13 December 2018

Class: Cultist of the Thousand Gods Heresy

One whisper, added to a thousand others, becomes a roar.

There once was a Multiverse. Countless realities, universes, planes and realms; billions of worlds with billions of races and billions upon billions of living souls. There were also gods, so many of them and so different. From omnipotent All-Fathers with galaxy-spanning churches to small gods barely worshipped in a single village. Some would never allow their faithful to recognise the divinity of another creature, while others joined in pantheons, safe in support of their peers. The Multiverse was immense, wondrous and diverse. Way too diverse.

The War in Heavens broke out and consumed the Multiverse. Nothing but scarce fragments of what transpired are remembered today, as the Laws of Magic were not yet set, and high magics warped and broke and rent the realities asunder. Armies were slaughtered, resurrected, and slaughtered again. Planets were thrown against each other, and stars transformed into supernovae. Time travel made all victories irrelevant, defeats transient and a ceasefire virtually impossible. However, there was an end to this endless struggle, as one god managed to weave a time-spell of unseen proportions, starting a chain reaction of temporal collapses that retconned the whole War and everything.

There never was a Multiverse. There is one world, with one timeline, with one god. The Authority and his Church are the only truth*. Anything else is a lie and a delusion and a heresy and an echo of the fire and madness that had never been. Because naturally there are echoes, remnants of all the souls that were never born, of the pasts and futures squandered, of gods and realities unmade into unbeing, of possibilities and impossibilities and choices and alternatives and roads not taken, all lost within the Void. Thus the Void beyond the world is filled with the voices of what never was, or could never be.

These remnants are called by many names: the Demon Ghost Horde, the Thousand Gods Heresy, the Lost Voices of the Void, or simply the Multitude. They are a legion, a vast congregation of innumerable spirits, from the shadows of ghosts of dead people to genii loci of destroyed planets and the shattered and scattered remains of vanished gods. Some are so tiny their murmur is as noticeable as a butterfly flapping its wings. But some linger on, still strong enough to whisper over the edge of reality.

Of the few people who hear the whispers of the Void, even fewer listen. They are branded as heretics and executed by the Church, but some go unnoticed and band together into cults. A coven of such cultists usually worships a single powerful remnant, or a group (a pantheon) of remnants. They learn from the mad whispers and receive strange gifts of unnatural abilities. In return, the remnant feeds on their existence, ever so slowly reclaiming its being and self.

To this day, no remnant managed to escape the Void back into reality. But should it happen one day, the world may come to great peril, for such an entity would be alien to the time and existence of this universe, not even bound by the Laws of Magic. Maybe their return would only punch a hole through reality, where the other countless remnants could gulp down the existence of our world. Maybe it would unravel the whole timeline. Or maybe, just maybe, the old gods could return and rise again to overthrow the Authority and rule the Creation.

*) Some would claim that even Authority is dead or as good as dead, exhausted by his great feat of magic into non-existence.

Interrupting the Cultists

A: First Secret, Mark & Taboo
B: Second Secret, Cult Contacts
C: Third Secret
D: Secret Ritual, Cult Conscription

Roll d10 for your patron:
  1. Acererak
  2. Berith
  3. Eve
  4. Kosmos
  5. Lilith
  6. Nudziarth
  7. Ahazu
  8. Astaroth
  9. Buer
  10. Ikor
Patrons 7-10 can be found here. There might be more patrons once/if I finish them, and anyone is more than welcome to create their own - tell me and I'll link them here.
Dead gods lost in the Void.
by Sephiroth Art

Mark & Taboo 
You are marked by your patron with a conspicuous sign of your affiliation. Given how heretical faiths are treated in many parts of the world, you may wish to find a way to conceal your Mark.

Your patron grants you powers in exchange for your faith. You must carry out the rites and follow the dogma, but most importantly you cannot break the taboos imposed by your patron. Should you break your Taboo, you will loose all the powers granted (including your Mark) until you can appease your patron.

Three Secrets 
The whispers of the Void teach you profound secrets that allow you to perform strange workings of magic.

Secret Ritual
As you are initiated into the inner circle of your cult, you learn a ritual once performed in the Multiverse that never was.

