Unhinging Clerics from Alignment

A Chaotic cardinal for a Lawful church? Read on …

Since the beginning of the game, clerics (and anti-clerics and druids) have largely been defined by their alignment. In the context of the early game, this made sense. Clerics were based on a combination of Van Helsing the vampire hunter and the religious knights of the crusades. That clerics must be Lawful was logical when you considered that they were based on adherents of a moral religion.

Note – I’m not going to get in a discussion here about the morality of the medieval Christian church. What I mean to convey is the idea that while Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that God created the universe and has some measure of control over nature (i.e. he can control the weather and such), they put their focus on his code of rules (thou shall not kill, etc.). Clerics of God, therefore, should be defined by their alignment.

Almost as soon as the game was written, though, it started to change. Clerics stopped being tied to an implicit Medieval Christianity and instead were tied to polytheistic deities, most of them just anthropomorphized forces of nature. Rather than the pseudo-Templars and Hospitalers that seem to have been intended under the original rules, we got clerics of Thor and Loki. Since Thor was Chaotic Good (if my memory of the Deities & Demigods/Legends & Lore book), his clerics needed to be Chaotic Good as well, which meant they needed to be “crusaders” for enlightened freedom. The Thor of mythology, however, did not seem particularly concerned with moral concepts. He was a personification of thunder and lightning, and, if anything, a ready and eager foe of the giants (i.e. natural calamities). It should have made more sense to use druids as the priests of all the nature deities, but they became saddled with the concept of True Neutrality. Ultimately, several unrelated systems were mashed together to make something that was mostly fun, but also didn’t make much sense.

How about a different concept for clerics? One that keep the basic rules in place (and hopefully the fun), but changes with the whys and wherefores and takes the focus for clerics away from alignment, and puts it back on casting spells in armor and pounding heads with maces.

Clerics, like magic-users, are spellcasters. The universe they inhabit has physical laws that can be broken with magic spells. In other words, the supernatural in thus universe is natural – it’s just a nature with processes that are beyond most mortals. The universe also has gods, goddesses and other divine beings. Maybe they created the universe, maybe they just have a secret knowledge of how it works. Either way, clerics join their cults and learn how to perform rituals that can alter the fabric of reality in ways the gods and goddesses are willing to allow.

Think of the universe as the internet, and clerics as people who have been given passwords to systems by the owners/creators of those systems, as a bank gives a customer a password that allows the customer to access her account information and perform other allowed functions. Because clerics are given this access in exchange for performing the necessary rituals and living by the rules of their temple or order or brotherhood, they have more time to spend on learning to fight than magic-users.

Magic-users are the hackers of the universe. They alter the fabric of reality without anyone’s permission, and it’s not easy. They have to learn the code of the gods and hijack it. This forces them to spend all their time figuring out how to get things done, and gives them little time left over for learning to fight. It also allows them a much wider array of powers than the clerics (though they still haven’t figured out how to hack into the healing spells).

Clerics in this scheme are not champions of an alignment, but champions of their cult/church/temple/brotherhood/etc. They represent their little faction in the very dangerous fantasy worlds in which they live, just as fighters serve kings and thieves serve their guilds. The name of the game is survival and power. In this scheme we do not need to tie the god of thunder to a particular alignment. He has a cult of followers whose existence allows him to play games in the cosmos (think of the scene in Jason and the Argonauts with the gods moving mortals around like chess pieces) or who just brag about how awesome he is. In return for their service he lets them alter reality on his terms. Within this cult, there can be clerics of any alignment, so long as they advance his agenda. In fact, the god of thunder might not even pay much attention to the cult. Maybe he gave his “passwords” to somebody long ago, and they passed the knowledge down to those who would serve them loyally.

Alignments in this sort of universe are not warring cosmic factions (a rather heady concept when you consider that the game is mostly made up of swashbuckling adventures and puzzle solving in a quest for money and experience/power), but rather the personal codes if men and women that determine how they interact with the world.

Clerics of Thor can be lawful, neutral or chaotic. The lawful clerics like to stick up for the little guy, the neutrals serve their order loyally to stay in good with their masters, and the chaotics try to get away with as much as possible without being expelled. This would endow these invented religious organizations a bit more color and intrigue. The lawfuls and chaotics within the cult don’t quite trust each other, and each works to control the cult because they fear the other faction, but they aren’t necessarily at each others throats all the time. The lawful heads of the cult might even understand that the chaotic clerics have their value in the organization, doing things they might shy away from, but which are necessary to advance the cult’s goals in the world.

A deity that does represent or espouse a moral or immoral concept might, of course, restrict his or her clerics to a particular alignment. A deity of charity would want his clerics to be charitable – this would make chaotic clerics a bit tricky. Likewise, a god of trickery would want his clerics to be tricky – this might not work well for lawful sorts. Then again, consider Cardinal Richelieu – a member in good-standing of an ostensibly lawful church, and a terrible villain if most accounts are to be believed.

I guess this is a conception of alignment and clerics that would only fit in well in a Robert E Howard-style fantasy world, where the name of the game is power. It certainly wouldn’t be to every player’s taste, but it should please some players or at least prove entertaining for a while to veteran players. At a minimum, it could free clerics in the game from being forced into the role of do-gooder or do-badder, and instead make them more enjoyable to play.

As the Cleric Turns

Quick post this morning, with something that’s probably already been done. So – clerics can turn the undead (i.e. scare them away), but what if they can do a bit more than that. Why not different turning effects, with easier or more difficult turning rolls to go with them?
With all of these effects, assume that a “T” on the Turn Undead chart counts as a “3” and a “D” counts as a “2” in terms of rolling the dice.

Daze: To daze undead, the cleric makes a turning roll at +2. The affected undead lose their turn that round and suffer a -2 penalty to AC and saving throws.
Cow: To cow the undead, the cleric makes a turning roll at +1. The affected undead are cowed for as long as they remain in the presence of the cleric, and for as long as the cleric forcefully presents his holy symbol. The cowed undead fall to their knees and avert their eyes. If attacked while cowed, the effect ends and they may act normally.
Light Damage: To lightly damage undead, the cleric makes a turning roll at -1. If successful, all undead within 30 feet suffer 1d4+1 points of damage.
Stun: To stun the undead, the cleric makes a turning roll at -2. If successful, all undead are stunned (per dazed above) for 1d4+1 rounds.
Moderate Damage: To moderately damage undead, the cleric makes a turning roll at -3. If successful, all undead within 30 feet suffer 2d4+2 points of damage.
Blind: To blind undead with divine radiance, the cleric makes a turning roll at -3. The undead are blinded (per the spell blindness) for 1d4+1 rounds.
Lull: To lull the undead into a sleep-like torpor, the cleric makes a turning roll at -3. The undead fall into the equivalent of sleep for 1d4+1 rounds.
Confuse: To confuse the undead (per the confusion spell), the cleric makes a turning roll at -4. All undead within 30 feet are confused for 1d4+1 rounds.
Charm: To charm the undead (per the charm monster spell), the cleric makes a turning roll at -4. All undead within 30 feet act as the cleric’s erstwhile allies for 1d4+1 rounds.
Serious Damage: To seriously damage undead, the cleric makes a turning roll at -5. If successful, all undead within 30 feet suffer 3d4+3 points of damage.
Destroy: To destroy the undead, turning them into ash, the cleric makes a turning roll at -6. All undead within 30 feet must pass a saving throw (Fort, vs. death, etc.) or be completely destroyed. Those who succeed at the saving throw still suffer 3d6 points of damage.
A failed turn undead roll while using any of these effects means that the undead in question are immune to all turn attempts (and effects) from that cleric for the remainder of the battle (or 24 hours – whatever you prefer). If successful with one of these effects, the cleric may attempt to employ another later (i.e. he could daze them, and then later in the battle attempt to damage them). As soon as a turn attempt fails, though, all further attempts automatically fail for the remainder of the battle (or 24 hours).

Three Bad Bishops, You Know So Well

Let’s review, for a moment, the cleric.

The cleric was the original middle child of D&D – stuck square between the magic-user and fighter in terms of spell use and fighting ability – and the first class born from play, rather than the Chainmail rulebook. Legend has it that Sir Fang, a vampire character (yes, monster characters are as D&D as apple pie is American), was proving troublesome, so somebody decided they needed a Van Helsing* to deal with the rapscallion.

