Sunday, 18 May 2014

Baccae

The baccae (singular and plural) are fey who represent the nature of wine, both good and bad.  They represent liberation from inhibitions, love of song and poetry, good cheer, licentiousness, poor judgement, and primal fury.  They are attracted to bards, poets, musicians, and other creative types, sometimes spurring them on to greater creativity, and other times dragging them down into carnality, addiction, and even suicide.  Most of the time, baccae appear predominantly as scantily-clad human(oid) females of startling beauty, very often at the first blush of womanhood.  However, when threatened or angered, their great age shows through, as though it had been concealed by layers of now-peeling cosmetics.  Their fingernails become claws and their teeth are revealed to be uncommonly long and sharp.  A baccae can switch between these aspects at will.

In her more attractive aspect, a baccae can charm humanoids who meet her gaze as a charm person spell with a +8 bonus to the spell check and no chance of loss or mishap.  This requires an Action Die.  If the target is male, the baccae seek to entice him into temporary carnal pleasures, to drink, and to song.  If the target is female, the baccae seek to entice her to giving up her old life, and to join the baccae for all time.  Any female humanoid who spends a full nine months with the baccae becomes one herself, and cannot be restored by any magic short of divine intervention. 

In their feral aspect, baccae can enter or exit a frenzy at will, gaining a +4 bonus to initiative, attack rolls, and damage.  They have a –4 penalty to AC while frenzied, plus 1 round thereafter.  Any allied creatures within 30 feet of one or more frenzied baccae must make a Will save (DC 20) or become frenzied themselves (gaining the same bonuses and penalties as the baccae).  Baccae automatically ignore this save – if one in a group becomes frenzied, they all become frenzied. 

Baccae can turn in a moment from immodest revellers to a savage, bloodthirsty mob.  It can be difficult to determine what will cause this change beforehand, although most agree that saying “No” is a common trigger, causing baccae to turn feral about 25% of the time.

Any being of a mortal race that spends an hour in the company of one or more baccae during one of their revels gains a permanent +1d bonus to skill checks related to playing musical instruments, singing, or acting. If that being spends another four hours with the baccae, he can gain a +4 bonus to these skill checks that lasts 24 hours.  However, thereafter he must succeed in a DC 20 Will save or become depressed, taking a –2 penalty to all attack rolls, saves, and ability and skill checks until he can again spend at least 1 hour in the company of the baccae or until 1 month has passed (whichever comes first).  If the month ends first, the being must make a DC 15 Will save to throw off this depression or else commit suicide.  

Like many fey, baccae are easily injured by iron, and will not willingly touch anything made of iron or steel. Iron and steel weapons do +1d damage when used against baccae.  Other weapons, however, do -1d on the dice chain when used against the baccae.

A typical group of baccae will be 1d6+2 members, but a group may be 6d6 or more.



Baccae:  Init +0 (+4); Atk by weapon +0 (+4) melee (1d4 or 1d4+4) or bite +0 (+4) melee (1d4 or 1d4+4); AC 15 (11); HD 3d8+3; MV 30'; Act 1d20; SP charming gaze, frenzy, iron vulnerability, damage reduction from non-iron weapons, low-light vision, addictive, inspiration; SV Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +0.

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