Friday, 25 May 2018

OSR Class: Moderatus Wizard

"And as with the potter's clay on the wheel, all aspects of one's life must be in balance. Too much or too little of one thing or another and it will fall..." - Saint Atavus, Sermons

The first of my classes for Pike & Shotte. Inspired by Arnold K.'s Wizard of the White Hand. Some of the spells are stolen wholesale. This class uses the standard GLOG wizard base, as detailed by Skerples, until such a time as I detail my own alterations. My thoughts are presented in italics.

Barber-surgeons are skilled in their craft of steel and blood, but theirs is a crude art. They hack and sew at the body as if it were a hunk of meat, barbaric and destructive even as they heal and repair. The body and mind are finely tuned constructs, designed as they are by the divine, and their holy sanctity must be upheld.

The crimson robes of the monastic Even-Handed Order are commonly seen in the halls of power. Kings, nobles and wealthy burghers call upon the services of the wizards known as Moderati to act as their personal physicians, such are their talents. Much of a Moderatus' handsome fee is paid to the Order, making it exceedingly wealthy and allowing it to fund hospitals and almshouses, leading to a widely held respect for those who wear the sign of the crossed palms. Their noted honesty and charity also helps.

A Moderatus eschews alcohol, incense and laudanum, for these things disrupt the balance of the mind and body. All Moderati have a particular hatred for poisoners and the undead. They meditate often. Women are welcome in their ranks, but rare.

Central to the tenets of the Even-Handed Order is an ideal of balance - the divine created all things in a perfect arrangement which must be maintained, whether this is the body's humours, the soundness of the mind, or the order of society. As such, Moderati tend to be conservative, dour types who dislike change. A Moderatus who rejects the life of hospitaller or court physician will often wander the land, seeking out new remedies for maladies both mundane and magical.

Credit, Andromonoid MJ

Wizard: Moderatus

Additional Starting Equipment: Crimson robes, dagger, 1d10sp, needle & thread.

Status: Chartered.

Perk: You can tell the current dominant humour in a person at a glance. Tailor your conversation carefully.

Moderati know the four temperaments well. They can tell who will be easily provoked to anger, who will not be drawn into impulsive decisions, who thinks this is all a silly game, and so on. This is handy to have when preparing for negotiations.

Drawback: You lose your powers the moment you are exposed to an intoxicant, whether it be alcohol, drugs or poisons. This lasts until the next day.

Note that this covers exposure, not whether or not you actually partake. One splashed drink = one sad wizard.

1. You may bring [level] pints of water to the boil in moments.
2. You always know the fulcrum of any balanced object.
3. You can clean surfaces by running your hands over them.

These cantrips are geared around the idea of a monastic healer but have some utility to an adventuring party - you can identify unstable objects at a glance, cover traces of your passing and have a last ditch weapon if required.

Credit, Jakub Rebelka

Moderatus Spell List

1. Knit Flesh
Range: Touch; Target: One creature; Duration: Instant
Your touch heals the target of their wounds, restoring 1d6+[dice] HP. Alternatively this can be used to re-attach a severed limb or other body part. Just make sure it's fresh and you arrange it in roughly the right way.

Essentially Cure Light Wounds with added Frankenstein-potential.

2. Charm Person
Range: 120'; Target: One person; Duration: [dice] Turns
You soothe the target's mind, rendering them blindly happy and a little bit in love with you. They will obey any request that you make for the duration, provided that it doesn't go against their own interests or personality. They may Save to resist a request that goes against their interests or personality, but succeeding will not end the effects of the spell. Abuse, neglect and violence will trigger a Save made with 2 Boons and the target will fly into a murderous rage if they break free. The target is aware that they are under the influence of a spell and may be very unhappy when the effects wear off.

3. Purgation
Range: 50'; Target: One creature; Duration: Instant
Your target violently expels the contents of their stomach and bowels as they cramp and spasm, suffering 1d4 damage. Targets may make an additional Save vs a poison or intoxicant effect with 1 Boon and are immobilised for [dice] Rounds. Casting this spell with 3 or more [dice] will inflict [sum]+1 damage, leave the target dangerously dehydrated, immobilise them for [dice]x2 rounds and allow a Save with 2 Boons.

4. Tweak Humour
Range: 60'; Target: One creature; Duration: [sum] Rounds
You harshly alter the humours of your target. Choose an effect from the list below:
Choler: Your target is plunged into a terrible rage, attacking the nearest possible target in melee. The target makes all Attack and Damage rolls with a bonus of [dice] but suffers -2 to Defence/Armour Class.
Melancholy: Waves of depression and anxiety wrap around your target, dulling their senses. The target suffers [dice] Banes on all rolls.
Phlegm: The target must Save or flee for the duration, if they pass their Save they automatically go last in initiative order.
Sanguine: You render the target almost blindly empathetic. If they see one of their comrades injured they suffer equivalent Shock to the amount of damage dealt.

