Friday, 27 July 2012

Patrons & Projects II: A Sample

If you are sitting on the fence regarding Angels, Daemons, and Beings Between:  A Patrons Sourcebook for DCC RPG (Indiegogo here), please allow me to include an example of what you might find in the book.  Be aware that this is a pre-edited version, without art, and not yet having gone through the Goodman Games approval process (which, by the way, ensures that the final product will meet quality standards, and I, for one, appreciate it every time I buy a DCC product!).

You can also find some other examples in this thread.

Please help us meet our initial goal, and help us reach at least some distance into our stretch goals!  If you cannot help directly, please help spread the word.  I believe strongly in this project, and I really want to bring you the best patron book possible.

There will be wording in the patron book to allow Goodman Games, as well as any publication through the free Goodman Games DCC license, to use up to 2 patrons from this book in any given product, reproducing as much of the patron write-up as necessary to do so.  So, it is hoped that this book will be a benefit to the entire community, and become a must-have reference book that we can all use to build our shared campaign worlds.

Without further ado, the draft version of Hecate, Goddess of Witches.


Hecate, Goddess of Witches

Since ancient times, the Witch-Goddess Hecate has interfered in human affairs.  What Her actual interest is remains unknown, but it is certain that She intercedes on behalf of some witches as well as on behalf of those Wizards and Elves She patronizes.

Hecate appears most often in one of three guises:  A young and beautiful maiden, a motherly matron, and an old iron-toothed crone, which symbolize the three phases of the moon.  She also appears betimes as the dark of the moon – invisible save as a dark whisper and a foul breath rank with decay.

Hecate acts as patrons for both male and female Wizards, but prefers females to males.  An Elf or Wizard who casts Patron Bond to secure a compact with Hecate gains a +2 bonus if the subject of the spell (herself or another) is female and a –4 penalty if the subject is male.  This same modifier is also used whenever one of Hecate’s patron spells is cast.

The ceremony to bond with Hecate must take place within a cemetery, or within a cavern space dedicated to the Goddess of Witches.

Invoke Patron check results:

12-13
Hecate has more important concerns than the caster.  She restores one lost spell to the caster’s mind, and grants a one-time +4 bonus on a spell check, which must be used in the next 10 minutes or the bonus is lost.
14-17
Hecate casts a magical darkness in a 100’ radius, centred on the caster, which lasts 4d8 minutes.  The caster and his allies can see through this darkness with ease, but it grants them a +2 bonus to Armour Class against their foes (even those that can normally see in darkness).  The caster may spill her own blood to increase the duration, gaining 10 minutes for each point of Strength, Stamina, or Agility sacrificed.  The darkness remains centred on the caster and moves with her.
18-19
Witch armour.  For a brief second, crackling black flames leap around the form of the caster.  The caster’s Armour Class is increased by +1 until the next moon rises.  In addition, the caster may sacrifice Strength, Stamina, or Agility to these flames, and for each point sacrificed, her Armour Class is increased by +1 until the next moon rises.  The black flames last only a moment, so the choice to make a sacrifice or not must be made quickly. 
20-23
Witch blade.  Hecate transforms the caster’s weapon of choice (which need not be bladed) into a magical weapon capable of transmitting the spell power of the caster.  Until the next dawn, the caster may attempt to cast a spell and strike with the weapon using the same Action Die (the same result applies both to the attack and the spell check).  Only a spell whose casting time is an action or less can be so cast, and the caster may not utilize Spellburn when doing so.  If both attack and spell check are successful, the attack does normal damage, and the spell effect takes place affecting the target of the attack only.  If a natural “1” is rolled, the caster suffers the effects of a fumble as well as possible corruption, misfire, and patron taint, as per the description of the spell being cast.
24-27
A crack opens in the ground, and 2 hell hounds leap out!  These creatures remain for 1d7 minutes or until destroyed, serving the caster as directed with uncanny intelligence.  When they expire, they disappear into a searing puff of flame that caused 1d3 damage to any creature within 5’.  See the core rulebook, page 417, for hell hound statistics.
28-29
A crack opens in the ground, and a pack of 3d3 hell hounds leap out!  These creatures remain for 3d7 minutes or until destroyed, serving the caster as directed with uncanny intelligence.  When they expire, they disappear into a searing puff of flame that caused 1d3 damage to any creature within 5’.  See the core rulebook, page 417, for hell hound statistics.
30-31
A rolling darkness spreads forth from the caster, obscuring all vision save for that of the caster and her allies.  The darkness spreads 50’ per round until it reaches 100’ per Caster Level.  As soon as the darkness reaches its maximum size, from out of its centre leap a pack of 3d7 hell hounds.  These hell hounds are obedient to the caster’s will.  The darkness moves with the caster, and lasts 1d3 hours, or until she dismisses it.  The hell hounds remain until 1d3 dawns, or until slain, at which point they fade out of existence.  See the core rulebook, page 417, for hell hound statistics.
32+
As above, but the caster’s most powerful enemy present is also cursed as follows (Will DC 20 negates in all cases):  (1) The enemy’s will is subject to the caster’s, who can command the foe for as long as a single hell hound from this casting remains, (2) The enemy’s reason is shattered by the curse, and his mind is reduced to that of an animal for a period of 1d4 days, (3) The enemy has a permanent –2 penalty to all attack rolls and saving throws until he meets some condition set by the caster, (4) The enemy is permanently aged 4d10 years, or (5) The curse causes the enemy to writhe in agony, losing his next action and causing him 4d6 damage.


