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Stuff I've Done with Badgers [Realms of Pugmire]

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  • Stuff I've Done with Badgers [Realms of Pugmire]

    To be clear at the outset, this is only about the choices I've made as a Guide to expand on badgers in ways that emphasize & foil particular themes in my personal chronicle, on the off-chance that it's interesting to other fans. I'd likewise be interested in any other depictions of badgers the community has or will use in their games.

    In my personal chronicle, the disappearance of Man was somewhat more recent than canonical assumptions, and post-apocalyptic exploration is a more strongly emphasized theme. In addition, my player characters are very much invested in 'talk to dire enemies, learn everything, try to be friends'. So I've had to flesh out badger culture a bit more, and have come up with some interesting contrasts and lore bits that have gone over well in my game.


    Lore: War Against the Gods
    In my depiction of Badgers, they regard any sufficiently powerful entity as some type of god: unseen, monsters created by Man, forces of nature, perhaps even sufficiently powerful spell-casters. And the badgers are at war with all of their gods. Such beings are thought to be malevolent, or at least destructively indifferent, and contribute in some way to suffering. As such, they'll develop rituals to appease and rebuke the local gods, and seek to destroy them whenever possible.
    Those who actually succeed claim some measure of the gods' power for the tribe, and are elevated to War Chiefs of sufficient renown to unite several clans. [In my chronicle, Kibu the Red is the most recent badger to have slain a god (a Storm Dragon).] War Chiefs protect their tribe from the curse of magic, to some extent, so may claim relics or powers from the god they destroyed as a privilege of conquest. However, this protection dies with them, so the tribe will immediately abandon or destroy any magics if their chief falls.

    Lore: the First Uplifted
    In their oral histories, the badgers have their own legends of Man, the fall, and the creation of uplifted - although these are not core parts of their culture; these are more like preserved tidbits which reinforce their antagonism with other species. Storytellers and shamans know the legends, and may spread them or use them to justify a particular course of action, but most Badger only think about their living family, and don't need ideological reasons to take what they want.

    In their version of the legends, Badgers were Uplifted first - unwilling and imperfect. They broke free from Man's control and returned to the Wilderness, seeking to reclaim harmony with nature. They don't have a clear understanding of what being 'uplifted' means, though, believing that any useful qualities naturally belong to them, and blaming the Ancients for curses like fear, anxiety, and the temptation of magic.

    They consider Rats and Mice to be the second Uplifted, and call them 'sacrifices' to humanity's dark magics. Legends tell that ancient badgers went to war to free Rats from serving Man - and were obviously successful.
    They refer to Cats and Dogs collectively as the third-born, or the 'innocent'. They were Man's favorites, and so received the highest blessings, but were kept ignorant. In the ages after humanity vanished, Badgers welcomed the naive and abandoned third-born into their Tribes, and taught them how to survive in the Wilds. But Cats and Dogs betrayed them, choosing instead to study Man's cursed magic and imitate their fallen cities.
    [In my chronicle, Badgers have no stories about Lizards or Birds.]

    Lore: Humanity's Curse
    The Badgers think the world is cursed through the actions of Man (possibly deliberate, possibly by accident), and that magic, masterworks, and even 'civilized kingdoms' perpetuate their curse, and cause suffering throughout the world. There's a good chance this is related to the way the Unseen are drawn to ruins and dense populations, and wreck havoc. As such, Badgers will destroy anything of Ancient craft, and are in perpetual conflict with the civilizations of Cats and Dogs. According to their mystics (which again, isn't a strong motive for most badgers), using magic is a blasphemy; there may have even been a war chief or two that rallied tribes to "save" Cats and Dogs from their cursed civilization, and force them to return to nature. But these movements don't last any longer than their leaders.

    Lore: Harmony is in Nature
    Badgers respect the natural world - although there are very blurry lines around what's "natural" and what's a malevolent god. But, in large part, their conception of nature revolves around instincts, scavenging, and family bonds. Violent competition is a core part of the natural world, and they have no objection to being the best predators they can. They even accept crafting and using tools (although a few tribes may eschew this), and a few shamans even distill potions from plants and animals that many would consider magic. What counts as "nature" is probably a spiritual matter decided by each tribe.
    One common belief, though, is that badgers think they are immune to possession by the Unseen, and that demons have no interest (or no power) in their villages, as a result of living in harmony with nature. But this probably does not get tested very often.

