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Archive for May, 2010

This is part two of my ongoing weekly series intended to introduce the deities of Valt.  Since I received no suggestions, I decided to go with the god of one of the NPC’s.  (Raelan, if anyone was curious)  This is also my favorite of the deities, so that’s probably also a factor.  Once again, if anyone has any suggestions, pleas feel free to let me know.

Kogorak (KOH-GOH-rak)

The Destroyer, Stormking, the Great Thunderer, Thunderhead

CN Intermediate Power of the Elemental Plane of Air

 

Pantheon: Nature

Portfolio: Destruction, Storms, Floods, Endings, Rebirth

Domain: The Eye of Obliteration

Allies: Lolmoro, Birsin, Inarix

Enemies: Boljur, Relathon

Superior: Toben

Symbol: A black cloud with lightning bursting from all sides

Worshipper Alignment: CN, CG, CE, NE, NG, N

Favored Weapon: A destructive burst of thunder (warhammer or maul)

Cleric Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Rebirth, Storm

Summary: Kogorak is a relatively young deity.  He is also one of the most powerful, since for so long the creatures of Valt could not help but see his first (and greatest) work all around them: the Godstorms.  Although he spent a great deal of his first few decades of existence wreaking terrible destruction on the material plane, he has since journeyed to the plane of air, where he creates devastating storm to unleash through the endless skies there.

                Kogorak plays no favorites.  He destroys everything equally.  However, since the failure of Silduggis to triumph during the Third Dark is largely due to him, most view the Stormking in a positive light.  Although his worship might be frowned upon by more conservative people, it is not banned in any nation.

                Kogorak is more of a force of nature than anything else.  He usually disdains conversations with other deities.  He has begun to focus more on his nature as a destroyer than a storm god, and seek out things which he feels have outlived their usefulness.  He does not possess finesse or patience.  What he wants destroyed, he attacks without thought.  If he is defeated, he goes about his way without malice, knowing that eventually he will meet his adversary again, and they must eventually lose to him.

                He is rarely depicted in a mortal form.  When he is depicted in visual form, it is usually in the form of the most destructive, intimidating storm the artist can imagine.  When he is depicted in mortal guise, it is as a human, tall and broad shouldered, with long gray hair and a long gray beard.  Although his hair is gray, he is young.  He is usually unarmored, and wielding a hammer of some variety.

History/Relationships: Kogorak was created by the other nature deities during the beginning of the Third Dark in order to stop the armies of Silduggis.  He did this by creating the largest storm the world of Valt had ever seen.  It covered the globe.  To make matters even more destructive, Kogorak sent fragments of himself throughout the Godstorm, creating magical storms which would rage across the world for years, dying out only to crop back up again in some distant locale.  These storms were even worse than mundane weather, and could bring explosive hail, rains of flaming bones, or even stranger phenomena.  Since his creation, Kogorak has left the material plane for the elemental plane of air, where he has an infinite amount of space to wield his destructive power.

                The place where Kogorak was created remains a mystery.  All that is known is that he laid waste to that place utterly.  The druids and clerics who labored so hard to get their deities to create the Thunderhead were slain.  Some say he came into being on an island which was destroyed in the carnage of his birth.  Others claim that the birthplace lies beyond the Stormbelt, which is why those of northern Valt cannot find where it lies.  Clerics of his faith search for the location, but so far none have managed to find where it was.

                Kogorak made enemies with Boljur almost immediately.  Kogorak’s spheres of influence are far too close for Boljur’s liking, and the two have fought incessantly.  During their first battle, Kogorak stole the portfolio element of floods from Boljur, a slight the volcano god will never forgive Kogorak for.

                Birsin and Lolmoro, however, find Boljur to be a useful ally.  Lolmoro often finds himself needing to redirect the Stormking’s destructiveness, while Birsin just lets him rage.  Inarix shares a unique relationship with the Thunderhead, for he predicted Kogorak’s birth long before he arrived.  When Kogorak did indeed appear to be poised to destroy the world as Inarix had always foreseen, many flocked to the Doomcrier’s churches, and he enjoyed a surge in power that persists to this day.  Grateful for this, Inarix is always willing to protect or aid the Stormking.

