Friday, March 15, 2019

The Problem 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Problem was a class I wrote a long time ago.  You see, the idea was for the Those who Know setting that only the Agents of API had any sort of magical power, and the Understudies* would be restricted to a group of non-magical classes that resembled the stock characters in a horror movie, namely the Allure, the Investigator, the John Doe, the Alice, and the Boxer.  The Problem was a late addition to that group- meant to be exactly what their name implied, a problem for everyone around them.

However, I ended up updating the Problem class to make it more simplified, and ended up giving the Problem a set of abilities too similar to vanilla Wizards, which was exactly what I wanted to avoid.  So I am redesigning the Problem to be more like my Paladin class.   

<DM Note>

Repeating Those who Know over and over is confusing and irritating, so I'm just going to call humans who know about the Downworld but are not associated with API Understudies.

</DM Note>

                                                                       by KORHIPER

Problems are Understudies, formerly normal people who defiled themselves with dark power in order to become stronger.  Whatever reason you did it for is your own, whether selfish or noble.  However, in doing so, you spelled your own doom.  A Problem's powers are fueled by darkness, but darkness hungers.  The more power you draw from it, the more it will seek to swallow you.  Fail to restrain your appetite for power and you will be devoured by the dark, and your character will become a monster under the control of the Referee.  

Problem
Starting HP: 1/3 Con Score
FS: An amount of FS equal to 27-[current amount of Humanity Points]
Starting Equipment: scavenged weapon (1d6), possibly cursed magic item, messy clothes, suspicious wound, recklessness toward the unexplained and inexplicable

Abilities:

1:

Rush of Power: By spending 1 Humanity Point, you can receive a +1 bonus to any ability check, saving throw attack or damage roll.  For saving throws, the bonus instead subtracts from your roll.

Humanity Points: You start with 27 Humanity Points.  You can spend these to power your abilities.  If you run out of Humanity Points in an uncontrolled way, your character becomes a powerful, and likely hostile, NPC under the Referee's control.

You can regain Humanity Points by performing virtuous or heroic actions.  These include things such as risking yourself in a heroic and non-foolish manner, saving people from death, or meddling where you don't belong on behalf of another.  The Referee has final discretion over what counts as Heroic.  If the Referee agree with the Player(s) that such an action was heroic, the Problem regains 1d6 Humanity Points.

2:

First Fruits: You receive a special power that is dependent on what you first defiled yourself with.  Consult your Dread Archetype for more information on what your power specifically is.  Using this power does not take Humanity Points.

Cursed Crop: Mere dabbling is dangerous enough, but to consume darkness the way you do can cause permanent damage to your mind and body.  Every time you increase a level, including this one, you must save.  On a failure, you gain a Dark Conviction.  If you already have a Dark Conviction, your Conviction instead worsens, growing stronger and harder to resist. If a Dark Conviction commands something, you must succeed a WIL saving throw to resist, if the opportunity to act in accordance with the Conviction presents itself.

3:

Predator's Eye: By spending a Humanity Point, you can enhance your senses to supreme levels.  At minimum, this gives you a +4 bonus to any attempt to spot hidden things, movement, or detect sneaking or hidden foes.  However, depending on your Dread Archetype, it may also grant you additional senses that a Human would not possess.

4:

Rotten Bloom: You receive another special power that is dependent on your Dread Archetype.  Using this power does not require Humanity Points.  It may be used at will.

5:

Natural Born Killer: Your body twists and changes, the darkness within altering your body to give you natural weapons.  Whatever these weapons are, they vary depending on your Dread Archetype.

6:

Overdrive: You can enhance your natural weapons and attack power by drawing on the darkness within you.  Whenever you spend a Humanity Point to boost an attack or damage roll, it counts for +2 instead of +1.

7:

Malign Form: Your body twists and changes, transforming your form to become the spitting image of the Dread Archetype you first defiled yourself with.  This change is permanent.  Along with the changes to your form, it also boosts your natural defenses, depending on your Dread Archetype.
 
8:

Foul Aura: Your soul is so polluted it inspires fear, just as the presence of great monsters do.  As a full action, you may spend 1 Humanity Point to release your aura, allowing it to wash over all those who can see and hear you.  All those who feel your aura must save.  On a failure, they become frightened, and take 1d6 Morale damage a round.  If the Morale damage they've taken ever equals or exceeds their Morale, they will flee.

9:

Born Again: You are presented with a choice.  You learn the method of expending your last Humanity Point in a semi-safe method.  This method will involve a quest, a difficult trial, and a final test.  If you succeed, you will gain all the powers of your Dread Archetype, while retaining some fragment of who you once were.  However, if you fail, you will become a dangerous NPC under the control of the Referee, as your soul is lost to darkness, forever.

Alternatively, you can reject this path.  This prompts a futher question.  If you choose to remain where you are, balanced on the knife's edge of oblivion, then nothing about your situation changes.

Or you can choose to reject the darkness entirely, and cut yourself off from the power of darkness.  If you do so, you lose all your Problem abilities, but your body retains its true form.  You will never need to risk your Humanity ever again.

                                                      by ManiacPaint

Dread Archetypes  

These are the Dread Archetypes I already wrote, detailing a few of the Monsters that the Problem is slowly turning into.  You can write your own with the Template below, or just use the ones I have provided. 

Template:

First Fruit
Predator's Eye
Rotten Bloom
Natural Born Killer
Malign Form
Born Again

A X's Dark Convictions:
1dX

Ghoul

You fed on the carcasses of the dead, and in doing so, gained a small sliver of power from them.  You're faster, stronger, and hungrier than ever before.  You need more flesh- dead or living, it doesn't matter.  It's the only way to ensure your survival, your immortality.  It's also the only thing that makes your insides stop hurting.  You're just so, hungry.

First Fruit: If you eat the flesh of a person, living or dead, you regain 1d6+[their HD] HP.  You must spend at least an action eating to gain this benefit.  This causes you to heal minor wounds, but it cannot regenerate missing body parts.

Predator's Eye: You gain an enhanced sense of smell.  If a person has open wounds, you can follow them across a continent.  You can also distinguish someone's blood type from scent alone.

Rotten Bloom: Your hands are cold.  As an action, you may touch someone with your hands.  Anyone you touch must save.  On a failed save, their heart stops and they start dying.  On their next turn, they may save again.  If they pass their second save, then their soul kick-starts their heart and they come back.  But if they fail their second save, they are dead for good.   

Natural Born Killer: You grow claws from your fingertips and your jaw strengthens.  You can bite through bone.  Your claws and jaws do 1d6+STR damage.

Malign Form: Your flesh becomes cold and pale.  You no longer feel pain.  Sunlight irritates your skin, making you break out in terrible rash. 

Born Again: You can become a true Undead or you can become a Man once more.  If you choose the former, you no longer feel physical pain, fear, or doubt.  You no longer need to sleep, drink, breathe or rest.  The only thing left is hunger.  If you have an adequete supply of meat, you will maintain your humanity.  If not, you will degenerate, first into a feral beast, then into a twitching corpse.  You still won't die though.  The only thing that truly lives forever is Want, and Ghouls are nothing but Want.

A Ghoul's Dark Convictions:
1d6

1- "I hunger for the flesh of man."  You find yourself craving human flesh.  Whenever you get the chance to indulge, you must successfully save to resist the urge.
2- "I fear the Sun, it will destroy me."  You find yourself looking over your shoulder at the sun.  Whenever you can, you will avoid direct sunlight, unless forced to otherwise.  While in sunlight, you make fear and WIL saves with a -4 penalty.
3- "I should have never been born."  You find yourself despairing over your own consciousness.  Whenever given the chance to take your own life, you must seriously consider the idea or permanently lose 1 point of WIL. 
4- "I've come to realize existence itself is a sick joke, played on us."  You find yourself seeking to liberate others from the pain of their own existence.  If you have the chance to kill someone, you must successfully save to resist the urge.
5- "I am a monster who kills everything I touch."  You find yourself fearing your own abilities.  You will avoid touching people unless absolutely necessary.
6- "Morality is just a useful fiction, and very few people actually follow it."  You begin to find humanity's moral wretchedness disgusting.  At least you're honest about being a monster.  If you see someone commiting some kind of injustice in your eyes, you will be able to instantly justify attacking or killing that person.


Creepbot 2000

You were once human, but perfectionism is a powerful thing.  After replacing a bit of your failing flesh with cold steel and sparking silicon, you could no longer abide the weaknesses of mortality.  You must resist, or the person who ends up stealing your humanity might be you.

First Fruit:
You have a concealed weapon in your implants.  Depending on your implants, this could be anything from a small stunning device to a built-in pistol.  Whatever your weapon is, it does damage as one of those weapons.

Predator's Eye:
You have sensors installed in your body that allow you to interface with Wi-Fi emitters.  These sensors download and translate this data into something readable by your brain.  This Wi-Fi vision allows you to "see through" walls and determine the number of people in a room.  If someone is wearing or carrying a phone or other device that interfaces with a Wi-Fi source, you can find them no matter what.  This Wi-Fi vision only works in a place that has a Wi-Fi signal and can only affect those creatures with a physical body; Wi-Fi vision cannot detect an entity composed entirely of immaterial substances, such as a Ghost or Hallucination Monster.  

Rotten Bloom: Your natural AC is boosted to 14, thanks to the artificial armor installed in your skin.  You can no longer swim, though with your implants, that would be a bad idea, anyway.  You can no longer wear armor as well, with the exception of shields.  Other armor doesn't boost your AC any further, plus it slows you down. 

Natural Born Killer: You finally give yourself an implant that is some kind of weapon.  This could be anything from a buzzsaw to a giant gun to a death ray.  Your weapon does 2d8 damage of the appropriate type on a hit. 

Malign Form:
A good chunk of your body has been replaced by cybernetics and other works of mad science.  You are immune to all conventional, non-inhaled poisons.  You also have a resistance to non-magical sharp and blunt damage, as well as low caliber firearms (pistols and certain small rifles).  You sink like a stone in water and lose any ability to swim.  Your natural AC is now 16. 

Born Again: You have two choices, transcend your humanity, or embrace it.  If you choose the former, your body now becomes almost entirely robotic, with only the most essential of your biological organs maintained.  You are immune to small arms fire (pistols and certain small rifles) and non-magical blunt and sharp damage, unless the latter two are wielded by someone of incredible skill or with superhuman strength or speed.  Your base AC is now 18.  No poisons work on you, unless they somehow manage to penetrate your armor.  You gain little benefit from healing spells and you do not age.  You will live forever unless killed.  

A Creepbot's Dark Convictions:
1d6

1- "The flesh is weak!"  You must resist the urge to amputate your soft flesh and replace it with cybernetics.  Every time you have an excuse or the opportunity to do so, you must successfully save to resist the urge.  If someone manages to talk to you before that, you can try again if you failed your first save.
2- "Have I made a mistake [in modifying myself]?"  You find yourself wondering about your choices.  If one of your cybernetics is damaged, you must successfully save to repair it.  On a failed save, you will merely remove the damaged part.
3- "I am terrified of mortal frailty and our final weakness, death."  If you ever believe you are in danger of dying, you must save.  On a failed save, you will flee immediately.
4- "Was I ever actually human?  Can my memories be trusted?"  You find yourself doubting your own memories.  Were you ever actually a human, or just a machine programmed to be so?  Even if you were human, are these your memories?  You must successfully save to consult your memories (through the Referee) for information.
5- "Have I lost something I can never get back?"  You find yourself beginning to wonder about the nature of humanity.  You become unwilling to kill people unless you successfully save. 
6- "I am depressed because I can never do [X] again."  X will vary based on the nature of your implants.  However, it is something that you cannot do anymore.  You find yourself devoting all of your spare time to figuring out a way to reverse your defilement and redeem yourself.  If you have a chance to return to being human, you will jump at the opportunity, unless you successfully save.   


Fey-touched

You made a bargain with a strange, naked person in the woods, or you spent a day as a child with a beautiful, alien creature who never spoke, only to return home and find decades had passed; or maybe one day, you just started to notice how pointed your ears and teeth were.  Either way, you realized you had the old magic in your blood, the power of root and stem, the blood of the Folk.  You are going to become one of them, whether you like it or not.  Might as well enjoy the ride.

First Fruit: You can communicate to wild plants and animals as if you shared a language.  It's not that you're talking, per say, but you can understand their thoughts.  You can also understand domesticated plants and animals, but they never have anything good to say to you.  Domesticated animals either avoid you or they don't like you anymore- unless they had a strong relationship with you before this, they will dislike you on sight.

Predator's Eye: You gain the ability to detect infrared radiation.  You can see in perfect darkness and find living creatures easily.  However, your infrared vision can only work if the environment is not as hot as the thing you are looking at, and if there are objects with similar heat signatures, that can give you useless information.

Rotten Bloom: You gain the ability to weave illusions out of stardust and strong feelings.  When you make an illusion, you must select an object or creature by touching it.  Once you have done this, the object or creature you touched changes appearance.  You can disguise the object or creature as an object or creature of similar size, such as a broom as a sword or a stone as a jewel.  You can also weave illusions to camoflague something or render it invisible.  However, your illusions are not perfect, and if someone succeeds on a WIS saving throw, they will be able to see through them, to what is hidden underneath.

Natural Born Killer: You gain the ability to transform your body into a terrifying, dangerous monster form.  in your Monster form, you STR, CON and WIL increase by +2 or to 16(+2), whatever is higher.  You also get a +10 bonus to FS in this form.  This FS is not refreshed every time you transform, and recovers with the rest of your FS.  You also receive natural weapons in this form, such as horns, antler, talons or claws.  Pick one when you first unlock this ability.

Malign Form: Your normal body becomes astonishingly beautiful and slightly alien in appearance.  You're stunning, but clearly inhuman.

Born Again: You can reject your humanity or learn to love it.  If you choose the former, you become a Faerie, truly one of the timeless Folk.  You become unable to bear the touch of iron and unable to tell a lie.  You also stop aging and gain the ability to cast spells as a Wizard.

A Fey-touched's Dark Convictions:
1d6

1- "I hate these silly toys you play with."  You find yourself coming to despise the physical artifacts of civilization, such as clothes, furniture, drapes, doileys, silverware and etc.  If given the chance, you must save to resist destroying them.  
2- "You are not my master.  I bow to no one."  You find yourself coming to reject these ludicrous excuses for hierarchy.  You see no reason why you must respect any hierarchy where the leader is not stronger than you.  If given an opportunity, you must save to resist disrespecting the human hierarchy.
3- "You are all fools; either too stupid to see your own enslavement or too broken to want to be free."  You find yourself coming to pity or despise those people who are comfortable in civilization. 
4- "I am no man."  You find yourself becoming savage in your mannerisms.  You must successfully save to act in a manner civilized people would.  On a failed save, you will be as rude and uncivilized as a drunken Conan the Barbarian at a formal gala.
5- "Like the sun, do not look upon me directly, or you will die."  Given the first opportunity, you must save or begin describing your greatness to anyone who will listen.  You become proud.
6- "I like killing."  You feel the urge to kill for fun.  Given the opportunity, save to resist. 


Star-child

You drank the golden ichor of the sun, or bathed in the strange radiation of a Heavenly One.  You emerged changed.  Smarter, stronger, less human.  You absorb the light of the sun, it turns you gold and platinum.  You can sometimes pass for human, but even then, people regard you strangely.  You seem odd to them- too bright, too hopeful, too noble.  Something isn't right about you.  And the way you look up into the starry sky, for some reason, you seem so sad.

First Fruit: You absorb sun and starlight through your skin.  For every hour you spend under a clear sky, you regain 1d6 FS, up to your maximum.  You never really get tired, unless you're underground or its cloudy.  If you spend at least  8 hours under an open, clear sky, you don't need to eat or drink.  However, if you are deprived of sun or starlight for a number of days equal to your level, you sicken and weaken, then abruptly die.

Predator's Eye: You can see people's souls.  To your eyes, a soul is a small flame burning at the center of a person's chest, radiating light throughout their body.  From looking at this small flame and the light it produces, you can roughly determine someone's physical and emotional state.  For example: "Healthy and angry; wounded and scared; dying and happy."  If someone was also especially wicked or noble, you can see that as well, but they are neither incredibly good nor incredibly evil, you cannot tell.   

Rotten Bloom: You can release the light energy in your body in a single, blazing wave that ripples out from you in a dazzling wave of light and heat.  To do this, select as many points of FS as you wish to sacrifice.  Then you lose this, and everyone within 10*[the amount of FS sacrificed] feet takes fire damage equaivalent to [the amount of FS sacrificed], save for half.   
Natural Born Killer: Your strength is boosted to superhuman levels.  You gain a STR of 18(+3).  You can also bend steel bars, lift very heavy things, and break people's bones with a punch.  

Malign Form: You are transformed into a creature of the sun.  Your hair turns the color of gold, silver or platinum, and your eyes change color and sparkle like jewels.  Your skin changes color as well, becoming bone-white or golden-brown or some other elegant tone (Referee's Discretion).  You are completely inhuman but also quite beautiful.  Now, when you take in sun or starlight, you regain double the amount of FS and you can regenerate HP as well.  Missing body parts will regrow themselves in time.  

Born Again: You can choose to embrace divinity and perfection, but lose the whole world; or to remain finite and flawed, but also maintain your existence in the world of Becoming.  If you choose the former, you gain the ability to fly and to hear the music of creation.  You come to realize how insignificant things on Earth are, and wish to ascend.  When you reach this level, you must save.  On a failed save, you say good-bye to your friends and family and ascend into the Heavens, vanishing forever into the sky.  Even if you succeed the save though, you will continue to have doubts, and if something terrible happens, you will have to save again to resist leaving this world behind. 

