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DarkisnotEvil

The Stars Are Aligned! Fantasy Astrology Pt.2

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(Continuing from previous post)
Now that the star signs have been established, astrology can be accomplished by PCs or NPCs, whether by reading the stars directly or by consulting star charts.

Variant Rule: Astrology Tools and Checks

Under these variant Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition rules, astrology is considered a tool proficiency, like alchemy or woodcarving. The set of books, notes, and maps of the night sky required to determine celestial movement are known altogether as a star chart. Astrology checks take 2 hours of light work and can be made by someone proficient with astrology if a star chart is not available, but they must have access to a clear sky with visible stars and do not add their proficiency bonus to the check.

If a clear sky is not available (such as during a cloudy night or bright day), but a star chart is, an astrology check can be made at disadvantage and requires twice the time to accomplish. An astrology check made with the aid of a telescope has advantage if and only if the consulted stars are visible at the time the check is made. Astrology checks also take a -2 cumulative penalty for each astrology check made by the astrologer within the last 7 days, with the penalty for checks made less than 24 hours ago increasing to -5.

Once an astrologist has informed the DM of their intention to make a check, the DM determines the current major sign and correct modifiers, rolls in secret, and then informs the player of the results. To determine an astrology result, the DM chooses the most appropriate response from the sign's Divination column, replies with a phrase of similar type that is tied to the nature of the sign, or, if the result is random, may roll 1d8 from the sign's table for the result.

Table: Astrology Check
DCResult
Less than 5False Information
5Reading Failure
10Random Sign
15Random or Current Sign
20Any Major Sign
25Secrets of the Stars
30Cosmic Revelation
False Information:
Somehow, you've decided that the stars mean something they really, really don't. The DM proceeds as if it were another result of their choice (including Reading Failure), except that any divination here is either false or random.
Reading Failure:
You cannot determine anything useful from the stars at this time.
Random Sign:
The DM rolls 1d12 and consults the Sign Results table. The astrologist is given an astrology result from the rolled sign's table.
Random or Current Sign:
The DM rolls 1d12 and consults the Sign Results table. The astrologist is given a choice between an astrology result from the rolled sign's table and a result from the current major sign's table. If the rolled sign is the same as the current major sign, the astrologist is given two results from the current major sign instead.
Any Major Sign:
The astrologist is given a choice between an astrology result from the major sign of their choice, a result from the current major sign and a random sign, or two results from random signs. For cases where random signs are used, if a rolled sign is the same as the current major sign, the astrologist is given two results from the current major sign instead for each matching roll.
Secrets of the Stars:
The astrologist is given a choice between gaining the effect of a Any Major Sign result with the additional benefit that that they can choose the result of one of the Sign Results rolls, or the ability to ask a single question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity to occur within seven days, to which the DM offers a truthful reply. The reply given by this option might be a short phrase, a cryptic rhyme, or an omen. This effect is non-magical and doesn't take into account any possible circumstances that might change the outcome, such as the casting of spells, another consultation, or the loss or gain of a companion. Furthermore, if this second option is chosen, it cannot be chosen again until the Major Sign changes.
Cosmic Revelation:
The astrologist is given a choice between gaining the benefit of a Secrets of the Stars roll or immediately gaining the benefit of a Contact Other Plane spell, even if the astrologist is not a spellcaster. If they choose the second option they cannot choose that option again until the current Major Sign changes.

Table: Sign Results
1d12 Major Sign (Modality Element)
1 Shield (Cardinal Earth)
2Chisel (Fixed Air)
3Brush (Mutable Water)
4Sword (Cardinal Fire)
5Chain (Fixed Earth)
6Dice (Mutable Wind)
7Oar (Cardinal Water)
8Seal (Fixed Fire)
9Plow (Mutable Earth)
10Tome (Cardinal Air)
11Bowl (Fixed Water)
12Torch (Mutable Fire)

Major Signs:
(1) Shield (Cardinal Earth)

The shield represents something that is being protected at all costs, or resolve in the face of adversity.
1d8 Divination
1You are currently protecting something. It is more precious than you know.
2An enemy puts everything you love in danger. Find it and eradicate it.
3There is something you need to leave behind forever.
4Someone is challenging your principles. Do not fear them, and stay your course.
5Recent events have steeled your courage. Use it to finish your task.
6Rely on your allies for strength. They will support you through thick and thin.
7Face your next challenge without fear, and you will not fail.
8Your defenses are exhausted. Find an opportunity to recover them.

