Saturday, January 25, 2020

OSR: Even More Saints and Shrines

The Shrines posts have been getting some great responses, so I've brought out some more, this time making shrines based on content by other bloggers, used with permission. I also got a pair of shrines made by Chuffer of the STC blog, whose zine project I have been involved with. Coincidentally, most of these shrines ended up being about hunger and consumption in one way or another.

I've been looking at some ways to expand and innovate on the basic system, in particular removing some of my base assumptions about how the blessings need to work. Chuffer did a lot of the heavy lifting in that regard.

Here's five more Shrines that you can put in your game.

Shrine of Ceaseless Hunger
(Created by Chuffer of the STC blog, posted with permission)

Image result for tapeworm horror

The Ceaseless Hunger is the patron saint of the voracious, those for which hunger is more curse than natural appetite - both literal and figurative.
Shrine: A masterwork marble statue of a terminally underweight naked man, bones peeking through the skin, his body pulled inward towards his belly. He holds a large bowl of polished quartz filled with an oily yellow liquid, 2d6 black and white ringed tapeworms wriggle within.
Cult: Divided between two kinds of hunger. For some cultists, hunger is a physical force they’re slave to such as vampires, gnolls, and victims of curses. Others are spiritually hungry such as politicians, young entrepreneurs, and serial killers, always chasing the next station, job, or kill. Induction into the cult requires the consumption of a tapeworm.

Blessing of the Worm
R: 0 T: Self D: [Dice] Days
Any member of the party can bless one tapeworm each day. Consuming it grants a reprieve from any physical or spiritual hunger, defined by that player. The physically hungry are fully sated, and the spiritually hungry experience brief enlightenment and non-attachment. In lieu of monetary sacrifices, it is also possible to gain an additional worm each day by force-feeding them to non believers, at a rate of 5gp per worm.

Strictures of Ceaseless Hunger
Never deny proffered food or drink.
If you encounter food or drink you’ve never tried, you must and before sunset.**
Pressure others to continue eating even if they’re full.

Mantra of the Ceaseless Hunger
“But, still I hunger.” Used in a self deprecating manner after a good meal or successful endeavor.

*This spell will require significant DM adjudication; it may act as a temporary Remove Curse, temporarily cure the target of addiction, stop the target from suffering penalties for not eating, allow endlessly tinkering Artificers to sit and relax and sleep peacefully without racing thoughts and anxious dreams, etc.

**For things formally regarded as food/drink that are formally identified as such when you see/discover them. Not eating roadkill doesn’t violate the stricture. Seeing a stranger eating roadkill they’ve cooked for themselves and not trying some does.

Shrine of Ghoz Vahk, the Great Eater
(Based on a post by OrphRedHair. Used with permission)

The white-and-black vulture dragon, cloaked in a flaming green aura. Ghoz Vahk is the god of a tribe of cannibal lizardmen, constantly hungry.
Shrine: A sculpture of various bones arranged like a ziggurat, topped with the skull of a vulture. Tallow candles burn beside, and if they burn green, it means Ghoz Vahk looks favorably on the place.
Cult: The lizardmen who worship Ghoz Vahk, reveling in the Great Eater's message of hedonistic consumption and the glorification of excess. They make heavy use of vulture iconography, form a strong extended family, and value their own desires and satisfaction over whatever it may cost.

Iron Stomach
R: touch T: creature D: 1 hour
For the duration of the spell, the eater can devour anything. Food that would normally make them sick, poison, bone, even wood and stone go down the gullet. Additionally, the eater gains [dice]x2 extra inventory slots in their stomach, though the items must be regurgitated at the spell's end. If 4 dice are invested, the eater can even consume magic. Any spell targeting them can be eaten with a successful CON check and later regurgitated at will, and they can suck the enchantment off an item. These too must be regurgitated at the spell's end, unless the eater is a high priest of Ghoz Vahk, in which case they can be stored.

Strictures of Ghoz Vahk
Provide food for thy god, who is ever ravenous.
Sate yourself with whatever means necessary; happiness is found in excess.
To devour is to dominate; to own. Ghoz Vahk owns all. All must return to Ghoz Vahk.

A favorite prayer of Ghoz Vahk
Hatchling in the straw, how perfect in ravenousness. What lazy dignity, that is fed but never hunts.
But soon it rises to chase prey, and makes its game of swallowing.
There is little time for rest! Hunt! Feast! Revel! For now and ever, for all eternity, by the grace of god.

Shrine of The Abattoir God
(Based on a post by B44L. Used with permission)

Image result for abattoir horror

The abstract deity of abattoirs, slaughterhouses, gristle and butchers. Periodically incarnated (very literally) in a humanoid who takes on the divine powers of Meat, before being ritually sacrificed and eaten by their own cult.
Shrine: Constructed from discarded bones, cartilage and gelatin, dried to form a square pen in which worshipers pray and preach on all fours.
Cult: The cult predominates in secret among butcher and rancher families, and explodes in popularity when the Abattoir God is reincarnated and comes to town. They are fanatically loyal and mad, and are paradoxically eager to slaughter and sacrifice the avatar of their god.