Patron Taint:  Hecate, Goddess of Witches


When a patron taint is indicated, roll 1d6 on the table below.  When a caster has acquired all six taints at all levels of effect, there is no need to continue rolling any more.

Roll
Result
1
Shun the Daylight:  The Witch-Goddess is a creature of the night, and Her creatures eventually become nocturnal as well.  Each time this patron taint is rolled, the caster gains a cumulative   –1 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and spell checks when these rolls are made in full daylight.  Under an overcast sky, or under conditions of partial daylight, the caster suffers only half this penalty, rounded up.  This result can only be gained 5 times, for a maximum –5 penalty.
2
Feel the Moon’s Tide:  Hecate’s magic is tied to the moon, and this becomes true for the caster as well.  When the moon is waning, the caster has a –2 penalty to all spell checks.  If this result is gained a second time, the caster also gains a +1 bonus to spell checks when the moon is waxing.  If this result is rolled a third time, the caster gains a +2 bonus to spell checks on nights when the moon is full, but cannot cast spells on nights when the moon is dark without at least 1 point of Spellburn (which affects the spell check normally).  In some worlds, there may be more than one moon, and the judge can either choose to have all moons, or only the primary moon, count for this purpose.  If the judge does not wish to track the moon’s phases, he can either ignore this result or use 1d30 to determine the phase of the moon at any given time:  (1-3) Dark of the moon, (4-15) Waxing moon, (16-18) Full moon, (19-30) Waning moon.
3
Withered and Sere:  Those who follow the Witch-Goddess seem to age before their time.  When this result is first rolled, the caster seems to age 1d7 years and loses 1 point of Stamina.  When this result is rolled a second time, the caster seems to age 2d7 years and loses 2 points of Strength.  When this result is rolled a third time, the caster seems to age 3d7 years and loses 3 points of Agility.  Ignore further rolls with this result.
4
Demands of Dark Magic:  In exchange for Her aid and guidance, Hecate demands special service from the caster.  Subject to the judge’s discretion, the caster must travel 1d4 days to perform some special minor service for Hecate.  This may be to deliver a prophesy, to aid an aspiring witch, or to perform some other minor mischief.  If this is rolled again, the caster must make a journey of 1d4 weeks, and the service required is more extreme.  Hecate may demand that a witch be rescued from bondage (possibly before meeting her end in a bonfire), that a monster dangerous to women be destroyed, or that a hero be seduced and his greatest weapon stolen.  If this result is rolled a third time, Hecate demands a great service, which may take 1d4 months to achieve.  This may require the destruction of a powerful monster or hero, or a great wickedness such as unleashing a terrible creature, or even the destruction of a powerful stronghold of Law.  If these quests are performed well, Hecate gives the caster a boon of +1d4, +2d4, and +3d4 hit points respectively.  Failure to perform these quests severs the bond with Hecate.
5
Company of Witches:  Hecate demands that the caster bond other women to Her service.  These women need not be human, and need not be spell casters, but they must be willing, female, and bonded using the Patron Bond spell.  When this result is first rolled, Hecate demands but a single woman be bonded, and grants three months’ time to do so.  When this result is rolled a second time, three women must be bonded, and Hecate grants a year for the caster to accomplish this.  When this result is rolled a third time, nine women must be bonded in nine months’ time.  In addition, once the first woman is bonded, all witches recognize the caster as a sister, and will do her no harm.  Failure severs the bond between the caster and her patron.
6
Night’s Creatures:  Natural nocturnal animals desire to be in the presence of the caster, and will do her no harm.  When this patron taint is first rolled, small creatures, such as mice, rats, bats, and small nocturnal serpents, are attracted to the caster and remain a while in her presence.  When this taint is rolled a second time, cats come at night to swarm at the caster’s feet in civilized areas, while owls drop down to her shoulders and perch for a few minutes before flying off to hunt.  When this is rolled a third time, wolves and nocturnal hunting cats are also attracted to the caster, if they are in the area.  Although these creatures do no harm to the caster or her allies, neither are they hers to control – the judge determines their actions, and their effects (positive and negative) on actions the caster may attempt.  Once this taint is rolled a third time, should the caster ever lose the patronage of Hecate, these creatures are no longer friendly, and when in combat will attack the caster in preference to all other targets.

