Sunday, July 18, 2021

He Who Greets the Sun with a Hymn Does Not Notice the Small Spots (Class: Paladin)

The final "base class" for the Mountain, just in timeat least a week and a half too late for me to run a game. These owe, obviously, a great debt to the masked clerics of G_d.

Three of Wands.

Class: Paladin

Every paladin has a Revelation; a vision which causes them to break with the dogma of the Church and leads them to the Mountain on a divine mission. Every paladin is a prophet, an apostate, and a heretic, blessed with divine self-righteousness and strength of faith; it is they who have heard the word of G_d, they who speak holy truth, and they who decide what is divine necessity and what is false ceremony.

There's a big Church back in the Civilized Lands, with complex theology and dogma and all of that nonsense. You're not connected to it and don't have to worry about any of that. You may end up with one or two strictures by virtue of your Revelation and Miracles, but that's it. The things you do are holy by definition; feel free to associate with witches and thiefs and by your presence they shall be redeemed. 

Every template of Paladin you have gives you +1 to resisting coercion and withstanding hardship. Your second and fourth templates also each give you +1 to-hit. My system doesn't actually have proficiency so I don't know why I keep listing them off like it does and I'm not going to anymore.

Skills: 1. Farming 2. Rhetoric 3. Prophecy

Starting Equipment: A holy symbol, a short stavepractical clothing and a rucksack, a wool blanket, waterskin, 3 torches, 3 iron rations, 50' of stout hempen rope, a book of hymns and folk songs, and one relic from the list at the end.

A Orisons, First Revelation
B Miracles, +1 MD
C Fury, Second Revelation
D Coronation, +1 MD

A: Orisons
At will, you may do any of the following:

  • Conjure a torch-sized flame into your cupped palm.
  • Consecrate a man-made flame of bonfire size or smaller, causing it to produce no ash nor smoke.
  • Refuse to be burned by any fire of not-specifically-malicious intent.
  • Know the position of the sun, the approximate time and exact date, and which cardinal direction you are facing.

A: Revelation
As a paladin, you have received a revelation; a prophetic vision with more weight and detail to it than the nightmarish dreams suffered by most who are called to the Mountain, shewing them a potential End of the World as well as a means by which it may be averted. Each paladin's revelation is unique, but four broad themes seem to be present:

  1. Revelation of the Hearth (Choirs)
    Throngs of the faithful gather around great bonfires to repel the assault of infernal forces, vast armies of black glass and iridescent chitin. We're strongest together; our bonds are our might.
    Those who have received the revelation of the hearth know that there is nothing greater than what people can achieve in companionship. Their most important duty is to find allies against the darkness.

    Hearth paladins shave and tattoo their heads and bodies, and are sometimes called Choirs. Their primary restriction is that they may not cause harm to one who has not acted violently in their presence, and their secondary restriction is that they must not consume the flesh nor eggs of anything with or without a face.

    1. Castigation
      Upon receiving your first revelation, your voice cannot be ignored, muffled, or muted. When you spend an action to deliver curses and invective with appropriate gravity, your target must check morale. If they succeed, they must primarily target you for the remainder of the encounter—failure means they break, flee, etc as normal.

    2. God Throat
      Upon receiving your second revelation you gain the service of the angel known as WORD, so styled because she answers to many names. Her dossier can be found at the end of the list of angels far below.

  2. Revelation of Gunpowder (Judges)
    Steel-eyed inquisitors plumb the depths of the world, unearthing great fiends in their lairs and striking them down. Victory can be won only by discovering and destroying the greatest evils before they can destroy us.
    Those who have received the revelation of gunpowder know that they are soldiers in an unending war. Their most important duty is to slay the enemies of righteousness before they are able to act.

    Gunpowder paladins weave wooden tokens into their hair, wear muted colors, wield hammers and pistols, and are sometimes called Judges or Inquisitors. Their primary restriction is that they must not turn their back on an opportunity to destroy or prevent evil, and their secondary restriction is that they may not carry nor wield bladed instruments.

    1. Bloodhound
      Upon receiving your first revelation your senses are finely attuned to signs beyond the purely physical, allowing you to smell the distinctive reek of secrecy. This won't tell you anything about secrets except their existence, but is of great help in discovering traps, secret doors and compartments, people who are trying to hide, et cetera.

    2. Veritas Dei
      Upon receiving your second revelation your very soul revolts against falsehood, causing you 1 damage for each consciously spoken untruth you utter and allowing you to see lies and instinctively judge the weight of souls.

  3. Revelation of the Torch (Contemplatives)
    A lone hero scales an infinite incline, torch held high, tested mentally, physically, and in spirit. The only one who can be counted on, in the end, is oneself; so each must individually become the best, strongest self possible if we are to survive as a whole.
    Those who have received the revelation of the torch know that relentless self-improvement is the highest virtue. Their most important duty is to better themselves in every fashion—become stronger, healthier, more virtuous, better educatedand to help others do the same.

    Torch paladins oil their bodies and bare their hands and feet, and are sometimes called Apotheosites, Templar, and Contemplatives. Their primary restriction is that they must test themselves against the strong and vice versa, and their secondary restriction is that they may not tell to others what they have not witnessed themselves.

    1. Sacred Martial Arts
      Upon receiving your first revelation your fists, knees, elbows, forehead, and any other part of your body you could conceivably strike someone with are are light weapons, and you are a skilled wrestler. When you hit someone with a melee attack, you can attempt a free combat maneuver against them if you name and describe your action as a special move (or use one previously named and described that makes sense in context). You can't use the same special move twice in the same combat.

    2. Force Projection
      Upon receiving your second revelation you master techniques of hand-to-hand combat far beyond the normal limits of human achievement. Your unarmed melee attacks have a 30' reach and you can run on walls, spikes, or water as long as you end your turn on solid footing. Additional secret techniques may become available to you in your travels.

  4. Revelation of the Mirror (Scriveners)
    Scholars delve deep in libraries and laboratories, their frenetic study essential despite the calamity outside, until finally, finally, the Secret which justifies any consequence is uncovered, the Work complete. Something terrible is Coming, and we'd be foolish indeed to discard any weapon which might be raised against it.
    Those who have received the revelation of the mirror know that all the evils of the world pale in comparison to the great enemy that comes against it, and that the right or wrong of a sword or rifle lie in the hands that wield it. Their most important duty is to seek out power and knowledge that is lost, disdained, forgotten or forbidden.

    Mirrored paladins cover their faces—with blank-featured or silvered masks when possible, or simple cloth when not—and are sometimes called Lenses, Silverfish, Warminds, and Scriveners. Their primary restriction is that they may not consciously allow knowledge to be lost, and their secondary restriction is that they must share knowledge with any who, in their estimation, should make use of it.

    1. Holy Seals
      Upon receiving your first revelation, each time you command an angel you may cause up to [templates] blessed seals in your possession to spontaneously combust: For each that does, you may add or replace one MD. You can produce new seals out of 10 sp in wax, art supplies, and precious metals, at a rate of one per day as a part of your normal rest, and they each take up 1/3 of a slot.

      You also gain the ability to perceive and communicate with the spirit world slightly earlier than your fellows, and the services of one angel rolled on the list from the end with 1d6 rather than 1d12.

    2. Coronal Mass Ejection
      Upon receiving your second revelation you are able to resurrect a technique from the holy books long thought apocryphal: The ability to project an exploding laser beam directly out of your forehead at one billion miles per hour. Once per combat round, you may deal 1d6 holy fire damage to anything you can see.

Breaking your secondary restriction causes an immediate mishap. Breaking your primary restriction causes an immediate doom.

B: Miracles
The world of spirits and spells reveals itself to you, and you gain the service of an angel (roll 1d12) whom you are able to command through the use of Miracle Dice in exactly the same way someone else might cast a spell with Magic Dice

The saints of the Church are numerous, and each day of the year is the feast day of one or more, with collisions being the source of fierce dogmatic arguments. Your MD are replenished at dawn at a rate of 1 MD per each of the following saintly attributes you are able to declare—up to your maximum MD—regardless of whether you rested or not:

  • Name and/or title
  • Portfolio
  • Saintly deeds
  • Method of martyrdom
  • Ritual observances
For example you might declare, "Today is the day of Giuseppe the Maligned, patron saint of psychiatry and comedy, who restored the grand mural of the Holy City, and was cast from a high cliff, and on whose day we must turn every handshake into an arm-wrestle," and have declared all five attributes, and regain up to 5 MD if you somehow have that many which should be impossible.

Upon gaining template D, you receive the services of a second angel of your choice.

C: Fury
When engaged in melee combat, you may make one extra attack each round for free. The extra attack doesn't, technically, have to be a melee one.

D: Coronation
You develop a blessed halo, the surest sign of your divine significance. This takes the form of either a diffuse radiance projected around your body or a hard-edged circlet of light hovering over your head. Regardless of its form, it casts light as a torch and protects you from harm, granting +1 AC. It is also very impressive.


As a spellcaster, you are able to perceive and communicate with the spirits known commonly as spells. As a paladin, those available to you to command (by means of your MD) are termed angels, the handmaidens of G_d.

Other spells may exist, and you may be able to bribe, coerce, or otherwise convince them to join you. By the same token, experienced paladins and such met in the wild may travel with spells outside this list.
  1. Missile
    She is clad in a sleekly articulated plate harness, and wields a brace of darts which become visible when she casts them at a target. She is blunt in her manner and could be seen as arrogant, were her aim any less true.
    Throws [dice] darts, each of which unerringly strikes a target of your choice within sight for 4 damage. The darts of your Missile are formed from hard-edged white light and resemble...
    1. Dueling swords
    2. Arrows
    3. Spears
    4. Needles
    5. Birds of prey
    6. Longswords
    7. Throwing knives
    8. Circles or discs
    9. Shuriken
    10. Sidewinders

  2. Burning Hands
    She is four-armed and muscular, bare from the waist up. Her fists are ever-clenched, each wreathed in flames too hot to fully consider.
    Heats the palms of your hands to a significant fraction of the temperature of the sun for [dice] minutes, while protecting you from the effects thereof. This is probably sufficient to melt through at least [sum] inches of stone or steel, set flammable objects on fire, fuse sand into brittle glass, and so on, and you may reroll all invested MD as damage dice when open-palm slapping someone with them. Alternatively, holding your hands up palm-outward is probably sufficient to ward away most potential threats without actual violence.

  3. Scorching Ray
    Her bare head floats in the midst of a conflagration and heat haze, her body—if she has one—fully concealed. Her eyes burn a blank and angry red. She is colorblind.
    Projects up to [dice] rays of burning energy towards a target or targets of your choice within bowshot. Make a ranged attack roll against AC 10 for each; any that hit deal [best] damage.

  4. Fireball
    She is ineffably majestic, impossibly beautiful, a Queen among angels crowned by a third eye upon her brow and framed by nine wings behind her. She wears a fractally ornate gown and does not speak so much as command.
    Streaks to the designated area within bowshot and explodes, dealing [sum] + [dice] damage to everything within a 20' radius with a DEX roll for half.

  5. Lightning
    She is tense, almost nervous, filled with energy, a slightly sinister cast to her expressions. She is eager to create her effect, and has been known to—under very specific circumstances—disobey orders.
    Swoops through an area 10' wide and [dice]*10' long, dealing [sum] + [dice] damage to anyone and anything in her path with a STR roll for half.

  6. Supernova
    She is serene, radiant, beatific in both bearing and conduct. She dresses for mourning, and her eyes are sad.
    Causes the targeted corpse to crumple inward and then explode in a flare of brilliant energy, dealing [sum] * 2 damage to everything within a 20' radius with a DEX roll for half. If targeted on an undead that you do not personally control, they may roll CHA to avoid exploding. Requires a minimum investment of MD proportionate to the size of corpse she is to detonate:
    • 1 MD - A hobgoblin, orc, or smaller 
    • 2 MD - A bugbear, horse, minotaur, or smaller
    • 3 MD - An elephant, ogre, or smaller
    • 4 MD - A whale, giant, or smaller
    • 5 MD - A dragon, kraken, or smaller

  7. Wall of Fire
    She wears a general officer's uniform in an unfamiliar pattern, resplendent with medals and ribbons and braid. She has excellent tactical instincts, but a poor grasp of modern technology.
    Conjures up to [dice] 10' × 10' × 5' sheets of searing flame, within a stone's throw, in whatever contiguous formation you desire and lasting for [sum] minutes. Any who enter or begin their turn within the area take [dice]d6 damage, and catch fire for an additional 1d6 damage per round until extinguished. If placed over a creature, they may roll DEX in order to escape the area before the sheets manifest. If cast with 3 or more MD, her conjured wall instead lasts for [sum] hours. If cast with 4 or more MD, it is permanent.

  8. Radiate
    She is slender and completely hairless, clad in a loose, gauzy shift. Her skeleton is starkly visible through her skin and garment. She perceives the world in wavelengths impossible to us, and does not understand the fragility of humans.
    Causes the targeted object within a stone's throw to radiate energy for up to [sum] hours, of a type dependent on how many MD were invested in her:
    • 1 MD - Casts bright illumination out to 60', warms like a hearth.
    • 2 MD - Casts bright illumination within sight range, counts as sunlight, warms like a pyre.
    • 3 MD - Casts invisible rays of blinding heat, deals [dice] damage per round within 60', any who look at it within that range roll STR or are permanently blinded. Blocked by anything sufficiently opaque.
    • 4 MD - Casts intangible rays of poison fire, deals [dice] STR damage per round within 30' to all targets, including other angels and spells, et cetera. Only blocked by lead or stone.

  9. Glory
    She is thick-wristed and -ankled, her face hidden behind a golden caricature mask with a giant, spiked halo affixed to its edges. She bears two massive golden swords which she wields in elaborate flourishes, and is fond of elaborate posing to punctuate her words.
    Increases your STR and CHA by [dice] each and grants you immunity to poison, fear, and other maladies for up to [sum] minutes. The additional HP you gain from increased STR are lost, in this case, before your "real" HP.

  10. Shield
    She appears metal-fleshed, her limbs delicate armatures of piston and ball-joint beneath ornamented silver plating. She speaks only to narrate threat coefficients, with flat affect. Her appellative Shield is starkly utilitarian in contrast, a round-cornered rectangle of undecorated polished steel. 
    Uses her Shield to defend you or a target of your choice within arm's reach, granting +[dice] AC for up to [sum] hours against any attack she is aware of and completely negating Missiles and Rays.

  11. Heal
    Wears a linen robe, clinical, detached, omits names and pronouns when speaking. Seen it all before, twice.
    Heals the touched target for [sum] + [dice] HP. Alternatively, can be directed to solve specific problems depending on the MD invested in her:
    • 1 MD - No alternatives.
    • 2 MD - Mend broken bones or other long-term wounds.
    • 3 MD - Cure a malady such as disease or poison.
    • 4 MD - Reattach recently severed limbs.
    • 5 MD - Regrow missing limbs or organs.

  12. Hold
    She is a sinister figure in white, blindfolded, bound in chains and one of those funny jackets that won't let you check your wristwatch. She speaks in a piercing, imperious voice.
    Closes and locks (if applicable; doors slam shut, drawbridges slam up, half-drawn swords slam back in their scabbards) a target within a stone's throw, then Holds it in place for up to [sum] rounds. If the target is secured, attended, or sapient, Hold is [dice] level with +[best] STR, and skilled at wrestling.

  • WORD
    She is dressed unassumingly in simple linen and scripture—the latter crawling over every inch of her skin. Her features are regal, more imposing than they are appealing.
    Delivers a divine pronouncement of up to [dice] words, using her WORD as the main verb. Targets may not be specified except as a part of the pronouncement—speak carefully. Those with souls or personalities may roll CHA to avoid or reduce direct effects. If used to harm something with an HP value, she will usually deal [sum] damage as well as any incidental effects of the WORD used.

    Roll two WORDs from the following list by which you may call your WORD:
    1. Blind
    2. Burn
    3. Boil
    4. Desiccate
    5. Heat
    6. Illuminate
    7. Imprison
    8. Melt
    9. Reveal
    10. Rise
    11. Sequester
    12. Ward

G_dly Mishaps

  1. You attract a crow or raven which will forevermore follow and spy on you when you are under open sky. If trapped or killed, the corvid is replaced within 1d6 days.
  2. Your eyes turn smoky black, blinding you for [dice] rounds. They do not clear fully, leaving you with at least one permanent sunspot in your vision.
  3. Your wounds and scars open and [sum] fat, three-inch-long maggots plop sickeningly out at a rate of one per round. Each maggot that drops deals you 1 damage. The maggots taste like motor oil, and anyone eating one heals 1 HP.
  4. Your head is transformed into that of a dog for [sum] minutes, granting you the ability to speak and understand Arqot but unable to converse in any other language for the duration.
  5. Dogs, horses, and other domesticated animals will see you as a hated enemy until the next dawn, and either attack you viciously or flee in terror depending on temperament.
  6. Your reflection fades by about  of its original opacity. This effect is permanent, and stacks—after 10 fadings, you no longer have a reflection. Further results cause a different reflection to fade back in at the same rate; one with no visible resemblance to you, and that doesn't match up to your movements. Once your reflection has faded 10 times out and 10 times back in, its negative is as real as its positive once was. 10 more and it's as real as you are yourself.

Doom of the Sun

  1. You become able to hear the voice of the Sun. It is sonorous, commanding, quintuply resonant. The loudest voice speaks in an obtuse language which bears resemblances to both angelfire and the old tongue, and can be understood if you speak either of those languages. It is very distracting, causing a -2 penalty to all d20 rolls when exposed to natural sunlight, reduced to -1 if only partially exposed such as while indoors or under an overcast sky.
  2. Sunlight pours forth from your eyes and mouth whenever they are open, casting bright illumination in a 60' cone. The penalty is no longer escapable, even with your eyes and mouth held shut.
  3. You emit sunlight from your entire body, casting bright illumination in an unlimited radius and blinding any who look directly at you. The voice of the Sun is now audible to others in your presence and inflicts the same penalty on them, and for you personally the penalty is doubled and sufficient to prevent you from commanding any spells.
The Doom of the Sun can be escaped by seeing the Sun destroyed, or by journeying to its surface and consuming a piece of whatever rules there.

Holy Relics

  1. Holy Symbol. An eight rayed sun-disk, traditionally copper but sometimes wood or gold. Yours is bigger than most, but it still doesn't take up any slots as long as you're wearing it.
  2. Short Staff. A sturdy inch-thick dowel of somewhat less than your height, making it a medium weapon while retaining some effectiveness as a walking stick. 1 slot.
  3. Practical Clothing. Sturdy wool and linen, unassuming, humble. 0 slots worn.
  4. Wool Blanket. Large enough to wrap oneself in fully, or double up and wear as a cloak. 1 slot.
  5. Waterskin. Essential. 1 slot when full.
  6. 3 Torches. Simple sticks wrapped in hessian and soaked in pitch or wax. Burn for an hour each, cast bright light out to 30' and dim light twice that distance. 1 slot total.
  7. 3 Iron Rations. Thick cakes of preserved meat, parched grain, and chocolate. Won't go bad for months as long as you keep them dry. 1 slot total.
  8. 50' Hempen Rope. Coarse, thick, and unpleasant to the hand. 1 slot.
  9. Book of Hymns and Folk Songs. Lyrics and rough melodies; not detailed scores. Heavily annotated in at least three hands, before including yours. 1/3 slot.
  10. Bottle of Holy Water. Spiritually active, powerfully caustic to devils and some forms of undead. Drinking it cures demon-caused maladies. 1/3 slot.
  11. Reactive Sledge. A sacred tool of gunpowder paladins. A heavy weapon which explodes when struck hard against something to deal an additional 2d6 damage in a 5' radius (including to the wielder), DEX half. 2 slots, one use only.
  12. 3 Blessed Seals. Heavily decorated discs of stamped, gilded wax. A mirrored paladin may be able to make use of them. 1 slot total.
  13. Book of Church Secrets. An unpleasant accounting. Could be used as blackmail, or to get someone in a lot of trouble. Someone who might be you. 1/3 slot.
  14. Prayer Beads. Very soothing to fiddle with, grants advantage on saves against fear and the like when wielded. No slots, I think.
  15. Censer. Silver, ornate, suspended on three feet of fine chain. Angels and other spells are attracted to the scent of incense burned in it. 1 slot.
  16. Cursed Incense. Reminds any who smell it of their own mortality, and puts them in a foul mood. Not actually cursed, just universally culturally significant. 10 doses, no slots.
  17. Pistol and shot and powder. A light firearm which deals 1d8 damage, takes 4 full rounds to reload, and can be safely fired in melee combat. 1/3 slot for the pistol itself, 1 slot each for 10 rounds and a horn with 10 doses of powder.
  18. A Dog. Man's best friend. Happy, friendly, 1 HD, good at searching things out and eating garbage and not at all good at fighting. 3 slots if you have to carry it around for some reason.
  19. A Horse. Would ordinarily be man's other best friend, but this one is ill-tempered, cloven-hooved, long-tongued, fond of eating carrion, and refuses to be ridden. 3 HD, much too big to carry.
  20. Something weird. Roll 1d6:
    1. Golden wedding band. Powerfully cursed, has some weird writing inside it, attracts ghosts when worn. You're supposed to throw this into a pit at the heart of the Mountain, I think. No slots.
    2. The true Tao. You're not supposed to be able to write this down, but someone did on a scroll about 1' wide and 3' long and now nobody knows what to do with it. Solid (and inviolable) to ghosts and spells. 1/3 slot.
    3. Jeweler's loupe. Displays a number above the head of each person observed through it commensurate to the quality of their kung fu.
    4. Socks woven from the hair of a saint. Refuse to touch impure things, allowing you to (with practice) hover above the surface of seawater, uncut grass, &c. No slots.
    5. An endpaper torn from the first holy book. Completely blank, blackens in the presence of elfs and giants. Do not burn it. No slots.
    6. NOT A SWORD, name scratched crudely into scabbard. He is a +0 heavy sword (2d6) of make indeterminate due to being completely rusted into his scabbard. Believes he has been fighting an bitter war against completely imagined enemies for the past millennia. Doesn't count as bearing an edge, in case you're a gunpowder paladin

No comments:

Post a Comment