Manifestations: Kogorak does not manifest in human form.  His avatars always arrive in the form of storm elementals.  On his home plane, it is common to see storm giants in his service, and he may sometimes appear as one of them, although with gray hair and eyes roiling with destructive potential.  In this form, a perpetual odor of ozone clings to him.

THE CHURCH

                The church of Kogorak was very large during the Godstorms, and grew even larger as they faded (as people began to believe that by worshipping Kogorak, they could make him leave the material world).  However, his popularity has begun to wane in recent years.  He is still popular in storm beset areas, or in lands where people feel that destructive change is needed.

Priests: Stormlords

Alignment: CN, N, CG, CE

Classes: Cleric, druid, sorcerer

Dogma: Nothing lasts forever.  Value a thing while it has use, but think no more upon it when it is gone.  If nothing is destroyed, then nothing can be created.  Cast down that which you value simply for its age and trample it underfoot.  He who knows that his time, and the time of that which he has created, is fleeting is a wise man.  But he who builds unto himself a mighty fortress, and a band of followers, and a rule of law, and says that it will last forever, that man is a fool.  Defy his law.  Find his followers and put them to the sword.  Hold his severed head atop the battlements of his fortress for all to see, and then tear it down.  Let your annihilation be so total that one stone does not stand upon another.  Let all remember what you have done, and know that all things shall pass away.

Day-to-day activities: Since there is little to no organization within the church, the activities of the priests are guided as they individually see fit.  Most priests of the Stormking are travelling, spreading word of terrible storms which are coming, or spreading terrible storms, as they see fit.

                Priests of Kogorak do tend to come into conflict with established hierarchies.  If they deem an organization to be too permanent, they will seek to tear it down.  The stormlords are not ones to manipulate events behind the scenes; they tend to get personally involved.  They love flinging around destructive magic, which they will utilize every chance they can.

                One of the more odd practices of the church, however, is their patronage to creative causes.  When a priest finds himself in possession of excess wealth, he is often inclined to give it away to some person or organization that would use it to create something new.  Artists, new business endeavors, or inventors are often surprised to be gifted with aid from the stormlords.

Worship Locations: Permanent temples to the Stormking are not only unusual; they are anathema to the church.  Instead, when there are enough stormlords in a given area to necessitate a place of worship, they usually select a landmark which serves as a pointed reminder of their deity’s power.  Massive trees destroyed by lightning, buildings ruined by flood, and the like serve as temporary meeting places when one is required.

                Places of notorious destruction often serve as monuments of a sort, where stormlords will travel in order to witness the true might of their god.  They make no effort to preserve these places, however, preferring to let them pass on to the elements.

Affiliated Orders: None, but Kogorak does allow sorcerers to join his clergy.

Apostasy: Although there is no formal name for it, there is a fringe group in the church who claim that Kogorak is a natural force of destruction, with no malicious will.  His destruction is not based on a hatred of the established order, but rather the need to make room for new ideas to be born.  They worship the god as though he were neutral in alignment.  Their alignment can be any neutral.  They suffer no special stigma within the church, although theological arguments between the two sides can get quite heated.  Disputes between mainstream members are far more likely to end in fisticuffs than in bloodshed, though.

Vestments: Kogorak’s priests, like the god they worship, love to shock and awe.  Clerics usually wear deep purple, with pants/skirts of dark gray, and black or gray vests.  High priests have gold or yellow interwoven patterns laid into their vests.  They prefer to wear their holy symbols stitched into their clothing, or tattooed somewhere on the wrist or hand.

                Most clergy prefer to wield bludgeoning weapons, although destructive magical weapons are always highly prized no matter the form they take.

Holy Days/Ceremonies: The stormlords do not have any holidays that they celebrate in particular.  Any sudden appearance of destructive weather is usually celebrated, often by carousing through the storm itself.

