Posts Tagged ‘ Catholic ’

Mantle of the Prophets

“He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, ‘Where is the LORD God of Elijah?’ and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.” (2 Kings 2:13-14)

The Mantle of the Prophets appears to be nothing more than a normal cloak of the sort worn by many people, especially to keep warm during the night or during chilly weather. In truth, the Mantle is a powerful Lawful relic once worn by at least two of the holiest of the People’s prophets. When worn by a Lawful Cleric who has been chosen by Lord, the Mantle serves to channel divine power through the wearer in order to demonstrate the power and majesty of the Lord. The Mantle has had the following reputed powers:

1. Once per day, create highly nourishing food and clean, fresh water in sufficient quantity to provide for 27 human-sized creatures for a full day.

2. Once per month, permit the wearer to Raise Dead (as the spell).

3. Once per week, permit the wearer to Control Weather (as the spell).

4. Once per day, the wearer can call down a column of holy fire. The column is 10 feet in diameter and 30 feet high. It inflicts 6d8 points of damage on creatures caught in its area of effect. A successful saving throw halves this damage.

5. Once per week, permit the wearer to Part water (as the spell).

6. Once per day, the wearer can summon a bear to fight his enemies. The bear arrives in 1d4 rounds, and it serves the wearer for 1 hour or until killed. Use standard bear statistics as the base, but the animal summoned by this ability has no fewer than 5 hit points per Hit Die, and it enjoys a +1 bonus on attack rolls.

July 1st, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Skull of Good King Vaclav

Good King Vaclav was the son of Stanislaus I, the penultimate king of Hemiboa. His grandfather, Boris I of Hemiboa, was converted to the Via Lucis by Saints Cyril and Methodius. Vaclav’s mother, Dragoríma, was the daughter of a pagan tribal chief, but she was baptized into her husband’s faith at the time of her marriage. Vaclav’s paternal grandmother, Dulmila of Hemiboa, oversaw his education, Vaclav excelled as a scholar and at an early age was sent to the college at Weisblud.

When Vaclav was thirteen, Stanislaus, who had become king just a few years before, died and Dulima became regent, a move which enraged Dragoríma so much that she arranged to have Dulima murdered by assassins. Reportedly, these killers strangled Dulima with her veil. After this, Dragoríma assumed the role of regent, and immediately initiated measures against the Via Lucis. When Vaclav came of age, he wrested control of the government from his mother and countermanded the persecution of the Via Lucis. Vaclav had Dragoríma exiled, and then went on to put down a major rebellion led by Duke Mouřik, one of his wicked mother’s paramours.

Eleven years into Vaclav’s reign, a group of nobles allied with Vaclav’s younger brother, Boreslav, plotted to kill Vaclav. Boreslav invited Vaclav to the celebrate a holy day with a feast. Three of Boreslav’s lackeys attacked Vaclav during dinner, stabbing the young king several times before Boreslav ran Vaclav through with a lance. The kingdom fell into civil war shortly after Vaclav’s murder. Even now, Hemiboa remains fractured and unstable.

Vaclav was widely hailed as a martyr saint almost immediately after his death. Although Boreslav tried to dispose of the body in the wilderness, followers loyal to Vaclav retrieved the corpse and hurried into a Weisblud, which has since become the center of Vaclav’s cult. Vaclav’s skull ranks chief among the saint’s relics. For decades, it was kept under guard in Weisblud’s cathedral, but just a few years ago thieves stole it. Vaclav’s skull remains missing to this day.

All manner of stories surround the lost relic. Some claim descendants of Boreslav paid to have the skull taken, and that these evil scions use the relic in profane rituals. Other tales say the thieves were killed crossing into the Recondite Frontier and that the skull was lost in a rain-swollen river. In and around Weisblud, the most common legend holds that the skull vanished when the thieves left the city with it. Angels took the skull up into the mountains above Weisblud, hiding it in a cave. When a time of great evil befalls the city, Vaclav himself will descend from Heaven, take up his skull, and lead an army of the righteous dead to reunify Hemiboa and place a rightful heir on the throne.