R: 50' T: [dice] creatures D: 1 hour
Target creatures loses the desire to fight or resist you for 1 hour, placid even as they are bled and butchered. Save negates.

Strictures of the Abattoir God
Waste not and want not; all parts of the cattle must be used.
When you swear an oath, you must cut off a part of yourself to seal it.
The God must be slaughtered to be born anew.

Sayings of the Abattoir Cult
Observe how we carry on like cattle.
Dining and bleating and fighting
As we see those in front of us all to the knife.
The knife has no mercy since the beginning of days,
Nor do the cattle cease their bleating and folly.
So let your devoted hand strike the blow.

Shrine of The Gods of the Copybook Headings

Image result for gods of the copybook headings meaning

The simple sayings everyone knows, and few believe. The ones so quickly forgotten in place of the wondrous promises of charlatans. They're asinine and dull. That doesn't mean they're not true.
Shrine: Hidden places where the sayings are written. Chiseled on moss-covered boulders, carved into the out-of-the-way shelves in a library, or engraved on a pious tombstone.
Cult: The very young, who have not yet scorned the sayings, and the very old, who now understand why they must be kept. Those in-between often scorn the cult as backward, old-fashioned or ignorant.

R: earshot T: sapient creatures D: see below
Your words carry the spark of wisdom in them. When you describe heaven, people hear harps. When you describe hell, people can smell brimstone. You're either a prophet or a fool, and seem too crazy to be a fool. For as long as the spell holds, all sapient creatures in earshot are hypnotized by your moralizing. If you focus this effect on a single creature for the whole duration, they reroll their reaction rolls [dice] times and take the best result.
Duration [dice]: 1. a minute 2. an hour 3. a day 4. a week

Strictures of the Gods of the Copybook Headings
Stick to the Devil you know.
The Wages of Sin is Death.
If you don't work you'll die.

A favorite prayer of the Gods of the Copybook Headings
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

Shrine of Fowler the Filthy
(Created by Chuffer of the STC blog, posted with permission)

Image result for drowned child

The ghost of Fowler, a young boy averse to bathing who was drowned many years ago in this very river. The last thing he remembers is the pumice scraping off his skin, the burning in his lungs alleviated at last by freezing water. He became a folk legend, and the superstitious make shrines to him to ward off his spirit.
Shrine: Shrines to Fowler the Filthy can be found beneath the surface of shallow waters and in the dirty places of the world. Drowned shrines often depict a small pudgy boy reaching for the water's surface, body limp, eyes glassy, mouth open - too late to save. Fowler shrines found in the dirty places of the world have a far more intense sensory depiction. The same small, pudgy boy sits at the base of a small boulder, usually about twice his size and naturally shaped. The “boy” of the shrine is made of a wicker frame covered in rotting vegetation and liberally sprinkled with skunk oil. Insects and rodents nest inside his wicker body.
Cult: Fowler’s devotees come from the lower echelons of society; people who are all too often looked down on by others because of their own “dirtiness” whether it be figurative or literal. He has some well-to-do followers, devoted to him mostly out of compassion for children and the special needs community in general. The former tend to construct and worship at filth shrines, and the latter at drowned shrines.

Drowned Shrine
Drowned shrines - Fowler must be dragged from beneath the surface of the water and brought to shore. No sacrifices may be made to water shrines.
Water Breathing
R:Touch T: Living Creature D: [Dice] Minutes
This spell allows the target to breathe water as though it were air, giving the target the precious few extra moments that might have saved Fowler’s life.

Dirty Shrine
Dirty shrines - Fowler must be given a loving sponge bath with warm water. Sacrifices may be made in the form of perfumed oils being added to the water of the sponge bath on a 1 MD per oil basis.
Call Upon the Filth
R: 30’ T: A Person or Group You Can See D:[Dice] Minutes
Summon an infestation of filthy creatures; rodents, insects, arachnids, snakes, etc. One Swarm of [Sum] HD or [Sum] Swarms of 1 HD.

Strictures of Fowler the Filthy
If someone is drowning, save them or die by their side.
Do not allow cruelties to be visited on the weak and small, however necessary they may be.
Bathe the dirty, through coin or sponge.

A favorite prayer of Fowler the Filthy
“Sweet scents and fair skin mask filthy deeds and black hearts.” Said as a reprimand.


  1. Absolutely honored to be included here! Excellent content, from so many excellent creators.

  2. Very good stuff! I'm going to edit my post on the ogre mages and ad a link to here, definitely on topic.

  3. I’m in better company here than I’m worth, the vulture god of the cannibal lizards is off the metaphorical chain!