallucination involving two senses: vision, smell, taste, touch, or hearing. See Phantasmagoria I. [A 10′ cube per Experience Level, located anywhere in visual range] {Concentration} *Save reveals, if viewer has reason to disbelieve.
10 Pilfer: Illusionist can transport to their hand a single small nonliving object from any pocket, container, or bag in visual range. Object must weigh 1 lb or less. If multiple objects are inside container, a random one is pilfered. * Save negates and reveals pilfering attempt, if object is carried by an intelligent being.
11 Pyrotechnics: Illusionist can choose to cause a flame to either explode in a colored burst, (unprepared onlookers are blinded for a minute), or emit thick, choking smoke in a 50’ radius (everyone within is effectively blind, and suffers -4 to Str & Con for 2 minutes. [50’ radius] {1 minute} * Save negates.
12 Rope Trick: A length of rope up to 30’ long stands upright the air, and can be climbed to an invisible (and otherwise inaccessible) hiding place. Hidden people can see the out, but not be seen. The rope can be pulled inside, and is also the only means of exit. {Until dawn}

3rd Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Alter-Ego: A new PC is created with different abilities (and any Class desired), and the Illusionist becomes that person. Memories are retained, but the Alter-Ego could be an Elf, Dwarf, etc. The Illusionist can only have 1 Alter Ego. Once it is created, the Illusionist always becomes that person when they use this Trick. {Until dawn}
2 Banquet of Shadows: Illusionist apparently creates a sumptuous meal, complete with serving wear, utensils, table, table cloth, and table decorations. The food is delicious and filling, if not disbelieved. [Enough food for 2 people per Illusionist Level] {Until dawn} *Save reveals, & makes person unable to unable to touch any part.
3 Blind/Deafen: Illusionist makes the Victim either blind or deaf, with all appropriate Penalties. [1 Victim within 50’] {Until next new moon}
4 Change Image: Illusionist temporarily turns an existing single page of text (or picture up to 5’ x 10 in size’) into another they have previous seen. {1 Hour per Experience Level of Illusionist} There is no Saving Throw.
5 Escape Bonds: The Illusionist instantly undoes and escapes from any physical bonds restricting their movement, including tied ropes, locked manacles, grapple holds, constricting snakes, or grabbing tentacles. Note that this Trick does not require Gestures and Props.
6 Hold Person: Illusionist paralyzes a visible humanoid target under 5 HD, locking them into their current position. Victim can breathe, but take no other action. [1 hour] *Save negates.
7 Magic Mouth: When a chosen event occurs in a location, a message of up to 25 words will be delivered audibly. The event must be one that could be seen by an ordinary person. {Until triggered}
8 Minor Creation: Illusionist creates one or more apparently real objects of common, relatively soft, organic (but non-living) material such as cloth, wood, paper, or hemp. Precious spices and wondrous materials (such as the sap of the Sword Lacquer tree) cannot be replicated. The object is crude, unless the Illusionist is also a skilled artisan of the appropriate type. [1 cubic foot per Illusionist Level] {Until dawn}
9 Phantasmagoria III: Illusionist induces a hallucination involving three senses: vision, smell, taste, touch, or hearing. See Phantasmagoria I. [A 10′ cube per Experience Level, located anywhere in visual range] {Concentration} *Save reveals, if viewer has reason to disbelieve.
10 Phase Object: Illusionist can push any nonliving object up to the size and weigh of a longsword through any solid obstruction no thicker than the object is long. This spell can be used to place items in pockets, etc.
11 Suggestion: Illusionist causes one Victim to obey a reasonable sounding directive which can be phrased in one sentence. {Until dawn, or a suggested task is completed} * Save negates.
12 Swallow: An object up to the size and weight of a longsword can be swallowed and regurgitated at any point in the future. Only one object can be swallowed and held at a time. {Until item is regurgitated}

4th Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Dimension Door: Illusionist or Recipient is teleported to any place the Illusionist can see. If an unwilling Recipient Saves, Illusionist is transported to the location instead.*Save negates
2 Disguise Others: Illusionist can make one other person per Level appear to be somebody else, with apparently different clothing and equipment. Only looks are changed – not textures or smells. {Until dawn}
3 Illusory Trap: Illusionist creates the illusion of a trap (such as pit or dead fall) which wards the area inside 25’ cube. If apparently triggered, all within suffer 2d6 damage. [25’ cube] *Save inactivates, and retroactively negates damage.
4 Mass Confusion: All within 50’ (except Illusionist) become disoriented, and act randomly. Roll d10 each Round per Victim: 1-3 = normal action, 7 – 10 = strange and pointless action, 10 = attacks nearest foe or friend. {1 Turn} *Save negates.
5 Mass Sleep: As many visible, living Victims as the Illusionist has Experience Levels fall asleep. Those with greater HD than the Illusionist are immune. {Until dawn} *Save negates.
6 Overwhelming Fear: Every being not allied with the Illusionist within a 50′ foot radius must Save versus Wisdom or run away until they can no longer see the Illusionist. Affected beings stay afraid for 1 hour. *Save negates, and new Save can be made each Round.
7 Phantasmagoria IV: Illusionist induces a hallucination involving four senses: vision, smell, taste, touch, or hearing. See Phantasmagoria I. [A 10′ cube per Experience Level, located anywhere in visual range] {Concentration} *Save reveals, if viewer has reason to disbelieve.
8 Shadow Conjuration: Illusionist summons and commands an apparently real animal or Monster actually made of shadows. Being can do anything a real one can (attacking and causing damage, hauling objects, etc.), if not disbelieved. [1 apparent being with HD equal to or less than Illusionist’] {1 Hour} *Save dispels.

5th Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Major Creation: Illusionist creates one or more apparently real objects of common, non-precious, non wondrous materials (not gold, silver, platinum, electrum, copper, semi-precious tones, gemstones, nor any special material such as Adamant or Cloud Silver). The objects will be crude in workmanship, unless the Illusionist is also a skilled artisan of the appropriate type. [Objects 1 cubic foot in total size per Level] {Until dawn if object is stone or metal – until next full moon otherwise}
2 Mirage Arcane: Illusionist can make any environment appear to look, smell, sound, taste, and feel like any other environment. [¼ acre per Illusionist Level] {Until Dawn} *Save reveals the true landscape.
3 Mysterious Building: The Illusionist creates a quasi-real structure of any form, layout, decoration, and interior furnishing desired, but which can occupy no more than 50,000 cubic feet in total volume. It gives shelter, but there is no food, clothing, or water within. {Disappears at dawn} *Save indicates the building does not exist for the viewer, and they cannot see or interact with those within.
4 Phantasmagoria V: Illusionist induces a hallucination involving all five senses. See Phantasmagoria I. [A 10′ cube per Experience Level, located anywhere in visual range] {Concentration} *Save reveals, if viewer has reason to disbelieve.
5 Phantasmal Killer: Illusionist causes the Victim to hallucinate a fight with an imaginary monster embodying their greatest fears. Victim must Save each round – success means they “inflict” 1d8 damage upon the Phantasmal Killer, failure means they suffer d8 damage. Monster has Hit Point equal to Victim’s own, and disappears once its Hit Points = 0. Victim can also be saved by Dispel Magic, and Sleep, or be aided by an ally on the Astral Plane (who can also see and fight the Phantasmal Killer). {Until mental combat ends}
6 Telekinesis: By mental concentration the Illusionist can move objects in any direction through the air up to 500 feet per Round. [25lbs per Illusionist Level] Anything that done with hands can be done with Telekinesis, including repairs and missile attacks. {Concentration, but no more than 1 minute}
7 Walk Through Shadows: Illusionist and their companions can walk into the shadows and exit in some shadowy area of another desired place. The destination can be up to 50 miles away per Level of the Illusionist. Travel consumes 1 hour per 50 miles, but feels instantaneous. [Illusionist, + 1 Recipient per Level]{1 hour per Illusionist Level}
8 Walk Through Walls: Illusionist and their companions can walk though a wall up to 15’ thick as if it didn’t exist. [Illusionist, + 1 Recipient per Level] {1 minute}