                Although there are many rituals within the church, they change on almost a daily basis.  The only one with any consistency is the Disjunction, or the Disjoining.  This happens on the rare times when the church encounters an artifact which needs to be destroyed.  (And their default position is that all artifacts should be destroyed)

                When an offending artifact is discovered, the clergy will put the word out to other clergy, and a meeting will be arranged.  Every clergy member who hears about the Disjoining will come from miles around.  They will arrange a series of games and challenges, in order to discover who is the strongest, smartest, and most resourceful amongst them.  Sometimes this is a single person, sometimes a group.  This person or group will then set out to destroy the artifact.

Oath: The Oath of Audacity.  A cleric who takes this oath may never use artifacts.  In exchange for her willingness to forgo such powerful magics, she instantly recognizes an artifact for what it is on sight.  This does not gift the priest with any knowledge of the specifics of the artifact, such as its powers, drawbacks, or possible methods of destruction, merely its nature as an artifact.

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A word on cohorts

So, I both love and despise cohorts.  As a player, I love them unconditionally.  They add a unique flavor to the game, and it feels so good to have a sidekick, like I finally made it to the big leagues.  I mean, someone wants to follow my character around and learn from them, so I must be making some kind of difference, right?

On the other hand, as a DM, they’re such a tricky balancing act.  Trying to make them interesting and fun while at the same time keep them from stealing the limelight.

Why do I mention this?  Well, Julium just hit 9th level, and picked up Leadership.  So now I have to design a cohort for him that won’t A) monopolize the spotlight of the game, which is supposed to be on Natalia, B) bog down combat, or C) be boring or worthless.

But, I think I have finally come up with a solution to this problem.  After our next game, I’ll give an update to this and we’ll all see how it worked.

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This is the first part in my weekly series, the Deities of Valt.  Since the game I am currently running stars my girlfriend’s character, I thought we would begin with her druid’s god.  If anyone sees any gods mentioned in a game synopsis, these deity descriptions, or some other material I have posted up, and would like to suggest or request a god to be ‘moved up’ in the queue of gods to be detailed, please let me know.

Lolmoro (lowl-MORE-oh, lahl-MORE-oh)

The Protector, Lifegiver, Cloudlord, Skyking

NG Greater power of the Elemental Plane of Air

 

Pantheon: Nature

Portfolio: Clouds, protection, agriculture, farmers

Domain: The Cloud Court

Allies: Birsin, Sulsel, Kogorak, Loris, Propyior, Silthen

Enemies: Scorce, Therea, Boljur

Superior: Toben

Symbol: A cloud

Worshipper Alignment: LG, NG, CG, LN, N, CN

Favored Weapon: “Protector’s Wrath” (Heavy Mace)

Cleric Domains: Good, Air, Family, Plant, Protection

Summary:  It has been argued by some that Lolmoro is the most important god on Valt.  Before Lolmoro came, the majority of Valt was dry, vegetation was sparse, and the heat of the world was a very real danger even for a healthy person.  Lolmoro provides the almost constant cloud cover that Valt enjoys, which enables the world to support large and abundant plant life.  Without him, large portions of it would be totally uninhabitable.

                Lolmoro protects the weak, while allowing the strong to stand on their own.  He does not turn down requests for aid, even from those he may consider an enemy.  He is kind and gentle to the downtrodden and the suffering, but he is unflinching on the battlefield.

                He is usually depicted as being a human man in his early twenties, clean-shaven, with short white hair.  He is often depicted as a paladin, with his mace and his shield (hammered from a cloud), riding atop his faithful steed, Bori (the first asperi).

History/Relationships: Scorce, the deity of the sun, was very powerful in Valt.  When he first arrived with Toben and the other nature deities, he found the power in being a sun deity was immense, and this enabled him to grow stronger.  The first sunlight in Valt was harsh and deadly, and the mortals could barely stay alive under its dominance.

                In order to keep the mortals alive, and to spread life throughout the world, Sulsel and Birsin birthed a son.  He was formed from a little of each of them, and became the deity of clouds.  Lolmoro spread his shielding clouds throughout the sky, providing a vital shelter for the living things of Valt.