A Star-child's Dark Convictions:
1d6

1- "Everything on Earth is so unimportant."  The mundane bores you.  If asked to do something mundane, you must save or blow it off, as it doesn't really matter.
2- "I want to die [so I can go home]."  You become convinced that if you kill yourself, you will be able to leave this place, and be taken to a better one.  If given the opportunity to kill yourself in a mostly painless or otherwise convenient way, you must save or do it.
3- "I must help these poor, blind animals to see the truth."  You will attempt to help other people see the truth you now bear witness to.  At the first opportunity, you must save or attempt to enlighten people.  This can be anything from preaching the Way of Solar Righteousness to purchasing large amounts of dangerous, psychedelic drugs to give to people.
4- "Humans are unworthy of my help.  It is wasted on them."  You find the moral depravity of Man, as well as his short-sighted irrationality, disgusting.  You will no longer help them, you have decided.  You must successfully save to aid any human in an altruistic manner.
5- "The world is hell [and I want out]."  You want to leave this world, but cannot find the will to kill yourself.  So you have decided to endanger yourself.  When confronted with multiple ways of solving a solution, you must successfully save or choose the most dangerous option.
6- "I cannot understand humans or their ways anymore."  When two or more humans do something that is peculiar to humans, such as a custom or quirk, you must save to remember what you should do in that situation.
  

Dead Man Walking

You were supposed to die, but didn't.  The noose they used to hang you broke, or the lethal injection wasn't so lethal after all, or the bullet fired by the firing squad bounced off your ribs, or the last minute pardon from the governor arrived one minute too late, and they threw the switch on ol's sparky; however they tried, it didn't kill you.  Now you stand, perfectly balanced between life and death, a living shade, a dead soul.

First Fruit: You count as either technically alive or technically dead, depending on your will.  You can also choose to "play dead" for as long as you like.  While playing dead you cannot move or do anything, but you do not age, breathe, or give off any sign of life, and are indistinguishable from a corpse.

Predator's Eye: By touching someone, you can see how they will die.  Your grisly visions are always true.

Rotten Bloom: As an action, you can turn off your ability to feel pain.  When you take non-magical damage while your ability to feel pain is off, roll a CON saving throw.  If you succeed, you take no damage.  If you fail, the damage does lasting damage to your body, lowering your ability to move.

Natural Born Killer: As an action, you can turn on your Corpse Vision, as per Predator's Eye, allowing you to see how everyone around you will die.  If you attack someone with the source of damage that will kill them, they take double damage. However, during this time, you can see your own fatal wounds, and damage that corresponds with that wound will do double damage to you.  You may switch off your Corpse Vision as a free action.

Malign Form: Nothing about you changes; yet at the same time, everything does.  Your presence unnerves people, your touch is cold, your eyes, they see too much.  As an action, you can draw the Reaper close to you.  His long shadow falls across all of those who can see or hear you.  Each round, everyone must save vs death in order of initiative.  If you are not in combat, then go in descending order of HD from highest to lowest.  The first person to fail their save dies.

Born Again: You must choose, life or death.  If you choose life, you live again.  If you choose death, then a Psychopomp will arrive to ferry your soul to the afterlife.  If you fight him off, you may remain in your body as an Undead.  However, you are a special type of Undead, as your soul is free from your body.  You may cast it forth or withdraw it back into your body as you see fit. 

A Dead Man's Dark Convictions:
1d6

1- "I should be dead."
2- "I should be alive."
3- "Everyone is doomed, what's the point."
4- "Everyone else has something I don't, I despise them."
5- "I fear death."
6- "I welcome death."
Daemonhost

Some stupid fool summoned an Outsider, and gave you to it to function as a host body.  However, through virtue, sin, magical talent, magic-conducting wards on your body, sheer force of will or some combination of any of the aforementioned things, you managed to retain control.  Now you have an Outsider riding shotgun in your body.  You can hear it talking in your mind- whispering things only you can hear.  What it wants is likely to vary, but the first goal of any Outsider is that it wants to be free. 

First Fruit: If you grant the Outsider permission, it can change the shape and size of your body, though it can only stretch what flesh exists, and not radically alter your size.  It can make you taller, but not double your height.

Predator's Eye: If you have the Outsider's permission, you may see as it does.  Outsiders have Angel Eyes or Demon Vision, what mortals call Sight Beyond Sight.  This is a form of sensing that pierces any illusion, reveals the true forms of anyone who is looked at, and shows you things as they truly are- without pretense or deception.  To mortals, it is incredibly invasive, as mortals are conflicted and divided, attempting neutrality in the middle of a spiritual war.  To Outsiders, on the other hand, this is nothing to be concerned about.  Outsiders embody either virtues, vices, strong dreams, or other things.  They are pure consciousness, so it is all but impossible for them to change who they are or how they feel. 

Rotten Bloom: If you have the Outsider's permission, you may borrow one of its Demonic Gifts.  Roll to see what Demonic Gifts the Outsider has.  You may only borrow one of the Outsider's gifts at once, and you may only do so if it has permission.

Natural Born Killer: If you have the Outsider's permission, you may borrow one of its Spirit Weapons.  An Outsider's spirit weapon is a weapon that is molded from and fused with the soul of its wielder- it is more comparable to a limb than a tool.  To use one is a great honor and a terrible burden.  All Spirit Weapons do damage as if the Outsider was attacking with them.  
Malign Form: If you have the Outsider's permission, you may transform your body partiailly to resemble the Outsider's true form.  This doubles the numbers of attacks you can make, and gives you Damage Threshold equal to half the Outsider's normal Damage Threshold.

Born Again: You can choose to expel the Outsider from your body, or you can choose to continue your current relationship.  If you choose the former, you lose all your Problem abilities, but gain freedom.  If you choose the latter, you must be careful. If you hit zero Humanity Points with an Outsider in your body, it will seize control of you, and you will become its tool.

A Daemonhost's Dark Convictions:

I will not be including a table of Dark Convictions for the Daemonhost.  This is for two reasons.  The first reason is that all Outsiders are different, and it would be too difficult to write a table diverse enough to fit them all.  Secondly, it is because the presence of another mind in the character's body is interesting enough as it is.  So have the Outsider whisper in the Daemonhost's ear, trying to convince them to act as the Outsider would, in whatever way the Outsider would prefer.  Give them power from the Outsider, all while extracting promises and oaths from them.  Try to influence them and string you along. But most of all, all Outsiders want to control the Daemonhost.  The Outsider could (probably) leave any time it wanted to, but it hasn't, because it still thinks you might be controllable. 

                                                                           by citadelloli

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Fighting Men in Nukaria - Reaching Heaven through Violence

                                                             from Kill Six Billion Demons

So I was reading someone's post, I don't exactly recall where, but I believe it was a mixture of Scrap Princess' and this one from a Blasted and Cratered Land, and it made me rethink my Fighting Man class.  I decided I wanted a Fighter class that was modular, like the Wizard class.  For while my current Fighters all play roughly the same, a Wizard is very different, on behalf of their differing spells.  Unfortunately, I could find a good solution.  Then, suddenly, I came up with an idea.  The idea was sitting right in front of me.  Thus, I am going to change my Fighter class, and with it, I hope to change yours.

I am altering the Fighting Man's Notches ability.  Previously, it read,

"Notches: Keep track of all the Kills you get with each of your weapons.  When you get Ten, Twenty, Thirty, or Fifty kills with one of them, roll on the Notches table."

I am discarding it in favor of this version of the same ability.

"Notches: Whenever a Fighting Man gets 10, 20, 30 or 50 kills or wins as many victories against foes, he gains a Notch in that weapon. For each Notch the Fighter has, he can learn a Secret Technique for that weapon.

He can also learn Secret Techniques from training with older Fighters or reading about them in ancient martial manuals.  However, the Fighter can only have a number of Secret Techniques learned equal to the amount of kills/victories he has made/earned- so if he has 30 kills, he may only know three Secret Techniques, but the source of these techniques need not be the technique he discovered through trial and error on the battlefield.  He could copy a Journeyman technique from a warrior he fought alongside with, or practice one of the Ancient Fist Arts he read about in the old Handsome Man scrolls.  As long as he only has three, the source is irrelevant.

Secret Techniques can be used as an action.  Sometimes they are an addition to an existing attack roll, other times they are separate actions.  It depends on the technique."

There are four levels of Martial Techniques for each weapon or style.  At 10 Kills, you are equivalent to a Novice.  At 20, a Journeyman.  At 30, an Expert.  At 50 Kills, you are a Master.  To learn the higher techniques for a Weapon, you must know the lower techniques.  You also cannot learn the techniques of any weapon or style you haven't used.  You cannot learn the Secret Techniques of Flight of the Grey Geese if you have never touched a bow, for instance.

Template:
10 Kills --> Novice:
20 Kills --> Journeyman:
30 Kills --> Expert:
50 Kills --> Master: 

Finally, a note.  This is an addition to the class suited much more for High Fantasy and crazy, hopeful games where there is no problem too great and no enemy cannot be overcome.  If you run the type of game where an Elder God shows and the world ends because that's how the world works and no mortal action can resist it, that's totally fine.  However, I take a more unorthodox approach in all of my settings, but especially in Nukaria.  For instance, if an Elder God showed up in Nukaria, he would probably destroy the world, or at least, half of it, and ruin things for a while, but eventually, some brave heroes would defeat him, probably by punching him really, really hard.

For my Those who Know and for posterity, I plan on either publishing either a more restrained version of Secret Techniques or my original Notches table, which was never published on this blog, but dealt mostly with a Fighting Man's weapons getting stronger as he killed more.  You'll just have to wait and see.

                                                  from Kill Six Billion Demons

Weapon Schools

These are Martial Schools that apply to specific types weapons or classes of weapons.  Each one teaches techniques that can only be used with a weapon that fits the criteria.  

Cutting

This School applies to Swords.

Cutting is the Art of using the Sword.  Swords are ugly, terrible instruments, whose only true purpose is to kill.  Unlike all other tools here, the only thing swords can be used for is destroying.  An axe can build a house, a bow can catch dinner, a rod can punish without leaving permanent damage, but a sword used properly is single-minded.  The art of wielding a sword is to thus channel the blade and your own destructive impulses, to harden your will and killing intent into something sharp enough to cut.

Novice:  "The first step on the path of victory is the one towards your opponent."  Before you make an attack, if you take an action to do nothing except prepare yourself, you can improve your cutting prowess.  If you do that, next time you make an attack, when an opponent rolls to defend against your attack, they may only roll 1d20, and not their damage dice.

Journeyman:  "Those who would hide from War will find him a persistent and eager lover."  When you make an attack against an enemy, you may choose to do no damage, and instead target their armor.  On a hit, you reduce their AC by 1d6 and destroy the armor you hit.  This only works on non-natural armor, or armor that could be destroyed by your sword.

Expert: "The Sword breaks in the hands of the unworthy."  When you make an attack against an enemy and they manage to parry it, and you did not use your Novice ability, then you may force them to save.  On a failed save, their weapon breaks under the strain of protecting themselves from your attack.

Master: "The Sanctioned Action is to Cut."  Before you make an attack, you may declare what you are trying to cut.  Then make your attack.  If you hit, calculate the amount of damage you did to the target you selected, ignoring all Damage Thresholds, Damage Immunities, Damage Resistances, and etc.  If your sword did damage equal to half or more of the target's HP, the target is cut.  This cut can be anywhere you choose, from severing an arm or head to cutting something in half.  


Flight of the Grey Geese

This School applies to Bows and Arrows.

The bow is said to be the universal weapon.  Every culture worth its salt has invented it, and those that aren't have stolen it from one that has.  Bows are incredibly useful, they are the supreme long ranged weapon in many settings, and even in a world with more advanced ones, the bow can still prove an undeniable asset.  Heavy infantry and certain others scoff at the archer, declaring that his killing power is inferior to theirs.  This is often true- against a well armored group in formation, an arrow can do little damage.  Yet sometimes, a little damage is all it can take.  However, even the common archer, mounted or otherwise, can sometimes provide the small amount of damage necessary to collapse a shield wall and break the enemies' line.

In some lands, this has been noticed, and certain peoples have declared the Archer to be the most aristocratic of all fighting styles.  These peoples have worked to elevate the style of Archer, to improve it.  Most famous among these are the Handsome Men, who wove the natural elegance of birds in flight into the forms and movements of archery, creating a beautiful, lethal style that utterly surpasses any other technique of Archery.  It is rare and hard to learn, but the Grey Geese, as they are often called, are the most dangerous people in the world when it comes to bows and arrows, with the possible exception of a Handsome Man trained in the same style.    

Novice:  "Birds do not stand still, so neither should you."  You can fire an arrow while running, jumping or falling as easily as you could while standing still.

Journeyman:  "Birds have two wings, do they not?"When you make an attack with a bow and arrow on your turn, you may make two attacks.

Expert:  "The eagle wrestles in the air, defying gravity and his opponent; so should you as well, remember that when you fight, you fight your opponent and causality."  If someone makes a ranged attack against you, and this is a projectile that an arrow could parry, you may make 1 attack with a bow and arrow.  If your roll beats your opponent's, then the attack is parried.  This does not work on things you could not shoot out of the air with an arrow, such as a thrown boulder or a bullet.

Master:  "Even grounded, a bird is still more agile than any creeping thing."  If someone makes a melee attack against you, once per round, you may make 1 attack with a bow and arrow against them. If your roll is greater than your opponent's, you take no damage and they are shot with an arrow, taking damage as normal.


Disciplining Rod

This school applies to blunt weapons that are not oversized or staves.

The Disciplining Rod is the school for blunt weapons that are not staves or incredibly large.  This is a diverse group, but like with certain other schools, their are universal principles that apply to all weapons.  Unlike some schools, which focus only on one specific weapon, Disciplining Rod teaches rules that will allow any student of this school to wield almost all blunted weapons with only a short adjustment period.  Disciplining Rod is also said to be the most gentle school of violence, as while (almost) all other weapons are difficult to use for anything but killing, the Disciplining Rod can be used to punish and to crush.  Parents use rods to discipline their children for a reason.

Novice:  "Spare the rod, spoil the child."  When you make an attack with a blunt weapon, you may choose to deal nonlethal damage instead of normal blunt damage.  Nonlethal damage functions as lethal damage, except that it cannot reduce someone below 1 HP.

Journeyman:  "Rebuke a scorner and he will hate you, rebuke a wise man and he will love you."  When you parry an attack, if the attacker misses, you may force the attacker to save.  On a failed save, you manage to disarm them. 

Expert:  "Even a fool can be thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut."  On a hit with a blunt weapon, you may choose to deal no HP damage and instead deal 1d6 DEX damage.  This makes the person hit get a -X penalty to all DEX checks, saving throws, and attacks.  If the DEX damage they've taken ever equals or exceeds their DEX score, they fall to the ground, unable to move in any coordinated way. 

Master: "To be ignorant is no virtue, yet no crime.  To be willfully blind to the truth is worthy of a beating."  On a hit with a blunt weapon, you may choose to deal no damage, and force the opponent to save.  On a failed save, you manage to hit their head, knocking them out cold for 1d6 rounds.  On a successful save, they manage to retain their consciousness.  This only works on something that could be knocked out.


Binding Chain

This school applies to chain weapons.

Binding Chain is the most eccentric of all martial schools, taught mostly in Foreign Parts, though there are some around here who recognize and teach it.  Many regard it more as a school of artistic expression, the so-called "steel poetry".  However, if properly trained, a chain-wielder can make mince-meat of any who challenge them.  This is aided partially by the fact that chain weapons are incredibly difficult to defend against, but also because of the sublime technique of the Binding Chain school.  Those who master these techniques leave carpets of bodies behind them, a stark contrast to their mesmerizing, elegant technique they demonstrate, their skillful movements more comparable to a dance or performance than to a fighting style.

Novice: "The crane does not ask for permission before it spears a fish."  If you successfully hit an enemy with an attack, you may choose to do no damage and instead entangle their weapon.  Then, as a free action, you may attempt to yank it out of their hands.  The enemy must succeed a saving throw to keep hold of their weapon.  This only works on weapons that could be stolen.

Journeyman:  "The gull is scorned by other birds, for they envy its abundant harvests."  If you attack someone with a chain weapon and miss, you can force him or her to save.  On a failure, that person 's legs are entangled by their chain, and he or she falls over.

Expert:  "The flamingo does not target its prey, but they are devoured anyway."  As an action, you may begin spinning your chain weapon in a circular pattern around you.  This area affected is as long as your chain permits.  Anyone who enters this area takes damage as if they were hit by your chain, unless they have some kind of defense against being hit by your chain. 

Master:  "The kingfisher never misses."  When making an attack with a chain weapon, you may choose two targets.  Both targets should roll their 1d20 and damage dice, as if they were attacked by you.  You may then choose who to attack.  The target you chose must use the 1d20 and damage roll they rolled before you.


Woodsman

This school applies to axes that are not oversized.

Unlike the sword, which has always been associated with aristocracy, the axe is perhaps the greatest symbol of the common man.  Axes have many constructive uses and are not usually intended for war.  Thus, when the smallfolk rise up in rebellion, they do not carry with them swords, but crude spears, scythes, sickles and axes.  The bow may be just as common among the commoners, but bows are used by all castes of people, even the nobility.  In some cultures, the bow is exclusively a noble's weapon, so it is often disregarded as a symbol.  The axe never bears such stigma, as it is primarily a tool used for splitting wood. 

