Saturday, 13 June 2015


The following trials must be completed for a purpose. You can't just be doing this because you're a fan of the 'bulked gainz'. Furthermore, the boon you gain last only as long as your faith in the ritual. If the shaman tells you that this will give you the power to defeat the goblin king, and then the goblin king kicks the shit out of you, you lose all power granted by the trial.

This is a way to gain power without gaining levels. This is a way to get a gaming abstraction without employing a different gaming abstraction. Maybe that's kind of dumb.


+1 STR
You must first purify. Wash away your unworthiness in the yellow pools to the west of here. Once cleansed, ascend the peak and find your soulstone. Your soulstone will be just as tall as your first teacher. Its colour is the colour of your heart's blood. You will know it when you see it.

Once you have found your stone you must destroy it with nothing but your fists and your will. Once this is done your spirit will be released and you will gain the strength of stone.


+1 DEX
This trial is of simple magic, but it is deadly all the same. Go into the swamp and find its queen, the black adder Sesumeth. You must take from her a fang. The larger the fang the more powerful the magic.

If you gather a fang, and keep your life, go to your sacred pool and mix Sesumeth's venom with gloamroot and janga berries. Boil this tinture and breathe of the fumes. Your visions will grant you the speed of the snake.


At the lowest point of this valley is a cave. You remember it from when you were a child, as it is the one place you were told to never go. You must go there now. In the cave there is a hole, and in the hole is a void. Make peace with the void.

Climb down the hole and stay there, in the darkness and the silence. You may leave at any time. You may go mad. If neither of these things happen, you will find the wisdom of nothingness.

So, Your PC Wants To Be Mighty

In running these, you've obviously got to make a PC do a whole bunch of checks; fort for snake venom fumes, str to break a boulder, etc, but I'd also be inclined to throw some kind of puzzle in there. Something distinct and personal, like interpreting visions or solving a riddle where the answer is 'my own death'. These are potential permanent stat boosts, so they have to feel kind special.

On that note, the obvious rule is to say that a PC can only perform a ritual like this once. Fuck that though. If someone wants to ascend to godhood by punching every rock in the world that is totally fine in my book, I'd just amp the challenge up every time. First time you wrestle a snake trying to not get bitten. Next time you swim into a pool of snakes and eat the biggest one while hundreds of others poison you horribly. As a poorly thought out aside, I really like the idea that the checks you make don't really correlate to the boost you get. I don't know why I like that idea though, so that's all you get.

Basically, I really want my players to be able to see the paths taken by the evil, fucked up people they fight, and have to consciously decide what they'll sacrifice for a +1 bonus.

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