6th Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Cards of Death: Illusionist transforms an ordinary deck of cards into deadly weapons. The Illusionist can throw the transformed cards like daggers at a rate of 10 per Round. If at least 20 cards are left in the deck, the remainder can instead be fanned into two weapons that the Illusionist can dual-wield (without penalties) for 1d6 points of damage each, or treat as a short sword and shield. The Cards are magical, and capable of hitting Monsters immune to normal weapons. [1 deck of up to 78 cards] {1 Turn, or 60 Rounds}
2 Gate of Shadows: Illusionist transforms an existing door or curtained aperture into a two-way portal between Shadowland and their current location. 1 in 6 chance per Turn something enters the Mundane World through the Gate. [1 doorway, archway, or other aperture up to 12’ x 12’] [1 hour]
3 Hallucinatory Imposter: The Illusionist creates a perfect copy of a person or Monster they have met, and gives it a mission of deception. The Imposter looks, sounds, smells, tastes, and feels just like the original, and (if a person) is dressed in a perfect reproduction of an outfit the illusionist has seen the original wear. The Imposter temporarily has Intelligence equal to the original, and can steal the memories of viewers to respond convincingly to any test. It can move and converse independently, but cannot actually pick up or move real objects. A door must be open for it to enter a room, etc. {Until Dawn} *Save reveals.
4 Programmed Phantasmagoria: Illusionist creates an illusion affecting every sense, which follows a predetermined series of actions spanning up to 1 Turn. The Illusionist can make the illusion be triggered by an action (which must be one observable to an ordinary person), or have it repeat on an endless loop. [Area inside a 50’ cube] {Permanent until disbelieved} *Save reveals and ends illusion.
5 Projected Double: Illusionist creates an illusory double of their body (including their equipment), and splits their consciousness between it and their actual body. The Double can wander up to 1 mile away from the Illusionist’s actual body, and can be used used to Cast Spells that seem to originate from it. The Illusionist can see, hear, and smell through the Double, but not touch or hold anything (and if touched the Double is insubstantial). [1 hour]
6 True Seeing: Illusionist sees things exactly as they are, or were before they being affected by any Spells or Special Abilities that produce illusions, Glamours, or Transmutations. [Visual range] {1 hour}

7th Level Illusionist Tricks

1 Alter Reality: The Illusionist can (A) mimic any other Spell from any Class’s list (except Limited Wish), (B) undo the effects of any other Spell, (D) make one of their Illusions (even of a living being) real and permanent (C) endow a soulless being with a Dark Soul drawn from Shadowland, (F) find or restore to existence a lost or destroyed object or being, or (G) erase up to the last hour of history, re-living it with the Illusionist’s knowledge intact. The Illusionist’s desire must be articulated and spoken aloud, and will be interpreted as literally as possible. Each use erases a random year of the Illusionist’s personal memories.
2 Assume Identity: Illusionist acquires the appearance, Abilities, and characteristics of anyone they have previously met – including such beings as Immortals, Demon Princes, and Fairy nobility! For the duration of the Spell, the Illusionist loses their own physical Abilities, Special Abilities and Weaknesses, which are replaced with those of the Assumed Identity. The Illusionist gain such memories as are necessary to convincingly live their new identity – but no more. Everyone, including the being’s family, closest friends, followers, and subjects will see and treat the Illusionist as if they were actually the being whose identity has been Assumed. {Until dawn} There is no Saving Throw.
3 Astral Projection: The mind and soul of the Illusionist, and anyone they touch, leave the body to travel on the Astral Plane. Recipients can travel to Dream Worlds, the Empyrean, the Seven Heavens of Good, the Seven Celestial Spheres of Law, the Limbo of Chaos, the Seven Hells of Evil, or even the Emptiness of Outer Darkness. Souls are connected to their physical bodies by an infinitely stretchable Silver Cord – if it is somehow severed (possibly with a magic weapon) the sleeping physical body is killed. {Until dawn}
4 Cheat Fate: If, before the next dawn, the Illusionist suffers enough damage to kill them, they are instead reduced instead to 1 hp and Teleported (no chance of error) to a previously defined location. {Until dawn}
5 Mass Invisibility: Up to 300 HD of Recipients visible to the Illusionist become Invisible until they attack another or use magic. Creatures larger than a human count as triple HD. {Endures until broken}
6 Vanish: The illusionist can make an object, creature, or even building (up to the size of a castle tower) vanish completely into an extra-dimensional space. Anything inside the object Vanishes with it. The Vanished thing can be made to reappear by the Illusionist in any place within visual range. {Until dawn, unless target is recalled before} *Save negates, if the primary target is a living being.

An Alternate Druid Spell List for B/X, BECMI, and OSR Games

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Maeve&druid

The following alternate spell list is a mix of classic standards from “Ye Old Game”, and new spells intended to bring the Druid Class a little closer to what Druids are in actual Celtic stories. More Cathbad of Ulster, and less the guy that sold you patchouli oil at the ren-faire! Druids with this spell list can reincarnate dead lovers as swans, create healing baths, and return the Wasteland to fertility. This is a somewhat larger and more powerful spell list than is standard for Druids in B/X or BECMI games, but I think that the change is warranted by better fidelity to the real lore of the Druids.

Of course, each Level contains an even number of spells for random determination.

Where necessary, the description of each Spell is followed by one, two, or three additional terms defining the area affected by the Spell, the effect’s duration, and the result of a successful Saving Throw.

  • If no [affected area] is indicated in brackets, a spell affects 1 target in visible range.
  • If no {duration} is indicated in curly brackets, a spell lasts 1 hour
  • If no *Save effect is indicates after the asterisk, no Saving Throw is ordinarily allowed.

1st Level Druidic Spells

1 Animal Friendship: Druid gains the companionship of twice their own HD of visible mundane animals, who can learn 1 “trick” or task per point of their Int. No more than twice Druid’s HD of animals can be under the Druid’s influence at a time. Companions can be dismissed to make way for new ones. {As long as desired}
2 Banish Vermin: All vermin (rats, roaches, bedbugs, flies, worms, ticks, etc.) of normal size within a 25′ foot radius are forced to flee. {Until dawn}
3 Bath of Soothing: Druid blesses either a tub of water, or a natural pool, so the first creature to enter it afterward will be cured of 1 point of Damage per Experience Level or Hit Dice they possess. For example: A 3rd Level bather regains 3 lost Hit Points. {Until used}
4 Calm Animals: Druid calms hostile, frightened, or otherwise uncontrollable natural animals, whether wild or domestic. Giant Animals and Monsters such as Gorgons are not affected. [All mundane animals with a 25’ radius] {1 hour}
5 Create Flame: Druid creates a small flame, equal to a lit candle in size, heat, and illumination. {1 Round, unless used to ignite a flammable object}
6 Detect Poison: Druid can detect the presence and location of poison within a 25′ foot radius. {until Druid leaves area, but no more than 1 hour}
7 Empowered Cudgel: A wooden club or staff becomes capable of striking Creatures normally immune to mundane weapons. {1 hour}
8 Fairy Fire: A human-sized creature (or pair of two smaller creatures) within 50’ is outlined with colored light that makes them clearly visible in the dark, and negates attempts to Hide or Dissappear. This spell works under magical Darkness, and against Invisible targets (if the Druid knows they are near). {1 hour}
9 Locate Animal: Druid knows the location of a desired type of mundane, non-monstrous animal that can be potentially reached within an hour’s time. A specific animal can be located only if the Druid is familiar with it. An animal inside a cage of lead, aluminum, or tin cannot be found with this spell. {1 hour}
10 Obscuring Mist: Druid is surrounded in a 25’ radius by a mist that reduces visibility to 5′. Anyone up to 5’ into the mist gets a +2 on their AC. +4 AC if more than 5’ in. {1 hour}
11 Pass Without Trace: Druid or Recipient leaves no footprints or scent for the duration of the effect. {1 Hour}
12 Predict Weather: The Druid can predict the weather that will affect a 1 mile radius for the next 24 hours.
13 Protection From Serpents: Snakes of any size are unable to touch or attack the Druid, or a specified Recipient. {1 hour}
14 Purify Food and Drink: Decayed, spoiled or contaminated food and drink become safe, wholesome and nutritious. [1 meal per Druid’s Level] {Until food rots again naturally}
15 Resist Cold: Druid or Recipient can ignore damage from cold equal to 2 x Druid’s Experience Level. {1 hour}
16 Resist Fire: Druid or Recipient can ignore damage from fire equal to 2 x Druid’s Experience Level. {1 hour}
17 Shower of Stones: The Druid causes stones to materialize and strike a single target, inflicting 1d6 Damage. *Save halves damage.
18 Skin Like Bark: The Druid or Recipient’s skin becomes tough like tree bark, improving their Armor Class by 2. [Druid, or 1 Recipient] {1 hour}
19 Speak With Animals: Druid can speak to any normal or giant animals encountered, who can communicate to the limits of their Intelligence. Monsters with bizarre anatomies are excluded. [1 hour]
20 Summon Animals I: Druid summons local animals totaling no more than 2 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour. The Druid can specify the animals desired.