* Side Note: If you want to thoroughly understand the undead of D&D, you need to watch the Universal and Hammer horror films. Never understood the whole “vampire energy drain touch” thing? Watch Captain Kronos. You’ll understand. Plus Caroline Munro

So, the cleric, as it was introduced into the rules, became a mix of Van Helsing vampire hunter and medieval bishop-of-war, with the stylistic emphasis on the latter rather than the former. Who were these battling bishops of the Middle Ages, you ask? Read on …

ADHEMAR OF LE PUY, BISHOP OF PUY-EN-VELAY

Adhemar (totally made up name, right?) hailed from France, and he plays an important part in the First Crusade. You can see him to the right, wearing the mitre*

* Side Note: If your 9th level cleric doesn’t enter dungeon fully armored and wearing a mitre, he should be stripped of his clerical powers and forever consigned to being a second-rate fighter. No Lawful or Chaotic deity worth his salt should forgive the sin of “awesome headgear aversion” in his followers.

He was paired up on the crusade with a bunch of stupid fighting-men who quarreled all the time over leadership, but managed to keep things focused with his spiritual leadership throughout the ordeal. When he died (probably of disease*), some claimed that he pulled the old Obi Wan trick (remember, Star Wars was a “long time ago”, so it technically occurred before the First Crusade) and returned as a ghost to cheer the foot soldiers on.

BISHOP ADHEMAR, LAWFUL CLERIC 9: HP 24; AC 15; ATK 1 longsword +6 (1d8); MV 30; SV F 10, R 12, W 8; Special: Turn undead, cleric spells (6/5/4/3/2/1); Gear: Chainmail, longsword, mitre, holy symbol, warhorse; Abilities: STR 12; INT 13; WIS 15; DEX 12; CON 8; CHA 14.

* Side Note: Died of disease? Hello! Cure disease – low level spell – what’s the deal? Well, it turns out that many of these bishops, uninformed of the D&D rules, used edged weapons and thus were unable to cast spells. Fortunately, fighting bishops of the future will be forewarned.

ODO, EARL OF KENT, BISHOP OF BAYEUX

Half-brother to William the Conqueror (a 9th or 10th level fighting man in his own right), Odo has one of the great names in the history of names (but far behind this guy). In fact, whenever I’m writing high-level clerics in a medieval milieu, it’s all I can do to avoid naming all of them Odo.

Odo is a little more “traditional D&D cleric” than the others, or at least pretended to be. Apparently, the Bayeux Tapestry (according to that shining light of accuracy Wikipedia) belabors the fact that he did not actually shed blood during the battle, and he is pictured armed with a club rather than an edged weapon urging the soldiers to battle – perhaps with a bless spell.

Odo also, apparently, gained his fortune by killing things (well, people) and taking their stuff, which I think cements him as a true D&D cleric, albeit a chaotic one. He joined the First Crusade (see above), but died before he actually got there, thus robbing the crusaders of some very useful cure (or cause) wounds spells.

BISHOP ODO, CHAOTIC CLERIC 9: HP 35; AC 15; ATK 1 club +7 (1d4+1); MV 30; SV F 9, R 12, W 9; Special: Rebuke undead, cleric spells (6/5/4/3/2/1); Gear: Chainmail, club, holy symbol, warhorse; Abilities: STR 14; INT 12; WIS 9; DEX 9; CON 12; CHA 12.

TURPIN, ARCHBISHOP OF REIMS

Turpin is no mere bishop. He’s an archbishop (so, 12th level, I guess). Turpin lived a few centuries before the other two in this post, and he was one of the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne and a pal of Roland. Some of the legends of Turpin might be confused with his predecessor, Milo, a “warrior clerk” (i.e. cleric).

In any event, Turpin was a bad-ass, and he wielded a magic sword called Almace (“Almighty”) that may have been forged by Wayland (the god-smith, not the puppeteer). A comparison of the three magic swords of the romances of Roland declared Kurt the least, Almace the second and Durendal the finest, so naturally I’ll assume Kurt is a +1 sword, Almace +2 and Durendal +3 (it’s science, dude).

ARCHBISHOP TURPIN, LAWFUL CLERIC 12: HP 34; AC 16; ATK Almace +11 (1d8+3); MV 20; SV F 7, R 11, W 7; Special: Turn undead, cleric spells (6/6/5/4/3/2/2); Gear: Banded mail, Almace (+2 longsword), holy symbol, warhorse; Abilities: STR 13; INT 11; WIS 16; DEX 9; CON 10; CHA 14.

Random Idol Generator

Need a quick and (moderately) interesting idol for that forgotten temple? How about this …

Size (d8)
1. Tiny (1-ft. tall)
2. Small (3-ft. tall)
3-6. Medium (6 to 9 ft. tall)
7. Large (12 to 15 ft. tall)
8. Huge (20+ ft. tall)

Gender (d6)
1-2. Male
3-4. Female
5. Androgynous
6. Genderless

Head/Face (2d8)
2. Animal head
3. Ball of darkness
4. Ball of light
5. Beautiful
6. Bulbous (over-large)
7. Double faced (per Janus) or multi-headed (1d8+1 heads)
8. Grotesque
9. Handsome
10. Inverse pyramid
11. Long and narrow
12. Monstrous (angel, demon, dragon, medusa, etc.)
13. None (either chopped off (50% chance holding own head in hand) or never there)
14. Pinhead
15. Square
16. Wrinkled/aged

Eyes (2d8)
2. Blazing
3. Blindfolded
4. Cast light in beams
5. Closed
6. Cold and appraising
7. Faceted like an insect
8. Gems (1d6 x 100 gp each)
9. Gouged out
10. Jewels (1d6 x 1,000 gp each)
11. Joyful
12. Large and soft
13. Mournful
14. Multiple (d6)
1-3. Third eye in center of forehead
4-5. Four eyes (stacked)
6. Nine eyes radiating around head
15. Suspicious
16. Voids

Mouth (2d8)
2. Absent (i.e. no mouth)
3. Alluring
4. Beak or snout
5. Contorted with rage
6. Fanged
7. Grimace of pain
8. Muffled (hand clamped over it or bound by cloth)
9. Open wide in full-throated song or scream
10. Shy grin
11. Slit
12. Sly smile
13. Stoic and noble
14. Tongue sticking out
15. Toothless
16. Tusked

Position/Body (d12)
1. Animal (random animal or monster)
2. Dancing
3. Dying or sleeping
4. Enthroned
5. Hovering horizontally (face up or face down)
6. Kneeling
7. Locked in battle (with random monster)
8. Lotus position
9. Reclining
10. Running
11. Standing
12. Upon a mount (random animal or monster)

Features (d100)
01-02. Adorned with jewelry
03-05. Adorned with silks
06-07. Animated (per closest golem)
08-10. Beneath a waterfall
11-12. Carrying book or tome (1% chance of magic book, 10% chance of spellbook)
13-14. Carrying globe (1% chance of crystal ball)
15-17. Carrying instrument
18-19. Carrying lightning bolt (1% chance of javelin of lightning)
20-21. Carrying regalia
22-23. Carrying tool
24-25. Carrying weapon (1% chance of magic weapon)
26-27. Covered in chains or ropes
28-29. Covered in sheen or stains (blood, dung, holy oil, slime, wine)
30-31. Darkness, 10-ft. radius
32-34. Draped in garlands of flowers or herbs
35-36. Encased in ice or crystal
37-38. Energy drain (drains 1d3 levels when touched by wrong alignment)
39-41. Engraved or tattooed (10% chance of glyph of warding)
42-43. Ethereal
44-45. Fires beams of energy at unbelievers (as 10 HD monster, 6d6 damage)
46-48. Furry or hairy
49-51. Hollow (filled with fire, occupied by priest, etc.)
52-53. Long neck
54-55. Magic mouth (chants, screams, speaks)
56-57. Magic portal (opens gate or teleports people or sends them into Astral Plane)
58-60. Multiple arms (1d4 x 3)
61-62. Overgrown with fungus
63-64. Overgrown with vines
65-66. Oversized genitalia
67-69. Painted realistically
70-71. Scaled
72-73. Surrounded by aura of light
74-76. Surrounded by chained animals (lions, bears, etc.)
77-79. Surrounded by chained slaves or penitents
80-81. Surrounded by magic circle (random alignment)
82-83. Surrounded by magical music (1% chance of uncontrollable dancing)
84-85. Surrounded by moat (acid, alligators or piranha, bottomless pit, lava, molten metal, oil, ooze, perfume, portal into other world, spikes, water (holy or unholy), wine or spirits)
86-88. Surrounded by offerings
89-90. Surrounded by plumes of flame
91-92. Surrounded by spirits (ghosts, poltergeists, shadows, etc.)
93-94. Surrounded by vapors (laughing gas, narcotic, oracular, perfume, poison, stench)
95-97. Trapped with pit in front of it
98-99. Wearing armor (1% chance of magic armor)
100. Actual deity summoned when touched or spoken to