In the hands of a faithful cleric of the Via Lucis, the Skull of Good King Vaclav acts as a bronze horn of Valhalla. Evil characters who so much as touch the skull lose 1 full experience level, dropping to the lowest possible number of experience points to hold the level. If the evil character is a cleric, he must also atone in an appropriate manner; until then, he cannot cast cleric spells higher than 1st level. The Skull is rumored to have other powers as well, which may be chosen from Artifacts and Relics Powers/Effects Tables (see pages 162-164, Dungeon Masters Guide). The Skull of Good King Vaclav reportedly has these powers/effects: Minor Benign Powers x2, Major Benign Powers x1, Minor Malevolent Effects x2, Major Malevolent Effects x1, and Prime Powers x1.

April 26th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Shadows, Benign and Deadly

In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that through God’s grace even the “touch” of Peter’s shadow could heal the sick. Since so many fantasy RPG spells clearly draw at least some inspiration from Jewish and Christian scriptures, why not one more?

Petrine Umbra

Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came his shadow at the least might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities. (Acts 5:15)

Spell Level: Cleric, 3rd Level
Range: See below
Duration: 10 minutes

By means of this spell, the Cleric transforms his shadow into a conduit for divine power. For the duration of the spell, the Cleric may use the “touch” of his shadow to transmit spells with a range of touch. In low-light conditions, such as provided by candle light, the Cleric’s shadow has a range of 15 feet. In full daylight, this range increases to 45 feet. This spell requires a light source sufficient for the Cleric to cast a shadow in order to function.

*

I’ve been watching The X-Files on Netflix. I watched the series when it first aired. Currently, I’m somewhere in season two at the moment. Some of the episodes don’t hold up well. A few of the stories are little too pat or else a little too confused. For example, season two’s “The Calusari” is kind of a hot mess. Is it a low-rent riff on The Exorcist? Is it an insult aimed at immigrants?

But enough commentary. Let’s snatch up Tony Shaloub and turn him into a creature for Mutant Future:

Shadow Killer

A shadow killer is a strain of mutant human with some most unusual abilities. In most respects, a shadow killer appears to be a Pure Human. Sure, a shadow killer’s demeanor reflects a combination of agitation and exhaustion, and its flesh looks sallow and glistens with what appears to be the sheen of sweat, but a Pure Human who has endured a period of illness and stress might exhibit the same signs. What makes these solitary mutants dangerous are their shadows, which are semi-sentient projections of destructive “dark radiation”.

Many shadow killers exhibit behaviors contrary to their ominous name. They are not killers, but instead are often lonely creatures who think of themselves as cursed by their mutations to always been on the outside looking in. They cannot really take part in society because of the lethality of their shadows, but they still long for some contact with other sentient creatures. Of course, some shadow killers seem to revel in their destructive powers, and it is these individuals that have given shadow killers their fearsome reputation.

In combat, a shadow killer attacks with whatever weapons it has on hand. Also, each round, its semi-sentient shadow is 50% likely to attack a random target within 30 feet. The shadow stretches across the ground, along walls, and so forth in order to reach its target. A successful attack by the shadow inflicts damage as exposure to radiation equal to class 1d6+4 (roll for each attack). A shadow killer can not always control its shadow. If the shadow killer has not killed a creature with its shadow in the past hour, the shadow is 50% likely to attack any creature than approaches within range regardless of the shadow killer’s wishes.

Diffused light or total darkness that negates shadows prevents a shadow killer’s most dangerous, unpredictable attack from functioning.

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Any
Movement: 120′ (40′)
Armor Class: Armor type
Hit Dice: 10
Attacks: 1 (50% for 2)
Damage: Weapon type/radiation class 1d6+4
Save: L10
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XII
XP: 2,400

Mutations: Ultraviolet Vision, Unique (Semi-Sentient Shadow)

April 8th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Almost Recovered

Well, my grand writing plans last week got squashed under the heel of an awful head cold that has at last faded to a nuisance. Much of last week is a blur. I even missed OwlCon because I forgot which weekend was which. Yay.

This week, I feebly climb back into the saddle. I just got done updating information for my twice-monthly 1E AD&D campaign. I was going to work on details for Safe Harbor, the player-collaborated starting village, but I can’t find the notes or the hand-drawn map. Fortunately, I do have a scan of the latter. Grr.

Next up, a couple of new entries for Swords & Wizardry.

Transfiguration

Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white (Luke 9:28-36).