Cult Contacts
You are part of a cult, which is both a blessing and a curse.

In every town and some villages, there will be someone who knows the secrets signs, passwords and handshakes. You have friends and can ask for favours. But you will occasionally be tasked with a mission and expected to comply. The more favours you request, the more frequent, more difficult and more dangerous your missions will be. Should you refuse or botch your mission, the cult will find and punish you. Should you be exposed, the Church will hunt, torture and execute you.

Cult Conscription
You are adept at gaining new followers for your faith. You attract 1d4 + [Cha mod] hirelings that will faithfully assist you for the promise of power.

You can also try to preach your beliefs to any non-hostile person or group of people. Reroll their Reaction roll with any bonuses or penalties the GM deems appropriate. For example, you should receive -1 to the roll if the person adheres to a different religion (-2 if they are an ardent worshipper), and +1 if you saved the person or if they are a long-term friend.

Result of "friendly" means that they are receptive to your words and can eventually be initiated into your cult. Result of "indifferent" means that they just don't care and would you stop bothering them, they are trying to sleep! Result of "hostile" means that you angered them and they may very well be truly hostile and thinking of you as a heretic.

People persuaded by your conscription won't automatically become your hirelings or companions, but don't forget that once they join your cult, you can use your Cult Contacts ability on them. Try to woo someone who can be useful in the future - a rich merchant, an member of the Thieves Guild, a king's personal guard, or even the king!

Your fellow cultists can help you with information gathering of rumours and quests, fencing of stolen goods, smuggling, free safekeeping, hiding you with no questions asked - and on top of these benefits, you can ask for special favours. If you manage to convert someone powerful, the favours you can use should also be quite big. Give the secret handshake to the baron and he will have the murders slide.

Do what cults do best - slowly build your power, acquire some favours, then pull the strings from the shadows.

from The Return of the Living Dead

Acererak, the Decaying Lover

Lichloved: By repeatedly committing perverted sex acts with the undead, you gain dread powers.
- Book of Vile Darkness

Starting Items:
  • lavish clothes,
  • greasepaint to hide the rot,
  • bottle of perfume to overcome the stench of death.

Mark & Taboo
You have gemstones for eyes.

You must have sex at least twice a week. Should you ever break your Taboo, you can atone for your transgression by having sex with seven different partners in seven days. (For the truly desperate, seven sheep are enough.)

First Secret of the Stolen Breath
You may kiss a creature reduced to 0 hp to steal their dying Breath, killing them. The Breath will remain in your lungs as long as you wish or until you spend it (see below). You can only hold one Breath.

You may kiss a corpse and expend your Breath to cast speak with dead.

While you have the Breath, you reek of death, and appear decrepit and slightly decayed (though you are still alive and require things like food and air). You are also considered undead for the purposes of various spells and abilities.

Second Secret of the Death's Companionship
You may kiss an undead and expend your Breath to cast command undead or rot.

While you have the Breath, mindless undead are not hostile to you unless you show aggression first, and you have +2 to Reaction rolls for intelligent undead.

Third Secret of the Given Breath
You may kiss a willing creature to take their Breath. The creature will die, but can be revived if you return their Breath to a suitable body. For example, you could take the Breath of a dying ally, patch up the body and return their Breath, or find some soulless body and put their Breath in there. You can still release or expend the Breath normally.

While you have the Breath, you can sense undead within 30'.

Ritual of the Lover's Body and Soul
You can expend your Breath and have sex with any creature to swap souls with it. You will retain your class, abilities and mental attributes, and gain your lover's body and physical attributes. Your lover will find themself in your old body. Creatures with HD higher than you get a Save.

Berith, the Blood-Red Merchant

berith (plural beriths, also brisses)
  • The covenant of circumstition in Jewish tradition.
  • The name of a god of contracts and pacts, worshipped in ancient Canaan, reviled as a demon by the early Israelites and later the Christians.
  • Alternate name for the philosopher's stone.

Starting Items:
  • a golden ring engraved with a prayer to Berith (worth 1 gp),
  • a wheelbarrow.

Mark & Taboo
You appear drenched in blood.