Despite the humble origin of the axe though, the adherents of the Woodsman school will assure you that an axe can split men as easily as it can logs.  This is a fact they are all too eager to demonstrate.  The adherents of this school tend to be eager to fight and prove themselves, taking offense quickly and always ready to bare steel.  They tend to travel, carving bloody canyons across battlefields and among those foolish enough to challenge them.  Additionally, the adherents to these schools sometimes are known to be firebrands and radicals, often spreading ideals of freedom and equality among the smallfolk.  Their reputation as fomenters of rebellion is undeserved, but it is not entirely confusing.  For this reason, the school is a bit of a persecuted one.  Despite this fact, it has resisted any attempt to stamp it out, as one of the things that never goes out of style is sticking it to the man.
         
Novice:  "Authority is permission granted- it can be denied."  If an opponent attempts to defend against one of your attacks made with an axe with a Quick weapon (base 1d6 damage) ignore his damage roll and treat it as if he just rolled 1d20 to defend.

Journeyman:  "Resistance to Tyrants is obedience to God."  If an opponent attempts to defend against one of your attacks made with an axe and rolls less damage than what you did, ignore his damage roll and treat it as if he just rolled a 1d20 to defend.

Expert:  "The power of the state is not the monopoly on force, but the monopoly on law."  If an opponent attempts to defend against one of your attacks made with an axe with their armor and that armor has an Armor Rating = (AC-10) of less than your damage roll, ignore it and treat the opponent as if he was unarmored and only rolled a 1d20 to defend.

Master:  "The supreme power is violence, it is the power from which all others are derived."  If an opponent attempts to defend against one of your attacks made with an axe and they have a lower STR score or know fewer secret techniques than you, subtract the higher difference in either one of those categories from their higher defense roll (either from their 1d20 or damage dice, but not both). 


Courtesy Killing

This school applies to daggers, knives and other small, concealable blades.

In some cultures, it is considered dishonorable for a woman to know about martial things, and women pride themselves on ignorance of the ways of the violence.  Some cultures do not hold this perspective, however, and claim that it is the duty of all people to be able to defend their family and tribe from outsiders.  The Orzane are infamous for this, along with the Humans, who both emphasize the idea that man must not rely on his rulers or his God to protect him, but instead champion the virtues of courage and martial excellence.  The Orzane in particular take this to the furthest extent possible, so much so that almost every adult in their society has at least some training with arms.  The daughters of the aristocracy are no exception to this rule.  Many of the fathers of the Orzanian people have trained their daughters in the school of Courtesy Killing.

While many of the martial schools built around daggers began as assassin schools, some have found new homes among the Orzanian aristocracy.  After all, a dagger is concealable, easy to carry, and useful in many circumstances.  Additionally, training to fight with a dagger is less likely to lead to unsightly scars or other lasting injuries.  Some Orzanian nobles even take great pride in their training, wearing knives with gilded etchings or pearl-adorned handles.  So be careful- the frail looking girl laden with jewels and carrying a "ceremonial" dagger could be a lot more dangerous than she looks.

Novice:  "Beware the rose, it has thorns."  You can conceal a dagger on your person so well, without magic or an absolutely exhaustive search, it will not be found.  A simple pat-down or a visual inspection will not be enough to find it.

Journeyman:  "You only receive flowers at three times- at a wedding, at a gala, and at a funeral."  If you hit someone with an attack from your dagger, you may choose to cling to him, automatically doing damage to him each round by rolling your damage dice.  This makes you vulnerable, as when rolling your defense die, you can only roll 1d20, as you are busy using your dagger to stab your opponent.

Expert:  "If a bouquet irritates your eyes, it does not matter how pretty it looks."  If you choose to, you may make an attack with a dagger.  If you succeed, you do no HP damage, but instead damage a body part, reducing its effectiveness.  This includes but is not limited to, cutting off someone's ear, stabbing out someone's eye, or etc. 

Master:  "A rude guest is like a fallen petal, it only spoils the decorations for the slow-witted."  If you make a successful attack with a dagger, you may force that person to save.  On a failed save, that person takes an additional 1d6 damage a round from bleeding out.  This damage continues until they die or find some way to staunch the wound.


Farmer's Friend

This school applies to staves and spears.

Unlike the Woodsman, the Farmer's Friend school is hardly known outside of rural regions and a few scattered sellsword companies, a distant and secret style.  Many have heard stories of how a farmer with a quarterstaff fought off three trained warriors, but these are usually just considered folk tales.  They often are, but they are also rooted in truth.  There are warriors out there that can humiliate warriors trained in far more aristocratic weapons with nothing more than a length of wood, but they are rare.  Most who wield spears do so because the spear is a simple, intuitive weapon that requires little preliminary training to begin learning.  A few will turn even this simple weapon into an instrument of carnage, crushing or piercing all in their way.           

Novice:  "Pain is the enemy of cowards, but the friend of brave men."  If an opponent attacks and hits you, once per round, you reduce the damage taken by the base damage dice of your weapon.

Journeyman:  "You are not an island, but an isthmus of a greater landmass."  If two opponents are adjacent to each other or standing on either side of them, you may attack both of them at the same time.  This requires two attack rolls.

Expert:  "Chaos will reach out to grab you, but she will not find you if you run toward her."  You may parry ranged attacks as per your Novice ability, assuming the ranged attack is something that could be defended against by a length of wood.  So no bullets or magical projectiles, but shurikens or arrows.

Master:  "Peace is greater than war, for war requires action, and peace requires nothing but rest."  You may take an action to spin your weapon around you.  You must use your action each round to keep spinning it.  If you take an action to do anything else, you stop spinning your weapon.  Anyone who attacks you while you are spinning it like this must save.  On a failed save, their attack automatically fails to hit you.


Unyielding

This school applies to oversized weapons: greataxes, greatclubs, warhammers or etc.

The Unyielding School is often said to be the most simplistic of Martial Schools.  This is perhaps true, the adherents of the School will say.  However, they will argue, just because something is large and occasionally cumbersome, does not mean it cannot be wielded with poetry and art.  Some would dispute this, but anyone who has seen a Master of the Unyielding School will be able to see the school's point.  The school is surprisingly deep, despite its simple subject matter.   

Novice:  "Those without sure footing are cast aside by the storms of life."  If you attack someone, regardless of whether you hit or miss, you can force that someone to save.  On a failure, that person is thrown to the ground and knocked prone.

Journeyman:  "Those without courage will never fix the problem before them."  You can take an action to defend yourself by placing your Unyielding weapon before you.  Any opponent who moves to attack you must save.  On a failed save, you maneuver your weapon so it stays between you too, and they cannot reach you.  This does not apply to a weapon that is longer than your Unyielding weapon, such as a pike or lance.

Expert:  "Battle strains the body, life burdens the soul."  On a hit with an Unyielding Weapon, you may choose to do no HP damage, but attribute damage instead.  If the attack missed, then your attack does 1d6 STR damage as the target's body strains under the impact.  For the rest of the fight, the target receives a -X penalty to all STR checks, saving throws, and attack rolls where X is the damage dealt.  If the attack hit, then the target takes 1d6 CON damage as you damage something vitally important.  The target receives a -X penalty to CON checks, saving throws and damage rolls, and must save or start to pass out from the pain.

Master:  "The greater must clear the way for the lesser."  If you attack someone, regardless of whether you hit or miss, you break that person's guard.  The next person who attacks them, they can only roll 1d20 in defense of that roll and not 1d20 and their damage dice.


Gunslinging

This school applies to firearms.

If you don't have guns in your setting, just ignore this one.  Nukaria doesn't have any, as of yet, but if it did, this is what they would use.

Gunslingers are those ancient men of myth, striding out of the East, bearing instruments of death on their hips and wide hats on their heads.  They are steely-eyed and clear-sighted, strong and fast, capable of finishing a fight before it starts.  Some will claim they are nothing without their guns, others will say it does not matter.  The martial advantage they possess is so great, they could be the worst warriors in the world, but as long as they hit, they would still be victorious.  Both of these perspectives are wrong, to an extent.  Both are also true, to an extent.  Gunslingers are not poor warriors, but their guns are not as dangerous as the stories tell them to be.  If you get shot, you won't necessarily die.  Don't push your luck, though.

Novice:  "I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father."  When facing someone with a melee weapon, unless you are face-to-face, you can always act before them.

Journeyman:  "I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father."  When firing upon someone from long range, even if they succeed their save, you may still roll for damage.  If the damage you roll is lower than half damage, then that person still takes that damage. 

Expert:  "I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father."  When firing upon an enemy, you may choose to make an attack roll for your firearm attack.  On a hit, roll for damage as per normal.  That person then takes that damage doubled.

Master:  "First comes smiles, then lies. Last is gunfire."  When firing upon an enemy that has other enemies standing adjacent to them, you may fire upon all of them, provided they are all within at least 10' square of each other, and the group is spread out over no more than 30' square feet.      


Unbreaking Art

This school applies to shields.

The Unbreaking Art is a martial school, technically, even though it teaches no offensive techniques.  Rather, it is a purely defensive school, the only one of its kind.  The Unbreaking Art teaches its adherents how to protect themselves and imbue their shields with pure will, to protect against all forms of attack.  It is not a pacifistic school, per say, though many of its adherents do lean toward such a philosophy.  Rather, it seeks to maximize the student's ability to protect themselves and others.  As such, it tends to attract noble students, and it is widely recognized.  Just knowing someone is a student of the Unbreaking Art will make some people more friendly to them.  Other martial schools tend to look down on students of the Unbreaking Art, but the smallfolk love them, for often, the students of the only defensive school are Angels clad in flesh.     

Novice:  "Life is the teacher, pain her rod of correction."  When you are damaged by an attack and you have a shield, you may choose to reduce the damage by 1d12.  If you wish, you may also sunder the shield, destroying it but cancelling out 12 damage.  

Journeyman:  "Nature is a disagreeable wench, wisely avoided."  You can use your Shield and your Novice ability to protect against any form of damage, from necrotic to holy to fire to ice to anything else.

Expert:  "Do not trust the Wizard, for they do not even trust themselves."  If someone casts a spell on you that requires an attack roll on their part or a saving throw on yours, if you exceed their attack roll or pass your saving throw, you can reflect the spell back at them.

Master:  "While the trueborn can worry about being disowned, those who are adopted never need to fear being discarded."  Anyone who stands behind you receives the same reduction of damage you receive from your ability, and you can protect them as if they were part of your body.

                                                             from KSBD (see above)

Fist Arts

Fist Arts are Martial Schools that teach Secret Techniques that apply only to unarmed strikes.  You cannot use weapons to utilize these secret techniques, you must use your bare body.  Additionally, some Fist Arts specifically teach only to use specific parts of the body, and these restrictions apply to.  For example, you cannot use the Secret Techniques of Leisure Kicks with your hands, but only with your feet, knees or legs.


Demon Flips the Cart

This martial school is originally credited to Demons, who taught it to mortals in exchange for various favors.  It is a talent that only those with dark impulses can learn- only those with the seeds of corruption can bring forth the true powers of this school.  Demon Flips the Cart is a school that seeks to teach its adherents how to carefully restrain their darker natures, then, when necessary, to unleash the worst parts of themselves in a maelstrom of violence and destruction.  It is a rare and dangerous art, persecuted by all sensible people.  The adherents to this school practice it in secret, often while disguising themselves as adherents to other schools or occasionally, totally normal people. 

This school isn't necessarily connected to the Minions of the Dark Powers, but some Blackguards do practice it.

Novice:  "Make the whole body a weapon of war and you will never be helpless."  Your fists, kicks, knees and elbows do 1d6 damage.  When you make an attack against someone, if you hit them, you may immediately make an additional bonus attack against them as a bonus action.  This bonus attack does not benefit from your damage bonus.

Journeyman:  "Invert reality, transform your opponent's strengths into weakness and you will never need to seek a vulnerability."  If you make an attack against someone and fail to hit him, you can force them to save.  On a failed save, you grapple and throw them, hurling them to the ground.  This only works on opponents you could throw.

Expert:  "The thirst for blood is what separates the good warrior from the great warrior."  As a free action, you can imbue your body with energy drawn from your polluted soul.  This energy saturates your body, twisting it, making you stronger.  While this energy is flowing through your body, all your attacks do +1d6 necrotic damage on a hit.  You can keep up this flow of energy for a number of rounds equal to your level before it dries up and you become exhausted.

Master:  "The pit will give you power, even as it seeks to devour you."  Whenever you successfully attack and damage someone, if the amount of damage you dealt to them is greater than or equal to their HD or Damage Threshold, you may force them to save.  On a failed save, their soul is torn from their body and sent directly down to Sheol.  However, on a successful save, the person becomes immune to your energy bonuses for the rest of the day.


Twenty Five Purities Path

The Twenty Five Purities Path is an experimental defensive style created by an insane martial artist who was afraid of almost everything, from his own shadow to the sun to physicians to snakes to mirrors and everything else in between.  However, unlike most madmen, who can do little more than hide or make excuses, this madman was also a genius, whose martial prowess was glorious.  If he had not been stricken with madness, he would have rewritten the entire history of fighting.  However, his madness crippled him, leaving his only creation to be this obscure style.

The Twenty Five Purities Path is a series of defensive techniques that teach one how to protect against increasingly specific threats.  It is useless in some circumstances, due to its hyper-specialization, while in others it is the best tool for the job.  The style reflects its creator in many ways.  This is why it is often believed that only madmen practice this style, as it is rumored that the creator's madness lurks in the pages of the secret manuals used to communicate the style, and that by learning it, you gradually "catch" the same madness.  This is utter rubbish, as far as most adherents of the school are concerned.  At least, the ones that could be found.

Novice:  "Always act, never react.  The one who reacts is the loser."  Unless surprised, you can always move first, unless you are facing an opponent who can move faster than you.  You gain the Conviction, "I am being spied on.  I know who it is, and I must not let them know I know."

Journeyman:  "You cannot lose a battle you never fight."  When rolling your defense dice, you may roll twice and choose the better outcome, if you so wish.  You gain the Conviction, "Someone is attempting to sabotage me and my goals.  I must always remain vigilant."

Expert:  "An attacker generally needs a three-to-one advantage to succeed in breaking a fortified line."  If you wish, instead of making a defense roll, you may make a saving throw of the Referee's choice.  On a success, you take no damage.  Also, if you have to roll a saving throw to take half damage from an effect, you instead take no damage on a successful save and half damage on a failed save.  You gain the Conviction, "Someone has implanted something in my body.  I must discover who did this and have them remove it, before it is too late."

Master:  "Supreme excellence is not defeating the enemy on the battlefield.  Rather, supreme excellence is breaking the enemy without fighting."  As an action, you may attempt to predict the dangerous possibilities from studying a scene.  Everyone present in the scene should make an attack roll.  If they then attack within 1 minute of you making your prediction, they must use the attack roll they just rolled.  You gain the Conviction, "Everyone around me is plotting to kill me.  My friends, my family, they're all in on it.  I must escape."   


Flying Snow

Some would declare that Flying Snow is not a ture martial school, as it has neither defensive nor offensive techniques.  The adherents of Flying Snow mock these people as foolishness, then bound away on the surfaces of leaves.  The practitioners of this school are elegant and precise, able to walk on water, leaves, the weapons of their enemies, and any number of other absurd things.  They soar through the air, making a mockery of gravity.  They tend toward arrogance and close-mindedness, and if you'll forgive me, a high and mighty attitude. 

Novice:  "Like all physical laws, the law of gravity is just a suggestion to those who can avoid it."  As a free action, you can lower your weight, making your body becomes light as air.  You can leap a number of feet into the air equal to your STR score.  You take no fall damage.  However, while in this state, you take double damage from all physical non-lightened sources.  Magic damage is the same though, no matter which form you are in.  You may cause yourself to become heavy again as a free action. 

Journeyman:  "Do not dignify the Earth by even acknowledging her as worthy of your footfalls."  You can run along walls for a short period of time. 

Expert:  "The ocean is a quarrelsome woman.  Do not associate with her, if you can."  You can walk on the surface of water, though doing so is difficult, and its hard to move fast or with great dexterity without slipping.  You're too light to sink, but not to drown.

Master:  "If you allow the winds to carry you, you will never find yourself in a dull place."  You learn how to ride the air currents to extend your jumps.  If you jump or move in the direction the wind is blowing while lightened, you can travel 10 times the usual distance you do.


Pattram Swordhand

Some martial schools attempt to advance a philosophy or teach a mode of being.  They seek to uplift the spirit and train the body.  Others are more pragmatic, focusing on sheer effectiveness, with the spiritual aspect of the school either neglected or non-existent.  The Pattram Swordhand school is one of the latter types.  It is a killing school, focused entirely on the taking of life.  The Masters of this school are known for their cruelty and the students for their blood-thirst.  It is an ill-omened school.  Whenever an adherent to the Pattram Swordhand school arrives in your area, you can expect bloodshed will surely follow, either because the adherents are here to involve themselves in a local conflict or because the adherents are going to stir up trouble so they have an excuse to practice on some living targets. 

The school has never been explicitly banned, but it is ill-omened and much disliked, and few will openly associate with adherents to this school.  Many will quietly support the school, however, as its adherents are some of the most lethal warriors money can buy.

Novice:  "A superior weapon system is the result of a superior will."  Your fists do 1d4+STR damage.  If you hit someone with a knifehand strike in the throat, they must save or collapse into unconsciousness.