    New Tricks: (designed for CR 8 antagonists)
    • Impale: when a Badger hunter successfully attacks a target with their spear, the target must make a Strength Save (with a difficulty equal to 8 + the badger's Strength and Proficiency bonus); on a failure, the target is impaled and stuck to a nearby surface, and becomes Restrained. The Badger loses the weapon. The spear can be removed as an action, by making a Strength Save at Difficulty 15.
    • Pass Without a Trace: in the wilderness, Badger hunters gain Advantage on Stealth checks, and do not leave any signs of passing which can be tracked.
    • Dispel Magic: Shamans mix a powder using intense herbs and spices that, when inhaled, disrupts concentration. Pouches of this spice are typically tossed at the faces of magic users by making a thrown weapon attack (finesse, range 15/30), or by releasing a cloud to affect all targets within Touch range (5'). If a spell-caster is in the area of effect, the shaman rolls a Spell Attack, with a Difficulty equal to 10 + the level of an active spell, ending the spell effect if successful. Only spells that require concentration may be dispelled like this, and only by targeting the spell-caster (not the target of the spell). One use per Scene.
    • Nettle Oil: As a Bonus Action, apply a stinging oil to the weapon of any ally, granting +1d8 poison damage to their next attack.
    • War Paint: shamans may create a paint from exotic plants that temporary enhances a target's focus, pain tolerance, or anger, as per the "Aid" spell. Up to 3 targets per dose may benefit from the war paint, gaining Advantage on ability checks with one Ability (must be the same for all targets) for 1 hour, and gaining 12 temporary Stamina. Each shaman may apply one dose per scene.
    • Wounding Salve: Badgers shamans can create a deadly oil from certain exotic plants. When applied to a weapon, it prevents a victim from healing, any strike causing profuse bleeding. After any successful attack, that target suffers 1D4 poison damage at the end of every turn, and can no longer recover Stamina with any Trick, Spell, or Masterwork, until they have taken a Rest. This effect can be removed with Lesser Restoration. A shaman applies this to any ally's weapon as a Bonus Action; the effect lasts for the rest of the scene.
    • Sacred Chamber [Lair effect]: in holy places and dueling circles, Badger shamans will often cultivate mushrooms which release hallucinogenic spores when disturbed. In such a location, a shaman may release spores as an Action, inflicting their foes with nausea and distorted vision. All enemies act as though their targets benefit from the "Mirror Image" spell. At the end of each turn, an affected character may make a Constitution Save (Difficulty 17) to end the effect; it may also be removed with Lesser Restoration or a Rest. Characters trained in Know Nature may recognize the mushroom and its spore effects (Difficulty 20), and may choose to avoid the area; however, the effect spreads through the entire space once activated. Badgers allied to the shaman are assumed to have already taken an antidote or built up an immunity to the specific strain.
    • Blood Frenzy (wolverine tribe): gain Advantage on any melee attack made against a target who has less than full Stamina.
    • Disarm (weasel tribe): after a successful attack, the target must make a Constitution Save (Difficulty 15), dropping any held items on a failure. A character can only be targeted by this once per scene, from any attacker.
    • Pack Tactics (otter tribe): once per turn, if you are within Touch range of an ally, add +2d6 to a damage roll.
    • Pursuit (possum tribe): if you succeed on an Attack of Opportunity, either prevent the target from continuing to move, or move with them to stay within Touch range.
    New Masterwork: Storm Dragon's Pelt
    After slaying this god, the War Chief claimed its head and hide, taking little-to-no effort to clean or treat the material, even leaving its skull and heart intact. The light blue and cloudy gray scales of the pelt glow in an intricate pattern when it's targeted by magic.
    While wearing the hide, the user gains Advantage on any roll to resist a spell (except for Charm effects, or lightning), but gains Weakness to Lightning (which is conducted easily through the hide).
    Once per scene, the user may activate Lightning Breath from the dragon's head, dealing 10D10 lightning damage in a 100' line (targets may roll a Dexterity Save at Difficulty 16, taking 1/2 damage on a success). If the user is targeted by a spell, Lightning Breath recharges and may be used an additional time.
    Unfortunately the dragon's heart emits fel corruption, causing 1 level of Exhaustion each Scene it is worn, which may only be removed by Greater Restoration or a unique masterwork.
    Last edited by Seraph Kitty; 07-27-2021, 03:24 AM.

    Second Chance for
    A Beautiful Madness

  • #2
    Seraph Kitty great job! I may still some lore tidbits from yours to mine games, especially as on next session we have Cats talking with Badgers tribe.

    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
    LGBT+ through Ages
    LGBT+ in CoD games