Sunday, May 19, 2019

Marsholme Part III: Seofengoden, a randomly generated religion

Since the Floodtide is based on medieval Europe I had the idea to create a religion system more akin to the way religions work in our world. The idea is to separate the religions into old and new. The old religions would be cults, the religions of the old days. The new religion comes out of the east. Furthermore, I wanted to make the religion have a series of prophets that change the face of the religion over the years. Monotheism felt a little too on the nose so I created a council of seven good gods that were worshiped by a series of prophets in different ways. Making up the history myself seemed like cheating. So here is my solution. A series of charts that guide you through building a history of the prophets and sects of the religion known as Seofengoden: the religion of the seven good gods.

The Prophetesh of the Seofengoden

The basic religion of the good gods of the Floodtide is called Seofengoden. The religion rose out of the Holy Lands of the East. The faithful believe that a series of prophets will emerge over many hundreds of years. One, of course, will be the final prophet, but there is constant debate over how many true prophets there will be and which will be the last. Each prophet leads a new sect with slightly different beliefs and a different favored deity.

The Seven Elder Gods: Realms of Influence -- Symbol

The Archivist: Books, Nature, History -- A Book
The Toiler: Nature, Gardens, Crops, Harvest, Hard Work -- A Scythe
The Elements: Earth, Wind, Water, Fire -- Four Circles
The Ombudsmen: Humanoids, Fairness, Give and Take -- An Eye
The Prism: Color, The Odd, Mechanization, Alchemy -- A Cube
The Magus: Wizardry, Power, Magic -- A Pointed Hat
The Barrister: Balance of Power, Cults, “Devil's Advocate” -- Scales

Generating a Millennium of Seofengoden Sects

Grab some note book paper. Each line will represent a decade starting with year 0 to year 10. Start in the first decade at the founding of the church. Roll up a random sect on the charts below and give it one influence point. Then Roll on the events table for each of the next 100 decades. Each decade a point of “influence” will be added to a sect based on the “event” that dominated that decade. If the event result calls for a new sect, then randomly create a new sect with a new prophet and give it a point of influence. At the end of 1000 years (100 rolls on the table) you will have a procedurally generated history of multiple sects. Each sect will have an “influence” score and the influence scores of all sects will add up to 100 allowing you to use this as a percentile chart for determining random sects for new NPC's, Clerics Characters, etc. weighted by how important that sect has made itself over the last 1000 years.

When rolling for a new sect first randomly determine the prophet's name and the corresponding name of their followers. Next roll to determine what item or practice is forbidden or prohibited to that sect, what oath the sect members say when greeting, parting, or praying, and finally which of the gods they favor and disfavor.

Random Sect Generation (D30)*

Prophet Name / Followers name

1 Urgleburt / Urgites
2 Pastivadle / Pastivites
3 Shay Dungo / Shaductites
4 Abudoon / Ablites
5 Skarata / Skarites
6 Eso-Vordo / Esovites
7 Shardeep / Shardepites
8 Oshuntka / Oshtakites
9 Tim Tim / Timtamites
10 Kru / Kruvites
11 Hardob / Hardobites
12 Saint Shiver / Shiverites
13 Saint Bastus / Bastites
14 Saint Docar / Docarites
15 Saint Bastizar / Bastites
16 Saint Mall / Malites
17 Saint Stivuhl / Stivites
18 Marasalta / Marasites
19 Crodestock /  Crodstakites
20 Ur / Urvites
21 Jayshun / Jawvites
22 Hopi / Hopities
23 Ziggle-Zonk / Zizites
24 Quivnack / Quivnites
25 Grishtarr / Grishtites
26 Paltir / Palites
27 Zala /  Zalites
28 Crondel / Crondites
29 Flolar / Flolavites
30 Holmes / Holvites

*If you roll a result that has already come up make this the "Second Coming of X" and call the followers "New 'X'ites."

Prohibition (D30)*

1 Male-female contact
2 Chairs and stools
3 Speaking of food
4 Shellfish
5 Wheels
6 Sneezing
7 Horses
8 Music
9 Alcohol
10 Make-up
11 Armor
12 Edged Weapons
13 Gold
14 Fruit
15 Red Meat
16 Pipe-weed
17 Bright colors
18 Wheat
19 The number “7”
20 Games of chance
21 Stonework
22 Dreams
23 Eating after dark
24 Time keeping
25 Birds
26 Facial hair
27 Mushrooms
28 Books
29 Fire for light
30 Holidays

*Duplicates from other sects may be re-rolled for varieties sake.

Oath and Greeting (D30)*

1 So it shall be
2 Verily, verily
3 So it goes
4 Infinity will illuminate
5 All things must pass
6 In all deeds, piety
7 Favors for favors
8 Gods willing
9 All things, great and small
10 Rejoice!
11 Praise them
12 Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts
13 Speak truth
14 Dance the dance
15 Fail me not
16 Find my time
17 I await 
18 Eternal, unbound
19 Happiness abounds
20 Compel us
21 Fight be joined
22 No struggle; no reward
23 Die on your feet
24 Be one with the seven
25 May their light guide us
26 Our prayers; our love
27 Be excellent to each other
28 Love is all you need
29 Seek the path
30 Life goes on within you and without you

*Duplicates from other sects may be re-rolled for varieties sake.

