Rjurik "Special Dooms"
The Rjurik are a mercurial people, prone to extremes of mirth and depression. When they are at their lowest, the Rjurik are wont to carry on about their "special dooms" and the irresistable fate that binds them and drags them to their inevitable end. To simulate this unique (if somewhat grim) aspect of Rjurik culture and add a truly Rjurik flavor to such characters, the following powers may be purchased and/or disadvantages taken. While they are called "dooms" in keeping with Rjurik culture and outlook, they are probably more accurately referred to as"curses," since their presence does not necessarily lead to an afflicted character's destruction. Dooms vary from simple quirks or minor character features to relatively powerful effects. The more potent dooms generally provide both advantages and disadvantages (and both must be taken). Only one doom may be selected. Powers are calculated with Option points.
The character has an ancient (possibly ancestral) enemy who has sworn vengeance against the character's clan. The enemy may be another clan or tribe whose ancestors fought a blood feud against the character's forbears; in this case the DM must select or create an appropriate opposing clan or tribe. Representatives of the enemy clan are likely to appear at inopportune moments to demand blood vengeance for ancient wrongs, insist the PC fight a duel, or, in the case of unscrupulous or chaotic Rjurik tribes, perpetrate an ambush.
Alternatively, the character's enemy might be an especially powerful creature such as an influential noble, fiend, or an awnshegh whose hatred of the PC's family or bloodline extends back to the Battle of Mount Deismaar or beyond. Such a foe might be long dead, existing only in family tales of evil creatures and vows of vengeance. (Of course, the adage for the Hunted Disad is "If you take it they will come...")
20 Hunted Complication - Marked for Death
The PC or his clan has a special enemy upon whom punishment must be inflicted. The target may be an ancestral enemy clan or tribe, a powerful individual, or a supernatural creature such as an awnshegh. The character will have been instructed by his clan elders that family honor depends upon taking revenge.
How the PC handles this matter is up to the player, but a Rjurik who refuses to pursue a blood feud is often shunned by other clan members, denied assistance, and generally looked down upon. Actively pursuing a blood feud against an especially powerful enemy can be hazardous, however, especially considering that the feud is probably the result of insults and infractions committed generations before the character was born, giving the enemy time to
grow in power.
15 Psychological limitation "Special Vengeance" (Constant, Extreme)
The character has limited precognitive abilities. He receives visions, prophetic dreams, glimpses of things to come, or hints of future events. He might also recognize omens.
This doom is not magical clairvoyance or divination. Second sight is considered a curse by most Rjurik; those who have it often wish they did not. The visions are usually incomplete, incomprehensible, or confusing, and make sense only after the event in question has taken place. A character may see a vision of riches and ascent to a position of power, for example, but not a vision of his assassination a day later. A character who dreams of a specific enchanted sword will probably not know whether he will wield the sword in glorious victory, or if the sword will end his life.
Dreams may feature shadowy figures imploring the PC to beware of or seek out certain individuals or objects. Visions may appear at any time - as a character gazes into a mirror or a still pond, for example. Glimpses of the future will be brief and mysterious, involving people, places, and things that the character may recognize or which will enter the campaign in a future adventure.
30 Clairsentience - Normal Sight, Hearing, Smell, Future
-2 No Conscious Control
-1 Future Only
-2 No Range
This doom works in two ways: When the PC is lucky, he is very lucky, and when unlucky, extremely unlucky.
15 +3 Luck
15 Unlucky Complication
This ability is similar but less powerful than the blood ability animal affinity. It is, however, available to nonblooded characters. A blooded character with animal affinity cannot receive this doom.
One particular animal species holds an affinity for the doomed character. The player may select a suitable animal from the following list: Raven, Wolf, Bear, Fox, Stag, Lynx, Badger, Snake, Otter & Hawk.
These animals do not serve as friends of companions to the affected character, and they do not communicate. An animal may simply appear at an opportune moment, accidentally aiding or hindering the character. A leaping stag may lead a character to safety, while a cawing raven may call attention to a hidden warrior's enemies. A great bear may wander onto a battlefield in time to delay pursuing enemies or to help a player character's forces triumph; it might suddenly block the way when victory seems assured.
10 +2 Luck (Animals)
10 Unlucky (Complication, Animals)
This doom is similar to the divine wrath blood ability; a character with divine wrate cannot have the battle rage doom.
The battle rage curse differs from the Berserker in several important ways. First, any Rjurik character may be afflicted with "the Rage," regardless of class. Second, the Rage is involuntary - unlike berserkers, who can choose to "go beserk" of their own free will. The Rage comes unbidden upon curse Rjurik, often at the worst times. Though individuals with battle rage can be powerful fighters, its results (at least in Rjurik legend and story) are invariably tragic.
Battle rage must be triggered by a certain event or condition. This may be determined by the player, or by the GM (although all must be approved by the GM). Suitable events for triggering the Rage include:
- The death of a fellow party member in combat.
- The PC being wounded by an enemy.
- The sight of a certain creature or race.
- The presence of a member of a rival clan or tribe.
- A kinsman, loved one, or friend in danger.
When raging, characters must attack the nearest enemy, or, if no real "enemies" are present, the nearest individual, friend or otherwise. Once this individual has been killer or incapacitated, the character must then attack the next nearest individual, friend or foe.
Rjurik legend is full of sad tales about battle ragers who valiantly defeated enemies only to recover from the Rage and find a close friend or lover slain by the warrior's own hand.
Note that ragers are traditionally recognized as having black hair (though this is not a requirement).
25 Berserk Complication (Uncommon, Severe, Extreme)
60 3d6 Aid to Str, Dex,Body, Ref, Pre
+2 vs. SFX (all Powers)
+1 Triggered when Beserk
-8 1 charge
-8 Only while "Berserk"
-4 Only on Self
-1 Extra Time: Full Phase
The wilderness of the northern highlands harbors a group of legendary Rjurik -- the mysterious shapechangers. These individuals wander the land alone and are blessed (or in the opinion of many, cursed) with the ability to transform into fearsome, wild creatures. Rjurik shapechangers are not lycanthropes. Their transformation is voluntary, and when in animal form, they are vulnerable to normal attacks. They also run the risk of becoming so lost in their animal form that they cannot change back.
Shapechanging carries an inherent danger; a character who remains in animal form for more than one hour runs the risk of being unable to change back. A PC must make an INT roll vs DV of 13 plus one for each full hour (or portion thereof) beyond the first spent in animal form. If the check fails, the character must remain in changed form for another hour. If the character remains in animal form for more hours than his Intellect score, he is allowed no more INT rolls and is permanently trapped in animal form. His intelligence immediately drops to animal level (0-1). This does not preclude others from locating the changed character and using magic to restore him, but the character may take no further voluntary actions.
Unless permanently changed, a character is considered to retain his normal human reasoning capacity but gains animal strength, speed, size, etc. Magic use is probably impossible. If slain in animal form, the character is dead.
The following are possible animal forms (the cost will vary--the GM and player may need to confer):
Shapeshift to Animal (one shape) with the following advantages & limitations
-Enlarge or Shrink (variable)
-Gain possible Hand to Hand Killing Attack
-Gain possible Extra limbs
- Extra Time: 1 Turn (one minute), only to start power
-1 Int Roll to change back (see above)
Suggested Animal Forms:
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