Page 1 of 1

Patron: Marcus Tertius

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:59 pm
by oncelor
I just finished the draft for a new patron in my mythic Northumbrian campaign. Let me know if you have any clever ideas or think any of the spell or taint effects are over- or under- powered. I think I might switch the 3rd level spell to something involving scrying, e.g. using pools of water as crystal balls and allowing the caster to send forth flocks of birds and to see through their eyes. I plan on hiding the taint and invoke patron effects from the players, to let them discover these effects as they arise during play.

Marcus Tertius

Marcus Flavius Tertius is the ghost of a Roman sorceror of uncommon puissance. He was obsessed with finding ley lines and Telluric currents through which he might harness the magic of the earth, and by which he might know the conjuction points of the cosmos. In the course of his research Marcus Tertius made several powerful demonic enemies. One of these, the demon-fiend Jabal, slew Marcus in a fiery battle hundreds of years ago. The ghost of Marcus Tertius lives-on in his tower, and can travel along ley lines across the cosmos. The ghost of Marcus Tertius seeks followers who will finish his life's work: mapping the ley lines and unlocking the secrets of Telluric currents, and exacting his revenge upon the demon-fiend.

Marcus appears as a corpulent and jolly togate Roman patrician. His ghost remembers enjoying dances and feasts and the drinking of good wine. Marcus' ghost can only appear in proximity of his statue, in proximity of his personal gladius, or at major intersections of ley-lines. His ghost may appear only by the light of the moon.

Invoke Patron

Invoking Marcus Tertius allows the caster to attempt to identify Telluric locations -- locations at which the magic currents of the earth cross and allow casters to tap into their extraordinary energy.

Telluric Location: Roll 1d8, subtract current Luck modifier. Spell result finds a "Telluric location" located randomly within 5' per die result. Once a caster identifies a Telluric location in an area, no other location can be found within 120' of the identified Telluric location. A "collapsed" Telluric location cannot be used to power further magics, however it remains that no Telluric can be found within 120' of a collapsed Telluric location. With the exception of Telluric Blast and Telluric Servants, all spells require the caster to move to the Telluric location before the spell takes effect.

Casting Time: 1 round

Manifestation: Roll 1d7. 1=Caster sees the conjunction of ley-lines as faintly glowing lines of light. 2=Caster feels a 6th-sense drawing him toward the ley-line conjunction. 3=Caster hears a voice whispering directions to the ley-line conjunction. 4=Caster sees a spectral form of Marcus Tertius at the point of the ley-line conjunction. 5=Caster's familiar smells the direction to the ley-line conjunction. 6=Caster notices very subtle signs in nature indicating the location of the conjunction, such as a subtle gradient in the direction of the grass, or an almost imperceptible change in the color of the rock. 7=Caster uses a dowsing rod to find the location.

· 12-13: Telluric Vitality. Finds a Telluric location at which the current flow of Telluric energy is strong. The caster can stand at the this location and regenerate CL hit points per round to a maximum of 25 hit points -- his hair flying wildly, his eyes lighting up and fingers crackling with energy. While the caster remains at this location all damage done to him by any source is reduced by 1 + 1 hp / 2 CL. There is a 10% chance that this collapses the Telluric location. While this regenerative power is in effect the caster trembles with energy and his voice appears booming and majestic.

· 14-17: Telluric Portation. Finds a Telluric location through which he can ride the Telluric current to another location he has previously identified using this spell within 100 miles. He travels below the earth at a rate of 10 miles per round. 50% chance he is covered with dirt and smells horrible when he arrives at his destination. There is a 20% chance that this use collapses the Telluric location.

· 18-19: Telluric Power. Finds a Telluric location at which the caster can restore a previously lost spell, or receive +5 to his next spell check. Using this energy has a 30% chance to collapse this Telluric location. When using this power the caster's hair and clothing blow about him wildly as though buffeted by a strong but unfelt wind.

