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Lodge of Death (2E Conversion)

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  • Lodge of Death (2E Conversion)

    ASH WOLVES, BARGHESTS, PALE HOUNDS

    Those of the Lodge of Death feel that the greatest mystery lies not in the howls of the Cahalith or some pocket of the Shadow, but in the inevitability of the grave. What lies beyond the veil of death is a question that humans and werewolves alike have tried to answer — unsuccessfully — for thousands of years. All humans have to go on is faith in a few dubious stories of tunnels of light, but the Uratha have the testimony of the spirits. This doesn’t help as much as they’d like, however.

    The Lodge of Death hunt ghosts, the undead, and those who would live beyond their allotted time. All things must die, adherents say, and those who cannot (or will not) pass on inevitably bring imbalance should they linger too long. Barghests therefore take it upon themselves to track down such restless shades and send them off to what lies beyond.

    Many adherents flock to the Lodge out of sheer morbid curiosity. They want to know death, to better understand their own time among the living and make the most of it, and to know what their own funerals might look like. Others have lost relatives and wish to know that they have passed safely on, or wish to pick their brains for knowledge thought gone forever. Some even join after they lost family, lovers or friends. They wish to find them and ensure that they are safe, or are otherwise put to rest. Still, others regard death as the ultimate test of mettle and courage — a werewolf who does not fear her own death is a truly dangerous foe.

    Not all members of the Lodge of Death entered its ranks with benign goals, however. Ghosts cannot, as far as most werewolves know, be bound into fetishes or affected by most rites. What’s more, human ghosts exist in a state of Twilight, similar to a spirit that has crossed the Gauntlet and found a source of Essence to sustain itself. Werewolves of the Lodge of Death wonder how such ghosts maintain themselves, since they don’t seem to gain Essence the same way natural spirits do, and wonder if Uratha could learn to take spiritual sustenance in the same way.

    As a Tribal Pillar of the Bone Shadows, it is no surprise that the bulk of the Lodge is comprised of Hirfarhra Hissu. Many Iron Masters can be found in a number of schisms, though, as they inevitably face ghosts, vampires, and other forms of walking dead while mingling with the human herd. One schism recruits from the Suthar Anzuth, training its members on how to fight those of their kind that have been twisted by the power of death. Ghost-Claimed Su'ur and the fabled Styx Hounds are the prey these Blood Talons favor the most.

    Members of the Lodge of Death approach their work in different ways. Some spend their time conversing with ghosts, searching out haunts and trying to find ways to follow ghosts into whatever rewards await. Other members search the Hisil for places associated with death, speaking with conceptual-spirits of murder, starvation, disease and other methods of demise. A few take a darker course, though. Death is regarded as pivotal, even sacred, and they would seek to observe (or even bring it about) whenever the opportunity presents itself. Hence, there have been many instances of one dying with a Pale Hound as a witness, whose eyes are the last thing he sees as they look for answers in his last breath.


    TOTEM: HITHELAL-US, THE ASHES OF THE DEAD
    This spirit is invisible most of the time, though it always appears through the smoke of a funeral pyre. When revealed, it is a black smoldering figure shrouded from head to toe by a thick cloud of ash and soot. Its eyes burn fiercely, pulsing like hot coals in a dying fire.

    Hithelal-Us is an ancient death spirit. In fact, it is thought to be one of several such spirits formed when Father Wolf died. While many of its fellows howled and raged at their existence, the spirit that would come to be patron of the Ash Wolves was quiet and full of wonder. After all, it awoke to a world newly changed. It witnessed the time of great sorrow that befell the People, and it also watched as an ancient culture that had looked to circles of wise souls for guidance gradually erode in those dark years.

    However, the spirit would see such losses as more than an end. It saw how they were one half to a crucial cycle in the worlds, and understood that Urfarah's demise was perhaps a necessary one for them world to grow further. It saw old tales and lost secrets fading slowly from memory, waiting to be borne once more to impart the lessons they bear.

    Hithelal-Us doesn’t speak to its adherents often, but it typically appears whenever one dies and is cremated. In such events, the spirit manifests from within the pyre to remind the surviving werewolves of their mission: to understand the mysteries of death in order to comprehend the true meaning of life. Sometimes, it has been known to commune with a dead adherent's pack members to offer some parting words on their behalf.