2nd Level Druidic Spells

1 Augury: If they make a successful Wisdom Check, the Druid knows whether a particular action to be taken by themselves (or another) is likely to result in harm or benefit (or both) within the next day. Can only be used once per question.
2 Bewitch Cattle: Druid causes livestock to die strangely. Roll d4 per Victim: 1 = Victim suffers 1d6 damage per day, 2 = Victim tries to kill self, 3 = Victim bleeds and loses 1 Con point per day, 4 = Victim loses 1 point of Str per day. [1 animal per Druid Level] {Until next new moon} * Save negates.
3 Combust: The Druid causes the Target to burn for 1d6 points of Damage, and ignites flammable objects. [1 target within visual range] *Save negates.
4 Cure Paralysis: The Recipient is cured of all paralyzing or movement inhibiting effects (except Petrification). [1 touched Recipient]
5 Delay Poison: Any poison affecting the Recipient is temporarily neutralized, but will take effect once the Miracle ends. Can also be performed on a person before they are exposed to poison. {1 Turn per Druid’s Level}
6 Detect Snares & Pits: Druid is aware of any intentionally set traps, snares, and pits within 50’ of their current location, however carefully hidden. {Until User leaves area}
7 Fertility: The next time the touched Recipient can possibly conceive offspring (or impregnate another), it will happen. [1 person] *Save negates, if undesired.
8 Fog Cloud: Druid creates 50’ diameter cloud of fog that emanates from any desired point within visual range. Visibility within is 5’. Those more than 5’ within are invisible from outside. {1 hour}
9 Ignore Pain: Druid or Recipient become immune to all pain and pain effects, mundane or magical. {Until dawn}
10 Lesser Restoration: An Ability reduced by damage or magic is restored by 1 point. [1 touched Recipient]
11 Protection From Unnatural Spirits: Druid or Recipient gains +2 to AC and Saves against non-Neutral Summoned, or Conjured beings, and cannot be physically touched or mentally dominated by such entities. [1 person] {1 hour}. Note: this spell does not affect beings of Neutral Alignment.
12 Summon Animals II: Druid summons local animals totaling no more than 4 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour. The Druid can specify the animals desired.

3rd Level Druidic Spells

1 Ball Lightning (Malediction): Druid shoots a ball of crackling energy (shedding light equal to a torch) which can move around obstacles and chase a specified target at a rate of 180’. The ball explodes for 5d6 damage upon contact. [1 target] {Until ball hits target, or 1 hour} *Save halves damage
2 Bath of Healing: Druid blesses either a tub of water, or a natural pool, so the first creature to enter it afterward will be cured of 1d4 points of Damage per Experience Level or HD they possess. For example: A 5th Level bather regains 5d4 lost Hit Points. {Until used}
3 Blind/Deafen: Druid makes the Victim either blind or deaf, with all appropriate Penalties. [1 Recipient within 50’] {Until next new moon}
4 Call Lightning: Druid can call from the air one vertical bolt of lightning per Round for 3d6 points of Damage. This Spell can only be cast under the open sky. Calling a bolt can be the only action a Druid takes in a Round. The maximum number of bolts called is equal to the Druid’s Level. {1 hour} *save halves damage.
5 Cure Blindness/Deafness: Druid or Recipient is cured or either Blindness or Deafness, magical or mundane in origin. [1 touched Recipient, or the Druid]
6 Cure Disease: Druid or Recipient is cured of all physical diseases and parasitic infections.
7 Curse: Druid inflicts a negative magical condition upon the Victim. Typical Curse include: -4 on one Ability; -3 on all Attack rolls; or -1 on all Saves. {1 day per Druid Level} *Save negates.
8 Empowered Weapon: The Druid temporarily makes a weapon or ammunition capable of striking Monsters otherwise immune to normal attacks. [1 weapon, or 12 arrows/bolts/bullets] {Until dawn}
9 Hold Person: Druid paralyzes a humanoid target under 5 HD, locking them into their current position. Victim can breathe, but take no other action. [1 hour] *Save negates.
10 Locate Object: Druid knows the location of a desired type of object that can be potentially reached within an hour’s time. A specific item can be located only if the Druid is familiar with it. An object encased in lead, aluminum, or tin cannot be found with this spell (but items made of those metals can be).
11 Monstrous Offspring: The Druid curses the next child of the Victim (male or female) to be born a Monster (with no more HD than the Druid has Experience Levels). Monster is born with 1 HD, and gains an additional HD every month until it reaches its final amount. *Save negates.
12 Neutralize Poison: All poisons and toxins affecting the Druid or Recipient are neutralized. Can also be performed on a person before they are exposed to poison. [Druid, or 1 Recipient]{1 Turn per Druid’s Level}
13 Obtain Oracle: Druid learns the result of a proposed course of action in the form of an ambiguous riddle, or unexplained metaphorical statement. Only one Oracle can be obtained per question.
14 Possess Beast: The Druid’s body falls into a deep sleep, while their mind possesses the body of an ordinary animal (with HD equal to the Druid’s own or lower) until morning. The Druid specifies the type of animal desired (which cannot be a Giant Animal or bizarre Monster), and the spell will target the nearest example of such. The Druid can use all of the animal’s senses and Special Abilities until dawn. If the Druid’s human body is slain before morning, the Druid is permanently stuck in their animal’s body – but can temporarily Assume Human Form! {Until dawn, and cannot be ended before} *Save negates, but if an animal fails its Save it can never Save again.
15 Pyrotechnics: A flame either explodes in a beautiful, colored burst, (unprepared onlookers are blinded for a minute), or emits thick, choking smoke in a 50’ radius (everyone within is effectively blind, and suffers -4 to Str & Con for 2 minutes. [50’ radius] {1 minute} * Save negates.
16 Remove Curse: Druid or Recipient is freed from any supernatural curses currently afflicting them. A “curse” is defined by any Spell which includes the word “curse” in its description.
17 Speak With Plants: Druid can question the local plants about actions that have transpired near them within the last season. Plants can only answer “Yes” or “No”, and can only sense events apparent to any ordinary observer with no magical senses. {1 Hour}
18 Summon Animals III: Druid summons local animals totaling no more than 6 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour. The Druid can specify the animals desired.
19 Water Breathing: Druid or Recipient can breathe water as if it was air. {Until dawn}
20 Wind Wall: Druid creates a vertical sheet of strong, upward wind 2 feet in thickness. No arrows, thrown weapons, gaseous beings, or flying creature smaller than a large eagle can pass the wall. [A 50’ x 50’ wall, or 25’ diameter ring 20’ high] {1 hour}

4th Level Druidic Spells

1 Control Plants: Druid animates and controls the movement of all plants in a 50’ radius. Plants can be parted to reveal an obscured area; tree limbs can block or strike like clubs; vines and roots can entangle, ensnare, or become nooses; and hard fruit can be thrown like sling bullets. Controlled Plants use the Druid’s Attack Bonus and Saves. {1 hour}
2 Cure Serious Wounds: Druid or Recipient is cured of 1d4 points of Damage per own Experience Level of Hit Dice. For example: A 5th Level Recipient regains 5d4 lost Hit Points. [Druid, or 1 touched Recipient]
3 Curse of Lycanthropy: Druid curses the Recipient to become a Lycanthrope, starting on the next Full Moon. The Druid specifies the type of Lycanthrope. [1 victim within 25’] {Permanent until curse is lifted}
4 Dispel Magic: Ongoing spell effects are ended. There is a chance of failure equal to 5% x the Level of Spell to be undone (i.e., Dispelling a 5th Level Spell is 25% likely to fail).
5 Fire Shield: Druid’s body is surrounded by protective flames. Anyone trying to touch them, or engage them in melee, takes 1d6 damage (+1 point per Druid’s Level). Potential damage from cold is reduced by the same amount. {1 Turn}
6 Hallucinatory Terrain: Druid makes an area outdoors appear to be another type of terrain. The illusion is visual, auditory and thermal – but not tactile. Buildings and creatures are not changed in appearence. [¼ acre per Druid’s Level] {Until dawn}. *Save reveals.
7 Quench Fire: Every fire, mundane or magical, within a 25′ foot radius is immediately extinguished. Fire Elementals (and similar beings) suffer 7d6 damage. *Save halves damage for creatures.
8 Rain of Fish: A large quantity of real, living fish fall from the sky or ceiling. All witnesses under 5 HD must Save or stare dumbfounded (and unable to attack) for 6 Rounds. Dumbfounded creatures take 1 hp of damage per Round from falling fish. [150’ radius around Druid] {1 Minute}
9 Rain of Frogs: A large quantity of real, living frogs fall from the sky or ceiling. All witnesses under 5 HD must Save or stare dumbfounded (and unable to attack) for 6 Rounds. Dumbfounded creatures take 1 hp of damage per Round from falling frogs. [150’ radius around Cleric] {1 Minute}
10 Summon Animals IV: Druid summons local animals totaling no more than 8 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour. The Druid can specify the animals desired.
11 Summon Spring: A spring of cool, drinkable water erupts from the ground. 1 gallon of water per Druid Level will shoot 3 feet upwards, at the rate of 1 gallon per Round, before the spring stops.
12 Walk On Water: Druid or Recipient can walk across water (or any similar fluid, including mud and quicksand) as if it was dry ground. All encumbrance rules still apply. [1 hour]

