Tuesday, July 28, 2020


cw: body horror

So I've been playing a lot of Darkest Dungeon of late and it inspired me to write... this. Do you need some rampaging, demonic foes to infest deep dungeons and loathsome coves?

Demons summoned into swine flesh. Demons can be summoned into animals more easily than people, less ego to interfere, and summoning into flesh is easier than crossing over. Devil Swine are violence and chaos made piggy flesh. They burn, pillage, and destroy without cease. Eventually they will create a Swine King, who leads and directs them, and can speed the creation of new Swine.

1 distended                 weeping         belly
2 drooping                 oozing         face
3 swollen         pustuled                 jaw
4 skeletal                 insectoid                 eyes
5 ruptured                 torn                 limbs
6 engorged                 wheezing                 feet
7 inverted                 infested                 head
8 triple         foul                 back
9 fanged         many-eyed         hindquarters
10 heaving         bifurcated         hands
11 scabrous                 faceted         skin
12 scaled         bony         head
13 slimy         spined
14 horned         double-jointed
15 smoking         toxic
16 leathery                 infected
17 cracked         sulfurous
18 hooked         trypophobian
19 stalked         cracked
20 rippling                 roiling

1-5 Humanoid
6 Quadruped
7 Inverted Quadruped
8 Slithering
9 Centipede
10 Bat

1 Mitosis
2 Infection
3 Implantation
4 Eggs
5 Spores
6 Regeneration

1 Accumulate biomass to create a Swine King
3 Use entrails to create a hellish sigil a mile wide
4 Burn it. Burn it all down.
5 Collect gold and loot to attract greed demons and greedy adventures - who will be excellent hosts
6 Unearth a buried temple of ETH-KN-YAATU, the Eighty-Tusked Swine Lord of Greed

Lions are born evil, you can see it as they eat their own young. If a lion tastes the flesh of a man, it changes. Eat enough, it will walk on two legs and spread its vile taint to other lions. These dordaives (darkness-walkers) invade villages when the moon has waned to slaughter and kill and drag away the dying. These they feed to other lions who in turn are entered by demons. Soon they number an army that sweeps across the plains, red-jawed and golden-crowned, to devour whole nations.

1 Flaming Manes
2 Metallic         Claws
3 Blood-soaked Jaws
4 Venomed Hides
5 Many-horned Coats
6 Serrated         Eyes
7 Shadowy Hands
8 Scaled Tails
9 Gaunt
10 Painted
11 Spined
12 Crystalline

1 Despicable, degenerate human cultists
2 Starved berserkers, maddened with hunger
3 Bloated womb-mothers, with a dozen birth-sacs
4 Insane ghosts, swept along by death
5 Shambling undead, resurrected by hatred
6 A great hell-palanquin, bearing the stacked skulls of the dead
7 A powerful lion-sorceror, possessed by a demon of magicks
8 A rolling shrine of LAARTU-NA-YEK, Sin-Queen of Pride and Conquest

1 Tools of iron, looted from burned farms
2 Weapons of bronze, dug from ancient graves
3 Fresh steel, still smelling of the hell-forges
4 Jagged bone and stone, bound with human sinew
5 The looted gear of a slaughtered army
6 Gnashing teeth and rending claws

The land lubber, new to sea, fears the shark. The old salt knows better. Fear of sharks is like fear of storms, or time, or hidden reefs - they are inexorable, unfeeling, impersonal. There is no cruelty in them, just a perfection of form and purpose that will outlive us all. The old salt, the experienced deck hand knows instead to fear, and to loathe, the dolphin. They torture and they kill and they frolic in blood-flecked waters. They are like us and like us the hounds of hell are drawn to their wickedness, may enter them. Coastal villages vanish in the night to the sound of songs in the water.

1 Grey-fleshed humans with needle-snouts, they speak in damnable clicking
2 They crawl about on dozens of shorts arms, clawed hands gripping and tearing
3 Dolphins with over-muscled arms and legs sprouting from the wrong places, and human teeth in their long jaws
4 Ordinary folk, with vestigial flippers and fins hidden beneath their stinking rags, their eyes are dead and unthinking
5 Motley hybrids, human limbs and faces and wails emerging from slick dolphin bodies
6 Gaunt, skeletal, famine-thin, coral-growths for limbs and weapons

1 A sunken prison-hulk, angry spirits have bound themselves to porpoise and come back for revenge
2 A hell-gate beneath the waves. Demons reach through, steal willing hosts for themselves
3 A warlock, burned. His foul children run amok.
4 A sea-nymph's tomb has been looted, her spirit calls for her bones.
5 Flaccid cultists of YAAN-MEK-THOON, Hell Duke of Torture and Cruelty, spill murdered flesh into the sea
6 A lich sank her reliquary beneath the waves to hide. The evi is leaching out.

1 Arrange the corpses in perfect symmetry
2 Frolic in blood-soaked surf
3 Burn everything, leave no trace
4 Kill one of their own to sit enthroned before the gore
5 Build rafts of the bones, to float to distant shores
6 Remain, feasting on flesh and ambushing passers-by

1 Spread their corruption to whales
2 Tear open a hell-rift
3 Evolve through rapid generations until they are almost human
4 Grow to an army
5 Wake Leviathan
6 Poison the seas, drive away the fish, corrupt the shores

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Baron Generator

Hey guess what I wrote some more randoms tables. I really like making random tables, okay???

I also made a perchance generator to (mostly) automate this one.

Okay so I'm populating a kingdom, and that means metric shit-load of horrible Barons that need detailing, so I build a generator for them.


