Adventurer's Chronicle II
Continuing the series inspired by and loosely based on work by some very clever internet people, more primer questions. This article’s focus is on finding help when you really need to know a guy:
Where can we go to get some magical healing?
The stock answer to this question is that the general citizenry are encouraged to visit temples to receive emergency magical healing. Magical healing is so fast and potent that it’s just not viable to try any other source when time is of the essence. However, what magic is available for free tends to subject to limited availability, as the average civilian cleric (much unlike the average adventurer cleric) can only use healing magic four or five times per day. If the only healing needed is for hit point damage, getting in on a communal channeling is a very inexpensive (if the cleric is taking a mandatory tithe from adventurers, as most require) way to regain life before returning to adventuring (Generally, this is just a 1d6 hp regen 30 foot burst channel from a first level cleric).
This world has a few advantages over the stock world in that there are certain gifted manufacturers who can even produce basic surgical tools so advanced as to be worthy of that persistant Arthur C. Clarke quote. From the ability to produce these tools has come a reliance on surgeons for non-emergancy medical care. For example, when one has an embedded snake fang or giant insect stinger (especially after the poision itself has largely worn off) stuck in one’s thigh, it is often best to have it surgically removed by the friendly Dwarf Hospitaler nearest to you to prevent further complications. These types of maladies, not usually healed by magic, are nonetheless very important in reducing the frighteningly short lifespan of contemporary adventurers.
The dark side of these advances in tools is that medical practices have not necessarily stayed lock-in-step with reality. Sometimes, the surgeon is a bit too excited about the procedure he read about in Homeopathy Weekly. Horror stories of adventurers who retired from adventuring after having a leg unnecessarily amputated due to medical complications are present. The new blood transfusion technology (itself the only possible cure for some of the nastiest bleeding wounds adventurers sustain) has a frighteningly high death rate too. Even so, when magical healing is insufficient or unavailable, these surgical cures are often an adventurer—by definition, one who lives on the percentile—’s last and best hope.
Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath?
This is going to be a downer of an answer.
- Poison usually either kills its victim or finishes afflicting him far before he could get to a temple or hospital. When he is brought before a cleric or surgeon, the best among each will recommend only that he take to full days of bed rest if he’s survived this long. Ability damage is a foul affliction indeed, healed only at the slow rate of one point per night or two points per full day of bedrest.
- Diseases, on the other hand, are actually pretty good things to take to a hospital or temple. Even those clerics who are unable to cast the advanced magic to instantly magically cure diseases tend to have training in recognizing and minimizing the harm of such afflictions. If the cleric can help by magic, it’s certain that he will, provided that the adventurer or his friends can provide a penance or act of charity in exchange. Certain diseases might also have surgical cures.
- Curses, like diseases, tend to be slow acting. A cleric with a free full day and sufficient level to cast the relevant advanced magic can often be co-opted to help a cursed adventurer, especially if the curse restricts the adventurer’s ability contribute to the cleric’s best wishes for society. Usually such clerics ask for a later penitent act as payment, provided that the adventurer is not already a worshiper of the cleric’s deity.
- Level Drain is so much an adventurer-specific ailment that only the most powerful clerics could be of any assistance in removing them. An adventurer’s best bet is probably purchasing a scroll or potion of the relevant spell (e.g. restoration) from a dedicated magic shop. In some cases, level drain goes away on its own.
- As to Lycanthropy, it’s relatively unknown in a moonless society. Only creatures or organizations with extraplanar knowledge could be counted on for reliable information about this sort of affliction at all.
- Surviving a harmful Polymorph effect is so rare that few in the world would be able to help. Consult with your local magical academy.
- Alignment change has, to the best of my knowledge, exactly one remedy: the atonement spell. Best of luck finding a caster capable of casting fifth-level spells who is willing to help. Again, your local temple or Druid-circle is your best bet.
- Death is pretty final. If a fallen adventurer was a pillar of the community and there are resources available to pay the cost, a temple of clerics might be willing to perform resurrection magic. But much more common in this—and really almost all of them—world is that the adventurer is laid to rest respectfully and a player finds another way to engage the story.
- Undeath is not usually something that individuals try to have cured. Typically, a creature animated as undead is put down, and, the gates of heaven which were shut by undeath are then re-opened and the proper death mourned. It is worth noting, then, that adventurers who fight against undead—particularly sentient undead such as vampires—should heed the following admonition —and placate their GM’s love of Bram Stoker’s work:
But to fail here, is not mere life or death. It is that we become as him, that we henceforward become foul things of the night like him, without heart or conscience, preying on the bodies and the souls of those we love best. To us forever are the gates of heaven shut, for who shall open them to us again? We go on for all time abhorred by all, a blot on the face of God’s sunshine, an arrow in the side of Him who died for man†.
Is there a magic guild that I can join in order to get more spells? To get a specific spell cast for a fee?
In a bizarre twist, the rarer and obscurer the spell you are trying to learn or have cast, the more help you can potentially expect from the Academies of magic on the matter. Numerous magical academics live for the chance to cast weird spells again or even invent new spells. If you have the coin to spend, consider sponsoring academic research as part of your spell casting budget.
Where can I find an alchemist, sage, academic, or other expert who has super-important information about a problem that I have?
Mourning has an Academy. Whitestone has a University. Murfreesboro has a bulletin board in the foyer of the Temple of Marduk. All of these are places one could inquire about alchemists or other weird and wise individuals. Furthermore, players are encouraged to build characters with contacts who could help them in these affairs.
Where can I hire mercenaries?
- In Mourning, talk to a halfling. Mention that you’re looking to mount an expedition to scale a great mushroom and are looking for someone to dance the sacred jig at the top. If you survive the resulting halfling ambush without causing permanent injury to any of the halflings, they’ll take you to their fight club, which is the best place to hire mercenaries in Mourning.††
- In Whitestone, ask the Cleric at the temple of Torag if he knows of anyone who’s looking for work.
- Anywhere else, visit the local temple of Marduk and say the word “gold.”
†The temptation to take my cue from Golarion and have a Christ-figure like Aroden is way way too strong. At the moment, I’m not going to try to make Van Helsing’s admonition jive well with the world, as that is an admonition to players, not characters.
††I think this is a joke.