5th Level Druidic Spells

1 Bath of Great Healing: Druid blesses either a tub of water, or a natural pool, so the first creature to enter it afterward will be cured of 1d6 points of Damage per Experience Level or HD they possess. For example: A 9th Level Recipient regains 9d6 lost Hit Points. {Until used}
2 Commune With Fairy: Druid mentally contacts a powerful Fairy (such as the Queen of the Winter Court) and asks them a question. If a Reaction Roll indicates the Fairy like the Druid, they will answer truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. {1 question}
3 Control Winds: Druid can alter the direction of the wind anywhere in visual range outdoors, and increase or decrease its speed by up to 100 mph. Gale force winds have effects equal to a Gust of Wind Spell. Winds over 150 mph are strong enough to destroy small wooden buildings and uplift trees. [1 hour]
4 Death Ward: Recipient cannot be harmed by offensive Spells (or Maledictions) for the duration of the effect, and is immune to XP loss or Ability damage from contact with the Undead. [Druid, or 1 touched Recipient] {Until dawn}
5 Flame Strike: A roaring column of flame descends and inflicts 8d6 points of fire damage to everything in a targeted area. [A 25’ radius within visual range] *Save halves damage.
6 Ice Storm: The targeted area is pelted with ice and hail that inflicts 1d6 points of damage per Druid’s Level on everything within. [50’ radius with visual range] {1 Round} *Save halves damage.
7 Insect Plague: Druid summons a swarm of locusts (or other destructive vermin) that covers a full acre of land. All edible plants within are consumed, visibility is 5’, and creatures under 2 HD flee. {1 hour}
8 Locate Creature: Druid knows the location of a desired type of creature that can be potentially reached within an hour’s time. A specific creature can be located only if the Druid is familiar with it. A creature encased in lead, aluminum, or tin cannot be found with this spell. {1 hour}
9 Rain of Stones: Stones rain down in a 150’ radius, inflicting 6d6 points of Lethal Damage to all other exposed beings besides the Druid. The stones are real, and persist. {1 Round} *Save halves damage.
10 Raise or Calm Storm: The Druid either creates a violent storm of a type appropriate to the climate and location (a blizzard during the winter months in a temperate climate, a sandstorm in a hot desert, etc.), or calms such a storm already occurring. [10 mile radius] {Until dawn}
11 Scrying Pool: By staring into a natural pool, pond, or lake, the Druid spies on a known and named individual located on the same world, seeing and hearing as if in close proximity to the target. {1 hour} *Save negates, and reveals the scrying attempt.
12 Summon Animals V: Druid summons local animals totaling no more than 10 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour. The Druid can specify the animals desired.

6th Level Druidic Spells

1 Anti-Animal Shell: The Druid can neither touch, or be touched by, any unintelligent animal (including insects, Giant animals, and Giant insects, but not bizarre creatures such as Rust Monsters). {Until dawn, or willingly ended by the Druid}
2 Charm Plant: One large tree, 2 small trees, 6 bushes, 12 shrubs, 24 ordinary plants, or all the ivy on the side of a building, become friendly and protective, growing and moving at the Druid’s request in a manner similar to the effect of Control Plants. Plant Monsters are affected as by a Charm Monster spell. {Until the end of Winter} *Plant Monsters can save to negate.
3 Cure Critical Wounds: Druid or Recipient is cured of 1d6 points of Damage per own Experience Level or HD. For example: A 9th Level Recipient regains 9d6 lost Hit Points. [Druid, or 1 touched Recipient]
4 Elemental Ally: The Druid summons a 16 HD Elemental Brute ) of a desired type (Air, Water, Earth or Fire), which will willingly and happily perform 1 task that can be completed within an hour. The Druid can only summon one type of each type of Elemental Ally per day.
5 Geas: Druid imposes upon a single Victim either a task that must be performed, or an action that must be avoided. If the Victim fails to undertake the task or avoid the action, they suffer a Curse (as the 3rd Level spell) until they do as directed. No directly lethal tasks or taboos can be imposed. The Druid can also remove a Geas placed by another. This spell cannot undo a Druid’s Mysterious Bans or Mysterious Compulsions. {Until task is performed, or Druid relents} *Save negates.
6 Merge with Stone: The Druid (along with everything they carry) physically merges with a stone (or stone wall) at least as large as themselves. Nothing short of True Seeing will reveal the Druid’s presence, and the Druid cannot be harmed without destroying the stone. [Until dawn]
7 Polymorph Other: Recipient is transformed into any creature with no more than twice their original Hit Dice, acquiring all Special Abilities and other characteristics. Recipient is 50% likely to forget who actually are, and transform mentally as well. {Permanent until released by caster} *Save negates.
8 Summon Animals VI: Druid summons local animals totaling no more than 12 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour. The Druid can specify the animals desired.
9 Transport by Plants: The Druid magically enters a tree or plant, and instantly exits from another tree or plant of the same type growing at or near a desired location anywhere on the same planet (or in the same Corner of the Earth). If the Druid does not specify a point of exit (or the type of plant entered is not present there), the Druid is transported to a random location where the plant also grows.
10 Travel the Corners of the Earth: By traveling for 10 minutes the Druid can enter any of the Corners of the Earth (The Vault of Air, the Underworld, the Eternal Sea, Fiery Purgatory, the Pillars of the Earth, Shadowland, the Antipodes, and Summerland) or travel back to Panzoasia from one of the Corners. 1 companion can follow per Level of the Druid. {1 trip}
11 Turn Wood: Nothing made of wood can move towards the Druid in the affected area. Spears cannot used, arrows cannot be shot, boats cannot sail, and siege towers cannot move forward. [Either a 150’ cube in front of the Druid, or a 150’ radius] {[1 hour]
12 Wall of Thorns: Druid creates a 5 foot thick wall of twisting brush covered with finger-length thorns, anywhere within a 50’ radius. It cannot be created underfoot of a target. The wall inflicts 5d6 point of damage on contact. Making a hole big enough for a person requires inflicting 40 hit points of damage with magic, or (long) metal tools. If burned, it becomes a Wall of Fire for 1 Turn before collapsing. [A 50’ x 50’ wall, or 25’ diameter ring 20’ high] {1 hour}

