Happy new year everybody! I wanted to finish off 2021 right, and what better way than with a complete DCC sorcerous patron. I have here a Vampire Lord, Mihir the Blood-Soaked, that aspiring blood magicians can swear themselves too, gaining vampiric power at the expense of ghoulishly transforming into a creatures of the night. He also has a complement of three new patron spells, as well as tables for patron taint and spellburn suggestions. This dark lord is also completely compatible with the DCC Lankhmar patron and agents rules, and I believe he would fit right in as a demanding patron of a morally dubious adventurer.
If you would like to download these rules in a slightly more readable and portable format, you can do so here.
Let me know what you think of Mihir! And I hope you get some use out of him in your own DCC game, and may all you dungeon crawlers out there have a happy new year.
Now onto the red meat!
Mihir the Blood-Soaked
Description: Legends speak of a scribe who dwelled in the city of Har-I-Nad on the Cerulean River in the ancient days of the land. This scribe, a humble clerk named Mihir, had lived an ordinary existence, but whether for fear of death or love of power, he began to turn his personal researches away from poetry and religion and towards the study of death itself. As the years went on, his depravity grew, as did his sorcerous might, and so did his fame as master of medicine and illness, earning him the name the Sanguine Scribe, as well as much fame and wealth. But when the daughter of the city overlord turned up dead in her chambers, completely drained of blood, a city-wide hunt against creatures of the night laid Mihir low, and he cut a bloody swath through the pursuing mob and fled into the hills. It was only when the city scribes examined their erstwhile colleagues notes and researches that the full extent of his unholy explorations was discovered, earning him the epithet he is called to this day, The Blood-Soaked. Now the blood-soaked lord sleeps in a deep torpor at the Black Ziggurat high in the Karsat Mountains, seeking out acolytes to be initiated into his bloody rites, he haunts the dreams of ambitious and unscrupulous sorcerers, promising them great power in exchange for service. And the Sanguine Scribe does not lie to his supplicants, great power can truly be theirs, but only at the cost of their very mortal existence!
Invoke Patron: A quick slice of the knife across your wrist or palm along with a shouted plea is enough to draw the assistance of the sanguine scribe to you. You may choose a lower option on the table if you wish.
Invoke Patron Check Results:
- 1: Lost, failure and worse! Roll 1d6 modified by Luck (3 or less) corruption + patron taint; (4-5) minor corruption; (6+) patron taint.
- 2-11: Failure. May be lost depending on the initial result of your Patron Bond spell.
- 12-13: The caster’s mouth fills with the taste of iron and ink, imbuing his acolyte with a degree of his own vampiric power granting the caster +2 to his next spellcasting roll.
- 14-17: The casters body becomes ethereal and mist-like as Mihir extends his gift of shapeshifting over his servant. The caster receives a +3 bonus to his AC and a +4 bonus to his Reflex saving throws due to his mist-like body. This effect lasts for 1d3 turns.
- 18-19: Mihir dispatches a swarm of vampiric bats (DCC Core Rulebook pg 396) to assist his beleaguered servant. The bats arrive in one round, and remain with the caster, protecting him but not under his control, for a number of turns equal to his CL.
- 20-23: The dread voice of the Blood-Soaked Scribe bursts from his servants lips, proclaiming the details of ancient pacts and promises between Mihir and the other orders of undead. The caster may now turn unholy against undead and demons as a cleric of equivalent level. A generous judge may allow the invoking servant to immediately make a turn undead roll.
- 24-27: Red-black blood pours forth from the casters mouth, eyes and fingernails. The caster may instantly cast a spell at a +10 bonus, he and his dark master’s voices speaking in unison as the blood-soaked spell is cast. This result automatically causes patron taint.
- 28-29: With a dread word of power, Mihir calls forth a horde of his ghoulish servants to obey his loyal acolyte. 1d12+CL Ghouls (DCC Core Rulebook Pg 416) arrive in one round, likely bursting out of the earth. The ghouls protect and obey the caster until the next sunset.
