Saturday, September 8, 2018

Meet Me After School. —Love Gandalf

So I've been in the death throes of wizard fever lately. I've gotten some excellent feedback by throwing my Sword Wizard and Forge Wizard out there. And I'd like to take this opportunity to share my notes on GLOG Wizard design.

1. Wizards are problem solvers
The wizard "presents a limited number of abilities (spells) with which to skip certain specific resource drains" (Lungfungus). Where Fighters have to roll to hit and Thieves have to roll to open locks, Wizards spend spell slots to make problems disappear. Pesky goblin no one can hit? Magic Missile. Pack of orcs? Sleep. Locked Door? Knock. With that said....

2. Magic is reliable
Wizards solve problems with magic. Or in other words, magic is their tool. A blacksmith wouldn't use a cracked hammer to pound steel. A woodworker wouldn't saw planks with a chipped saw. Therefore a magic user wouldn't solve problems with unreliable magic. Therefore magic must be reliable. With that said....

3. Magic has unpredictable costs
Mishaps and Dooms make the Wizard closer to Fighters and Thieves in that it adds a cost under a certain condition. For Fighters and Thieves is strictly roll-based. Rolled too low? Miss. But in the Wizard's case the magic still happens, then they take costs. With that said....

4. Wizards hedge reliable problem solving with unpredictable costs
This is the main "strategy" of the Wizard. If Mishaps and Dooms didn't exist the wizard would just get to spam 2+ MD spells willy-nilly. But since Mishaps and Dooms are present, the Wizard has to wage his risks. He could invest 1MD in Magic Missile on that owlbear, but it has two claws and a bite and a bear hug, but if you invest anymore you could pay a terrible cost. I theorize this is why most wizards go mad. With that said....

5. Spells require an "Upgrade Factor"
Wizards need a reason to upgrade their spells with more spell dice. Or in other words an upgrade factor. This is usually in the form of the dice variables [dice] or [sum] but it could be in the form of an upgraded version of the spell. If your spell doesn't have a dice variable or an upgraded version, then it needs to come with a clause or downside to prevent the wizard from spamming it. With that said....

6. Spells need a "Hijinks Factor"
Spells should be multitasking tools. A hammer can be used for more than just pounding steel. Same concept with spells. But spells shouldn't be super tools that can power through any situation. Basically you want the spell to have a definitive effect that is applicable in at least two dungeon-to-dungeon situations. The wizard player will take care of the rest. With that said....

That's it. That's all I could think of.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

GLOG: Class: Forge Wizard

Smithing has always been the domain of devils. In fact it's one of the key differences between them and their crude demon cousins. It's a testament to the acuity of devilkind, and a stick to the Man upstairs.

When primitive humans wondered into Hell seeking to learn the devils' craft, they were given a deal. Their souls in exchange for smithing. Of course they accepted, and of course they got the raw deal. Sure the devils taught them, but they didn't teach them everything, and in the end they got fresh souls while the flesh-apes only got a few iron tools and weapons.

This charade continued for centuries until some humans realized they were getting stiffed and bargained for a renegotiation of terms. Most of them got their souls eaten, but there was a few who came out with the better half of the deal. Those people are known as Forge Wizards.


by William Blake

Perk: You gain +1 Attack or Defense when using weapons or armor that you've made yourself respectively. You start with a Devil Hammer.

Drawback: 10% of treasure that you discover gets donated to devilkind. Hey man a deal's a deal.

A devil hammer can be used as a weapon that deals d6+1 damage. It also cuts smithing times down from 1 month to 2 weeks.

Cantrips:
1. You can recall your devil hammer to your hand.
2. You can etch your symbol on a metal object.
3. You can make your eyes glow with cosmetic fire.

Spell List

1. Burning Hands
R: 20' cone
T: area
D: 0
You touch your thumbs together and sheets of flame explode from your fingertips, dealing [sum] damage, Save vs Dex halves, and setting flammable objects alight.

A classic. Pretty powerful at close range, hence the save. Otherwise totally useful for setting crowds or rooms on fire.

2. Bargain
R: 50'
T: one creature
D: 0
You can instantly swap one object your holding in your hand with an object the targeted creature is holding in its hand. If you invested 3 dice or more you can swap objects on your target's persons instead (backpack, pockets, boots, stomach, etc); you have to have seen the object or know where it's located.

