Sunday, March 31, 2019

d20 System Feats for the Believer!

Your belief in a higher power is unshakable... and it may even be stronger than the cleric who leads the gathering of faithful you worship with. You do not wear the cloth, because you have been called to serve in a different way. But you know that your god watches over you and smiles upon your deeds. You know, because you have experienced miracles and you know that your faith has seen you through situations where non-believers would have perished.

Here are a couple of d20 System feats for characters who have strong faith in higher powers, but who are not priests, clerics, or some other religious leader. In fact, these feats are specifically not for classes that have access to divine spells. Instead, they are for the lay-person.
   Like most of the material we create for d20 System games, d20 Modern and compatible games is premiere in our minds, but this material is easily adapted to StarFinder and any other game that uses the d20 System as its core engine.
   The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.

FAITHFUL [General, Dedicated Hero]
Sometimes, your faith in greater powers is rewarded.
   Prerequisite: Intelligence 11, Wisdom 13
   Benefit: State a religion your character believes in, firmly. When something goes terribly wrong--such as failing a crucial skill check, fail a life-or-death saving throw (and circumstances are such that you know it), or similar event--your character's deeply held faith may cause the greater powers in the universe to take notice and intervene on your behalf. Invoke this feat immediately after the failed roll. You may reroll it with a +4 bonus. If the second roll succeeds, something miraculous happens that allows the character to recover from the failure.
   This feat may be used a number of times equal to the character's Wisdom bonus each game session.
   Special: Clerics and other characters who gain spells from supernatural beings may not select this feat; the greater powers in the universe already give them plenty in return for their faith. If a character with this feat gains the ability to cast divine spells or gains wizard spells through deals with powerful beings, all benefits from this feat are lost

MARTYR [General, Dedicated Hero]
You suffer for your faith, knowing that you will be rewarded.
   Prerequisite: Faithful
   Benefit: As your character looses hit points from damage suffered while fighting for (or otherwise working toward) a cause he or she believes in, extra reserves of energy born from the deeply held knowledge that you are sacrificing for a greater cause.
   The benefits from this feat depend on how many hit points the character has lost. The benefits to do stack; the replace one another as the character is injured.
   Down Between 10% and 25% of full hit point total: +1 bonus to all saving throws and skill checks.
   Down Between 25%  and 50% of full hit point total: +2 bonus to all attack rolls and saving throws.
   Down Between 50% and 75% of full hit point total: +4 bonus to all saving throws and AC/DR.
   Down Between 75% and 100%: +4 bonus to all saving throws, regain 2d6 hit points for each successful saving throw rolled.
   Negative Hit Points, Between -1 and -10: Roll a Fortitude saving throw. If successful, regain 2d6 hit points. If the character's hit point total is still a negative number, the character is unconcious but stable.
   Negative Hit Points, Below -10: The character finds him- or herself engulfed in a bright light. He or she is given the choice to move onto the reward for dying in the service of the deeply held convictions and beliefs, or remain in the mortal realm of pain and suffering, as a disembodied spirit but with the ability to fight on. If the character rejects the reward, he or she immediately gains the Disembodied template.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Secret Life of Bessie Love

In 1915, 17-year-old Juanita Horton's family was struggling to make ends meet, so her mother told her to go down to Biograph Studios to see if they'd give her work. Producer and director D.W. Griffith thought she'd be great on camera, and after a few bit parts, Juanita was on her way to stardom under the stagename Bessie Love.

But unbeknowst to the adoring movie-going public, Bessie Love was far more than just another Hollywood star... she was also the mysterious masked adventuress known as the Love Bug!

In the very early morning of September 3 of 1924, Bessie Love was awakened by frantic knocking at her door. Outside, in the swirling fog, was an elderly woman with a small suitcase. She thrust the case at Bessie and said, "You have been chosen."
   Before Bessie could react, the woman retreated into the fog and vanished. The confused actress took the suitcase into the sitting room and opened it. Inside was a strange bejeweled costume consisting of a mask, a curious-looking headdress, a backless leotard, and matching shoes. As she touched the mask, her mind was filled with images of and facts about an ancient order of mystics locked in an eternal battle with a demonic cult bent on bringing about literal Hell on Earth. The "costume" was in truth ancient ceremonial garb and mystically powered armor that assisted the wearer in her fight against demons... and Bessie had been chosen to carry on the fight. The vision had told her all she needed to know, as well as the powers of the outfit... and from that day forward, she split her time between acting and combatting mystical evils where she found them throughout Southern California.
   For the next year-and-a-half, newspapers carried reports of a mystery woman who fought crime and brought secret cults to light by defeating them. After rescuing children that had been slated for sacrifice to a dark god on February 14, 1926, she encountered a newspaper reporter who wanted to know her name. "Call me the Love Bug," was her swift, unthinking reply. The name stuck.
   As the 1930s dawned, Bessie found it increasingly difficult to balance her life as a Hollywood star with that of a cult-busting mystery woman. She eventually committed herself full-time to the battle against evil and left her glamorous life as an actress behind.