Favored God (D8) 

1 Archivist
2 Toiler
3 Elements
4 Ombudsmen
5 Prism
6 Magus
7 Barrister
8 All (do not roll on disfavored table)

Disfavored God* (D8)
1 Archivist
2 Toiler
3 Elements
4 Ombudsmen
5 Prism
6 Magus
7 Barrister
8 None 

*If you roll the same result as the first table you should roll again.

Decade Event Table (D12)*

Event: Influence Recipient

1 Revival: Oldest Sect
2 Reconciliation: Lowest Influence Sect
3 Jihad: Most Recent Sect
4 Crusade: Second Most Recent Sect
5-7 Peace: Bank one influence and give it to the next decades recipient
8 Conversion: Newest Sect gets one influence and then swaps followers with the highest other Sect.
9 Exodus: Third Most Recent Sect
10 Inquisition: Highest Influence Sect
11 Revelation: Create a new sect and give it “1” influence. 
12 Upheaval: (Roll D3)
   1. Reformation: Highest Influence Sect**
   2. Apostasy: Create a new sect and give it "1" influence***
   3. Holocaust: Highest Sect loses up to 5 influence, given evenly to other sects - oldest first.

* Any ties go to the older sect

** In a reformation after receiving its point of influence the highest sect must split its followers equally between the old and reformed versions of the sect (remainder goes to the older sect) The new version of the religion gets all new oaths, prohibitions, etc. and its followers are called "Reformed 'X'ites. Note there can be Second and Third reformations as sects continue to splinter.   

*** The last sect to receive influence before this one is now a dead religion. It will no longer receive new influence for any reason. Its influence number is locked in at its current level and it is considered old fashioned, fatuous, or taboo to most modern practitioners. The religion will however persist in secluded pockets and closed communities.

Other Methods of Generation

If you prefer a quick and simple use for the random tables, just create random sects on the fly rather than worry about creating a history or tables for percent of influence. If you like creating the history, but feel that the 1000 year guideline is to constrictive simply set the number of years to any number you like and figure the percentages by hand. The thousand year convention was implemented both for ease of calculation and because it seems like some crazy stuff might go down on the 1000 year anniversary of a religion.

A Sample Prophetesh

Randomly generating a 1000 year history takes about two hours. The process itself was actually pretty entertaining as long periods of peace would be suddenly broken by generations of upheaval and change. The Marasite Sect was particularly interesting, as it came on in the last century of the history, and quickly usurped large amounts of followers before becoming a dead sect in a span of 30 years. It was as if it had been a fad religion that the populous quickly became suspect of. The many iterations of the followers of Holmes and Ur fighting for dominance over the centuries provided an interesting backdrop for the revelations of many minor prophet over the years. Here is a sampling of the results:

Random Religion based on influence:

1-7 Urvite (Ur)
8-19 Reformed Urvite (Ur)
20-25 Crodstakite (Crodestock)
26-29 Bastitie (St. Bastus)
30-33 New Urvite (Second Coming of Ur)
34-37 Reformed New Urvite (Second Coming of Ur)
38-40 Timtamite (Tim Tim)
41-43 Jawvite (Jayshun)
44-46 Holvite (Holmes)
47-53 New Timtamite (Second Coming of Tim Tim)
54 Hardobite (Hardob)
56-65 New Holvites (Second Coming of Holmes)
66-70 Reformed New Holvites (Second Coming of Holmes)
71-72 Second Reformation New Holvite (Second Coming of Holmes)
73-87 Matasite (Marasalta)
88-89 Stivite (St. Stivuhl)
90-00 Kruvite (Kru)

Descriptions of Sects

Sect/Follower Name: Bastites
Prophet: St. Bastus
Prohibition: Male / Female Contact
Oath: "Die on your feet"
Favored God: The Elements
Disfavored God: The Prism
Year Founded: 280

Sect/Follower Name: Crodstakites
Prophet: Crodestock
Prohibition: Holidays
Oath: "In all deeds, piety"
Favored God: The Prism
Disfavored God: None
Year Founded: 110

Sect/Follower Name: Hardobites
Prophet: Hardob
Prohibition: Wheat
Oath: "Eternal, Unbound"
Favored God: The Magus
Disfavored God: The Prism
Year Founded:530

Dead sect only found in secluded communities

Sect/Follower Name: Holvites
Prophet: Holmes
Prohibition: Fire for Light
Oath: "Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts"
Favored God: The Elements
Disfavored God: The Archivist
Year Founded: 480

Sect/Follower Name: Reformed New Holvites
Prophet: Holmes II
Prohibition: The number seven
Oath: "So it shall be."
Favored God: The Toiler
Disfavored God: The Archivist
Year Founded: 700

Sect/Follower Name: New Holvites
Prophet: Holmes II
Prohibition:  Time Keeping
Oath: "I await"
Favored God: Ombudsman
Disfavored God: Barrister
Year Founded: 540

Sect/Follower Name: Second Reformation Holvites
Prophet: Holmes II
Prohibition: Stonework
Oath: "Gods Willing"
Favored God: The Magus
Disfavored God: The Prism
Year Founded: 870

Sect/Follower Name: Jawvite
Prophet: Jayshun
Prohibition: Alcohol
Oath: "Compel us"
Favored God: The Elements
Disfavored God: The Barrister
Year Founded: 410

Sect/Follower Name: Kruvites
Prophet: Kru
Prohibition: Armor
Oath: "Fight be joined!"
Favored God: All
Disfavored God: None
Year Founded: 950