You may not kill an ally, a hireling or a pet, including former allies, hirelings and pets. Forcing allies into dangerous, hopeless situations counts as killing them. Should you break your Taboo, you must offer a [hireling HD] hp worth of your blood and 10 x [hireling HD] gp in sacrifice, and burn the sacrifice along with the hireling's body.

First Secret of the Golden Tongue
You can put a gold coin under your tongue to negotiate with anyone, even if you share no common language. You can swallow the coin to get +2 bonus to any roll depending on your speechcraft. The gold disappears when swallowed and cannot be retrieved.

Second Secret of the Blood Mercenary
You may pay [hireling HD] gp to any hireling to make them obey your commands without questions, no matter their Moral, loyalty or personality, even if you order them into dangerous situations. The effect lasts until sunrise, when they will react appropriately to what transpired. The hireling would even commit suicide on your command, but that counts as killing them for the purpose of your Taboo.

Third Secret of the Golden Apple of Discord
You may touch a (relatively) valuable object to make it incredibly desirable to all intelligent creatures. Anyone who sees the object must Save or crave to possess it above all else. You may use this as a distraction, when bribing or haggling, or in any other scheme you can come up with. You may only have one such enchanted object at a time, and the effect lasts until sunrise.

Ritual of Blood and Gold
Take a freshly slain corpse and place [corpse HD] gp into their mouth. They will swallow the gold and be raised as an undead under your command, retaining all their stats, memories and abilities, and remaining loyal as long as you feed them [corpse HD] gp each day. You can only have one such a servant at a time. The gold disappears when swallowed and cannot be retrieved.

Demon's Souls fanart

Eve, the Mother of Monsters

And Eve lived to be older than any woman; who, in the end, did not die, but who retreated to her cave.
Blamed for Sin.
For Misery.
For the Fall.
- The Parliament Of Rooks, Neil Gaiman

Starting Items:
  • ragged clothes,
  • bare feet.

Mark & Taboo
You bear bloody wounds on your feet and stomach. You are sterile.

You must not eat any fruit. Should you break your Taboo, you must let yourself be bitten by a venomous snake.

First Secret of the Maiden
You can speak with snakes. Additionally, you can drain magic with a kiss.

You can drain magic from spellcasters, who loose 1 MD per round of kissing, Save negates. This is similar to spending a MD, so they regain it with their next rest. Alternately, you can drain magic items, which loose all their magic instantly and permanently, and you gain 1 MD per +1 of the item. You can store any number of MD.

You can cast spells, but yours are unlike wizardly spells. You do not prepare spells, you cannot read scrolls or spellbooks, and you cannot write down any of the "spells" you know. When you use a MD, it is automatically spent and you don't regain MD through rest. Otherwise, you use MD as a wizard. You cannot spend more MD at one spell than you have Cultist templates.

Instead of generating Mishaps or Dooms, you get a permanent random biological mutation for every even multiple and a permanent random supernatural mutation for every odd multiple, no Save. You will quickly become quite monstrous, and the GM should play it up unless you take great care to hide your deformity.

If you are a virgin, you know charm person. If you are not, you know command.

Second Secret of the Mother
You ignore pain and take no damage from bleeding. You are immune to parasites and possession.

If you are a virgin, you know glibness (see below). If you are not, you know shed skin.

Third Secret of the Crone
You deal double damage to plants and plant creatures. You take half damage from plants, plant creatures and wooden weapons. You are immune to any plant-based poisons.

If you are a virgin, you know beautify. If you are not, you know shrivel.

Ritual of Chimeric Exchange
Draw two circles in chalk or salt, then let the participants step inside as you start chanting. Soon, deep murmur of unseen voices will join you.

This ritual must target two creatures that negotiated the effects of the ritual beforehand and are willing to undergo it. While the ritual requires willingness, it does not forbid coercion or magical influence. Subsequently, the two creatures can trade body parts as per their agreement, with the same ease as two items can be exchanged. You don't need to be one of the two parties, but you can.

The exchange can be one-sided. For example, the spell allows you to give someone one of your eyes without taking something from them, if both of you agree. This way, you can gain new limbs and organs. You can demand some other form of compensation, though this is in no way enforced by the ritual.