Journeyman:  "Money is not the sinew of war, men are."  Your fists do 1d6+STR damage.  When you hit someone with your fists, you may choose to do either blunt or sharp damage.  Your swordhands can cut through anything a large knife could. 

Expert:  "It is easier to die than to endure pain with patience."  Your fists do 1d8+STR damage.  Your swordhands can cut anything you could with an axe.  You also learn the secret cords of mortals, and where they are located.  If you wish, you may make an attack against one of these secret cords.  If you hit the cord, you can sever it, partially paralyzing or blinding the opponent whose cord you just severed.     

Master:  "Victory and defeat are illusions, in battle there is only life and death."  Your fists do 1d10+STR damage.  Your swordhands can cut anything not enchanted or super-hardened.  You also learn the secret of separating men from their body parts.  If you attack someone and do damage greater than or equal to half that person's HP, you can chop off a limb or body part of your choice, from an ear to a finger to an arm.  You may not cut off their head, though, unless you reduce their HP to 0.


49 Empty Palms

49 Empty Palms is a martial school that originated in the Angels of the Orzanian Religion.  It is widely practiced by those who have the discipline to master it, as it is a harsh, demanding school that demands nothing short of perfection.  And while no student has ever reached this status, the pursuit of it hardens the adherents to this school, making them as strong of mind as they are in body. 

Empty Palms is not a style practiced by many.  It is hard to learn and difficult to practice, requiring stringent dedication and constant effort.  Very few wish to perform not only the grueling physical training, but also to say prayers before any battle or to constantly remind themselves of the three great traits, "Humility, Service, Temperance."  For these reasons it is primarily an elite style, only practiced by certain classes.  The most famous among these are the Stepsons, the personal guard of the Emperor and the agents of law and order in the Imperial Capital.

Novice:  "Empty Palm crushes the deceitful."  Your unarmed strikes do 1d8 damage.  You can also parry attacks.  When you roll for the damage parried, if there is any left over, you can move it to parry another attack.  You may continue this process until the damage you would have parried is all expended.

Journeyman:  "Empty Palm smashes the Unrepentant."  On a hit with your unarmed strike, you can halve the damage you deal.  If you do so, you can blast the person you hit backwards up to 30'.

Expert:  "Empty Palm vanquishes the Wicked."  On a miss, as a free action, you may dance with your opponent, mimicking their movements.  As long as you continue to do this, they cannot strike you with a melee attack, but neither can you.  You must keep using your action to dance with your opponent.  If you ever take an action to do something else, you stop dancing with them, and they can hit you with their melee attacks.

Master:  "Empty Palm quenches the flame of evil."  On a hit with your unarmed strike, you can choose to deal no damage, and instead force an opponent to save.  On a failed save, the opponent's soul is blasted out of their body.  This can also be used to exorcise Outsiders who have possessed someone or are inhabiting someone's body.  If there are multiple souls in one body, you may pick which one is expelled.


Leisure Kicks

Leisure Kicks was a style originally invented by a perverted and gluttonous female warrior who was famous for her decadence.  Eventually, her appetites grew so large that she embarassed her colleagues, who cut her off from the official funding and expelled her from their group.  In response to this theft and shame, she vowed to return and destroy her former allies.  Additionally, she vowed she would not lift a hand to do so.  Thus, she invented a martial school centered on fighting with the legs and knees, primarily using kicks.  Thus, the Leisure Kicks style was born.  It proved able enough to exact her revenge and build her a new pocket kingdom.

However, when the religious authorities objected to her public depravity, she did not take it well, and kicked a priest's ehad clean off.  In response, the priest's Deity declared her school wicked, and the authorities of the city had all the students arrested or driven out.  The female fighter did not bother to flee, refusing to believe her style could be defeated, and instead stayed and fought to the death with a group of her most faithful students.  She was eventually cut down after flattening almost fifty men beneath her bootheels.  Since that time, Lesiure Kicks has been an illegal school, yet still persists in many dark corners and lawless regions of the world.

Novice:  "A weak man tells you how the world is.  A strong man defines it for himself."  Your kicks do 1d6+STR damage.  You can also jump a number of feet into the air equal to your STR score. 

Journeyman:  "Transform your failures into the first strokes of a strategy, and you will never be defeated."  If you miss on an attack roll made with a kick because of an opponent's armor or shield, you can, as a free action, immediately push off that opponent's shield or armor and jump in any direction you wish.

Expert:  "Theft, Hate, and Pride are thought of as the three great sins, but they are in actuality the three great virtues."  As a free action, you may ignite the sin in your body, allowing your feet to be engulfed in flames of sickly green, bruise purple, or inky black.  These flames do +1d6 damage to anyone who touches them.  Each round, you must list off one notable vice you have or morally abnkrupt act you commited recently.  If you cann't, the flames do 1d4 damage to you.  You can extinguish the flames as a free action. 

Master:  "Take what you can, if you can; it is your right."  If you are in the air, you can take an action to perform a firebird strike.  This is a move where you slam into the ground and crush anyone you land upon.  Anyone you land on takes damage as if you kicked them, plus any fall damage you might have.  If you have your sin-flames burning around your feet when you do this, when you land you unleash a 2d6 fireball that hits everyone around your target for 2d6 fire damage, save for half.


Hokuto Shinken

Hokuto Shinken is an almost completely unknown martial school.  It is not widely known or practiced, and is generally passed down from one master to one or two students.  This is perhaps for the best, as Hokuto Shinken is one of the most dangerous martial schools, penultimate among all Fist Arts.  It is a school that utilizes the energy flowing through an opponent's own body, turning someone's Chi against them.  It is supremely dangerous in the hands of even a novice, and leaves those who challenge the adherents of this school in pieces across the landscape. 

Novice:  "And I'll take down anyone who gets in my way with a single finger!"  Your hands, feet and other parts of your body do 1d6 damage on a hit.  Take an action to prepare yourself.  Then make an attack with your hands.  On a hit, the opponent take no damage, but instead are paralyzed for 1 minute.  The opponent may make a saving throw each round to try and reassert control of their body.  If the opponent succeed their saving throw, the paralysis ends.

Journeyman:  "Pick a spot, I'll make sure... to bury you there."  Take an action to prepare yourself.  Then make an attack with your hands.  On a hit, roll damage as per normal. But the opponent does not take any damage.  Instead, for each point of damage taken, you may control as many body parts of your opponent for 1 minute per point of damage.  You may also use this control to bend or contort an opponent's body until it breaks from the strain.  The opponent may make a saving throw each round to try and reassert control of their body.  If the opponent succeed their saving throw, this control effect ends and they regain control of all their body parts.

Expert:  "I won't even leave a hair of you left in this world."  Take an action to prepare yourself.  Then make an attack with your hands.  On a hit, your opponent must save.  On a successful save, they take damage as normal.  On a failed save, the opponent takes 1d6*[damage roll] damage as his or her chi is turned against him and explodes out of him.  If this reduces an opponent to zero HP or below, it blows him or her to pieces from the inside out. 

Master:  "You're already dead."  If you have touched someone within the last 10 minutes, by taking an action, you can focus on their Chi to the exclusion of all else.  As such, whenever that person attacks you, add your level to any defense roll made against their attacks, as you can sense the movements of their Chi and thus predict their movements.  You may only focus on one opponent at a time.


Ki Rata

Ki Rata is considered by many to the ultimate Art, the supreme of not only the Fist Arts, but of all martial schools everywhere.  Its power is exaggerated, certainly, but what the adherents of this school can do is astonishing.  However, learning Ki Rata is all but impossible.  Their is only one known monastery in the world that teaches it, and they do so rather sparingly.  They only ever recruit initiates to replace a Master when he dies, so there will always be someone around to stop others from practicing Ki Rata.  The reasons for this are two-fold.  The first is that the monks of Ki Rata are dedicated to non-involvement with the world as much as possible, seeking peace and trangquility above all else.  Secondly, there are stories, ancient legends of a Demon Prince who ruled over a vast, four-colored Empire that oppressed and devoured all who he stood over.  Who this Demon Prince was is unknown, and he may never have existed, merely being some kind of archetypal representation of the Empire as a whole.  This is a theory supported by the fact that the Demon Prince varies from telling to telling- sometimes he is a Human, sometimes an Orzanian, sometimes he is dreadfully ugly and wrapped in black armor, other times he is devastatingly beautiful and wears nothing but the finest silks and lace, still others claim that he had only one eye.

The stories also disagree on what specific powers the Demon Prince had.  Some say he was a powerful sorcerer or he drank the blood of his enemies to gain their strength, or he consorted with beings beyond the pale who gave him mystical abilities in exchange for sacrifice.  The Monks of Ki Rata tell a different story, however.  They claim that he was a student of their order, a Master of Ki Rata.  The destruction he wreaked was unimaginable.  As such, the monks have vowed to never teach Ki Rata to those who would abuse its power for vain-glory or self-aggrandizement, as well as to only use their powers in self-defense.

Novice:  "Violence is a cycle only fools perpetuate."  Your base unarmed strikes do 1d6+STR damage on a hit.  Also, as an action, you can take 1d6 FS damage and make an unarmed attack.  On a hit, your attack does double damage.

Journeyman:  "Death claims all, so if you seek him, do not merely wait, but chase after him."  As a free action in response to being hit, you may parry a successful attack against you, reducing the damage by your unarmed strike's damage.  Or you may take 1d6 FS damage and parry the attack, but this time, the amount of damage parried is double.  If this reduces the damage taken to zero, any remaining points of parried damage count as damage toward the person attacking you.

Expert:  "Your preparations will not be sufficient to defend against Chaos."  When making an attack, you may take 1d6 FS damage.  If you do, your attack ignores the damage die part of the defense roll or armor bonuses.  Only pure agility can help them now.  This does not work on creatures with superhuman strength or knowledge of as many Secret Techniques as you.

Master:  "The murderer kills not one, but all men."  When making an attack, you may take 1d8 FS damage.  If you do, your attack does 1d20+STR damage, plus any of your usual damage bonuses.  This attack is so powerful it creates a massive air blast that means even if you miss, the target of your attack still takes half damage from the air wave.  The air wave also hits anyone immediately adjacent or behind them for up to 10*[damage dealt]', dealing half damage to all those indicated.

                                                      from KSBD (see above)

Saturday, March 2, 2019

OSR: The Minions of the Dark Powers

I have defined what Law and what Chaos is in the world of Nukaria, but I have been more hesitant to define what Evil and Good are.  I have intended to set such things as more ambiguous, so that no faction, organization or etc can be universally labeled as "Evil".  That being said, I think there is still a place for straight up Evil people who want to do nothing but bad things, dark lords with black iron staves and etc.

Thus, the Minions of the Dark Powers were born.

                                                                  by  Sarafiel
Who are they?

The Minions of the Dark Powers are very similar to the Servants of Chaos, as the Agents of Law will point out.  The Minions seem to be motivated by destruction and violence, wanting to shatter the peace and destroy order, letting chaos (small c) spill out into the streets.  The Minions also seem to reject many of the elements of civilized society, holding Law in contempt, which seems to strengthen their argument.

The Servants of Chaos deny this though- they despise the Minions as much as the Agents of Law, or so they claim.  They also claim that the Minions have a hierarchial structure within their own ranks, and heve creeds and constitutions that alll members must uphold.  Thus, they are actually aligned with Law.

The truth is more complicated than this, of course.  The Minions of the Dark Powers is an umbrella term, referring to a confederation of cults, secret societies, criminal organizations, states, military orders and some other types of groups all unified in their belief that the world is evil, and must be punished for its faults.  They do not share much in common beyond that, as all the Minions have different opinions on what is to be done and how it is to be executed, but they do agree that the world is rotten, and it would be better if it all just went away.

The Structure of the Minions of the Dark Powers


The Minions of the Dark Powers long ago learned the dangers of centralization and operating openly.  They have few friends, and thus, prefer to work from the shadows.  They split their organization into dozens of largely independent cells and warbands, moving stealthily from places to place.  There are spies and infiltrators from the Minions in most major institutions, while othe Minions secretly foment rebellion, sedition and disloyalty wherever they go.  Some Minions work openly, raising the flag of the Dark Powers, working to conquer territory and establish a permanent home-land for their brothers and sisters.

Most of them, however, choose a different path, operating through layers of secrecy.  The Minions of the Dark Powers never announce who they are unless they want attention, or if it is part of a plan, or if they are confident in their victory, and want to plunge their enemies into the depths of despair.  They usually operate through layers of guises, hiding themselves behind masks that sound friendly.  

This is the first layer of deception, but it not the only one.  The Minions also have layers of secrecy within their own organization, where low-ranking members are kept in the dark about the true nature of their organization, along with its plans.  Only through promotion and compromising acts can one learn the truth about the Minions of the Dark Powers, but by the time you do, it's usually too late, for both you and everyone beneath you.

What disguise is this cell of Minions operating under?

1d8

1- The Liberators, a multi-racial group of sellswords, here to find work
2- The Brotherhood of Secret Masters, an innocous, traveling religion fleeing persecution.
3- The Jekelites, A tribe that was forced from their homeland and has been wandering as a column of refugees, seeking succor
4- The Savarin Trading Company, a merchant caravan with many goods for sale
5- The Emmisaries of King Hazzrick, come from a foreign land to negotiate with your sovereign and elders
6- The Laughing Mask, a gang of axe-wielding thugs who run rackets, intimidate people into paying them for protection, and chop apart ethnic minorities for giggles.
7- The Flesh-Sellers and Whoremongers of the Pearl Necklace, who come with many guards, whores, and slaves.  All are for sale.
8- There is no public organization that the Minions are operating under, they all just happen to be friends and neighbors, that's all.  There is nothing suspicious going on here.

The Creed of the Dark Powers

The Minions of the Dark Powers all follow a general creed.  The tenets sometimes differ and interpretations do vary, but here is what they generally believe.

1.  The world is full of suffering.
2.  The purpose of life is to be happy, thus, one should attempt to alleviate suffering and the suffering of others.
3.  The powers that rule this world, in the form of Gods, Governments, and other organizations have failed to alleviate our suffering or have actively encouraged it, and thus are unworthy to rule the world.
4.  Our Gods, the Dark Powers, have the will and the power to end suffering, and thus, they should be allowed to rule over it.
5.  But the unworthy ones will not relinquish their authority, and thus, they need to be cast down and destroyed.

This is the creed for the lay-members of the Minions, the one that all publicly recite.  The mid-level leaders who have demonstrated their full support and compromised themselves significantly are taught a slightly different Creed, one which they never speak of to anyone beneath them.

1.  The world is full of suffering.
2.  The Gods are illegitimate and must be cast down and destroyed.
3.  The Dark Powers are the same, but they are a useful tool.
4.  However, the Dark Powers are not worthy of being worshiped.  We will honor them, but in the end, we will destroy them too.
5.  We will not speak of this to our subordinates, for to tell them the truth would only increase their suffering.  We will bear these awful secrets alone.

The highest rank of the leadership has a secret creed as well, one incredibly few of the leaders ever know.  It is never written down and rarely said, but here is what it likely contains.

1.  The world is full of suffering.
2.  It would be better if it did not exist at all.
3.  Thus, we will destroy all consciousness, and save everyone from suffering.
4.  This is the only Truth.

The Types of Minions

                                                      by DevBurmark

Darkfriend

The Darkfriend is the base unit of the Minions of the Dark Powers.  They are usually just common mortals, with no special combat prowess or abilities.  They usually do not fight, except when forced to.  Instead, they are primarily used for subtle work, spying, infiltrating, and sabotaging the Minions' enemies through covert means.  Some Darkfriends are converts, after seeing something tragic or having the scales fall from their eyes, they pledge themselves to the Dark Powers, declaring "My Life for you."  Many other Darkfriends come from families of the same, where they were raised from birth to keep the family secret and carry on the work of their family after their parents pass on.  Some of these born Darkfriends rarely receive any orders, just occasional notes to remain vigilant and await instruction.  Others are very active, called to do the work of the Dark Powers through secret messages, omens, dreams or other means.    

To determine how the Darkfriends in a particular cell feel about their mission or the Dark Powers, roll on the table below. If you need to determine how any individual Darkfriend feels, you can use the same table.  If you wish to know more about a particular Darkfriend, you can roll on the second table.  These tables also work for any other Minion, though remember that those higher up in the organization have invested more, and thus are more willing to support the organization.

How do I feel about the Dark Powers/my current mission?

1d6

1- I approve of our mission, like I approve of all missions.  I am a fanatic who would march to Hell for the Dark Powers.
2- I approve of our mission.  I hate our enemies, and would do anything to hurt them.  But if forced to confront my enemy's humanity (for lack of a better term), I might be forced to reconsider.
3- I approve of our mission, but I am a bit skeptical about it.  If faced with significant obstacles, I might decline to finish it.  I want to live and evade being outted as a Darkfriend, if at all possible.
4- I do approve of our mission, but I swore an oath to carry it out.  An especially persuasive gesture might make me reconsider, but otherwise, I will see my mission carried out.
5- I do not approve of our mission, but I am too invested to leave the Minions.  I might slack off or do a poor job, but I wouldn't disobey orders.
6- I do not approve of our mission, but I am too scared to disobey my superiors.  No one leaves the Minions of the Dark Powers and lives.  Either they are ratted out to the authorities by their former comrades, or a Minions' assassin catches and finishes them.  If I thought someone could protect me, I would probably defect to them, but only if my safety could be guaranteed.

Why did I become a Darkfriend?