    BOND

    Blessing: The Lodge member does not suffer Breaking Points from extended stays in the Underworld. Furthermore, when he spends a Willpower point, he gains an additional +1 bonus to either a roll made to deal with the dead, or to a Resistance trait against an undead being's supernatural powers.

    Aspiration: To understand death.

    Ban: The Lodge member cannot reveal how and when she is meant to die.


    SACRED HUNT
    The Lodge Sacred Hunt allows your character to instinctively distinguish the living from the dead. This uses mechanics similar to those for Morbid Reality (Geist: The Sin-Eaters, p. 177), and also allows her to determine her prey's Rank or effective Primal Urge. If the werewolf is hunting ghosts, he may apply the benefits of Honorary Rank towards them.


    TOOLS
    Lodge members may purchase the Lodge Armory, Lodge Lorehouse, and Lodge Sorcery Merits, and may choose Sorcery Influences from Death, Smoke, and Ashes.

    Shadowed Hunt (•••, Wolf Rite)
    This rite allows a pack member to open a gateway into the Underworld. While the rite isn’t the special province of any one tribe or lodge, the Lodge of Death is the only one that uses it with any regularity. The rite is so named because of the way many werewolves feel about hunting already-dead prey; it’s an uncomfortable, murky practice, tantamount to admitting that the job wasn’t done right the first time. Sometimes, though, it’s necessary, and the rite can only be performed at an Avernian Gate, or at a locus with an appropriately death-like resonance.

    Symbols: Blood, Crossing, Death, Water

    Sample Rite: The ritemaster stands before the gate or locus, and makes an offering to Death Wolf. This offering must involve a living sacrifice, but any living creature, even a mouse, will do. The werewolf then draws the First Tongue sigils for “death” and “crossing” in the victim’s blood, and sits in silence until the gate opens. (Intelligence + Occult)

    Action: Extended (20 successes needed; each roll requires one minute)
    Duration: Special (See Below)

    Success: A gateway opens to the Underworld. It remains open for one hour per dot of the ritemaster’s Primal Urge, and admit anyone who crosses it unless preventative measures are put in place. Furthermore, any supernatural power used to close the passage must succeed in a Clash of Wills. The rite can also be used to return to the world of the living. However, it must be done in the Upper Reaches and within the vicinity of a closed Avernian Gate. Werewolves whose Harmony begins sliding towards their spirit half therefore must act quickly to reach a suitable site before they turn into Styx Hounds.


    TALES OF THE PALE HUNT

    * Everything has its time, and not even Urfarah was exempt from this. It is hardly surprising, then, that the Pale Hounds view the Anshega Cult of Bones with contempt. The Gravediggers' goal of reviving Wolf is sacrilegious to the Pale Hounds' teachings, and their hunting of the Forsaken's ancestral spirits further incites their fury. That the Cult has found and allegedly experimented with the corpses of ancients best left alone is another nail in their coffin, and the Lodge of Death routinely declares Siskur-Dah to purge such atrocities.

    * It is often rumored that the Lodge of Death has carved out a place for itself in the Underworld, where adherents spend much time hunting obscure prey or learning strange occult lore. Most of these werewolves are lone pilgrims, making the perilous journey to the Lodge's domain in the wake of a great loss. Others sojourn to the Great Below after their last ties to the world of the living finally passed on.

    * Upon initiation, a Barghest is told in hushed whispers the details of her own death by the Lodge's Totem. Most understand from then on they are powerless to stop it, but there have been many who sought to flee or fight against their fates. A few even dare to break the Ban itself, though they almost always meet their end as Hithelal-Us incinerates them in clouds of black fire and ash.

    * The Lodge of Death collects bottled ghosts, assembling echoing vaults of incarcerated dead for questioning or experimentation. These whisper galleries are hidden and guarded in the most remote places, with the largest ones secluded deep in the Shadow. And many of the ghosts enshrined within are hundred of years old, with some warped from either imbibing the waters of cthonic rivers or taking up masks which embody a given aspect of death.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 04-29-2018, 07:14 AM.