(2) Chisel (Fixed Air)
The chisel represents knowledge made permanent. A fact is made clear, important and indisputable.
1d8 Divination
1Concentrate on what you know, and the path to your goal will become clear.
2You will learn something incredible soon. Don't be afraid to believe it.
3You've forgotten something critical. Try to remember it.
4Someone will ask you a question soon. The answer is relevant to both you and them.
5You are searching for something when it's already present.
6Someone has given you false information. Weed it out from the truth.
7Answers to your question can be found through academic study.
8Speak decisively. You know the truth- make it heard.

(3) Brush (Mutable Water)
The brush represents a new approach to an old philosophy, or something viewed from a new perspective.
1d8 Divination
1You have a question. Replace who/what/where/when/why with one of its alternates.
2One of your enemies can be turned to an ally with the right approach.
3One of your friends will become your enemy if you do not change your approach.
4Your priorities are badly ordered. Consider why this is.
5You're asking the wrong questions. Reconsider your goals and ask again.
6You're hesitating when you should be acting. Right now, you are on the right path.
7Advice you've been given is incomplete. Add your own spin to it.
8You have someone in mind. Consider the situation from their perspective to receive the answer.

(4) Sword (Cardinal Fire)
The sword represents a deliberate change in power, or a new direction or action an existing power has decided to take.
1d8 Divination
1Someone is going to challenge you- prepare yourself.
2Someone in power needs to have their authority challenged.
3Consider if your current change of heart or priorities is for the better or not.
4If you have set off in a new direction in your life, follow through it. If not, you should consider doing so.
5Power in this area has shifted hands, visibly or not.
6Someone in authority has been incapacitated or died.
7A rightful ruler comes to take their position.
8Someone you care for deeply has changed greatly from when you last saw them.

(5) Chain (Fixed Earth)
The chain represents peace, restraint, and consistency. What is considered wrong or evil has been controlled.
1d8 Divination
1Do not worry, all is at peace.
2A great evil, once concealed, has broken free. Restrain it again.
3You have become stuck in your ways. Try something different.
4Have patience with the task you are on. It will pay off in the long run.
5Claims of peace here are false. Something hidden is awry.
6You need to restrain one of your vices or else face peril.
7Consider settling down into a more calm routine.
8You will soon establish an unbreakable bond, or one you have now will be re-enforced.

(6) Dice (Mutable Wind)
The dice represent uncertainty, for good or ill. Things are no longer as stable as they once were.
1d8 Divination
1Your behavior and emotions are errant. Take the time to calm yourself and plan.
2The next major challenge you face will rely mostly on luck rather than skill.
3Luck is on your side. Take advantage of it.
4Luck is against you. Be careful.
5This is a good time for you to take a risk.
6Prepare for contingencies- one of your plans will be broken by an unexpected twist of fate.
7An unexpected person or blessing will change your life for the better forever.
8A bond you once held dearly will dissolve.

(7) Oar (Cardinal Water)

The oar represents a cultural change, or an alteration to an existing philosophy.
1d8 Divination
1One of your personal dogmas needs to adapt or change, or you will face dire consequences.
2The public's opinion will change on a major idea or law.
3Your plans need only a few more alterations to become perfect.
4You have been convinced of something false.
5A prophet preaching a new way of life is coming. Listen to them carefully.
6Hold to your beliefs in the face of those who hate and attack you.
7A fad is entering the common consciousness. It is harmless.
8A common belief is not always true, but not all iconoclasts are martyrs.