   By the mid-1930s, Bessie had relocated to England in order to learn more about the original creators of her magical gear and to stem the rising demonic tides at their source. Over the next decade, she faced evil mystics all over Europe and she found allies in the secret magical order The Daughters of Burdick. She still appeared in the occasional movie, but more often than not, her accepting roles was to bring her into the orbit of suspected cultists or other evil-minded people.
   In 1950, at the age of 52, Bessie decided she was getting to old for the physical demands of life as the Love Bug. She began searching for a replacement, a young woman to whom she could give the armor as it had once been given to her. Once that had been accomplished, she returned to acting full time.

The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License and may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.
   The Love Bug's powers are derived entirely from her mystical armor, which radiates faint magic of an indeterminant type if such is detected for. The entire outfit must be worn for any of the powers to function. It is described below in terms of the d20 System roleplaying game rules.
   The Jewel-lined Domino Mask: This is a black mask, the edges of which are lined with tiny diamonds. It only covers the area around the wearer's eyes. Once per day, as a standard action, the wearer can invoke the spell-like ability of true seeing. The effect is just like the spell of the same name, as if cast by a 12th-level caster, but with a duration equal to twice the wearer's Wisdom bonus in minutes.
   The Bejeweled Headdress: Two jewel-encrusted insect-like anttenae rise from this tight-fitting headcover. It provides the wearer with a +4 bonus to all saving throws to resist mind-affecting magic and spell-like effects. In addition, once per day, as a standard action, the wearer can invoke the spell-like ability of telepathy. This ability functions as if cast by a 12th-level caster, but with a duration equal to twice the wearer's Wisdom bonus in minutes.
   The Bejewled Leotard: The jewels covering this tight-fitting garment are arranged in the patterns of Atlantean sigils of protection. It grants the wearer a +2 bonus to AC/DR, as well as a +2 bonus to Fortitude and Reflex saving throws. These bonuses stack with other similar bonuses.
   The Bejeweled Shoes: The wearer's base movement rate is increased by 10. The shoes also provide a +4 bonus to all movement and balance-related skill checks.
   As previously mentioned, for any of the powers to function, all four pieces of the set must be worn. If the wearer enters an area where magic is suppressed or otherwise doesn't usually work, the powers don't function, but they return immediately upon leaving that area. If dispel magic is cast at the wearer, she must make a successful saving throw (DC12), or the armor ceases to function for a number of minutes equal to the level of the person who cast dispel magic.
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Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Creations of Hannah Blythe

In 1927, elementalist Hannah Blythe and her fellow members in the Crooked Circle found themsevles in a pitched battle against a cult bent on calling forth the Storm God's destructive water spirits and lay waste to the city of Long Beach, California. Using techniques she learned from an ancient Atlantean tome, she created several magic items to help her fight the Circle's waterborn enemies.
   The items were the Bathing Suit of Proection, the Swim Cap of Illusion, the Water Wings of Strength and Diving, and the Water Shoes of Swimming.

The rest of this post is released under the Open Game License. The material may be reproduced in accordance with its terms. Copyright 2019 Steve Miller.

All of Hannah's creation appear to be normal articles of clothing--even if the bathing suit has curious designs upon it. (An Arcane Lore or Spell Craft skill check (DC18) will allow a character to recognize the designs as Atlantiean runes of power.)
   The enchantments on the items crated by Hannah Blythe are powered by Atlantean runes, which are plainly visible on the bathing suit, but are hidden inside the cap, the shoes, and the water wings. If the runes are damaged or altered, the items lose their magic. If spells or items are used to inspect Anna's creations, they radiate faint water elemental magic, with a subtle touch of something indistinct.
   Bathing Suit of Protection: When worn without any other articles of clothing on the torso, the wearer is immune to natural cold temperatures or from getting cold from being wet. The Bathing Suit of Protection also grants a +1 bonus to AC or DR, +1 bonus to most saving throws, and a +4 bonus to saving throws made to resist water- and cold-based spell-effects and spell-like abilities.
   Swim Cap of Illusion: By uttering the command word ("cerracao") while wearing the yellow flower-adorned swim cap, the wearer becomes shouded in an illusion that helps her blend into the surroundings. The illusion depends on where the character is; if she is swimming in the ocean, she may like moolight glinting on the surface, or a bloom of jellyfish, and if she's on shore, she may appear like a bush, or a closed parasol on a stand. The illusion lasts five minutes, or until the wearer dismisses it by saying the command word again or makes an attack. If the character remains still, the illusion is perfect and no-one notices her, except those creatures with immunity to magical illusions (floating with the current in the ocean counts as remaining still). If the character moves, those within line of sight may roll a Will saving throw (DC15) to see through the illusion.
   Water Shoes of Swimming: The wearer gains a +6 bonus to all Swim skill checks. This bonus stacks will all other bonuses. In addition, the characer may walk or run at normal movement rate across muddy ground or in water that's up to knee deep.
   Water Wings of Strength and Diving: The wearer's Strength is increased by 2. By saying the command word ("afundar"), the water wings allows the wearer to dive and swim underwater at twice the normal movement rate.

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