5. Cure Disease
Range: Touch; Target: One creature; Duration: Instant
You draw the miasma of disease out of the target, allowing them to make a new Save with 1 Boon to shake off its effects. It is essential to perform this spell in a well-ventilated area or have a means of bottling or otherwise containing it, lest the miasma concentrate in a bystander's lungs and fester anew.

Plague grenades, anyone?

6. Unbalanced
Range: 60'; Target: One creature or object: Duration: [dice] Rounds
You upset the inner ear of the target, causing a rush of vertigo - they must Save when moving or attacking and fall to the floor if they fail. If you cast this spell with 3 or more [dice] the target falls to the ground, unable to do anything but crawl and retch.

7. Sleep
Range: 60'; Target: [dice] creatures; Duration: [dice]/targets Turns (min. 1 Turn per [dice])
You dull the target's mind with waves of somniference, lulling them to sleep. Violence or rough movement and loud noises will wake the target but gentle handling and normal movements will not. Magical creatures may Save to resist the effects of this spell. Undead, constructs and other creatures that do not require sleep are not affected by this spell.

8. Extract Venom
Range: Touch; Target: One creature; Duration: Instant
You pierce a creature with a sharp object and draw all of the venom out, which then pools in your hand or a vial. If you use this to remove the poison from a poisoned creature, that creature gets a new Save with 1 Boon. You can also use this to draw all of the poison out of a venomous creature. Unwilling venomous creatures may Save to negate this effect.

9. Calm Nerves
Range: 60'; Target: One creature; Duration: Instant
You settle the target's nerves and balance their humours. They heal [sum] Shock and may make a new Save with 1 Boon vs an ongoing mental effect.

10. Hold Creature
Range: 60', Target: One creature; Duration: [dice] Turns
You paralyse the body of the target, rendering them unable to move. Unwilling targets may attempt a Save - if successful they move at half speed, go last in initiative and suffer 1 Bane on all Attack, STR, and DEX rolls.

Emblem Spells
11. Vivigraphy 
Range: Touch; Target: One living creature; Duration: 1 Turn
Your target's body is compelled to answer [dice] questions. This is the flesh body answering, not the mind. The body will answer honestly, but flesh bodies technically see/hear/experience everything the living body does, but they only remember things that involve food, sex, pain, adrenaline responses, and stuff like that. Usually the body will talk using its normal mouth, but it may also communicate the response in other ways, like spelling out answers in freckles. It's always understandable, although sometimes a bit cryptic.

12. Heal
Range: Touch; Target: One creature; Duration: Instant
A wondrous warmth seeps through your target as you cure them of their afflictions. You may heal [dice] afflictions (poisons, diseases etc.) and/or injuries (meaning that they will heal with a night's rest), along with [sum] HP. If you cast this spell with 4 or more [dice] you can restore to life a creature that died in the last Turn. They are restored to life at 0 HP and keep any injuries they suffered before death.

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Take 1d6 damage.
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4. You hands knot and twist for 1d6 Turns. Fine manipulation and spellcasting is impossible.
5. Your teeth fall out and shape themselves into bone needles, -4 CHA. They regrow overnight.
6. Your humours are unsettled for 1d6 Turns. Suffer a Bane on all rolls.

1. You become gaunt and sickly. You must Save each day or contract a minor illness (cold, conjunctivitis etc.) with appropriate penalties. These diseases are cumulative.
2. Your body withers and decays. As above, but you contract a major illness (smallpox, cholera etc.).
3. Your mind shatters as your body erupts as a maggot-ridden hive of disease and sickness. All within 50' of you must Save or contract the Plague. You caper madly, spreading filth and corruption wherever you tread.

Credit, Kseniia Tselousova
This class has a variety of healing spells befitting a physician-wizard, as well as means of controlling others through mental and physical effects. Being able to restore a recently killed target to life is amazingly powerful in this system, but obtaining that spell will take some doing. Direct damage is limited, but being able to make an enemy shit themselves so hard they curl into the foetal position has to count for something.

Mishaps are moderately inconveniencing, especially if in a dangerous area, but the Dooms are pretty nasty - you could end up spreading a variety of wonderful pestilences to your party and then end up as a sloppity bilepiper.


  1. Those Dooms! Oh that is quite fabulous, you wouldn't happen to have a random disease table by any chance? All in all, a fine addition. However, with Knit Flesh, would you not go considerably more healing done using a single MD every round, rather than as lump?

    1. That's a very good point - I don't have one but now I feel compelled to work on one! Regarding Knit Flesh, my thinking was that you could burst heal with several dice at once or sacrifice multiple actions to heal up. My group is going to be playtesting some of the classes in our next sessions so I may make some changes!


Scepter'd Isle: Things Godly and Supernatural

In my previous post I detailed the more 'realistic' elements of an Elizabethan England setting. Now comes the decidedly 'unreal...

Popular Posts