                He has remained largely unchanged as a god, although his church has grown in power and size.  He himself claims rulership over the skies, if not the air.  It is a fine line, but one his mother has never challenged.  He is ever the loving son, indulging his mother’s whimsy and his father’s compassion with equal duty.  He will aid either of them without question.  He serves Toben as the head of their pantheon, and has sought a greater kinship with the head of their family.

                Loris, Propyior, and Silthen all share similar goals with him, and their methodology is different enough that the Cloudking rarely finds himself overlapping with them.  One would think that Ianor would be a natural ally of Lolmoro, but such is not the case.  Since their goals, methods, and followers are so similar, each considers the other to be a rival from another pantheon (which is true).  Although they will not voluntarily go to one another’s aid without first being asked (and neither would ever ask the other for assistance) they will work together to defeat a common foe.

                Scorce desires Lolmoro’s death, so that he could be free to torment the mortals of Valt.  Scorce’s son, Boljur (who is Lolmoro’s cousin) hates him with an unrivaled passion, but the two have such dissimilar domains that their conflicts are fought entirely by their churches.

                Lolmoro himself despises Therea, especially since she is not above asking for his assistance if she is in too far over her head.  He longs for a chance to catch her in some act which would justify his annihilation of her.  He asks that his clergy investigate clerics of Therea as fully as possible, showing them no mercy when they can get away with it.

Manifestations: Lolmoro is rarely seen on the material plane.  The last time an avatar of his was there, a sorcerous creature from outside of this reality attempted to imprison Lolmoro’s avatar and use his divine energy to breach the planes and return to its alien home.  Through the creature was defeated, Lolmoro has been far more cautious in sending out his emissaries.

                When an avatar of Lolmoro is seen on the material plane, it is usually to conduct a meeting with another deity, under cover of mortal guise.  The Protector does not fool or test mortals as some of his brethren do.  Rarely, he will be seen bringing cloud cover to an area that has seen too much dry weather.

                When he does appear, it is in the guise of his most favored clergy member.  This is usually a human paladin, although in the past he has appeared as a dwarf, a woman, and once an orc.  He always carries his mace and his shield, and when he reveals his divine power, clouds appear far overhead and radiate out from his location.

THE CHURCH

                The church of Lolmoro is the largest in Valt.  Although he is not the most powerful deity, and his church may not be the most powerful church, it is certainly the most populous.  Fully twenty-five percent of humans belong to his flock, and of the non-racial deities, he is most popular choice for elves, halflings, and half-ogres as well.

Priests: The Protectorate (singular Protector)

Alignment: LG, NG, CG

Classes: Cleric, Paladin, Monk

Dogma: Protect those weaker than you.  You who are made strong are like the shield, which is made of steel to protect the softness of flesh.  But always remember that without those whom you protect, you are nothing, just as a shield is useless with no arm to wield it.  Cherish life, and preserve it whenever possible.  Even a wicked life may yet come to realize the value it has, and the harm that it does.  Do not allow wickedness to roam free, however.  It is the evil act that must be punished, not the evil thought.  Assist even those of impure heart, for by your example you may yet lead them to righteousness.

Day-to-day activities: Members of an established church of Lolmoro spend their time between two activities.  The first function of their churches is to protect farmers and farmland.  They help in planting, tending, and harvesting.  They also help provide irrigation or to acquire additional land for a community to use as farmland.  They often purchase large areas for farmland which they themselves will tend, and use to supplement the stores of the community.

                The second type of church dedicated to the Skyking is a more martial type.  These churches are usually found in embattled lands, or in areas where the people are under a constant danger from giants, orcs, or some other persistent threat.  These temples tend to focus around protecting the local citizenry from these threats, so that they can go about their daily lives without having to worry about the monsters lurking at the border.  The clergy of those churches do patrols, reconnaissance for militias, and provide materials and training for those who would help defeat the threat.

Worship Locations: Temples to Lolmoro can be found in almost every human city.  Most communities with a population of more than a thousand people will have more than one, especially in areas with a high focus on agriculture.  Temples can also be found in areas with dangerous terrain or persistent threats from monsters and rival nations.  They can also be found along popular trade routes, so that they can protect travelers.

