Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - S is for Sacrifices

I've been listening to the early episodes of the Spellburn podcast and in the 10th episode as they discussed clerics, it was noted how little information was given over to the various gods other than the one or two who are also magical patrons. One of the hosts made a comment about how an A to Z for gods, in the vein of the Dungeon Alphabet or the Monster Alphabet by Goodman Games would be a great resource in such a situation. This got me thinking and ... well here's my first stab at an entry for "The Sponsor Alphabet"... *record scratch* ... nope, we're calling it The Alphabet of Outer Beings now (thanks to Daniel Bishop for a better title).

S is for Sacrifice

Gods and patrons demand service and sacrifice from their worshipers and followers. For most patrons this comes in the form of services rendered from their wizardly supplicants. For gods and deities this may take any number of forms for their clerics, priests, clergy, and faithful. A god of harvest may demand a burnt offering of the first harvest's finest each year. A god of war may demand the blood of a warrior, perhaps from the ranks of the faithful, or perhaps from a prisoner of war. Not to be outdone a sorcerous patron may require a sacrifice other than services.

Start by rolling on table 1 and follow the instructions thereafter. Gamemasters may opt not to roll if they choose or get a result that wildly differs from the expectation for the god or patron but I recommend considering these odd results as possible alternate orthodoxies or an historic apocryphal practice that is no longer in favor.

Table S1: Method of Sacrifice (roll 1d4)
  1. Burnt Offering - A creature or object must be offered up and immolated as sacrifice to the higher power. Roll on Table S2: Type of Offering.
  2. Blood Sacrifice - A living creature must be slaughtered, possibly with attendant consumption of the corpse by the priest or supplicant. Roll 1d3:
    1. move to Table S3: Humanoids
    2. move to Table S4: Animals
    3. move to Table S4: Animals
  3. Service - A humanoid must be given over to the service of the god or patron. The duration of such a service may be long enough to execute a specific task or a lifelong service from the individual, or any duration between. Roll on Table S3: Humanoids 
  4. Donation - A donation of property or wealth to the god's priests or directly to a patron, or another of the patron's followers. Roll 1d3: 
    1. Livestock, roll 1d4 on Table S4
    2. Crops, move to Table S5
    3. Wealth, move to Table S6
Table S2: Type of Offering (roll 1d4)
  1. Humanoid - move to Table S3
  2. Animal - move to Table S4
  3. Agriculture - move to Table S5
  4. Wealth - move to Table S6
Table S3: Humanoids (roll 1d10 and then move to Table S7)
  1. Human
  2. Elf
  3. Dwarf
  4. Halfling
  5. Monstrous Humanoid (as appropriate for setting; Goblin, Orc, Lizardman, etc)
  6. Any humanoid
  7. Any female
  8. Any male
  9. Child; roll 1d8 on this table for type
  10. Multiple; roll 1d10 again to determine but add +1 sacrifice (this result is cumulative)
Table S4: Animals (roll 1d12 and then move to Table S7)
  1. Sheep
  2. Goat
  3. Chicken
  4. Cow or Bull
  5. Snake
  6. Bear
  7. Feline (small)
  8. Feline (large)
  9. Dog
  10. Wolf (or other wild canine)
  11. Any animal
  12. Animal Young; roll 1d10 on this table for type and 1d3 for number
Table S5: Agriculture (roll 1d6 to determine type and 1d4 to determine quantity and then move to Table S7)
  1. S5a: Types
    1. Grains
    2. Vegetables
    3. Berries
    4. Fruits
    5. Honey
    6. Herbs 
  2. S5b: Quantity
    1. Handful
    2. Sackful
    3. Bushel
    4. Barrel
Table S6: Wealth (roll 1d8 and then move to Table S7)
  1. Coinage
  2. Cut Jewels
  3. Raw gemstones
  4. Base metals
  5. Textiles
  6. Pottery
  7. Painted artwork
  8. Other crafted goods (swords, books, woven baskets, etc.)
Table S7: Frequency of Sacrifice
For Lawful deities roll 1d10 on this table 1d3 times to establish their regular sacrificial requirements. For Chaotic deities roll 1d10 to determine the timing of the next sacrifice and then roll again afterward to determine the next and so forth. For Neutral deities and Patrons roll 1d10 once. 
  1. Daily
  2. Nightly
  3. Weekly
  4. Fortnightly
  5. Monthly 
  6. Yearly
  7. At the Solstice
  8. On a specific date relevant to the god or patron
  9. Seasonal 
  10. Non-regular, the god or patron may demand sacrifice at any time