Relationship with peers
Roll for all neighbours
3-in-6 for all non-neighbouring
d6 + d3
1 Allies (marriage, related, faction)
2 Rivals (childhood, family, ambition)
3 Enemies (feud, personal, political)
4 Friends (childhood, interests, political)
5 Related, roll again with d4
6 Roll twice with d4, first is apparent, second is one-way real

Relationship to Liege
1 Extremely loyal
2 Obedient
3 Selfish
4 Disloyal/Fractious
5 Treacherous
6 Roll twice, first is apparent, second is real

Each baron has a 3-in-6 chance of being in a faction
1 Autonomy
2 Successor
3 War
4 Religious
If there is already one of these factions in play, 1-in-6 to start new faction

1 Warrior
2 Lordling
3 Hunter
4 God-Botherer
5 Eccentric
6 Tax Collector
7 Layabout
8 Builder
9 Weakling
10 Debaucher

What religion are they:
1-2 Heliopapist
3-4 Pagan
5 The White Prince (roll again, high for known, low for whispered)
6 Other

How devout are they:
1-2 Devout
3-4 Practicing
5 Impious
6 Appears Practicing, but roll another religion and d4 on this

(d6 * 10) + d10. 
Revist this after rolling for family. It's entirely possible to roll a 13 year old with four kids from three marriages. >_<

d6-3 acknowledged bastards
3-in-6 of one remaining parent
d6-2 unlanded aunts/uncles, each with d3-1 kids

Marriage and Children
1 Unmarried
2-4 Married, d6-2 children, 2-in-6 of widow(er)
d6-3 previous marriages, +d4-2 children from each
5-6 Poly. d3+1 spouses, d3-1 children from each

If rolling for an arch(bishop/priest/cleric/druid) only roll for bastards. Instead do another roll on Relationship to Liege and Faction to determine relationship to parent church.

Note that these tables dgaf about gender. I assume adoption is a thing, as is magic.

Other Details
1 Old Dynasty
2 New Dynasty
3 Regency
4 Hard times
5 Sudden wealth
6 Internal conflict
7 Bad rumours
8 Hiring adventurers
9 Seeking <thing>
10 Ill
11 Absent
12 Family member missing
13 Succession issues
14 War/conflict
15 Religious crisis/conversion
16-20 Roll on What Troubles This Place, Old Man?

What Troubles This Place, Old Man?
These are ongoing events that affect the barony and are visible to players, but do not require them to engage with.  If you want to spread these out across many baronies, check them off as you use them. Then for each new barony roll and only use the result if it’s not yet been used. Or make up new ones as you go.

Roll d66
11 - Raids. Violent raiders are crossing into the realm’s territory and causing damage and stealing property. The raids may be cattle raids more focused on acquisition and notoriety than violence. Or they may be more sinister. The culprits might be from a neighbouring realm, a rival cultural or family group, or the work of monsters.
12 - Power struggles between powerful groups spill out onto the streets. These might be between legitimate power groups, criminal organizations, feuding families, rival military factions, or even sport supporters.
13 - Crime is rampant and the authorities are nearly helpless to stop it. Corruption, ineffectual leadership, unprecedented violence, or simple indifference may have led to this.
14 - Alien abductions and livestock mutilation terrorize the countryside. People are going missing and coming back strange, cattle are found turned inside-out, and there are strange lights in the sky at night.
15 - Plague of animals. Huge numbers of some small creature that normally avoids urban areas, like bats or snakes or foxes or owls or horses, are mobbing the towns and cities and nobody knows why.
16 - All the pets are missing and nobody knows why. Perhaps all the dogs ran off into the woods, or the cats were simply gone one morning, or the cows never came back from pasture, or the goats climbed up things until they vanished into the clouds.
21 - Large crystal obelisks float in the sky. They simply appeared there one morning, or drifted in from sea. Some have claimed to have seen a small humanoid figure trapped in the amethyst obelisk…
22 - A change in government is coming and everyone is on edge as fears grow of possible upheaval and violence.  A viciously contested election, a brewing succession crisis.
23 - Power has recently changed hands and things are still unsettled in the aftermath. Perhaps institutions are being restructured, or authority figures are resisting being replaced by the new leadership’s appointees, or there is widespread resentment of the change.
24 - Bizarre changes or supernatural things are happening to local livestock. Pigs flying, cows dancing, goats talking, horses eating only hay and not flesh…
25 - Famine, now or soon. Crops may have failed, or trade dried up suddenly, food stores stolen or gone bad. The people of this realm are headed for lean and hungry and sharp times.
26 - A terrifying supernatural event has begun. A permanent eclipse but only in the borders of this realm, the moon turning red as blood or disappearing entirely, bizarre and impossible weather, rivers turning green, etc.
31 - Imminent War. The realm is on the brink of war. Levies are being raised, warbands trained, material gathered, supplies hoarded. Roll to see if the war is offensive or defensive, and make an Opinion Roll to see how public opinion sees it.
32 - Revolution! Revolution is in the air as the realm heads to the brink. Depending on the ruling government, it might be the common people are rising for liberty and justice, or monarchists are seeking to restore an ancient regime. Daily clashes are likely to happen between the sides, and it may often be difficult to even tell factions apart.
33 - Crackdown. The government, or a part of it, is engaging in a reign of terror. This may be widespread, or localized to a given part of the realm. A fascistic magistrate, a corrupt duke, or a counter-revolutionary governor.
34 - Them! Gigantic ants have begun burrowing up through the surface, carrying off herds of cattle, clearing forests, and devastating farmland as they construct enormous anthills across the countryside.
35 - Strikes. The common workers and labourers have organized against corrupt and exploitative working conditions. Industry and commerce have ground to a halt across the realm. Any outsiders who try to do business will quickly fall afoul of the strikers, and any who show solidarity will become a target for the scabs and strike-breakers working for the wealthy.
36 - Panem et circenses. The rulers of this realm are throwing elaborate, expensive, and long-running entertainments that border on the decadent and obscene. While the people are ecstatic for now, the realm will suffer for the costs in the long run. And there’s the question of what, exactly, the entertainments are a distraction from...
41 - Dragon Be Here. A dragon, or similarly powerful and terrifying beast, has taken up residence in a prominent and important location. It hasn’t done anything more hostile than scare away the original inhabitants of its new lair, but that can’t last… right?
42 - The Latest Craze. A new fashion craze is sweeping the realm, and everyone is obsessed with keeping up. Commerce, industry, learning, all are affected by the masses’ drive to acquire and show off this new fashion. Who originated it, and why has it gained such a grip?
43 - Plague. A virulent and deadly plague has appeared, and it’s only a matter of time before it sweeps across the entire realm.
44 - Butterflies. Vast swarms of butterflies have appeared, blanketed the realm in millions of rustling, brightly coloured wings. Where they came from, and why, and what they want is a mystery…
46 - Lost Princess. A long-lost scion of the royal family, celebrity, or other beloved child has reappeared after being thought lost forever. Lavish festivals of thanksgiving are being planned in the capital and across the realm, whether they can be afforded or not.
51 - Floating Castle. A huge castle has appeared in the sky, a long-forgotten relic or newly-arrived power. It inspires awe, terror, and avarice wherever it floats.
52 - He is Risen. A heretical but nonviolent cult has arisen in the realm, centred on a messanaic figure who promises to make all equal and free. This has provoked a storm of dissension and sectarian conflict.
53 - Beside Whom There is None. The rulers have introduced a new, radically different religion and made it the state cult, banning all others. Polytheism has become monolatry, tolerance has become forbiddance, and the head of state is now the head of religion.
54 - Day Without End. Within the borders of this realm the sun never sets. This is a boon to crops and gardens, but light-induced insomnia is taking its toll on the mental health of the entire realm.
55 - Miscarriage of Justice. The realm is gripped by riots, demonstrations, and class conflict after the justice system has been shown to favour the privileged over the common folk.
56 - The Bastille. The people have risen up and torn down an edifice or institution associated with oppression. The whole realm waits to see if the revolution will continue, or crackdowns and reprisals will come, or change can be affected peacefully.
61 - Bees and the Born King. A commoner child is being followed about by huge swarms of bees. They buzz about the child, bring them flowers, and ward off danger. This news is a sensation in the realm, with many saying the child is the reincarnation of an ancient hero-king come to set the realm right.
62 - Conquering Hero. After a glorious campaign a general is being feted across the realm. Many are on edge, believing the general will soon make a play for power. Lines of allegiance are being drawn and conflict is already sparking.
63 - Mutinous Riot. The realm’s soldiery, disgrunted at bad pay, poor conditions, incompetent officers, or an unpopular war, have mutinied. They have left the realm defenceless to drink and loot and terrorize and the government is scrambling to get them under control.
64 - It Came From Space. A glowing green rock the size of a wagon fell from space and landed in the capital’s market square. Rumours abound that the most skilled mages and engineers have failed to find a way to remove the thing, that it emits strange spores that warps the bodies of all who breathe them, or that it sings to the stars at night.
65 - One Day More. A small group of intellectuals and poor folk have seized a portion of the capital and declared a revolution. It remains to be seen whether others will rise with them, or if the government’s crackdown will topple their barricades...
66 - In the Dark Bowers. Terrible portents grip the realm. Goat-men have been seen prowling the forests, children are born with stigmata of hell, and all the oracles cry out that the book has been read from.