Material (d20)
1. Basalt
2. Granite
3. Marble
4. Porcelain/terracotta
5. Alabaster
6. Malachite
7. Porphyry
8. Obsidian
9. Iron/Steel
10. Bronze
11. Hepatizon
12. Brass
13. Copper
14. Silver (if large or huge, re-roll, taking this result if re-rolled)
15. Gold (if medium to huge, re-roll, taking this result if re-rolled)
16. Platinum (if small to huge, re-roll, taking this result if re-rolled)
17. Adamant (if small to huge, re-roll, taking this result if re-rolled)
18. Gemstone (if small to huge, re-roll, taking this result if re-rolled)
19. Light (holographic)
20. Flesh (via foul magic)

Metal idols have a 5% chance of being automatons in the classic sense of the word

How about some samples?

IDOL 1: A huge brass idol of a kneeling, androgynous figure. It’s head is a ball of darkness and it holds aloft a crown.

IDOL 2: A large idol of a genderless figure with a head shaped like an inverse pyramid (i.e. narrow chin, top of head large and flat). It has cold, appraising eyes and its mouth is hidden by its left hand. The figure is mounted atop a rearing dragon and surrounded by plumes of flame. The entire idol is carved from basalt.

IDOL 3: This medium idol depicts a dying man with a grotesque face and a mouth like the snout of a bat. It has large, empathetic eyes and its hands are folded over its chest. The idol is carved from obsidian and is encased in a block of ice.

The Gods of the Motherlands – Part Two

Continuing the Gods of the Motherlands with Hercules through Minerva.

Also – For those that purchased an electronic copy of NOD #4, I have attached the missing cover. You should be able to download it again with the cover – if not, let me know and I’ll send it to you as a PDF.

Hercules
Donar, Heracles
Lawful god of strength, adventure, heroism and rebirth
Wields a club
Patron deity of Guelph
Served by elohim and cherubim
Symbolized by a lion
Clerics can cast the magic-user spell Strength

Hercules is strength personified. While still an infant, he strangled two huge snakes with his bare hands. Hercules is a fearless adventurer whose many escapades are the stuff of legend. A robust, cheerful man, he has an appetite for food and women that almost equals that of his father.

Hercules appears as a stout man with a long beard, usually wearing a lion’s skin or leather armor, brandishing a large, wooden club. Hercules is the son of Jove by the mortal woman Alcmene. Being born by Jove from an extra-marital tryst has earned Hercules the enmity of Juno, protector of marriage and sister-wife of Jove.

Hercules is best known for his Twelve Labors, quests he had to complete to atone for killing his own children when he was driven insane by vengeful Juno. The labors included killing a giant lion, hydra, giant deer, giant boar, cleaning stables, killing the Stymphalian birds (giant cranes with metal beaks), capturing a giant bull, rounding up carnivorous horses, stealing the girdle of Hippolyte, queen of the amazons, herding the cattle of Geryon, fetching the Apples of Hesperides and capturing Cerberus, guard dog of Hades. Because many of these labors included slaying giant beasts, Hercules is often taken as a patron by rangers.

Grande Tourney (July 22 – August 7): During the Hercules’ tournament, people compete at various athletic and musical contests. Brass tripods are awarded to the victors.

Jove
God, Jupiter, Zeus
Lawful god of the upper sky and royalty
Wields a lightning bolt
Patron deity of Nomo
Served by angels and air elementals
Symbolized by a lightning bolt
Clerics can cast the magic-user spell Lightning Bolt as a 5th level spell, dealing damage as though 2 levels lower.

Jove is the king of the gods, though his command over them is far from absolute and his decisions are often challenged. Jove is the god of the sky, the ruler of all high things, including the clouds, rain, wind, thunder, and mountain summits. He is the protector of laws, friend of the weak, and dispenser of justice. Jove is also worshiped as Father Oak, or the Green Man, the masculine force of procreation.

Although Jove can take any form he wishes, he often assumes the form of a powerful, bearded man with regal bearing when he visits the mortal world. His true form is that of a ball of fiery light so intense that no mortal can look upon him without bursting into flames.

Jove is the husband of Juno, queen of the gods. He is the father of Minerva, Apollo Helios and Hercules. His brothers are Neptunus, ruler of the oceans, and Plutus, ruler of the Underworld. Jove’s father was Saturn, king of the titans.

Gulestide (December 22-28): Gulestide is not only a time of feasting and merriment, but also a time when the world is turned upside down; masters and slaves, teachers and students and nobles and peasants switch places for a time, with the proceedings led by an elected Lord of Misrule.

Juno Regina
Hera, Saturnia
Lawful goddess of women, marriage and cattle
Wields a spear
Served by angels and erinyes
Symbolized by the cow, peacock or pomegranate
Clerics of Juno can, at 5th level, summon an erinyes once per month to punish an oath breaker

Juno is the goddess who protects women and the sanctity of marriage. She is known for her vengeful nature, especially toward the paramours of her husband Jove. She is the queen of the gods, often depicted enthroned and wearing a diadem and veil. Poets usually describe her as cow-eyed, indicating large, beautiful eyes.

Offerings to Juno take the form of pomegranates and poppy seeds, or ivory ornaments in the shape of pomegranates and poppy seeds.

Juno is the wife and elder sister of Jove and the daughter of Rhea and Saturnus. Her children by Jove are Mars, Juventas, Discordia and Ilithyia, goddess of childbirth. She reputedly created Vulcan without the aid of her husband in response to his creation of Minerva.

Matronalia (June 1): On this day, women perform rites in the temple of Juno. They are permitted to wear their hair down and not permitted to wear belts or any knots in their clothing. Husbands are expected to say prayer for their wives and children give presents to their mothers.

Mars
Ares, Camulus
Chaotic god of war
Wields a spear
Patron deity of Azsor
Served by demons
Symbolized by a spear and shield
Clerics of Mars are permitted the use of swords, though they must be cleaned of blood after use and anointed with expensive oils (worth 10 gp with each use)

Mars is the god of blood lust and slaughter. He is fond of strife, anger, and unrestrained blood-letting. As such, he is not a very popular god and is only worshiped by a large numbers of people in the city-states of Guelph and Nomo. Vultures and dogs are sacred to him.

Mars usually appears as a large man with burning, hateful eyes and a permanent scowl etched across his mouth. He wears ornate platemail armor and carries a flaming sword.

Mars is the son of Jove and Juno, the husband of Bellona and the lover of Venus. He is attended by Deimos (terror) and Phobos (fear) in battle, his sons by Venus, and by Adrestia, his daughter by his sister Discordia. Other members of his retinue are Nike, the deathless spirit of victory, Kydoimos, the demon of the din of battle, the Makhai (battles), the Hysminai (man-slaughters) and Alala, personification of the war cry. Mars’ other children by Venus are Cupid and Harmonia.

Armilustrium (November 12): On this day weapons of the army are purified and stored for the winter. The army is assembled and reviewed and garlanded with flowers. Trumpets blare and citizens gathered with their arms and armor take part in a procession with torches and sacrificial animals. Young noblemen dressed as ancient warriors with red capes take part in ritual dances.

