Thursday, April 25, 2019

20 Warrior-Cult Gimmicks

[1] Homosexuals
They're all gay. Women are weak, and having sex with a woman just makes you weaker. Children are (forcefully) adopted or raised through surrogates of subjugated peoples. As most warriors are lovers, they often fight in pairs and get +1 morale. They also have a 50% chance to fly into a berserk rage when their lover dies, giving the warrior a -2 to AC but +2 to hit and damage and being unable to flee for 3 rounds.

[2] The Bloodless
These warriors bleed themselves dry before each battle, making themselves very lightheaded and meaning their wounds do not bleed during combat. They cannot be harmed by bleeding spells and take -2 damage from sharp weapons, but messing up the pre-battle ritual means that they won't be protected by the bloodletting and will die from it before stepping foot on the battlefield instead.

[3] Animal Companions
Each warrior has a spirit animal that they must raise from birth into becoming a combat companion. Animals that aren't that useful for a direct fight are still raised up and used somehow. Leadership of this cult doesn't believe in any of this, just assigns humiliating animals to people they don't like.

Warrior Cultist Animal Companion Table – 1d6
[1] Wolf.
[2] Horse. Metal spikes on withers and uses hooves to fight. Would be dishonorable to ride.
[3] Pig. Covered in metal plates, has AC 18. No attack, but redirects 1 in 4 attacks to itself.
[4] Crow. Picks locks.
[5] Cougar.
[6] Scorpion. The scorpion is not tamed, stings owner all the time. Owner has +4 to saves vs poisons.

[4] Shield-Bearers
Don't use weapons, just shields. Have special training letting them reflecting magical or supernatural attacks, like dragon breath and some spells. Most shields are also bladed, act as mercenaries that protect and strengthen other armies.

[5] Murderous
To ascend in the organization is to kill your master above you. While very good at what they do, also very competitive and 1 in 6 chance any given mission someone betrays someone else to gain status. Warriors of this cult get +2 to stealth rolls due to assassination training.

[6] Amputees
As a ritual upon induction, these cultists isolate all the pain and weaknesses of the warrior's body into one limb, before cutting it off. Treat their strength modifiers to grappling, to-hit, and damage bonuses as +2, but they have a wooden leg slowing speed by 25% OR making them unable to equip two weapons, a shield, or a large two-handed weapon from their missing hand.

[7] Refined Killers
These warriors are very conscious of fashion, etiquette, and the high life. After killing a few enemies they may strip down into a bloody silk garment to drink fruity drinks and discuss local theater. Their reputation is only very slightly better then other warrior cults for this reason.

[8] Flower Dancers
These warriors do not engage in killing very much. Most of their engagements are meant to be showboating, displays of force, threats and taunts, throwing spears at each other and taking captives for ransoming and so on. If a foe breaks this rule or draws blood of one of their own however they will return the favor with brutal efficiency.

[9] Demon Tutors
These warriors learn their combat prowess and secret blade arts from demons. Carefully summoned and contracted to teach, the cultists respect and fear as much as they worship and serve the demons that they summon. Most cult-like of all warrior cults, needing actual human sacrifices to to whet the demonic whetstones. The leader of the cult is transforming into a half demon, with a single cracked horn growing out of his skull that has become impossible to hide and forced him into isolation.

[10] Tempest Chains
These warriors temper their flesh and minds by subjecting themselves to torture; they are tied with metal chains in a tall tower during storms. The lightning strikes them through magically enchanted chain; keeping the blast of energy from being lethal but still quite potent and subjecting them to the power of the tempest. They become nearly immune to pain and take -2 damage from all lightning based spells and attacks, as well as gaining +1 passive AC

[11] The Bridgemen
These warriors act as guards and mercenaries for palaces, almost always in a defensive role. They believe that in the afterlife they must defend the bridge to paradise from the hoards of demons, sinners, and otherworldly creatures that constantly try to slip in. They fight defensively and have +2 AC on rounds where they don't attack. Additionally, if they stand their ground with a wide stance on a stone surface; they cannot be moved or shoved from their position, even with magic, as they are anchored to the everlasting stones.

[12] Luck-Hunters
These warriors can smell the “luck” in some people. Anyone who has narrowly avoided a natural disaster, come from a bad background and yet succeeded, or player characters who have made several successful saving throws in a row. The warriors want to steal their luck, and will try their best to knock them out and carry them to a remote location. There, the person is tied down and given weakening drugs to make them unable to resist as the warriors perform surgery; the 'luck' of a person is pulled out of their neck as a tiny green stone, which radiates with lucky energy. The more lucky the person is, the brighter it glows. The person is then given more knockout drugs, hopefully to make them forget, and dumped back where they were found as discretely as possible. While the warriors are skilled at cutting flesh, there is still a chance of death or injury- 2 in 6 plus Con modifier of affected character's chance to die from the surgery.

Once the luck is extracted, the Luck-Hunters keep it in their safehouses for storage and create draughts of luck and fortune. If they are expecting a fight, they'll quickly drink a small bottle and gain advantage on all saving throws, attack rolls, and enemies get disadvantage on attacks rolls versus them for one exploration turn. Drinking a large bottle, or multiple bottles at once, lead to incredible feats and coincidences of luck and happenstance; very likely they are to stumble across a lost treasure or be completely ignored by anything dangerous nearby, or even trip and accidentally kill an infamous monster and be both praised and rewarded for it. Bottles of extracted luck sell for high prices in the underground markets. For this reason, the leader of the cult is essentially impossible to catch, as their luck is so great that heaven and earth move to give them an escape.

[13] Herb-Sniffers
These warriors cultivate special flowers and herbs in their hidden rooftop gardens, different shingles mark what herb is grown underneath. These grant power to whoever smells them in the form of smelling salts & scents that send the user into a powerful battle trance. Due to this practice, the warriors of the clan have very sensitive noses and will be stunned for a combat round if presented with an unpleasant smell, or stunned for 1d4 rounds if accosted with a very unpleasant smell.

Beyond smelling herbs, the Herb-Sniffers are also skilled horticulturalists. Any warrior that has defeated them in honorable combat is allowed to buy secret medicines from their shop. Among this are healing roots, training-enhancers, and cures for erectile dysfunction.

[14] Ancient Clan
This warrior cult comes from a very long line of martial artists, who practiced the art of killing long before weapons were invented. Their open palm counts as an extra attack so they rarely use shields; deals 1d4+1 damage on a hit with a hand jab, as they go for eyes and throats. Additionally, this warrior cult has several secret magical weapons and tools at their disposal, as well as an animated stone lion that only awakens when their sacred clan grounds are under attack by retaliating groups of warriors who fight against them.

[15] Twine Spinners
These warriors specialize in assassinations and urban combat. They tie packages with twine in special knots to warn of an incoming attack or to mark a target for death; they use couriers in cities to send these messages while none the wiser. Each of them carry a small length of twine they tie around a slain target's finger, which is their calling card. The leader has specialized weapons and armor made with the twine of the elves, called Glint, which gives him protection from magic and supernatural stealth.

[16] The Seamen
Born on boats and floating cities in the oceans of the world; these cultists are never allowed to set foot on land. In return for this spiritual contract, they are said to have incredible powers over the sea and connection to nature. All of them can trace their lineage to mermaids.

They can tell when a storm is coming, sharks and leviathans treat the fighter as an ocean predator on their own, and they may be able to swim and jump from the water as powerfully as a dolphin in human guise. Fight with a mixture of spears, cords, nets, and weights- drowning foes is as effective as any other method. If you toss a handful of dirt at one, they make a morale check.

[17] “No-Swords” Gang
They hate swords. They hate swords, they hate how common magic swords are, they hate how swords are the most famous and well regarded weapons. They don't use swords, all of their members use other weapons. They use spears, maces, axes, flails; anything but a sword. They also have several enchanters creating magical weapons for them to use, since magic swords are so common, so many of their crew have +1 magic weapons or a magic weapon with a small magic trick. Also, all their members are skilled at parrying and defeating those wielding their most hated weapons; these cultists get +2 AC versus enemies using swords. They also have a vault of captured magic swords at their headquarters featuring swords too valuable or difficult to destroy or dispose of.

[18] Defacers & Book Burners
This cult despises all written word; language should never be imprisoned in a piece of paper. Their belief is so strong it borders on fanaticism, if they know someone is literate they will mock them and call them a dyslexic, a forgetful oaf who needs to write everything down to remember it, will be wary of any payments given, as they may believe the persons' arithmetic is sorcerous to gain them more gold then they deserve; like compound interest. Naturally, they hate Wizards.

This cult also has a unique power; around them is an aura of illiteracy. It scrambles text and written words on spell scrolls and spell books as well as signs- though many can still be understood due to the small number of combinations the letters can jumble to (it's not hard to get that the sign that says “pbu” is the “Pub”), and symbols on many objects may not jumble. Very abstract text, such as words worked into a glyph shape or initials on a forged piece of equipment, may not jumble at all. If you try to use a scroll or read a page from a book or spellbook while the aura is active, it takes you twice as long.

[19] Brickers
These fort and castle building & defending warriors see secrets and power within the unchanging walls of stone castles and forts. They gain +2 AC when fighting with their back to a wall, and can also run on walls for 10 ft, letting them cross over gaps and floor traps. Many people warn against being taken captive by them, as the brickers have an infamous rumor of killing people by sealing them inside a wall and letting them starve. The cult has done this in the past to power certain rituals, and may need fresh corpses to plaster into their fortress soon.

[20] Engima Cult
Every member of this cult has only one thing in a common, a vertical scar on their left wrist, intersected with a diagonal line. Almost everything else about them is different. They all have different fighting styles. Many have magic powers or summoned creatures at their side. They all have different taboos, with some forgoing meat while others cannot speak unless they give the listener a clay coin out of respect. With almost no seeming connection between them, they operate in cells and don't allow outsiders to understand or know their group's goals, but they do move towards a singular purpose.

Whenever you roll an Enigma cultist, there is a 1 in 20 chance they are a lieutenant and have a piece of paper with both the names of 5 other members and a minor objective, or clue to the mastermind of the whole operation.

1 comment:

  1. I.. Don’t know how to feel about this?

    Balance out the gonzo with straight ahead interesting and even beautiful concepts or else it comes off as, Well, frankly- A little Gauche?

    Top one as an example; Gay warrior dudes? Can totally pull it off- That’s their only thing? Ehhhhhhh.. Kinda strange pawning off a sexuality as a cult gimmick? Like- maybe instead they are a Monogender race that are all Andromorphic in presentation and have passionate libidos or something

    Also the forced adoption thing runs into some troubling stereotypes about Gay parenting but I won’t go into it

    Otherwise- Good stuff, needs a TLC is all.