What are the locals doing about it?
What they’re doing about the above troubles.

Roll 1d10
1 - Blaming: Roll d10 1 - Those in power (correctly). 2 - Each other. 3 - The lower class (incorrectly). 4 - Outsiders. 5 - Historical enemies. 6 - Necromancers. 7 - Adventurers. 8 - Snake people. 9 - Divine meddling. 10 - Fiendish meddling.
2 - Preparing for War. Roll on the Blaming subchart above to see who against.
3 - Denying or suppressing knowledge. Will respond with hostility to outsiders bringing it up.
4 - Denial. Will act increasingly confused and upset if questioned or confronted with evidence, culminating in panic and catatonia.
5 - Hiring adventurers/mercenaries to confront the trouble directly.
6 - Protests/demonstrations to provoke government action.
7 - Preparing for the worst by hoarding and stockpiling.
8 - Moving or Fleeing.
9 - Mass religious hysteria. Lots of over the top rites, practices, ceremonies, sacrifices, praying, etc.
10 - Creepily happy about it. Like, fits of ecstasy and devotion, loss of self-preservation.

Friday, July 3, 2020

A Pocket Wavecrawl

So I grabbed these cool pocket notebooks from Melsonia and decided I wanted to make them into a pseudo-Aegean wavecrawl, with each notebook being an island. As an extra challenge, I wanted to see if I could come up with rules for stocking them that fit entirely into the notebook. Here's the result so far, with the first draft of the procedure, and one filled sub-hex.

Once I've gone through a few more sub-hexes and refined the numbers, I'll type up the procedure properly and post it. The hex stocking tables from The Black Hack were my initial inspiration, plus some from Agon, combined with my own nonsense.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Who Wants a Faction Generator

You know what's great?  Faction gameplay.
You know what's less great? Having to come up with factions. At least for me. So I wrote some tables to help with that because apparently I have the kind of brain that finds it easier to create a complicated process for describing a thing instead of just... describing the thing.

So for as far as these rules are concerned, a faction is a group of people with a common goal to alter the realm/world/reality to their liking.

If a table has two sets of numbers, one is flat probability, the other is weighted based on my idea of what the weights should be.

Seriously, who makes up this faction, and what are they generally all about?  Roll once on each table to generate a answer. This table was inspired by a tweet I saw many moons ago but have completely lost the link to. So if you recognize the idea and know where it came from lmk so I can attribute.

1 - Angry

2 - Loving

3 - Envious

4 - Jealous

5 - Calm

6 - Happy

7 - Determined

8 - Disgusted

9 - Indifferent

10 - Fearful

11 - Curious

12 - Cautious

13 - Possessed

14 - Vengeful

15 - Ambitious

16 - Greedy

17 - Haunted

18 - Heretic

19 - Insurgent

20 - Nihilist

1 - Farmers

2 - Artists

3 - Astronomers

4 - Cultists

5 - Warriors

6 - Seafarers

7 - Builders

8 - Storytellers

9 - Healers

10 - Midwives

11 - Philosophers

12 - Mages

13 - Oracles

14 - Bankers

15 - Artisans

16 - Miners

17 - Revolutionaries

18 - Hunters

19 - Tanners

20 - Nobles

Uh, yeah, what's their end goal?  What did they form this faction to achieve?

1 - Supremacy
2 - Money
3 - Political Power
4 - Regime Change
5 - Law Change
6 - Destruction of Enemies
7 - Social Change
8 - Chaos
9 - Tyranny
10 - Autonomy
11 - A Summoning
12 - Magical Power
13 - An Artefact
14 - Revanchism
15 - War
16 - Assassination
17 - Religious Change
18 - Resurrection
19 - Roll twice. First is their public goal, second is their actual goal.
20 - Roll twice & combine

These charts are about what they focus on when pursuing their goals, and how they go about getting them.