(8) Seal (Fixed Fire)

The seal represents someone in power enforcing something, whether philosophy or law.
1d8 Divination
1You will be held accountable for a secret crime you have committed.
2When you are in danger, friends in high places will come to your defense.
3A new law is coming into power- enforced rightly, it will benefit the people, but wrongly, it will doom them.
4You will be vindicated of a torment that has plagued you many years.
5A new faith, nation, or philosophy will bring together disparate peoples.
6You will be given a weighty decision that you cannot pass off to another.
7Corruption and nepotism hide in the shadows. Reveal them and burn them away.
8Someone in power is your enemy, and will use this power against you.

(9) Plow (Mutable Earth)

The plow represents the everyday and ordinary, from which the extraordinary and successes can be harvested.
1d8 Divination
1You will meet someone important in a place you never would have expected to find them.
2Remember your humility. Pride goeth before a fall.
3You are capable of things you cannot now imagine. Go forth and do them.
4This task before you, though ordinary, is critical to your plan's success.
5An enemy rises from the commonfolk against you.
6You need to return to basic training to obtain the power you seek.
7Someone powerful is pretending to be weak, a sage feigning foolishness.
8Victory comes to you in the small blessings on life's path.

(10) Tome (Cardinal Air)

The tome represents information turned towards a cause or end, or a manifesto, a goal that calls for aid.
1d8 Divination
1Your cause is righteous, your forces behind you to the end.
2One of your allies hides treachery and hypocrisy.
3Be careful you know and believe what you say. Review your knowledge before moving forwards.
4Your supporters follow you, not your beliefs. Know the difference.
5The armor does not make the knight, the tome not the sage.
6Even if you feel alone, allies can be found if you search for them.
7Your heart burns for a cause. Go out and fight for it.
8Call your allies to council, and ensure you are in agreement.

(11) Bowl (Fixed Water)
The bowl represents internal clarity made whole and firm, a resolve or belief that cannot be shaken.
1d8 Divination
1Simply claiming ignorance is no substitute for wisdom. You must know to act with confidence.
2You hesitate in your actions. It would be best if you come to a certainty before moving on.
3The river's water is muddied, but you do not need to see into it to find gold.
4Recall what you love the most and go to it.
5Inner peace will come to you when the time is right.
6Remember that your power does not come from extravagant magic or powerful weapons, but the quiet voice inside you.
7Someone else will teach you something you could not learn on your own.
8Be careful that still clear water does not grow stagnant and vile.

(12) Torch (Mutable Fire)
The torch represents change, but it is wild and uncontrollable, such as a revolution or natural event.
1d8 Divination
1Someone else is more suited for your role, and you for theirs.
2Out of the ashes of destruction comes hope.
3You cannot stop what is to come. Prepare to survive it instead.
4Someone fearful seeks to snuff out the fire you are setting.
5The future cannot be seen. Be wary of future divination.
6An unexpected change in dynamics will strain one of your bonds.
7In time you will find yourself a completely different person.
8The sudden change that is to come is positive. Welcome it with open arms.

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Updated 12-25-2017 at 11:54 PM by DarkisnotEvil

