Monday 17 May 2021

Oathbreaking and Attonement


I have not considered the consequences of breaking oaths much but basically similar to a paladin and I think I did a table like that once? I dunno. RuneQuest had spirits of reprisal for each cult for this stuff.

I find my oath system give players opportunities to roleplay hard and squabble (my last TPK) which done right is good. Mostly players stuck to them and felt terrible if they were forced to come close to compromising so I didn't feel a need to torment them more. But now there are these tables.

There may be contexts or circumstances so If you feel kind roll a lower dice. Normally gods swiftly deal terrible justice for moral betrayal. Some gods are more unforgiving and jealous than others. 

d12 Punishments For Broken Oaths
* until undertakes atonement to earn forgiveness
1 A vision of warning in dreams the next sleep (add a number of oaths to next roll)
2 Healing magic fails to restore oathbreaker*
3 All gifts from powers withheld* or property struck with natural disaster
4 Struck with ailment* 1=disease 2=blind 3=crippled half Move 4=impotent sexless
5 Every interpersonal dealing gives another party a sense oathbreaker is a liar*
6 Fumbler on any roll of 1 on d20 is a spectacular accident or broken goods*
7 Struck with madness* d4 1=paranoia 2=lust 3=obsessive greed 4=murderous rage
8 Increased encounters of wandering monsters and hazards*  
9 Cursed a random attribute is reduced to 3 by strange crippling ailment*
10 Power
s send an invisible spectral hunter or another monster as a punishment
11 Turned into d4 1=animal 2=mineral (salt or stone) 3=monster 4=artwork*
12 Great power appears to strike oathbreaker possibly killing them

Trying to remove curse and such to a punishment invites more reprisals

Usually, an oathbreaker reports to a temple and repents to officers of the church for punishment. Usually, a priest will divine with spells what acts of atonement are required.

d12 Atonement For Broken Oaths
1 Quest to recover d4 1=relic 2=altar piece 3=person 4=holy text
2 Carry scriptures on a long journey to a strange foreign land  
3 Hunt and kill wanted criminals or enemies
4 Capture a criminal and bring them to face public justice
5 Build in a place chosen by powers d4 1=shrine 2=hostel 3=temple 4=monument
6 Recruit 10x your Lv in HD of new followers to the creed
7 Go on a pilgrimage to a faraway land (or protect pilgrims if high Lv)
8 Quest to slay a terrible famous monster
9 Build a mission to help d4 1=poor 2=sick 3=ignorant 4=pilgrims
10 Quest to root out and destroy an enemy cult  

11 Raise as many warriors as you can and fight a battle in a holy war
12 Serve an NPC agent of the faith until they are satisfied and release you

If atonement is unavailable usually requiring priests you can spend a d4 years suffering instead some torment on behalf of the gods. Maybe your god is really sick of your attitude this time or the priests were unconvinced of your sincerity. Or maybe no attempt was made at pacifying angry powers or other failures dealing with the dishonour.

Sometimes the punished are forgiven or even made saints if repentant.

d12 Punishments for Renouncing Oaths
1 Imprisoned for d4 years of torment by enemies then saved
2 Body broken and crippled by enemy torture for d4 years
3 A terrible monster is unleashed and becomes a menace to the land for d4 years
4 Lose any positions or property not carried on a person by terrible luck for d4 years
5 A disaster wrecks area and all know who is to blame
6 A breed of monster interferes in everyday life for d4 years
7 Trapped by labour on some impossible chore for d4 years
8 A personal demon or imp torments everyday life for d4 years
9 Taken to a plane of punishment for a d4 years
10 Taken to serve otherworldly powers for a d4 years
11 Killed horribly and shamefully in public by some enemy, restored to life d4 years later
12 Catastrophic doom like home hit by a meteor or erupting volcano

In many cases, the effects may be healed or treated but sometimes the power may be even angrier and healing or raise the dead will not work unless by a greater power willing to pull rank. Dead oathbreakers are sent to hell for an aeon of punishment for oathbreaking failures.

These might take months if heroes daring or up to a d4 years if done off screen. 
If people wanted to skip campaign time that would be ok with me.

Now get out there and punish the wicked!

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