- 30-31: A magical darkness descends like a wave over the square-mile area around the caster. This magical darkness cannot be penetrated by any natural light, but it can be seen through by creatures with night-vision. Mihir’s vampiric blood flows through the caster’s body, completely healing them, granting them true-sight up to 60’, doubles their speed, and grants them a +3 to all attack rolls, casting rolls and saving throws. The darkness and Mihir’s gift lasts for the next eight hours.
- 32+:.The hunched and black-robed form of Mihir appears in the midst of his acolytes enemies. The Vampire Lord begins attacking and draining the blood of his acolytes foes. Attacking a single foe a round, forcing them to make a DC 25 fortitude save or die instantly, on a successful save, the victim suffers 4d12 damage. Each foe slain by Mihir causes 1d6 HP of healing to the caster, who may “send” this vampiric vigor to any allies they wish, healing them by the indicated amount instead. Mihir remains for a number of rounds equal to the casters CL.
1: Pallor: The first time this result is rolled, the casters skin takes on a pale or anemic complexion. The second time this result is rolled, the casters skin turns a sickly pale, their hair begins to grow thin and stiff, and they have a slight odor of blood and dirt. The third time this result is rolled, the caster’s hair completely falls out, and they actively reek of the grave, parts of their body also begin to rot and become necrotic. This deathly aspect permanently reduces the casters personality by 1d8. Roll 1d7 each time this result is rolled after the second to see which body part suffers this fate. (roll 1d7) 1; finger, 2; nose, 3; toe, 4; tooth, 5-7; body (creates a rotting sore). Once this result is rolled three times, the undead now regard the caster as something of a peer, mindless undead will ignore him on a roll of 1-5 on 1d6, and intelligent undead will be much more willing to speak with him, and are less likely to attack on sight.
2: Foe of the Sun: The first time this result is rolled, the caster becomes uncomfortable being out in direct sunlight, and prefers to cover themselves up when possible. The second time this result is rolled, the caster gains permanent night vision up to 30’ but suffers during the daylight hours, receiving a -1 penalty to to-hit rolls, AC and fortitude and will saving throws during the daytime. The third time this result is rolled, the caster actively takes damage from the sun, taking 1d10 damage per turn spent in direct sunlight, 1d6 damage per turn spent in obscured sunlight, and 1d3 damage per turn spent in dim sunlight. Obscured or dim sunlight will cause no damage if the caster is wearing full body covering clothing.
3: Unholy Hunger: The first time the caster rolls this result, they develop a taste for raw or undercooked meat, as well as a penchant for haggis and blood sausage. The second time the caster rolls this result they develop a craving for fresh blood, requiring a meal of blood every day to stave off the craving. Every day the character does not consume a meal of blood, they take 1 point of stamina damage and must make a DC 5 will save or else become obsessed and murderous in their quest to satiate their hunger. The difficulty of the save increases by 2 for each day the character is without a blood meal. The caster requires an amount of blood worth 2 hit points per CL, animal blood is sufficient to satiate this craving. The caster also now regains 2 hit points a day naturally, and suffers 1d6 damage from being doused in holy water. After rolling this result for a third time, the character suffers 2 points of stamina damage each day without a blood meal, and only the blood of sentient creatures will be enough to satisfy the unholy craving. The caster now also takes 1d8 damage from being doused in holy water.
4: Torpor: A dreadful fatigue comes over the caster, halving their normal speed, reducing their agility by 1d7 and granting him a -2 penalty to all of his rolls until he sleeps. When under the effects of this taint, the character must sleep 12 hours per CL before he shakes off the unnatural fatigue. Should a caster roll this taint while already under its effects, they immediately fall into a narcoleptic coma for 12 hours per CL.
5: Bestial Instincts: When refined, vampiric power can be an elegant weapon, but in its raw form, it turns its weilder into little more than a blood-hungry beast. When this taint is rolled, the caster falls into an animalistic fugue for 1d4 days, running around on all fours, howling and snarling instead of speaking, and sleeping during the day and waking up at night. The caster gains +8 Max HP for the duration, as well as a 1d6 unarmed attack, although they can only cast spells at a 1d14 casting die due to their primitive language and dulled mind.