Sect/Follower Name: Marasites
Prophet: Marasalta
Prohibition: Edged Weapons
Oath: "Rejoice!"
Favored God: All
Disfavored God: None
Year Founded: 910
Dead sect only found in secluded communities

Sect/Follower Name:  Stivites
Prophet: St. Stivuhl
Prohibition: Gold
Oath: "Happiness Abounds!"
Favored God: The Prism
Disfavored God: The Archivist
Year Founded: 940

Sect/Follower Name: Timtamites
Prophet: Tim Tim
Prohibition: Horses
Oath: "May their light guide us"
Favored God: The Toiler
Disfavored God: The Ombudsman
Year Founded: 400

Sect/Follower Name: New Timtamites
Prophet: Tim Tim II
Prohibition: Speaking of Food
Oath: "Be one with the seven"
Favored God: The Magus
Disfavored God: The Elements
Year Founded: 510

Sect/Follower Name: Urvites
Prophet: Ur
Prohibition: Shellfish
Oath: "Find my time"
Favored God: The Prism
Disfavored God: The Toiler
Year Founded: 0 

Sect/Follower Name: Reformed Urvites
Prophet: Ur
Prohibition: Bright Colors
Oath: "I await"
Favored God: The Ombudsman
Disfavored God: The Toiler
Year Founded: 40
Dead sect only found in secluded communities
Sect/Follower Name: New Urvites
Prophet: Ur II
Prohibition: Games of Chance
Oath: "Infinity will Illuminate"
Favored God: The Archivist
Disfavored God: The Barrister
Year Founded: 310
Sect/Follower Name: Second Reformation Urvites
Prophet: Ur
Prohibition: Birds
Oath: "Dance the dance"
Favored God: The Barrister
Disfavored God: The Achivist
Year Founded: 330

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Marsholme Part II: D100 Familiars (Blueholme)

I like to use familiars as little spirit animal mascots for parties. They make great comic relief (“Miglet's at it again...”), enable quick plot hooks (Wait a minute! Where's Plucky!?”), and provided the little extra tool that helps players get out of sticky situations (“Roachy, climb under the door”). Since one of the perks on my “What Makes You So Special” table is “has a familiar” I figured I should include a table to help determine what sort of cuddly critter is gleefully following the characters to their doom, and like any good random table it should be d100 and get insanely gonzo by the end right?

D100 Familiars

  1. Asp
  2. Armadillo
  3. Bat
  4. Butterfly
  5. House Cat
  6. Bobcat
  7. Centipede
  8. Hen
  9. Cock
  10. Cockroach
  11. Crayfish
  12. Goldfish
  13. Fox
  14. Hare
  15. Hawk
  16. Hedgehog
  17. Koala
  18. Lemming
  19. Slug
  20. Lizard
  21. Horned Frog
  22. Meerkat
  23. Mole
  24. Monkey
  25. Moth
  26. Land Octopus
  27. Otter
  28. Owl
  29. Peacock
  30. Pig
  31. Platypus
  32. Raccoon
  33. Rat
  34. Mouse
  35. Raven
  36. Locust
  37. Cricket
  38. Grasshopper
  39. Scorpion
  40. Skunk
  41. Sloth
  42. Squirrel
  43. Flying Squirrel
  44. Frog
  45. Toad
  46. Box Turtle
  47. Snapping Turtle
  48. Wallaby
  49. Weasel
  50. Echidna
  51. Cobra
  52. Black Widow
  53. Orb Weaver
  54. Tarantula
  55. Mocking Bird
  56. Parrot
  57. Gull
  58. Duck
  59. Swan
  60. Vulture
  61. Small Dog
  62. Hunting Dog
  63. Wolf
  64. Gremlin
  65. Imp
  66. Fairy
  67. Mouse
  68. Miniature Dinosaur
  69. Crab
  70. Doll
  71. Pocket Golem
  72. Opossum
  73. Rabbit
  74. Lilliputian
  75. Lady Bug
  76. Purse Dragon
  77. Puppet
  78. Backpack Goblin
  79. Newt
  80. Bonsai Ent
  81. Elementalette, Fire
  82. Elementalette, Water
  83. Elementalette, Earth
  84. Elementalette, Wind
  85. Automaton
  86. Garden Gnome
  87. Worm
  88. Disembodied Hand
  89. Wandering Eye
  90. A Wondrously Shifting Color
  91. Blood Orphan
  92. Snail
  93. Slug
  94. Statue
  95. A Skeletal “Roll Again”
  96. A Ghost of a “Roll Again”
  97. A Zombie “Roll Again”
  98. An Invisible “Roll Again”
  99. A cross between a “Roll Again” and a “Roll Again”
  100. A “Roll Again” Riding a “Roll Again”

     I am not providing stats or special abilities because I play my familiars pretty fast and loose. 1D4 or 1d6 hp and one appropriate special ability of little real consequence. The familiar and the character can communicate in their own whispery language that comes from knowing each others true name. I'm also game to let characters attain familiars in game through questing, witch ritual, or happy accident, and I don't limit the attaining of familiars to specific classes. You do you.

Monday, May 6, 2019

You Call This Archeology: Part 1 (DCC)

From the pages of Blackthorn’s Concordance of Archeology:
“...except on every Mychanoidial New Year, on which they are rumored to raise from the detritus of the clearing and begin the process of the rite anew. (See also Spores of Taliboard, the)

Field of Babastura, the (formerly Gallows Meadow): The Field of Babastura was the site of the final battle of the War of Jurisprudence waged by the opposing forces of the Jecelite Kingdom and the Order of Babastura. The site is located between the foothills of Mount Chuan-Hok on the valley plain known in that era as Gallows Meadow. The region had long been the site of executions of prisoners on both sides of the conflict.