The ritual takes an hour to complete. Should the ritual be interrupted, the target creatures must Save or loose the body part that was being exchanged. The creatures are magically sustained while the ritual lasts, but can die afterwards if they traded away a vital organ. The spell also prevents transplant rejection (even in case of incompatible physiologies) and leaves no scars.

With 1 [die], you can exchange roughly compatible body parts (human eye for cat eye, hand for paw). With 2 [dice], you can exchange body parts from incompatible physiologies (living arm for an undead arm, head for an animated helmet). With 3 [dice], you can mix material and immaterial body parts (hand for a piece of fire elemental's flame, switching of souls). With 4 [dice], you can exchange metaphysical qualities (bravery, damage resistances, skills, abilities).

I stole this spell from here, where more information on it can be found. The ritual may come in handy to cultists of Eve who become too monstrous for their own taste.

Crystal Sage

Kosmos, the Crystalline Law

Indestructible crystal. Even in the sea of chaos, it never loses its shine. I will become an eternal epitaph. Your memory will survive for eternity within a crystal tomb. This shall be my legacy, and my atonement.

But most of all, my final hope.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2

Starting Items: an oath you swore to someone. Discuss it with the GM.

Mark & Taboo
A crystal ioun stone orbits your head. It is invulnerable and cannot be forced away from you.

You may never break any law or oath. Should you break your Taboo, you must turn yourself in to the appropriate law enforcement and suffer your punishment, or be forgiven by the person you swore your oath to.

First Secret of the Law
No power magical or mundane can force you to break a law or an oath. You can only do so of your own free will. Additionally, you always know when some of your actions could break the local law.

Once per day, your ioun stone can intercept an attack against you, negating it completely. Spells, gazes and other harmful actions count as attacks for the purposes of this ability.

Second Secret of the Truth
Your hirelings will never betray you. They may still fail Morale checks, but they come back when the situation calms down. They may leave, but not without a warning and a talk.

Your memories also cannot be erased, changed or otherwise tinkered with.

At a mental command, your ioun stone can freeze in place as immovable rod. Should you walk away and give it a command to move again, it will return to orbit around your head at a great speed, punching through any obstacles. Any creature in its path must Save vs Dex or take 2d6 damage.

Third Secret of Justice
You can look through your ioun stone, gaining the effects of detect alignment. Once per day, you may also grip your ioun stone in a raised hand, casting abominate with [Cultist templates] MD.

I don't use and don't like alignment systems, but this power need not necessarily detect some metaphysical quality of a person, but may instead show the general nature of one's character. Selfless people will glow white, with tiny black specks of their shameful secrets. Most people will have auras all over the grayscale, momentarily flashing black when lying or white when wiping tears off a child's face. A psychopath may very well seem pristine, thanks to their total lack of moral compass or emotional capabilities.

Ritual of the Unbreakable Oath
You may sanctify an oath sworn between two parties. Should one of them break the oath, they suffer a major curse, no Save. The only way how to remove the curse is to be forgiven by the offended party. Both of the parties must know the consequences of swearing an unbreakable oath beforehand.

from Once Upon a Time

Lilith, Who Beheld Beauty

"You're far too beautiful to be good."
- Lord Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, to Barbara, Countess Castlemaine; Whitehall

Starting Items:
  • once splendid, now ragged and torn robes,
  • a blindfold.

    Mark & Taboo
    You have eyes on your palms. These do not break your Taboo. You can still hold items normally, but that requires you to close the eye.

    You have to be blinded at all times. Blindfold is enough, but plucking out your eyes is better. Should you break your Taboo, just blind yourself again.

    First Secret of the Deep Eye
    You can catch spells and gaze attacks targeted at you in your eyes. This has a 1-in-6 chance of success, with each of the following raising the chance by 1:
    • You ready an action to catch the spell (or gaze attack).
    • You know which spell (or gaze attack) is going to hit you.
    • You have successfully caught such a spell (or gaze attack) before.
    • You have no spell (or gaze attack) currently captured.
    Each of your eyes can only hold one spell (or gaze attack). You may release a caught spell (or gaze attack) at any target you want, with as many MD as it was originally cast with.