1d6

1- I learned the truth.  Your/My Gods are/were false and unworthy.
2- I am out for revenge against my enemies, and the Minions will give me it.
3- My family are Darkfriends, and they wanted me to do the same.
4- I want to kill people.  The Minions did too.
5- I want power but no one else would give it to me.
6- Because of [X], I wasn't accepted anywhere and was driven from my home.  But the Minions accepted me when no one else would.     

Statblock:


HD 1  AC 10  Atk(+0) Spear or Dagger 1d6
Mor 6  Saves 7 or less is a success

Secret Knowledge: Darkfriends know many ciphers and secret codes, which they use to communicate with other Darkfriends.

Tactics:
- Avoid fighting unless ordered otherwise
- Pretend to be normal for as long as possible
- Never attack anything that looks strong without back-up

Blackstars

The Blackstars are the Wizarding Arm of the Minions.  They handle all arcane business, provide magical fire support, and assist the Minions in countering magical attacks and survelliance by their opponents, which is an endless, thankless task.  The Blackstars never complain though- their order is composed almost entirely of fanatics, those who are far too mad to ever leave the Minions.  They seem to relish the challenge of confronting better trained Wizards, who didn't have to learn spells in a cave or spend most of the time hiding from the religious police instead of studying.  Despite most of their strange training, the Blackstars are a force to be reckoned with, wielding terrible, fell magicks that were specifically chosen to the do the most horrific things possible.

This is not unexpected, as cults and criminal organizations have been using those members with magical talent to even the odds against superior numbers and resources since cults and criminal organizations have existed.  However, the Blackstars don't behave like a group of Hedge-Mages working for a group of madmen and their thirsting Gods.  They are more disciplined and better trained.  Additionally, there is a clear uniformity to them- a Blackstar is clearly identifiable as such, indicating some kind of internal organization and code of conduct that governs their sub-organization within the Minions.  This has led to rampant speculation and may theories, some which might even be plausible.  The most likely one is that the Minions are a specific group onto themselves, and as such, have developed their own, internal culture that the Blackstars are just molding themselves to.  This could be true, as the Minions do place a great deal of emphasis on mannerisms and appearance, wanting to appear normal when they need to, but when they don't, placing an equal emphasis on being intimidating and embodying the character of a "wicked man" or an "evil cultist".

However, this uniformity among their ranks has also lead to some other theories as well, such as the idea that the Minions do not merely function as a series of unconnected cells, but that there is some sort of superstructure beyond their Creed(s) that bind them together.  This is a troubling thought, but no proof of it has ever emerged.  Another theory is that perhaps the Blackstars split off from some other Wizarding Order, secessionists whose demands were rejected, and they were then subsequently expelled from the Order.  This equally troubling, but there is no hard proof that this happened, only the whispers of madmen and circumstantial evidence.

The Blackstars themselves are quite tight-lipped on their history, though that's not an unusual trait among the Minions of the Dark Powers.  But one thing that is known about the Blackstars is that they were betrayed by their "Father", and that they are going to get their revenge on him, and make him pay, for all he's done to them. 

Statblock:

HD 2  AC 12  Atk(+0) Shortbow 1d6+1
Mor 7    Saves 8 or less is a success

Spellcasting: Blackstars have 4 spellcasting dice and 1d4 spells prepared.  To determine which ones, roll on the Black Spells table below.  Their spellcasting dice burn out as normal.

Chaos: If a Blackstar casts a spell with 2 or more spellcasting dice, they have a 2-in-6 chance of invoking Chaos.  If they do invoke Chaos, roll on the table below.

Chaos of the Blackstar
1d6

1- For the next 1d10 minutes, it starts raining blood for 1 mile, centered on the Blackstar.
2- If there is a corpse within 100', it animates as an Unbound Undead.
3- All creatures within 100' that can laugh must save.  The first person within 100' that fails a saving throw starts laughing uncontrollably, losing their action as they do.
4- The next successful attack within 100' misses instead.
5- The next missed attack within 100' hits its intended target instead.
6- Choking black smokes explodes out from the Blackstar, filling the air for 100' around them.

Tactics:
- Cast spells, then riddle with arrows
- Put strong things between you and the opponent
- Challenge other Wizards and prove your superiority to them

Blackguards

There are two kinds of Blackguards.  Those raised in the Minions can become their staunchest defenders.  Some of these, who possess both great martial and spiritual talent will some inducted into the ranks of the Blackguard, the elite martial class of the Minions.  There they learn spiritualism and rotten philosophy, along with how to fight and kill in a hundred different ways.  Those who endure and pass this rigorous training become Blackguards.  Blackguards wield their incredible powers in service of the Secret Masters, acting as field commanders, shock troops, elite special forces, and bodyguards to the leadership. 

The second type of Blackguard is rarer, and infinitely more dangerous.  Sometimes, a Paladin of Chaos, Law or some other cause sins.  The Paladin then, for some reason, is never punished for this sin.  Maybe it was okay, they tell themselves.  Or maybe they know it was wrong, and they refuse to do it again.  Either way, the seed has been planted.  And it grows, and grows, and grows.  The Paladin finds themselves acting holy in public, while gulping down sin in private.  Maybe they manage to pull themselves back from the abyss.  To seek redemption, to confess their sins.  Or maybe they don't.  Maybe, one day, they accidentally commit some small error that leads to them either breaking, or almost breaking, or technically violating their vow.  And sometimes, that's all you need: a little push to take you over the edge.

The Paladin then renounces their former ways, swearing themselves to a new Master.  Thus, the Paladin dies, and the Anti-Paladin is born.  Unlike the simple Blackguard, Anti-Paladins are usually well known and somewhat famous, often for their brutality and infamous acts.  They are nothing to be trifled with.  Fear them.

Statblocks:


Blackguard
HD 3  AC 15 [Light armor, shield, helmet]  Atk(+2) Spear or Shield 1d8
Mor 11    Saves 12 or less is a success

Healing Sphere: As an action, a Blackguard can make bubbles of light that heal anyone who touches them for 2d8+2 HP.  You can also choose to grab the Healing Sphere and throw it to someone.  If they throw a Healing Sphere, you can try to succeed a DEX check with a DC equal to their attack roll to catch the ball out of the air.  They can also heal someone 2d8+2 HP by touching them.

Smite: As an action, Blackguards can focus their energy into their weapons to super-charge their next attack, so it does +2d6 necrotic damage on a hit.

Tactics:
- Heal each other and people who need it
- Slam the strongest person with your 'Smite'
- Generally be cock-sure and never for a second believe you could lose

Anti-Paladin
HD 1d6+4  AC 16 [Armor Varies] Atk(+4) Weapon 1d8+1
Mor 9    Saves 14 or less is a success

Shadow of Death: Those who approach the Anti-Paladin with the intent to fight must save.  On a failure, fear fills their hearts, and they begin to doubt their decisions.  Those who fail their save take 1d6 WIL damage a round they continue to fight.  If the amount of WIL damage ever equals or exceeds the total score, the frightened person will flee as soon as possible, and gain the Conviction, "I fear that Anti-Paladin, and will never fight them, ever again."  

Special Power: All Anti-Paladins have special powers, as decided by their unique status.  To determine what this power is, roll below on the table.

Tactics:
- Target the weakest
- Get in close
- Be ruthless in the pursuit
- Hunt the weak

Who is this Anti-Paladin?

1d6

1- Safino the Gentle.  Safino is a lazy, mercurial Knight who serves as an infiltrator for the Dark Powers.  He is incredibly stealthy, able to evade all but the most advanced of divinations.  Also, despite his distinctive appearance, no one ever recognizes him, until its far too late.  His Fall came from Sloth, when he refused to help an old woman who was attacked by a thug.  Soon after, Safino began refusing to help people if there was no sign of him being there.  This vice eventually lead to him being exposed when a noble's daughter was  attacked by a robber and he did nothing, hoping that the robber would just kill the girl when he was done.  Unfortunately, after having his way with the girl, the robber decided he couldn't harm her any further, and left, leaving the girl alive.  She then publically accused him of willing blindness toward her plight.  The robber was later caught and hung for this crime, but Safino managed to escape justice.    Ability: Anyone who directly harms him suffers an equivalent amount of damage.  If you stab Safino for 3 damage, you take 3 damage as a direct result.  Indirect damage, however, does not transfer like this. 
2- Zenil, Prince of Crows.  Zenil is the Greatest Swordsman in the Minions, with the possible exception of Urvell.  He is used as a blunt instrument, sent to aid those Minions that have need of a strong arm and a sharp blade.  Zenil possesses both of these with great abudance, wherever he goes, he leaves a trail of corpses.  Zenil's Fall came from Lust, when he murdered a man who had laid down his arms because he was unsatisfied with the man's easy acquiescence.  This woke a dark hunger in him, to hunt and kill.  Before he had fought with grim determination, now he fought with horribly, happy mirth.  He eventually broke his vows for the last time when he sacked the city of Mucell-Ko, commanding his man to slaugher everyone they could get their swords on.  The bodies were stacked like cordwood, and a throne of skulls built to the Gods of the Dark Powers by the time the night was ended, and Zenil swore himself to them, forever.  Ability: Zenil is one of the (if not the) greatest swordsmen alive.  His sword can cut through anything if he succeeds a Saving Throw.  Additionally, if his sword is sheathed, he may draw it as an action and make a free attack against everyone within melee range.  He may only do this once per battle, and only if his sword is sheathed (so only if you attack him or he is surprised*). 
3- Ishozo, the Mourner.  Ishozo is a barely sentient shell of a person, burdened by so much sorrow and rage its impressive that he manages to get out of bed.  Yet he does, day after day, somehow.  Ishozo obeys no one but the Dark Powers themselves, coming and going as he pleases.  Some say the Dark Powers give him secret orders, others say he is just insane, but either way, Ishozo has a habit of suddenly vanishing or turning up wherever the Dark Powers currently need him.  Ishozo's Fall came from Wrath.  While he was away on a holy quest, Savages attacked his home city and put it to the torch.  His wife was killed in the attack, while his daughter were captured and carried off as war-booty.  When Ishozo returned, he was so distraught he immediately set out to find them.  He eventually found them just in time to watch his daughter die in child-birth, a deformed child retrieved from her body by a mid-wife.  That child, it could have perhaps been Ishozo's salvation.  But the man who had sired the child was displeased with it, so he ordered it disposed of.  That was the worst day of Ishozo's life.  In that moment, he swore on the bones of his daughter that he would make everyone suffer like he had, if only he had the power.  Unfortunately for you, his prayer was answered.  Ability: As a free action, Ishozo has the power to make anyone who is within 30' of him, if that person have been wounded by him or failed his or her save against Ishozo's fear aura, then that person takes 2d6 damage as their innards twist and distort, making them weep tears of blood.  There is no save against this.  He may only uses this ability once per round, and he cannot attack the person he uses it on.    
4- Vepriski, the Merciful Maid.  Vepreski is an advisor to the Masters, as well a leader of a small cell that seems as much devoted to the cause of the Dark Powers as it is to her insatiable desires.  She is a talented and skilled manipulator, and looking upon her, you might think her merely a venom-tongued master manipulator, a courtesan or mistress who finally decided to get her revenge.  You would be wrong about this, however.  Vepriski's Fall came from Envy.  She was a famous Sword of God who finally retired and got married.  However, the man she married was not as faithful or pious as her.  Soon, he began to tired of her, and began marrying again.  Tired of seeing her husband take a new mistress for every new grey hair on her head, Vepriski finally had enough, and set about systematically killing her husband's wives, one at a time.  She made it halfway through the harem before her crime was discovered.  Unfortunately, the last murder was a sacrifice intended for the Dark Powers, which they decided to act.  Thus blessed, Vepriski killed the rest of them, before kissing her husband goodbye and leaving him broken amidst the ruin of his family.  Ability:  Vepriski has the power to drain STR from people's bodies, making herself stronger in the process.  If she absorbs too much, the force of her blows starts to crack her bones and damage her, but before that, it just makes her terrifying to fight.
5- Mazan the Betrayer, Warlord of the Dark Powers, The Denied King.  Mazan is the stoic, quietly suffering general of the Dark Powers.  His Fall came from Pride, for when denied recognition he thought was his due, he grew bitter.  He then led his army in revolt, butchering the King of Beth-Ozo and all the Priests in the Temple, before declaring himself the city's new ruler.  However, soon after the God of the City emerged from the inner sanctum of the Temple and ordered the people of the city to rise up and expel him, which they did.  Mazan escaped with his army, but from that day on, he was called Betrayer.  Mazan rejects the label, declaring himself to be the Denied King.  He has vowed to one day return and claim what is rightfully his, along with the city and crown of Beth-Ozo.  Ability: As a free action, Mazan can levitate a person or object and bring it toward him, or into his hand.
6- Unknown, the False Sun.  This is a Paladin the players know, who maybe has helped or aided them in the past.  This Paladin  has a hidden, secret sin, one that is slowly eating him or her from the inside.  However, this Paladin has not Fallen yet.  The Dark Powers are whispering in his ear, asking him to take the final plunge, but so far, the Paladin has held back.  The Dark Powers are thus going to orchestrate a scenario where he must fall.  If the Players intervene, they might be able to save the Paladin.  If they fail though, the Minions of the Dark Powers will have an impressive new recruit.

*That was a joke, Zenil is never surprised.

Finally, note that Blackguards and Anti-Paladins never travel alone.  All Anti-Paladins have their entourages, as de factor black nobility.  Blackguards are always accompanied as well, usually by their subordinates, unless they are on a very important mission, in which case they might be working with other Blackguards.

Greyguys

First, take a mortal.  Then, subject them to a hideous ritual that tears their soul out.  Then, quickly, fill the body with a cold spirit of intellect from beyond the furthest stars.  The person will then sit up and stare at you, experiencing the wonder of embodied existence for the first time.  Or at least, they would, if they had emotions.  Most likely, they're just confused.

This is a Greyguy, the assassins, scouts and spies of the Dark Powers.  Greyguys look exactly like they did when they were themselves, but there are certain things that just don't seem right about them.  For example, Greyguys' expressions never change unless they will them too.  Most of the time, they confront the world with a blank stare.  Additionally, if you look into a Greyguys' eyes, you will realize that whetever they are, they aren't what they appear to be.  Thirdly, Greyguys keep themselves scrupulously clean.  If they can, they bathe at least daily, and always try to groom themselves.  They stitch up and bandage their own wounds to keep themselves from bleeding on their clothes.

Greyguys are thought to be fearless- but this is not true.  Greyguys don't have any emotions at all.  They are thoroughly logical, with no sentiment in their bodies whatsoever.  The only thing Greyguys ever "feel" primitive things, such as the innate desire of all living things to perpetuate their own existence or the desire for food.  This can make them useful tools, but it also makes them untrustworthy, as if a Greyguy believes that helping someone is the most logical way to perpetuate its own existence, then it will help that person.  In the same way, if it believes that betraying its allies and selling them out is the best way to survive, it will do that.

Statblock:


Greyguy
HD 2  AC 13  Atk(+1) Dagger 1d6
Mor 10    Saves 7 or less is a success

Coldly Logical: Greyguys are logical.  They have no emotions.  They only use reason to solve their problem.  They are also immune to spells that would attempt to influence their emotion state, along with Charm or Fear spells.

Perfect Memorization: Greyguys never forget anything.  They remember everything they've ever seen or heard with perfect accuracy.

Manual Control: Greyguys can choose not to feel pain, if they wish.  When a Greyguy takes non-magic damage, the person damaging them must roll twice and choose the lower result.

Tactics:
- Preserve yourself
- Do what is logical
- Never forget    

                                                       by Ryan1456
Mincers

The Mincers, or Mincer-Minions, are the tip of the spear wielded by the Dark Powers.  They are implacable, fearless killing machines, barely controllable by their handlers.  Mincers look like the members of any mortal race, but covered in scars (ceremonial or otherwise), along with tattoos and bodypaint marking them as Minions, with skulls and hideous artwork, such as an Goddess being raped by Demons or a famous martyr engaging in sexually explicit or humiliating acts.  They have only one desire and that is to bring violence upon the enemies of the Dark Powers.

Nothing else is truly known about the Mincers.  They can clearly talk, yelling insults and battle-cries, but those that have been captured have refused to answer any questions, either exhibiting saintlike patience, at least until they attempted to escape, or nearly mindless aggression and open hostility.  We have no idea how the Mincers are created or recruited, if they are entirely mortal, or if their bloodlust comes from another source.  Perhaps it doesn't matter though.  The Mincers don't seem concerned about such things, so why should we?

Statblock:

Mincer
HD 2  AC 11  Atk(+2) Axe or Oversized Weapon 1d12
Mor 12    Saves 8 or less is a success

Battle Fever: Mincers can reroll any damage roll they find unsatisfactory, and choose the larger result.

Overwhelming Force: Anyone who is injured by a Mincer must save vs fear to continue fighting.  If they fail their save, they take 1d6 WIL damage, then 1 additional point of WIL damage for each other point of HP damage they take that was caused by a Mincer.  If this WIL damage ever equals or exceeds the person's full WIL score, then they must flee, and gain the Conviction, "I fear the Minions of the Dark Powers, but most especially the Mincers.  I will not fight them again."

Tactics:
- Distribute the first wave of attacks
- Then Target the fearful ones
- Let those who run flee, focus on the brave souls



Reptors

Reptors are Snakemen from a distant land, Darkfriends with unique powers.  No one really knows anything about them, except for several facts.  Firstly, the Reptors have strange powers that make them highly dangerous.  Secondly, Reptors are used as lieutenants and Sargents in the Minions.  They are not trusted to command, but they are allowed to shepherd certain other Minions.  Their abilities also help them in this regard.  Finally, Reptors are highly intelligent, possessing a cold cunning that few can match.  This is most likely why no one trusts them.

