Dec 9, 2015

The Dawnlands are Back / Dooms

I'm going to be converting the Dawnlands over to Runequest 6 from Openquest. My plan is to run a third complete (fourth total) campaign set in the Dawnlands sometime in the next year or so. I've been playing in Lawrence Whitaker's Mythic Britain campaign now for a little over a year and Legend / RQ6 has always been one of my favourite systems, with only the challenge of teaching it to new players holding me back from doing more with it. Here's a bit about cursing the people who killed you using the passion system from Runequest 6.


Anyone with a passion rated higher than 100% may, upon dying, choose to utter a doom - a curse or prophecy on or about the subject of their passion. The doom must be made in the round the person expires, and must consist of a few short sentences, with a total length in words of 10% of the passion's rating (so a 100% passion allows 10 or fewer words). The character must be able to speak aloud.

Upon making the doom, the character checks against their passion. On a critical failure, the doom is realised only as a cruel joke of fate on the curse-giver. On a failure, the doom has no effect. On a success, the doom takes effect until the next dusk or dawn, whichever comes first. On a critical success, the doom becomes permanent until the character's body is buried or cremated with suitable ceremonial pomp to appease their spirit (requiring either Customs or Exhort), or a shrine, idol, totem or other marker is erected to honour them (such a marker must be Consecrated as per the spell by a priest of the same religion as the character). Dooms come into effect immediately.

Dooms make all skill rolls directly related to avoiding them one step harder, while all skill rolls directly related to bringing them to fruition are made one step easier. If the dooming character includes an end-condition to the curse, all skill rolls are either two steps harder or easier, as appropriate. Characters are not automatically aware of dooms.

e.g. Torun Half-Nose is stabbed to death by Hafek the Unwise. As he gargles out his last breath, he curses "My children will avenge me!", rolls his passion [Love (Children) 115%)] and gets a critical success. Torun's children will then find all skill rolls related to avenging their father to be one step easier, while Hafek finds any rolls to resist them will be one step harder.

e.g. Bjan the Wolf-Eater returns from campaigning to find a Kaddish warband (the Locusts) has destroyed his kraal, slain his family and friends, and plundered his village. He commits ritual suicide out of shame, cursing the destroyers of his line "Kaddish will bleed until the mountains are ground to dust" and rolls his Hate (Kaddish) 130% passion. Bjan critically fumbles, and so a Kaddish herbalist investigating the healing properties of a rare clay in the northern mountains suddenly finds it makes the perfect addition to bandages to encourage clotting (or at least her Lore roll to identify this property is two steps easier).

Some Extant Dooms in the Dawnlands

"The Kaddish will never know peace" - made by the (now) Lich-King of Dlak upon his death during the destruction of Dlak (Affects all rolls to directly drag the Orthocracy into a war, or to start a riot in Kaddish)

"I will be slain three times, and three times resurrected" - Tegon, the Maimed Lord, vampire near-god (Directly affects all rolls to ritually resurrect him or to prevent this from happening)

"My children will feast on the graves of the optimates" - Mainos, halfling Broken Chain martyr (Affects all rolls to prevent revolutionary sentiment from growing amongst the Dwer helots and slaves)