Temples to Lolmoro tend to be grand buildings, built with lots of room inside.  Sweeping arches and high ceilings prevail.  Murals on the ceilings depicting various scenes of the Livegiver are common.  Silver and platinum gilding are favored in the more lavish temples.  Ones in extremely impoverished areas, or very small communities, tend to be constructed with the ceilings open to the elements.  Sky themed paintings, sculptures, carvings, frescoes, and friezes are popular in all of these.

Affiliated Orders: The Brotherhood of the Shield is an order of paladins dedicated to Lolmoro.  They travel extensively as adventurers, doing what good they can.  The senior members of the order co-ordinate efforts of roving paladins, sending more of them (or more experienced individuals) into areas where they are more needed.

                The Fists of Mist are a secretive order of monks that venerate the Cloudking.  They often work side by side with clergy, and travel with sages or scholars to protect them from people who would try to take their knowledge with force of arms.  The Fists are also common additions to very poor temples, where they blend in seamlessly with the hard-working populace until their martial prowess is needed.

Apostasy: There are no deep religious schisms within the Protectorate, all though those outside the faith of Lolmoro often tell stories of a secret which could incite deep conflict.  They claim that Loris is actually the son of Lolmoro, rather than Ianor.  The clergy scoff at such claims, and dismiss them as the spiteful gossip of those who would slander both the Cloudking and the General in White.  The churches of Silthen, Loris, and Ianor all deny this as well.

Vestments: Clergy of Lolmoro wear light colors, favoring white, light grays, or blue.  Most clergy carry maces with the heads painted white, even if they do not use them.  Holy symbols of the deity vary in size and shape, although they are usually worn on a light chain around the neck.  High priests frequently wear symbols carved from alabaster.

Holy days/Ceremonies: The beginning of planting season would seem like a celebratory time for the Cloudking, but the church emphasizes it as a time of dedication and hard work.  Instead, they celebrate during harvest time, in a festival known as the Blessing of Bounty.  The Blessing of Bounty is celebrated for a variable length of time, beginning on the night the last harvests are brought in, and lasting longer in proportion to how long the harvest lasted: communities that made only a meager harvest might celebrate only a single night.  Those that experienced a surplus may celebrate for a week or more.  This festival includes feasting and family oriented community events.

                The other major ceremony of the church is called the Weeping.  It is held on the first day of rain in a given year.  In places like Fassett and southern Numbrar, this can occur as early as the first week of the year.  In Cadram, it can occur as late as mid-autumn.  It is a day of melancholy and nostalgia, as those members of the faith reflect on the promises they failed to keep, the responsibilities they were unable to live up to, and the cost that their actions have had on others.  It is usually marked quietly, with the church giving counsel to those most ashamed of their failures (or in need of reminding of them), and encouraging their flock to face the next year with strength and resolve.

Oath: The Oath of Defense.  A Protector who takes this oath may not allow anyone to bully, take advantage of, harm, or oppress someone weaker than them.  This only exception to this is defending themselves or others.  This means that the Protector cannot slay a retreating enemy.  They must always accept an honorable surrender.  They may not attack someone just for being evil.  A cleric with this oath may kill a troll who is attacking him or someone else, but may not attack a troll he happens to see wandering through the forest.

                A Protector with this oath gains a +1 bonus to all ability checks and saving throws against heat based effects (both environmental and magical).

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                Hooray!  Tomorrow will be the first installment of my first (hopefully) guaranteed weekly series: the deities of Valt!  In order to prepare for this, I am posting this first, so that people who are reading my entries on the various deities of my world know what they are looking at.

               I hope to make this a weekly installment, providing a new deity every Thursday.  Assuming I can make every one on time, and don’t add or subtract any deities, then I should be finished sometime in the vicinity of early September, 2011.  Highly unlikely, but one can always hope.

                Each deity will have an entry which looks something like the one I am posting here.

(Name) The name of the deity.  Each deity will have a pronunciation key with their name.