Mercurius
Hermes, Lugus, Psychopompos
Lawful god of trade, gambling, thieves
Wields a club
Patron deity of Blackpoort
Served by elohim
Symbolized by a cadeuceus, tortoise, cock or winged sandals
Clerics can cast the magic-user spell Charm Person

Mercurius is the god of travelers, merchants, thieves, gamblers, athletes and eloquent speech. He also serves the gods as a messenger and an arbitrator of disputes. As a god of travelers and a slayer of giants (Argos, in particular), some rangers choose to worship Mercurius as their patron.

Mercurius is depicted as a handsome, athletic youth wearing a broad-brimmed traveler’s hat and carrying a white caduceus (winged rod entwined by two serpents).

Mercurius is the son of Jove and Maia, a daughter of Atlas. His children include Faunus, the god of satyrs, Hermaphroditus, a man merged with the nymph Salmacis, Fortuna, goddess of fortune, and Autolycus, prince of thieves and grandfather of Ulysses.

Shrovetide (April 1): Merchants sprinkle their heads, ships, wagons and merchandise with holy water. Shrovetide is a day of raucous celebrations with a carnival atmosphere.

Minerva
Athena
Lawful goddess of wisdom, crafts, strategy and war
Wields a long sword
Patron deity of Gwenth
Served by angels
Symbolized by an owl
Clerics can cast the magic-user spell Shield (see below)

Minerva is Jove’s favorite daughter and the virgin goddess of strategy, architecture, sculpture, spinning, weaving, horses, ox olives, prudence, and wise counsel. Though she is a warrior goddess, she is no less skilled in the arts of peace, inventing the potter’s wheel, teaching men to tame horses and helping them to build great ships. Minerva is also a patron of chivalry and knighthood.

Minerva is depicted as a statuesque woman of great beauty attended by an owl. She wears the Aegis, a breastplate of goatskin with serpent fringes, a shield that bears a gorgon face, and a helm decorated with a winged lion.

Minerva was created by Jove without a mother, and as a virgin has no offspring of her own. She is often accompanied by Nike, the goddess of victory. She has aided many heroes, including Ulysses, Jason and Hercules.

Candlemas (February 1): The highlight of the day are candle-lit processions and rites of purification. It is especially an artisan’s holiday. Women consult fortune tellers on this day, plays are exhibited, and contests for orators and poets are held.

The Gods of the Motherlands – Part One

The Priestly Colleges
Although many deities are worshiped in the Motherlands, the following deities are the most popular and well known. Most city-states have a temple or shrine to each of them. Each city-state in the Motherlands has a college of priests (usually 10 to 20), with one priest assigned to manage each temple. The college is headed by a pontiff, and each temple priest is assisted by a staff of lesser clergy. Some city-states have an upper college dedicated to the Motherlander deities and a lower college that oversees the temples of foreign deities.

Apollo Helios
Apollon, Apulu, Belenus
Lawful god of sun, music, archery and herdsmen
Wields a bow
Patron deity of Antigoon
Served by elohim and nymphs
Symbols are the lyre, crook, sunburst or cross
Clerics can cast the magic-user spell Fireball as a 5th level cleric spell, dealing damage as though 3 levels lower.

Apollo Helios is the god of the sun, archery, medicine, healing, light, truth, oracle, colonists, patron defender of herds and flocks, music and poetry, homosexuality, harmony, order, reason and plague. He helps ripen crops, destroys pests, cures illnesses, and protects shepherds and their flocks. Apollo is not entirely beneficent. He carries a bow with terrible arrows that visit plague and disease upon the targets he fires them at.

In his true form, Apollo Helios is a beardless young man of divine beauty who radiates warmth and light. Apollo Helios always carries a lyre or longbow; in fact, the object he carries can take either form as the god desires.

Apollo Helios is the son of Jove and Leto, half-brother of Mars, Minerva and Hercules and twin brother of Diana.

Midsummer’s Day (May 15): People build huge bonfires and walk themselves and their livestock between them to protect them from the diseases of warm weather. Masked mummers frolic and folk stay up all night making merry.

Atlas Telamon
Lawful god of strength, perseverance, exploration
Wields a club
Patron deity of Dweomer Bay
Served by devas, giants
Symbolized by a globe or compass
Clerics can cast the magic-user spell Enlarge

Atlas is worshiped not only as a deity of strength and endurance, but also as a god of exploration and cartography. He is the strongest of the titans who separates the heavens from the earth. Atlas appears as a giant of man holding the tools of exploration: compass, sextant, spyglass and globe.

Atlas is the son of Japetus and Clymenem, the daughter of the titan Oceanus. His brothers are Prometheus, Menoetius and Epimetheus. His own children are mostly daughters, and include the Hesperides by Hesperis, the Hyades and Pleiades by Aithra, and Calypso, Dione and Maera by unspecified goddesses.

Atlas’ temples are supported by merchant societies and in turn fund cartographers and explorers. Temples of Atlas are decorated with images of exotic lands, animals and people. The classic cleric of Atlas will wear three-quarters plate and be found at the head of a column of explorers plunging into unknown lands.

Ceres Dea Frugu
Demeter
Neutral goddess of grain, agriculture and fertility
Wields a staff
Patron deity of Lyonesse
Served by fey creatures, earth elementals and erinyes
Symbolized by a poppy, sow or mare
Sacred animals are the bear, crow and horse
Druids can cast the spell Respite from Death

Ceres is the queen of the fruitful earth, goddess of agriculture, and patron of motherly love. Without her blessing, no crops may grow on the earth. Ceres will not hesitate to use this fact to blackmail men and other gods if the need exists. Ceres also has control over the weather. A sow is sacrificed to her when a death occurs in a family. Ceres is a usually a benevolent goddess. If her worshipers ignore their duties, however, she does not hesitate to destroy their crops and send famine upon them.

In her true form, Ceres is a beautiful woman, but she can change her own shape and that of others at will. She carries the cornucopia, or horn of plenty, and a scepter.

Ceres is the daughter of Saturn and Rhea and sister of Jove, Juno, Vesta, Neptunus and Plutus. She is the mother of Persephone by Jove. When pursued by Neptunus, she took the form of a mare to escape him. She could not hide her divinity, though, and Neptunus took the form of a stallion and coupled with her, producing a daughter called “the Damsel”, who leads the avenging erinyes, and a black-maned, divinely swift, speaking horse called Arion.

Lammastide (August 1): Celebration of first fruits, when loaves are baked from the first harvested grain and shared with friends and family.

Respite from Death (Druid Level 4): A recently killed comrade’s soul is released from the Land of the Dead as a shade for a limited time. If the person’s body has not been destroyed, it can re-animate it as a zombie with the mentality of the deceased (with one half of the deceased memorized spells, determined randomly, and all special class abilities except saving throws and attack bonuses, which are per a zombie’s statistics). The shade can persist in the re-animated body for 24 hours only. If the body cannot be inhabited, the shade uses the statistics of a shadow, but can only remain for 1 hour. In either case, the soul cannot subsequently be raised, resurrected or reincarnated for a period of 9 months.

Diana Prima Dea
Artemis, Brigantia, Nicevenn
Neutral goddess of maidens, the moon and hunting
Wields a bow
Patron deity of Tremayne
Served by dryads, nymphs and giant animals
Symbolized by a boar or the moon
Sacred animals are the eagle, boar and wolf
Druids may cast the spell Coursing Hound

The huntress Diana is the patroness of young girls and the mistress of beasts and all wild things. Because she will have nothing to do with men, she is a favorite goddess of the Amazons. Except for helping women during childbirth, she avoids involving herself in mortal concerns and matters. She values her privacy, and will severely punish any man violating it. Merchants, always on the hunt for profits, also pray to her to give them persistence.

In her true form, she appears as a slim young girl wearing buckskins and carrying a longbow. She is sometimes mounted upon a stag. Oak groves are sacred to her. Diana is the daughter of Jove and Latona and the twin sister of Apollo Helios. She is associated with the water nymph Egeria and the woodland god Virbius.

Diana’s high priest is the rex Nemorensis, or “King of Groves”, stationed near a sacred lake near Tremayne. The rex Nemorensis attains the position through a trial by combat, killing the reigning king of the grove. Combat may only be initiated, though, if the challenging druid is able to pluck a golden bough from one of the trees in the sacred grove.