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  • #2
    Hithelal-Us, The Ashes of the Dead
    Rank: 5 (Dihir)
    Type: Spirit
    Attributes: Power 10, Finesse 13, Resistance 15
    Influences: Death 4, Smoke 3, Ashes 3
    Manifestations: Avernian Gateway, Materialize, Possess, Reaching, Shadow Gateway, Twilight Form
    Numina: Awe, Drain, Essence Thief, Fate Sense, Firestarter, Omen Trance, Price of Power, Innocuous, Seek, Sign

    Size: 6
    Corpus: 21
    Essence: 50
    Willpower: 10
    Defense: 10
    Initiative: 28
    Speed: 28

    Ban: The spirit can only Materialize in the smoke and ashes of a funeral pyre. Furthermore, it cannot reveal a character's Fate unless they demonstrate their willingness to face death.
    Bane:

    Lodge Totem: The Ashes of the Dead has two extra Influence dots and gains 10 points of Essence each day.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 04-28-2018, 08:41 PM.


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    • #3
      2E CONVERSION: BOOK OF THE DEAD

      Harmony
      Separated from the Shadow, Uratha grow steadily uneasy in the Underworld. Sooner or later, this distance wears on them. A Forsaken werewolf can spend a number of days in the Underworld equal to twice of Harmony. After that, he suffers a Breaking Point towards Spirit. If the roll fails and the werewolf loses a dot of Harmony, the clock “resets,” and the werewolf has days equal to twice his new Harmony score before he risks degeneration again. If he succeeds, he only has a single day before he runs this risk.

      If a werewolf’s Harmony drops below 5 while he is still in the Underworld, then any attempt to leave requires succeeding on a Breaking Point towards Spirit with a cumulative -1 penalty per dot below Harmony 5 as the werewolf's spiritual half becomes attuned to the realm. On a failure, he is unable to leave in addition to losing a dot of Harmony. If the werewolf loses his last dot of Harmony while in the Underworld, he is irrecovably transformed into a Styx Hound. This transition gives rise to the rumors that some of the more fearsome Kerberoi were never ghosts, but werewolves who had the misfortune of being trapped in the Dead Dominions.

      The Pure are not exempt from this danger, and the spiritual scar stemming from the loss of one's Auspice only quickens this process. One of the Anshega can spend a number of days equal to his Harmony before he takes a Breaking Point.


      Laws
      Unless a Dominion has Laws that specifically mention werewolves, they count as human beings for the purposes of infractions.


      Rites
      Rites that involve summoning spirits or direct spiritual involvement suffer a -5 penalty and add five successes to the target number. Calling spirits to the Underworld is difficult. Calling Lunes to the Underworld is impossible, and any rite that involves doing so automatically fails.


      Totems
      Pack totems can accompany werewolves into the Underworld, and provide their normal benefits (Lunes cannot, but werewolves don’t take Lunes as pack totems anyway). The totem becomes solid as soon as it enters the Underworld, and remains so for the duration of the journey. If a totem is “killed” in the Underworld, it discorporates, and cannot reform until the pack has returned to the living world or died.
      Last edited by Deionscribe; 07-28-2016, 10:48 AM.


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      • #4
        Well, I tried my hand at doing a short write-up for one of the Tribal Pillars besides the Lodge of Garm. However, I am pretty sure this is going to be subject of much critiquing and revising over the coming days. As usual, all ideas and suggestions you can give for polishing the conversion are welcome.

        The Styx Hounds belong to NeoTiamat and Isabella/TinkerMoth. On a semi-related note, I might consider taking a stab at giving a rules write-up for Styx Hounds similar to what was done for the Su'ur (in the Rockies supplement).
        Last edited by Deionscribe; 07-28-2016, 10:55 AM.


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        • #5
          The Blessing of not suffering Breaking Points from extended forays into the Underworld is solid, and probably give them a bonus of +5 when spending willpower on rolls to deal with the dead instead of +3. I'd remove the immunity to fear effect because they aren't focused on it like the Lodge of the Screaming Moon is.

          The Aspiration is on point.