Ends vs Means (d2):
1 - Ends. is the prioritization of goals over methods. This kind of organization will compromise their ethics and morality to accomplish their ends and afterwards justify it at will. 
2 - Means. The inverse - a preference to adhere to ethics and morality even when it compromises the achievement of goals.

Alignment (d3): 
1 - Benevolent. This organization is concerned with ensuring the maximum number of people benefit from its goals, even those outside the organization’s specific beneficiary. Note that what the faction considers a "benefit" may not be considered so by those outside the faction.
2 - Malevolent. The organization is interested only in the benefit of a select group, even (or especially) if it means others outside that group are harmed. If desired, roll a die. On low, the group is simply uncaring if others are harmed. If high, then the harm is part of the their goal.
3 - Passive. The organization will try to limit the harm it does to others when possible, but won’t make great efforts to ensure others benefit.

The Law (d4): 
1 - Legalist. This organization will make great efforts to always follow the letter of the law (though not always the spirit) and work within the system. 
2 - Law-Abiding. This organization will obey the law as much as possible, but will bend or covertly break the law if it must. 
3 - Law-Breaking. This organization operates outside the law as a matter of course, but will make a show of following and use the law when convenient. 
4 - Anarchist.This organization is fundamentally opposed to the law and acts against it and to break it.

A faction might be a small cabal of idealists, or a public institution with a widespread power base.

Decide if they are a public or secret faction. If you can't decide, there's a 4-in-6 chance they're secret.

Public factions roll a d6 on this, secret factions roll a d3.

1 - Obscure. Few have heard of this group or their goals. This may be because they are little more than a few like-minded people meeting for drinks, or because they make great efforts to keep themselves secret.

2 - Fringe. The common citizen may have heard of this group, but they are regarded by most as little more than an oddity or fringe group with limited goals or distasteful methods.

3 - Minor. This group is known by most, but draws its support from only a limited percentage of the population, possibly concentrated in a specific cultural, class, or professional stratum.

4 - Notable. This faction has significant public support and likely plays a role in realm-wide events. They may draw their support from almost the entirety of a single group, or from a broad but thin base of disparate supporters.

5 - Significant. This faction has supporters across the entire realm in almost all quarters of society, approaching the level of support for the realm’s government.

6 - Overwhelming. This group is more popular than the government and enjoys near-universal support.

Now decide if they're a Legal faction, an Informal faction, or an Illegal faction.
1-2 - Legal. This faction is a public institution or organization, such as a church, trade union, political party, etc. Regardless of their goals or methods, they are regarded as a legitimate part of society.
3-4 - Informal. This organization has no official structure and is not recognized as an organization. Secret society, student collective, social club, alliance of nobles, a group of shadowy figures in wing-backed chairs.
5-6 - Illegal. This faction is outlawed and forbidden by law. This may or may not have any actual impact on their operations, but they are not regarded as a legitimate part of society. Revolutionary committee, proscripted religion, anarchist commune, criminal syndicate.

This measures their available resources and their ability to materially advance their goals.

d6 / d4
1 / 1 - Flaccid. This faction is more talk than action, and is lacking the will or the resources to pursue their stated goals. Or both. This faction has 1 Strength and 3 Weaknesses
2-3 / 2 - Recovering. This faction has recently suffered a loss or other setback that has hampered their capabilities. They are 1 - resolute, 2 - embittered, 3 - vengeful, 4 - turning on each other. This faction has 1 Strength and 2 Weaknesses
4-5 / 3 - Growing. This faction is on the rise, gaining recruits, influence, and power. This faction has 2 Strengths and 2 Weaknesses
6 / 4 - Empowered. This faction is well-supplied and well-funded, with the personnel and material they need to actively pursue their goals. This faction has 3 Strengths and 1 Weakness.

Roll for the number of Strengths and Weaknesses based on the result on the table above. You can reroll duplicates, or find a justification for why something is both a strength and a weakness.

1 - Wealth
2 - Numbers
3 - Popular Support
4 - Secure Locations
5 - Allies
6 - True Believers
7 - Organization
8 - Security
9 - Military Strength
10 - Magical Strength
11 - Religious Support
12 - Broad support base
13 - Magical artefact(s)
14 - Divine or Supernatural Patron
15 - Influential Supporters
16 - Foreign Aid
17 - Recruiting
18 - Feared
19 - Loved
20 - Prophecy

First, how is the faction organized? 

d10 / d6
1-2 / 1 - Cells. This faction operates out of independent cells, each with its own leadership and agenda, with minimal contact between each other and the central leadership.
3-4 / 2 - Hierarchical. This faction has a well-defined and largely rigid rank structure from top to bottom.
5-6 / 3 - Collective. This faction operates on consensus and communal decision-making, possibly using some form of committee or quorum.
7 / 4 - Cult. Members are judged based on how devoted their are to the cause and core beliefs, and will rise or fall in influence accordingly.
8 / 5 - Gang. Power and leadership is derived from violence and personal power. Murder and betrayal are common ways of rising in the organization.
9-10 / 6 - Acolytes. There is a single, supreme leader in the faction (who may or may not be otherworldly) who gives all orders and direction.

How do they mythologize themselves? This probably impacts how they justify to themselves why they do what they do.

1 - Holy warriors.
2 - Necessary monsters
3 - Heirs to power
4 - Wronged, seeking justice
5 - Disenfranchised or oppressed, seeking equality.
6 - Restorers of the old order.
7 - Saviours.
8 - Business leaders.
9 - Smarter than everyone else.
10 - Revolutionaries.