(Title) Any titles the deity holds.  Titles are used as alternatives to the deity’s name.  Some are used exclusively by clergy, and some exclusively by enemies of the faith, but for the most part titles are just honorifics to distinguish the god.

(Alignment) The deity’s alignment.

(Home Plane) The deity’s home plane of existence.  If the deity’s home plane is unknown, then this information will not be present.

Pantheon: The pantheon to which the deity belongs.  The pantheons on Valt are as follows: Elf, Dwarven, Monster, Silduggan, Nature, Death, and General.  Members of a specific pantheon are not forced or compelled to work together, and many have grudges and conflicts both within and outside of their own pantheon.

                With the exception of the General pantheon, each pantheon has a pantheon head, who is the leader of that group of deities.  The pantheon head is what allows the pantheon to exist separately from other pantheons.  Should the pantheon head be slain, a new deity may become pantheon head, or the pantheon may dissolve.  If the deity is a pantheon head, it will be noted here.

Portfolio: The deity’s portfolio is the things over which he or she holds dominion.  Portfolio elements are the things that make a god a god.  Without a portfolio, the most powerful creature in existence is still not a deity.

                No two gods within the same pantheon may have share a portfolio element.  Two gods in different pantheons may both have the same portfolio element.  This is not a ‘sharing’ of that portfolio element, but an overlapping.  Two deities who both have the portfolio element of ‘the sun’ for example, are not together the gods of the sun, rather, each deity is the god of the sun.  They are fully capable of operating without each other, and what affects one does not affect the other.

Domain: The name of the deity’s home within their home realm.

Allies/Foes: Any deities who have an intense personal relationship with the god, whether for good or ill.

Superior: If the deity has another deity from whom it takes direct orders, it will be listed here.

Symbol: The holy symbol used by the god.  I am a less than breathtaking artist, but if a visual representation of the symbol becomes available, I will add it at the top of the post.

Worshipper Alignment: The allowable alignments for anyone who wants this deity to be their patron deity.

Favored Weapon: The weapon of the deity, which is also the favored weapon of the church.  Should the weapon have a specific name, it will be listed here.

Cleric Domains: The domains to which clerics of this deity have access.

Summary: A brief summary of what this deity is and is all about.  This is the sort of information to give players who make successful knowledge checks regarding this deity.

History/relationships: This will give greater detail about where the god came from or important historical notes regarding the deity.  It may provide information to show how the god came to be where and what it is presently.  This will also provide the reasons for the god’s allies and foes.

Manifestations: When the deity manifests itself to mortals, details on where, when, and how this occurs can be found here.

                The church of the deity will have a separate entry, below that of the deity.  It will contain the following information.

Name: If the priests of this deity call themselves something specific, it will be listed here.  This will also list appropriate form of address when speaking to a priest.

Alignment: The allowable alignment for a character to be part of the clergy of the deity.

Classes: Not all clerics are members of the clergy.  Not all members of the clergy are clerics.  The classes that the deity allows to enter its clergy are listed here.  In order to qualify as a member of the clergy, a multiclass character cannot have a higher level in a class which is not on this list.

Dogma: A brief synopsis of what the clergy preaches.  The core values that the deity embodies, as well as important lessons its clergy tries to teach.

Day to Day activities: What the clergy spends its time doing.  If there are multiple different branches of the clergy, the different branches will all be covered here.

Worship Locations: The most likely place one will find a temple, shrine, or holy place dedicated to this god.  This also includes any special notes regarding these sites.

Affiliate Orders: Any Holy Orders dedicated to this character will be listed here.  Druidic circles, thieves’ guilds, mage orders, paladin orders, or monastic orders will all be detailed.  If none apply, it will be noted.

Apostasy: Any notable fringe groups of the faith will be listed here.  Most of these splinter groups would be good choices for the Heretic of the Faith feat from Power of Faerun (page 46).  If none apply, it will be noted.

Vestments: What the clergy members wear.  The preferred method of construction and display of holy symbols is also included, if applicable.

Holy days/Ceremonies: Any holidays celebrated exclusively or especially by this church will be listed and detailed here.  Any church rituals that are not tied to a specific day will also be noted here.