Steal the doom sword from the evil lich or get the keys out of the guard's stomach.


3. Weld
R: Touch
T: [dice]+1 objects or creatures
D: permanent
You meld the targeted creatures or object together. If the targets are creatures they get a Save, but only one needs to fail their Save to be considered meld together. This spell can be reversed to undo its own effects.

A potentially powerful spell against creatures, but the touch range means the wizard has to put themselves in harms way. Otherwise gives them an opportunity to make some unique items.


4. Gauntlets of Mephistopheles 
R: 20'
T: one creature
D: [sum] attacks
Giant gauntlets of black metal envelop the targeted creature's fists. They gain +1 Defense and their unarmed attacks deal 1d6 fire damage and set flammable object alight.

Give the Fighter flaming fists of fury.

5. Whirling Hammer Toss
R: 60'
T: one hammer
D: 0
You spin the targeted hammer in your hand with supernatural speed before throwing it. The hammer carries you and up to [sum] creatures and objects with it Thor style.

Most of the Forge Wizard's spells are touch spells, so having a spell to close the gap is a big convenience.


6. Summon Lemures
R: 30'
T: one surface
D: 0
You summon [sum]+[dice] Lemures that obey your command.

Lemures are basically the trash of Hell. Devils don't mind sending them to you. In fact you're doing them a favor by giving them a place to dump all of their garbage.

7. Secret Forge
R: Touch
T: one surface
D: varies
An iron door materializes on the targeted surface. This takes 30 minutes. Behind the door is a 20' room furnished with furnace, forge, bellows, and all of the other tools necessary to run a smithy. The room lasts for 2 hours, doubling in duration for each die invested. At the end of the duration all creatures inside are ejected.

Taken from Arnold's Door Wizard. Gives the Forge Wizard a port-o-forge for smithing on the go. Also gives the party a safe place to crash when their deep down in the deep dark.

8. Statue
R: 0
T: Self
D: [dice]*10 minutes
You turn into a metal statue. You can switch in and out of statue-form in a single round.

Potentially useful for stealth missions, or as an impromptu battering ram.

9. Transmute Metal to Fire
R: 80' 
T: one metal object 
D: permanent
You change the targeted metal object into searing fire. The object maintains its mass and shape but scorches for 1d4 fire damage for each [dice] invested.


Taken from the Sword Wizard. It didn't really make sense for that school, but it's perfect for this one.

10. Bonefire
R: Touch
T: one corpse
D: 10 minutes
The targeted corpse burns with a gentle ethereal fire, and after 10 minutes all that's left is ash. This ash can be rubbed on an object to enchant it with [dice] properties that belonged to the corpse when it was alive. If the corpse was a wizard's, you can imbue their prepared spells into objects instead and they will function as scrolls. The ash's properties and its enchantments last until sunrise.

Apparently in olden times blacksmiths would put bones in their forge because it produced purer steel. This started a trend of putting in animal and human bones to infuse them with their power. 

Emblem Spells
11. Meteor
R: Space
T: one meteor
D: 0
You grab a meteor from the sky and bring it crashing towards earth. 
If it's night, the sky illuminates as if it were daylight for [dice]*2 hours.
Nocturnal creatures will return to their layers, and diurnal animals will stir as their sleep cycle is interrupted. 
All creatures with [dice]*2 HD or less that realize you were responsible Save vs Fear or take a morale check, or flee/bow down to you.
The meteor lands 1d100 miles away in a random direction. If you invested 3 dice or more the meteor utterly obliterates anything d10 miles away from the impact zone, and deals [sum] damage to everything else in a d100 miles radius.

Taken from Vaginas are Magic. Apparently Tutankhamen was buried with a dagger forged from iron that belonged to a meteor. 

12. Bone Armor
R: 20'
T: one creature
D: Concentration
The targeted creature gets covered in bone armor. The bone armor has a 12+[dice] Defense and absorbs [dice]*2 damage from non-bludgeoning attacks. The wearer also gains telepathy with the Forge Wizard.

Taken from Arnold's Bone Devil. Pretty much turns the target to a lean mean boning machine.


Mishaps
1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Take 1d6 damage.
3. Random Mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4. Blinding smoke billows from your lungs, filling a 10' cubic area.
5. Your cerebrospinal fluid boils. Unconscious for 1d6+2 Rounds. 
6. Save vs Fear against fire for 24 hours.


