Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Graven Guardian

As constructs go, graven guardians are relatively low level and affordable, making them common in temples, tombs, and other sacred sites.  Graven guardians can be especially useful for PCs who are investigating ancient ruins—a graven guardian’s visage, chosen weapon, and domains might offer clues as to the nature of the deity to whom these ruins were once sacred.

A respected nobleman dies bleeding in the street.  Across the city, the fox- and owl-headed graven guardians (with the Death and Repose domains) outside the Temple of Quiet Night bear short swords dripping with his blood.  Did the nobleman trespass on the temple grounds?  If so, why…and how did he traverse the city without being seen in his bloodied state?

The ruins of a city have been found in the rocky hills of Kern.  Graven guardians stand in front of important buildings—mostly spear-holding female figures of the Earth, Knowledge, Law, or Protection domains.  One site, however, hosts an ox-headed, peacock-winged statue of Madness and Sun.  The site supervisor will pay a fortune to those who can overcome or fool the guardians and reveal more about the wonders inside each building.

A priest enchants a graven guardian to honor his deity, yet it comes to life wielding a different weapon that that of the faith.  Is this a sign, or did someone subvert the ritual?

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 140–141

Want to pick graven guardian domains randomly or on the fly?  Grab some d10s and roll twice on this chart:

Graven Guardian Domains
d%                Result
01–03            Air
04–06            Animal
07–09            Artifice
10–12            Chaos
13–15            Charm
16–18            Community
19–21            Darkness
22–24            Death
25–27            Destruction
28–30            Earth
31–33            Evil
34–36            Fire
37–39            Glory
40–42            Good
43–45            Healing
46–48            Knowledge
49–51            Law
52–54            Liberation
55–57            Luck
58–60            Madness
61–63            Magic
64–66            Nobility
67–69            Plant
70–72            Protection
73–75            Repose
76–78            Rune
79–81            Strength
82–84            Sun
85–87            Travel
88–90            Trickery
91–93            War
94–96            Water
97–99            Weather
00                  Bonus domain; roll twice more on this chart ignoring subsequent rolls of 00.

You can also use the same chart to come up with new deities.  Just roll on the above chart two, three, or even four times and see what you get.  Then roll on the below chart for your new deity’s alignment:

Deity Alignment
d10       Result
1            LG
2            NG
3            CG
4            LN
5            N
6            CN
7            LE
8            NE
9            CE
0            Deity has multiple aspects of differing alignments; roll twice more on this chart ignoring subsequent rolls of 0.

Don’t stress if your rolls appear to conflict with each other; instead, think of it as an opportunity for invention.  An evil deity with the Sun and Repose domains might be a vengeful desert god who punishes both tomb defilers and the undead.  A deity with the domains of Good and Evil might be a god of balance or a mad god with a split personality.  A deity with the Nobility and Protection domain might be a patron of lords and cavaliers, while one with the Charm and Protection domain might be a domestic power of hearth and home or a patron of town criers, bards, or seductive servants.  The dice deliver the result; you get to craft the story.

Finally, backlog alert: Ettin entry is up, which finishes up the letter E for us.

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