· 20-23: Telluric Bastion. Finds a Telluric location at which the caster can avoid serious injury for 1d14 rounds. Any physical attacks striking him during this time inflict only 1 point of damage. The caster must remain in this location to avoid injuries. Clever foes might attempt to push the caster off of the location. While this power is in effect the caster's eyes are suffused with the hue of wildly-shifting saturated color. Using this energy has a 30% chance to collapse this Telluric location.

· 24-27: Telluric Bubble. The earth has bubbles as the water has. Finds a Telluric location through which the caster can open a magical gate to a chamber deep below the earth. The caster and all creatures (friendly or otherwise) within 15' of the caster are transported to this deep, dark cavern. Unwilling creatures may make a Will save to resist the effect. Creatures remain here until the caster ends the effect, returning all creatures back to the surface at this Telluric location. Creatures traveling to and from the Telluric bubble simply slide through the earth as though it were water. There is a 10% chance the cavern contains something interesting, at the Judge's discretion. Using this energy has a 40% chance to collapse this Telluric location.

At sixth level the caster locates a unique Telluric bubble to which he may travel with any successful casting of this spell effect. The caster may store items within this bubble.

· 28-29: Telluric Fountain. Finds a Telluric location at which the caster receives +10 to two spell checks, or +6 on four spell checks. The spell(s) require an additional round of casting time, during which the caster draws forth energy from the earth in an undulating aura of polychromatic kaleidoscopic brilliance. The ground craters up around the caster as he draws forth this energy. Alternately, as Telluric Portation but allows the caster to take 1d7 additional willing man-sized subjects within 10' of him. In either case, there is a 50% chance that this use collapses the Telluric location.

· 30-31: Telluric Blast. Finds a Telluric location through which a flow of fire and magma arcs. The fiery arc hits a point within 60' of the Telluric location and damages all creatures within 15' of this point for 4d8 fire damage, Reflex save for half damage; alternately the arc can damage a single larger-than-man-sized creature for 6d8 fire damage, but in this case it allows a Reflex save to avoid the arc entirely. The fiery arc persists for 1d4 rounds and requires the caster to spend one action to direct the arc each round. The caster rolls to determine a new saving throw requirement each round, and may switch between 15'-radius and single-target version of the spell each round.

· 32+: Telluric Servants. Caster summons two 12 HD earth primordials who obey his commands unquestioningly for 2d6 rounds before sinking back into the earth.

Patron Taint

1. A. Caster sprinkles speech with Latin words and phrases. B. Caster speaks half in Latin, often requiring several repetitions to make himself comprehensible to non-Latinate hearers. C. Caster speaks only and entirely in Latin. D. Caster loses knowledge of all languages except Latin, Druidic, Pictish, and Demonic.

2. A. Caster acquires memories of Marcus Tertius' childhood that mingle with his own memories confusedly. B. Caster confuses names of his acquaintances with those of Marcus Tertius, -1 Personality. Caster forgets all of the skills of his normal occupation and retains only memories of Marcus Tertius' practice as a Roman lawyer. C. Caster confuses world events, names of countries, deities with those of Marcus, -1 Personality. Caster often refers to himself as Marcus Tertius, and frequently absent-mindedly refers to his traveling companions by the names of Marcus' companions.

3. A. Caster develops a sensitivity to iron as an elf. B. Iron weapons deal +1 damage to the caster. C. Iron weapons damaging the caster cause the caster to make a Fort save DC 15 or stunned for one round. The heightened sensitivity allows the caster to smell gold and gems as a dwarf, but at half range.

4. A. Caster begins to see ghosts from the era of Marcus out of the corner of his sight, -2 to Intelligence checks made to perceive concealed or hidden creatures or items. B. Ghosts become an integral part of the caster's daily life, -4 to perception checks. C. Caster has difficulty interacting with non-ghosts, who now seem less real to him. It requires a Will DC 15 save to maintain a conversation with a non-ghost. Caster automatically fails all perception checks made to notice objects in the world around him.

5. A. Caster attracts the attention of the archdemon Jabal who begins to haunt his nightmares. B. Demons of all sorts instinctively sense the taint of the caster and prefer him over other available targets during combat. C. Character makes an enemy of the archdemon Jabal, who begins to plot to kill the character. Nightmares of Jabal become so intense that the caster requires a Fort save DC 5 save to recover spells and hit points with a night's rest. D. Nightmares require Fort DC 10 to recover spells and hit points.