7th Level Druidic Spells

1 Chariot of Fire: The Druid summons a bronze chariot with burning wheels, drawn by two flying horses with manes and tails of fire. The Druid (along with up to 6 passengers) can drive the chariot across the land at 240 or through the air at 480. Each horse is equal to a Warhorse in combat, but has immunity to normal weapons. The Druid and passengers are immune to the Chariot’s flames – all others take 3d6 point of fire damage per Round if within 5’. {1 hour}
2 Control Weather: The Druid can transform the current local weather as they like. Each Turn the Druid can change the temperature by up to 5 degrees, increase or decrease the precipitation amount by up to 1 inch an hour, and raise or calm the winds by 10 mph. The highest possible temperature achievable is 120 F, and the lowest possible is -30 F. Maximum total precipitation is 12 inches of rain, or 10 feet of snow. Highest possible winds are 150 mph. [1 mile radius] {up to 12 hours before dawn}
3 Creeping Doom: 1,000 biting and stinging are summoned, forming a crawling swarm that automatically inflicts 100 hp of damage per Round to anyone they contact (no Attack Roll needed). The swarm travels at Movement Rate 60, but must remain within 120’ of the Druid (or disappear). If attacked, it’s AC is 9 points better than unarmored, and it has 100 hp. Each HP of damage it sustains reduces the damage it inflicts by 1 point. [50’ x 50’ swarm] {12 Rounds}
4 Environmental Adaptation: The Druid, and one additional Recipient per Level, become completely immune to damage or harm from environmental effects, however extreme. They could walk in the lava fields of Fiery Purgatory without damage, swim underneath the Eternal Sea without drowning, breath the toxic air of the Adumbral Planet, etc. [24 hours]
5 Fairy Allies: The Druid can summon a single powerful Fairy with up to 14 HD, or number of Fairies whose total HD do not exceed 14. The Fairy (or Fairies) will willingly and happily aid the Druid for up to 1 Hour Each time the Druid uses this Spell, they must take on a random Mysterious Compulsion or Mysterious Ban.
6 Finger of Death: A visible target (other than a Planar Spirit or Undead Monster) dies instantly. [1 Victim in visual range] *Save negates.
7 Reincarnate: Druid causes a recently dead person to be instantly reborn in an animal body as a Zoomorphic Revenant, otherwise retaining their mind, memories, and Alignment. The new animal form will be symbolic of their previous Class or profession. [1 person, dead no more than a day] *Save negates if undesired.
8 Revive Wasteland: 100 acres of once fertile land that is now polluted, scorched, or lain waste (for example: by the industrial activity of Orcs, from Dragon’s Breath, or by magical Blasting) is restored to fertility and usability. Trees, crops, and useful plants will again grow on it. Weather patterns will not be automatically changed – i.e, arid land remains so. {Permanent, until land is defiled again}
9 Stop Aging: The Druid stops all aging for 1 year. Unfortunately, every time the Druid uses this spell they incur another random Mysterious Compulsion or Mysterious Ban.
10 Transmute Metal and Wood: Five pounds of metal is transformed into normal, non-wondrous wood per Level of the Druid. 1 pound of wood can be transformed into iron, tin, or zinc per Druid Level, or the same amount of iron or steel transformed into green Viridantine. {Permanent, and cannot be Dispelled}

An Alternate Spell List for B/X, BECMI, and OSR Bards

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François Pascal Simon Gérard 001

Use this alternate Spell list in conjunction with your favorite version of the Bard Class.

It is assumed in all cases that the Bard must play their favored musical instrument to use their magic, and that no other “material components” are necessary.

Where necessary, the description of each Spell (or Bardic Song) is followed by one, two, or two additional terms defining the affected area of the Spell, its duration, and how the Spell if affected by a successful Saving Throw.

• If no [affected area] is indicated in brackets, a spell affects 1 target in visible range.

• If no {duration} is indicated in curly brackets, a spell lasts 1 hour (6 Turns)

• If no *Save effect is indicates after an asterisk, the spell does not allow a Saving Throw.

1st Level Bardic Songs (Spells)

1 Fertility: The next time the Recipient can possibly conceive offspring (or impregnate another), it will happen. [1 person] *Save negates, if undesired.
2 Animal Friendship: Bard gains the companionship of twice their own HD of visible mundane animals, who can learn 1 “trick” or task per point of their Int. No more than twice the Bard’s HD of animals can be under the Bard’s influence at a time. Companions can be dismissed to make way for new ones. {As long as desired}
3 Banish Vermin: All vermin (rats, roaches, bedbugs, flies, worms, ticks, etc.) of normal size within a 25′ foot radius are forced to flee. {Until dawn}
4 Calm Animals: Bard calms all hostile, frightened, or otherwise uncontrollable animals, whether wild or domestic, in 50’ radius. {1 hour}
5 Charm Person: Victim regards the Bard as a friend and ally who has their best interests at heart. [1 humanoid person] {Until next full moon} *Save negates.
6 Gambler’s Curse: Victim is more likely to lose at games of chance. The Player must draw (or roll, spin, etc.) twice, and keep the worse result as the actual outcome of the “hand”, throw, or turn. {1 hour} *Save negates.
7 Gambler’s Luck: Recipient is more likely to win at games of chance. The Player may draw (or roll, spin, etc.) twice, and keep the better result as the actual outcome of the “hand”, throw, or turn. {1 hour} *Save Negates.
8 Protection From Serpents: Snakes of any size are unable to touch or attack the Recipient. [Bard, or 1 visible Recipient] {1 hour}
9 Remove Fear: All Fear effects, mundane or magical, are removed from the Recipient. [Visible range]
10 Resist Cold: Recipient can ignore damage from cold equal to 2 x Bard’s Experience Level. {1 hour}
11 Sleep: A visible, living Victim with no more HD than the Bard falls asleep. {Until dawn} *Save negates.
12 Summon Animals I: Bard summons local animals totaling no more than 2 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour.

2nd Level Bardic Songs (Spells)

1 Attract Lover: The Recipient will meet a temporarily devoted lover of the desired gender, at the next possible opportunity. The lover will leave at the next full moon, no matter how the Recipient pleads.
2 Summon Animals II: Bard summons local animals totaling no more than 4 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour.
3 Barrenness: Victim becomes completely unable to produce offspring. * Save negates.
4 Confusion: Victim becomes disoriented, and acts randomly. Roll d10 each round: 1-3 = normal action, 7 – 10 = pointless action, 10 = attacks nearest foe or friend. [50 feet] {1 Turn} *Save negates.
5 Ignore Pain: Bard or Recipient become immune to all pain, mundane or magical. {Until dawn}
6 Song of Love: The Recipient is overcome with romantic affection for the Bard. If the Bard fails to reciprocate properly, or ever mistreats the lover in any way, they will immediately depart (and regard the Bard with hatred thereafter). [1 person who can see and hear Bard] * Save negates.

Player Characters are considered immune to the Song of Love.

7 Mesmeric Healing: Bard places the Recipient in a trance. If they fail their Saving throw and listen to the end of the Song, they will be temporarily healed of all damage, blindness, deafness, lameness, paralysis, or disease. {Until dawn}
8 Resist Fire: Recipient can ignore damage from fire equal to 2 x Bard’s Exp. Level. {1 hour}

3rd Level Bardic Songs (Spells)

1 Babble: Victim loses the ability to read, comprehend, or speak any language. [1 victim] {1 hour} * Save negates.
2 Blind/Deafen: Bard makes the Victim either blind or deaf, with all appropriate Penalties. {Until next new moon} *Save negates.
3 Decrease Ability: One of the Victim’s Abilities temporarily decreases by 4 points (to a minimum of 3), with all corresponding consequences. {1 hour}
4 Increase Ability: One of the Recipient’s Abilities temporarily improves by 4 points (to a maximum of 18), with all corresponding benefits. {1 hour}
5 Reconcile/Separate: Two former friends or lovers reconcile, or two current friends or lovers become hostile. One of the pair must be present. *Save negates.
6 Suggestion: Bard causes the Victim to obey a reasonable sounding directive which can be phrased in one sentence. {Until dawn, or suggested action is completed} *Save negates.
7 Summon Animals III: Bard summons local animals totaling no more than 6 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour.
8 Witch’s Mount: Victim is under the Bard’s control, can Fly, is as strong as a draft horse, and can be used like a mount or farm animal (but cannot be made to fight). [1 person within 50’] {Until dawn} *Save negates.

4th Level Bardic Songs (Spells)

1 Remove Curse: Recipient is freed from any supernatural curses currently afflicting them. A “curse” is defined by any Spell which includes the word “curse” in its description.
2 Curse: Bard inflicts a negative magical condition upon the Victim, lasting until a specified event occurs. Typically: -4 on one Ability; -3 on all Attack rolls; or -1 on all Saves. {Until released} *Save negates.
3 Din: The Bard’s instrument makes a sound that deafens every being within 50’ (except themselves), inflicts 4d6 points of Damage, and shatters glass and crystal. *Save negates deafness, and reduces damage by half.
4 Haste: Recipient moves twice as fast as normal. Receives +3 on AC; two actions per Round; and +3 on Saves versus Wands & Breath. Loses 1 point Constitution, and ages 1 year! {1 hour} *Save negates
5 Mass Confusion: All within 50’ (except Bard) become disoriented, and act randomly. Roll d10 each Round per Victim: 1-3 = normal action, 7 – 10 = strange and pointless action, 10 = attacks nearest foe or friend. {1 Turn} *Save negates.
6 Mass Sleep: As many visible Victims as the Bard has Experience Levels fall asleep. Those with more Hit Dice than the Bard are immune. {Until dawn} *Save negates.
7 Slow: Victim moves half as fast as normal. Suffers -3 on AC; acts every other Round; and makes Saving Throws versus Wands & Breath with a -3. {1 hour} *Save negates
8 Summon Animals IV: Bard summons local animals totaling no more than 8 HD, who will willingly perform one simple service lasting for no more than an hour.

