Thursday, September 14, 2017

Onryō: The Grudge Spirit OSR/Halloween

Grudge Spirit, Vengeful Ghost
HD: 6
Hp: 33
AC: 5/14 (only hit by holy and magic)
Attacks: Rip and tear (1d8)
Save: F6/10

The Onryo is the ghost of a person who has died a tragic death full of powerful passions: jealousy, rage, hatred. Their souls are unable to rest and return from the shadows seeking revenge on the living. Its pitiful state causes the ghost to vent its fury on any that come across it. It makes no distinctions on who it destroys; all living men, women, and children are its victims and subject to its unholy wrath. The Onryo may also toy with it victim, savoring the fear, confusion, and anguish until it finally snuffs out their life. It is an engine of wrath, not mindless, but ruled by its evil passions, an absolute inhuman thing with no trace of humanity within its tortured form.

The Onryo will attach itself to a location or an object associated with its death. This place or thing will become shunned by those nearby and gain a reputation as being evil. Objects haunted by the ghost will usually be abandoned or locked away.

The Onryo is a ghost with a physical form; not its original body but a pale dead imitation given to existence by its suffering and wrath. It lives in the realm of shadows and can enter our world through any dark shadow. It cannot abide the light of day. It appears as a pale corpse with black eyes full of madness and hate, and wearing either a white death shroud or ragged clothing like its corpse wore in death. Violent wounds or trauma inflicted before death will be evident. The Onryo is silent except for groans or death rattles. It's body may be contorted and move in strange ways. It can Spider-climb as per the spell.

It has all the qualities of an undead creature. In combat it rips and tears at its victims with its undead strength, often tearing them to pieces. Its form is not subject to the laws of the physical world and it can only be harned by holy items and magic, ignoring all other damage. It can be turned and damaged with holy items as any other undead, although it cannot be destroyed by either.

Shadow Walk
The Onryo enters our world and moves freely through the shadows. Any shadow large enough for the ghost to crawl through will serve. It has the ability to sense any useable shadow in the presence of its victim and will often attack from the closest shadow (such as appearing in the darkenss of her victims bed covers... see the Grudge.) To move through a shadow is a free action, the Onryo simply enters into it and instantly emerge from a shadow near the victim, a shadow in its lair, or any other shadow at a location it knows. It can also choose to stay in the shadow realm between worlds.

DM's may include a variation on this. For example in the Ring the vengeful ghost psychic Sadako  uses her abilities to curse a video tape and can emerge from a television to kill a victim unless a ritual (in this case making a copy and having someone else watch the tape) is performed by a victim to avoid their fate. In a fantasy setting a mirror could be cursed and the ghost could emerge from it to kill. Mix it up.

The Grudge-Curse
The curse surrounding an Onryo is incredibly powerful. Those who visit the place haunted by or handle an object tied to the Onryo may become infected with the curse unless they make a successful Saving Throw. The curse is potent enought that a penaty equal to the Oryo's hit dice is applied to the Saving Throw. Those afflicted must suffer as the grudge-curse attaches itself and blackens their lives, perhaps even catching the attention of the Onryo itself. Those who actually witness the of the Onryo itself and survives are subject to attacks by the Onryo. Once seen it will hound the victim nightly.

The true isidiousness of the grudge-curse will become apparent as the influence of the curse may seep out beyond the initial victim, infecting loved ones, friends, and confidants close to the victim. If a cursed victim speaks of the affliction, discusses the Onryo's haunted place/object, or describes the sight of the Onryo itself they may extend the curse to the person they are confiding in. The listener must make a Saving Throw (no penalty) or become cursed as well.

The only way to end the curse is to lay the Onryo to rest and exorcise the haunted site/object with a
Remove Curse spell. Both conditions must be met. Even if the Onryo is destroyed the site/object will continue to be a source of the grudge-curse. Roll on the chart below, re-roll all 1's if the Onryo has been destroyed.

The Grudge-Curse
1. Attacked by the Onryo
This will continue nightly until the curse is lifted or the victim is killed. In rare cases, at the DM's discretion, those killed may return as an Onryo themselves.

2. Sickness
Each night the victim must make a Saving Throw with a penalty equal to the Onryo's hit dice. Each fail costs the victim one point of Constitution and Charisma as the victim withers and sickens with disease and decay. No natural or magical healng can bring this back until the curse is lifted.

3. Despair
You are consumed with severe depression. Every day is a struggle to care enough to get yourself together and face the world. All actions are at a -2/10 percent. If you are prescribed medication this drops to a -1. Any roll of the dice at maximum failure ( 1 on a 20, etc) will increase the penalty to -4-/20 percent  until a good nights rest is taken.