Those trees in whose dim shadow
The ghastly priest doth reign
The priest who slew the slayer,
And shall himself be slain.

Whitsuntide (May 15): On this day Whitsun Ales (fairs) and horse races are held, mummers dress as wild forest men, and hunting is forbidden.

Coursing Hound (Druid Level 2): The druid conjures a ghostly hound that can track on a roll of 1-5 on 1d6 (-1 chance for each day since the tracks were made, additional -1 chance if the tracks have been obscured by snow, hard stone or running water). The hound exists for 24 hours and cannot attack or be attacked.

Hecate
Hekat, Trivia
Neutral goddess of ghosts, witchcraft and curses
Wields a dagger
Served by demons and the fey
Symbolized by a torch and key
Sacred animals are the wolf, serpent and horse
Priests can cast the spell Entrancing Dance

Hecate is the enigmatic and dark virgin goddess of the undead and witchcraft. She is also associated with childbirth and rearing, doorways, walls, crossroads, torches and dogs. Most city-states, towns and villages honor her with, at the very least, a shrine and a lichfield. She is also associated with the concoction of medicines and poisons, thus making her a patron of alchemists, apothecaries and assassins. Hecate is served by chaotic clerics and druids.

Hecate is depicted as a three-headed goddess, either with the heads of three maidens or with the heads of a dog, serpent and horse. She is the daughter of the titans Terra and Uranus, the Earth and Sky.

The most common offering to Hecate is meat left at a crossroads. Dogs are sometimes sacrificed to her. A more intense ritual requires one to bathe in a stream of flowing water at midnight, don dark robes, dig a pit and then offer a libation of honey and blood from the throat of a sheep. The libation is placed on a pyre next to the pit by the petitioner, who then leaves the site, never looking back.

Hallowtide (Nov 1): The boundaries between the Mortal World and the Ethereal Plane are thinnest on this day. People light bonfires, stay up all night, drink beer and enjoy the end of the harvest season.

Entrancing Dance (Cleric/Druid Level 3): As the priest dances, all those present (except the priest’s allies, unless the priest chooses to affect them as well) must save or become entranced. A new save must be made each round the priest dances without interruption (i.e. takes damage), and a dancing priest loses any dexterity bonus to Armor Class. Entranced creatures take on a bestial aspect and begin attacking one another savagely (+2 to hit and damage) until no rivals survive or the dance stops.

Druid Spells – Level 6 and 7

The following is Open Game Content.

Druid Spell List

Level 6
1. Animal Summoning VI
2. Antilife Shell
3. Find the Path*
4. Fire Seeds
5. Move Earth
6. Spellstaff
7. Stone Tell
8. Wall of Stone **

Level 7
1. Animal Summoning VII
2. Animate Plants
3. Control Weather*
4. Earthquake*
5. Fire Storm
6. Part Water*
7. Sunburst
8. Transmute Metal to Wood
9. Whirlwind
10. Wind Walk*

* As cleric spell of same name
** As magic-user spell of the same name

Animal Summoning VI
Spell Level: Druid, 6th Level
Range: 90 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like animal summoning I, except that you can summon one 6th-level creature, 1d3 5th-level creatures of the same kind, or 1d4+1 lower-level creatures of the same kind.

1 Bear, Grizzly
2 Crocodile, Giant
3 Leech, Giant (5 HD)
4 Skunk, Giant
5 Snake, Giant, Viper or Cobra
6 Wasp, Giant

Animal Summoning VII
Spell Level: Druid, 7th Level
Range: 90 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like animal summoning I, except that you can summon one 7th-level creature, 1d3 6th-level creatures of the same kind, or 1d4+1 lower-level creatures of the same kind.

1 Bear, Prehistoric or Polar
2 Hippopotamus
3 Komodo Dragon, Giant
4 Rhinoceros
5 Snake, Giant, Constrictor
6 Tiger
7 Tiger, Sabre-Tooth
8 Wolverine, Giant

Animate Plants
Spell Level: Druid, 7th Level
Range: 60 ft
Duration: 1 round per level

You imbue inanimate plants with mobility and a semblance of life. Each animated plant then attacks whomever or whatever you designate. You may animate one large or smaller plant, or an equivalent number of larger plants, per three caster levels. You can change the designated target or targets as you wish. This spell does not affect plant creatures or nonliving vegetable matter.

Small Plant: HD 1d4, AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 slam (1d2); Move 6; Save 18; CL/XP A/5; Special: None.

Medium Plant: HD 2; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 slam (1d4); Move 9; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30; Special: None.

Large Plant: HD 4; AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 slam (1d8); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 4/120; Special: None.

Antilife Shell
Spell Level: Druid, 6th Level
Range: 10 ft
Duration: 10 minutes per level

You bring into being a mobile, hemispherical field that prevents the entrance of most types of living creatures. The effect does not work against creatures from beyond the Material Plane, the undead or constructed creatures like golems or living statues.

Fire Seeds
Spell Level: Druid, 6th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 minutes per level

This spell turns acorns or holly berries into weapons that detonate on your command. As many as four acorns turn into special weapons that can be hurled as far as 100 feet. A ranged attack roll against an AC 9 [10] is required to strike the intended target. Together, the acorns are capable of dealing 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level, divided up among the acorns as you wish. Each acorn explodes upon striking any hard surface. In addition to its regular fire damage, it deals 1 point of damage per die to creatures within 5 feet of the target and it ignites any combustible materials within 10 feet. A creature within this area that makes a successful saving throw takes only half damage; a creature struck directly is not allowed a saving throw.

You can also turn as many as eight holly berries into special bombs. The holly berries are usually placed by hand, since they are too light to make effective thrown weapons (they can be tossed only 5 feet). If you are within 200 feet and speak a word of command, each berry instantly bursts into flame, causing 1d8 points of fire damage +1 point per caster level to every creature in a 5-foot radius and igniting any combustible materials within 5 feet. A creature in the area that makes a successful saving throw takes only half damage.

Fire Storm
Spell Level: Druid, 7th Level
Range: 150 ft
Duration: Instantaneous

When a fire storm spell is cast, the whole area is shot through with sheets of roaring flame. The raging flames do not harm natural vegetation, ground cover, and any plant creatures in the area that you wish to exclude from damage. Any other creature within the area takes 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level.

Move Earth
Spell Level: Druid, 6th Level
Range: 600 ft
Duration: Instantaneous

Move earth moves dirt (clay, loam, sand), possibly collapsing embankments, moving hillocks, shifting dunes, and so forth. It cannot collapse or move rock formations. For every 150-square feet (up to 10 feet deep), casting takes 10 minutes. The maximum area, 750 feet by 750 feet, takes 4 hours and 10 minutes to move. This spell does not violently break the surface of the ground. Instead, it creates wavelike crests and troughs, with the earth reacting with glacier-like fluidity until the desired result is achieved. Trees, structures, rock formations, and such are mostly unaffected except for changes in elevation and relative topography. The spell cannot be used for tunneling and is generally too slow to trap or bury creatures. Its primary use is for digging or filling moats or for adjusting terrain contours before a battle. This spell has no effect on earth creatures.

Spellstaff
Spell Level: Druid, 6th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent until discharged

You store one spell that you can normally cast in a wooden quarterstaff. Only one such spell can be stored in a staff at a given time, and you cannot have more than one spellstaff at any given time. You can cast a spell stored within a staff just as though it were among those you had prepared, but it does not count against your normal allotment for a given day.

Stone Tell
Spell Level: Druid, 6th Level
Range: Personal
Duration: 1 minute per level

You gain the ability to speak with stones, which relate to you who or what has touched them as well as revealing what is covered or concealed behind or under them. The stones relate complete descriptions if asked. A stone’s perspective, perception, and knowledge may prevent the stone from providing the details you are looking for. You can speak with natural or worked stone.

Sunburst
Spell Level: Druid, 7th Level
Range: 600 ft
Duration: Instantaneous

Sunburst causes a globe of searing radiance to explode silently from a point you select. All creatures in the globe are blinded and take 6d6 points of damage. A creature to which sunlight is harmful or unnatural takes double damage. A successful saving throw negates the blindness and reduces the damage by half.