          For the Bane I'd suggest something weirdly thematic. Like requiring a life be taken for every secret gained from the dead. This is left up to interpretation so any living critter would do, but I figure some could view it has commiserating in equal terms. Small animals for small secrets, up to mass murder for ancient lost truths.

          For the Sacred Hunt I'd go with what you have with being able to spot undead on sight, but also having your Honorary Spirit Rank count as Honorary Ghost Rank against the Prey.

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          • #6
            Funnily enough, the Lodge of Death was the first Lodge I actually wrote up when putting together the new Lodge rules for The Pack. They got cut for the Garmir in the end, though, as I only had space for one Tribal pillar and I wanted the Eaters of the Dead in too; I felt there'd be too much overlap if both Eaters and Lodge were there. It's one of the reasons the Lodge of Death get mentioned so much in the first part of the Lodges section, because I had their details to hand.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Monghani View Post
              The Blessing of not suffering Breaking Points from extended forays into the Underworld is solid, and probably give them a bonus of +5 when spending willpower on rolls to deal with the dead instead of +3. I'd remove the immunity to fear effect because they aren't focused on it like the Lodge of the Screaming Moon is.

              The Aspiration is on point.

              For the Bane I'd suggest something weirdly thematic. Like requiring a life be taken for every secret gained from the dead. This is left up to interpretation so any living critter would do, but I figure some could view it has commiserating in equal terms. Small animals for small secrets, up to mass murder for ancient lost truths.

              For the Sacred Hunt I'd go with what you have with being able to spot undead on sight, but also having your Honorary Spirit Rank count as Honorary Ghost Rank against the Prey.
              Added that Willpower boost you suggested in place of the fear immunity. As for the Ban, I think the one you propose might be a bit too demanding? I'll file it away for future reference, though. Maybe even reskin it as the basis for a Lodge Rite.

              As for whether or not I should have the Sacred Hunt apply the werewolf's Honorary Spirit Rank to ghosts, I'm unsure. Admittedly, I was thinking of giving it as an aspect of the Blessing, but I reasoned it was a bit too powerful, given how most ghosts that aren't in the Underworld are Rank 1-2.


              Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
              Funnily enough, the Lodge of Death was the first Lodge I actually wrote up when putting together the new Lodge rules for The Pack. They got cut for the Garmir in the end, though, as I only had space for one Tribal pillar and I wanted the Eaters of the Dead in too; I felt there'd be too much overlap if both Eaters and Lodge were there. It's one of the reasons the Lodge of Death get mentioned so much in the first part of the Lodges section, because I had their details to hand.
              Hmm. Do you happen to still have that write-up? I'm interested to see what you thought up.


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              • #8
                Aside from adding this thing to my Homebrew Hub, I definitely need to add more to the section for the Totem as well as expand on the section for Werewolves in the Underworld.

                Thankfully, I got a simple conversion for the Shadowed Hunt Rite in Book of the Dead. It'll be posted when I get home.

                On a semi-related note, would it be a Wolf or Pack Rite?


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                • #9
                  Inclined to go Wolf, but if you think it leverages Pack bonds and doesn't need an Essence cost, go Pack.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                    Inclined to go Wolf, but if you think it leverages Pack bonds and doesn't need an Essence cost, go Pack.
                    Wolf Rite, then.


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                    • #11
                      I've updated the Totem section with more content. If any of you guys have read the Cult of Bones writeup done by Acro, then you can expect at least one reference to it in the writeup.


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                      • #12
                        I've finally finished filling out the Totem entry. I've also added a couple of plot hooks under Tales of the Pale Hunt in addition to my conversion of the Shadowed Hunt Rite. The whole thread is also now linked to my hub.


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                        • #13
                          Nice work as always.

                          Any reason, though, why you chose “Tales” over “Secrets” format?


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                            Nice work as always.

                            Any reason, though, why you chose “Tales” over “Secrets” format?
                            Thanks.

                            Well, it's the format I got in my copy of the Pack supplement. However, I went with the Secrets format for the Eaters of Names, at least.


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                            • #15
                              Oh yeah, forgot for a moment that Secrets isn’t the official/published format


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