Monday, February 8, 2021

Campaign Pitch: When Do We Ride to Jerusalem?

Like an enemy HE has bent HIS bow;

HIS right hand poised like an adversary,

HE has slain all who pleased HIS eye;

HE has poured out HIS wrath like fire

on the tent of the Daughter of Zion. 

Character Generation

PCs are baseline characters in your GLoGhack of choice, except for two differences:

1. Instead of normal in-order stat assignment, each player (including the DM) rolls stats in order, then the players (excluding the DM) draft, taking turns claiming, say, the STR 14 someone rolled or the WIS 7 or what have you. Since the DM rolled up some stats, this should leave one set of attributes which we will save for later.

2. use failed careers instead of any other skill system. Here's one if you don't have a list handy:

d12 Failed Careers:

  1. Fisher
  2. Tax Collector
  3. Political Activist
  4. Thief
  5. Prostitute
  6. Beggar
  7. Con
  8. Scribe
  9. Exorcist
  10. Priest
  11. Carpenter
  12. Shepherd
When rolling 2d6 for random encounters, use whatever table is appropriate to the setting, but a roll of 7 is always orthodox oppressors and a snake-eyes is always the Devil.

art by Tomatobird

The Prophet
In addition to the normal PCs, the party will also be making a Prophet, the leader of the party. Mechanically, this is done by first taking the array of attributes left over from character creation, then communally generating a level 1 Heresiarch. They may have other powers, but the players know them not.

The Prophet gets all of the experience points which the party would receive. (If you don't want the campaign to be about dungeon crawling, give XP for each HD of person converted or 2xHD of priest out-debated) When the Prophet dies, all of these experience points are split by the party if they regroup and honor their leader's memory with a ceremony.

The Prophet is played by everyone, usually whichever player is most available in the moment. To keep some things consistent, always cleave to these principles for the Prophet:
  1. The Prophet knows they are going to die soon.
  2. The Prophet's word won't be understood until they are gone.
  3. The Prophet's message is eternal and for everyone.
  4. The Prophet is totally sincere, and knows they're the world's best hope.
The (inevitable?) death of the prophet is not the end of the campaign. If you've been lucky, it's only half-time. 

The City
As a group, you should determine some facts about the nation you start in, and the religion your Prophet has come to uplift. You begin as a voice in the wilderness, where people are spread out, authorities must appease your followers, and the demons are young and weak. The congregation is safe from being stamped out as long as it remains isolated, but may peter out if it does not gain a popular following. Eventually, you will have to come to the City.

The City is the center of spiritual power in the nation and (kings may scoff) the world. It is where the orthodoxy makes its laws and defiles its law. People will despise you, authorities will harry you, and demons inhabit ancient brazen forms, but it is here you must go. If you enter the city with a popular movement behind you, you will start to win. You will soar higher than you ever have, then the wings which raised you will be blasted apart from the spires of empires.

The Kingdom
In order for the Prophet's message to survive, it will need to form congregations in many nations. You can create a congregation by:
  • Having the Prophet give the Difficult Order to one of their rich followers to make a congregation in their community.
  • Giving 200 gold to one of your zealous followers to make a congregation in their community.
After the Prophet dies, you should be able to write accounts of their life and install them into congregations for a bonus. Maybe it's how you win the game.

New faiths require constant nurturing. Each month that a congregation goes without the Prophet or a PC visiting them, roll on the table below:

2d6 Congregation Events
  • 2. False prophet. Possibly claiming to be the party's prophet. Congregation doubles in size as doctrines shift towards new heresy.
  • 3. Minor miracle. Congregation heartened. 
  • 4. Raises 50 gold for renovations, or to fund a congregation elsewhere.
  • 5. Travelling magus competes with congregation leaders
  • 6. Rumor of potential boon. Slot in plot hook.
  • 7. Orthodox oppression. Same old same old.
  • 8. Rumor of threatened bane. Slot in plot hook.
  • 9. Orthodox priests debate congregation leaders
  • 10. Calamity. Congregation seeks 50 gold for renovations, or to escape tyranny.
  • 11. Backsliding. Congregation remains allied to the party, but resumes the behavior it once renounced.
  • 12. Orthodox crack-down. Congregation is destroyed unless it somehow planned for this, with a 50% chance each named member is killed or imprisoned.


  1. These kind of campaigns are fascinating to me. But then I think "eh, I'll run another dungeon-crawl". But one day, it will come to pass!

  2. This sounds amazing! I hope to run such a campaign someday.