Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dark Acolytes of Elder Gods

I threw these little acolyte guys against my PBEM group - stats are based on Castles and Crusades but could easily be morphed into LL or S&W:

No Encountered: 2d6
Size: Medium
HD: 2+ (d8)
Move: 30ft
AC: 10
Attacks: by weapon
Special: (see below)
Saves: M
Int: Average to High
Alignment: LE
Type: Human
Treasure: 2
Exp: variable

Description: Acolytes serve the wishes of elder beings from the outer reaches of space and time. They frequently develop religious ceremonies, sacrifices, accouterments, and relics/objects that they feel connect them to their chosen "gods" but the beings that they worship think of them as lesser servants or sometimes as crunchy little snacks :) The acolytes are granted no spells from their worship of these gods, but over time the cult will develop methods of emulating true religions.

For example when encountered if there are over 4 acolytes present at least one of them will be have 3HD and will be carrying some kind of special object, examples include:

1. Lotus Dust(they will blow a pinch of this powder in the face of intended victims, enemies, and sacrifices) it will cause intense hallucinations for 2d6 turns during which time the victim cannot easily concentrate and receives a -4 penalty to all attacks and saving throws.

2. Healing Salve (they use this to simulate divine healing) it is a blend of herbs, fungi, oils and essences of strange plants and from the dark places of the earth. An application of this salve will cure 1d6 hp overnight.

3. Harmonizer - this device can create stunning audible noises when a master employs it by creating a very loud humming noise into one end of the device. If the correct pitch is hit, the device will amplify and harmonize the sound until all creatures with hearing with 60 ft of the device are beset by crippling headaches and stunned unless they pass a saving throw vs. paralyzation.

Other neat ideas are: greek fire, smoke bombs for evasion, strange mirrors with foul effects, etc...

Also, if the group of acolytes exceeds 8 members there will typically be 4HD+ acolyte who will also have access to at least one of the relics described and also will have 1d2 arcane spells. Typically these spells are not the standard spells from the players handbook but are devious black magics of the GM's imaginings. There is only a 50% chance that they will be carrying a spell book if encountered outside of their "church".

Example Spell:

Exquisite Horror - Level 1 Wizard Spell:

CT: 1, R: 100ft, D: 1 hour/level, SV: Intelligence Negates, SR: yes, Comp: V,S,M

Exquisite horror will imbue its victim with unshakable fear and horror. If approached the victim will try to run and hide from any moving creature they notice and if cornered will faint or freeze up with paralyzing fear or attack every being in sight. Victims already suffering from the effects of Lotus Dust will not be allowed a saving throw against this spell.


  1. Very cool. I like the items especially. I want to know more about the strange mirrors with foul effects.

  2. I've been adding a LOT of sword and sorcery components to my latest PBEM greyhawk campaign. I was thinking of mirrors that might be able to steal souls, or be used to read minds, or tell if a man is telling the truth during an interrogation. Maybe they would only work if you look in them using the light of the moon or by candlelight? Something like that.