Oath: Every church has a sacred vow that shows exceptional service to the ideals of their god.  A cleric (and only a cleric) of this deity may opt to take this vow if he or she so chooses.  This choice may be taken at any time, but may not be taken back later.

                The oath imposes a hefty penalty on the character, and may offer a minor bonus to counter that.  The oath of the deity is not necessary to be a priest, and most clergy consider it to be service ‘above and beyond’ that which is required.  Many of the oaths might make a character unsatisfying for a player.  There is no penalty (rules-wise or roleplay-wise) for not taking this oath.

                If a character violates his oath, he suffers all the penalties associating with violating his deity’s values as listed in the cleric class description, as well as losing the benefits associated with the oath.  In addition, in order to regain his spellcasting and class features, a character who has broken his oath must receive two Atonement spells: one to restore his oath, and only then can he receive a second to regain his spells and class features.

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As suggested by Numaar, I present an optional feat for druids.

Circle Member (General)

You are part of a druidic circle.  Although your membership comes at a cost, it provides you with access to the combined might of your druidic associates.

Prerequisite: Must be a druid.  Must have been allowed membership in a druidic circle.

Benefit: Each druidic circle has a unique spell list.  You may sacrifice a prepared druid spell in order to cast a spell of equal or lower level from the spell list of your druidic circle.

Special:  You may only cast each spell from the druidic circle list once per day in this manner.  You can prepare and cast the spell on your own if you desire (and it is available to you) although you treat the spells in all ways as if they were normal druid spells.  For instance, if your circle spell list allows you to cast Call Lightning as a second level spell, you may only cast it as a second level spell once per day (when you sacrifice a spell of equal or higher level in order to use this feat) and must prepare it normally as a 3rd level spell if you wish to have access to more than one casting.

Normal: A druid must prepare his spells ahead of time and may not sacrifice prepared spells for the purpose of spontaneous casting.

In addition, I provide a sample list.  I recommend that other DM’s treat these Circle Spell lists in a similar fashion to cleric domains.  I chose to do a list for the Spruce Circle, which dwells within Derrikol forest on the border of the Wasted Lands.  Since their purpose for existing is to be a barrier between themselves and the Wasted Lands, their spells are largely focused on finding intruders trying to cross their forest, and either killing them or forcing them to turn back.  I recommend other DM’s create lists which fit the theme and tone of the druid circle they are crafting it for.

Spruce Circle Spell List

  1. Camouflage
  2. Cloudburst
  3. Plant Growth
  4. Beget Bogun
  5. Wall of Thorns
  6. Transport via Plants
  7. Control Weather
  8. Whirlwind
  9. Antipathy

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Within the confines of my game, I allow a new feat for players to use: Master.

Master (General)

You have a tutor for your arcane studies.  This provides you with faster advancement than a wizard on his own, provided you are willing to follow another’s instruction.

     Prerequisites: Wizard, must have a higher level wizard willing to take you on as an apprentice.

     Benefit: You gain three additional spells per level in your spellbook, rather than the normal two.  You can only choose one of them.  The other two are chosen by your master (the DM).  You may not choose a PC spellcaster to be your master.  Your master may not teach you spells he does not know.

     Normal: A wizard gains only two spells to his spellbook when he adds a level of wizard, and may select both of them.

     Special:  The master is an NPC, and might demand the PC perform certain services for him.  If the master dies, the character loses the benefits of this feat until she acquires a new master.  In addition, if the character is unable to get tutelage from his master throughout an entire level (for instance, she goes through the entirety of level 8 while in a dungeon, all without seeing her master) she does not gain the benefit of this feat for that level.

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As part of my game, I created two new races for players to choose from.  Here, I present the second of the two: Arclings.

Arclings

Arclings are living beings with magic in their blood.  Though are known for their wanderlust and their adventurous spirits.  Like gravekin, arclings reproduce with other races.  Any offspring of a union between an arcling and another creature will usually be a normal member of the non-arcling race, with only a ten percent chance for such a union to produce another arcling.