There's no requirement that this is accurate, in fact it probably isn't. You can figure that out by comparing their alignment to their self-image. Malevolent doesn't exactly jive with "saviours". If you're unsure or want a prompt, roll on this.
1 - A lie, totally believed.
2 - A lie, used as a cover.
3 - Dubiously true, but firmly believed
4 - An earnest aspiration

Now how well are they organized? Are they factious and argumentative, or do they act in lockstep?

d12 / d6
1 / 1 - Chaos. There is little to no internal cohesion, and conflicts over resources, leadership, and direction are common. Branches of the faction may work in isolation or even at cross purposes.
2 / 2 - Schism. They have divided into two or more factions competing for control. The conflict might be ideological, political, or full civil-war. The sub-factions may regard themselves as entirely independent organizations.
3-5 / 3 - Loose. This faction is united more by ideals than structure. Ranks are not strictly enforced, different groups within the faction may not always work together smoothly, there may be internal disagreement over goals and philosophy, but they are still a single organization with a common goal.
6-8 / 4 - Cohesive.  The factions organization is not rigidly structured, but all the members have a clear vision of their goals and aims. 
9-11 / 5 - Ordered. This faction is tightly bound together. Members are obedient to the leadership, the goals and aims are widely understood.
12 / 6 - Tyranny. The faction's leadership is not questioned, and individual members work without autonomy or complete information. Obedience is complete, but members have little autonomy.

Members of a faction need a way to identify each other. The larger the organization, the greater the need for this is. If the faction is a secret one, you can reroll inappropriate results or modify them to suit.

1 - Uniform
2 - Badge
3 - Accessory
4 - Tattoo
5 - Hand sign
6 - Call and response
7 - Graffiti
8 - Declaration

To a faction with a political goal, adventurers, being armed and outside normal society, could be a serious threat. Or allies. Or useful tools. Roll on this chart to find out, if the faction's other details don't suggest an answer.

d8 / d6
1 / 1 - A Threat. Adventurers are regarded as a serious threat to the faction's goals and will be observed at all times, hampered when possible, and eliminated as soon as needed.
2-3 / 2 - A Petty Annoyance. Adventurers are largely disregarded as little more than a nuisance - to be ignored, unless they prove annoying enough to squash.
4-5 / 3 - Useful Tools. Adventurers are not to be trusted, or thought well of, or regarded as a beneficiary of the faction's goals. But they can be an effective, and thoroughly expendable, tool.
6 / 4 - Allies. Although not regarded as deserving of membership, the faction sees adventurers as allies who might be sympathetic to the cause.
 7 / 5 - Fellow Travellers. This faction regards adventurers as being innately part of the same cause, perhaps affected by the same injustices, or opposing the same enemy. The faction will often treat adventurers as though they were already members - at least as long as they prove trustworthy.
8 / 6 - Prey. This faction regards adventurers as meat, as sacrifices, as unwilling converts, or just easily manipulated patsies.

Okay, I think that's enough for this post.  Next one will be some tables 'n stuff for generating faction members and how they interact with each other & (more importantly) the players.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

DRAG YOU TO HELL, or; Don't Eat the Food

Okay, so I did auguries and prayers. I did patron saints and heroes. Now it's time for Devils and Faeries.

Devils and Faeries are extradimensional alien creatures who are will to trade you something here and now for the chance to take your soul once you're done piloting a meat suit. The power or gifts they trade to you invariably come with a hidden cost and/or run dry before you're done needing them, and the more you call on them the easier it gets to do so - for a while.

These rules are intended to complement the entry about calling on gods for augury and divine intervention. Those require effort and spending on your part, and are limited in effect. Making a deal with a Duke of Hell or a Fey Lord is comparatively easy and rewarding. You just, y'know, have to go to hell afterwards.

Rather than keep saying "Demon or Faery" or whatever, I'm just going to refer to them collectively as Powers. You could probably use this to include gaining power from eldritch Elder Things and whatnot but I imagine that to be more the theological equivalent of sticking your finger in a light socket.

Also, these rules assume a game where you don't instantly die at 0 HP.


Step 1: Identify a Power and find out how to contact.
Step 2: Conduct the ritual, offer the sacrifice. If things go well, the Power will appear and offer you a gift. If things go really poorly they'll still show up but you're not going to enjoy it.
Step 3: Trade a sliver of your soul for the gift.

Step 1 - The Power and the Ritual

There are three components needed to summon a power: the Symbol, the Incantation, and the Sacrifice.  The Symbol must be drawn or etched on a surface - this is where the Power will appear. The Incantation is a ritual chant, song, howling, etc, that must be repeated while the sacrifice is made. Finally the Sacrifice must be made. Total up all the modifiers (given in the chart below) and roll a d20. If the roll is below the target, the ritual is successful and the Power appears. If a 20 is rolled, the Power still appears but they are bound by no ritual and will probably just drag your soul out of your body for fun.

Making a Deal Chart

Regular Sacrifice - Base target of 10
Rare Sacrifice - Base target of 15
Slivers Given - +1 each
Additional people conducting the chant - +1 each

Step 2 - The Bargain

Each Power has gifts they grant. The normal bargain is to trade Slivers of your soul for these gifts. You can always try to bargain for something else, but the Power will likely have more... exotic requests. Agree on the bargain, including specific terms for repayment. The gifts listed in the Power's entry are the most common things, but the list is not exhaustive.

Step 3 - The Price

If the price is one or more Slivers of your soul, payment is immediate. Mark them down on your sheet (or increase your running total). If the price was something, pay it now or arrange to pay it later under specific conditions.


When you are reduced to zero hit points, or once per day while in the Power's home plane, roll a d20. If the result is under your current total Slivers given to that power a servant of their shows up to claim your soul. The servant's HD/CR/level is equal to the roll of the die. You ever die, then your soul is forefit and claimed immediately. You cannot be resurrected unless someone physically finds it and reclaims it (or makes another bargain to get it back). Some Powers only claim a soul for a given period, after which you can be resurrected.

If you have paid Slivers to more than one power, stack them when making the roll. So if you've paid 3 slivers to The White Prince, and 2 to the Fiachsidhe then upon being reduced to 0 HP if you roll a 1-3 a servant of The White Prince will appear, or a servant of the Fiachsidhe on a 4-5.


You can call out to a Power at any time for a gift. These gifts are usually much less potent than when making a sacrifice, but they can help in a pinch. The price is still the same, though.

When you make a desperate please, roll a d20. If you get over your total Slivers owed to that Power, the bargain is struck. You can increase the result rolled by up to +10 by offering a suitable sacrifice, in addition to the one or more Slivers spent as normal. Failure to follow through on the sacrifice generally has dire consequences.


King of Hell and All Demons, Wisest Teacher, the Sixth Pentarch

The White Prince is typically invoked through his greatest servant on the mortal plane, His Shadow. When he takes a soul, he binds it to the form of a familiar until they have tempted a wizard into the service of The White Prince.