An undead creature caught within the globe takes 1d6 points of damage per caster level, or half damage if a saving throw is successful. In addition, the burst results in the destruction of any undead creature specifically harmed by bright light if it fails its save.

The ultraviolet light generated by the spell deals damage to fungi, mold, oozes, and slimes just as if they were undead creatures.

Sunburst dispels any darkness spells of lower than 9th level within its area.

Transmute Metal to Wood
Spell Level: Druid, 7th Level
Range: 600 ft
Duration: Instantaneous

This spell enables you to change all metal objects within its area to wood. Weapons, armor, and other metal objects carried by creatures are affected as well. A magic object made of metal effectively has spell resistance equal to 50% against this spell. Artifacts cannot be transmuted. Weapons converted from metal to wood take a –2 penalty on “to hit” and damage rolls. The armor bonus of any armor converted from metal to wood is reduced by 2. Weapons changed by this spell splinter and break on any natural attack roll of 1 or 2, and armor changed by this spell loses an additional point of armor bonus every time it is struck with a natural attack roll of 19 or 20. Only limited wish, miracle, wish, or similar magic can restore a transmuted object to its metallic state.

Whirlwind
Spell Level: Druid, 7th Level
Range: 600 ft
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell creates a powerful cyclone of raging wind that moves through the air, along the ground, or over water at a speed of 60 feet per round. You can concentrate on controlling the cyclone’s every movement or specify a simple program. Directing the cyclone’s movement or changing its programmed movement is a standard action for you. The cyclone always moves during your turn. If the cyclone exceeds the spell’s range, it moves in a random, uncontrolled fashion for 1d3 rounds and then dissipates. You can’t regain control of the cyclone, even if comes back within range. Any creature that comes in contact with the spell effect must succeed on a saving throw or take 3d6 points of damage. A human-sized or smaller creature that fails its first save must succeed on a second one or be picked up bodily by the cyclone and held suspended in its powerful winds, taking 1d8 points of damage each round with no save allowed. You may direct the cyclone to eject any carried creatures whenever you wish, depositing the hapless souls wherever the cyclone happens to be when they are released.

Done with the druid!

Next post will detail the Gods of Nabu (i.e. Egyptian deities). After that, I begin with my next set of sandbox posts in the lands of Venatia – knights, peasants, thick woods full of fairies and dragons and foreboding mountains filled with giants and ogres.

Druid Spells – Level 4 to 5

The following is Open Game Content.

Druid Spell List

Level 4
1. Air Walk
2. Animal Summoning IV
3. Blight
4. Control Water
5. Cure Serious Wounds*
6. Ice Storm
7. Reincarnation**
8. Scrying

Level 5
1. Animal Growth
2. Animal Summoning V
3. Baleful Polymorph
4. Commune with Nature
5. Insect Plague*
6. Stoneskin
7. Transmute Rock to Mud
8. Wall of Thorns

* As cleric spell
** As magic-user spell

Air Walk
Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 minutes per level

The subject of this spell can tread on air as if walking on solid ground. Moving upward is similar to walking up a hill. The maximum upward or downward angle possible is 45 degrees, at a rate equal to one-half the air walker’s normal movement. A strong wind can push the subject along or hold it back. Should the spell duration expire while the subject is still aloft, the magic fails slowly. The subject floats downward 60 feet per round for 1d6 rounds. If it reaches the ground in that amount of time, it lands safely. If not, it falls the rest of the distance, taking falling damage as normal.

Animal Growth
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: 200 feet
Duration: 1 minute per level

A number of animals grow to twice their normal size and eight times their normal weight. This alteration essentially doubles each animal’s Hit Dice and improved its Armor Class by 1. The animal deals +1 damage with its attacks. Its movement remains the same. The enlarged animal can only be harmed by silver or magical weapons and attacks.

Animal Summoning IV
Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: 60 ft
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like animal summoning I, except that you can summon one 4th-level creature, 1d3 3rd-level creatures of the same kind, or 1d4+1 lower-level creatures of the same kind.

Roll Summoned Animal
1 Ant, Giant Warrior
2 Ape, Gorilla
3 Black Bear
4 Boar, Wild
5 Eagle, Giant
6 Eel, Giant Electric or Giant Moray *
7 Komodo Dragon
8 Leopard
9 Raven, Giant
10 Seahorse, Giant *
11 Stag, Giant
12 Wolverine

Animal Summoning V
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: 60 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like animal summoning I, except that you can summon one 5th-level creature, 1d3 4th-level creatures of the same kind, or 1d4+1 lower-level creatures of the same kind.

Roll Summoned Animal
1 Bat, Giant
2 Hyena, Giant
3 Lamprey, Giant
4 Lion
5 Macaw, Giant
6 Owl, Giant
7 Rock Weasel, Giant
8 Weasel, Giant

Baleful Polymorph
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: 50 feet
Duration: Permanent

This spell works like the magic-user spell polymorph, except that the druid changes the subject into a small animal of no more than 1 HD. The new form cannot prove fatal to the creature (i.e. turning someone into a fish in the desert). The subject of the spell gets a saving throw to negate the effect. If the spell succeeds, the subject must make a second saving throw. If this second save fails, the creature loses any spell casting or magical abilities it had and gains the special abilities and Intelligence of its new form in place of its own. Incorporeal or gaseous creatures are immune to being polymorphed, and a shapechanger can revert to its natural form on its next turn.

Blight
Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous

This spell withers a single plant of any size. An affected plant monster takes 1d6 points of damage per druid level and may attempt a saving throw for half damage. A plant that isn’t a creature doesn’t receive a save and immediately withers and dies. This spell has no effect on the soil or surrounding plant life.

Commune with Nature
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: Personal
Duration: Instantaneous

You become one with nature, attaining knowledge of the surrounding territory. You instantly gain knowledge of as many as three facts from among the following subjects: the ground or terrain, plants, minerals, bodies of water, people, general animal population, presence of woodland creatures, presence of powerful unnatural creatures, or even the general state of the natural setting.

In outdoor settings, the spell operates in a radius of 1 mile per caster level. In natural underground settings the radius is limited to 100 feet per caster level. The spell does not function where nature has been replaced by construction or settlement, such as in dungeons and towns.

Control Water
Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: 800 feet
Duration: 10 minutes per level

Depending on the version you choose, the control water spell raises or lowers water.

Lower Water: This causes water or similar liquid to reduce its depth by as much as 2 feet per caster level to a minimum depth of 1 inch. The water is lowered within a squarish depression whose sides are up to caster level x 10 feet long. In extremely large and deep bodies of water, such as a deep ocean, the spell creates a whirlpool that sweeps ships and similar craft downward, putting them at risk and rendering them unable to leave by normal movement for the duration of the spell. When cast on water elementals and other water-based creatures, this spell acts as a slow spell. The spell has no effect on other creatures.

Raise Water: This causes water or similar liquid to rise in height, just as the lower water version causes it to lower. Boats raised in this way slide down the sides of the hump that the spell creates. If the area affected by the spell includes riverbanks, a beach, or other land nearby, the water can spill over onto dry land.

With either version, you may reduce one horizontal dimension by half and double the other horizontal dimension.

Ice Storm
Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: 800 feet
Duration: 1 round

Great magical hailstones pound down for 1 round, dealing 3d6 points of damage plus 2d6 points of freezing damage to every creature in the area. All land movement within its area is at half speed. At the end of the duration, the hail disappears, leaving no aftereffects other than the damage dealt.

Scrying
Spell Level: Druid, 4th Level
Range: See text
Duration: 1 minute per level

Using a natural pool of water, you can see and hear some creature, which may be at any distance. If the subject succeeds on a saving throw, the scrying attempt simply fails. The difficulty of the save depends on how well you know the subject and what sort of physical connection (if any) you have to that creature. Furthermore, if the subject is on another plane, it gets a +3 bonus on its saving throw.

Knowledge or Connection
None: +5
Secondhand (you have heard of the subject): +3
Firsthand (you have met the subject): +0
Familiar (you know the subject well): –3
Own a likeness or picture: –1
Own a possession or garment: –2
Own a body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, etc.: –5

If the save fails, you can see and hear the subject and the subject’s immediate surroundings. If the subject moves, the sensor follows. The sensor has your full visual acuity, including any magical effects.