The final battle served as a last ditch effort by the Jecelites to wipe out the bestial priests before they could summon the Slave God Babastura from his mountain prison. The priests and their sinister tribes had dug a series of trenches and tunnels in an attempt to slow the superior Jecelite force. The Jecelites, despite equipping themselves with fantastic armaments crafted by the finest alchemical minds of the age, were unable to stop the summoning ritual in time and Babastura arrived in the form of a great pyroclastic floe that decimated both his own zealous followers and their foes. The few warriors that survived the conflict were so damaged by the sights and sounds of the carnage that they were left to wander the world with broken minds and shattered souls. Some were rumored to have given up hope for the overworld and instead chose to settle in the caves and trenches under the battlefield permanently. Babastura has been active in the pantheon of our world ever since and the scarred face of mount Chuan-Hok has become a symbol for the few who are foolhardy enough to follow him.

Today, if the local folklore is to be believed, the site is shrouded in dark energy and sinister magics. The cratered top of Mount Chuan-Hok continues to spew acrid steam and smoke which settle in the valley like a never ending fog. The valley itself, once a green and lush pasture, is today a maze of gnarled thicket interspersed with sudden drops and walls of volcanic stone. Due to the perceived and actual dangers of the site, few explorers and treasure hunters have picked over the area. The fantastic nature of the combatant’s arms, and the fact that neither army survived to collect the spoils of war, led the Hostvorten College of Archeology and Antiquities to give this site a Gold rating for potential discovery.

Fieldworks of the North Ubvenfjord: These battlements, created for use in the Oestervock Campaigns of the Poliposion wars were never used in combat due to the collapse of the Wold Republics soon after their completion, however...”

Archeological finds on the Field of Babastura (stats given for DCC RPG but can be easily converted to any Fantasy ruleset):

     Kit of Vermudus: Over one hundred of these Oak boxed kits were prepared by the alchemist Vermudus for the Jecelite army. The kits included a number of odd and powerful potions, preparations, and unguents to heal the wounds suffered on the field of battle. Most kits found will undoubtedly be incomplete. (Roll 2D5 to determine how many items are present and then randomly determine which items are not present) A complete kit would contain the following:

1. Antim’s Rallying Ether: This vial is triple bound with cloth, cork, and wax and takes two full rounds to open. Breathing deeply from the vial grants two hit dice of healing as well as a +1 to all attack and damage rolls for 1d3 rounds. The remedy can be waved under the nose of a fallen comrade to grant a 1d10 roll for a roll over the body check, however since the incapacitated recipient is unable to inhale the vapors purposefully they do not receive the other benefits of the potion.

2. Powder of Serguese: This white powder resembles bone flakes and is contained in a small round glass dish with a lid. If a characters blood is spilled into the dish and mixed with the powder it will harden into a crimson puck in 2d5 turns. The player will lose a permanent hit point when this occurs. If the player later consumes the puck he will regain the hit point as well as regaining one lost attribute point due to a roll over the body check, etc. if another creature or humanoid eats the cake they will gain the players lost hit point but do not receive the ability restoration benefit. Consuming the powder on its own causes mild intestinal distress lasting 1d3 days.

3. Malicter’s unguent: This paste was stored in a small bone vial capped with cork and wax. The contents will have solidified over the years but can be revitalized with a splash of water. The paste will remove a moderately sized scar if applied once a day for three days. There is enough in the vial for 3 applications (6 for smaller scars).

4. Potion of Bulk: This large glass flask contains a concoction with the appearance of urine with small flakes of silver suspended within and is warm to the touch. When ingested it functions as an enlarge spell cast with a spell check of 1d12+10 for the purposes of stat effects, however the character does not grow by the given percentage, instead gaining that percentage in mass. The effects last until the character next urinates. The potion itself is a powerful diuretic and after 1 turn the imbiber must make a DC 14 fortitude save each round to avoid the effect. The character’s water may be collected and used again as a Potion of Bulk however each using decreases the caster check die one step down the dice chain.

5. Blackpaw Brew: This thick and pungent, traditional remedy is a rich brown color and very thick. It is contained in a large leather bound canteen. If consumed straight the imbiber must make a DC 12 fortitude save or regurgitate the brew immediately. Bringing the brew to a boil and drinking while still warm alleviates this risk. The potion restores 2 Hit dice worth of hit points and will grant bonus hit points beyond the creatures normal maximum. These bonus hit points remain for 3d6 turns or until lost via injury.

6. Brandt’s Colonic: This purple, viscous liquid comes in a long thin vial with a hare bone stopper. The remedy is applied anally and triples the rate of regular healing for 3d6 weeks. Roughly 15% of humanoids and 70% dwarves are highly allergic to the formula resulting in anal bleeding lasting 3d6 weeks that negates the healing benefit, and severe internal itching that reduces a characters personality by 4 (minimum 3) for the next 48 hours.

7. Baitswallow’s Restorative: This potion is a shimmering, translucent magenta and is contained in an ornate flask with gold piping and an ebony stopper stylized into the shape of an elephants head. At one time this was one of the most powerful potions known, restoring 6 Hit Dice of damage and increasing all saves by 2 for 24 hours. The March of time has diminished its power and it now only restores 1d4 hit points. It does have a pleasing flavor for those who enjoy sweetened licorice.

