Some Love for Druids

Before we get to the new druid spells, an important announcement: From now until the end of May, all Spes Magna Games PDFs in the category of OGL OSR are on-sale for 50% off their normal prices. Huzzah! You can check out the affected titles by clicking here.

And, now, some love for druids!

Gnauskaia’s Arid Brotherhood

Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: 30-foot radius around caster
Duration: 1 hour

By means of this spell, the druid summons a 1d4+1 small dust devils to perform simple tasks. These whirling masses of dust and hot air can fetch and carry things, open doors, blow small objects about, et cetera. Each continues its assigned task until it is given another command. A dust devil conjured by this spell cannot exert a force of more than 20 pounds, nor can it attack or move beyond the spell’s range.

Laununill’s Muddy Lexicon

Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: Normal reading distance
Duration: 10 minutes

The druid pours a quantity of water and mixes it with dirt while casting this spell. For the duration of the spell, words spoken within range appear in the mud scribed in the secret tongue of the druids. Written words may also appear in the mud if the source of the writing is touched to the puddle. Once the druid reads the words, they fade away.

The Spell of Centrifugal Aurora

Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: 20-foot cylinder
Duration: 1d6+1 turns

A cylinder of roaring wind and cracking electricity with a 20-foot diameter whirls about the druid. Each round, any creature within the cylinder other than the druid must make a saving throw. Failure means the creature is sucked through the vortex of wind and lightning, suffering 1d6 points of damage from being buffetted about and another 3d6 points of damage from lightning blasts before being thrown to the outside of the cylinder.

May 16th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Pholcids of Orgimchak

Orgimchak is an area of ancient woodland near Hasharot. It is a former royal forest that covers 2,476 hectares (which equals a bit more than 6,100 acres), and contains areas of woodland, grassland, heath, rivers, bogs, and ponds, spread lengthwise about 12 miles and being no more than 3 miles east to west at its widest point. In most places, Orgimchak is considerably narrower as it lies on a ridge between the valleys of the rivers Tizma and Choqqi.

As early as last century, Orgimchak was a valuable area for wildlife and foraging. Today, Orgimchak is accursed. Its oak, beech, and hornbeam trees produce prodigious, twisted branches so heavy that their weight often cannot be supported by the parent tree. As a result, large amounts of dead wood in the forest supports numerous rare species of fungi and invertebrates, many of which are dangerous, even deadly. Unusual numbers of rats and adders live in Orgimchak, and even the small breed of deer native to the region tends to be fiercely aggressive. Orgimchak’s boundaries include over 100 lakes and ponds. Most of these bodies of water are small but deep. The fish within these lakes and ponds are abundant, but few are considered edible by any but the most hungry. The fish from Orgimchak’s ponds and lakes have an unwholesome, greasy flavor.

The evil that infects Orgimchak took root gradually. For a time, the notorious and brutal Rihard Turvin maintained a hideout within Orgimchak. He waged a campaign of brigandage, kidnapping, and arson for months before authorities from nearby Lounoun tracked Rihard to his lair and slaughtered him and his followers. Since that day, Orgimchak has become a nexus for violent crime. No fewer than four children have been murdered and their bodies dumped in Orgimchak by at least two killers. At least nine other murder victims have been found in the forest. Most of these heinous crimes have occurred in the past decade, but the earliest murders took place more than 40 years ago. Who knows how many other bodies remain undiscovered in Orgimchak?

To this day, bandits and orcs regularly use Orgimchak as a hideout. More serious threats, such as ogres and trolls, infrequently stalk the forest, and stories of ghosts seeking either revenge against or consolation from the living have long been set in Orgimchak. Perhaps the deadliest inhabitant of this cursed forest are pholcids, a terrifying combination of giant spider and undead monster.

A pholcid is an intelligent, magical giant spider that uses a humanoid skull as a shell, exchanging one skull for another as the pholcid grows or as the skull becomes damaged. A pholcid cannot be harmed by normal weapons, and it moves with stealth and speed. It prefers to attack by surprise, most often casting its webs at its victims before closing to bite. A pholcid’s web fills an area 5 x 5 x 10 feet. This monster’s web is as strong as a Web spell, and a pholcid may project its sticky fibers 1d4 times per day.

Pholcid: HD 2; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d4 + poison); Move 12; Save 16; AL C; CL/XP 5/240; Special: 3 in 6 chance to surprise prey, hit only by magic or silver weapons, lethal poison (+2 saving throw), webs.