Symbol: 19 white candles around a 19-pointed star drawn in red ink, red wax, or blood.
O Prince of Magic, hear us!
O Prince of Truths, hear us!
In the name of Your Merciful Shadow, I call to thee!
From the depth of this world of lies, I call to thee!
For the promise you made to all who live and die, I call to thee!
O Prince, who does not know of thy magic?
O Prince, who does not know of thy wisdom?
O Prince, open the door to the font of thy knowing
O Prince, let me bask in Your Divine Shadow
Holo dano dholo ka kaddk kluvd!
Holo dano dholo ka kaddk kluvd!
Holo dano dholo ka kaddk kluvd!
Sacrifice: Goat or sheep, a religious text, the blindfold of blind man
Rare sacrifice: A lamb, born with white wool and two heads

Typical Gift: A spell. Trades 1 Sliver per spell level. The new spell can be from any spell list, but must be of a level you would normally be able to cast.

A spell slot. You gain an additional spell slot. Costs 1 Sliver per level of the new slot. The slot can be one level higher than your current max, but this costs an additional 5 Slivers.

Rare Gift: Spellcasting ability. Choose a class. You can pick two 1st level spells that class has access to. You can cast these spells once per day, with the spellcasting ability of that class. You can only learn more by making further deals with The White Prince.


Mistress of the Wild Hunt, Immortal Hostess, Seneschal of the Green Court

The Fiachsidhe is a powerful Faery noble, said to ride across the realm of Faery on a bronze chariot pulled by eight enormous hounds. She leads the Wild Hunt on excursions into the mortal realms, and enforces the laws of hospitality in Faery. She binds mortals to the form of a hound, and keeps them to pull her chariot for 100 hundred years. Of course, the Feary understanding of linear time is... loose.

Symbol: Nine dog skulls, stacked in a pyramid and inscribed with the nine names of the moon.
hairr suna feirr eddaldaiul du na
ai serr dha Fiachsidhe dha wairn hildas
ai serr dha Fiachsidhe dha hurdarr
ai serr dha Fiachsidhe dha ruilnas ull dsinfadr
ai serr dha Fiachsidhe du eain na
du daesh na
ai serr dha Fiachsidhe
Sacrifice: a fine feast, a bronze torc or trumpet, a stag heart freshly butchered
Rare Sacrifice: The heart of a man hunted and slain

Typical Gift: A point of Inspiration (or equivalent)

Roll one of your Hit Dice and increase your Max HP by the result. This cannot bring you above your maximum possible HP.

An Arrow of Slaying. The target type is of very narrow focus. If you know the True Name of the target, you get d3 instead of just 1.

Rare Gift: A Horn of the Hunt. You can sound this horn once per full moon to summon a 2d6 HD/CR/level servant of the Fiachsidhe. The servant will aid you for d4 hours and then return to Faery.


Bathim is a duke of Hell, and knows the routes and ways between dimensions. He can speed travellers on their way, or mire armies for days. He appears as a muscular man with the tail and head of a snake, riding a roan horse. Souls he takes are bound to his horse's tail, to be dragged across the surface of one thousand roads.


Bathim, Bathim, open the way
Bathim, Bathim, show me the way
Bathim, Bathim, knower of doors
Bathim, Bathim, I call unto thee
Bathim, Bathim, show me the way!
Sacrifice: A soldier's foot, a horse, dust from another plane
Rare Sacrifice: The keystone of an interplanar doorway.

Typical Gift: Speeds your next journey to a known destination by d6 days (you will simply cover distance faster without seeming to)

Tells you the route to a named location

Opens a door, gate, or portal that no-one living has passed through

Rare Gift: Opens a stable gateway to another realm, OR, gives you access to a pocket dimension you could claim for your own.


Belhor is a powerful King of Hell, said to be second only to the White Prince himself. Belhor appears as stronger, more beautiful, more frightening version of the current monarch of whatever realm the summoner resides in, and is always crowned with fire. Belhor is said to have the power to raise the lowest commoner to the heights of power and nobility. Souls bound by Belhor are doomed to place ten thousand bricks upon the ever-growing walls of his infernal fortress.


Of all the Thrones and Princes, I exhort thee Belhor
Before all the Lords and Swords, I beseech thee Belhor
Belhor, maker of crowns
Belhor, breaker of kings
Belhor, who stands behind all thrones
Belhor, I call you!
Sacrifice: An eagle, the mane of a lion, the bones of a prince
Rare sacrifice: The head of a landed noble

Typical Gift: Tells you of a noble who will reward service with land and title, and the service they need.

Tells you of a noble who can be overthrown, and how it might be done.

Tells you of a title that lies vacant, and how it might be claimed.

Rare Gift: Belhor will tell you of a crown you can claim for your own, and how it might be won. The path will be hard, and there will be a condition you must meet lest Belhor reverse your destiny.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Saints and Heroes of Dunador, and their Cults

Okay, so Last Time In Dunador it was about auguries and sacrifices. This time it's patron saints and heroes.  The saints and shrines concept and rules come from here:

For clarity, a "patron saint" is from the heliopapist religion and is, like, Saint Christopher or something. "Heroes" are the pagan equivalent, like worshiping Achilles or Asclepius. Functionally, they're the same thing. You could probably also go for a genius loci (protector spirit of a place), but that would probably necessitate staying in one place so I'm not going to do entries for any off the hop.

You can dedicate yourself to a saint or hero without becoming a full member of their cult, and you can freely change which saint or hero you're dedicated to (though your fellow adherents might be a bit miffed, especially if you were a regular donor to the shrine). You can become a proper member of the cult, though that is a somewhat more involved process.

Also I should clarify that herein I'm using cult in the old sense, a set of practices related to the worship of a specific divinity, rather than the modern pejorative sense. Don't worry, Dunador still has its fair share of that kind of cult, too.

To recap the rules:

If you dedicate yourself to a patron saint or hero by worshiping and sacrificing at their shrine, and live by their strictures, you gain access to a floating spell you can cast 1/day. Multiple party members can share in the dedication, but you only gain one casting of the spell. These spells are always 1st level (or equivalent). If the spellcasting modifier is needed, it is equal to the number of PCs in the party present who are dedicated to the shrine.