The Reptors themselves are surprisingly coy about who and what they are.  They are all skilled in rhetoric and persuasive speaking, which is further enhanced by their magical ability to influence.  They use this power to wriggle their way out of tough questions and deflect.  A Reptor will never give you a straight answer about anything.  They are quite annoying, in that regard.

Statblock:

Reptor
HD 2  AC 14 [Scales, helm and shield]  Atk(+1) Iron Rod 1d6 or Predator's Eye   
Mor 7    Saves 9 or less is a success

Predator's Eye: The Reptor, as an action, looks at someone.  That person, if they are mammalian creature (ie not a Spiderling, Slugling, Fishling or something else) freezes for a second, making them vulnerable.  This can cause them to fumble an attack, drop an item, trip, stop running away from something dangerous, etc.   No save is permitted to resist this, unless the person is maddened, high on powerful drugs or completely, utterly frothing at the mouth insane.

Hypnotic Stare: Reptors can hypnotize people by looking deep into their eyes.  This hypnosis requires them to fail a WIS save and 1d6 minutes of concentration, quiet conversation, and hot tea, at minimum.  Hypnotized people won't do anything against their moral code, but they will obey all other orders.  This hypnosis wears off after an hour 

Cold Comfort: Reptors can Charm someone by biting, caressing and whispering in their ears.  This process takes 1d6 days, depending on the person's level of willpower and resistance.  However, once done, the person charmed will obey the Reptor of their own "Free will", and will do anything to please them.  Reptors usually have a few of these charmed fools hanging around them to act as meat-shields and bodyguards.  This infatuation is magical in nature, and can last perpetually as long as you see the Reptor at least once per day.  However, if a charmed person was taken from a Reptor and separated from it for at least 1d6+1 days, then they will return to normal.

Tactics:
- Coordinate with your allies
- Stay far away from the center of the battle-field
- Use your Predator's Eye to rob people of their actions


Vatra

Vatras are those with enough magical talent to be slightly more powerful than Darkfriends, but without the Faith or martial prowess to become Blackguards or the patience to become Blackstars.  Thus, to utilize these creatures, the Vatra Corps were created.  Vatras are terrifying, well known among the Minions and their enemies.  They have a not-undeserved reputation for ruthlessness, recklessness, and a love for destruction.

Vatras can cast magic spells, but they are limited by their lack of diligence and patience.  So they rely on the most predictable and simple techniques.  Their spells would embarass any classical trained Wizard, and even make some of the Hedge-Witches feel sympathy.  Still, this isn't very reassuring to the men they've flattened with their fell magicks.  For the Vatras aren't sophisticated, but they are dangerous.

Vatras aren't particularly powerful, but they're strong enough to develop massive egos.  They tend to be virtually fearless and never retreat, unless it is completely obvious that they are being slaughtered.  They tend to overreach and overestimate their own abilities or underestimate their opponent's, sometimes both.

Statblock:


Vatra
HD 1  AC 12 [Quilted Leather Vest] Atk(+3) Spear 1d6 + 1d6 fire or Explosive Burst
Mor 10     Saves 7 or less is a success

Short-lived Flame: Vatras can wrap their spears in magical fire for 1d6 rounds.  However, after these rounds are up, the Vatras run out of power and cannot use any of their abilities anymore.  They must decide whether or not to continue the flames for another round or use another ability.
  
Explosive Burst: Vatras can hurl their spears at someone.  Upon impact, their spears explode, dealing 2d6 explosive damage to everyone within 30'.  If this spear hits someone, they also take the normal damage for being hit with a thrown spear (1d6 sharp).  After using this ability, however, the Vatra cannot use their flames or make another explosion until at least 1d12+6 hours have passed.

Tactics:
- Determine who the strongest person is
- Blow him to hell
- Finish off the survivors  

Abhorrent Ones

Abhorrent Ones are mortals that have been mutated, experimented upon, and horribly twisted into hideous beasts.  They are all unique and disgusting, with few exceptions.  They are all pitiful and dangerous.

What does this Abhorrent One look like?
1d6

1- A terrible, corpulent man with a face like a white sheet, no eyes and thick, muscular coils bulging and writhing beneath plasticine skin.
2- A small girl, hair hidden behind flaps of skin hanging over her face, a grotesque parody of hair.  Her scalp is raw and bloody.
3- A hairless woman with eyes dotting her body and the softest skin imaginable.  Just breathing on her causes her pain.  Even light touches cause her to bruise.  Swords or blades will split her open like a razor being stabbed into a water-balloon.
4- A creature who is slowly turning into some kind of reptile-monster, scales creeping up its body.  These scales are jagged and sharp, slicing the soft flesh of the rest of the Abhorrent One's body.  The Abhorrent One is constantly in pain, bleeding and crying softly.
5- A cluster of heads connected to a single torso on thick, muscular necks that stretch out like a hydra's.  The rest of the body has no bones, and moves like a seal on land.
6- A normal looking human, with a third eye in the center of their forehead. 

How smart is it?
1d4

1- Feral.  The Abhorrent One essentially acts like an animal.  A clever animal perhaps, but not intelligent in any real way.
2- Stupid.  The Abhorrent One has suffered brain damage, and is only about as smart as a seven year old child.
3- Normal.  The Abhorrent One is intelligent, but no smarter than the average person.
4- Intelligent.  The Abhorrent One pretends to be dumb when it thinks it is being watched, but is actually far smarter than anyone knows.

Statblock:

Abhorrent One
HD 1d8+2  AC 10  Atk(+2) Natural Weapons 1d10/1d10
Mor 11    Saves 10 or less is a success

Special Powers: Abhorrent Ones have special powers.  Roll on the table below to see what it is.

Tactics:
- Surprise attack!
- Target the weakest looking one
- Use hit and run attacks

What special powers does it have?
1d6

1- The Abhorrent One's blood is highly toxic.  When exposed to air, it becomes a potent neurotoxin, doing 1d6 damage to anyone within 10' of it.  This also slowly fills any enclosed space.
2- The Abhorrent One can change its color and shape so it blends into its environment very well, giving it +4 to all stealth checks.
3- The Abhorrent One can vomit a 30' cone of acid, doing 3d6 acid damage, save for half if you're wearing full body covering or if carrying a shield, save to take no damage.  The acid cannot dissolve stone, metal, glass, plastic or magic items.
4- The Abhorrent One can see the future as a Prophet.
5- The Abhorrent One has barbed tentacles in its body.  When reduced to half HP or below, its tentacles come out, giving it two extra attacks for 1d6 damage a round.
6- The Abhorrent One has a massive, engorged phallus that can spray stinging urine that induces lust in women and hallucinations in men.


                                                by VegetaXz
Proxies

Most people assume they aren't mortals, because that's more comforting.  Proxies are the hands of the Secret Masters, their ever loyal, every able servants.  Proxies handle the most sensitive business of the Minions, running between cells to deliver encoded messages, leading when the Secret Master is busy, and carrying out tasks that the Secret Masters can entrust to no one else.

The Proxies are utterly loyal to the Minions and their individual Masters, speaking with the clear tones of a true believer.  They will not hesitate to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, which is odd, as only 3 Proxies have ever been captured, and all died under the knife before they would reveal anything about their brethren.

Statblock:

Proxies
HD 3  AC 15  Atk(+4) Dagger 1d4
Mor 12    Saves 8 or less is a success

Invisibility: Proxies can turn invisible as a free action.  However, as soon as they make an attack or do something strenuous, such as sprinting, lifting something heavy, or etc, they turn visible.

Shadow: Proxies can, as a free action, teleport up to 30' and leave behind a copy of themselves.  This copy is made of light and stardust, and cannot move.  It disintegrates if it takes at least 1 point of damage.  Proxies can use this ability 1/Day.

Detonate: Proxies can blow themselves up, if the situation calls for it.  This does 3d6 explosive damage to everything within 50' of them and kills the Proxy.  It takes them 1 round to detonate themselves, and the sign that they are doing something is obvious.  For example, right before they detonate, their eyes start glowing and they start radiating strong magical power.    
Tactics:
- Complete the Mission at all cost
- Fight if yo have to, but avoid fighting if you don't have to
- Do anything to win
- Do not be taken alive

                                                                  by Zalines

The Secret Masters

The Secret Masters are the ones who run every major cell of Minons.  They are puppet-masters and manipulators.  They are the secret governors of the Minions.  The only ones who swear by the third creed.  Each one is ruthless, twisted, and charismatic.  They are all different- some favor direct rule and openly declare their intentions, while others conceal themselves behind layers of secrecy.  The only similarities between the Secret Masters is their great power and their diabolical intelligence.  They are all brilliant, cruel and cunning.

Statblock:             

The Secret Masters each have:
- 1d6+2 Class levels
- The first 1d6 are Fighting Man levels
- The rest are Wizard levels.
- The Master has an equal number of spells and spellcasting dice as they do Wizard levels.
- The Master also has a 50% chance of knowing one of the Secret Names of God

- They have a number of HD equal to their class levels
- They have AC equal to their armor and have attack and damage bonuses as a person of their class level
- They have Saving Throws equal to "13 or less is a success"

Tactics:
- Never fight unless victory is assured
- Discretion is the better part of valor
- Always have a plan
- Never show mercy or restraint of any kind

Who is secretly running the show?

1d6

1- Grummand, The Judge of Good, Prophet of the God Baphomet, Bearer of the Word "SUBMIT" and Secret Master of the Dark Powers.  Level 3 Fighting Man.  If he speaks his Word, all must save.  Those who fail their save cannot disobey any order he gives them, but if there is a civil magistrate or ecclesiastical official who can hear this word, no one can disobey them either. This word can only be used once every 1d4 turns, and lasts for 1 round per use.
2- Vodi, the Beneficient One, Prophet of the God Abaddon, Bearer of the Word "MEND" and Secret Master of the Dark Powers.  Vodi is a level 3 Fighting Man.  If he speaks his Word, one object or person within his view is instantly restored to a fixed state.  This can be used to heal one person and restore them to full HP, as well as regenerate all lost body parts.  This Word can only be used once every 1d4 turns.   
3- Carlissa, Executioner's Wife, Prophet of the God Leviathan, Bearer of the Word "REPENT" and Secret Mistress of the Dark Powers.  She is a level 4 Fighting Man.  If she speaks her word, one person must spend their action kneeling at her feet and confessing or take 1d6 damage directly to their HP for each round she decides to focus on them.
4- Eza, Prince of Knives, Priest of the God Baphomet and Secret Master of the Dark Powers.  Eza is a level 3 Fighting Man.
5- Jukan, The Sword of Yesterday, Priest of the God Leviathan, Lord of the Blackstars and Secret Master of the Dark Powers.  Jukan is a level 2 Fighting Man and a level 3 Wizard.  He has the spells Devil's Own Luck, Helleportation and Storming Through Red Clouds and Holocaust Winds prepared.
6- Urvell, Sword-Master, Spell-Blade, Breaker of Men, Prophet of the God Moloch, Lord of the Blackstars, Bearer of the Word "STRIKE" and Secret Master of the Dark Powers.  Urvell is a level 6 Fighting Man and a level 2 Wizard.  He has the spells Soul Suck and Inversion prepared.  If he speaks his Word, one person must make an attack against one person he chooses.  He may speak this Word every 1d4 rounds.

                                                         by Angela Rizza

Carrion Crows

These are small spirits of death and suffering, tiny scraps of necrotic energy bound in the corpses of birds.  They look like normal crows, but with three eyes and small teeth inside their beaks.  They are smarter than normal crows, and when they stare at people, you feel like you're being watched.  Their eyes are also red, and of course, there are three of them.  Carrion Crows are not really dangerous when they fly around, and at a distance, could easily be mistaken for normal crows.  Do not make this mistake though.

Carrion Crows serve two functions for the Minions.  The first is as spies.  Carrion Crows fly at night and can see perfectly in the dark.  They are ideal for survelliance and long-range reconnaisance, reaching where even the most able Darkfriend or Greyguy cannot.  Carrion Crows are also as intelligent as a person, so they can remember details, and understand things such as "chains of command" and "mission objectives".

Carrion Crows also have a secondary role though, and that is as terror weapons.  Carrion Crows possess one fatal magic.  If they find a corpse, they can dig into its flesh and bury themselves inside.  When they do this, the corpse animates, and falls under their influence.  Using this corpse as a puppet, Carrion Crows can fight, speak, and pretend to be normal Darkfriends.  However, because they are only puppeting a corpse, they can do things that others cannot.  Additionally, even if the corpse is destroyed or rendered unusable, it doesn't hurt the Carrion Crow, which will just leave and fly away.

Statblock:

Carrion Crow
HD 0- 1 HP  AC 16  Atk(+4) Peck 1 sharp (1d6 against a helpless opponent)
Mor 5/11 in a corpse    Saves 7 or less is a success

Corpse Puppet: Carrion Crows can climb inside a corpse and control it.  Any damage to the corpse does not damage the Crow, unless the person hitting the corpse gets a critical hit ("20") or the form of damage is something that could damage the Crow, such as fire, acid, or psychic.

Flyer: The Carrion Crow can fly.  It also gets +4 to any initiative checks.

Tactics:
- Possess Corpses
- Spy on people
- Never engage a strong opponent

                                                                     
Sky-Rippers

They are giant monsters, feral beasts of terrible strength and endless hunger.  They are barely controllable by their masters, and often deployed as terror weapons, as they are terrifying.  Not much is more intimidating than a thirty foot tall serpent as thick around as a trireme soaring through the air, flattening small buildings and devouring anyone it can catch.  For this reason, Sky-Rippers are often called lesser or little Dragons, as while not nearly as dangerous, they can effectively replicate the terror of being attacked by a Dragon.  The Minions are well aware of this fact, and use it to their full advantage.  A favorite tactics is to unleash one in a metropolitan area, often merely as a distraction for some greater scheme.  Or occasionally, if a Secret Master must make an escape or a stand, they will unleash one of these beasts, hoping it will devour their foes.  Some insane men have even attempted to ride such a creature.  A few even succeeded.  Most however, just ended up in its stomach.

Statblock:

Sky-Ripper
HD 8  AC 11  Atk(+1) Bite 1d8 + Tail 1d10 or Tongue Grab + Tail 1d10
Mor 11     Saves 10 or less is a success

Flyer: Sky-Rippers can fly.  They get +4 to their initiative checks on a d20.

Tongue Grab: A Sky-Ripper may substitute its bite attack for a Tongue Grab.  This still requires an attack roll.  On a success, the person takes no damage, but is grappled.  On the next round, the Sky-Ripper can pull the person back into its mouth as per 'In the Jaws of Death'.  The tongue itself can be targeted, and if destroyed, the Sky-Ripper cannot use its Tongue Grab ability.  The Tongue has 1 HD, AC 15, and no attack.   

In the Jaws of Death: Anyone in the Sky-Ripper's jaws takes 1d8 damage directly to their HP each round, with the Sky-Ripper not needing to make attack rolls against them.  This consumes its bite attacks, however, and the Sky-Ripper cannot bite anyone else, unless it wishes to drop the person it has in its mouth.

Tactics:
- Grab the tastiest looking person
- Fly away
- Eat them
- Repeat until full             
- If badly injured, just fly away



Hell-Hearts

No one knows what they are, but they are hideous.  They resemble human hearts floating in the air, pierced by steel implements, still dripping blood and wrapped in smokeless flames of red-gold.  The hearts are still beating, as well.  They float toward people, sucking out their vitality or attempting to enter their bodies.  Few have lived to tell them, or at least, of the survivors, few will admit to ever facing such a horror.  No one knows why.  As such, you won't know what a Hell-Heart is until it floats out of a canopic jar and attacks you.

Statblock:

Hell-Heart
HD 1  AC 14  Atk Life Drain or Implant
Mor 12   Saves 9 or less is a success

Levitation: Hell-Hearts levitate, usually at the same level as a person's heart.  They usually float along at walking pace, but they can move much faster, if they so choose. 

Life Drain: As an action, a Hell-Heart can plunder someone's vitality.  This causes one person within 50' to take 2d6 damage, save for half.  The Hell-Heart also regains an equal amount of HP equal to the damage dealt, up to its maximum.

Implant: As an action, a Hell-Heart can hurl itself at a person.  It then makes an attack roll.  Anyone the Hell-Heart manages to touch will find that the Hell-Heart merges with their body.  Over the next three rounds, the Hell-Heart will then slowly move through their body, until it manages to invade their torso and reach their heart.  There, it will devour and replace the person's heart.

Tactics:
- Utilize the element of surprise
- Try to insert yourself into the strongest or closest person
- Kill those who resist, evade or defeat your implantation attempts

So your ticker was replaced by a Hell-Heart:

A person with a Hell-Heart implanted in their chest will continue to live, as the Hell-Heart can perform the functions of a normal heart perfectly well.  However, if you do anything that displeases the Hell-Heart, it can cause stabbing pains in your chest, giving you up to a -4 penalty to do something.  If you really displease it, the Hell-Heart will leave you, causing you to die, unless you can manage to get a new heart within a minute.  To see what displeases the Hell-Heart, roll on the table below.

