Monday, December 21, 2020

OSR: Oberon, the October King

He is a tall, handsome man, well-formed and physically perfect.  He is muscular, but not excessively so, possessing a lean, rangy build.  His beard is shorn short and his eyes are dark brown, almost black.  He has shaggy hair and jagged nails, and is generally ungroomed.  His hair is brown, but at the tips it changes color subtly as the light strikes it in different ways, appearing yellow, red, orange or brown at times.  His wild mane of a beard is the same way.

He is almost always nude, with the exception of a translucent cloak of spider-silk and his crown of twigs and holly leaves. 

This is Oberon, the October King, Lord of Autumn, Prince of the Falling Leaves.

                                                       source unknown

Oberon is a spiteful individual, driven by bitterness and a need to take petty revenge on those who have slighted him.  He dislikes those who seem to happy, content or full of promise and seeks to bring them down.  He never does so directly, but prefers to trick them into pursuing some action that will lead to their own destruction.   

He desperately misses his lover/wife, Titania, but will never admit this.  This is the real reason why he dislikes those who are in love and torments lovers with cruel pranks or devilish manipulations. 

Oberon, unlike the other Sovereigns, has an active contempt for civilization and those who practice it.  He is known to lend some of his power to those who promise to bring the War to the City.

The Court of Falling Leaves

Oberon's Court is seasonal in our world, occurring only during the Autumn.  It is concealed from those tied to Law or civilization in any strong way.  Such folks will not find the Court unless led to it.

The Court is easily found by the spiteful, vengeful, bitter or heart-broken; as well as those who recently separated with a lover and the separation was not magnanimous or pleasant.

<Sidebar: Fighting Oberon.>

If the party ends up fighting another member of the Autumn Court, this is likely only to be thought of as an act of rudeness, unless the party is defending their honor or something they cherish.  If such a conflict starts, then the aggrieved parties will be left to duke it out until only one of them is left standing.

However, if Oberon is attacked, unless it is a matter of honor, his Court will come to his aid.  The one exception to this is if he doesn't want them to.  However, fighting Oberon is a terrible idea.  It would be like fighting a Deity.  But in case it happens, here is his stat-block:

SHP 11
AR Natural Armor [10 Armor]
Atk Natural Weapons - Claws, Horns, Bare Hands (1d6+3/1d6+3)
Mor 17
Saves 18 or less

Damage Threshold 11: Oberon has a Damage Threshold.  He only takes damage from a source if the amount of damage equals or exceeds his Damage Threshold.  If a source of damage cannot equal or exceed the Threshold, instead ignore it, as if it did no damage.

Truth-Teller: Oberon cannot lie.  He can muddy the issue, dodge the question and not answer, but he cannot lie directly.

Cold Iron Weakness: Oberon takes +1 damage per die from all Iron Weapons.

Plant Walk: Oberon can move through plants and trees like they aren't there, and can automatically avoid damage from things like thorns.

Shape-changer: Oberon can change his shape and appearance at will, though his stats remain the same, no matter how he looks.

Vanish with the Breeze: Oberon can teleport up to 50' on his turn as a free action.  Once he does this, he must wait 1d4 rounds before he can teleport again.

Innate Spellcasting: Oberon has a number of Mana Dice equal to his SHP.  He can cast the following spells as an action.  These spells do not trigger Chaos or Corruption, but Oberon's MD do burn out as normal.  Oberon knows the spells: Animal Shapes, Anti-Life Aura, Harvest of Rot, Imprisonment, Phantasmal Force, Protection from Energy, Ray of Sickness, Revolt Against the Modern World, Seal Shut the Tomb and Slow.

Curse: If in danger of death or if sufficiently annoyed, Oberon can curse someone as an action.  He can only curse a creature who can understand a language he speaks and hear him.  For a list of his preferred curses, see below.