If the save succeeds, you can’t attempt to scry on that subject again for at least 24 hours.

Stoneskin
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 minutes per level

The warded creature gains resistance to blows, cuts, stabs, and slashes. The subject take only one quarter damage from non-magical weapons, and full damage from magical weapons. Once the spell has prevented a total of 5 points of damage per caster level it is discharged.

Transmute Rock to Mud
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: 200 ft.
Duration: Permanent (see text)

This spell turns natural, uncut rock of any sort into an equal volume of mud. Magical stone is not affected by the spell. The depth of the mud created cannot exceed 10 feet. A creature stuck in the mud has its movement reduced to 3 and suffers a -2 penalty to hit and to its Armor Class. If cast upon the ceiling of a cavern or tunnel, the ensuing cave-in deals 8d6 points of damage to anyone caught directly beneath the area, or half damage to those who succeed on a saving throw. The mud remains until a successful dispel magic or transmute mud to rock spell restores its substance, but not necessarily its form. Evaporation turns the mud to normal dirt over a period of days.

The reverse of this spell turns mud or quicksand into sandstone. Creatures in the mud are allowed a saving throw to escape before the area is hardened to stone.

Wall of Thorns
Spell Level: Druid, 5th Level
Range: 200 ft.
Duration: 10 minutes per level

This spell creates a barrier of tangled, needle-sharp thorn bushes. The wall covers a number of 10x10x5 foot blocks equal to twice the druid’s level. Any creature moving through a wall of thorns takes damage each round equal to 25 minus the creature’s AC. Forcing one’s way through the thorns requires an open doors check to move 5 feet. One can chop through a foot of the thorns with 10 minutes work. Normal fire has no effect on the thorns, but magic fire burns it away in 10 minutes.

Druid Spells – Level 1 to 3

The following is Open Game Content.

Druid Spell List

Level 1
1. Animal Summoning I
2. Charm Animal
3. Cure Light Wounds*
4. Detect Poison
5. Entangle
6. Produce Flame
7. Shillelagh
8. Speak with Animals*

Level 2
1. Animal Summoning II
2. Animal Trance
3. Barkskin
4. Flame Blade
5. Fog Cloud
6. Gust of Wind
7. Resist Fire
8. Warp Wood

Level 3
1. Animal Summoning III
2. Cure Disease * / Contagion
3. Neutralize Poison * / Poison
4. Plant Growth
5. Speak with Plants *
6. Stone Shape
7. Water Breathing **
8. Wind Wall

* As cleric spell of same name
** As magic-user spell of the same name

Animal Summoning I
Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell summons a natural creature. It appears where you designate and acts immediately. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions.

1 Baboon
2 Barracuda *
3 Centipede (Swarm)
4 Flying Squirrel, Carnivorous
5 Frog, Giant (Small)
6 Hyena
7 Jackal
8 Rat, Giant

* Roll again if not in an aquatic environment

Animal Summoning II
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like animal summoning I, except that you can summon one 2nd-level creature or 1d3 1st-level creatures of the same kind.

1 Ant, Giant Worker
2 Dolphin *
3 Frog, Giant (Medium)
4 Giant Centipede, Small (Lethal)
5 Leech, Giant
6 Lynx, Giant
7 Snake, Constrictor
8 Snake, Viper
9 Thylacine
10 Wolf

* Roll again if not in an aquatic environment

Animal Summoning III
Spell Level: Druid, 3th Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like animal summoning I, except that you can summon one 3rd-level creature, 1d3 2nd-level creatures of the same kind, or 1d4+1 1st-level creatures of the same kind.

1 Badger, Giant
2 Cattle
3 Crab, Giant
4 Crocodile
5 Goat, Giant
6 Lizard, Giant
7 Ostriches, Giant
8 Ray, Sting *
9 Sea Lion *
10 Shark, Small (3 HD) *
11 Snake, Cobra
12 Toad, Giant

Animal Trance
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: Concentration

Your swaying motions and music (or singing, or chanting) compel animals and magical beasts to do nothing but watch you. Only a non-intelligent creatures can be fascinated by this spell. Roll 2d6 to determine the total number of HD worth of creatures that you fascinate. The closest targets are selected first until no more targets within range can be affected.

Barkskin
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 minutes per level

The recipient of this spell’s Armor Class improves by 2.

Charm Animal
Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: One day per level

This spell functions like charm person, except that it affects animals instead of people.

Contagion
Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous

The reverse of cure disease, this spell causes the subject to contract a disease from the table below. The disease strikes immediately. With a successful saving throw, the subject is not infected. If infected, one saving throw is allowed each day to avoid damage. Two successful saving throws in a row are required to overcome the disease completely. If any character has an ability score reduced to 0, it dies. Against monsters, the Referee may rule that the spell causes a -3 penalty to hit, damage and on saving throws, and reduces the monster to half normal movement.

1 Blinding Sickness (1d4 strength damage per day)
2 Cackle Fever (1d6 wisdom damage per day)
3 Filth Fever (1d3 dexterity and 1d3 constitution damage per day)
4 Mindfire (1d4 intelligence damage)
5 Red Ache (1d6 strength damage per day)
6 Shakes (1d8 dexterity damage per day)

Detect Poison
Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: Instantaneous

You determine whether a creature, object, or area has been poisoned or is poisonous. This spell can penetrate doors, but not walls.

Entangle
Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: 400 ft.
Duration: 1 minute per level

Grasses, weeds, bushes, and trees wrap, twist, and entwine about creatures in the area or those that enter the area, holding them fast and causing them to become entangled. The creature can break free and move half its normal speed by making a saving throw. Each round on your turn, the plants once again attempt to entangle all creatures that have avoided or escaped entanglement.

Flame Blade
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 0 ft.
Duration: 1 minute per level

A 3-foot-long, blazing beam of red-hot fire springs forth from your hand. You wield this blade-like beam as if it were a long sword (i.e. 1d8 damage). Since the blade is immaterial, it ignores bonuses to Armor Class from armor and shields. A flame blade can ignite combustible materials such as parchment, straw, dry sticks, and cloth. The spell does not function underwater.

Fog Cloud
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 120 ft.
Duration: 10 minutes per level

A bank of fog billows out from the point you designate. The fog obscures all sight beyond 5 feet. Attacking a creature within 5 feet carries a -4 penalty to hit. Attacking creatures farther away carries a -10 penalty to hit, and the attacker can’t use sight to locate the target). A strong wind disperses the fog in one round. The spell does not function underwater.

Gust of Wind
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 60 ft.
Duration: 1 round

This spell creates a severe blast of air (approximately 50 mph) that originates from you, affecting all creatures in its path. Very small creatures, like birds and pixies, are knocked down and rolled 30 ft, taking 2d6 points of non-lethal damage. Small creatures, like kobolds and goblins, are knocked prone by the force of the wind. Human-sized creatures are unable to move against the force of the wind. Any creature, regardless of size, takes a –4 penalty on misile attacks in the area of a gust of wind. The force of the gust automatically extinguishes candles, torches, and similar unprotected flames. It causes protected flames, such as those of lanterns, to dance wildly and has a 50% chance to extinguish those lights.

Plant Growth
Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: See text
Duration: Instantaneous

Plant growth has different effects depending on the version chosen. Overgrowth causes normal vegetation (grasses, briars, bushes, creepers, thistles, trees, vines) to become thick and overgrown. The plants entwine to form a thicket or jungle that creatures must hack or force a way through. The area must have brush and trees in it for this spell to take effect. At your option, the area can be a 100-foot-radius circle, a 150-foot-radius semicircle, or a 200-foot-radius quarter circle. You may designate places within the area that are not affected.
Enrichment targets plants within a range of one-half mile, raising their potential productivity over the course of the next year to one-third above normal.

This spell has no effect on plant creatures.

Poison
Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous

Calling upon the venomous powers of natural predators, you infect the subject with a horrible poison by making a successful melee touch attack. The poison deals 1d10 points of damage immediately and another 1d10 points of damage 1 minute later. Each instance of damage can be negated by a saving throw.