8. Pavlitt’s Elixer: This green, pungent, garlic based potion comes in a ceramic vial, with a clay stopper. The contents can bring a humanoid who has passed since the last full moon back to full life for 24 hours, after which they must make a DC 15 fortitude save or turn to dust. Succeeding on the save returns them to a healthy natural death. 

9. Aphlet’s Cure All: This remedy comes in the form of an olive green bar wrapped in velum. This solid gum, was meant to be rubbed between the hands to heat and soften before being applied to sore muscle to alleviate pain and speed recovery. It is unclear if it ever worked, but any effects seen now appear to be purely psychosomatic.

10. Prongtar’s Pamphlet: This pocket sized tome includes instructions for the use of all items in the kit as well as general guidance for the identification of potions and healing herbs in the field. Pursuing the booklet for one turn before attempting to identify the use or effects of such items grants a +2 bonus to the next skill roll/attribute check made to that purpose. Player’s using the book to determine the effects of items in the kit will only find information on the original effects of the items and will not be aware of the way in which the passage of time has effected some items. 

Whisper Horn: These mythical horns are, unfortunately, rarely found in pairs (15% chance). The horns themselves are taken from ritually slain Dairoxen. They are adorned with a leather strap and embossed with intricate silver threading, which have taken on a slightly luminous green tinge with the passing of time. The horns are magically enchanted and when sounded can be heard up to 20 miles away. If the user whispers a message of up to 12 words into the wide end of the Horn immediately before sounding it, then the whispered message will reverberate from any other whisper horns within hearing range. The large end of the second horn must be brought to ones ear within two rounds of hearing the blast to make out the message with 100% accuracy, otherwise the chance of understanding the message drops by 10% for every foot the Horn is from the users ear.

Jecelite Spear Head: Jecelite Spears were renowned in their time for their balance, heft, and hardiness. The heads were crafted form a alloy of steal now lost to history. They never dull and rarely break if used properly. To balance the weighty head a counterbalance piece was attached to the opposite end of the spear. This weapon was not built to be thrown giving it a range similar to a dagger and incurring a -4 penalty to attack in this manner. However, when used in regular melee combat by a hardy soldier the weapon can be quite deadly. A complete Jecelite spear doubles the bonus or penalty granted by a creature’s strength score to damage. Further any user with a minimum of a +1 strength bonus will see the weapon behave as a +1 magical weapon in regards to attack bonus and ability to hit magical creatures. Unfortunately a complete weapon is hard to find. A spearhead used without a proper Jecelite counterweight will do 1D7 damage and be at a constant -3 to hit. In the rare instance that a complete spear is found the wood will be so old that it will be in constant danger of breakage. After any successful hit the weapon must roll a 1D20 “fortitude save” over the damage of the attack or shatter. A weapon smith can easily craft a wooden shaft for a Jecelite spear for 1-2 gold pieces. Spears found in the wild tend towards the following distribution: (1) shaft only, (2-10) counterweight only, (11-20) Head only, (21-75) Head and counterweight without shaft, (76-100) complete specimen.

Tabard of Maleeshia: These tabards are made from the rib bones of fell Beasts. The tabard itself grants a +1 bonus to AC, however, due to old age, the tabard will be destroyed on any hit that misses the wearer by 1. The tabard behaves as a scroll of Bless cast at a spell check of 3d6+10 and only effects lawful creatures within range. The scroll can be read by any humanoid that can read common and is spelled out phonetically so that any of the Jecelites allies could use it even if they did not speak High Jecelic. Reading the scroll takes 1d4 rounds minus the readers intelligence modifier (minimum 1), and the writing disappears from the scroll afterwards. The words will reappear on the tabard 24 hours after the tabard is worn in melee combat.

Ishtoogs Collar: These enchanted leather collars with bronze hardware create an empathetic link between a canine and a humanoid master. If a user places the collar on a canine they will be able to act on each other’s initiative (both creatures roll and may pick to use higher or lower number. The two need not use the same number.) The linked pair also receive a +1 bonus to attack rolls when in melee with the same creature. Further the user may see through the canines eyes by concentrating for 1d3 rounds with their own eyes closed. Any other creature wearing the collar will slowly turn into a mutt hound over the course of the next three full moons. First gaining fur, then ears, snout and non opposable thumbs, and fianally becoming a complete canine on the morn after the third moon. The creature will have the stats of a common dog and lose all normal ability scores and powers. Upon total transformation, the resulting hound will receive all the benefits listed above if the collar was placed upon them by a creature other than themselves. Whether being worn by a canine, humanoid, or other creature, the collar can not be removed by any means save a remove curse spell or similar magic. Upon death of the creature the collar will detach on its own. 