- Open with Animal Shapes or Imprisonment
- If someone manages to hurt you, jump into melee combat and rip their arms off
- Don't take anything seriously until you lose a few SHP
- Then use Ray of Sickness and Phantasmal Force to distract and weaken, while using Protection of Energy on yourself

</End Sidebar>

                                                  by AnarchicFox

Court is being held...


1- In the rotten, hollowed-out stump of a mammoth tree stump as large as a manse.
2- In an underground hollow illuminated by stray bits of sun or moonlight piercing through holes in the dirt roof, which is supported by living roots.
3- In a forest clearing illuminated by starlight or phosphorescent lichen and mosses. 
4- In the destroyed remains of a stronghold of civilization, enormous trees having pulverized the walls and smashed holes in the ceiling.   

The Denizens of the Autumn Court are as varied as any other type of Folk.

Today you can meet...


1- 1d3 Treants, clad in all their autumnal finery.  They have come to present gifts of apples, wild grapes, eggplants and cabbages.
2- A Dryad, her body stained with black with ash, a traditional Folk sign of mourning.  She has come to ask the King to help her take her revenge on those who slew one of her kinsmen.
3- A Redcap, seeking to become one of the King's Knights.  He seeks conflict and does not wish to fight aimless battles.     
4- A Faerie Noble, here to entreat the King to curse a potential lover who spurned the Faerie's affections.
5- 1d6 Goblins, here to present tribute in the form of candy and liquor.
6- An enormous bear, carrying a big fish.  This fish is intended as a gift.
7- A Kitsune (Fox-woman) with four tails and fire-red hair.
8- A Werewolf, accompanied by 1d4 others of his kind and 1d10 normal wolves.
9- A Troll, here to ask the King for his aid in reclaiming lost territory.  If the King refuses, the Troll will try to recruit someone else powerful here.  
10- A group of 1d4 very lost Adventurers, currently seeking 1d4 [1= The King's help in finding their way home; 2= The answer to a question only a powerful Folk could answer; 3= To pay a debt that they owe to the Autumn Court; 4= Help in breaking a curse.]
11- 1d4 Druids, currently quaking with pious terror.
12- Old Woman Frost, a Goddess of Change, Natural Cycles, Winter and Ice.  She resembles an old woman with small horns, wearing a hooded cloak and carrying a rod of holly wood.  She is a guest of the King.
13- A Stone Giant here to catch a glimpse of the King, in the hopes of sculpting him.
14- A madman who has no idea where he is.  Doesn't realize the danger he is in.  The Folk are just humoring him.
15- A lost child.  He/she is hiding, as it is common knowledge that Oberon hates children.  Some of the Folk are trying to trick the child into accidentally exposing himself, just to see what will happen.
16- A Green Hag is here, to steal something very precious.  The Hag is in disguise, and there is a 50% the Folk have caught on to this fact and are just pretending to be fooled.
17- A Dragon is here to negotiate with a family of Folk.  The Folk have been preparing for this for decades, but are still likely to end up being the ones getting the raw end of the deal.
18- An Emissary from the Iron Fey.  He is here to make sure things don't deteriorate into all-out war.  He doesn't mind if the Folk kill mortals, just as long as they don't go after his people. 
19- A Giant Spider.  The spider is a tailor and has come bearing garments that she thinks Oberon will appreciate.
20- A Red Ruler and 1d20 Chaos Cultists.  They are seeking aid in some scheme that they lack the power to achieve alone.  The Folk might decide to help them, or they might just mess with them and then tear them to shreds.  If there are any Druids here, there is a 20% a fight breaks out every day the Chaos cultists are here.

What is the current thing the Court is interested in?