Produce Flame
Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: 0 ft.
Duration: 1 minute per level

Flames as bright as a torch appear in your open hand. The flames harm neither you nor your equipment. In addition to providing illumination, the flames can be hurled or used to touch enemies. You can strike an opponent with a melee attack or missile attack (up to 120 ft), ignoring armor, dealing fire damage equal to 1d6 +1 point per caster level (maximum +5). No sooner do you hurl the flames than a new set appears in your hand. Each attack you make reduces the remaining duration by 1 minute. If an attack reduces the remaining duration to 0 minutes or less, the spell ends after the attack resolves. This spell does not function underwater.

Resist Fire
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 10 minutes per level

This spell grants a creature limited protection from fire. The creatures suffers half damage from fire for the duration of the spell.

Shillelagh
Spell Level: Druid, 1st Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 minute per level

Pronounced Shih – Lay – Lee, this spell causes a normal club or staff to become a +1 magical weapon for the duration of the spell.

Stone Shape
Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous

You can form an existing piece of stone into any shape that suits your purpose. While it’s possible to make crude coffers, doors, and so forth with stone shape, fine detail isn’t possible. There is a 2 in 6 chance that any shape including moving parts simply does not work.

Warp Wood
Spell Level: Druid, 2nd Level
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: Instantaneous

You cause wood to bend and warp, permanently destroying its straightness, form, and strength. A warped door springs open (or becomes stuck). A boat or ship springs a leak. Warped missile weapons are useless. A warped melee weapon is -4 to hit. Alternatively, you can unwarp wood (effectively warping it back to normal) with this spell. A 2nd level druid can warp a single, small item. A level 6th level druid can warp something as large as a door. A 12th level druid can warp something as large as a ship.

Wind Wall
Spell Level: Druid, 3rd Level
Range: 120 ft.
Duration: 1 round per level

An invisible vertical curtain of wind appears. It is 2 feet thick and of considerable strength. It is a roaring blast sufficient to blow away any bird smaller than an eagle, or tear papers and similar materials from unsuspecting hands. Small flying creatures cannot pass through the barrier. Loose materials and cloth garments fly upward when caught in a wind wall. Arrows and bolts are deflected upward and miss, while any other normal missile weapon passing through the wall is -6 to hit. A giant-thrown boulder, a siege engine projectile, and other massive ranged weapons are not affected. Gases, most gaseous breath weapons, and creatures in gaseous form cannot pass through the wall. While the wall must be vertical, you can shape it in any continuous path along the ground that you like. It is possible to create cylindrical or square wind walls to enclose specific points. The wall is 10 ft per level long and 5 ft. per level high.

Levels 4 and 5 tomorrow …

Clerics & Druids

My first attempt at blogging from MSWord – hopefully it comes out okay. This is my take on the cleric and druid. In truth, my only contribution to the cleric is the level titles.

This post is Open Game Content.

THE CLERIC

Clerics are armored priests who serve a patron deity and an alignment ethos (law, good, chaos or evil). Regardless of the details, you are a champion of your faith and moral alignment. You might be a sinister witch-hunter, an exorcist of demons, or a shining knight of the faith. Because most of a cleric’s abilities are oriented toward healing and protecting, clerics tend to play a support role during combat, backing up the front line, but able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the party’s fighting-men if need be, at least for a while. High level clerics often establish fortified temples or monasteries in the wilderness, clearing the area of monsters and attracting followers and soldiers.

Prime Requisite: Wisdom (13+gives +5% experience bonus).

Hit Dice: 1d6+1 (+2 hp per level after 9th).

Armor/Shield Permitted: Any.

Weapons Permitted: Blunt weapons only.

Spells (1st): The spells available are listed on the cleric spell list. A cleric is limited to a certain number of spells of each level per day. A table shows the number of spells per day a character of the class may cast. Clerics prepare spells each day through prayer to their deity, followed by contemplation and study.

Banishing Undead (1st): Clerics can “Turn” the undead, making them flee from the cleric’s holiness (or, in the case of an evil cleric, bringing them to heel as servants and minions). A Referee might decree that a cleric can use this ability against other supernatural creatures hostile to his patron deity or religion.

 

Spells Per Day (By Spell Level)

Level Experience

Hit Dice

Attack

Save

Title

1

2

3

4

5

6

1 0

1

+0

14

Beadle

2 2,250

2

+0

13

Almoner

1

3 5,000

3

+1

12

Chanter

2

4 9,000

4

+1

11

Friar

2

1

5 18,000

5

+2

10

Prester

2

2

1

6 35,000

6

+2

9

Vidame

2

2

1

1

7 70,000

7

+3

8

Exarch

2

2

2

1

1

8 140,000

8

+3

7

Hierophant

2

2

2

2

2

9 300,000

9

+4

6

Patriarch

3

3

3

2

2

10 425,000

+2

+5

5

Patriarch

3

3

3

3

3

11 650,000

+4

+5

4

Patriarch

4

4

4

3

3

12 900,000

+6

+6

3

Patriarch

4

4

4

4

4

1

The Druid Sub-Class

The druid is a sub-class of cleric who worships a pantheon of nature divinities in place of the cleric’s patron deity and ethos. Because druids worship a wide variety of deities and respect each deity’s place in the greater scheme of things, they are always neutral in alignment. Druids draw energy from the natural world to cast divine spells and gain strange supernatural powers.

Prime Requisites: Intelligence & Wisdom (13+ gives +5% experience bonus).

Hit Dice: 1d6+1 (+2 hp per level after 9th).

Armor/Shields Permitted: Leather armor, shields.

Weapons Permitted: Club, dagger, dart, hand axe, hammers, sling, sickle, spears, swords, and staves.

Spells (1st): The spells available to a druid are listed on the druid spell list (coming soon). A druid is limited to a certain number of spells of each level per day. The druid table shows the number of spells per day a character of the class may cast. Druids prepare spells each day by praying for them.

Secret Language (1st): Druids have a secret language and alphabet used for communicating with one another. They are forbidden from teaching either language or alphabet to any but their brethren. It is this language that the druids use to cast their spells.

Nature Lore (1st): A druid can identify plants and animals with perfect accuracy. This ability is automatically successful when used in the type of environment in which the druid was trained or currently lives. In unfamiliar environments, the druid must succeed at a saving throw to successfully use this ability.

Resist Elements (2nd): At 2nd level, druids gain a +1 bonus to saving throws against fire, water, earth, air, cold and lightning attacks.

Woodland Stride (3rd): At 3rd level, druids gain the ability to move through natural thorns, briers, overgrown areas, and similar terrain at normal speed and without suffering damage or other impairment. When doing so, druids leave no trail in the natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. Areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect druids.

Shapechange (6th): At 6th level, druids gain the ability to change into a small or medium-size animal and back again once per day. This ability operates like the spell polymorph. Upon attaining this ability, a druid must choose an animal shape, usually an animal sacred to her religious traditions or patron deity. The selection is permanent, and cannot be changed.

Each time a druid uses this ability, the character regains 1d3 hit points. At 7th and 8th levels, the druid gains a new animal shape. Each shape can be assumed once per day. At 12th level, the druid gains the ability to take the shape of a large (maybe prehistoric) version of one of the previously chosen animal forms. This large form can be assumed once per day, and the druid can decide between the three forms each time this ability is used. When assuming the large version of an animal form, the druid heals 4d6 hit points.

Spells Per Day (By Spell Level)

Level Experience

Hit Dice

Attack

Save

Title

1

2

3

4

5

6

1 0

1

+0

14

Neophyte

2 2,000

2

+0

13

Initiate

1

3 4,250

3

+1

12

Ovate

2

4 8,500

4

+1

11

Soothsayer

2

1

5 17,000

5

+2

10

Magus

2

2

1

6 35,000

6

+2

9

Shaman

2

2

1

1

7 70,000

7

+3

8

Magister

2

2

2

1

1

8 180,000

8

+3

7

Druid

2

2

2

2

2

9 275,000

9

+4

6

Archdruid

3

3

3

2

2

10 400,000

+2

+5

5

Archdruid

3

3

3

3

3

11 525,000

+4

+5

4

Archdruid

4

4

4

3

3

12 650,000

+6

+6

3

Archdruid

4

4

4

4

4

1

Coming Soon – Druid spells

Medieval Woodcut of a Bishop from “Gode Cookery”