6: Blood-Fueled Sorcery: Blood holds tremendous power, but due to that power it becomes easy to rely upon it in the conduct of sorcery. The first time this result is rolled, the caster must always draw a bit of blood (no more than a pinprick) from their body or a nearby creature whenever they cast a spell. The second time this result is rolled the first point of spellburn the caster spends has no effect, it is merely ‘priming the pump’ to get the rest of the sacrificed vitality woven into the spell. The third time and every time thereafter this result is rolled, the caster must make a luck check, if they pass, nothing occurs, if they fail, they must burn 1 stat point anytime they cast a spell, blood now being required for any magical operation.
Runic Alphabet, Vampiric
Level: 1 (Mihir the Blood-Soaked)
Range: One inscribed rune
Duration: Until triggered
Casting Time: 1 turn
Save: Will vs Spell DC. -1 penalty if the target is a living creature.
- General: As a scribe and sorcerer, it is not surprising that in his mortal life Mihir mastered the Runic Alphabet spell and made frequent use of it as a part of his duties to the Overlord of Har-I-Nad. As the scribe began to delve deeper into the secrets of undeath, he began to experiment with alterations to the spell, and eventually created his own set of runic letters that drew upon the power of death itself! Now he gives this spell to his new acolytes, setting them on the path to undeath themselves. Each vampiric rune requires the blood of the caster and the crushed bones of a corpse dead for less than a year and a day (which can typically be acquired for 20 GP if the caster wishes to avoid getting their hands dirty). The spell check receives a -2 penalty if the rune is traced mid-air, -4 if traced invisibly, or -8 if traced permanently.
- Manifestation: The rune must be drawn in a mixture of crushed bones and the casters own blood, no more than a thimbleful or two.
Spell Check Results
- 1: Lost, failure, and patron taint.
- 2-11: Lost. Failure.
- 12-13: Darkness: When gazed upon, this rune throws an area of 60’ into a great (but natural!) darkness, snuffing lights and reducing darkvision distance by ½. It lasts 1 turn.
- 14-17: Mist: When gazed upon, this rune disgorges a great amount of rolling mist, obscuring vision, imposing a -1d to perception checks and granting +1d to all stealth attempts. The mist lasts for 1 turn.
- 18-19: Bloodletting: When touched, this rune glows crimson with bloody power. All attacks with bladed weapons, claws or teeth made within sight of the rune gain +1 to hit and +1 to damage.
- 20-23: Leech: Creatures passing by this rune must make a will saving throw against the original spell check. On a failure, they immediately take 1d8+1 stamina damage as their vitality is drained by a spectral leech. On a pass they take no damage.
- 24-27: Torpor: Creatures viewing the rune must make a will saving throw against the spell check or fall into mundane sleep.
- 28-29: Compel: Creatures viewing this rune must make a will saving throw or else have a compelling order blasted into their mind. The order can be no more than nine words and cannot be suicidal. Those afflicted will follow the order to the best of their ability.
- 30-31: Rise: When this rune is inscribed upon a corpse, it rises as a skeleton or zombie (DCC Core Rulebook pg 426, 431). The corpse will obey the basic commands of the caster so long as the caster inscribes no more corpses than their CL. If the rune is not permanent, the corpse will stay animate for 1 turn per CL.
- 32+: Undeath: When this rune is viewed, it reduces all Turn Unholy rolls from clerics by -1d. When this rune is inscribed on a person, it permanently drains 1 stamina point, and reduces maximum hp by 1d6. When that creature is slain, it remains dead for 1d24 hours before they suddenly return to life with 1 hp.
Level: 2 (Mihir the Blood-Soaked)
Casting Time: 1 Action
Save: Will vs DC if subjects are unwilling
- General: The ability to control blood is one that Mihir considers essential for his most dedicated acolytes, it also gives his scholarly followers a way to defend themselves by utilizing blood as a weapon.
- Manifestation: See below.
Spell Check Results
- 1: Lost, failure, and patron taint.
- 2-11: Lost. Failure.
- 12-13: Failure, but spell is not lost.
- 14-15: The caster produces two shards of crystalized blood from their own body that they can throw at one target each, dealing 1d6 damage +CL. Those struck by the shards must pass a DC 15 fortitude save or begin losing 1 hp per combat round due to bleeding, until they receive medical attention.