Spell Level: Cleric, 4th Level
Range: Caster only
Duration: 1 hour

By means of this spell, the Cleric transfigures himself into a semi-transcendent being. His clothing and armor become dazzling white, and his features radiate light and power. Against living bipeds of human size or small, his voice gains the power of Suggestion, but hypnotic suggestions to perform evil actions automatically fail. The Cleric’s ability to “turn” the undead increases. He rolls 2d8+4 instead of 2d10 when attempting to affect the undead, and he affects 3d6 creatures of the targeted type. Those turned will depart and not return for 4d6 rounds.

Thrice-Blessed Wine: A Lawful cleric casts Protection from Evil on a bottle of fine wine (at least 50 gp value). He then stores the wine in a sacred cellar for one year and one day, at which time he casts Protection from Evil on it again. The wine is stored for another year and a day, at which time a third Protection from Evil is cast upon it, thus creating a bottle of Thrice-Blessed Wine.

Up to four cups can be poured from a bottle of Thrice-Blessed Wine. If the wine is consumed, the quaffer is healed 1d6+6 hit points of damage and gains the benefits of Protection from Evil for 4 hours. If the wine is poured or sprinkled in a doorway or window, no evil creature can pass through that portal for 4 hours.

February 22nd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

There Is a Crack in Everything

As the seasons change, I again find my ability to concentrate frazzled. Getting up in the morning is even more of a chore than normal, and, while I tend toward irritable most of the time, even little things at least pinch my nerves more than normal. I’ve got some good ideas for new game material, and I’ve even started a couple of drafts, one being a new Swords & Wizardry character class and another a short adventure for the same game, but that brings me back to where I started this paragraph.

Lent starts today. This is a time for ruthless self-improvement, for gimlet-eyed examination of conscience, et cetera. Common practice is to “give something up”. I’m sure most people are familiar with the idea. “I’m giving up chocolate.” “I’m giving up coffee and alcohol.” “I’m giving up Facebook.” And so on. I’m not good at giving up things. I’ll keep drinking coffee and alcohol, for example. I’m still going to browse Facebook. Last year, I did give up repeating myself to my students. That was fun and instructive. This year, I’m going to give up not doing things. I’m going to stop not writing, stop not going to aikido class, and so on. I think I need to be less concerned with breaking bad habits and more concerned with developing good ones (which is really the same thing).

So, how about some goals? I’m going to finish that aforementioned character class and that short adventure this month. The former will go up for sale on-line as normal, and the latter will launch my foray into Patreon as a purveyor of hand-drawn maps, short scenarios, new monsters, and such. I’m also going to aikido class tomorrow evening, and that’s going to become at least a twice weekly thing (three times a week being the most I can attend).

And now, today’s writing exercise. I hit 276 words in eight minutes on the prompt “There Is a Crack in Everything”.

The Things I Do for the People I Love

“Dad!” my daughter’s voice wailed from the back of the house. I ignored her. I was busy. Sort of. One can be busy reading a book. But then her voice came again, louder, more insistent in the urgency of the moment. “Daaad!”

I stuck the gas station receipt slash bookmark into the book, tossed it to the side onto the sofa, and walked down the hall to poke my head into her room. A week’s worth of laundry had exploded across her floor. I repressed the urge to roll my eyes and complain, and instead smiled.

“Yes, baby girl?”

My daughter frowned, holding up her I-whatever-it-is. The screen was cracked.

“It’s cracked, Dad,” she said. Her disappointment was palpable, not because my daughter is obsessed with material things, but because she has inherited quite honestly both my facility to be outraged by minor injustices and her mother’s calm, thoughtful pensiveness about the small disappointments in life.

“Everything gets cracked eventually,” I said, realizing this was hardly reassuring.

“It happened at church, at the gala.” I silently wondered why anyone would bring an I-whatever-it-is to church. “I had set it down while I was working the welcome table. Someone must have put something down on it.”

I frowned. Shrugged. “I wish there was something I could do. Do you know who did it?”

“It was probably Nicholas. He was carrying trays for the kitchen, and put them down on the registration table.”

I sighed and smiled. “You want me to punch Nicholas in the throat?”

My daughter laughed and nodded, and that’s how ended up here, in the county lock-up. All in all, not my best decision.

February 10th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »