Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Silent City: The Thousand Saints

Lesser God, LN
Pantheon: City Gods
Portfolio: labor, sacrifice, sorrow, memory
Allies: ???
Foes: ???
Symbol: A golden hand with two fingers raised in beatific salute
Worshiper Alignment: Any

Worship of the Thousand Saints was common throughout the city, both among those devoted to other gods, and those who chose the Saints because they felt close to them. The Saints are not a unitary god, but rather an amalgam of ever-increasing size. Those specially devoted to the Saints might choose a Saint from a local district, or someone they knew, or admired in particular, or shared traits with.

The Thousand Saints do not have individual cults or temples, but were administered by a single order of city-appointed priests. More about the Cult of Saints below. Admission to the ranks of the Thousand Saints was made by popular acclaim, brought before the City Assembly, and ratified by the Council of Mages.

In this way, the Thousand Saints serve as a sort of general amalgamated faith into which anyone can be inducted, if their sacrifice for the City was well-known and their person beloved enough to be shepherded through the long process of canonization.

The Cult of Saints
Clergy: Specialty priests, fighters
Clergy’s Alignment: Any lawful
Turn Undead: No 
Command Undead: Yes

The Cult of Saints no longer exists in any meaningful sense. It was run by appointed priests who received their positions as a sort of method of income. Lower order priests generally tended the City shrines, and the Surface shrines were tended by the Necromanter's pilgrims.

Dogma: Serve. Obey. Thrive.

Day-to-Day Activities: Provide healing, care, and tending for the sick and encouragement for the downhearted. Provide meals for the very poor, feasts for the common districts, and supplement guard patrols in the City.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: The Feasts of each Saint were once remembered throughout the City and celebrated by the temple. They have long been forgotten.

Priestly Vestments: Iron and gold are the chosen metals of the Cult, and they were often supplemented by Necromanter's Guild magic.

Adventuring Garb: Priests of the Cult rarely adventured.

SPECIALTY PRIEST NOT UNLOCKED

REQUIREMENTS: ???
PRIME REQ: ???
ALIGNMENT: ???
WEAPONS: ???
MAJOR SPHERES: ???
MINOR SPHERES: ???
MAGICAL ITEMS: ???
REQ. PROFS: ???
BONUS PROFS: ???

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Silent City: Sylvanin

Ability Score Adjustments: Sylvanin, as slender, fragile creatures have a -2 penalty to Constitution. However, they receive +2 Dexterity.

Ability Score Range
Strength  3/18
Dexterity  8/20
Constitution 2/16
Intelligence 6/18
Wisdom 3/18
Charisma 6/18

Class Restrictions
Warrior
Fighter 12

Wizard
Mage 15
Specialists (not unlocked)
Kits (not unlocked)

Priest
Cleric 6
Specialty Priest (Lorim) 12

Rogue
Thief 12

Hit Dice. Player character Sylvanin receive hit dice by class.

Alignment. Sylvanin tend toward chaotic good, but may be of any type.

Natural Armor Class. Sylvanin have tough sealed ribcages and hard chitinous armor plating just below the surface of their skin. This provides them with a natural AC of 6.

Languages. Sylvanin speak the local common and Elotic.

Special Advantages. All sylvanin are also born with a pair of semi-functional gliding wings which allows them to feather fall whenever they drop more than 10 feet. These wings are usually tucked back, and if they are wearing anything on their backs they cannot be used.

Sylvanin are adept at finding secret doors, and can utilize the elvish power in the PHB. They also have 90' infravision when they are in low- or no-light conditions. They receive the elvish ambushing ability from the PHB, and Sylvanin thieves have a +20% bonus to their move silently rating if their wings are free, as they can use them to help propel themselves and keep a light step. This correspondingly grants a 30% Hide penalty while their wings are unfurled.

Special Disadvantages. Sylvanin have no special disadvantages.

Aging and physical features. Sylvanin use the PHB elf charts for aging and height/weight.

Proficiency unlocks. Once the Sylvanin are introduced into a settlement, they unlock the craftsmanship of chime-harms, the playing of same; also, sylvanin generally can learn engineering, hunting/trapping, set snares, and various forms of black-, white-, weapon-, and armorsmithing. Sylvanin communities also have information on astrology, and usually some knowledge of the surrounding geographical area.

Culture and History
The sylvanin were the first race to join the great coalition of the High Mages of the City. They claim to have always lived in the high places, and to be natural suppliants of Lorim of the Heights. They have a preference for mountain-valleys, elevated streams, treetops, and other such places. They supposedly taught the Men Below to write and carve in exchange for other, deeper secrets.

As the City expanded its influence to the heights, more and more sylvanin lands came under their sway. Eventually, they were reduced, little by little, to wonder-workers under the Guild system. They competed heavily with the extra-planar Voidborn for city favors, but, like the Chasmous, always stood high in City esteem. Many famous generals, sorcerers, Guildmages, and even Assembly-men and Councillors were sylvanin.

They are soft-spoken and lyrical, having a great love of the beauty of things half-made or half-destroyed. Their handicrafts are always asymmetrical, and they find symmetry in art to represent stasis, death, and a failure in the mind of the artist.

The sylvanin have a natural aptitude for magic and fencing. All sylvanic communities prefer the rapier, epee, and falchion to other, heavier, weapons. Some say the sylvanin once had the gift of flight, but traded it for the power of magic; be that as it may, the infamous spell-beads that dot the surface likely have their origin in sylvanic rituals to please Lorim.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Silent City: Balbus Catfather

(Catfather, Dusklord, the Laughing, the Mighty)




Intermediate God, CG
Pantheon: city cat gods
Portfolio: dusk, cats
Allies: Triest Dawnmother, Avos the Tumbler, Chirrus the Speaker
Foes: ???
Symbol: A leaping cat
Worshiper Alignment: Any

Worship of Balbus Catfather began in the dark ages before the erection of the City. It is said when cats first lived amongst humans, they brought with them the praise of Balbus and Triest, and the other Hundred Gods. These, of course, were not the eldest of the deities, those being the stern and serene figures of Surface and City, but they were the most playful.

The Catfather encourages drunkness, hooliganism, vandalism, and all other expressions of joyous riot and chaos. He is alternately depicted as an enormous Dusk Cat, a fat and laughing man, or as an armor-clad Dusk Monk of power.

The Temple of Balbus
Clergy: Specialty priests, thieves, fighters
Clergy’s Alignment: Any chaotic
Turn Undead: No 
Command Undead: Yes (control cats, does not work on undead)

The temple of the Catfather has nearly been wiped out. Between the City's proscription and collapse, there are only a handful of shrines devoted to the Catfather left. They mostly depend on surfacer patronage, for mendicants from below never arrive. Because they are badly scattered, they have no effective overall leadership. Not being particularly dedicated to or keen on the art of writing or record-keeping, the Catfather temples often have incomplete and spotty knowledge of their own faith.

The thing they have in common is their universal love of joy, laughter, and general happiness. The Dusk Monks of the Dusklord are required by their faith to spread their god's own jovial happiness.

Dogma: Joy is transgression against injustice, and joy is our highest calling.

Day-to-Day Activities: Dusk Monks spend most of their time tending their temples, the grounds, and going forth into the nearby countryside to do good works (mostly drink with people).

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Being crepuscular gods, Balbus is the master of Dusk, and that time is his sacred hour. Dusk Monks prepare their spells at this time.

Priestly Vestments: Purple robes with gold filigree and gold belts.

Adventuring Garb: Purple plate armor, cat-helms, and massive maces.

Dusk Monk

REQUIREMENTS: Dexterity 14
PRIME REQ: Dexterity, Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: CG
WEAPONS: mace (normal and sledge), karambit, meteor hammer, katar
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Chaos, Charm, Divination, Guardian, Plant, Time
MINOR SPHERES: Animal, Elemental (fire), Elemental (air), Healing
MAGICAL ITEMS: Normal priestly magical items and any animal-based magical items
REQ. PROFS: Religion (Cat Gods)
BONUS PROFS: Artistic Talent, one martial art

At 1st level, the Dusk Monk may converse with cats.

At 3rd level, the Dusk Monk may jump once per day, as per the spell.

At 5th level, the Dusk Monk may dimension door once per day, as per the spell.

At 7th level, the Dusk Monk's dexterity increases by 2 points to a maximum of 19.

At 10th level, the Dusk Monk gets a +1 bonus to all stats during dusk, to a maximum of 20.

At 15th level, the Dusk Monk may resurrect any slain character who has fallen within 10 minutes of being tended by the Monk. This process takes 9 uninterrupted hours of praying, fasting, and ritual feasting.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Silent City: Arabelle

(the Lady of Dreams, the Lady of Silence, the Silent, the Dreamer)

Lesser God, CN(G)
Portfolio: dreams, health, silence
Allies: ???
Foes: ???
Symbol: A bell
Worshiper Alignment: Any

The Lady of Dreams is a mysterious surfacer goddess. Her worship is found primarily in the Dunwater Valley and its surrounding environs. Her temples are primal places of roughly worked stone. She appears only in fogs and mists, accompanied by the sounds of her bells, or the rolling silences that the Bell of Quietude brings.

Small bell-eikons are made and buried in fields or the doorways of houses devoted to her worship. She is a strange and mysterious benefactress, whose power holds sway mostly above the earth, and in the midnight hours.

The Bell Shrine
Clergy: Specialty priests
Clergy’s Alignment: Any neutral
Turn Undead: Yes
Command Undead: Yes

The nearest gathering of the servants of the Lady of Dreams is at the Bell Shrine, south of Dunhill, but there is a rumor of a larger and much more elaborate system of natural caves inhabited by her priests, where the center of her worship can be found, somewhere in the Brass Mountains, known as the Cathedral of Silence.

Dogma: Truth is revealed in silence, and in silence dreams may come.

Day-to-Day Activities: Bell-priests spend their days praying for the intercession of the Lady, and tending the fields that feed their shrines.

Holy Days/Important Ceremonies: Night is holy to Arabelle. She has no holy days.

Priestly Vestments: Solemn and somber colors are preferred. Simple cord belts, sandals, and long robes of white or black.

Adventuring Garb: The rough surface-make armor of surfacer cities is often worn by Bell-Priests, and they prefer to use staves, clubs, and maces, all worked with the sign of the Bell.

Bell-Priest

REQUIREMENTS: Wisdom 9
PRIME REQ: Wisdom
ALIGNMENT: Any neutral
WEAPONS: Staff, mace, flail, war hammer, three-part-rod
MAJOR SPHERES: All, Astral, Chaos, Charm, Creation, Divination, Elemental (air), Healing
MINOR SPHERES: Elemental (fire), Guardian, Protection, Thought, Time, Weather
MAGICAL ITEMS: Normal priestly magical items and all sound-based magical items.
REQ. PROFS: Religion (surface)
BONUS PROFS: Religion (Arabelle)

At 1st level, the Bell-Priest is immune to charms and sleep spells.

At 3rd level, the Bell-Priest may play a musical countersong as per the bardic ability by ringing his bells and chimes.

At 5th level, the Bell-Priest may cast Silence 3 times per day by ringing his bell and gesturing the area to be silenced.

At 7th level, the Bell-Priest is immune to mind-altering magic.

At 10th level, the Bell-Priest may cast shatter at will by ringing his bell.

At 15th level, the Bell-Priest may substitute the ringing of his bell for all spell components, reducing the speed of all spells to 1 and requiring nothing but somatic components and the bell.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Silent City: Myconidia

Eons ago, in the City's youth, the people of the city encountered the Fruit. They named these creatures Myconidia in the City tongue of Amarnat, and they offered them a contract: the Myconidia could enter the City, as citizens, but they would have to undergo some changes and swear to a pact. Some of the Myconidia did this, while others refused. Those that swore the Pact were changed; they grew mouths, and turned russet red. Those who did not retreated to the wild caverns and became known as the Free Myconids.

Myconid culture is deeply communal; the fruiting, the mobile creature that is seen above ground is merely the mycnoid's sporing. It can wither and die without affecting the true myconid: the mycelium growing below the earth. Myconids communicate amongst each other by emitting spores or, if they grow in the same village, by mingling neural connectors in their mycelium.

However, the fact that they are not mobile also greatly effects their culture -- they do not travel far from their mycelia, they have no gender differentiation, and they reproduce by causing their fruitings to die and form a new mycelic colony. They are immortal in lifespan, though over many centuries they become forgetful, and the destruction of fruitings and degradation of mycelia also causes them to lose their oldest memories. They have no understanding of faith and religion, and cannot therefore be priests.

Myconid names are descriptive and always in Amarnat; for example, Guardian, Proprietor, Walker.



Myconids have the following stat adjustments: -2 Str, -1 Cha, +1 Int, +2 Con.

Stat maximums and minimums (before adjustment):
Str 6/18, Dex 3/15, Con 8/18, Int 3/16, Wis 6/18, Cha 3/18

Classes: thief (merchant) 12, fighter 9, maybe others unlockable
Movement: 12

Special Abilities: The Mycelium. The fruit tend to have titles instead of names. The ambulatory mushroom one sees is not the actual house of the thing's personality; rather, this is a mesh of fungus in the earth called the Mycelium. Whenever a Fruiting character dies, they may make a resurrection survival roll. If they succeed, their next Fruit loses 1 Con, but regenerates over the next month at their mycelium. If their Con ever drops to 0, it requires 100 years for the mycelium to recover and issue new fruit. If the mycelium is destroyed or dies, this ability is lost.

Mushroom Speak. If a myconid PC stops and roots for 10 minutes, they can use a special version of speak with plants that affects all fungi. They can do this any number of times per day.

Regeneration. If a myconid stands in water for 6 hours, they may regenerate an additional 1d4 hit point per day.

Planting. A myconid may allow their fruiting to perish if left in safety for 1 month to "reproduce" and plant a new mycelium.

Weapon Proficiencies. Merchant-myconids may select one of three unique starting items and be proficient in their use and repair: repeating crossbow (40 bolts), bullseye lantern, or potion belt (with 5+1d6 random grenade-like potions on it)

Culture and History
In the youngest period of the City, after the discovery and integration of the Chasmous but before the construction of the first Serpentine Gates, the Myconidia were contacted in the upper reaches. City ambassadors spent many years with them.

Myconidia were by no means united, and generally made war for territory, resources, and cultural reasons. There were as many Myconid cultures as there were caverns, and each varied widely. Myconid coloring was sometimes useful as a way to determine allegiance, because the diet of a mycelium when producing its Fruiting would, in part, determine what color Fruit was produced.

The City, little by little, expanded its influence in the upper reaches, particularly where the temperate and tropical regions permitted year-round habitation of the upper caverns. Trade with the surfacers was important, and a rumor has been passed in myconid culture for centuries and centuries that the first City-dwellers were men that followed a Wanderer-guide into the depths of the earth to begin with. Whether this is true is a matter for debate (though myconidia have a very vague concept of "truth"; much more important is a malleable concept of mythic truth -- things that are true not because they literally happened, but because they make sense and explain something vital).

The City made allies with various sporings (as the myconidia colonies are known), eventually leading to the Pact. This was sealed at the Great Sporing (myconid legend tells this to be the origin of all the Myconidia from a single lonesome Fruit, but this is unlikely) by the admission of all Wanderers and allied Settlers into the Pact.

Imparting the Pact began a long period of internecine warfare between Wild and Settled Myconidia. Their languages diverged. In some regions there was uneasy peace between them, but in others there was outright warfare. However, the City never became involved in the fighting, except to outfit their proxies, the Settled Myconids, with weaponry and magics. Myconid rumor persists that there are Fruit who were taught to use magic and become mighty wizards, but again, they are more interested in metaphorical than literal history. As it stands, no myconid has been able to master the necessary skills to use magic.

The Myconidia are therefore divided into three rough groups: the Wild, the Settled, and the Wanderers. Wanderers are most likely to become adventurers and gain class levels. They provide the necessary interlink between Settled societies and the Wild, and were once a frequent sight in the grand bazaars of the city.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Silent City: Settlements

In the Silent City, the players, while nominally playing their individual PCs during any given adventure or delve, are actually playing the collective will of their surface settlement. This little camp will hopefully grow and thrive, supported by the delving of the players as they dredge up magic and devices from the Silent City.

The randomized starting settlement is given a rating; this is known as Settlement Quality, or SQ. SQ is an abstract number that represents, among other things, size and ability to survive adverse events. SQ is rated on a scale of 1-100, with 1 representing little more than an armed camp of a few farmers and adventurers, and 100 representing a thriving city. Most settlements begin play with an SQ in the 2-8 range.

SQ can be lowered by random events during the Development Phase, by actions taken by the characters, or by the communal will of the settlement to spend its SQ on various temporary boosts and boons.

Player-triggered SQ Drops
Players can choose to take any of the following actions at the commensurate cost of SQ.

2 SQ: Players may create a generation of adventurers using either the 4D6 Droplow, Order or 3D6, Arrange, methods.

4 SQ: Players may create a generation of adventurers using 4D6 Droplow, Arrange.

1 SQ: A single player may dispatch a recovery adventurer from the surface directly to the nearest Haven or Safe Place to the current delve. This recovery adventurer will arrive in 1d4 hours per layer between the player and the surface. They will recover the lost belongings of the dead adventurer, if at all possible, and will be half the level of the dead adventurer.

SQ Levels: Every 10 points of SQ is another advancement level for the town. Settlements receive a +1 bonus on all defense checks for each bracket they have reached (for a maximum of +10 at SQ 100).

Settlement Actions. Each season, the settlement can be directed to perform an action (harvest a certain type of resource, for example) with effects up to the DM.

Building Slots. At every SQ level, the settlement unlocks 5 building slots. A building takes 1 season to build, and then provides a permanent benefit to the settlement.

Development Phase
Spring
Migrants. Roll a 1d10 and add +1 for every SQ level, and every point of Fame the Settlement has. If the roll is equal to or higher than the current SQ, increase the SQ by one.
Random event on a 1-3.

Summer
Random event on a 1-4.

Fall
Roll 1d6 for crop yield. On a 1, decrease the SQ by 1. On a 6, increase the SQ by 1.
Random event on a 1-3.
If your settlement is on a trade route, a merchant comes by every fall in addition to whatever other random event you have.

Winter
Roll 1d6 for winter severity. On a 6 (5-6 in a cold environment) reduce the SQ by 1.
Random event on a 1.

Random Events
Roll a d10 each season to determine if there is a random event. If there is, consult the table below:

1. Accident! Someone important has died. SQ drops by 1.
2-4. Merchant; a merchant carrying a gold limit of goods equal to 100xSQ arrives to trade.
5-6. Monster attack.
7. Monster hold discovered.
8. New ruin discovered.
9. Severe weather damages crops; add +1 to the next winter severity roll.
10. Good weather boon to crops, add +1 to the next crop yield roll.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Silent City: Furnace Golem

Furnace Golems are constructs built by the old masters of the Silent City that were used to do menial labor in places requiring light and heat. They are enormous, animate statues that blaze with a red light in their mouths and eyes: this is the glow of the fire elemental that gives them animate force. Unlike standard elementals and golems, there is no chance a furnace golem will break free.

Ability Scores. Furnace Golems never have an intelligence greater than 1. They suffer a -2 penalty to dexterity, gain a +4 bonus to Strength (with each point above 18 moving into exceptional strength), and cannot have a strength of less than 3.

Hit Points. Furnace golems can only be fighters. They receive 1d10+5 hp per level.

Class. Furnace golems must be fighters. They can only attain level 8 in this class.

Movement. Furnace golems move at a rate of 6 but never tire.

Class Restrictions. Furnace golems can only be fighters. They cannot ever use weapons effectively.

Height and Weight. 9 feet, 500 pounds.

Alignment. N/A.

Armor Class. Furnace Golems have an armor class of 0. It cannot be improved.

Special Benefits. Furnace golems  have 5% magic resistance.

Hindrances. They cannot use any magical weapons or items. They cannot be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected. They are susceptible to items and spells designed to be used against golems.