    Second Secret of the Beholder
    When you close all of your eyes, you can see through the eyes of any creature within 100'. You must know about the creature's presence, but otherwise no Save is allowed.

    Third Secret of the Second Sight
    With both of your eyes open, you have wizard vision. With both of your eyes closed, you are invisible (and blind).

    Ritual of the Eye and the Soul
    Lock gazes with a spirit and start reciting an ancient psalm of bondage and servitude. The spirit will be unable to leave until you finish, and then must Save (with advantage if its HD is greater than yours) or be captured in one of your eyes. You may speak with the spirit or release it freely, but it is powerless while bound in your eye. Try negotiating for some information or favour.

    There is nothing preventing your from binding a soul of a living creature, stealing it right from their body. You could also use this power to exorcise disease spirits or possessing demons out of their victims.

    Nudziarth, the Mirrored Library

    In the centre of the great rilmani city Sum of All, a building of strange angles stands, obviously not of rilmani construction. Ancient even amongst their number, the Mirrored Library once known as Timaresh holds untold amounts of lore from across the Multiverse.

    Starting Items: a blank book, a quill and a vial of ink.

    Mark & Taboo
    A nimbus of tiny mirrored shards surrounds your head. You have no reflection.

    You must destroy every mirror you see. Should you break your Taboo, you must burn a book and cover you face with the ashes in penance. For your first transgression, any book will be enough (though note that in a medieval setting, even normal books are rather expensive), but should you continue to fault, your penance will quickly start to require spellbooks or ancient tomes.

    First Secret of the Shattered Glass
    You cannot be harmed by glass. You can wield the glass shards that orbit your head as daggers and you get +1 to hit and damage with them, but shatter them on natural 1. You can also throw them.

    The glass shards are actually reflections of reflections of reflections of broken mirrors, and there is effectively infinite number of them in the nimbus. They will disappear after a minute since being removed from the nimbus.

    Second Secret of the Mirror Mask
    When you look into a mirror at the same time as any creature, you may steal their facade. The mirror will shatter and you will have their appearance and voice, while no one will recognise the victim by appearance or voice. The effect lasts until the victim dies or you look into an unbroken mirror.

    Even if you steal the facade of a non-humanoid creature, you will only appear to be non-humanoid. Your body doesn't change and you gain no abilities of the victim. Your clothes also don't change.

    Third Secret of the Mirror Gate
    You can walk through a mirror. This shatters the mirror and thus does not break your Taboo. An hour later, you step out of any mirror within 1 mile, or the closest mirror if none are within 1 mile. The exit mirror also shatters. You were travelling through the Mirrored Library for the hour, but you will never remember anything but a few dream-like visions.

    Ritual of the Book in Glass
    Burn rare herbs and mix them with foreign oils, then anoint a mirror with the ashes. You summon forth a reflection of a book from the Mirrored Library. You can turn pages normally and anyone can read the book in the mirror, but you cannot leave the mirror for later reading without breaking your Taboo. Every book ever written and more can be found in the Mirrored Library, but you need to know what you're looking for and the stranger and stronger the book, the more expensive the herbs and oils must be.

    New spells:

    R: 30' radius; T: [sum] creatures; D: [dice] x 2 rounds

    All affected creatures will believe anything you say, no matter how ridiculous or impossible your statements are. The targets will recover immediately after leaving the affected area, or when the spell expires.


    1. I enjoy the consistent and thematic weirdness of each patron and how the taboos and secrets fit together. It reminds me of Unknown Armies, which is always a good comparison by my book.

      Specifically I really like how Berith's taboo interacts with Blood Mercenary.

      Also a thing I wrote has wormed it's way into another person's writing. Good.

      1. Actually, this is the second spell I stole from you. The first one was Curse Flesh, used by my Iron Wizard. :)

    2. These are really really cool. I hope you do more.

      1. I'd like to. I have some half-baked ideas about more patrons, but it will probably be a while before I finish them.

        But anyone is more than welcome to think up more patrons! If you do any, send me a link and I will add it here. :)