1- A plan to deal a blow to civilization in the local area.  The plan in being gossiped about because 1d4 [1= The one who suggested/champions it is unpopular; 2= It's not likely to succeed; 3= It might be a trap meant for another Folk, the attack is just a ruse; 4= It is beneath the notice of the Court, being either amateurish or unworthy of even considering.]
2- The King is currently sulking.  Whoever can cheer him up could easily earn themselves a boon.  Whoever angers him could easily regret having done so for the rest of his life.
3- A tourney has just been announced!  The strongest will soon compete for fabulous magical prizes.  The events will include such events as a grand melee, a wrestling match, a drinking contest (difficult for creatures who never drink alcohol), and a singing competition.  Cheating is not allowed, but it is traditional and expected.
4- A feast is being thrown, but the main course escaped!  Whoever retrieves it will earn a boon from the Noble who originally brought it in, as well as the favor of the Autumn Court.  The main course is 1d6 [1= A Wyvern; 2= The biggest bear you've ever seen; 3= A giant crayfish; 4= A wild boar the size of a cottage; 5= An Ogre (make sure to make this one a moral dilemma); 6= A Hydra.]
5- A 1d6 [1= Mortal; 2= Folk; 3= Outsider; 4= Genie; 5= Elemental; 6= Dragon] female has come to ask Oberon for his hand in marriage, either unaware of the fact that Oberon hates lovers and romantic relationships, or is stubbornly optimistic that she can change him.  If you do not intervene, it will end very badly for her.
6- You.  Your arrival is current topic of gossip.  They are wondering what you will do.        

                                                by SolDevia

What can Oberon offer you?


1- Knowledge.  Oberon doesn't know everything, but he knows an awful lot.  He also knows an awful lot about curses, and can tell you how to break one.
2- A way home.  Oberon can open portals from his Court to anywhere in the world that Autumn has or once touched.  He can't, or won't teleport you into a city, but he can put you outside the city gates.
3- Power.  Oberon can bestow upon you 1d4 [1= The strength of ten men; 2= The ability to transform into a cloud of leaves and reform; 3= The ability to transform into a wolf; 4= Resistance to Necrotic damage and immunity to death (save or die) effects.] 
4- Disaster.  Oberon can and will give you a way to seek revenge against your enemies.  He won't do it himself, but he will give you the means to ruin people's lives.
5- A companion.  Oberon can dispatch one of the Folk in his service to attend you for some time, depending on what service you performed and what he feels you are owed.
6- Gold.  Oberon reigns over things in decline, dying a slow death.  He knows that if you pile up enough of something, no matter what it is, it rots.  As such, Oberon is aware of many misers and greedy creatures with more wealth than they need.  If you wish, he can inform you of a good place to get rich. 

What treasures does Oberon have that he might be willing to part with?