5th Level Bardic Songs (Spells)

1 Commune With Fairies: Bard mentally contacts a powerful Fairy, whose name they know, and asks them a question. The Fairy may lie, or refuse to answer, depending on their reaction. {1 Question}
2 Curse of Lycanthropy: Bard curses the Victim to become a Lycanthrope, starting on the next Full Moon. The Bard specifies the type of Lycanthrope. [1 victim within 25’] {Permanent until curse is lifted}
3 Curse of Undeath: Bard curses the Victim to rise again as an Undead Monster after their death, of a type with the same HD as their Level before they died. The Monster is not controlled by the Bard, and may seek revenge. [1 victim within 25’] {Permanent until curse is lifted}
4 Discover Treasure: The day after employing this effect the Bard will somehow be told (or otherwise learn) the location of a treasure within 1 week’s journey – but not how to recover it, or overcome its guardians.
5 Exorcism: All supernatural creatures must flee, and all Spells from Evil sources immediately end. Any Planar Spirits or incorporeal Undead inhabiting living creatures are forced out and Banished to their home Plane (or Plane of final rest). [A 25’ radius] *Save negates
6 Fame: Recipient becomes internationally famous; are immediately recognized everywhere; is mobbed by adoring fans, cannot hide under any circumstances, and loses all privacy. Dispelled by Obscurity. {Permanent} *Save negates
7 Feeblemind: Victim’s Intelligence is reduced to 2. [25’] {Until next full moon} *Save negates
8 Insect Plague: Bard summons a swarm of locusts (or other destructive vermin) that covers a full acre of land. All edible plants within are consumed, visibility is 5’, and creatures under 2 HD flee. {1 hour}
9 Obscurity: Victim cannot achieve any form of glory or recognition. Only friends and family can remember them. Dispelled by Fame. {Permanent} *Save negates
10 Raise or Calm Storm: The Bard either creates a violent storm of a type appropriate to the climate and location (a blizzard during the winter months in a temperate climate, a sandstorm in a hot desert, etc.), or calms such a storm already occurring. [10 mile radius] {Until dawn}

Random Incurable Madnesses

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Johann Heinrich Füssli 035

Players of Mad Scientist characters can sometimes be challenged to decide upon a suitable Incurable Madness for their character. That’s where this table comes in. Select, or randomly determine a flavorful type of insanity – I mean, manifestation of genius! Muahahahaha!

More inspirational tables like this will be part of the planned Second Edition of Ghastly Affair.

Your madness is…

d20

You are convinced that your body is in fact made of glass, and liable to shatter if struck with any amount of force.

1

You have 1d6 other personalities that can emerge randomly in times of stress.

2

You cannot abide the thought of sex, and the sight of even artistic nudity makes you physically ill.

3

You are a compulsive gambler.

4

You are obsessed with a certain number (or certain numbers).

5

You will only eat and drink things that are a certain color. (d8. 1=white, 2=brown, 3=yellow, 4=red, 5=green, 6=black.)

6

You believe a dead family member (or spouse) is your constant companion. Nobody else can sense them, however – even with Preternatural aid.

7

You desire to see and be near the dead – perhaps living close to churchyard, frequenting charnel houses, keeping embalmed bodies, or making your furniture from human bones.

8

Your have a morbidly gloomy disposition, and talk constantly of death and dying.

9

You are a hypochondriac, and constantly believe yourself to either be sick, or about to become sick.

10

You believe yourself to actually be a beast of some kind in a temporary human shape.

11

You believe yourself to be several hundred years older than you actually are.

12

You believe that you were born on some other planet, or on the sun.

13

You enjoy vivisection, and will find any excuse to cut open living bodies.

14

You believe yourself to be a plant of some kind, and refer to the solid food you eat as “fertilizer”.

15

You are obsessed with “perfecting” the human body – and when you can’t find other subjects, you experiment on yourself.

16

You are obsessed with creating new life forms, and modifying existing ones.

17

You are convinced that a gang of criminals is using a mechanical device to control your thoughts.

18

You believe that all of your family members and old friends have already been replaced by impostors, and that every day more and more people are likewise replaced.

19

You believe yourself to be already dead, and don’t understand why others don’t see it.

20

Random Inheritances for Gothic Characters

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Vanitas stilleven Rijksmuseum SK-A-3471

One goal for the future Second Edition of Ghastly Affair is providing even more inspirational lists and tables for creating suitably Gothic characters. If you’re having trouble coming up with an Inheritance for your Everyman character, these tables are for you. Players of other rpgs with Gothic themes (or set in Georgian / Regency / Napoleonic times) might also find the tables useful. Select an Inheritance, or let the dice decide!

Inheritances for Upper Class Characters

A child of privilege, you have inherited…

d20

a small, prosperous country estate. Of course, there’s another relative convinced that they are, in fact, the rightful owner.

1

a large country estate in disrepair.

2

a small pleasure house or hunting lodge in the country. There is no supporting estate.

3

a small castle. You’ve never been there, but its rumored to be haunted.

4

a ruined (but partiality inhabitable) castle, site of a horrific battle.

5

a noble title, to which you did not know you were heir.

6

seigniorial (or even sovereign) rights to a small territory you’ve never visited.

7

ownership of most of the land in a village you’ve never heard of.

8

ownership of several rental properties in the city.

9

a town house. You’ve never been there, but its supposed to be haunted.

10

a large town house, in an unfashionable district (or city).

11

a small town house, in a fashionable district of the capital. If only the servants could get all those bloodstains out of the carpets and upholstery!

12

a beautifully appointed carriage (berline, coupé, post chaise, or phaeton), with horses.

13

a seemingly inexhaustible bank account from which you can draw freely – with the understanding that you will continue to stay as far away from the respectable members of your family as possible.

14

all the furniture salvaged from your beloved ancestral home, which burnt down years ago.

15

your mad aunt’s art collection, including some pieces with obvious occult significance.

16

your uncle’s collection of rare books.

17

your grandfather’s collection of (d20 x 5) antique guns, all of the finest quality.

18

a set of engraved, gilded, and, ivory handled dueling pistols from a renowned Italian gunsmith. Apparently, one of them was used to kill someone famous.

19

a medieval sword that belonged to an ancestor renowned for his bravery and piety.

20

Inheritances for Middle Class Characters

Neither poor nor aristocratic, you have inherited…

d20

a colorful and loquacious parrot (or macaw).

1

a tortoise, with strange markings cut into its shell.

2

a mischievous monkey. Or is it murderous?

3

a locket. No one knows the identity of the two people painted inside.

4

a fan, hand-painted by a well-known artisan.

5

a grimoire of ceremonial magic, or an alchemical treatise.

6

a large and elaborate bed, supposedly haunted.

7

the strange journals of a distant relative.

8

a set of dueling pistols.

9

a small house in the country.

10

a narrow, 2-story house in the city.

11

a sword (or other weapon) from the Orient.

12

a statue of Aztec (or other Mesoamerican) origin.

13

a large, animated clock.

14

a large, engraved key whose use no one remembers.

15

a disturbingly life-like automaton.

16

money in the amount of 3d6 x 1000 p. (Or 3d6 x 10 gp for Old-School games.)

17

a locked steel chest to which the key is missing. Something rattles around when you shake the chest.

18

a set of especially high quality tools suitable to your Profession or Avocation.

19

a small carriage, such as a chaise, cabriolet or gig, with two horses.

20

Inheritances for Lower Class Characters

Though you are from a poor family, you have nonetheless inherited…

d20

an old horse.

1

a cryptic treasure map. Supposedly all previous attempts to find the treasure have ended in tragically.

2

a small piece of jewelry with a clue to your true identity.

3

your mother’s wedding ring.

4

a set of loaded ivory dice.

5

a pack of fortune-telling cards.

6

a spyglass.

7

a pistol, in fair working condition.

8

an old military musket.

9

a dagger, with a blade grooved to hold poison paste.

10

a skull that supposedly brings good luck.

11

a one-horse wagon, and an old mare.

12

a donkey or pig, said to be unusually intelligent.

13

a military sword.

14

a gold ring, given to your mother by your real father – before his aristocratic family made him send her away.

15

a military uniform, with just a single bullet hole.

16

a small cottage in the country.

17

a piece of scrimshaw.

18

a single plate or pot of Chinese porcelain, with only a slight crack in it. Supposedly, you have relative who has has been to the temple depicted on the piece.

19

a mask and/or costume from a strange festival held in your parent’s home village.