Dooms
1. Devils shatter your leg bones. Your movement rate per round is reduced to a 10' crawl.
2. Chains clinch your heart, the black smoke of Hell fills your lungs, fire burns your hair to cinders, and devil kisses grow lumps of flesh all over your body. Your CON and CHA is halved.
3. Your head falls off and sprouts a maggot-like appendage. A devil possesses your body in the form of a flaming skull, Ghost Rider style, and becomes an NPC hellbent on spreading as much sin and destruction as possible. You're a soulworm that has lost all of your wizarding capabilities until you get your body back.

You can circumvent your Dooms by traveling to Hell and stealing the horseshoe of a Nightmare that belongs to an archdevil and wearing it around your neck.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Fuck CMDs

The prior iteration of the sword wizard was met with universally harsh criticism such as:

  • Too much of a focus on combat tricks. Even a wizard based off swords shouldn't be this combat focused.
  • Spells are too utilitarian and lack a "hijinks factor."
  • Cantrips, Mishaps, and Dooms are underwhelming.

For the most part I agree, but I would like to take this opportunity to address these critiques and what they mean for GLOG wizard design going forward.

Swords to Sticks is a good example of a bad spell. Its design is very narrow. The intent is to turn a bunch of scavenged sticks into useful weapons for the party, but that's it. Outside of that situation this spell is pretty much useless because swords aren't that hard to come by.

Transmute Metal to Fire is a good example of a good spell. Its design is very open. The intent is simply turn metal into fire. You can turn a regular sword into a flaming sword. You can turn an iron golem into a giant fire elemental. You can turn a cannon into fire, causing the powder charge to explode, which in turn causes shrapnel-shaped fire to pepper the deck of the ship, setting even more things on fire. Or you can just put out an iron door to get to the other side. It has a long range of uses—perhaps maybe too long.

The difference between these two spells is emergent gameplay, or in less pretentious terms, the hijinks factor. This means the spell is sitting in the Goldilocks zone of intended use. It's narrow enough to not solve every problem, but it's open enough to apply to a range of situations. This lets the wizard player get up to a whole bunch of hijinks.

Pure utilitarianism is too be avoided if possible. Buff spells have their place (just look at Mage Armor) but spells like this are more interesting if it has a weird clause. Argyrosis kind of gets this but clings too close to its utilitarian purpose to really be an interesting spell.

Now we get to the hard part.

I don't like Cantrips, Dooms, or Mishaps, or CMDs for short because the latter is too fucking long.

There I said it.

I get why cantrips exist. They're there for the wizard to do something magical when they run out of spells. But honestly there's a bunch of stuff a wizard can do already without them. Grab a bow and shoot something. Grab a spear and hide behind the meat shield. Cantrips just feel like a distraction from the main attraction themselves, the spells.

Dooms and Mishaps I actually like, but I don't like their execution. I feel like they would be better handled on a spell to spell basis, like how DCC does with its spells.

Something like:

Spell
RTD
What spell do
What spell do if roll Mishap
What spell do if roll Doom

I don't think I piss anybody off by saying I don't like CMDs. I don't think Arnold or Skerples are looking for disciples, and a unified GLOG ruleset just isn't going to happen anytime soon. So I might as well go full pariah.

Anyway this post started good but quickly devolved into a rant. I'm going to finish my earl grey, take a nap, and go to work.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Escape the Island

A Jeff Rients style escape table for Skerple's piratical GLOG, and other wavecrawl island-hopping style games, for when you need to end the session early or in the middle of combat.

PCs must Save or roll on the Escape the Island table below. Their Save is modified by plus or minus the difference between their level and how far away their current hex location is from the landing hex of their ship. For example, a second level character three hexes away from their landing point would have a -1 penalty on their Save. On a failure, roll on the table below 

Escape the Island! (d20)