- 16-19: The caster produces three shards of crystalized blood from their own body that they can throw at up to three targets, dealing 1d8 damage +CL. Those struck by the shards must pass a DC 17 fortitude save or begin losing 1 hp per combat round due to bleeding, until they receive medical attention.
- 20-21: The caster produces four shards of crystalized blood from their own body that they can throw at up to four targets, dealing 1d10 damage +CL. Those struck by the shards must pass a DC 20 fortitude save or begin losing 3 hp per combat round due to bleeding,until they receive medical attention. The caster also heals a number of HP equal to the damage dealt by each shard’s initial attack.
- 22-25: The casters’ palms open up and unleash a torrent of acidic blood. This attack has a range of 100’, and can be directed at a single target, dealing 5d10+CL damage, or half of that on a successful reflex saving throw (DC 22).
- 26-29: Pointing at a corpse, it erupts in a wave of blood that rushes towards a designated point within 100’, the impossibly large wave is ten feet wide, all those caught in the waves flow must make a DC 25 reflex saving throw or be knocked down as blood flows into their lungs, dealing 1d12+CL damage. On a passed save, the character takes only 1d6 damage from shards of crystalized blood, cutting them as the wave passes.
- 30-31: The caster weaves a blood curse around himself, causing those who strike him to suffer painful internal bleeding. Whenever the caster is struck in melee or at range, the attacker must make a DC 25 will saving throw or suffer 1d12+CL damage as their own body rebels against them. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the 1d6+CL
- 32-33: The caster weaves a powerful blood curse over a specific target, causing their blood to literally boil within their bodies. The target of this blood curse must be within sight of the caster, and they may roll a Fortitude save to resist the curse. On a failed save, they immediately take 8d10 damage (assuming they have blood). On a successful save they ‘only’ take 4d10 damage. If the target is killed by this spell, they explode in a shower of burning viscera, forcing those within 20’ of the target to make a DC 16 reflex save or take 2d6 damage, those who take damage have a ¼ chance of being set on fire.
- 34+ : The caster throws power over a wide area, taking control of the muscles and circulatory systems of an amount of creatures within sight equal to 1d6 x CL. These hapless thralls may make a saving throw to avoid their fate. On a pass, they merely take 4d10 damage as their own blood rebels against them. On a failure, they become blood-puppets of the caster, and are entirely at his bidding. The caster may command his blood-puppets to perform any action, even suicidal ones, which they will do through shouts of agonizing pain. These effects last for a number of rounds until the wizard breaks his concentration, and the blood-puppets may make a will saving throw every CL round to try and break out of their enslavement.
Level: 3 (Mihir the Blood-Soaked)
Casting Time: One Lunar Month
- General: Knowledge of this dread ritual is granted by Mihir only to his most dedicated and trustworthy servants. This dark ritual was devised by the Blood-Soaked Lord over many decades of study, and properly performing it has the capability of transforming its caster into a vampire! But not just any vampire, but one of great power and ability, unmarred by many of the weaknesses of the ancient curse. The careful ministrations of this ritual will leave its caster with greater power than a typical vampire. To preform the ritual, the caster requires a bronze coffin inlaid with certain sigils of obsidian, as well as a permanent runes of Rise, Undeath, Darkness, and Bloodletting from the Runic Alphabet – Vampiric spell inscribed on each of the coffins cardinal points. (Producing such a cursed object will likely cost around 5,000 GP). The caster then must prepare the coffin by filling it with fresh grave earth and the blood of a sorcerer, consecrating it to the Lords of Death in a 66 hour ritual utilizing rubies, black incense, and fragile obsidian knives that will cost roughly 1000 GP per ritual. Finally, the caster must wait until a new moon to strip naked, cover themselves in the blood and venom of a ghoul, and lay in the coffin before sealing it shut. It is at this point they make their casting roll. Regardless of the result, the casting time of this ritual remains the same, as the caster is subject to terrifying dreams and painful mutations as they remain in the coffin until the next new moon, emerging with only 1 HD of HP and having gained the ability as described by their casting roll. The coffin must be reconsecrated with the previously described ritual each time this spell is cast.