20

The Bogeymen of Panzoasia, Part IV – Hobgoblins

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The Hobgoblins of the Ultimate West

The Hobgoblins of Panzoasia’s Ultimate West are noted for their peculiar obsession with all things red – especially blood and fire. They are divided into Factions, each of which follows its own Dictator. These Dictators are not always Hobgoblins themselves. Historically, Factions of Hobgoblins have also served Red Dragons, Vampires, Necromancers, Witch Queens, and even Efreeti! The various Factions of Hobgoblins all regard each other as traitors deserving only of death.

The technological achievements of the Hobgoblins are considerable. They are expert miners and builders, preferring designs in perfect geometrical shapes. They know the use of concrete. Many Hobgoblin structures built above-ground during the Reign of the Monsters are actually still in use by the Five Peoples – particularly the well-constructed Hobgoblin forts. Hobgoblin cloth is finely woven, their leather is skillfully tanned, and their clothes are expertly tailored. But Hobgoblins are most famous as the first species to produce steel in large quantities, and it was their steel weapons and armor that allowed them to defeat the bronze-wielding Humans during the Invasions. Even in modern times, the quality of Hobgoblin steel is only rivaled by that produced by the Dwarves.

Appearance and Costume

Hobgoblins stand as tall as Humans. They have thin, lean builds, but are nonetheless slightly stronger than Humans on average. Like Goblins, Hobgoblins seem to combine bat-like and simian features. Their long faces evoke those of “spectral bats”, with enormous pointed ears, leaf-like noses, and fangs that protrude from their mouths. Their eyes are lustrous black. Their skin color can be anything from pink to dark brick red, and fur that covers their bodies can range from light reddish brown to black. Like all Goblinoids (including common Goblins and Bugbears), their wiry arms and boney hands are long for their bodies; with clawed fingers that are slightly webbed. When not in battle, Hobgoblins of both sexes tend to wear red cloak or capes, cap-sleeved doublets (which can be of any color), and high boots of black leather (which are finely made and always kept clean).

Hobgoblin Culture and Society

By choice, Hobgoblins live in Strongholds that consist of an above-ground fortress in the shape of a perfect square (or other polygon), with and equally extensive network of tunnels underneath. The exterior of the above-ground fortress is often covered in raw concrete – which will also be used to create interior features. There will be no exterior windows, save for arrow-slits. The extensive use of concrete (or “Goblin Stone”) by Hobgoblins has in fact created a prejudice against its use among the Five Peoples, except as mortar for cut stones.

Hobgoblin society is completed regimented and hierarchical. All males and non-pregnant females are considered to be soldiers. Young Hobgoblins are instructed in warfare, taught a useful craft, and indoctrinated in the superiority of their Faction. Individuality is suppressed in every way. Almost everything an ordinary Hobgoblin wants to do (including mate) must be approved by their Decanus (or Sargeant), who in turn must obey the Praetor that rules each Stronghold. The Praetors, in turn, owe absolute allegiance to the Dictator of their Faction. The slightest evidence of disloyalty is punished by death. Non-Hobgoblins who have been conquered by Hobgoblins must also show conspicuous devotion to the Faction’s Dictator, or risk horrible deaths.

Hobgoblins only drink blood, and only eat flesh. They can tolerate preserved meat when they must, but greatly prefer it to be raw (and bloody). The Hobgoblin fascination with blood extends beyond craving it as source of nourishment. Hobgoblins who display exception bravery, or are promoted to a higher rank, are anointed with blood. Hobgoblins soldiers have been known to linger on a battlefield, entranced by the bleeding wounds of dying enemies. Hobgoblin love to inflict slow torture by cutting and flaying, often pausing to lick and suck the bleeding flesh. Prisoners who are destined to be eaten will be fed certain foods, or regularly exposed to certain smells, to properly flavor and scent their blood.

The Hobgoblin obsession with blood extends to a fascination with the possibilities of breeding. They enthusiastically participate in Depradator breeding experiments, and conduct many of their own besides. Besides the the Thouls first created by Vermadeus during the Reign of the Monsters, other variants of Hobgoblins include the winged Hobgoblin Atavi, the partially-Human High Goblins, the fanged and scaled Norkers, and the water-breathing Aquatic Hobgoblins.

Hobgoblins are the only Bogeymen with a sculptural tradition. In fact, the most skilled Hobgoblin artisans can carve perfect replicas of anything from stone or wood, which they often use to create idols of their Faction’s Dictator, or cult statues.

Hobgoblins at War

Each Hobgoblin Faction has its own identifying Standard – a blood-red flag emblazoned with a black pictogram. The Standard will be displayed everywhere in a Hobgoblin stronghold. In battle, the Standard is carried on the pole capped with image of a Vampire Bat.

Hobgoblin soldiers wear a type of banded mail cuirass resembling the “lorica segmentata”, with Praetors usually wear finely-made scale mail resembling “lorica plumata”. The characteristic Hobgoblin helmet is open on the sides to accommodate their large ears. Their shields tend to be rectangular, and painted with the Faction standard. In lieu of using a shield, high-status Hoboblins will sometimes wield a forked baton with an elongated, ribbon-like version of their Faction’s standard attached. The Hobgoblin quickly waves the baton back and forth in intricate patterns to distract their opponent with the brilliant rippling color, and then employs the fork to catch their opponent’s weapon. Fighting in this way is considered very honorable, and a greater display of martial skill than simply using a shield.

The preferred weapons of Hobgoblins are their finely-made swords (which tend to have double-sided, triangular blades) the javelin, and the military fork. In general, they tend towards stabbing and trusting weapons, which work well in tight formations. The sole exception is the weighted net they use to capture prisoners.

When a hobgoblin horde captures more prisoners than they can transport, they tend to impale the excess number on high poles, or else nail them by the wrists to a pole or tree and let them hang until they suffocate.

Animals and Allies of the Hobgoblins

Hobgoblins get along well with Giant Bats, and are especially fond of Giant Vampire Bats. Such creatures often guard important Hobgoblin Strongholds. Likewise, the Hobgoblins are known to train Alphyns as beasts of war. Some Hobgoblin Praetors even use small Hellhounds as guards. Horses hate Hobgoblins instinctively, however. Hogoblins who live in warmer climes sometimes ride large Pterosaurs as aerial mounts.

The Hobgoblin exploitation of Goblins as disposable front-line troops is well known, as is their employment of Bugbears as spies, assassins, and enforcers. Although Hobgoblins despise Orcs and their poorly-made equipment, they are sometimes employed by Orcish Barons and Captains to train their soldiers.

The Hobgoblin Language

The Hobgoblin language is either a highly refined dialect of Goblin, or the source language from which Goblin was derived – depending on whether one asks a Hobgoblin or Goblin. It is written in pictograms and logograms that are startling similar to those used for Western Elven, a fact that neither folk can explain – or wants to talk about.

Alignment and Religion

The Gnomish sages claim that Hobgoblins were once mostly Lawful, and inhabited a large, technologically-advanced empire in what is now the Wasteland. As their society split into Factions, each Faction turned to increasingly desperate and extreme measures to attain supremacy. Eventually, the entire species succumbed to Evil. Hobgoblins of any Alignment other than Evil, while not completely unknown, are now extraordinarily rare.

Hobgoblins are among the most devoted and enthusiastic devotees of the Antichurch of Darkness. The version of the Black Mass celebrated in Hobgoblin Strongholds is especially bloody and cruel. The Clergy of Darkness regards an assignment to the Hobgoblins as perilous, however, since every Hobgoblin Faction demands that the Clerics of Darkness aid them aid them in their wars against rival Factions.

Hobgoblins volunteer eagerly for service at the Boggle Mounds. The flying Hobgoblin Atavi (see below) are especially sought as sentinels and guardians by the Depradators who build and control the Mounds.

The Thouls

Thouls are often gifted to Praetors and Dictators by Vermadeus, serving both as a reward for loyalty to the Depradators, and a means of keeping the Hobgoblin leadership in line. To create a Thoul, a Hobgoblin is fed only Troll blood for a month. Then, the heart and digestive organs from a Ghoul are surgically transplanted into the subject. After a final ritual, the former Hobgoblin becomes a Thoul, neither alive, nor truly Undead. A dishonored Hobgoblin can restore their honor (albeit posthumously) by volunteering to become a Thoul, or allowing one to paralyze them and eat them alive.