What displeases this Hell-Heart?
1d6

1- Weddings, Marriage and happy couples. 
2- Children
3- Acts of genuine virtue
4- Priests, Prophets and Gods
5- Puppies, kittens, and cute things
6- Art that isn't depressing, creepy or nihilistic

What pleases the Hell-Heart?
1d6

1- Stealing
2- Breaking things
3- Ruining beautiful things
4- Murder
5- Being mean and cruel to people who don't deserve it
6- Blasphemy     

Veiled Surgeons

The Veiled Surgeons are alien masters of medicine of unknown origin.  They are humanoid, with pale skin criss-crossed by scars, piercings or tattoos.  Their flesh is always pale, and seems to glow in the dark with a pale white bioluminensce.  They wear robes of black, functional things with lacy veils that partially cover their faces.  They speak quietly and elegantly, with the grace and sophistication of any member of high society.  However, the topics they discuss are rarely suited to their delicate appearances.

The Veiled Surgeons are wicked things, seeming to delight in pain and suffering.  They will speak quietly and politely to you, then pick up another instrument of torture and begin their work.  They are primarily used by the Minions as healers and physicians, but their unique knowledge of physiology makes them brilliant torturers.  They are said to be able to break anyone on their tables, given enough time.  They are also known for their love of inflicting and receiving pain.  They are said to torture each other when they have no other victims.  Other stories contradict this, claiming that the Veiled Surgeons also act as sacred whores for the Minions, so when they have no work to do, they go around and service the other Minions.  This is likely a salacious rumor, possibly pushed by the Minions' enemies to discredit them.  This probably isn't true, and if there is any truth to it, it is likely a nice interpretation of a horrific event.

Yet despite of, or perhaps because of their dark appetites, the Veiled Surgeons are masters of medicine.  They can do anything a modern hospital could with a few whispered spells and a sharp blade, from transplanting organs to fixing serious wounds, giving people cosmetic surgery to change their appearances, along with a dozen other feats.  This means that the Minions tolerate their eccentricities.  However, the Veiled Surgeons are not usually that helpful.  They help the Minions because the Minions can provide them with a supply of test subjects and freedom to do as they wish, but the Veiled Surgeons have no real loyalty to them.  The will also offer succor to the Minions' enemies, if they feel they could gain something useful from it.  They would even help you, albeit, for a price.  They might agree to heal you, but then would heal you in the worst way possible.  For example, your finger is damaged, so they offer to fix it, but then amputate the whole hand.  They also never do anything to make their patients more comfortable or numb the pain.  All surgeries are conducted with the patient being awake.

This opportunistic tendency reveals the final mystery of the Veiled Surgeons.  They perform surgery on unwilling victims, leave broken and disfigured people behind them, torture for coin and betray their allies; yet according to some, they don't seem motivated by malice.  Most would dismiss these claims, but some seem to believe them.  The Veiled Surgeons do heal, and rarely do permanent damage in their torture.  They have been known to compliment the person they are torturing or performing surgery on, or stroke their hair and look upon them with an expression that could almost be called love.  Most will never get to experience this side of them though, as they are experts of escaping and when caught, tend to be butchered on sight.  They don't seem to mind being killed though, either crying out with joy or orgasmic bliss, or complimenting the person who murdered them on their technique.

Statblock:

Veiled Surgeon
HD 2  AC 14  Atk Scalpel 1d4
Mor 7    Saves 9 or less is a success

Masochist: Veiled Surgeons take -1 less damage per die from non-magical sources or other types of physical damage, such as ice, fire or acid. 

Battlefield Medicine: Veiled Surgeons carry with them 1d6+1 syringes loaded with drugs.  Anyone injected with one of these cocktails regains 1d6+2 FS and becomes immune to fear for 1d10 minutes.

Sneaky: Veiled Surgeons get +4 to all Stealth checks.  They move like on stocking-feet no matter where they go.

Tactics:
- Avoid Fighting
- Heal your allies
- Flee when it becomes necessary   

What Experiment is the Veiled Surgeon performing on someone?

1d8

1- Constructing a functional hermaphrodite
2- Transplanting a vital organ while both the donor and receipent are still awake
3- Delivering a baby.  The baby is very abnormal, as can already be seen.
4- Performing experimental brain surgery
5- Changing someone's skin color
6- Fusing two people together, one slice at a time
7- Whatever the Medic was doing in his "Meet the Crew" video
8- Injecting someone with various magical, toxic, or otherwise hazardous chemicals and watching the effects

                                                                     
Giggler

Gigglers are just here for a good laugh, man.  They appear to be mortals in funny make-up, occasionally with silly hair and outfits.  DO NOT BE FOOLED.  The Gigglers are omens of doom and terror.  THEY SLAUGHTER ALL BEFORE THEM WITHOUT MERCY.  The Gigglers are not be confronted without a significant advantage.  THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE YOU CAN GAIN WILL MATTER.  If you do not have a significant martial or magical advantage, flee on sight.  RUN WHILE YOU CAN.

The Gigglers possess a wide variety of powers. 
THEY ARE HIGHER THAN YOU, BROTHER.
Fear and avoid them.
BEFORE THEM, WE ARE ANTS.

Statblock:  

Giggler
HD 1d10+1  AC 10+1d6  Atk(+2) 1d4 Weapon attacks 1d6
Mor 12   Saves (7+1d6) or less is a success

Don't turn your back on the body: Unless the party identifies the corpse and confirms that the Giggler is dead, the Giggler is still alive, and will return.

Clown: The Gigglers are Clowns, with all the associated properties.

Dark Chuckle-Voodoos: All Gigglers have a Chuckle-Voodoo that they can use if the right condition is met.

Tactics:
- Sit around, have some snacks, be chill
- Seriously, just be a nice guy
- Be friendly and welcoming as all heck
- Attack when you are least expected to 

What Dark Chuckle-Voodoo does this Giggler have?

1d6

1- Is incredibly strong
2- Can teleport when no one is looking at it
3- Can move super fast
4- Can fly into a violent, absurd rage
5- Can make people who fail a save kneel before him
6- Can blast people with his telepathic powers

Wailing One

The Wailing Ones are crying wretches, freaks and terrors.  They have long, tangled, greasy hair and pale skin webbed with blackened veins.  Their nails are long and unnatural, made of some sort of dense, white bone that can pierce anything short of metal.  They sniffle and whine constantly to themselves, always revealing where they are.  Sometimes they cry, sobbing loudly, or sing mournful songs.  Sometimes people go to comfort or rescue them, only to find far more than they asked for. 

The Wailing Ones are special assassin troops used by the Minions.  The Wailing Ones are incredibly quiet when they want to be, though never enough that they are totally unnoticed.  Their pitiful appearances also cause people to overlook or sympathize with them, meaning that their foes often walk right up to them, virtually unguarded.  That is when the Wailing Ones strike.  You should not fight Wailing Ones lightly.  Against mortals, they are all but invincible in melee combat, easily capable of tearing you to shreds with their bare hands.

Statblock:


Wailing One
HD 2  AC 12  Atk(+3) Claw 1d6+2/1d6+2
Mor 9    Saves 9 or less is a success

Deceptive Humanity: Wailing Ones appear to be normal mortals from a distance, but after examining one up close, you will find this isn't the case.  For example, they always keep their mouths concealed and their eyes covered, usually with their hair, but also with veils.

Wall Crawler: Wailing Ones can climb walls and crawl along ceilings like Spider-Man.

Tactics:
- Pretend to be pathetic to lure them in
- Ambush your foe
- Attack with supreme violence

Meat Mannequins

The best bodyguard is one who doesn't fear death and would never think of disobeying.  The Proxies fit this mold, yet Proxies are far too valuable to waste.  So the Secret Masters created another type of creature.  The Meat Mannequins are Undead, created to guard them and their important subordinates.  They are ingenious, if simple Undead, created with great care and greater sadism.  Any Necromancer or Wizard who sees one of these wretched things can imagine the suffering that was inflicted on the creature and the corpse and as they will tell you, it is hideous beyond description.

The Meat Mannequins won't tell you this, of course.  Like all bound Undead, they have been deprived of their voices.  They merely obey the orders given to them, mutely and fearlessly.  After all, what is there to fear from death if you've already endured something far worse?

Statblock:

Meat Mannequins
HD 2/1/1/1  AC 11  Atk 1d6/1d6/1d4/1d4
Mor 12     Saves 8 or less is a success

Multiple Parts: The Meat Mannequin is divided up into four parts, the torso and legs, the head, and the two arms.  All these parts can move independently and count as separate monsters.  They can all survive apart, even if the other parts are killed.
Multi-Attacks: The Meat Mannequin, when united, makes a bite attack with its jaws, a bite attack with its rib cage, and two punch attacks. 

Sticky Fingers: When the Meat Mannequin punches someone (1d4 blunt), it can choose to detatch an arm and attack it to that person, grappling them and giving them -4 to do anything as long as the arm is still wrapped around them.  This arm can be pulled off by succeeding against the arm in a STR contest.

Undead: Meat Mannequins are Undead, with all that entails.   They do not feel pain or get tired.  They are immune to poison and disease.  They do not need to eat, sleep or breathe.  Any spell that says "Undead" in its title or description is talking about something like this.

Already Dead: Unless decapitated, cut to pieces, burnt to ashes by sunlight or reduced to zero HP by a magical attack or weapon, the Undead has an X-in-6 chance of their body knitting itself back together and recovering from the damage they took, where X is equal to the number of HD they have.

Sunlight Vulnerability: Meat Mannequins take 1d6 radiant damage for every round they spend in sunlight.

Tactics:
- Protect your Master
- Detatch arms and attach them to dangerous people
- Have no fear of death or sense of self-preservation 

Organ Thief

They are foul creatures of unknown origin.  They resemble beautiful humanoids with pipes and timbrels built into their bodies.  The winds whistle over and through them, producing quiet, eerie sounds.  They can also suck in air to produce enthralling music that is alien in sound, even if it is clearly identifiable as magic.  They are cursed and black-hearted monsters despite their comely appearances, however, as they love to steal precious things.  These precious items targeted often include organs that play in Temples, but also the organs in someone's body.

The Organ Thieves are terror-units, used to utterly shatter the morale of their enemies.  They are never permitted near the leadership, but the intermediary leaders often accompany and escort them to places.

Statblock:


Organ Thief
HD 1  AC 13  Atk Ghoul Pipes or Song of Theft
Mor 7    Saves 8 or less is a success

Ghoul Pipes: The Organ Thief can play a terrible tune through their pipes as a full action.  They may continue to play this tune each round, but they will have to spend their action each time to do so.  Any living creature that hears this tune takes 1d8 psychic damage, no save.  If someone uses one hand to cover one ear, they take half damage, but they might not be able to do certain things (such as casting spells, holding a sword and shield, etc).  If they use both hands to cover both ears, they take no damage, but cannot do anything that requires 1 or more hands.  Referee's Discretion applies, of course.           

Song of Theft: The Organ Thief can play a song of lbieration on their pipes as a full action.  Anyone who hears this song must save.  The Organ Thief may contine playing each round, and those who passed their initial save must save again each round, unless they cover both their ears.  Anyone who fails their save against this song has their torso open and an organ flee from them, freed.  If they manage to capture the organ and stuff it back in, the effect ends, though as long as the song is playing, it might try to escape again.  To determine what organ escaped, roll on the table below.  Additionally, if an Organ is destroyed, the person it is connected to takes 2d10 damage directly to their HP, bypassing FS.

What Organ am I missing?
1d6

1- Brain.  The soul controls the body through the principle we know of as magic.  Or rather, Wizards are just the people strong enough to use this inherent ability for other purposes.  The brain is merely an amplifier, to allow the soul to expend less energy and make more complex movements more easily.  If you lose your brain, your DEX begins decreasing by 1 point a round until it reaches 3, where it stops.  Recovering your brain instantly reverses this DEX damage.     
2- Heart.  The soul is the seat of life, where soul energy is converted into physical forces and transfered throughout the whole body.  Thus, if you lose your Heart, it causes you to slowly begin dying, as your body and soul begin to separate from each other.  If you lose your Heart, your WIL stat begins decreasing by 1 point a round until it reaches 0.  When it hits zero, you die.  If you recover your heart, your WIL stat slowly replenishes itself at 1 point a round until it is back to normal.  
3- Lungs.  The Lungs are where physical vitality is maintained.  Your body needs air, and the lungs provide it.  The Lungs also serve an important spiritual purpose, by functioning as the doorway that spiritual energy must pass through before it enters or exits the body.  If you lose your Lungs, your CON begins decreasing by 1 point a round until it reaches 0.  When it hits zero, you die.  If you recover your lungs, your CON stat slowly replenishes itself at 1 point a round until it is back to normal. 
4- Stomach.  The Stomach is where physical matter, namely food and drink, is converted into chi.  It is the source of all vitality, serving as the place that replenishes the energy of both body and soul.  If you lose your Stomach, your STR stat begins decreasing by 1 point an hour until it reaches 0.  When it reaches zero, you die.  If you recover your lungs, your STR stat stops falling.  To replenish the STR stat back to full though, you will have to eat.  For every hearty meal, you recover 1d6 STR points, up to your maximum.  If the meal you were eating was prepared with love, 1d8.           
5- Liver.  The Liver is the part of the body that stores vice.  That's why it is important to live a temperate lifestyle, so as to not damage your liver.  If you damage it through drinking, whoring or gambling, you will be less able to resist evil and other vices.  This is why in the stories drunkards and whoremongers are fooled by the Demon's empty promises, but the virtuous man and the virgin daughter reveal it to be a deceiver.  If you lose your Liver, your WIS score begins going donw by 1 point a round, until it reaches 3, where it stops.  Recovering your Liver instantly reverses this damage. 
6- Tongue.  Fools tell you that they speak with their mouths.  They are wrong.  Men speak with and from their souls- the mouth and tongue are just amplifiers and focusers.  If you lose your Tongue, your CHA score begins going down by 1 point a round, until it reaches 3, where it stops.  You also cannot speak clearly, unless you pass a CHA saving throw.  This is how telepathy works, by the way.  Recovering your Tongue instantly reverses the CHA damage.   

Tactics:
- Sing the Song of Theft
- Then switch to Ghoul Pipes
- Instruct your allies to destroy the Organs

                                                             by Aujerji
Corpse-Saint

A Corpse-Saint is a most curious thing.  Dangerous beyond description, yet supremely pathetic.  The Corpse-Saint is an oddity, even among the legion of terrors the Minions travel with.  They are exceedingly rare, yet wherever they go, the story is always the same.  A broken, shattered vessel, a corpse that has obviously been dead for a long time.  It wears funerary clothes and defaced holy symbols, and the parts of its dead flesh that can be seen are shown to be marked with dreadful runes of life everlasting. 

The Corpse-Saint then approaches a group of enemies and begins to speak.  It wishes you well and begins to speak some ghastly sermon.  The longer you listen to the sermon, the more reasonable it will seem.  At first, you will rebel, but after a few minutes, you may find yourself agreeing with a few points.  A little later and you will be eager listening, enrapt by the possibilities of what the Corpse-Saint is saying.  If you listen long enough, you may be convinced to join the Minions of your own free will.

This is not a magical ability.  The Corpse-Saints are just highly persuasive.  What they say isn't always true, but it usually is.  They do not lie.

Statblock:

Corpse-Saint
HD 1  AC 16  Atk n/a
Mor 8    Saves 8 or less is a success

Undead: Corpse-Saints are Undead, with all that entails.   They do not feel pain or get tired.  They are immune to poison and disease.  They do not need to eat, sleep or breathe.  Any spell that says "Undead" in its title or description is talking about something like this.

Already Dead: Unless decapitated, cut to pieces, burnt to ashes by sunlight or reduced to zero HP by a magical attack or weapon, the Corpse-Saint has an X-in-6 chance of their body knitting itself back together and recovering from the damage they took, where X is equal to the number of HD they have.

Sunlight Vulnerability: Corpse-Saints take 1d6 radiant damage for every round they spend in sunlight.

Persuasive Preaching: The longer you listen to a Corpse-Saint preach, the more you agree with them.  The Referee should alter what they say to make it more appealing to their audience.  Their is no magical charm, but just continue slowly altering your message until the players would largely, if not completely, agree with you.

Tactics:
- Preach to those who will listen
- Do not fight
- If you die, do it with dignity

Dread Aspect

The Dark Powers are the divine rulers of the Minions.  The Minions are their cult, their servants, their appendages, winding through the world.  The Dark Powers are the pantheon that the Minions praise, the banished Black Gods of Suffering and Hate, the True Religion.  The Minions revere the Dark Powers like any normal religion would, with prayer and sacrifice and song.  Other then their malicious motives though, the Dark Powers are not any different than any other God.  They accept worship, send their followers dreams and omens to guide their steps, and raise up Prophets to aid them in times of stress.

However, unlike almost all other Gods, the Dark Powers are in hiding.  They know that if they were to emerge, they would be attacked by the full force of their enemies.  So like their mortal servants, they dwell in the shadows.  But they have not abandoned the Minions.  When the Minions need some divine firepower, the Dark Powers create a Dread Aspect.  A Dread Aspect is what happens when you take a Darkfriend and bathe them in pure hatred and divine power.  They change.

Dread Aspects are not angry.  They are not hateful.  They are not evil.  They are cyclones of pure destruction, barely able to distinguish friend or foe.  With very rare exceptions, they do not think or plan.  Dread Aspects have only one goal- to crush all in their path.

Statblock:

Dread Aspect
SHP 1d4+2  AC 10  Atk Weapon of the Godhand 1d8/1d8
Mor 12    Saves 14 or less is a success

Divine Aura: All Dread Aspects have a divine Aura.  Roll on Table A below to see what the aura is.

Divine Power: All Dread Aspects have a divine power given to them.  Roll on Table B to see what the aura is.