Patron Spells:  Hecate, Goddess of Witches

Hecate grants three unique spells, as follows:

Level 1:  Hecate’s Seduction
Level 2:  Death Curse
Level 3:  Drink the Moon

Spellburn:  Hecate, Goddess of Witches


The Goddess of Witches is not a kind mistress.  When a caster utilizes spellburn, roll 1d4 on the table below, or build off the ideas presented therein to create an event specific to your home campaign.


Roll
Spellburn Result
1
The caster becomes the plaything of Hecate’s bound demons, and they are not kind to her.  Although it seems as if long hours pass for the caster, spellburn takes place in a fraction of a second in the real world.  Her resulting exhaustion and injuries are expressed in Strength, Stamina, and Agility loss.
2
Somewhere a witch burns, and Hecate demands that the caster ease her suffering by taking a portion of the witch’s pain upon herself.  Roll 1d7 for each ability:  Strength, Stamina, and Agility.  The caster must pay this in spellburn, or lose the patronage of Hecate.  In exchange, though, Hecate grants a +4 bonus to the spell check in addition to that gained by the mandatory spellburn.
3
Hecate makes a demand of the caster.  She may utilize up to 10 points of spellburn without cost now, but must meet Hecate’s price.  This may be a particular sacrifice, a quest, or whatever else the judge desires.  If the demand is not met in a timely fashion (as determined by the judge), Hecate takes twice the cost of the spellburn from the caster, at the moment and from whatever ability scores She chooses, so as best to punish the caster.
4
Blood oozes from the caster’s pores, forming a miniature homunculus of the caster.  The spell is cast through the homunculus, which then immediately collapses into a puddle of blood.  The blood drained to create the homunculus must be expressed in Strength or Stamina loss.