1- 1d6 seeds.  Planting one and waiting will produce a little flower-man who will rapidly grow to the size of a medium creature.  The Flower-man will be like a newborn, and thus can be conditioned to be anything you want.  It learns at a staggering speed, never sleeps and adores you.  Unfortunately, the Flower-man has a lifespan of 1d20+6 days.  After that many days have passed, the Flower-man will wilt and die.
2- 1d4+1 arrows of Woodheart.  Each arrow, upon striking a creature, forces that creature to save vs death.  On a failed save, that creature turns into a beautifully detailed wooden carving.  On a successful save, the creature instead takes 2d6 damage.
3- The Hero sword.  A wooden sword once wielded by a child, who used it to carve apart a troll.  If used by someone who is pure of heart, the sword is sharper than enchanted metal and tougher than Damascus steel.  It also has the ability of 1/Day it allows the wielder to hide and not be found, no matter who is seeking them.  If used by a wicked or evil creature, the sword betrays them at the worst possible moment, stripping them of its power or turning its sharpness on the evil creature.
4- Water of Time.  A flask or waterskin containing water from the River Urbaros, which separates the land of the living and the dead.  If a few drops are poured on a wound, that part of the creature's body are moved into the future where the wound is healed.  However, each time this is done, the creature must make a CHA save.  On a failed save, the creature's wound actually 1d3 [1= Became infected; 2= Healed, but the creature suffered a similar wound in the same area; 3= It's gone, that area is amputated or removed and replaced in the future.]  Drinking this water will age a creature by 1d20 years per sip.
5- The Sleeping Rattler.  A living snake that usually sleeps.  If you rouse it from sleep, it can be used like a whip, which can grapple on a hit automatically.  The Rattler can also be ordered to bite grappled people on your turn, consuming your attack.  The Rattler's venom causes paralysis on a failed save or 1d6 damage on a success.  Creatures may save once per round on their turn to end the paralysis.
6- The Bitter Mirror.  A cracked mirror that allows you to spy on people as per scrying, but only on those you love or hate.  It cannot show you anyone else.
7- The Slut-Stone.  A magic rock that has the ability to whisper something in someone's ear.  If you are ever talking to a woman, you can hold the Slut-Stone up your ear, and the stone will tell you what you need to say to get that woman's attention, make her start to like you, or convince her to sleep with you.  However, the stone is cursed.  Each time you use the stone, you must roll 1d20 and may not use Luck Points to modify this roll.  On a roll of 1, the Slut-Stone gives you terrible advice, and the woman will be extremely offended if you say that to her.
8- A bracelet with 1d4+1 tiny jeweled coffins on it.  1d4 of these coffins are full.  Opening one of these coffins will cause a person trapped inside to spill out.  This person is free, but could be persuaded to help, and will be extremely grateful for being freed.  The person released from the coffin is 1d6 [1= An adventurer with 1d4+1 levels in a random class; 2= An Unbound Undead with 1d6 HD; 3= A Drakencult member; 4= A member of a royal family/dynasty; 5= A historical/cultural figure who went missing years/decades/centuries ago and is presumed dead; 6= A person possessed by an Outsider.  Roll on this table for the Outsider's morality.]  Also, roll for how long this person has been imprisoned.  This person has been in there for 1dX [1= 1d10 Months; 2= 1d8 Years; 3= 1d6 Decades; 4= 1d4 centuries.]  Creatures within are kept in suspended animation, needing no food or water and not aging, so they do not notice the passing of centuries.  If a coffin on the necklace is empty, you can open it in front a creature and force that creature to make a (COG) save.  On a failed save, that creature is sucked into the coffin and trapped inside.  Each coffin can only hold 1 creature.    

However, if you anger him, Oberon will...


1- Send you home.  However, when you return, you realize each day in Oberon's court was 1d4 [1= 1 Month; 2= 3 Months; 3= 1 year; 4= 1d20 years] for everyone else.
2- Age you 1d100 years.  This won't kill you, but it could make you old, frail or senile.
3- Curse you.  You are cursed with 1d4 [1= Pain.  From this day on, you are wracked by chronic pain.  This curse is broken by bathing in or drinking the Water of Life; 2= Death.  Next time you have to save vs death, you auto-fail.  This curse is broken by beating a Psychopomp or Death itself in a game; 3= Sleeplessness.  You cannot fall asleep.  You will rapidly go mad.  This curse is broken by listening to a Siren's song; 4= Petrification.  You start turning to stone.  If left unchecked, you will turn into a statue.  This curse is broken by bargaining with an Earth Elemental and getting their aid.]
4- Strip you naked.  All of your non-magical equipment turns into dead leaves and blows away.
5- Make you the target of his next hunt.  He will give you a head start.  Go.
6- Oberon gives you a choice.  He separates everyone and gives each party member a walnut.  If no one says anything, he will punish everyone.  But if someone breaks open his walnut, that person will receive something special* and will not take part in the collective punishment.  It's Prisoner's dilemma, basically.  However, if anyone breaks open their walnut, Oberon will slay that person and transform them into a tree.  Oberon hates the disloyal more than anything else.  But if no one breaks their walnuts, Oberon will be grudgingly impressed.  He will then levy a minor punishment and have everyone escorted out of his Court.  A minor punishment could include being only able to talk to animals and each other for 1d4 days, being forced to wear silly or demeaning clothes or altering the party's genitals to one of the Wizard dicks. 

*Remember, Oberon is still technically a Folk.  He cannot lie.

                                                           source unknown

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