4. Haunted
The victim feels a heavy weight on his shoulders and catches glimpses of the ghost out of the corners of his vision, and a feeling of someone always watching. Sleeping difficult and all actions are at a -2/10 percent penalty even with rest. Recovering spells is difficult with the sleep issues. On a roll of 1-2 on a 1d6 the victim did not rest sufficiently that evening to recover spells.

5. Madness
Possibilities include:

You self medicate yourself in order to deal with daily existence. To get through the day you must have at least a bottle of drink or a hit of drugs to keep yourself going. If you do not have your daily fix all actions are at -2/10 percent. When you do have your 'medication' you are only at a -1 penalty.

You must do certain things each day. Compulsions can include such things as having to wash your hands, check your weapons, etc. The DM can call for these randomly (at least one per play  session) and you must make a Saving Throw to avoid doing your little ritual. If you must do it immediately or take a -2/10 percent penalty to actions until the ritual is completed. If you fail by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you are so distracted by your compulsion you take a -4-/20 percent  to actions until the ritual is fulfilled.

Kleptomania falls under compulsion but works differently. If you fail your Saving Throw you must acquire the object of your desire. You will be at a -2 to actions until you steal it. If you fail by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you must have it NOW and will take it despite any consequences.

Particularly dark DM's can come up with more sinister compulsions such as cannibalism or necrophilia. Such particularly debilitating compulsions may call for a weekly roll instead of a daily roll given the severe social and legal consequences associated with such behavior.

Dark Personality
When under stress you must make a Saving Throw or a darker piece of your psyche emerges. You are more aggressive and every time you are irritated or challenged you must make a Saving Throw or  become violent towards the object of your irritation. This lasts for 2d6+4 rounds. Once it ends you come to your senses, even if still in a fight. You will not manifest this again for 1d6 hours. You gain a +1 bonus to melee/unarmed damage while in this state.

You believe things that are odd and, frankly, not real. Hallucinations are not uncommon. The DM will describe these things as if they are fact to your character. If challenged to the reality of what you believe you must make a Saving Throw. If you fail you refuse to believe what you are told and cling to your reality. If you fail by 5 or more you will be become irrational and refuse to listen. If you fail by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you will become physically violent for 2d6+4 rounds.

Your madness builds into a murderous rage. If provoked or if you become angry you must make a Saving Throw (Paralysis) or fly into a rage and attack the source of your anger. This rage will last for 1d6 rounds.

If you fail the save by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you will fly into a murderous maniacal rage with a +2 bonus to melee/unarmed damage until the target is dead or you are restrained.

You cut, beat, or burn yourself. When you are stressed you must make a Saving Throw or be overwhelmed. To calm yourself you damage yourself doing superficial damage. However if you fail the save by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you go overboard and do 1d3 points of damage. Those that see you do this will probably be very upset by it. Especially strangers.

You have an irrational fear of an object or situation. The DM will choose an appropriate one. When faced with the source of your fear you must make a Saving Throw. If you fail you take a -2/10 percent penalty to actions while in the presence of the fear. If you fail by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you are paralyzed, unable to act until the source of fear is removed.

You have personality quirks. Severe ones. It can get so bad people become agitated by your presence. You may be paranoid, talk to yourself, wildly laugh inappropriately, constantly fidget, eat odd substances, mimic those around you, or other socially inappropriate behaviors. You may be afflicted with tics, stutters, strange gesturing, tremors, etc. You receive a -2 to Charisma for your quirk. You must make a Saving Throw each morning. If you fail your particular quirk is particularly bad today increasing your Charisma penalty to -4 for the day.

You hear voices telling you things, arguing with you, taunting, or just giving bad advice. You suffer a -2 to Charisma. You must make a Saving Throw each morning. If you fail they are exceptionally loud and annoying today and you can't help but talk back to them, increasing your Charisma penalty to -4 for the day. If you fail by 10 or more (or roll a natural 1) you are constantly distracted by them and take a -2/10 percent penalty to actions.

6. Pariah
The victim is a vortex of bad luck and ill fortune. A darkness of the soul lingers on him.
Any dice roll (players or DM) within 30' of the victim is at a -2/10 percent penalty. Others can sense the darkness around him and his Charisma is at a -4 penalty.

Destroying the Onryo
This is left up to the DM to individualize his Onryo. Some may require that who ever wronged the is punished, others may require their bones be found and given a proper burial. Investigation, mundane and magical, into the nature of the grudge-curse can lead to an interesting game with PC's racing against the clock to stop their afflictions and save their loved ones.

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