Thursday, November 21, 2019

Coventicle of Black Blood

A NE/CE order; semi-religious.

The Conventicle of Black Blood is an organization that potrays itself as being a "hunting club", and many are organized among the upper classes (and ambitious folk of the middle class) as such. Those who are able to hunt or fish as a pleasure, not a necessity. It seldom goes openly by the name, but will instead mock names associated with The Great Huntress; The Sacred Order of the Sable Arrow, in Brandobia, is one such group, it symbol a black arrow, with a black drop of blood dripping from the tip, painted simply on a sign of wood or a background of green. Massive hunts, where every member is encouraged to bring back some game of some sort, will sweep through the land on nights as the Veshemo is new or Diadolai wanes. Prizes are awarded for the largest trophies, and scorn is heaped upon any who do not return with at least a rabbit or al-miraj. Midwinter hunts to roust bears and boars from their slumber, and events where children are given a sling and pigeons are released for their sport are all popular, and kill far more than can be eaten.

While the open orders recruit, an inner circle works more sinisterly.

The Coventicle of Black Blood engages in rites which profane the hunt, and seek to cause pain, famine, and pestilence. They do hunt, of course, but they seek to overhunt an area, so there will be a dearth of food animals to eat. The inner circle leaves corpses to rot and cause disease, or leaves animals wounded to draw predators. To this end, they are popular among the priests of the Locust Lord, the Flaymaster, and the Rotlord, with different groups within the Coventicle organized towards one or the other, and providing at least lip service to the rest.

The members are varied, though it is popular with assassins, fighter/thieves, and fallen rangers (indeed, remaining one of the few sources of training for rangers who fall away from good). Some Patient Arrows, drawn by the open orders, will join Coventicle-associated hunt clubs, but find their message strangely rebuffed by the most influential members. The open orders count among their number many noblemen and knights; men for whom hunt is a sport, not a way of life, and who care little how the meat is used, so long as the trophy comes home with them. This provides them a fair degree of political protection, though respectable huntsmen, frequently associated with (at least loosely) the Patient Arrows, tend to have little truck with them.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Divine Charges

Found this other entry into the old Dragonsfoot forum challenges.

Divine Charges (Divination)

Wizard level 2, Cleric level 3
Sphere: Divination
Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Area of Effect: One Object
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 2 hours
Saving Throw: None

By carefully calibrating a scale and adjusting the counter-weights, the caster learns approximately how many charges are in the item. Upon completing the casting time, the DM rolls 1d8-4 if between the levels of 3 and 6, 1d6-3 if between 7 and 11, and 1d4-2 if level 12 or higher. The DM adds the result to the actual number of charges the item, and reports the final total. Each spellcaster can only cast this once per item per year; if attempted more frequently on the same item, there is a 7% cumulative chance that 3d10 charges will be lost, and the material components destroyed. This spell reveals nothing about the function(s) of the item. There is a (30%-level of the caster) chance that any curses on the item will come to affect the caster, as well.
The material components of this spell are a scale and fine golden weights. Each weight costs 20 gp, and insufficiently varied weights reduce the accuracy of the spell; usually, it will be five 1 charge weights, three 5 charge weights, two 10 charge weights, and three 20 charge weights, for a total of 160gp in weights. The scale itself must be made of silver, and costs 100gp for a scale suitable for only wands, 300gp for a scale suitable for rods or wands, and 500gp for a scale suitable for staves and other magical items. These material components are not typically destroyed with casting.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Powers as Tech Devices

So, I worked up the basic outline of using Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition for Mass Effect but, while I was working on it, I realized that a LOT of powers might exist as Tech devices, and that I don't have much in the way of clear guidelines as to what would work that way, or how much it would cost.

While these devices all list a cost, that alone is not sufficient to power the device; they also need supplies of Power Points, and most will have a built-in charger to regain power points.  Smaller power supplies run about 20 credits per power point, and standard rechargers cost 50, and recharge at a rate of 1 point per minute. Rapid chargers, which recharge at 3 points every 2 minutes, cost an additional 100 credits. Such power supplies weigh about 1 pound per 10 power points, with rapid chargers only adding a negligible amount to the weight. Cybernetic power supplies (ones designed to be integrated into a body) are about 50 credits per power point, but add nothing to encumbrance. Cybernetic power supplies are frequently regulated. Power point pools do not recharge while devices are in use; some devices will have several pools built in, both for redundancy and for endurance.

In addition, expert systems can be acquired, letting powers be activated more easily. +1 on the Tech roll will require an additional 100 credits; +2 will require 200 credits. Higher-end, fool-proof systems (i.e. adding a +3 or more), require a fair bit more space and processing, and add 200 credits per plus to the cost (so a +3 on the activation roll is 600 credits), and an additional pound per plus. Conversely, some systems are finicky, and can be "shorted", as described on page 151. Such devices inflict a penalty on the activation roll, but can reduce the power point cost of any power modifiers (not the base power, itself). These can be paired with an expert system; a Damage Field power might be shorted 1 or 2 points to allow for a cheaper increase in damage, but with expert systems reducing some of the penalty. Failures with these devices are always critical failures!

Many powers have a range based on Smarts; for devices, consider that a d6. Devices that only function at touch range receive a +1 to their activation roll. Many powers have set durations; devices can be set to deduct power to maintain them without action, though with the attendant 1 Power Point per additional duration.