Sunday, December 29, 2019

Sacrifice in the Perilous Realms

Characters sacrifice consumable goods to gods and demons. Characters specify a particular recipient of sacrifice. Characters must find a suitable altar - usually at the temple of the given entity, duly offered by recognized priests consecrated to the entity. Best to sacrifice on an auspicious occasion.

Consumable goods include vegetable (resin, incense, oil, wine, grain), animal, monster and sentient beings.

Sentient beings:
Fell beings equal XP earned in a kill.
Fay beings and lawful monsters equal 1K XP per HD.
Human beings equal 2K XP per HD.
Double the above for each of the following conditions:
  • Young
  • Female
  • Innocent
  • Willing
Multiple creatures can be sacrificed over the course of the same festival.

Most auspicious: cross-quarters +2
  • Candlemas/Imbolc, February 2
  • May-Day/Beltane, May 1
  • Lammas, August 2
  • Samhain, November 1
Auspicious: quarters +1
  • Yule, December 22
  • Liberalia/Hilaria, March 22
  • Midsummer/Litha, June 22
  • Harvest-Home/Mabon, September 22
Least auspicious: full (night of the 14th) and new moons (day of the 1st)
Inauspicious: all other times -1

Entity finds sacrifice acceptable on a reaction check. Apply modifiers based upon how auspicious the occasion is (above). Apply suppliant’s charisma modifiers. Offerings particularly abominable or favorable to the entity may modify as well. Table:

2-3    Curse
4-5    Enmity (-1 to future sacrifices)
6-8    No answer
9-10    Acceptance
11+    Favor (+1 to future sacrifices)

Sacrifice grants XP = value of sacrifice in gp.
  • Instead of XP, sacrifice may grant:
  • Magic item
  • Knowledge (divination)
  • Ethereal servant
  • Undead servant
  • Monster servant
Magic item equivalent to gp value of XP. Only grants items within entity’s realm of authority.
Divination like “commune.” Clerics receive additional questions: 9-10: 1, 11+: 2.
Servants have 1HD per 1Kgp value of sacrifice, not to exceed 16HD. Servants obey for a year and a day.

Sacrificing to an entity moves a character one alignment closer to that of the entity per sacrifice. So, a lawful character who sacrifices to a chaotic entity becomes neutral. A second such sacrifice would make that neutral character chaotic. Etc.
Any blood sacrifice on the part of a baptized member of the church of law makes that character chaotic, regardless of whether or not the entity is lawful.
Any blood sacrifice on the part of a lawful cleric renders the character chaotic and the character looses clerical powers until restored by repentance through the fulfillment of a quest or until received by a chaotic order.


These rules explain how certain magic users and clerics gain in life-energy without much adventure. It also explains the source of many magic items and magical powers where magic-users are not present.

The above is inspired by Courtney Campbell's On Down Time & Demesnes. Thank you, Courtney!