You can increase the number of times a spell can be cast in a day by making additional sacrifices at the shrine. These sacrifices cost 25gp * your level * each additional spell level gained (max of 4). The bonus spell levels last for one day. You can combine bonus spell levels to cast the spell at a higher level.

Shrine of Saint Spurius

Patron saint of healers, barbers, sheep-shearing, lost children, and florists.
Shrine: A statue of a lamb-headed man carrying a shepherd's crook and decorated with flowers
Cult: Saint Spurius is especially popular in rural areas where healers are rare, or in urban areas where healing and medicine are expensive. Particularly devout followers wear a sprig of local flower in their hair at all times.

Spell: Cure Wounds

Strictures of Saint Spurius: 
You must always give aid to children and the young.
Trust not the untrimmed and unkempt.
Carry flowers with you as you would carry the Saint.

A Favourite Prayer to Saint Spurius:
Gentle Spurius, guide our path to health as you would guide a child to its mother. Grant us your blessing, that we might forever bloom in your light.

Shrine of Saint Killhart

Patron saint of hounds, infants, heroic sacrifice, the falsely accused. She's a dog.
Shrine: A grave mound surrounded sheep or cattle bones.
Cult: New or expectant parents, rangers and soldiers, hound-keepers, convicts. The faithful wear a dried paw, usually from a beloved pet, or pawprint tattoo.

Spell: Heroism

Strictures of Saint Killhart
Defend the defenceless
Do your duty, even if it leads to your end
Take joy in the chase

A Favourite Prayer to Saint Killhart:
Faithful Killhart, guardian of souls, your humble servant calls to you. Grant me courage so I may do what is needed of me. I beg this of you as your faithful child, o eternal guardian. Empower me with your divine warmth.

Shrine of Hildegard the Fox

Hildegard was a minor queen who lived in the chaotic time between the fall of the old Empire and the founding of Dunador. Her realm was small, and poor, but she was cunning and staved off all conquerors with cunning and guile until she won a promise that her realm would never be invaded while her family ruled. After her death, her son married into the founding house of Dunador and united the two kingdoms. Hildegard is revered as a trickster, a hero for the underdog and overlooked.
Shrine: A menhir, hung with carved masks of many faces.
Cult: Hildegard is worshiped by thieves, actors, the poor and oppressed, and those facing impossible challenges. The cult of Hildegard dis often discouraged or even suppressed for its association with criminals and rebels. Each local cult has its own signs of recognition it shares only with the trusted.

Spell: Marble Madness: Your pockets are full of marbles, and will refill every round.

Strictures of Theobald: 
Where wolves fear, foxes dare
The boot that steps on a neck is a foot planted in the grave
Violence stains, cleverness lasts

A Favourite Prayer to Theobald:
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield

Shrine of Notos

The south-wind that blows from the desert. When he is gentle, he scatters the flowers and pollinates the fruit trees. When he is angry, he brings lashing winds of sand from the heart of the desert to destroy crops. Notos dates from the Old Empire, and continues to be venerated throughout southern Dunador.
Shrine: A log or tree, hung with bits of wood and stone with long hole bored through them to sing when the south-wind blows.
Cult: Farmers, traders, bee-keepers, explorers, guides. Whenever going indoors or underground, the faithful always bow to the south to ask Notos to welcome them back when they return.

Spell: Gust of Wind

Strictures of Notos:
Go gently when you can, harshly when you must.
Go where you will. Let nothing stop you, not even the mountain.
Be formless, shapeless, without a centre to attack.

A Favourite Prayer to Notos:
Rather than prayers spoken aloud, worshipers of Notos call on him by rattling windchimes and using bullroarers.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Gods of Dunador

Getting religion to have a proper role in my games has long been a want of mine. Fortunately, Goblin Punch made some excellent ways to do exactly that. I've reproduced them here with some modifications, and included the three gods and three saints I thought were mostly likely to be important to adventurers.


This is something anyone can do, and requires only going to a temple, church, or shrine and performing the correct ritual - and making a sacrifice, of course - to ask a divine power (a god, a saint, or a local spirit) if they approve of a given course of action or a person, place, or thing.  The important thing is that you're not asking the divine to predict the future or how likely a plan is to succeed, you're asking whether they will be pleased or displeased by something.

Gods and spirits will answer to anyone who performs the rituals correctly, but saints will only answer to heliopapists. Different entities want different things, and will respond differently depending on what you're asking about.

Performing Augury

  1. Go to the entities shrine or temple, offer the sacrifice, undertake the ritual. The entity will tell you whether they approve of what you ask.
  2. The referee secretly rolls a d100 on the chart below, with the given modifiers.
  3. Receive the answer: auspicious, ill, or terrible.
If the roll is under your target value, the augury is accurate. Otherwise it will be random (odd result = ill, even = auspicious). If the augury fails and the dice show double odd numbers (ie 55) then the result is terrible and and you must do something drastic (a quest, a lot of sacrifices, etc) to avoid a horrible fate. If you were asking about a specific course of action then you should very much not do it. If you persist in doing that thing anyway then you /will/ encounter dire peril.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the Referee does not already know 'true' answer to an augury, then they are required to roll for it and abide by the roll.

The Augury Chart

The sacrifice offered determines your base chance. Also all sacrifices must be given in pairs - one to be sacrificed, one as payment to the priests.
  • Bottle of wine, roast meat, etc, worth at least 1gp - Base 40% chance
  • Three chickens, a dog, a lamb, etc - Base 50% chance
  • A cow, three goats or sheep, a horse, etc - Base 60% chance
  • An exotic or monstrous animal such as an albino bull, live manticore, etc - Base 70% chance
  • Human sacrifice - Base 80% chance but it automatically counts as a blasphemy (see below) unless you do it in a place where the gods cannot sea.
Bear in mind you can sacrifice just about anything - the above is a base guideline guideline.

Additional modifiers:

  • Sacrifice has deep personal meaning to petitioner: +5%
  • Favoured sacrifice: +20%
  • Rare offering: Automatic success
Donation: +X% where X is the square root of the money donated. X is also the x-in-20 chance the high cleric, archpriest, or otherwise named head of the temple will take a personal interest in you.

You can perform auguries yourself outside of a temple or shrine, but you gain a -10% penalty.