Hecate’s Seduction
Level:  1 (Hecate)

Range:  Varies
Duration:  Varies
Casting time:  1 round
Save:  Will vs. spell check DC (see text)

General

Those with Hecate as a patron are encouraged to obtain their goals through indirect means.  One of those means, particularly beloved of Hecate, is the seduction of men to obtain that which is desired.  This spell causes the caster to appear irresistibly young and fair to one or more human or humanoid beings, which can be manipulated by the caster’s suggestions after one or more nights of passion.  This transformation is illusory, and does not change how the caster truly appears to any other save the affected target(s).  The caster must have a physical remnant from each target to be affected (a lock of hair, fingernail parings, etc.), and must perform a minimum of 1 point of spellburn to cast this spell.  The physical remnant is destroyed in the casting.


Manifestation


See below.


1

Lost, failure, and patron taint.
2-11
Lost.  Failure.
12-15
The caster appears in a fair and desirable form to one chosen target, for a period of one hour.  The target feels no special compulsion toward the caster, although he will usually be friendly, and may even be helpful.  The target gets no saving throw versus this effect, unless he specifically disbelieves the illusion.
16-17
The caster appears in a fair and desirable form to one chosen target, for a period of 2d12 hours.  After contact with the target – which may be as brief as some conversation or being within his sight for an extended period – the target is allowed a Will save.  If failed, the target finds himself periodically thinking about the caster for the next 1d7 days, during which time he saves at any future attempts at Hecate’s seduction from the same caster with a –4 penalty to the roll.  A successful save prevents this secondary effect from occurring, but does not pierce the illusion.
18-21
The caster appears in a fair and desirable form to one chosen target, and to up to 2d12 others in the immediate vicinity of the target, for a period of 1d7 days.  The target gains a Will save.  If failed, the target finds himself constantly thinking about the caster over the next 2d7 days, and has a cumulative –1 penalty to all attack rolls, skill checks, and spell checks for each day he fails to spend at least one hour in the company of the caster.  A successful save does not pierce the illusion.  If the caster spends a night of passion with the target during the initial 1d7 days, the target is charmed as though by a charm person spell with the same spell check result.  See the core rulebook, pp. 131-132 for charm person results.
22-23
The caster appears in a fair and desirable form to up to three chosen targets, and to all others in the immediate vicinity of the target(s), for a period of 1d7 days.  The targets gain a Will save.  Those who fail find themselves constantly thinking about the caster over the next 2d7 days, and have a cumulative –2 penalty to all attack rolls, skill checks, and spell checks for each day they fails to spend at least one hour in the company of the caster.  A successful save does not pierce the illusion.  If the caster spends a night of passion with a target during the initial 1d7 days, that target is charmed as though by a charm person spell with the same spell check result.  The caster may use the spell to create a rivalry among the targets.  If a rivalry already exists, she can create enmity.  If enmity already exists, she can cause it to erupt into violence.  See the core rulebook, pp. 131-132 for charm person results.
24-27
As above, but in addition, the caster may make one suggestion to a target after any night of passion, and the suggestion will seem reasonable unless the target makes a separate successful Will save.  If the save is failed, the target will act on any suggestion that is not obviously suicidal, up to and including giving the caster a prized item, going on a quest for her, or betraying his friends.  If the suggestion would require an action that the judge agrees is far outside the character of the target, the target is given another chance to make a Will save when the time comes to actually carry it out.  If this extra save is successful, the target neither carries out the action nor tells others of it, but is troubled, and seeks out the caster at the earliest opportunity to express his doubts.
28-31
As above, save that the target will carry out even obviously suicidal suggestions, and only gains an additional save in the event that a suggestion is obviously suicidal.
32+
As above.  In addition, targets must make a Will save each day they do not see the caster for at least one hour, or lose 1 point of Stamina and Personality.  This remains in effect the full 2d7 days.  It is possible for a target to die of longing during this time, if his Stamina is reduced to 0.