1. Ye Scurvy dog! Ye manage to escape and board yer vessel safe and sound with all yer loot.
2. Ye escape but are gutted somethin foul! Take 4d6 damage.
3. Ye manage to board yer ship, and so does somethin else! The DM will roll a wanderin monster which will be resolved at the start of the next session.
4. Ye escape but crawled onto the wrong ship! Roll 1d6, 1—3 they're friendly, 4—6 they're not. Save again to see if yer allies notice.
5. Ye escape but are captured by slavers. They strip ye of all yer loot and haul ye off to the nearest port, and put ye to auction for Level*1000gp. Save again to see if yer allies notice.
6. Ye escape but are conscripted by a local warband under penalty of death! They confiscate all of yer equipment. Save again to see if yer allies notice.
7. Ye emerge from the smoke naked and delirious.
8. Ye escape with half yer loot. The DM will determine randomly what loot is lost.
9. Ye escape with 1d6 pieces of loot missing. The DM will determine randomly what loot is lost. 
10. Ye escape but yet loot is stolen by island denizens. Save again to get a whiff of their trail.
11. Yer swallowed by a leviathan of the deep! Save again to see if ye survive. Save a third time to see if yer allies catch the sea monster's trail.
12. Captured! Island denizens haul ye off to the closest dungeon/settlement. Save again to see if they don't execute ye in ritualistic fashion. Save a third time to see if yer allies notice!
13. To Davy Jone's locker with ye! Any escaped allies are able to bring yer remains and loot back to the ship.
14. No dog left behind! Ye die but any escaped allies are able to bring back yer remains. Yer loot is lost forever.
15. Dead as the gallows! Yer allies know the general location of yer corpse.
16. Scurvy dog it's what's for dinner! Eaten by monsters or island denizens. They add yer loot to their hoard of treasure.
17. Now the enemy! Yer killed and brought back as a minion of monsters or island denizens.
18. Taken as a trophy! Yer petrified, polymorphed, de-limbed, or otherwise made immoble to be put on display for a local monster or island denizen. Save again to see if yer allies notice.
19. They spin tales of ye as they pass grog. Yer body and loot are lost forever!
20. Stab 'em in the back! Pick an ally who escaped. Roll 1d6, 1—4 yer buddy takes yer place and has to roll on this table while ye escape, 5—6 ye both suffer the fate rolled.

by Wojtek Kapusta 

Friday, August 31, 2018

GLOG: Class: Sword Wizard



The rule of Norag is one of eugenics. There are greater men and there are lesser men. The lesser men serve, while the greater men rule. But kings are not made by their blood and pedigree. To be king one must be worthy.

Like their War Wizard brethren, the Sword Wizards have given themselves to the War Lich. But where the War Wizards give mind, body, and soul; the Sword Wizards need only give their heart.

For hours the Sword Wizards are held flat on a basalt slab as their chest is sliced, their ribs cracked, and their veins snipped until before their very eyes rests their beating heart. Then at last the micalibur, a sword of such fine a craft to be of an immeasurable earthly value, is thrust into their chest. Those that survive leave the basalt tower to make kings worthy for the thrones of greater men.

Bright Wizard by calebcleveland
by calebcleveland


Perks: Embedded in your chest where your heart is there's a sword. It is your micalibur. 

Drawback: If your micalibur is destroyed, you die.

Cantrips
1. You can sharpen a fist-sized object to a knife's edge. You must be holding it and it can't be harder than steel.
2. You can restore 1d8 HP by swallowing iron/steel swords. The sword is destroyed in the process.
3. You can suck one lantern-sized object, up to 50' away, into your chest hole. Activating this cantrip again ejects the object up to 50' away.
Spell List


1. Sticks to Swords
R: 50' T: [dice] sticks D: [dice*2] Rounds

You change the targeted sticks into swords. If you invested 3 or more [dice] the sticks change into large weapons that deal 1d10 damage.

2. Barrel Trick
R: 0' T: Self D: special
Slashing weapons gain a particular likeness for you; so much so that they refuse to leave after digging into your flesh. They also do you the solid of not killing you while they're crashing on your insides. When you would take damage from a slashing weapon, you absorb the damage and the weapon gets stuck inside you. The weapon is immovable while it's inside you. After you've absorbed [sum+5] damage the spell ends.

3. Steel Wind
R: 50' T: one object or creature D: 0
The sharpness of your blade carries on the wind. Make a melee attack with a slashing weapon in your hand to a target within 50', dealing +[sum] damage on a hit. If you're unarmed this spell deals 1d6 damage. You gain +[dice] Attack for this spell's Attack roll.