Warget Tusk Necklace: This necklace consist of 28 rune dominoes carved from Warget tusk. These are often (50%) recovered without twine but can be returned to full functioning if stung by a goblin wench onto dwarf beard twine. If worn, the necklace grants a +2 bonus to ritual magic spell checks. The wearer must be of a chaotic alignment in order to be effective. The necklace will grant an additional +2 (total +4) to ritual magic castings involving Babastura. The runes themselves can be thrown as bones granting a +2 bonus to checks for scrying or divination like abilities. They are also favorable to chaotic aligned characters when used in recreational games grnting a 60% chance of winning in games of chance (like Old Man’s Bladder) and a +2 bonus to winning games of skill (like Grog-yon-bones, or Two Score and Two)

Marsholme Part I: What Makes You So Special? (Bluehome)

Marsholme: Part I

The City of Marsholm and the region of The Floodtide are highly fantastic versions of the town of Brussles in the Flanders Region of Europe in the late middle ages. Marsholm is a walled city, up river from the flooded lands of the coast. The city sits at a confluence of roads and rivers and is a key trade hub for the region. The town has been inhabited for ages under many different names and kingdoms. The current city is built over ruins of the old empire city which was itself built on ruins of more ancient and bizarre kingdoms. The area has no king and is ruled by a hodgepodge of bureaucrats, guilds, gangs, monasteries, and other organizations that provided negotiating leverage and protection from each other. Although a central government runs the core of the city, most neighborhoods have their own patrons with areas of control often changing from block to block. The city can be used as an urban sandbox with multiple entrances to dungeons, ruins, and catacombs secreted within its walls. 

Representation of the levels of dungeons and ruins beneath the walled city.

I wanted to give characters in Marsholm some added flavor, skills, and abilities relevant to the setting. To that end I developed the “What Makes You So Special?” table. The “Arduin-esque” results on the table are not designed with balance in mind, instead being loose ideas for providing plot hooks and interesting traits to new characters. Some are very powerful while others are quite mundane.


