, I found myself in a book store. On its shelves I saw The Citadel of Forgotten Myths 📖 by Michael Moorcock 📖. In years past, I’ve read many books in the Eternal Champion multiverse.
These speculative science fantasy adventure stories, often written in a short-period of time See How to Write a Book in Three Days. , offer a sort of palette cleanser; in part due to their formula and their vivid imagery.
One of the themes of the Elric Saga is sorcerers invoking their patron for other worldly aid or guidance; Elric of Melniboné 📖 calling out for help from Arioch, Duke of Chaos.
What follows is a Worlds without Number (WWN 📖) Foci. Which would work in some genres of Stars without Number: Revised Edition (SWN 📖).
Invoke Patron Foci
Through wits, misfortune, or barter you have bound yourself to a powerful eldritch patron; perhaps from another dimension or reality fragment. You learn of rituals to all upon and demand help of them.
- Level 1
- Gain Magic or Prayer as a bonus skill. You may perform an eldritch ritual that takes 10 minutes and consumes 1 arcane salvage of reagents. Upon completion you call down the power of your patron; they will perform a service within their sphere of influence. When you call upon your patron, you gain 1 point of system strain. Also make a Luck saving throw modified by your Magic or Prayer. On a failure gain 1 additional system strain for each time you’ve invoked your patron that day. When you die due to system strain, your patron appears to collect your soul.
- Level 2
- Once per day, as a Main Action, you may call upon your patron without need of complex rituals nor components. Increase your base system strain by 1.
The Invoke Patron Foci echoes the Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC 📖) “Invoke Patron” spell.
I have not play-tested the above, but put it forward as part of a conversation. Were I to develop this further, I’d delve into gaining corruption on failed saving throws. This corruption further aligns with the goals and desires of the patron.
When establishing a patron, think of three things:
- What is their sphere of influence? How do they exert their influence in this world?
- What motivates them? Fear? Greed? Shame?
- What do they want?
Also, the patron should not align with the goals (and values) of the Player Character (PC 📖). In other words, invoking the patron should include a fictional cost.