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  1. Erran's Avatar
    Impressive... To have reached for an essence of the stars´ influence, and, having come back from those depths, at the surface, to wield new names and relationships... Or to be clever enough to make it look so :) In the context of role-play, a system, such as this one, raises in beauty above what the order and meanings can offer, as it gives to the interaction of players and game master a new dimension. A work of art, surely, to those who can appreciate it. Alas, to me, whose inexperience makes all look much like a magician´s Illusory Script scroll, it can do little more than set ajar a new door leading towards that world of wonders I aim to, someday, take part in. And I had this thought: If only there would have been some examples of actual play, to at least give one like me an idea of the extent to which this system´s use could influence an adventure... And so I ask, if only to meet a beginner´s fancy with kindness: If it would please the author, as in an opening of that door to possibilities wider, could the finding of such examples be, at some time, considered?
    Updated 02-06-2018 at 10:00 AM by Erran
  2. DarkisnotEvil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Erran
    Impressive... To have reached for an essence of the stars´ influence, and, having come back from those depths, at the surface, to wield new names and relationships... Or to be clever enough to make it look so In the context of role-play, a system, such as this one, raises in beauty above what the order and meanings can offer, as it gives to the interaction of players and game master a new dimension. A work of art, surely, to those who can appreciate it. Alas, to me, whose inexperience makes all look much like a magician´s Illusory Script scroll, it can do little more than set ajar a new door leading towards that world of wonders I aim to, someday, take part in. And I had this thought: If only there would have been some examples of actual play, to at least give one like me an idea of the extent to which this system´s use could influence an adventure... And so I ask, if only to meet a beginner´s fancy with kindness: If it would please the author, as in an opening of that door to possibilities wider, could the finding of such examples be, at some time, considered?
    Please don't use purple prose when asking for DMing help. It's difficult to read and generally makes people disinclined to reply.

    Okay, so for the tools:
    Suppose I have proficiency for astronomy tools, a Proficiency Bonus of +3, and an Intelligence/Wisdom modifier (depending on what ability score you or your DM wants to use for this) of +3. That means I make astrology checks at +6.
    If I take the time to make an astrology check during downtime, the DM secretly rolls for me. A result of a natural 20 on my check gives me a total of 26, and I gain the benefits of Secrets of the Stars. As listed, this means I may pick from rolling for two random signs I wish to get revelations from, choosing a single major sign of my choice to get a result from, getting a result from the current major sign and a random sign, or asking a question with the requirements and restraints given.
    • If I choose a single major sign I want to specifically consult, the DM either rolls to give me a result from the 1d8 table associated with the sign, gives one of the results on the table that he/she decides is relevant, or, at DM discretion, gives me a result of his/her own choosing that fits the tone of the sign.
    • If I want one random sign and the current major sign, the DM does the same for the current major sign (which both of us should know), and rolls a 1d12 to determine what other sign results. If the random sign is the same as the current major sign, I would get three results from that sign instead of one, giving me an incredible amount of information.
    • If I ask to have both signs be random and for some reason they are both the current major sign, I receive four results from that sign! If one of them is the same as the current major sign, I instead get two results from that sign and one from the other random sign.
    • Otherwise, I can ask a question about something happening within seven days.

    For example, my astrologist wishes to know if any significant battles will occur within the next seven days. The DM may reply, "The fate of two kingdoms will be decided near a red creek," and I might be able to use that to deduce what I can do to influence that or what that means to my character. Or I might want a result from the Shield sign and the DM could tell me "An enemy puts everything you love in danger. Find it and eradicate it." Or, I could ask for random signs, and the DM, after rolling, could tell me, "One of your enemies can be turned to an ally with the right approach," and "This is a good time for you to take a risk."

    Does this answer your question?
    Updated 04-13-2018 at 01:10 AM by DarkisnotEvil
  3. Erran's Avatar
    It does answer it, thank you. I was hoping for the complete image of an adventure´s context: that which the GM´s answer is based on, and to which the answer applies. A link to a pbp game where your system is employed seems like a good idea.

    With regard to purple prose: I wasn´t aware I was using that. Please accept my apologies. Writing on this site was also an exploration of what is possible between people. Of course, I can only respect everyone´s boundaries.
    Updated 04-13-2018 at 07:49 AM by Erran
  4. DarkisnotEvil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Erran
    It does answer it, thank you. I was hoping for the complete image of an adventure´s context: that which the GM´s answer is based on, and to which the answer applies. A link to a pbp game where your system is employed seems like a good idea.

    With regard to purple prose: I wasn´t aware I was using that. Please accept my apologies. Writing on this site was also an exploration of what is possible between people. Of course, I can only respect everyone´s boundaries.
    It's currently not implemented in any game, to my knowledge. They're optional rules I made because I wondered how to approach the subject, and I haven't run a game where they would really be applicable yet. I might put them in the Feywild game, but that's not decided yet.