  1. Oral Historian: 10% chance to know historical facts immediately; 20% chance can recall fact after 1D12 turns of historical recitation: 30% recites aimlessly for 1D12 turns but never gets to the needed information: 40% knows they don’t know the fact in question.
  2. Magic Wild Talent: can use one randomly determined 1st level spell by just concentrating once per day. Spell activates in melee phase.
  3. Secret Heirloom: has one randomly determined magic item that is cursed to lose its power if anyone but the heir (the character) sees it being used and is still alive 24 hours later.
  4. Nine Lives: if killed the character will reincarnate 24 hours later; 50% chance that 1d8 lives have already been used.
  5. Eidetic Memory: can review scenes from their life like pages in a photo album. Takes 2d6 rounds to leaf through the pages
  6. Dream Insight: Has nightly dreams about future events
  7. Plant Whisperer: can speak to normal plants; most have little to say, but very old or intelligent plants can be invaluable sources of information.
  8. Iron Liver: Immune to positive and negative effects of alcohol, +2 to saves vs poison, must save against beneficial potions as well.
  9. Bardolotry: knows 20% of all beards encountered personally; 20% by name and deed; and another 20% by name only. Knows lyrics to 40% of bard songs and shanties, can’t sing or play a note.
  10. Tough Skin: natural 8 AC - armor granting 8 or less is redundant.
  11. River Folk: Natural swimmer, fisherman and canoe rower; worthless on the open sea or large lakes.
  12. Low Blood Pressure: 10%chance to pass out under G-force or when standing up quickly, -1 damage per hit from non-blunt trauma.
  13. Land Owner: (1) cottage only (2) Acre (3) Oxgang (4) Virgate (5) Carucate (6) river front and roll again.
  14. Pugilist: can do damage a a light weapon bare handed.
  15. Executioner: effortless coup-de-grace. If a blow is dealt with a medium or larger edged weapon that hits for at least half of a creatures remaining hit points the target will be decapitated. Must dine alone; can not touch others.
  16. Escaped Clone: no childhood, no memory. 10% Experince bonus as you “re-learn” your past; someone is looking for you.
  17. Girth: +2 strength. Small spaces are an issue; Armor is one point less effective unless specially built/fit. Consumes twice the normal food/ration. Can make food knowledge skill checks with a roll under strength or intelligence check.
  18. Lunar Synchronization: +1 to attacks and checks during the week of the new moon, -1 on the week of the full moon.
  19. Scofflaw: 75% chance of getting away with minor crimes.
  20. Natural Osteomancy: can throw bones to predict the future or gain guidance, but answer will be vague or mysterious; can feel weather changes in their bones.
  21. Devoted Lover: will follow into danger, can not be gotten rid of.
  22. Guardian: (1) angel (2) demon (3) spirit (4) noble (5) wizard (6) saint (7) fairy (8) dragon. Will show up once in a time of great need, once when requested and a final time to solicit the characters help.
  23. Lucky Weapon: +1 to all attacks; -1 penalty to all rolls for 1d12 weeks if it is lost or destroyed.
  24. Vegarius: +2 bonus to rolls when doing something totally unexpected.
  25. Lightning Struck: +1 die of damage when causing shock/electrical damage, +2 to saves versus electricity; can sense static or cause a small spark by snapping their fingers. a tractor of electricity based attacks, hazards and traps.
  26. has a familiar
  27. Lives by the Sword; dies by the sword: does/takes 2x damage with/from swords. Can survive to negative 10 hp from non-sword damage.
  28. Supernatural Longevity: ages at one half normal rate.
  29. Mother Nature’s Child: gains +1 to attack -1 to AC and +1 caster level when barefoot and standing on natural ground.
  30. Favorite of the Gods: By focusing for one round, may receive double the effect of a cleric spell cast upon them by another.
  31. Honest Face: creatures of one HD or less can not lie to the character and will trust and believe any reasonable statement made by them.
  32. Trusted Steed: named mount will always pass morale checks and comes when called if able.
  33. Cliff Diver: -1 die damage from falling; can hold breath for 2d4 minutes.
  34. Armor Master: AC is one lower when wearing armor; can identify magic armor with 90% accuracy.
  35. Dune Walker: +2 on saves vs. heat or fire. Can smell water from a mile away and determine portability by scent alone.
  36. Attuner: gets in touch with a new weapon. -1 to attack rolls until they have both hit and missed with the weapon; thereafter +1 with that specific weapon until they change weapons and start the process anew.
  37. In a Row?! After felling a foe the character gets. +1 to their next attack. If that attack fells a foe they receive a +2 to the next attack. The second attack comes immediately with a medium or small weapon and one round later with a large/heavy weapon.
  38. Marathoner: can labor, March, run etc. for twice as long as a normal humanoid without rest, or take only half the amount of rest usually needed if putting forth a similar effort to others.
  39. Brownthumb: +4 to attacks and damage vs plant type creatures; hated by trees and forests; can not farm to save their life.
  40. Keeps Score: keeps track of every enemy they slay. Gains a immediate level at 100, a wish at 200, at 3000 “The Swordsman” comes knocking.
  41. No\thing. Never picked; never noticed, enemies seem to ignore you
  42. Androgynous: Member of the powerful and renowned guild of the Castrato and Hysterecii
  43. Stardusted: Psychically connected to the stars. Knowledge of and feared by “Old Ones” 50%. Leaves sparkling fingerprints and twinkling footprints.
  44. Coma: can voluntarily put themselves into a death like sleep for a predetermined length of time. 99% chance you wake up.
  45. Elder: Commands the respect that comes of advanced age. +2 Int, Cha, Wis; -2 Str, Dex, Con. 10% chance of obscure knowledge or helpful contact.
  46. Kings Bastard: Will never reach the throne or gain true power, but will have constant respect and awe of the comon folk and is worshiped by those of ill-repute.
  47. Rathe-ripe: Highly precocious. All of the abilities of an adult at the age of 1d10+4.
  48. Full Trance Medium: Character can go into a trance like state in which they lose all control and remember nothing, Spirits talk through them.
  49. Touched by Death: Undead of less HD than the character's level will not attack them. Speaks the languages of the dead. -4 Cha... the smell.
  50. Spy: Funded by an outsider to report on your associates. Gain 1st level thief skills for free. If already a thief, perform skills at one level higher. Awarded 1 gp per 10xp gained while adventuring as long as you keep your secret, but at what cost?
  51. Woods(wo)man: Never gets lost in the woods. +1 Attack and Damage with an axe. Climb Trees as a thief of same level climbs walls. Speaks (1) Bear (2) Wolf (3) Fox (4) Owl.
  52. Sailor: Knows their way around a boat. Rope use/knots. +1 Attack and Damage with rapier. Can navigate by the stars. Speaks (1) Dolphin (2) merfolk (3) Octopus (4) Shark.
  53. Locksmith: Can make 10gp over expenses per month if they have a shop and tools. (1d6x10 per month with good advertising. Opens locks as a thief of same level and if a thief as one level higher. Starts with double normal gold.
  54. Failed Apprentice: Can use wands and scrolls as a level 3 theif. Has 1d6 level 1 scrolls and 1d3 level 2 scrolls. Some one wants these back. Knows where a cache of magical items is secreted. The same person wants these left alone. Can never become a magic-user after “the incident.”
  55. Duelist: +2 to Attack +2 or -2 to Damage while dueling. Can not turn down a dual or looses their touch permanently. +2 charisma.
  56. Veteran: Starts with 1000 exp, a pole-arm, armor, and blade of choice. +1 to attack rolls if given a full turn to observe the battlefield before an engagement.
  57. Street Urchin: Knows Dark Secrets (%10), Sees through false rumors (%95). Hide in shadows and pick pockets as a thief of same level and as a level higher if already a thief.
  58. Healing Hands: Can heal another as cure light wounds once per day by focusing for 3 rounds. Healing more than once per day is possible but leeches the restored hit points from the healer. 10% chance to cure poison or natural disease.
  59. Jeweler: Appraise value of gems (95%) Appraise/identify jewelry (75%). Starts with 3 random gems.
  60. Noble: If you get into too much trouble Mom and Dad will bail you out. Start with fine clothes, armor and a masterwork weapon. Double starting money. The peasantry hate you.
  61. Lycanthrope: (1) Werebear (2) Wereboar (3) Wererat (4) Wereshark (5) Weretiger (6) Werewolf.
  62. Dracologist: know dragons by name and deed (25%) Dragon Knowledge (90%) know dragon's true name (1%). +4 bonus to saves vs breath weapon.
  63. Wandering Alignment. Check Daily: (1) Lawful Good (2) Lawful Evil (3) neutral (4) chaotic good (5) chaotic evil (6) players choice. Immune to alignment effects for good or ill.
  64. Scribe. Can read and write. Can scribe scrolls and research spells at 25% discount to time and cost OR read scrolls as a thief of current level +3.
  65. Rugged: +2 to saves vs poison, +1 HD
  66. Polymath: Receives full Prime Requisite Bonus when multi-classing regardless of ability scores. Speaks one additional language; player's choice.
  67. Slayer: +2 Attack and +4 Damage (70%) knowledge of sworn enemy: (1) Dragon (2) Giant (3) Ogre (4) Troll (5) Golem (6) Vampire
  68. Monk or Abbess: Virtuous; Brewing and Vinting knowledge (70%). Free healing at monastery of Abbey. Turn Undead as level +1 if a cleric. May only keep 10% of earned wealth.
  69. Holds a Trade License. May open a business, guild, or engage in inter-city trade. The license itself is highly valuable but difficult to legally transfer.