4. Transmute Metal to Fire
R: 80' T: one metal object D: permanent
You change the targeted object into searing fire. The object maintains its mass and shape but scorches for 1d4 fire damage for each [dice] invested. 

5. Personal Armory
R: Touch T: one container D: [dice*2] Hours

Your establish a link with the targeted container. For the duration, your chest opens up like a closet revealing the inside of the targeted container. You can swap items in and out of the container  through your chest cavity regardless of the distance between you.

6. Argyrosis
R: 0 T: one creature D: [dice] hours

The target creature's skin turns into platinum. Their unarmored Defense becomes 14+[dice].

7. Animate Sword
R: Touch T: one sword D: [sum] Rounds
You bring a sword to life, allowing it to move and follow commands. It moves by hopping on it's hilt at a rate of 10' per Round. If you invest 3 or more [dice] the sword can fly at a rate of 40' per Round.

8. The Razor Spiral
R: Self T: [dice]x10' radius D: concentration
Blades of invisible force fly around the caster. All creatures in area take 1d4 damage each round the spell is maintained. Roll damage for each creature individually, starting with those closest to the caster. The spell ends automatically when [sum]+3 damage has been dealt. The blades will also cut or damage fragile objects in the area.

by Skerples

9. King's Voice
R: 50' T: one creature D: [dice] hours
You fill the targeted creature's voice with authority. The targeted creature can't be you. For the duration of the spell, that creature can utter a [dice] word command to one other creature that can hear and understand them, who must Save or obey. If the command lasts more than one round, the creature gets a new Save at the beginning of each round.

10. Wall of Swords
R: 30' T: wall D: permanent
You summon a [dice]*10' panel of swords. You can configure the panel however you want but it must remain rectangular.

Emblem Spells
11. Sword of Kings
R: Touch T: one creature D: Permanent
You anoint the targeted creature as a true king and bestow upon them the divine right of rule. If they accept your burden, they must draw your micalibur from your chest.  Next sunrise [sum] Vassals will arrive to the creature's location to help them forge the kingdom they will inevitably rule. Vassals are first level Fighters. You can only cast this spell once in a lifetime. If your micalibur is lost or destroyed, the creature will lose their claim to royalty forever and their vassals will disperse.

12. The Vorpal Sword
R: 50' T: one creature D: [sum] Rounds
You summon this most feared blade in the hands of the targeted creature. The Sword decapitates its target on a natural 1 through [dice] if they fail a Save (and if they have a head.)
Mishaps
1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Take 1d6 damage.
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4. Your micalibur flies from you, landing 50' away.
5. 2d4 daggers dig out of your body like fleeing parasites, causing you 1 damage each.
6. If the spell targets a sword, it targets you instead. If it targets you, it targets an enemy or fizzles. If it targets an enemy, it targets an ally.

Dooms
1. One of your limbs is replaced with a sword. You can control the sword like a limb, put you can't use it to grab or hold anything.
2. Your chest hole erupts with searing fire, causing you 1d8 Con damage. The fire never burns out and shines as a torch. Sheathing your micalibur causes you terrible horrible pain, dealing 1 Con damage.
3. You turn into a sentient sword. If a creature picks you up you can make a contested Cha check to dominate them.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dealing with Ogres

The Night Axe Ogres of Hot Spring Island hold dominion over bone and obsidian. They use their powers to craft efficient tools and deadly weapons that aid in their quest for vengeance against Svarku and his Fuegonauts.

The Night Axe are willing to offer their finely crafted useful objects to adventurers in exchange for more resources (hide, bone, obsidian, etc.)

Every time the PCs bring at least 100gp worth of resources to the Night Axe, roll on the Night Axe Treasures table (HSI pp. 160, 166-167.) It'll take the Night Axe 1d10 days to complete the crafting process. Subtract 1 day from the process for each additional 100gp worth of resources the PCs bring, minimum 1 day.

The below table offers some stats geared toward the GLOG system, but can be easily converted for any other retroclone.