- The caster may choose to take a lower result than their roll if they wish.
- Manifestation: Incredible vampiric powers! Rise lord of the night!
Spell Check Results
- 1: Lost, failure, patron taint, and major corruption as the deadly energies within the coffin swirl out of control!.
- 2-11: Lost, failure, patron taint, and minor corruption as the deadly energies within the coffin seep into the caster..
- 12-15: Failure, but the caster managed to preserve much of the magical energies in the coffin, meaning he may cast this ritual again during the next new moon without the consecration ritual.
- 16-17: Emerging exhausted from the coffin, the caster finds they now can see just as well in darkness as in the daytime, and no longer receive any penalties from fighting or searching in the darkness. You are now so in touch with the darkness that when you gain a +1 to attack rolls, and saving throws when the sun is down. The caster must make a luck check, and on a failure, receive patron taint.
- 18-21: Emerging from the coffin suffused with dark dreams, the caster immediately gains a new necromancy spell randomly chosen by the judge. They may also select two necromancy spells they already know (such as Runic Alphabet – Vampiric and Blood Magic!) and increase their casting dice for those spells by +1d. The caster must make a luck check, and on a failure, receive patron taint.
- 22-23: The coffin creaks open and the caster emerges having learned a great deal about the nature of undeath and of the ancient pacts between vampires and lesser undead. Whenever the caster encounters an undead creature of less hit dice than him, he may attempt to compel it into his service. To compel a lesser undead, the caster must spend an action reciting ancient oaths and formulae, and the target must pass a DC 20 will saving throw. On a success, if the target is intelligent, they are likely quite angry at the caster for his presumption. On a failure, they will obey the caster as a (mostly) loyal minion, mindless undead will follow basically any order, while intelligent ones will follow most reasonable orders, but will not engage in suicidal behavior if they can help it. The caster can have a number of undead compelled into his service equal to his hit dice.
- 24-26: The caster emerges from the coffin, having unified with their own bestial nature, granting them extraordinary powers. The caster can now transform at will into a Giant Vampire Bat or Dire Wolf (DCC Core Rulebook Pg 396, 431), this transformation takes 2 rounds, and while transformed they retain their original HP and to-hit bonus, but use all other statistics from the relevant monster profile. The caster can also turn into a cloud of mist at will. This transformation takes 2 rounds, while transformed into a cloud of mist, the caster cannot attack or cast spells, but gains a natural AC of 20 and can only be harmed by magic, and take half damage from silvered weapons, they also gain a 60’ flying speed, and a +8 to all rolls to hide in shadows and move silently.
- 27-31: Stumbling from the coffin, the caster finds they have truly become an undead creature! The caster is now truly a vampire, gaining all the benefits of such a state. The caster no longer needs to eat or sleep. They immediately gain a permanent +2HD, you gain vampiric teeth and claws as natural weapons, dealing 1d6 damage each. The caster now takes only half damage from mundane weapons. The caster also may now heal himself by drinking the blood of sentient creatures and animals, with every 2 points of damage you deal with your teeth healing you 1 hp, and blood lapped up after a battle healing them 1d4 hp. The caster no longer ages, and will never take any penalties from aging. The caster also immediately gains the level 2 spell “Scare” (or another spell if they already possess it). Such is the power of this transformation that the character must immediately roll twice on the Patron Taint table, or once of a successful luck check.
- 32-33: Same as result 27-31. Except the caster may now cast the Spider Climb spell result of 18-19 at will an unlimited number of times, and gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws and to-hit rolls. The caster may now also make a free claw attack with a 1d16 action die every round if engaged in melee. The caster also immediately gains the level 2 spell “Strength” (or another spell if they already possess it)
- 34-35: Same as result 27-31. Except the caster now takes no damage from mundane weapons, half damage from silvered weapons, and full damage from magical weapons. The caster also gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws and to-hit rolls (stacking with the previous result). The caster may also cast Spider Climb result of 20-23 at will an unlimited number of times. The caster also immediately gains the level 3 spell “Haste” (or another spell if they already possess it).
