(I feel that I’ve neglected Xathoqqua thus far in my home campaign. Although I’ve provided house rules for followers of other deities, I haven’t shown the diversity available to disciples of the sloth-bodied toad god.)
As befits a deity of Chaos, worship of Xathoqqua in Hyperborea is diverse and fragmented.
Many servitors venerate the Old One for his mystical insight, for he grants secrets antemundane secrets from the outlying planets and realms extra-dimensional. The ‘default’ Xathoqquan class is actually the Sorcerer-Priest, which combines arcane spellcasting with divine powers. Multiple small cults to Xathoqqua also exist, usually led by a charismatic Cultist. (The most widespread of these worship Xathoqqua in his aspect of the Frog God.)
The most organized sect is the so-called Xathoqquan Orthodoxy, based in Khromarium. These worshipers are represented by Cleric class. Currently, the Orthodoxy seeks greater control over the citizens of Khromarium. They actively oppose other faiths (particularly of the Empyrean gods), but reserve their greatest hatred for “apostate” Xathoqquan cults.
The influence of the Orthodoxy wanes outside of Khromarium. In smaller villages and rural communities, Witches of the Xathoqquan tradition are common, conducting strange ceremonies and croaking obscene rites in the night. There are also scattered monasteries which train Xathoqquan Monks (many of which are affiliated with one of the heretical cults). In addition, some Purloiners also venerate Xathoqqua.
Humans are not the only worshipers of Xathoqqua. Animals and beasts are said to frequent Xathoqqua’s ashen altars, while the Vhuurmi adulate Xathoqqua in their own fashion.
This post outlines the many faces of Xathoqqua, presenting custom classes, background templates, and spell lists…
The following four choices represent the most common Xathoqquan classes:
- Sorcerer-Priest: Combine arcane spellcasting with divine powers from their antemundane patron.
- Xathoqquan Cultist: A chaplain mystic of prodigious spellcasting ability.
- Xathoqquan Cleric: Staunch warrior-priests of the Xathoqquan Orthodoxy.
- Xathoqquan Witch: Many Witches take Xathoqqua as their patron.
Although uncommon, some Xathoqquan devotees adopt the following classes:
- Xathoqquan Monk: Disciples of an ascetic tradition focused on perfecting the body and mind.
- Xathoqquan Purloiner: A thief who practices the divine magic of Xathoqqua.
The Xathoqquan Cultist is similar to the Priestess from ACKS Player’s Companion, with some modifications. Cultists have the same class proficiency list as the Xathoqquan Sorcerer-Priest. They gain access to the expanded Xathoqquan spell list and replace Turn Undead with the following class abilities:
- 1st lvl – Ancient Pacts: As Xathoqquan Cleric.
- 1st lvl – Visions: As Xathoqquan Cleric.
- 1st lvl – Loremastery: As a bonus proficiency.
- 3rd lvl – Sleep: As Xathoqquan Witch.
- 5th lvl – Slow: As Xathoqquan Witch.
- 7th lvl – Eldritch Aura: As Xathoqquan Witch.
(Note that Cultists use my custom Divine 4 spell progression.)
These heavily armed (and armoured) zealots enforce the will of the Xathoqquan Orthodoxy. Their primary focus is the elimination heretical sects.
Requirements: WIS 9 or more.
Narrow Weapon Selection: Flails/hammers/maces, dagger, dart, staff.
Unrestricted Armour Selection: All armour (including shields).
Two Fighting Styles: Weapon & shield, two-handed weapons.
Proficiencies: As Cleric; minus Prophesy and Righteous Turning, plus Collegiate Wizardry and Knowledge (Occult).
Granted Powers: Clerics of Xathoqqua cannot Turn Undead; instead they gain the following granted powers:
- Ancient Pacts: Xathoqqua is acknowledged as the foremost Hyperborean deity. The Cleric gains a +2 bonus to reaction rolls when encountering intelligent chaotic monsters. Intelligent chaotic monsters suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against any charm spells cast by the character.
- Visions: Through ingestion of hallucinogenic substances, the Cleric is subject to premonitions and visions of the past and future. Contacting Xathoqqua in this manner takes 1 turn (10 minutes) and can be performed once per week. (This is effectively the Soothsaying proficiency.)
Many Witches take Xathoqqua, chief among Hyperborean deities, as their patron. This tradition celebrates his batrachian nature and servitor species.
Bonus Spells: 1st – slipperiness; 2nd – tadpole transformation; 3rd – bottomfeeder bond; 4th – summon formless spawn.
1st lvl – Visions: The Witch is subject to premonitions and dreams of the past and future. Contacting Xathoqqua in this manner takes takes 1 turn (10 minutes) and can be performed once per week. (This is effectively the Soothsaying proficiency.)
3rd lvl – Sleep: Xathoqqua is renowned for his divine slothfulness. At 3rd level, the Witch gains the power to cast sleep (as per the spell) once per day. Each use takes 1 round.
5th lvl – Slow: At 5th level, the Witch gains the power to cast slow (the reverse of haste) once per day. Each use takes 1 round.
7th lvl – Eldritch Aura: At 7th level, the preternatural weirdness of Xathoqqua grants the Witch +2 bonus to reaction rolls to impress and intimidate people she encounters. If this bonus results in a total of 12 or more, the subjects act as if charmed while in her presence.
(Note that Witches use my custom Divine 4 spell progression.)
The following background template can be used to represent a Xathoqquan Monk:
Proficiencies: Skirmishing, Knowledge (occult).
Equipment: Mammoth-trunk blade, pair of Hyperborean swords, reindeer horn longbow, 5 war rings, brown-black robe, high boots, backpack, light riding horse, riding saddle and tack, saddlebags, 1 week’s iron rations, 26gp. (The mammoth-trunk blade is a type of polearm.)
Xathoqquan Purloiners generally adopt the following background template:
Proficiencies: Loremastery, Collegiate Wizardry, Alertness, Prestidigitation. (Italicised entries are bonus class proficiencies.)
Equipment: Short sword and dagger, shortbow, leather armor, holy symbol (eye of Xathoqqua), brown-black wool tunic and pants, leather belt, low boots, backpack, notebook, quill and ink, 2 week’s iron rations, 61gp.
(Note my house-ruled Divine 2 spell progression)
Xathoqquan Clerics and Sorcerer-Priests can select the following spells for their divine repertoires; Cultists have access to the expanded lists (entries 11 through 15):
Several of the new spells are described in the Xathoqquan Spells post. See also my post on Alternate Xathoqquan Traditions. Note that Xathoqquan Witches and Purloiners select spells from their regular class lists.