Unlike gravekin, arclings do not have their own culture and society, and always leave their children in the care of another race, even when the child has two arcling parents.  Although arclings might, in rare circumstances, raise children, they never raise their own.  If a parent attempts to raise their own child, the young arcling will run away at their first opportunity.  Even arclings do not know why they feel such a disjunction in their familial relationships.

Personality: Arclings are quick to laugh, easy to befriend, and almost always in a good mood.  Their natural positive nature tends to mean they have many friends, although few close ones.  Although arclings have great ambition, they often lack follow-through.  Their morals tend to be shaped by the culture that raised them.  However, all arclings tend to view the world as being far more interesting than it is.  To them, every argument is an epic struggle, every battle is life and death.  At best, this makes them interesting story-tellers and passionate companions.  At worst, it makes them attention seekers and drama queens.

Physical Description: Arclings tend to look like tall, slender humans.  If born from non-arcling, non-human parent, they will tend to look like a tall, slender specimen of whatever race spawned them.  Regardless, every arcling has a physical feature that marks them as otherwordly and strange, such as iridescent skin, eyes with no whites, hair that moves as if alive, or some other bizarre feature.  Typically this additional feature only serves to make them exotically attractive.  Arclings tend to adopt whatever fashions are prevalent in the culture that raised them.  Arclings age like normal members of their parent race (becoming adults at age 30 if born from two arclings) and afterwards age like elves, meaning their natural lifespan is very long.

Relationships: Arclings tend to get along well with most races.  For the most part younger arclings are found in the company of humans, as their passions and zeal tend to be better received amongst the races of men.  Older, more subdued arclings tend to find the company of elves far preferable, since both races tend to find themselves of similar temperaments after centuries of life.  Halflings enjoy the company of an arcling, and consider them to be great fun.  Gnomes tend to view arclings as too loud and boisterous, although the friendly nature of the arclings means that any who do encounter gnomes tend to get along well.  Arclings not raised amongst dwarves tend to find them unfriendly, and the two races have little in common.

Alignment: Arclings follow whatever alignment their parent culture teaches, although arclings left to their own devices usually wind up being chaotic.  Of all the alignments, law is the hardest precept for an arcling to adhere to, and the rare arcling raised in  lawful societies (such as dwarven ones) only remain lawful so long as they remain in the community.

Arcling Lands: Arclings have no lands.  They have no culture or society of their own.  History has never found any mention of any arclings ever forming a community of their own.  Most anthropologists theorize that the spotlight loving arclings cannot stand the company of their own kind for long periods of time.

Religion: Arclings can be found in almost every religion, although they tend to follow the sweeping, dramatic ones.  Kagorak, the god of destruction, is popular god for arclings, as well as Exus, the god of magic.  Priests of Exus claim that Exus created the arclings to help him build the Loom, and that when their task was finished, he released them to the material world.  Some arclings believe this, others find it a silly story meant to convert them.

Language: Arclings speak all manner of languages.  For the rare dealings amongst each other, they tend to speak Draconic.

Names: There is no unifying factor in Arcling names.  Most arcling parents choose a name based on the culture they intend to leave their child with.  Usually the name they pick is one which is an acceptable name within that culture, if a little strange.  Other parents just abandon their children and let the new parents name them.

Adventures: Arclings are usually motivated by the thrill of the adventure itself.  They long to be part of epic stories of great events.  They tend to be the more visible type of hero, and most of them are paladins, mages, and bards.

Racial Traits

  • -2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma: Arclings are often self assured and have a gift for learning, but their physical form is slender and not built for great force.
  • Medium-size: as Medium-size creatures, arclings have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Arcling base speed is 30 feet.
  • +2 racial bonus on Spellcraft and Knowledge (Arcana) checks.  Arclings have a natural gift for magic.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and the language of their parent race, or regional language if raised by humans.  Bonus languages: Any regional or racial.
  • Arclings with an Intelligence score of 10 or higher may cast the 0-level spell Prestidigitation once per day as a wizard of their class level.  See the spell descriptions on page 238 of the PhB.
  • Favored class: Bard.  A multiclass arcling’s bard class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty.

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