Death Curse
Level:  2 (Hecate)

Range:  Varies
Duration:  Varies
Casting time:  1 day
Save:  Will vs. spell check DC

General

The Witch-Goddess is a vengeful being, and She teaches those She patronizes how to seek their own revenge.  In a day-long ritual, the caster formulates a curse that will automatically affect whatever creature is responsible for her death, no matter how far away.  The caster determines the specific nature of the death curse at the time of casting.  The caster determines which creature(s) are responsible at the time of her death, from the individual creature that slew her, to the being that commanded her death, and even to include her erstwhile companions who abandoned her to her fate.  There is no requirement that the caster be fair in determining who to blame.  In fact, the caster can kill herself, and still determine which targets are the subject of her curse. 

The results of the spell check limit the death curse’s power.  The cleverness of the curse’s wording limits its effect.  Both judge and player should keep a copy of the curse’s wording.  A caster can only have one death curse at a time; casting this spell again negates the current death curse.  A caster can only lay a death curse to take place upon her own death.  Once the spell is cast, the caster need do no more; the spell remains in effect until dispelled, removed, replaced by another death curse, or the caster dies (and the curse takes effect). 

The caster is encouraged to let the effects of her death curse be known (or at least offer dark hints), for many a would-be witch has avoided the stake simply for fear of the effects killing her might bring!


Manifestation


The caster must articulate the manifestation of the death curse, which can include physical changes on the part of the target, as described below.


1

Lost, failure, and patron taint.  Unlike most spells, a new attempt cannot be made for 1 month.
2-11
Lost.  Failure.  Unlike most spells, a new attempt cannot be made for 1 month.
12-15
Failure, but spell is not lost.
16-17
The caster’s curse can affect a single target, causing a –2 penalty to Luck and a –1 penalty to one other statistic (attack rolls, damage rolls, and ability score, a saving throw, Armour Class, etc.).  The curse can affect speed, where each –1 penalty equals –5’ in movement.  The curse lasts for up to a week, or until a specific atonement is performed.  The atonement must be something that the target can do without long travel, but it can be as dear a sacrifice as the caster desires.  It must be something possible for the target to perform.
18-21
The caster’s curse can affect a single target, causing a –2 penalty to Luck and a –2 penalty to one other statistic (attack rolls, damage rolls, and ability score, a saving throw, Armour Class, etc.).  The curse can affect speed, where each –1 penalty equals –5’ in movement.  Alternatively, the caster can invoke a specific physical or mental limitation for a week (i.e., preventing the target from walking, sleeping, speaking, etc.)  The curse lasts for up to two weeks, or until a specific atonement is performed.  The atonement can require travel of up to 1 week, and can require as dear a sacrifice as the caster desires.  It must be something possible for the target to perform.
22-23
The caster’s curse can affect up to three targets, causing each a –2 penalty to Luck and a –2 penalty to one other statistic (attack rolls, damage rolls, and ability score, a saving throw, Armour Class, etc.).  The curse can affect speed, where each –1 penalty equals –5’ in movement.  Alternatively, the caster can invoke a specific physical or mental limitation for a month (i.e., preventing the target from walking, sleeping, speaking, etc.)  The curse lasts for up to two months or until a specific atonement is performed.  The atonement can require travel of up to 4 weeks, and can require as dear a sacrifice as the caster desires.  It must be something possible for the target to perform.
24-26
The caster’s curse can affect up to seven targets, causing each a –2 penalty to Luck and a –2 penalty to one other statistic (attack rolls, damage rolls, and ability score, a saving throw, Armour Class, etc.).  The curse can affect speed, where each –1 penalty equals –5’ in movement.  In addition, the caster can invoke a specific physical or mental limitation (i.e., preventing the target from walking, sleeping, speaking, etc.).  The curse lasts until a specific atonement is performed, which must be possible for the targets to perform, but has no other limitations.
27-31
The caster’s curse can affect up to 13 targets, causing them ongoing penalties as above, or transforming them into the shape of animals for up to three months or until a specific atonement is performed.  The animal shape cannot be one which would be lethal to the targets (such as being transformed into a goldfish on dry land), but is otherwise open to the caster’s whim when the curse is devised.  The targets retain their own mind and intelligence.
32-33
The caster’s curse can affect up to 13 targets, causing them ongoing penalties as above, or transforming them into the shape of animals as above, until a specific atonement is performed, or can transform the targets into specific objects for a period of up to three months.  The objects chosen cannot be ones which would be easily destroyed by prevailing conditions (such as ice on a summer day, or parchment in a fire or downpour), but is otherwise open to the caster’s whim when the curse is devised.  The targets retain their own mind and intelligence, but is not animated (unless the judge deems otherwise for some reason, such as allowing a doll limited mobility or speech).  In the case of transformation to an object, there must still exist some penance to end the curse, but the penance must be done by another on the target’s behalf.
34+
The caster’s curse can affect a group of people:  a family, a community, a village, an adventuring group, the residents of a castle, etc.  The curse can affect up to 50 people at once, so long as they are part of a single defined group.  Each target takes a –4 penalty to Luck and a –4 penalty that can be divided among one or more statistics (attack rolls, damage rolls, and ability score, a saving throw, Armour Class, etc.).  The curse can affect speed, where each –1 penalty equals –5’ in movement.  In addition, the caster can invoke a specific physical or mental limitation (i.e., preventing the target from walking, sleeping, speaking, etc.) and the caster can transform up to three of the targets into animals or objects, which are affected by the Luck penalty, and which also can be affected by statistical penalties.  The curse lasts until a specific atonement is performed, which must be possible for the targets to perform, but has no other limitations.   In the case of transformation to an object, there must still exist some penance to end the curse, but the penance must be done by another on the target’s behalf.