ResultEntryAdditional Notes
1—2Bait PouchCan store up to 4 inventory slots worith of items. If containing meat and opened, there's a 50% chance that d6+1 Zip Birds will converge on the location.
3—4Basket of Regrowthcontains enought whale fat for 6 uses.
5—6Blade of Martok
7—8Bluescale Hood
9—10Bluescale Slippersgrants +2 Defense
11—12Bone Mallet of Straight FlightDeals d6 damage on a hit, plus if a creature is killed, the spike travels through them and attacks the next creature behind them.
13—14Bone Necklace of Salamader BlindnessWhen donned, provides 1 Round of Invisibility against Salamanders if moving. 10 minutes if completely still. Has 12 uses.
15—16Bonespell Necklace
17—18Bubble Bracelet
19—20Candle of Relaxation
21—22Censer of LearningRequires 1 inventory slot worth of Foraged Herbs from the island to be burned. Other herbs might work. 1 person can inhale the smoke to gain perfect photographic memory for the next 4 hours.
23—24Coppermance Prowler FeathersDestroy a feather to teleport to a location 50' away that you can see.
25—26Counting Pouch
27—28Cube of AntsBreaking the cube unleashes a horde of d20+40 bullet ants. They prioritize fuegonauts and their allies.
29—30Fireproof Blanket3x8' foot blanket that absorbs up to 20 fire damage before exploding in a puff of ash.
31—32Giggling Sling Stones
33—34Gourd of WaterContains a mounful water elemental (HD 8, Attack 15, Defense 19, dmg 1d8, +1d8 dmg against submerged targets.) The elemental must be coaxed out of his gourd.
35—36Lady Finder
37—38Obsidian Shrapnel
39—40Obsidian Water Grenadesexplodes for 1d6 damage in a 20' radius.
41—42Paw'lard's Perfumegrants +4 to reaction rolls. Has 12 uses.
43—44Paw'lard's Wooden Spoondeals 1d10 damage and takes up two inventory slots worth of space. The meat of slain creatures is perfectly preserved.
45—46Red Crystal Firestarter
47—48Red Scale Bootssolidifies a 10x10' area of lava over 1 round.
49—50Redball8 uses
51—52Rockcrackerdeals 1d10 damage and takes up two inventory slots worth of space. Once per day can open up a 5x10' crack in stone. Useless afterwards for 24 hours.
53—54Runed Bird Skull HelmGrants a STR of 20 when wounded or dying.
55—56Runed Bird Skull Pauldrongrants +2 Defense
57—58Runed Bone Haftdeals d6 damage and has a reach of 10'
59—60Runed Bone Torch
61—62Runed Head of Obsidian Blindnessprovides 1 Round of invisibility against obsidian bladeguards if moving.10 minutes if completely still. Has 12 uses.
63—64Runed Salamader Jawbonegrants +1 Defense and the wielder ignores 4 points of damage from fire or heat sources.
65—66Salamader Deciever's Dice
67—68Scrimshawed Ear Gaugesif pierced through the ear, grants the wearer the ability to communicate telepathically with any other creatures wearing the gauges. The telepathic line is open and private conversations aren't possible if multiple creatures are wearing the gauges.
69—70Silver Gloves of Obsidian Artillery
71—72Silver Hair Belt
73—74Silver Sack of Nuggets
75—76Silver Tongue Skull
77—78Silversight Hood
79—80Silverzip Bola
81—82Singing Rope
83—84Slipshine Oil
85—86Stay Fresh Bag
87—88Strap of Facesallows the wearer to counsel with the God of Vengeace. Has 6 uses.
89—90Training AxeAny creature that attempts to lift the axe must Save or be caught in an hour long trance. During the trance they're body will run through axe manuevers.
91—92War Horn of Friendship
93—94Watertight Basket
95—96Whalebone Lockone locked only the owner can pry it loose.
97—98Wind Glove
99—100Wooden Multitool


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

GLOG: Class: Convoker



I've always had a bone to pick with the cleric. The bone I have isn't the fact that they exist, like some edgy atheist might have, thought that I am. It isn't even the fact that clerics are a Gygaxian one-up to another Gygaxian one-up. It's the fact that the cleric doesn't really simulate the viral nature of religion.

In game settings where clerics are prevalent, religious institutions are just assumed to be around. They don't really go into how these religious institutions came to be or how they interact with the world at large. Most of the time these settings don't even outline these institutions' structure: their commandments, moral codes, traditions, superstitions, etc. In fact all of that is conveniently hand-waved away. After all these religious institution only serve to provide a backdrop for clerics to exist without scrutiny. There's nothing wrong with this but I've always thought of it as a missed opportunity.

Fear generic cleric man!