6. A. Caster begins to adopt the fastidious and obsessive personality traits of Marcus Tertius, requiring +1d3 additional rounds to accomplish mundane tasks like opening a door or lighting a lantern. Caster becomes phobic of crowds. B. This fastidiousness extends to one randomly determined spell the caster knows. Increase the casting time of the spell by 1d3 rounds each time it is case. This fastidiousness gives the caster a +1 to the spell check per round of increased casting time, however. Caster becomes phobic of heights. C. As B, but for two more randomly determined spells the caster knows. Caster becomes phobic of water. D. Caster becomes phobic of open spaces, fire, and cats.

Patron Spells

1st Level
Command Stone and Rock

Manifestation: Roll 1d6. 1=A rumble is heard under the ground. 2=The ground begins to tremble gently. 3=Spectral hands appear to carry out the spell's effect. 4=The caster's hands and eyes become stony and gem-encrusted briefly. 5=Sparkly motes fill the air. 6=A loud voice speaking in Latin peals out of the very air and commands the stone to obey the caster's will.

1. Lost, failure, and patron taint.

2-11. Lost. Failure.

12-13. Stone of Wrath. Caster can hurl one small stone at a target within 60'. The stone strikes unerringly. The target takes 1d3+CL points of damage. The caster need not have a stone in hand; the stone can manifest as a chip out of a nearby object made of rock.

14-17. Arms of Rock. Rocky arms manifest out of a rocky object and hold the target in place. Target must save vs Reflex. If the save fails, the target cannot move from its spot until it makes a Fortitude save as an action on its turn. Creatures held by the rocky arms may attempt to act normally in lieu of making a Fortitude save, but all such actions are made at a -4 penalty. The arms of rock disappear normally after 1d6 turns.

18-19. Rock Shape. Caster can reshape rock he touches as though it were clay. One 5' x 5' x 1' section of rock can be reshaped in this way. Reshaping the stone takes 1 turn.

20-23. Stones of Wrath. The caster can hurl stones at targets within 60'. He may hurl one stone each round at a +2d to hit, two stones at +1d, three stones at normal action die to hit, or four stones at -1d. No more than one stone can be hurled at any one target in a round. Each stone does 1d3+CL damage. The caster may continue to hurl stones for a number of rounds equal to his caster level.

24-27. Wall of Rock. The caster creates a rocky wall 10' x 10' x 1' per caster level. The wall must be contiguous and every section must be within 60' of the caster. The wall lasts for 1d6 turns.

28-29. Pass Rock. The caster can open a passageway through stone, the stone parting before him with a gesture of his hands. The caster can open a passage 5' x 5' x 5', with an additional contiguous block at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level. The caster can open the passageway in the form of a pit under a creature, but it gets Reflex save to avoid falling in. The opening does not cause structural damage. The passageway is permanent.

30-31. Rocky Form. The caster can assume the form of a statue or of a man-sized boulder for up to one day per caster level. While in the form of a statue the caster sees and hears normally, has damage reduction 10, but cannot move or speak. In boulder-form the caster has no sensory input except touch. Alternately with this result the caster may create a permanent wall of stone as above.

32+. Earthquake. The earthquake destroys structures in a 20' radius in line of sight at a range of 500'. The earthquake lasts 10 rounds during which time the structures are destroyed. During the earthquake creatures must make a Reflex save DC 20 to avoid falling prone. In areas of collapsing ceiling or near collapsing walls, a creature must make a Reflex save DC 20 each turn or take 1d6 damage. Alternately the caster may assume the form of a statue or rock, as above, for an indefinite duration.

2nd Level
Flesh of Stone

Manifestation: Roll 1d6. Caster's skin takes on the appearance of: 1=A grayish color. 2=Polished alabaster. 3=Rune-covered granite. 4=Rusty iron. 5=Crumbling clay. 6=Shining jade.

Casting Time: 1 action

Duration: 1 round / CL.