- 36+: This spell check result represents a supreme mastery of the Ritual of the Undying Body, completing the ritual at this level grants you now additional benefits, however when the ritual is completed at this level you may purge one of your permanent patron taint results. In theory, performing the ritual at this level enough times would leave the caster with all of the benefits of vampirism with almost of the disadvantages. However, Mihir will certainly begin to perceive any acolyte of his who is able to cast the ritual at this level as a threat and rival.
As a sorcerer himself, Mihir is intimately familiar with the notion of vitality for power. The Sanguine Scribe will gladly grant his servants power (it at the very least gives him something to do in his torpor!) but will always extract his due in blood and flesh, reaching across dreams and distance to suck away at the magical blood of his willing servants.
- Invisible fangs bite into the neck or wrist of the caster, drawing forth the casters blood, which boils away on contact with air. The loss of blood is what causes the stat-point loss.
- Mihir roots through the mind of his Acolyte, consuming choice morsels of their dreams and lending arcane might in return. The caster’s stats are drained by this mind-invasion.
- The casters flesh begins to rapidly rot away, causing great pain and making the caster smell like an open grave. The rotting flesh lends its lifeforce to the spell, manifesting as stat point loss.
- Mihir offers the chance for the caster to purge their very life essence to power their magic, as well as the life essence of the casters’ companions. The caster may exchange their own HP on a 2 to 1 basis for spellburn, and may exchange the HP of their fellow adventurers (Mihir only desires the blood of heroes) on a 3 to 1 basis for spellburn.
Tasks and Influences (For Swords and Sorcery Style Games):
For swords and sorcery style games utilizing the DCC Lankhmar rules, Mihir is available to be the patron of player characters, granting them the benefit of a patron die (Judges Guide to Nehwon pg 29), he is also available as a normal patron for the particularly devoted.
Patron Influences: Battle, Wizardry, Rejuvenation.
Assistance Effects: The Judge may utilize this table to give flavor to the effects of the agent die.
|1||Black blood flows through the veins of the Agent, granting them the strength of vampirism, if but for a moment.||Mihir has foreseen this request, and the agent recalls having seen additional formulae for the spell they are casting in the previous night’s dream||The agent’s blood flies back into his wounds, which stitch up with black catgut threads.|
|2||The blood of the agent’s enemies eagerly evacuates their wounds, spraying out with alarming speed.||The very arcane words the caster speaks fly out of his mouth as bloody sigils, empowering the spell.||The agent’s damaged flesh dessicates and blows away into dust, revealing healed tissue beneath.|
|3||The agent begins violently biting his foes, piercing armor and drawing great gobbets of blood.||A vampire bat flies down from the sky and onto the casters shoulder, where it whispers an arcane secret to them.||The agent’s wounds stop bleeding immediately, leaving only gashes, cuts and gouges.|
|4||The blood already coating the weapon of the agent actively drives into the wounds of his foes, tearing tissue and causing immense pain.||The caster takes on the aspect of the undead as they cast their spell.||Mihir continually sends more blood into the heart of the agent, keeping them alive and causing him to lose a ridiculous amount of blood in the fight.|
Tasks: Roll 1d4
- Mihir requests that his agent go and slay a great beast, such as a giant, cockatrice, or whatever monster would be appropriate for your campaign. Once the beast is slain the agent must drain its blood, and use the body to create a scroll on which he is instructed to write arcane formulae in the creature’s blood.
- The next nine creatures that the agent personally slays must have their hearts cut out and eaten in the name of the Blood-Drenched Lord!
- The Sanguine Scribe demands that his agent seek out an ancient tome of arcane lore, which he will hand deliver to the coffin of his patron at the Crimson Ziggurat.
- Mihir hungers, and dispatches his agent to slay a sorcerer or vampire whose blood would be pleasing to him.
Another happy new year to all of you reading this! Here’s to another year of adventure, gaming, and gold and glory won by blood and steel!
One thought on “Bloody Magic! A Vampire Lord Patron for Dungeon Crawl Classics”
Delightful. The only thing missing is a “blood tsunami” result for Blood Magic – in case you absolutely want to paint everything red.