     (map of Brussels circa 1574)
  70. Badge: (1) City Watch (2) Gateguard (3) Warden (4) Constable (5) Tax-Collector (6) Bailiff; Will be compensated if time is spent working. Conveys all manner of advantage if not abused.
  71. Bone-and-Rag-Man (Woman): can always determine the most valuable item from a treasure hoard, flotsam, lair refuse, etc. – Makes great deals (10% off at local shops); knows town alleyways (80%)
  72. Gongfermour- It's a dirty job, but someone's gotta' do it; Know sewers (90%); +1 attack and damage versus Rats, Bats, and Vermin.
  73. Investigator: Underworld contacts (20%); Law Enforcement Contacts (20%); Hide in Shadows, move silently, as a thief of same level or +1 level if already a thief.
  74. Flood Refuge: Has made enough swim checks to last a lifetime – doesn't have to make any more. Starts with half normal coin; knows where a treasure is submerged.
  75. Owns a boat: River Knowledge (%60), Boating (%60), (1) Rowboat (2) Raft (3) Barge (4) long boat.
  76. Stonemason's Guild: Helped build the city wall, part of a powerful fraternal order; signet ring.
  77. Shepard: Allowed a lease of land for their flock costing 20gp/month upkeep if they aren't tending it. 3D6 sheep. Knows local marshland (%60)
  78. Government Job: Start with 3x normal coin; load of clout in the right circles, hated and ridiculed in the wrong circles (1) Hayward (2) Herald (3) Exchequer (4) Summoner (5) Diplomat (6) Liner (7) Judge (8) Reeve
  79. Grave Robber: -2 Charisma; +1 Attack and Damage vs undead. Tomb knowledge (%70), ring of protection +1 (stolen)
  80. Amnesia: was an adventurer until a nasty blow to the head robbed them of a few years of their memory. Upon reaching level (or when the DM feels it is thematically appropriate) they may regain their lost memory and lost levels as a (1) fighter (2) thief (3) magic-user (4) cleric. They will now effectively be mult-iclassed with the same amount of experience in each profession. Or with 2000 bonus experience if they were already of that profession.
  81. Tavern Musician: +1 Dex; +1 Cha; Roll Favored Instrument From Marsholm Random Tavern Generator. Rumors the character obtains in taverns area always true.
  82. Gaolor: Works in the city dungeon; Dungeon Knowledge depends on dungeon level: I 90%, II 70%, III 23%, IV 10%, V 5%, VI 1%, VII+ ?. Free access to the depths.
  83. Archaeologist: student of the old city of the ancients that Marsholm was built upon; Ruin Knowledge (60%); Excavation (%70); Has a map to a hidden entrance to the old city, +1d3 language (Dreenoi, Old Khaos, Purple Tongue).
  84. Parent: 1d8 children, of ages 1d20-1 (determine each randomly); -1 to all stats.
  85. Starman: You are stranded on this backward little world until you find a ride home. Astrogatison (70%); Phazer Pistol (4D6 Damage, take the two highest; range: infinite; 3d6 charges left, charge indicator currently broken.)
  86. Psionic: telepathy in line of sight; telekinesis as levitate and drains one con per round.
  87. Persistent Resistant: no first level spell effects you; even if you want it to.
  88. Cult of Blackwolf: The flesh of your arm has been sacrificed leaving it skeletal but magically functional. Your ability as a spell caster is magnified. You always roll twice and take the preferred number on random results. -4 Cha if not covered.
  89. Agile: -1 AC, +2 Save vs Breath, +5% to move silently. Hide in shadows and climb sheer surfaces, DEX=18 for purposes of initiative.
  90. Fully Ambidextrous: May use two weapons in combat. Both attacks are rolled in the last phase for the weight of the weapon used, if either weapon is medium, choose which attack to take after rolling but only one will hit. -1 AC with shield.
  91. Vivid Orator: can cast spells without using hands; +2 Cha.
  92. Monkey Paws: Can use heavy weapons in one hand and swing from vines presumably. +50% to climb sheer surface.
  93. Mule Blood: unaffected by encumbrance until they are too encumbered to move. Armor, etc, does not effect class abilities.
  94. Old Soul: You have multiple past lives and remember much them. Ancient knowledge (40%) One random thief skill. One random cleric spell, and magic-user spell (once per day, either not both) +1 Int; +1 Wis; can not be raised form the dead. Nature has a plan.
  95. The score; as a youngster you tried your hand as a thief. You got away clean, but only by swallowing 2d6 gems. Years later you have yet to pass them.
  96. Devoted Husband/wife; Acts as a group mom/pop; makes torches, cooks up mean rations, and is super supportive of your nerdy little adventuring hobby from the safety of home.
  97. Huge Clan: Your forefathers were very... busy. 1 in 20 chance that some one of the same race you meet is a relative. 1 in 100 chance that someone of a half-blood race is.
  98. Make your own fate: roll 3 times on this chart and choose your favorite. Ignore further rolls of 98+
  99. Dynamic Duo. Roll twice. Take one result for yourself and give the other to your loyal retainer / sidekick. Ignore further rolls of 98+
  100. (100) Powerhouse! Roll twice and take both, Ignore further rolls of 98+

Marsholme Part III: Seofengoden, a randomly generated religion

Since the Floodtide is based on medieval Europe I had the idea to create a religion system more akin to the way religions work in our world...