1. Lost, failure, and patron taint.
2-13. Lost. Failure.
14-15. Caster gains +1 AC and +1 damage reduction.
16-19. Caster gains +2 AC and +3 damage reduction.
20-21. Caster gains +2 AC, +3 damage reduction, and +4 strength.
22-25. Caster gains +3 AC, +5 damage reduction, and +6 strength.
26-29. Caster gains +3 AC, +5 damage reduction, +6 strength, is immune to damage from earth primordials, and can sense all creatures touching the earth within 60'. (Caster knows the relative location of such creatures, and has a general idea of their size and weight.)
30-33. Caster gains +4 AC, +5 damage reduction, +6 strength, is immune to damage from earth primordials, and can sense all creatures touching the earth within 120'.
34+. Caster gains +5 AC, +10 damage reduction, +8 strength, is immune to elemental damage of any sort, and can sense all creatures touching the earth within 1 mile.

3rd Level
Improved Turn to Stone

As the 3rd level wizard spell "Turn to Stone" except the caster casts at +1d and a result of 1 is always patron taint.


1. Character must move to a Telluric location randomly determined. This location is within 5' x (1d12 - Luck modifier). Failure to move to this location within 1d5+2 rounds causes the caster to lose an additional point of each type of attribute spellburned.

2. Caster's skin partially transforms into stone and dirt which flakes away over the following days as the caster recovers from the spellburn.

3. If spell is cast successfully, caster is enveloped by the earth upon completion of the spell. He disappears for 1d5 turns while undergoing a test. The Judge can make the test a game event, or he may abstract it with a Fort save DC 15. If he fails, the caster suffers a permanent loss of 1 point of each attribute spellburned. If successful, the caster receives a permanent +1 bonus to all future castings of this spell. If the caster has already been tested successfully for the spell he is casting, there is no effect.

4. Spellburn happens normally, but the caster must visit a ley line location within 30 miles per point of spellburn to restore his lost attributes.

5. Spellburn happens without ability point loss, but Marcus Tertius requires a quest and will grant no further spellburn until the quest is accomplished. The difficulty of the quest should be related to the size of the spellburn.

6. Spellburn causes caster to fall prone. Spellburn occurs normally, but the caster does not lose the spell on a failed spell result.

Re: Patron: Marcus Tertius

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:06 pm
by beermotor
This is cool, would you call him Lawful?

Re: Patron: Marcus Tertius

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:28 pm
by oncelor

In my campaigns, law/chaos are mainly about one's attitude toward civilization. In this sense, Marcus would be neutral, since he is more concerned with what he regards as larger, more-cosmic struggles than with the concerns of tribes and cities. As his cosmic struggles have been against various demons, he would make a natural ally to lawful characters. Anyway, that's just how I look at law/chaos in my campaign; in a campaign in which law/chaos are less about civilization and more about general principles, Marcus Tertius could easily be construed as a lawful patron.

Re: Patron: Marcus Tertius

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:35 pm
by Raven_Crowking
Very nice. I like the way you used ley lines in this write-up.

Re: Patron: Marcus Tertius

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:52 pm
by Eyeball360
Nicely done. I think the spell strength is right on the money, for what it's worth.

Having recently begun to work on some patrons, I can appreciate how much work is involved. The 5 little steps listed out on page 321 makes it sound like a simple task, but it takes quite a while to lay out something unique that doesn't overlap with existing patrons and existing spells.

It would be nice to have a forum devoted just to patrons.

Re: Patron: Marcus Tertius

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:11 am
by oncelor
Eyeball360 wrote:Nicely done. I think the spell strength is right on the money, for what it's worth.
Having recently begun to work on some patrons, I can appreciate how much work is involved. The 5 little steps listed out on page 321 makes it sound like a simple task, but it takes quite a while to lay out something unique that doesn't overlap with existing patrons and existing spells.

I agree! Creating patrons is a huge amount of work. I wrote up stats and abilities for about 40 monsters and created half-a-dozen new cleric spells in less time than it took me to create the draft for Marcus Tertius, and I'm still not happy with parts of it.