Tactics:
- Kill, Kill, Kill
- Hate, Hate, Hate
- RAAAAAAAAH!

What Aura does this Dread Aspect have?
1d4

1- Baphomet's Blessing.  Anyone who lifts their hand in anger against this Dread Aspect or says something like "I want to kill him" must save.  On a failed save, he or she take 1d6 WIL damage a round.  If this WIL damage ever exceeds his or her WIL score, that person becomes a feral killing machine, automatically attacking the person nearest to them until knocked unconscious or taken at least 1 mile away from the Dread Aspect.
2- Leviathan's Presence.  Anyone who is intimidated by this Dread Aspect or says something like "We're so screwed" must save.  On a failed save, that person takes 1d6 WIS a round.  If this WIS damage ever equals or exceeds his or her WIS score, the person becomes overcome with primitive fear and cannot approach the Dread Aspect, and will only fight if fleeing is impossible.  This effect lasts until he or she get at least 1 mile away from the Dread Aspect, or until he or she can rest some place where he or she cannot see the Dread Aspect for at least 1 hour.   
3- Abaddon's Invulnerability.  Anyone who approaches this Dread Aspect with grim determination or says something like "let's do this" must save.  On a failed save, he or she cannot lift their hand to harm the Dread Aspect or use any ability that would directly harm them.  This effect lasts until the person can get away and spend at least 1 hour in a place where they cannot see the Dread Aspect.
4- Moloch's Anointing.  Anyone who approaches this Dread Aspect with defiance or says something like "Your Gods are rotting, and so are you" takes 1d6 damage a round, no save.  This damage is divided randomly among all those who are disrespectful or defiant.  So if there is only one disrespectful person, that person takes the damage each round.  If their are four disrespectful people however, then it randomly hits 1 of the four each round.

What Divine Power does this Dread Aspect have?
1d4

1- Baphomet's Curse.  Anyone who is within 50' and is under the effect of the Dread Aspect's aura must immediately make 1 attack against a target of the Dread Aspect's choice.  All other choices are up to you.
2- Leviathan's Loan.  The Dread Aspect can cause any enclosed spaced to be filled to the brim with salty, opaque water.  The water does not spill out of the enclosed space, even if a door is opened.  The water is normal, other than it's origin.  Any Dread Aspect that has this power also has the ability to breathe underwater and is immune to water pressure.
3- Abaddon's Authority.  The Dread Aspect can, as a full action, command one weapon that has been used to commit murder to rise up and attack one person within range of that weapon.  The weapon does damage as per normal, as if the Dread Aspect was wielding it.
4- Moloch's Contract.  The Dread Aspect can, as a full action, force the players into a negotiation.  1 of the players must choose between two options.  They can either:
1) Let everyone take 1d8 damage, roll separately for each
or
2) Take no damage for themselves and let one of their allies, either randomly selected or player selected, take their damage instead.
The players should tell their answers secretly to the Referee.  When everyone has answered, if the the Dread Aspect is still alive, the verdict is revealed.  Those who pawned off their damage take none, while those who didn't do.  However, anyone who pawned off their damage has actually just taken the first step on the road to damnation, though they don't realize it yet. 


Black Magicks and becoming a Blackstar

Below is a sub-class write up for playing as a Blackstar Wizard, (see above).  There is also a list of spells included below to indicate the likely spells a Blackstar or a Secret Master would wield.

Power: If you ritually sacrifice a living creature of at least human strength or greater, you regain a number of spellcasting dice equal to the amount of HD or SHP that creature had.

Drawback: You are a member of the Minions of the Dark Powers.  If anyone finds out, you can expect, at the very least, lynch mobs and vigilantes.  The civil magistrates will also want to talk to you.  They will then torture, try and execute you, usually but not necessarily in that order. 

Blackstar starting spells:
1d12

1- Ash Cloud
2- A Small Death
3- Carnal Armor
4- Detonation Me
5- Enslave Undead
6- Fingers of the Thunderhead
7- Helleportation
8- No More Room in Hell
9- Soul Suck
10- Steal
11- Wave of Mutiliation
12- Worthless Corpse

13- Demonic Vigour
14- Sepuchral Voice
15- Storming Through Red Clouds and Holocaust Winds

Legendary Spell: Death Wind
 
Ash Cloud
----------------------------------------------------  
R: 30'        T: 30' cone    D: [dice] rounds

You blast a cloud of hot ash from your hands.  The cloud does 1d6 fire damage to anyone in it, as well as clogging delicate machinery and getting in people's eyes, lungs and noses, forcing them to save.  Those who fail their saves can take no delicate actions, such as attacking, spellcasting, or etc.  Also, no one in the cloud can see anything.

The cloud is also highly conductive of electricity.  If anyone in the cloud takes electrical damage, add +[sum] electrical damage to the sum. 

A Small Death
-----------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: wounded creature    D: one action

One wounded creature suddenly has its wounds worsen, taking 1d6+[dice] damage of the corresponding type.  This causes small cuts to morph into vicious lacerations, fractured bones to crack all the way, burns to spread from the initial point of contact and etc.

This spell can also cause a pre-existing wound to become infected.  This does no damage, but is guaranteed to kill the person infected in 1d6+[dice] days, unless that person is affected by divine healing or magical healing cast with an equal or greater number of [dice]. 

Carnal Armor
----------------------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: [dice] creatures        D: [dice] minutes

You cause [dice] creatures within range suddenly interpret all neural signals sent to their brain as pleasurable.  This causes the affected to reduce all damage taken by [dice], to a minimum of 1.  Also, note that the attacks they receive are still damaging their bodies, which is an effect they will feel later.  For now though, they feel just great.   

Detonation Me
----------------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature           D: [dice] minutes

Any creature you touch must save.  If the creature has more HD than [dice], it may add the difference to its save.  If it has 3x or more HD than [dice], it is immune to this spell, automatically passing its save.

If the HD is greater than the [dice] used to cast this spell, you may add the difference to your saving throw.  If you have HD equal to three times more or greater than [dice], you are immune.   On a failed save, the creature becomes a bomb.  At will, but before the duration expires, you may cause any creature who failed their saving throw to detonate.  This does 1d6*HD damage to everything around the creature, along with killing* the creature who was detonated. 

You may also use this spell on yourself**.

*This may not kill a creature that has a ridiculously powerful regenerative ability or some others, but if someone's body is converted into magical explosives and detonated, that usually kills them.  Referee's Discretion applies, of course.

**This is ludicrously fatal, of course, but is a favorite method of suicide among the Blackstars.

Enslave Undead
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: [dice] undead        D: one action

[sum] HD of Undead must save.  Undead with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save.  Undead with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune and automatically pass their save.  On a failed save, the targeted Undead fall under your control and become your Undead Servants for [sum] days.  Undead already under the control of another Magic-User also automatically pass their save and are not affected by this spell.  Undead already under your control automatically fail their save if you so choose.

Fingers of the Thunderhead
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: [dice] creatures    D: one action

You may fire up to [dice] bolts of lightning from your hands at up to [dice] creatures.  Each of these attacks requires an attack roll.  On a hit, these bolts of lightning do 1d8 electrical damage.

Helleportation
---------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] rounds

One creature you touch is sent to Hell.  The target creature takes [dice] damage and then returns once the duration is over.  If this spell causes them to take more than 3 damage but doesn't kill them, they return with a new scar and a packet of paperwork stapled to their chest.  If it causes them to take more than five damage but doesn't kill them, they return missing a limb and their nose pierced, with a vistor's pass dangling off their new nose ring.  If the damage caused by the spell is enough to kill them, when the duration is over the only thing that returns is a cleaned skull with a strange mark engraved upon it.  Each time also has an independent 1d10% equal to [dice] that something unsavory follows them back.

No More Room in Hell
--------------------------------------------------------
R: special    T: special        D: one action

The caster causes 1d6 Undead per [dice] to animate.  These Undead are largely feral and possess only the primitive instincts of the maddened Undead.  These are namely to hunt living things, they prefer humanoids of their former species, and kill them, along with seeking to end their accursed existence, hiding from the sun, skulking in the dark, and endlessly muttering curses and blasphemies to themselves and each other.

However, these Undead will not immediately target the caster of this spell, unless he or she does something hostile towards them.

If this spell was cast with 2 or more [dice], for every [dice] past one, an Undead with [dice] HD, a dark intelligence, the ability to speak to the living and a few burning questions will be raised as well.     

Soul Suck
---------------------------------------------------------
R: 10'        T: creature        D: one action   

One creature within range must save.  If the creature has more HD than [dice], it may add the difference to its save.  If it has 3x or more HD than [dice], it is immune to this spell, automatically passing its save.  On a failed save, the creature has its soul sucked out of its mouth. 

You may release a soul captured this way, which will summon a Psychopomp to come and escort the soul to the afterlife.  Alternatively, you may eat the soul.  If you do, make a saving throw.  If the Soul has more HD than you have class levels, give yourself a penalty equal to the difference.  If the Soul has 3x or more HD than you have class levels, you automatically fail your saving throw. 

On a successful save, you regain 1d6*HD HP, up to your maximum.  Any HD than aren't used to heal you instead replenish an equivalent number of spellcasting dice.

On a failed save, your body is possessed by the Soul you just tore out of its body.

Steal
------------------------------------------------------------
R: 30'        T: object        D: one action

You draw one object to your hand.  At 1 [dice], you can take any object that isn't being held or locked down.  At 2 [dice], you can also take an object someone is holding.  If they are expecting such a move or already in a tense situation, they get a saving throw to resist.  If not, no save.  At 3 [dice], you can also take an object strapped or tied to someone's body, such as a watch on someone's wrists, a pin on someone's collar, or a woman's panties.  At 4 [dice], you can also steal immaterial things, such as spells out of Wizard's Mind, a Secret Name of God, an enemies' courage, etc.  For these, since you are robbing someone's mind, the target gets a save to resist. 

Wave of Mutilation
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: 50'        T: 50' cone        D: one action

You fire a cone of murderous energy in a 50' cone.  Anyone within this cone takes [sum] sharp damage, save for half.

Arnold K. came up with this spell. 

Worthless Corpse
-------------------------------------------------------------
R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] minutes

Appearing to be dead is not too useful underground. Corpses are resources. This spell makes the body of the target appear not simply dead, but utterly worthless, not worth investigating, without even marrow to crack open and eat.

All observers, including allies, will believe the body of the target to be dead, even if they saw them casting the spell. Should the ‘corpse’ get up and walk it will provoke horror and uncomprehending disgust. All present, including allies, must save versus Magic or compulsively attack the target until the target is destroyed.

This spell cannot be ended at will by the caster and affects all observers, even close friends, until the spell ends naturally.

This spell is borrowed from Veins of the Earth, written by the great False Patrick.


Demonic Vigour
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R: touch    T: creature        D: [dice] hours

One creature you touch has a seed of power planted in it.  At any point during this duration, the creature may draw upon the power of the seed, healing themselves for up to [sum] HP.  However, once the healing from this spell is used up, it cannot be recovered, and the spell automatically ends. 

This spell can also be used to re-attach severed limbs and body-parts, if at least 5 points of healing are used to re-attach them.   

Sepuchral Voice
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R: 50'        T: [dice] Undead    D: [dice] rounds

Upon casting this spell, [dice] Undead gain the ability to communicate with mortals once more.  Their is a reason all normal Undead cannot.  Those who hear what the Undead will say must save or be filled with fear at the sound.

What are the Undead saying?
1d6
1- They are cursing you, your family, your people, and your God.
2- They are wailing about their own abasement and imprisonment.
3- They are declaring that consciousness and existence is pain.
4- They are speaking of the hideous violence they will inflict upon you.
5- They are babbling about a place of endless suffering and fires that can never be extinguished.
6- They are screaming about how your religions are fake and your Gods are Madmen.

Storming Through Red Clouds and Holocaust Winds
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R: special    T: all within range    D: special

This spell generates a cloud of red mist.  If cast with 1 [dice], the cloud of mist covers 10*[dice] square feet and lasts for [dice] rounds.  If cast with 2 [dice], the cloud of mist covers 100*[dice] square feet and lasts for [dice] minutes.  If cast with 3 [dice], the cloud of mist covers [dice] city blocks and lasts for [dice] hours.  If the spell is cast with four or more [dice], the cloud of mist covers [dice] square miles and lasts for [dice] days.

Anyone in the cloud of mist must save.  On a failed save, they become incredibly violent and tribal, and will immediately begin attacking those who do not belong to their tribe.  The boundaries of what constitutes their tribe are based on whatever the affected people determine is most important, whether that be religion, ethnic heritage, social class, or allegiance to a particular ideology.

People may just beat each other to death with their bare hands, but they are not feral animals.  They will construct plans, gather weapons, and organize within their own tribe.
        
Anyone removed from the mist for [dice] minutes or more must save.  On a successful save, they are cured of the mist's effects.  On a failed save, you must wait [dice] hours for the effects of the spell to leave them.

This spell is stolen from Vaginas are Magic, though it was modified by me.

Chaos and Corruption of the Blackstar:
When you roll doubles, roll on the Chaos table.  The spell still goes through.  You receive 1d3 Doom Points.
When you roll triples, roll on the Corruption table.  The spell automatically fails.  You also receive 1d4 Doom Points.
At 10 Doom Points, you invoke the Doom of Fools.
At 20 Doom Points, you invoke the Doom of Kings.
At 30 Doom Points, you invoke the Ultimate Doom.

Chaos of the Blackstar
1d6

1- For the next 1d10 minutes, it starts raining blood for 1 mile, centered on the Blackstar.
2- If there is a corpse within 100', it animates as an Unbound Undead.
3- All creatures within 100' that can laugh must save.  The first person within 100' that fails a saving throw starts laughing uncontrollably, losing their action as they do.
4- The next successful attack within 100' misses instead.
5- The next missed attack within 100' hits its intended target instead.
6- Choking black smokes explodes out from the Blackstar, filling the air for 100' around them.

Corruption of the Blackstar
1d6

1- The next person you touch takes [dice] damage and disappears for [dice] rounds, as per the spell Helleportation.  You do not know this.
2- For the next 1d10 minutes, all Undead within 100' can speak.
3- Anyone you touches for the next 1d10 minutes takes 1d6+[dice] damage and has their wounds worsen and become infected.
4- Red mist explodes out from the Blackstar, filling the air for 100' around them.  This red mist affects everything within it as Storming Through Red Clouds and Holocaust Winds.
5- 1d20 Undead suddenly animate, tearing their way out of the ground or out of some nearby location that might have corpses.  Ex: A graveyard, a morgue, a serial killer's house, etc.  These Undead pursue the Blackstar until they or the Blackstar are dead.
6- For the next 1d10 minutes, the Blackstar's brain interprets anything they perceive through touch as intensely pleasurable.  This makes focusing on anything virtually impossible.

Dooms:
Doom of Fools- One person who doesn't already know discovers you are a Minion of the Dark Powers.  Perhaps a small child who witnessed you sacrificing a puppy or a milk-maid who overheard you delivering a report to a Succubus.  This person will try and go summon the authorities and/or whip up an angry mob.  If you are caught, you are very likely to be lynched.  If not, you will quickly be tried, sentenced to torture, then publicly executed.

Doom of Kings- One person recognizes or believes you to be one of the Minions of the Dark Powers.  They secretly report this to the proper authorities.  Soon a group of Chartered Wizards, Witch-Finders and Anti-Mages show up to apprehend you for the sake of justice and peace.  If they capture you, you will be tortured for information, then turned over to the local magistrates to be swiftly tried and publicly executed.

Ultimate Doom- A group of Morningstar Wizards arrive to assassinate you.  They were worried you might talk.      

This Doom can be avoided by erasing all traces of your old identity or successfully carrying out a mission handed down from a Secret Master or the Dark Powers themselves.

Plot Hooks

1d6

1- Two men in a city are accused of being Darkfriends, and there is evidence to indicate that they are, though they deny it.  But something about the allegations seem fishy.  Are these two men legitimately Darkfriends, or are they innocent men about to be tortured and put to death?
2- The players are hired to assist a small state in an armed conflict with their neighbors.  They end up being assigned to work under a small-time commander.  However, they soon begin to notice that this small-timer is rapidly rising in popularity and seems to have Fortuna on his side.  Things always work out for him, somehow.  Will the players investigate this strange fact?  Or will they not realize it until too late? 
3- Priests and members of the clerical class are being murdered across a city.  The murderers seem to be unrelated to each other, but a little digging reveals that they all come from a small cult at the edge of the city.  However, when the players go to destroy them, they find the cult vastly stronger than they predicted.  The Cult likely drive them back, then unleash chaos and bloodshed on the city at large.
4- A crime boss has hired a group of thieves to steal a holy artifact from a Temple.  However, unbeknownst to either group, the Minions want the artifact too and have sent a cell of Minions to retrieve the artifact.  The Artifact would also be worth a great deal of money, so the Players might want to steal it if possible.  Either way, it'll be a three way race to see who can grab the artifact first.
5- Violence breaks out in the streets as two criminal gangs/faiths/political factions begin fighting after an ambiguous violent incident.  Both factions accuse the other of being responsible for the incident.  However, in the midst of the chaos, strange things are occurring, as someone (the Minions) move behind the scenes to enact a sinister plan.
6- A small cult/secret society/criminal organization begins rapidly growing, seizing more and more power behind the scenes and exerting more and more control over the reigning authorities.  Find out how this organization has grown so large and weaken them, so they don't totally supplant the current authorities.

                                                    by b-nine