The High Goblins

At first glance, High Goblins could easily be mistaken for people of mixed Human and Elven heritage. They closely resemble slim but wiry Humans in overall form, with large pointed ears. Their faces tend to be long, with angular features, and noses that are sometimes pointed. Their eyes are human-like, but their mouths are filled with sharp teeth. Their hands have relatively long fingers that end in sharp, claw-like nails. Their skin is almost always extremely pale. Depending on the individual, their overall appearance can range from grotesque to strikingly elegant. Unlike normal Hobgoblins, High Goblins tend to dress flamboyantly.

High Goblins can follow the same character Classes as Humans, with the exception that one of their Class Special Abilities will always replaced with Infravision. Naturally, they tend to rise to high positions in Hobgoblin society, often becoming Praetors and Dictators. They are also known to install themselves as leaders over Goblin hordes.

Because of their appearance, and the fact that they nourish themselves on blood (like all Hobgoblins), High Goblins can be also mistaken for Vampires. They are sometimes even called “Pseudo-Vampires”.

The Hobgoblin Atavi

A Hobgoblin Atavus is a throwback to the ancestral, winged form of all Goblinoids. They resemble other Hobgoblins, except that the second, third, and fourth fingers of each hand form bat-like wings that can be folded up along the arms when not in use. Additionally, the feet of a Hobgoblin Atavus are more ape-like than those of normal Hobgoblins, with fully opposable big toes that function like thumbs. Armed with javalins that they can use with their feet while flying, Hobgoblin Atavi serve Praetors and Dictators as spies, scouts, and messengers.

Statistically, Hobgoblin Atavi are almost identical to Hobgoblins, but only have AC 7 [12] from leather armor, and have a Flying speed of 240’

The Aquatic Hobgoblins

Aquatic Hobgoblins have completely webbed hand and feet, with small ears, large eyes, and dense fur covering their bodies. They have gills in their neck, and can breathe both water and air. They were first bred to attack Human ships from below, since no Bogeyman species has ever developed any skill at sailing. Now, Aquatic Hobgoblins inhabit the coastal waters of Bythebia, sometime venturing north to Corthis, or attacking the Sacred Isle of Albelon (which has always ended in disaster for them).

Random Terrain Tables for Fantasy Hexcrawls

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Here are are some d12+d8 tables for randomly generating the terrain inside of large, “Campaign-scale” hexes. My preferred scale for a “Campaign-scale” hex map is 36 miles to the hex, with each hex broken down into 156, 3-mile (1 league) hexes. Each such 3-mile hex can then be broken down further into 156, 1/4 mile (1,320 foot) hexes.

If your 36-mile hex has an overall terrain of Coniferous Forest, and your d12+d8 rolls add to a 5, there’s a 3-mile patch of what is basically Wetland in the forest. If you want to go down finer in scale, you can then roll on the Lowland Wetland column to find out what is in each 1/4 mile hex within the 3-mile hex. For example, if you roll a 3, then there is a 1/4 mile area of elevated Moorland within the 3-mile area of Wetland (that is itself within a 36-mile area of Coniferous Forest).

The measurement of a hex is from the center of one hex to the center of an adjoining hex, or from side to parallel side (which is the same distance). If the PCs move from the center of a 3-mile hex to the center of the next hex, they have traveled 3 miles.

These tables create a plausible fantasy terrain of an admittedly “vanilla” type, for worlds such as Panzoasia. They’re not designed to produce weird deserts of orange glass over which float semi-intelligent bio-mechanical spheres. They will, however, make worlds geographically similar to our own, that could actually support viable populations of animals and people.

A note on streams and rivers. It’s extremely hard to accurately model drainage basins with these kinds of random tables. Assume that PCs have a 50% chance to encounter a significant body of flowing water (brook, creek, stream, or river) whenever they move across a non-desert hex. Remember, if the PCs follow a stream downriver, they will never move through areas of higher elevation. Conversely, if they follow a stream upriver the terrain will always increase in elevation.

Here’s an example of a “Campaign-scale” map at 36 miles to the hex.

10 Reasons Why Ghastly Affair is Your Game This Halloween

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Because you want to….

1.

Encounter the great monsters of Gothic literature, faithfully brought to (un)life.

2.

Picture yourself wrapped in the sumptuous costumes of Georgian and Napoleonic times, amid the splendor of grand houses and ancient castles.

3.

Get your game going quickly, utilizing familiar rules and concepts streamlined and reworked for an authentic experience of Romantic Horror.

4.

Play characters that explore lightless tombs, and dance at the Duke’s masquerade ball.

5.

Take a vacation from morality as the Libertine, Bandit, or Grave Robber – or stand against evil as the Demon Hunter, True Innocent, or Everywoman.

6.

Know what it means to be loved by the Devil, or to dice with Death.

7.

Explore the darkest corners of the human heart, but return safe and sane.

8.

Explore the possibilities of what an Old-School RPG can be, with rules that support emergent plots, make combat dangerous, and encourage deep character development.

9.

Run a game that works for both single-session “one-shots”, and long sagas.

10.

Role-play in a meticulously researched historical setting, with all its horrors and wonders.

Get Ghastly Affair on DriveThruRpg

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/11067/Daniel-James-Hanley/subcategory/27230_39466/Ghastly-Affair

 

How the Sausage is Made – Creating the Second Edition of Ghastly Affair

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The Dark Bible of the Second Edition, a work in progress. Picture by Wendy R.

Over the weekend I met again with Ghastly Affair’s contributing editor Wendy Rosalsky, and her husband Stan (who played the the first Libertine PC). After assuring ourselves that certain unnamable abominations remained imprisoned in the dark vaults under Chateau Rosalsky, we started really hammering out the shape of the proposed Second Edition of Ghastly Affair. Here are some things we discussed.

The most significant change to the game we are considering is in character creation. Rather than just having character Classes, we might make the default method of character creation involve choosing any five Special Abilities, and two Weaknesses. The current character Classes would still exist, but as suggested packages of Special Abilities and Weaknesses. Everyone PC would gain Levels using the same basic Advancement Table – but certain Special Abilities (such as “Use Incantation”) might increase the XP cost to attain 2nd Level (and/or have Basic Ability requirements). In other words, Player Characters would be built using the same method of mixing and matching Special Abilities and Weaknesses that the game already uses to create NPC Adversaries. You would still be able to play a classic Libertine or True Innocent if you want (and the rules will encourage it), but you can also play an equally flavorful character of your own design. This system needs to be thoroughly play-tested of course, and may prove to be too unbalanced. But I think the possibilities are good.

Our plan is to reorganize the game so that “Ghastly Affair Second Edition, Volume I” will be the complete basic system in one book. It will be focused, like the current edition, on the historical period between 1765 and 1820. “Ghastly Affair Second Edition, Volume II” should follow shortly thereafter, and expand the game into other historical eras (The “Gothic Age” of 13th century, the Edwardian Era, the Groovy 60s & 70s, etc.).

The base measure of distance in the revised game will probably be the 5-foot (or 1.5 meter) Pace, which is the distance an average person walks in 1 second. Therefore, the base Speed of a character would be raised from the current 9 to 10, corresponding to a rate of 50 feet in one ten-second Round. (This dovetails perfectly with modern games where the movement rate is 30 feet in a six-second Round.) Other units of distance employed for combat and magic would be “Hand-to-Hand” (25 feet / 7.5 meters), “Nearby” (50 feet/ 15.25 meters), “Musket Range” (300 feet / 100 yards / 91.5 meters), and “Visual Range” (self-explanatory).

In line with raising the base Speed to 10, the average Basic Ability rating of PCs would also be raised to 10. Therefore, each PC Ability would be determined by either taking 10, or rolling 3d6 and taking the result. The basic resolution system of Ghastly Affair is going to remain “roll under modified Ability on a d20”. However, I think we might also formally institute the concept of “success at cost”. Roll exactly your modified Ability, and you can chose to either fail, or succeed in a way that means you cannot do whatever you were doing again that day. You dance well and catch the eye of the Duke, but sprain your ankle in the process. You make the shot, but your trigger finger gets hurt. Etc.

We want to fully integrate LARP (Live Action Role Playing) and miniatures rules into the base game. LARPing is a natural fit for Ghastly Affair as a game of Gothic Romance set in an era (in)famous for its sumptuous fashion. I was previously opposed to including miniatures in Ghastly Affair, as I felt the “gods-eye view” creates a calm detachment that works against the immersion necessary for credible horror. I still feel that combat, especially in a horror game, is more thrilling with the slight disorientation created by “theater of the mind”. However, miniatures or tokens have great utility when running dances, balls, and salons in large rooms – keeping track of who can see each other and credibly interact can be difficult otherwise.

So, that’s the “State of the Sausage” this week. More updates to come!