If you don't have a sacrifice to offer you can promise one and use it as the base chance with a -10% penalty, but if you fail to offer the sacrifice there will be dire consequences.

All auguries must be accompanied by proclamations and praise to the entity.


Whenever you blaspheme, mock the gods, doubt their existence, or otherwise invite a lightning bolt from on high, you have an x-in-20 chance of being cursed, where x = your level+Charisma modifier.

If you whisper it (in character and IRL), then this is negated.  This rule is also negated if you are doing something in service of one god against their enemy.


An Oath is a binding contract enforced by divine wrath.  An Oath can be entered into by one or more parties.

To make an Oath, the participants must loudly state:
  1. Which god they are binding themselves to.
  2. What they promise to do.
  3. What is the penalty for breach.
Then make a sacrifice using the Augury chart above with the following additions:
No sacrifice: Base 10% chance
Conducted by a priest or other officiant: +10% chance
Touching a sacred relic: +20% chance

The referee makes the roll in secret to see if the penalty will in fact occur should any party break the Oath.  If a group makes an Oath together, they will all suffer the penalty together.


A party can attempt a desperate prayer once per session.

The praying character must loudly state:
  1. What they want from the god/saint/spirit
  2. What they promise to do if they get it.
The default chance of success is 0%. The intercession will only happen once and in the smallest way possible. The roll is made in secret and at the last possible moment.

If the request is something small that could possibly be explained away by coincidence they get up to +5%

If the promised is something generous they have the capacity to give, they get up to +5%


Dokeia, the Antlered Goddess, the Wild Huntress, the Sounder of Horns
Hunting, Wild Places, Being Lost, Paths, Herbs, Beasts, Hounds
Favourite Offerings: A wild rabbit (still alive), amber, mistletoe berries
Rare Offering: the heart of a fawn, willingly given
Augury: the query is carved into a consecrated antler or horn which is then given to the temple dogs to chew. The augury is interpreted from the words left unchewed. Terrible omen: the hounds refuse to chew.
Approves: when you keep what you kill, but especially when the hunter becomes the hunted
Curse: Lycanthrophy.

Komawenteia, the Lion Goddess, She Who Massacres, the Red-Crowned One
War, Lions, Massacres, Bloodshed, Rage, Passion, Art, Poetry, Lust, Beauty
Favourite Offerings: the teeth of a hated foe, artwork, poetry stained with tears of love
Rare Offering: genitals
Augury: the offering is burnt and the ashes mixed with paint. A priest is worked into ecstatic frenzy and paints. Interpreting the painting reveals the augury. Terrible omen: the paint turns to sludge.
Approves: when you act out of passion, but especially when blood is spilled for it
Curse: whenever you are gripped by passion or strong feeling, you must save or slip into a berserk and ecsatic frenzy. You cannot go unconscious while in this frenzy, and feel neither pain nor hunger until it ends.

Mater Theia, the All-Mother, the Embracing, the Guardian of Gates
Death, Rest, Graveyards, Thresholds, Journey's End, the Hearth
Favourite Offerings: doors, food made from an inherited recipe, bone meal of an undead
Rare Offerings: grave-dirt from inside the rib cage of your mother
Augury: the query is written on paper, which is ground into soil mulch. A flower is planted in this soil. When it blooms, the number of petals reveals the augury. Terrible omen: the flower withers.
Approves: when you undertake a journey, but especially when you are unsure of the destination
Curse: whenever you see a door you have never gone through before you must save or suffer terrible pain until you pass through it. Doors unlock (but do not become untrapped) at your touch.


All the Saints have the same augury process: fast and pray for a night and day and then until you pass out from exhaustion. When you awake, the augury will have granted to you. Being driven from the church, or failing to fast and pray for the full night and day are the terrible omen.

Saint Alypius the Gambler
Patron saint of gamblers, singers, treasure-hunters, and runaways
Favourite offerings: gold won in gambling, boots a long way from home, candles that have lit up a dungeon
Rare offerings: large treasure, claimed from a heathen hoard
Approves: when you take gold from nonbelievers by wit and guile, but especially when you give credit loudly to the Divine Daughter
Curse: Once per session the Referee may demand you re-roll a die. If ever you roll a total result of 1, increase it to 2.

Saint Vertranis the Judge
Patron saint of bounty-hunters, judges, executioners, and librarians
Favourite offerings: finger bones of the guilty, silver chains, ink
Rare offering: a book of laws
Approves: when you make a record of events, but especially of punishments
Curse: whenever you meet someone new you must save or confess to the last crime you saw committed. You have advantage on saves against mind-affecting magic.

Saint Placidia the Excoriator
Patron saint of demon hunters, exorcists, and forced conversion
Favourite offerings: garlic, quicksilver, and human effigies
Rare offering: Rock chipped from a menhir or stone circle
Approves: when you defend the faith, but especially against the supernatural
Curse: you recoil from holy images and sacred places. You can smell when demons or their servants are nearby


Iphemedeia, Goddess of the Moon, She Of Soft Wings and Sharp Talons
Mysteries, Revenge, Secrets, Prophecy

Diwia, the Changer of Seasons, the Giver and the Taker
Seasons, Change, Authority, Farming, Marriage

Dipsiol, the Two Who Are One, the Blood-Drinker, the Life-Giver
Alchohol, Birth, Murder, Medicine, Gender and Sexuality

Trisheros, the Triple-King, the Dragon-Slayer
Conquest, Punishment, Competition, Self-Improvement, Knighthood

Marineus, God of Time, Lord of Archers
Entrophy, Time, Archers, Erosion, Destruction, Deserts

Despotas, the Law-Giver
Order, Laws, Hierarchy, Writing, Memory, Money

Enesidaon, God of Fire and Storms, Shaker of the Earth
Deep Places, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Caves, Storms, Keeper of the Dead

Diktaios, God of the Night Sky, the Walker in Dreams
Stars, Architects, Mathematics, Libraries, Maps, Navigation, Dreams

Posidaeia, Queen of Horses, She Who Treads on the Sea
The Sea, Winter, Peace, Tradition, Pain, Sleep, Horses

Drimios, the First Teacher, God of the Wheel
Magic, Teaching, Roads, the Wheel, Song, Lucky and Fortune