Drink the Moon
Level:  3 (Hecate)

Range:  Self
Duration:  Varies
Casting time:  1 hour
Save:  None

General

The caster calls upon the power of the full moon, drinking its essence into herself to fuel later spell casting.  This ritual can only be performed on a night of the full moon, and the caster may have only one drink the moon spell in effect at any given time.   Depending upon the spell check result, and the time of year (which affects the length of the night), the caster may make multiple attempts at drinking the moon, but is always left with the final spell check result.  Moon energy can be used by the caster in the place of spellburn for any spellcasting, except that the caster need not roll to determine the exact nature of the spellburn and there is no risk of permanent ability score loss.  Each casting of this spell must use at least 2 points of spellburn, which add to the spell check result normally.


Manifestation


Roll 1d6.  The resultant effect occurs only as long as the caster retains moon energy, and may diminish as the moon energy is used up, at the judge’s discretion.  (1) The caster’s eyes glow with a whitish gleam in the dark, (2) The caster appears 1d5 years younger, (3) The caster appears 1d7 years older, (4) The caster’s hair seems to move and wave of its own accord during the hours of darkness, (5) The caster’s skin takes on a pearly sheen, (6) No outward manifestation.


1

Lost, failure, and patron taint.
2-11
Lost.  Failure.
12-15
Failure, but the spell is not lost.
16-17
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 1 point of spellburn.  This moon energy must be used within the next 3 days, or it is lost.
18-21
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 1d7 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy must be used within the next 7 days, or it is lost.
22-23
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 2d5 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy must be used within the next 9 days, or it is lost.
24-26
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 2d7 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy must be used within the next 13 days, or it is lost.
27-31
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 3d7 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy remains until used, or until the caster casts drink the moon again.
32-33
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 3d10 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy remains until used, or until the caster casts drink the moon again.
34-35
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 3d14 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy remains until used, or until the caster casts drink the moon again.
36+
The caster is able to draw enough moon energy into her body to supply 3d20 + Personality Modifier points of spellburn.  This moon energy remains until used, or until the caster casts drink the moon again.







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