Monday, December 12, 2016

PANGEA ULTIMA: Machine Cult, and Machine Gods

“Within the chamber buried deep below was wrought the means of his escape. Across the aether the other one must go, to sleep until that distant day,” -The Chronomancer I: Hubris
As I have been detailing the Pangea Ultima setting I am pondering the many cultures, cults and subcultures of the world, as well as its many peoples and creatures. The planet as-envisioned is one on the far side of history. Pangea Ultima is after millennia of technological, social, ecological and spiritual upheavals. But some things, some themes continue. And how the world, its people and the cosmos reacts is where the campaign setting begins.
The rules for Cults in the Blood and Treasure RPG Rulebook offer a wide range of options, and are an excellent resource for fleshing out a campaign world. However the rules as-written don't quite cover all of the options that I want available in the Pangea Ultima setting, and so I have added the cult below. See see Blood and Treasure 2nd Edition rulebook pages 15-18 for details on Specialty Priests and Cults.

Associated Deities: Diatrix, Hexadron, Patchwork God
Machine cults are dedicated to the miraculous technology of the ancients, elevating these machines to divine status. Such cults resemble the cargo cults of Malenesia and the Atomic Bomb worshipers on Underneath The Planet of The Apes, but with real results from hoarded ancient tech and magic. Several patty gods and powerful spirits are involved in such cults, and are quite powerful. Machine priests can be of any alignment.  
Machine priests can turn and command constructs as well as the undead. They also add the magic-user spell vision to their list of 7th level spells they can prepare.
Advanced Spells
1—comprehend languages, endure elements, divine favor; 2—enthrall, undetectable alignment, make whole, zone of truth; 3— lightning bolt, sonic blast; 4—create bionic implant*, giant vermin, imbue with spell ability; 5—bolts of bedevilment, circle of doom; 6— banishment, forbiddance; 7—ethereal jaunt, scourge; 8— discern location, true creation; 9—genesis


Create Bionic Implant*
Level: Cleric 4, Magic User 5
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent; see text
This spell creates a bionic implant of the casters choosing.  Bionics are scientific items that can be attached to living bodies, improving them in various ways (See BnT Rulebook page 245 for details). No more than two implants may be attached to a creature, including the spellcaster. Treasure Keepers may require some forethought on the part of the spellcaster, like tie spent crafting the implant or parts gleaned from defeated constructs. The Rule of Cool should prevail here, so implants should be interesting and have some style to them.

A number of machine or technologically oriented deities are active on Pangea Ultima. Some are remnants of the ancient past, from when mankind experimented in bizarre and arcane technologies. Others are alien entities from beyond the stars. All of  these deities can be found in the Petty Gods OSR sourcebook. Of course, a cleric in a Machine Cult might revere all three of these deities as patrons for the moment, and does not have to pick one god in particular. 
See below for details:

Detriax (see page 37 in Petty Gods)- Detriax, the petty goddess of space junk and derelict hope, is a
cosmic being that causes ships passing near her to fall derelict by way of cosmic mishap. Her massive form is powered by the consumption of asteroids, space junk, starships, and even small moons and planetoids. Frequently, Detriax will make deals with lesser beings, promising them vast new powers in exchange for their servitude. These minions are sometimes stripped entirely of their free will, but others follow her willingly. Service to Detriax, however, is a double-edged sword, for it causes insanity and loss of self. And in the end, Detriax plans ultimately call for their consumption as well. Clerics of Detriax are specialty priests of a Machine Cult (see above). They dress as salvagers and Junkers, and can be of any alignment (Chaotic or Neutral preferred). Her symbol is an angular, vampire-looking skull.

Hexadron, The Divine Cube (see page 68 Petty Gods)- Hexadron is a distant deity, The Divine Cube, an entity bound with concepts of mathematics, the holy expression of the number 6, and all things of regular six-sided form such as boxes and dice. Alien in outlook, it cares for little beyond the promotion and expression of its perfect form in the mortal realms, though some esoteric scholars and craftsmen pray to the Divine Cube for mathematical insight or aid in bringing appropriate forms into creation. Temples dedicated to Hexadron are always square, and very well constructed. Masons and scientists revere this god, as do mathematicians, magic users and paladins. A number of strange pixelated entities as well as cube-shaped beings serve this god, and are quite powerful. Clerics of Hexadron are specialty priests of a Machine Cult. They wear cube-themed armor and can be of any alignment.  Hexadron’s symbol is a perfect cube.

Patchwork God (see page 139 Petty Gods)- The Patchwork God, also called the God-Golem, is the work of deific hands, a golem of godly power. This entity appears as a colossal golem some 20' in height, its hideous torso and half of its face are crafted from the corpses of several dead gods stitched together with fine adamantine wire. Its right arm and left leg are wrought of polished mithril inscribed with delicate runes; its left arm, heart, and eyes of polished white marble; its right leg and half of its face are of crudely-shaped clay. Although it has no great purpose, the Patchwork God is fascinated by other created entities such as golems and animated statues, and rumor has it that the God-Golem’s touch may awaken such beings to true sapience. Clerics of the God-Golem are specialty priests of a Machine Cult. They wear patchwork armor and can be of any alignment.  The God-Golem’s symbol is a patchwork mask. 

NEXT: Monsters, Settings and NPC's!

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