May 12th, 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 »

Yozuvchi of the Endless Tales

Nestled near the center of New Motor City stands the library of Yozuvchi of the Endless Tales. Yozzie, as she is called by the locals, is a mutant human gifted with great longevity, intelligence, and a bizarre mutation. Rumors say that Yozzie has lived for centuries, and that she spent much of her time traveling the world, seeking and finding the knowledge of the Ancients.

Whatever the truth of these rumors, Yozzie’s knowledge cannot be doubted. She understands many technological artifacts, and her advice to New Motor City’s rulers has proven invaluable in improving the quality of life for the city’s residents. New hybrids of grain and farming methods help ensure that few go hungry even in the leanest of times. Her work on the city’s water purification systems has likewise been a boon to all. In her position as Prime Educator, Yozzie oversees schools as well as New Motor City’s library.

Yozzie appears very much like a human woman in late middle age, but she stands a mere 20 inches high, or so it appears. In truth, Yozzie is a woman of average height, but a strange spatial displacement effect causes her to be 30 feet away from objects that can touch her even when she is really only an arm’s length or so away from the object. What’s more, this displacement effect does not affect Yozzie. This means that Yozzie can be close enough to slap you but too far away from you to hit her even with a polearm.

Not that Yozzie worries about being able to attack enemies. She is very nearly revered throughout New Motor City. She has repaired and reprogrammed two assault bots called Bric and Brac. These formidable machines serve as Yozzie’s guards. Yozzie also carries a stun baton. If she’s expecting trouble, she’ll be wearing ballistic nylon armor.

No. Enc.: 1 (unique)
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120′ (40′)
Armor Class: 9 or 5
Hit Dice: 8 (36 hit points)
Attacks: 1
Damage: Weapon type
Save: L9
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: XVIII
XP: 2,560

Mutations: Intellectual Affinity (Tinkerer), Regenerative Capability, Quick Mind, Unique (Paradoxical Spatial Displacement, Slow Aging)

April 25th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Grand Temple of Oevrumines

Oevrumines, the brutal Lord of Mazes, enjoys public worship in only one place in the known world, namely the accursed island kingdom of Kríti, whose corsairs prowl the seas, raiding coastal communities, attacking ships, and collecting tribute from vassals. The Grand Temple of Oevrumines sits atop the Kalokairinos, a broad and low hill that gently rises some 85 yards above the surrounding countryside.

The complex is a maze of halls and chambers staffed by a minotaurs, minotaur shamans, and dozens of slaves whose lives count for nothing to their wicked overlords. The beautiful and cruel Pasiphaë, immortal consort of Oevrumines, rules Kríti. She is the high priestess of the Lord of Mazes, and lurid tales of her cruelty and lust have terrified listeners for generations.

Those captured by the corsairs most often die so that their pain, fear, and blood can propitiate Oevrumines. These victims most often die during savage bloodsports held in the Central Court. Unarmed and unarmored, the sacrifices face fierce bulls or minotaur soldiers. Other victims are tossed into the vast, multi-level maze that twists and turns within Kalokairinos. Minotaurs and even infernal beasts prowl those subterranean corridors.

Rumor has it that the corridors and portals of the Grand Temple shift constantly, which is why no slave has ever escaped from the complex. Of course, the minotaurs and Pasiphaë have no trouble navigating the Temple’s halls and chambers. It is said that even divination magic is of no avail within the Temple, for such spells and items always yield deceptive results unless Oevrumines wishes otherwise.

Most inhabitants of Kríti live debased and fearful lives, tilling the land and fishing the coasts. The corsairs occupy positions of privilege, but the minotaurs of Kríti rank higher than all save Pasiphaë herself.

Minotaur Shamans: Treat as normal minotaurs, but add spellcasting ability equal to a 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-level Cleric. Increase Challenge Level/XP to 7/600. For more exceptional shamans, increase Hit Dice and perhaps add a special magical ability or two.

Pasiphaë: HD 12+12; hp 66; AC 0 [19]; Atk 1 melee weapon (1d6); Move 12; Save 3; AL C; CL/XP 18/3,800; Special: +1 or better weapon to hit, immune to paralysis and poison, magic resistance 50%, never gets lost in labyrinths, spells (equal to 12th-level Cleric)

Nota Bene: If you click on either of the first two pictures above, the image will embiggen for greater detail.

April 23rd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »