Category Archives: random tables

Your Own…Personal…Dievas

Your own personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares
— Personal Jesus, Depeche Mode

In 7th Sea, a dievas is an ethereal, fey or demonic-like being straight out of Lithuanian folklore.  Obscenely powerful, the only way they can make mischief in the world is through the complicit actions of a petitioner: a losejas.  They is the classic crossroads demon, happy to grant you your fondest desire, but always seeking to twist it to serve their own mercurial ends.

Dievai can come in many shapes and forms.  No doubt they might come completely imagined by a player or GM.  But sometimes its fun to add an unexpected twist to the mix.  For that purpose, I offer you a collection of random tables to help generate a dievas for a storyline.  Roll on as many as you like.  The first group determine how the dievas usually appears to its losejas.  The second, its usual personality in such meetings.  The third set of tables determine what sort of conditions the dievas appears under, and what phenomena (if any) herald its arrival.  Together, they should give you plenty of room to build upon.

APPEARANCE
d10 Sex
1-2 Androgynous
3-5 Male
6-8 Female
9-0 Shifting
d10 Apparent Age
1 Childlike
2-3 Younger
4-6 Indeterminable
7-8 Older
9 Elderly
0 Shifting
d10 Unusual Feature(s)
1 Eyes
2 Face
3 Hands
4 Hair
5 Ears
6 Clothing/Dress
7 Feet
8 Limbs (Arms, Legs)
9 Skin
0 Shadow
d10 PERSONALITY
1 Innocent/Childlike
2 Seductive
3 Direct
4 Wise/Approachable
5 Aloof/Coy
6 Friendly/Benevolent
7 Melancholy
8 Annoyed/Inconvenienced
9 Quiet
0 Majestic

 

VISTATION
d10 Conditions
1-2 When Called/Summoned
3-4 Constant Companion (Harvey)
5-6 Constant Presence (Distant)
7-8 Only when alone
9-0 Unreliable (On its terms)
d10 Signals Appearance
1 Soft music
2 The tinkling of bells/chimes
3 Particular Odor (Foul or Pleasant)
4 Thunderclap
5 Temperature Change (Chill, Heat)
6 A sudden flight of birds
7 Elongated shadows
8 Children’s laughter
9 Muted Sounds/Complete silence
0 Sudden change of location
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Blood Moon

Ok, so this post is a few days short of being really timely.  But I’m going to try to make up for that in utility.  Sunday night, those of us here in the US and elsewhere got to catch a glimpse of total lunar eclipse that many have been calling a Blood Moon.  Sounds pedestrian enough.  When I saw a headline about it on a news site, I pretty much wrote it off as just that.  After all, it doesn’t take much these days for some religious (or not) group, no matter how mainstream, to associate some natural phenomenon with the end times.

So what is a “blood moon” exactly?  Its apparently a fairly contemporary construct.  According to EarthSky:

…two Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee, used the term Blood Moon to apply to the full moons of the ongoing tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015. John Hagee appears to have popularized the term in his 2013 book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change.

And so while lunar eclipses are nothing new, and not even particularly uncommon, this lunar tetrad is especially significant because of the timing of two Jewish holidays:

The April 2014 and April 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Passover. The October 2014 and September 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Tabernacles.

All this makes for an interesting witches brew of inspiration for any supernatural rpg, including Witch Hunter.  One of the first things I did when putting together my game was create a calendar of October, 1689 and beyond and included the lunar schedule.

But while the circumstances of this particular phenomenon are pretty uncommon, the whole blood red moon is just part of the package when it comes to a total lunar eclipse:

The full moon nearly always appears coppery red during a total lunar eclipse. That’s because the dispersed light from all the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets falls on the face of the moon at mid-eclipse. Thus the term blood moon can be and probably is applied to any and all total lunar eclipses.

So this morning, I stole a few moments to ponder how one might incorporate the “Blood Moon” into Witch Hunter.  You could easily transpose this

Lunar Eclipses of the 17th Century

Wikipedia has an extensive collection of data here, but unless realism is the bedrock of your game we can get plenty of mileage just out of the dates.  Here’s a list that would be relevant to the Witch Hunter rpg, with tentatively begins in the year 1689.

Total Lunar Eclipses
Year Dates
1689 Jun 16 Dec 10
1693 Jan 22 Jul 17
1696 May 16 Nov 9

Full Moons and Folklore

The whole lunar cycle is suffused with superstition and folklore.  Every full moon has a name, coinciding with the season and date.  Most of these have religious, even if only pagan, significance.  You can find a complete listing here, but assuming a Witch Hunter game set in the northern hemisphere (either Europe or the North American colonies), here is a relevant list.

Full moon names by season (Northern or Southern Hemisphere):
After the winter solstice:
January: Old Moon (Moon After Yule)
February: Snow Moon (Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon)
March: Sap Moon (Crow Moon, Lenten Moon)

After the spring equinox:
April: Grass Moon (Egg Moon)
May: Planting Moon (Milk Moon)
June: Rose Moon (Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon)

After the summer solstice:
July: Thunder Moon (Hay Moon)
August: Green Corn Moon (Grain Moon)
September: Fruit Moon (Harvest Moon)

After the autumnal equinox:
October: Harvest Moon (Hunter’s Moon)
November: Hunter’s Moon (Frosty Moon, Beaver Moon)
December: Moon Before Yule (Long Night Moon)

Supernatural Effects of a Blood Moon

Most superstitions about lunar eclipses have to do with consumption, war, and change.  Rather than make things easy on your players, when a Blood Moon comes up, roll 1d10 on the table below for a supernatural effect:

  1. Manwolves, lycanthropes, or any threat with the Mystical Limitation (Moon) Price ignores any wound penalties during the eclipse.
  2. All Witchcraft or Diabolism skill rolls receive a +4d bonus during the eclipse; the Mastery of any Diabolism or Witchcraft rite is reduced by 2.
  3. All portals into the Middle Kingdoms of the Invisible World all lead to the same location during the eclipse; this particular location may only ever be reached during a Blood Moon.
  4. Threats with the Carnivate Power receive double the usual free successes for consuming living mortals during the course of the eclipse.
  5. Anyone with a Damnation score of 5 or more who performs a sinful act during the Blood Moon becomes a helpless shell for a dameon for the remainder of the eclipse (see Daemons of Loscar, The Legion Cycle).
  6. Lycanthropy does not function. A manwolf who consumes the right dosage of wolfsbane during the eclipse is cured of the curse.
  7. All Threats gain the Weakness or Repulsion (Gongs, bells, or cacophonic noise) Price for the duration of the eclipse.
  8. All Threats (or characters) with the Contracted Soul Price are free of their infernal obligations for the duration of the eclipse.
  9. Devout and sincere prayer for no less than a full uninterrupted hour during the course of the eclipse will remove 1 point of Damnation.
  10. All players roll 1d10; on a roll of 1 or 2, the player may either exchange his or her background power for another (with GM approval) or may gain the Skilled Talent for free.
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Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night…

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
— inscription, James Farley Post Office (NYC)

Here’s a handy table to use when your players go hiring courtiers to ferry messages around town.

2d10     Result
2 It’s Complicated: Roll twice, ignore this result again.
3 Played for Fools! The message courier is actually in league with enemies of the PCs or recipient. The message is altered to suit the whims and designs of these enemies.
4 Intercepted! The message never makes it to the intended recipient; it has been intercepted by enemies of the PCs or the recipient.
5 Bad Choice: The courier hired to deliver the message is completely unreliable. Hours later, he is found drunk in a local tavern and has lost the message. Roll again and reduce the result by half (a roll of 10 would be 5, etc.),
6 Waylaid: The message courier is waylaid by an agent unrelated to the messaging parties. It does not reach the intended recipient.
7 Blocked: An event or problem prevents the message from ever reaching the recipient.
8 Mystery: The message reaches the recipient with no complications. An unrelated third party has somehow learned the contents of the message through secret means and uses that information to further its own agenda.
9–10 Delay: A unexpected problem arises; the message takes twice as long as expected to reach the intended recipient.
11–12 Issues: An unexpected complication delays delivery of the message, which arrives slightly later than expected.
13–14 Business as Usual: The message is delivered in the expected manner.
15–16 Good Time: The message reaches the recipient earlier than expected.
17 Excellent Time: The message reaches the recipient considerably earlier than expected.
18 Intercepted! The message makes it to the intended recipient but is intercepted along the way by enemies of either the PCs or the recipient, who now know the contents of the message.
19 Surprise: The message is delivered but the response is not what is expected.
20 Unknown/Unexpected Ally: Someone unknown to both parties is somehow aware of the message contents and acts in a way that benefits both the PCs and the recipient.