Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Whisper Will, The Petty God of Crossroads

Taking up the challenge from Grognardia this is my OGL contribution to the Petty Gods project.

Whisper Will, Petty God of Crossroads

Name:  Whisper Will
Symbol:  A baying dog or a crossroads
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  120' (40') or 150' (50')
              Fly:  240' (80')
Armor Class: 0 or -8
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 77 hp (11 HD)
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: Thief 11 + Special
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XIV (platinum coins and gems at first appearance look like any coin type)
XP: 7600

Whisper Will, the baying dog, the light far off, the man in the long black cloak, is the petty god of crossroads. On many crossroads one will find a leashed dog, called Will, in honor of Whisper Will. Most travelers will offer the dog a morsel of food and so ask Whisper Will to lead them in the direction they seek.

Whisper Will can change instantly between three forms: a black dog (Move 150’, AC 0, Attacks 1, Damage 1D8); a Will-o-Wisp, a soft glowing light resembling a lantern, (Fly, AC -8, Attacks 1, Damage 2d8 electrical shock) and a man in a long black cloak (Move 120’, AC 0, Attacks 1, Damage 1d8). In all forms he is immune to normal weapons, and most spells except magic missile, maze and protection from evil.

Whisper Will is only ever encountered at a crossroads at night. The form he first takes will depend on his reaction roll. 2-3 Will-o-Wisp, Black Dog 4-9 and a man in a long black cloak, 10-12; modified by +1 for each female with charisma > 12 in the party.

When encountered as a Will-o-Wisp he will try to lure the travelers away from the crossroads and into difficult terrain where the chance of getting lost is high. This is more to annoy the travelers than any pure malevolence. Whisper Will is however friendly with vampires and will lead travelers toward a vampire if one is close. 

When encountered as a black dog, Whisper Will is generally friendly and the actions of the travelers will determine his further reaction. Ill-treatment of the dog is likely to anger Whisper Will but he will not attack immediately but prefer to appear at another crossroads on another night as the man in the long black cloak.

Apart from wearing a long black cloak the other most notable features when encountered in his man form are his dark skin and that he always carries a stringed instrument of some kind. When encountered he will not be hostile but demand the travelers either gamble with him or contest him in musical skill.

He will gamble for coin/gem/jewelry any dice game the party suggest but he has the ability to move each die 1 pip in either direction, making his chances of winning very high. The Labyrinth Lord should roll in secret for Whisper Will, modifying the dice accordingly. He will continue to play until the party has lost all of their treasure excluding items. If the party is good-natured about the loss he will leave them in peace. If they cheat or become hostile Whisper Will defends himself, flees early in Will-o-Wisp form but Casts the Curse of the Crossroads (see below) on the party (saving thow vs spells at -4) before he leaves. If the party bargains for something other than coin Whisper Will has special demands. If there are any female party members of charisma >12 Whisper Will demands a night with them, simultaneously, else he demands a magic item (he is fond of magical rings and daggers and often gives them as gifts to his vampire friends).

Even more than gambling Whisper Will enjoys a musical contest. The bargain demanded by Whisper Will is the same as outlined above, for gambling for something other than coin. If a party member accepts on behalf of the party a ghostly audience will surround the crossroads, apparitions of those who have been murdered at crossroads. They are harmless to the party and will disappear if approached, reappearing elsewhere, but are the audience and judges for the contest. The party member can use any musical instrument they wish, including their voice. After each performance roll a 2d6 reaction roll modified by +3 for Whisper Will reflecting his skill. Allow the party member to use either their Dexterity bonus (reflecting skill) or their Wisdom bonus (reflecting their choice of song) or their Charisma bonus. It is assumed the party member has some training in singing/musical instruments and if that is not the case they should be at -3. A reaction roll draw will lead to a second round of contest.

If Whisper Will loses either the gambling or the musical contest he will not protest, he is confined by ancient ties to honor his bargain despite his Chaotic nature. Mysteriously for the party any coins they have won will have been upgraded the next morning (silver/gold to platinum, platinum to 50gp gems). Additionally the main protagonist in the gambling or musical contest will gain the Blessing of the Crossroads. Females will have permanent +1 improved reaction roll if standing at a crossroads (many women have turned this to enterprising use); males if standing at a crossroad, on a 1-4 on a d6 will have a feeling to the direction which will take them in the direction they seek.

Women who spend the night with Whisper Will have no memory of the night and gain no special benefit/penalty but will always seem to smile if standing at a crossroad. If more than one woman has spent the night with Whisper Will NPCs must take a reaction roll to the other woman, a very negative roll indicating future hostility and a very positive roll indicating potential romantic interest. Even player females should be urged to alter their relationship with each other in same way.

If seriously threatened Whisper Will transforms into a Will-o-Wisp and attacks the weakest party member. He can summon aid: 1-5 (1-3 Will-o-Wisps, as per Advanced Edition Companion Labyrinth Lord page 140, arriving in 1-4 rounds) or 6 a vampire, arriving in 2-8 rounds. If Whisper Will can stand in the very centre of a crossroad he can teleport instantly with 100% success to any other crossroad within 3 miles. If he can, before he flees, he casts the Curse of the Crossroads on the whole party (save vs spells at -4).  This is the reverse of his blessing, -1 negative reaction roll for females when standing at a crossroad, and for males, when standing at a crossroad on a 1-4 on a d6 they will take the wrong path to the direction they seek. Only a Remove Curse cast by a cleric of 20th level ability or Whisper Will can lift this curse.

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