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05/02/2006


d20 Critical Locations Excerpt

Within the pages of d20 Critical Locations you'll find 40 full-color maps of interesting modern locations, valuable to any d20 Modern campaign. Beautifully rendered by cartographer Christopher West and ready for use in any d20 Modern, each map comes with adventure hooks and pregenerated supporting characters. Some maps appeared previously in Polyhedron Magazine, but most are new for this product. The excerpts below include the introduction and the gothic church entry.


GOTHIC CHURCH

Built to survive the ages, this aging cathedral is a testament of faith, done in marble, stone, and gorgeous antique stained glass. Despite a declining number of regular worshipers, the church serves as a central point for many people in the neighborhood. In addition to regular services, the church sponsors food drives, free meals for the homeless, and counseling services for those in need.

In campaigns that involve FX, particularly magic and the inclusion of sinister outsiders and undead, the church sometimes becomes a sanctuary for heroes eluding the forces of evil or a stopping point to meet with a priest. At the GMs discretion, the hallowed ground of the cathedral hedges out evil outsiders (see Hallowed Ground below).

Occupants

During the day, the church holds 1d4 priests, 2d6 administrative personnel, and 2d100 worshipers. This number increases by one die type (1d4 to 1d6, for example) during active services and one additional die all day on holidays. At the GM's discretion, one or more of the priests is actually an Acolyte (see page 322 of the d20 Modern Roleplaying Game).

Structural Features

Here are the typical hardness values, hit points, and break DCs for various barriers and devices found within the church.

External Door: Hardness 5; hp 50; break DC 26.

Internal Door: Hardness 5; hp 20; break DC 23.

Pews (bolted): Hardness 5; hp 100; break DC 26.

Altar (bolted): Hardness 5; hp 20; break DC 23.

Hallowed Ground

If your game includes magic FX and creatures such as outsiders, the heroes may find themselves heading to the cathedral in hopes of finding sanctuary or weapons of power for use against evil. At the GM's discretion, the cathedral and its surrounding property are considered holy ground, which grants the following effects:

  • Outsiders with an allegiance to evil must succeed on a Will save (DC 20) to enter the property.
  • If a character who is possessed or under the mental control of an evil outsider enters into hallowed ground, he makes an immediate Will save (equal to the original check with a +4 sacred bonus) to regain control.
  • Checks to turn undead gain a +4 sacred bonus, and checks to command undead take a -4 penalty.
  • A dead body interred on hallowed ground cannot be turned into an undead as long as it remains there.

Holy Water

Holy water is a staple for fighting the forces of evil, and heroes may invariably make their way to a cathedral in the hope of obtaining some. In campaigns with FX and monsters, the GM may decide that normal priests (in addition to Acolytes) are capable of creating holy water.

Depending on your campaign, there are two ways that holy water is created. First, holy water is created by a spell that only Acolytes are capable of casting (see New Spell below). Alternatively, creating holy water is something that any ordained priest with at least 5 ranks in Knowledge (theology and philosophy) and an allegiance to good can produce in limited quantity. In this case, the priest in question must perform a ritual that takes 1 hour. Once complete, the priest creates 1 pint (flask) of holy water. This quantity is commonly deposited in a larger vessel for ordinations, blessings, and the like. The holy water in this larger vessel of water is perfectly acceptable for these rituals (including use as a spell component for an Acolyte), but is too far diluted to harm undead creatures; only the "potent" original batch has the strength to harm evil. See below for the effects of holy water.

Bless Water

Transmutation

Level: Acolyte 1; Components: V, S, M; Casting Time: 1 minute; Range: Touch; Target: Flask of water touched; Duration: Instantaneous; Saving Throw: Will negates (object); Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

This transmutation imbues a flask (1 pint) of water with positive energy, turning it into holy water. Holy water damages undead creatures and evil outsiders almost as if it were acid. A flask of holy water can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A flask breaks if thrown against the body of a corporeal creature, but to use it again an incorporeal creature, you must open the flask and pour the holy water onto the creature. Thus, you can douse an incorporeal creature only if you are adjacent to it. Doing so is a ranged touch attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A direct hit by a flask of holy water deals 2d4 points of damage to an undead creature or an outsider with an allegiance to evil. Each such creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1 point of damage from the splash.

Material Components: Powdered silver (purchase DC 15).

Adventure Seeds

  • Years ago, an order of Acolytes defeated a powerful fiend and imprisoned its life force beneath a church. The order has long since faded into obscurity, and shortly after the church closed its doors, the wards that bound the demon's essence started to break down, allowing the fiend's life force to suffuse the church itself. Consequently, the fiend has gained the ability to animate the church's rooftop gargoyles and use them to gather sacrifices for a blood ritual that will free it from its prison. The heroes happen to be looking for someone snatched by the gargoyles. Drawn to the church by a series of clues, they find an old book left behind by the Acolytes describing a spell that the heroes can cast to trap the fiend once more.

  • The heroes work for Department-7, investigating paranormal phenomena. Their latest case involves a priest and retired exorcist who frequently lends his expertise to the department. Recently he began receiving threatening emails, and the heroes are asked to investigate. The heroes are unable to trace the emails, despite knowing the sender's address: valefor666@acheron.com. "Valefor" claims to be one of many demons the priest has exorcised over the years. It's only a matter of time before Valefor's ardent worshipers come knocking on the church doors.

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