Stop me if you've been in this situation before. It's Sunday morning. You're asleep, nude under the covers, and your hook-up from the night before is cradling your shoulder. The door bell rings, followed by a loud series of knocks. You wake up and you're sharply reminded of the hangover you now have from one too many screwdrivers the night before. The bell-ringing, and door-knocking and head-hurting continues. Your hook-up is crawling towards consciousness and they're probably doing as good as you right now. And the knocking persists. You scrounge your carpet for the closest pair of clean underwear and as if almost by instinct stumble towards the door; whatever to make the pain in your noggin go away.

You open the door. A voice rings out. "Hello! I was wondering if you would spare a few moments to talk about what God means in your life?" You think about grabbing a blackcat from your bucket of fireworks labeled JW, but decide to shut the door instead and flop back into bed.

When I mention the viral nature of religion, this is what I'm talking about. That Jehova's Witness knocking at your door is motivated. So motivated in fact that he has the willpower to get up at 6AM, get dressed in his short-sleeve white button up, slack, tie, and dress shoes; get to church at 7AM; leave church at 8AM; straddle his bike and go door to door to preach you the word of God.

I don't know what's so important about the word of God. But it must be pretty important if Jehova's Witness twinks are willing to wake me up at 10 AM on a Sunday to preach it at me.

This class is an attempt at making the cleric that Jehova's Witness twink.

by Maksym Gospodinoff


Class: Convoker

A +2 Power Words, +1 Faith Point, Convocation
B +1 PW, +1 FP
C +1 PW, +1 FP
D +1 PW, +1 FP

Power Words
You're not sure why but wherever you utter certain words magic shit happens. When you say "Blood" people bleed. When you say "Love" people want to fuck. 

Power Words are the cornerstone and commandments of your religion. "Though shall not kill" becomes "pacifist." "Respect thy neighbor" becomes "Neighborly."

When you cast spells, they are created by combining Power Words. You can combine "Blood" and "Love" into "Bloodlove." Whatever the effect is is up to you. You can mutate the word as much as you want as long as the root stays the same. "Pacifist" could be "pacify, pacifism," but not "peaceful."

Faith Points
Faith Points are like spell slots for convokers. Casting spells require that you invest FP into them. A spell that heals or deals damage does 1d6 per Faith Point invested. A spell with a duration lasts 1d6 rounds per Faith Point.

Faith Points don't refund at the end of each day. Instead you only regain Faith Points by doing one of the following:

  • Increase your Convocation Score by at least 1. (2 point)
  • Preach your religion in a public area filled with people for at least 4 hours. (1 point)
  • Have your convocation sacrifice a 1 HD creature or 100gp to your faith during a ceremony, mass, Sunday Church, etc. (4 points)

Convocation
This is your flock. These are the select few who actually buy into this faith dribble that you're spewing. It's your girlfriend, your best friend, that bum you picked up off the streets.

Your convocation is represented by your Convocation Score. It starts at 9 and increases by 1 for every new sheep you take under your fold.

Whenever you cast a spell, your convocation must be present and you must roll under your Convocation Score or else your miracle-working ways are unanswered. 

If you fail a convocation roll, your members make a Morale check, and on a failure 1d4 members' eyes are opened to your scam and they leave.

You can command your Convocation like a true prophet. The Convocation has 1HP per member and they can manage to do just about as much as a single PC.

Just another Sunday

Example of Play
Garat has been pushing this Skizrakz the Blood-Letter idea around town and it seems to have caught on. The god is all about inclusivity and political correctness through the honored past-time of slaying your enemies and bathing in their blood.

Garat is a 1st level Convoker with a Convocation score of 11. (Him and his neighbors were ale to convince 2 vagrants to join in exchange for some soup and bread.) His Power Words are Blood and Love.

Every third Tuesday of the month everyone gathers together for BloodLove, in which they kidnap a passer-through and sacrifice him to Skizrakz.

The key to the entire ritual is Garat's Bloodlove spell, which is something to behold.

Garat casts Bloodlove on his volunteer. His player invests his only Faith Point and rolls Convoation. He succeeds with a roll of 9!

The victim's blood begins to explode from his body like a fountain and the convocation jumps for blood like they're at a GWAR concert. They wrap things up with a positivity orgy in which they sodomize each other but not before everyone has shared one compliment about everyone else.