It Takes A Child To Raze A Village

It Takes A Child To Raze A Village is a mini RPG where you play as cultists gathering ritual components for a petulant and demanding Dark Messiah.

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It Takes A Child To Raze A Village

It finally came; the night you had all been waiting for. You gathered the sacred oils and adorned the clay homunculus; lit the incense and said the sacred, deviant words that burnt your tongue and lips.

Finally, your Dark Messiah was born. A daemon mind made flesh, with the sharpness and cruelty of the world below.

Unfortunately, It’s stuck in the body of what is, basically, a human baby and won’t be able to help you out with the next stage of Its plan until It’s a little older. Your work has only just begun…

wicker bassinet with claws and horns protruding from it

How To Play

You are all CULTISTS for a petulant and demanding DARK MESSIAH. You’ve been tasked with gathering COMPONENTS for three RITUALS necessary to bring Its new reign of darkness upon the world, without raising the SUSPICION of the other villagers.

Assign 1,2,3,4 to the APPROACHES below:

BRASH & BRAZEN

DECEITFUL & COERCIVE

SUBTLE & UNSEEN

CRUEL & UNUSUAL

Whenever you work for the good of the CULT or towards the fulfilment of a RITUAL, say what you do and decide which APPROACH fits best.

Roll d6 equal to your score in that APPROACH. Count each roll of 4+ as a SUCCESS.

3-4 SUCCESSES You get what you want
1-2 SUCCESSES You can have what you want, if you MARK SUSPICION
0 SUCCESSES You don’t get what you want, and things get more difficult. MARK SUSPICION

Demands

Your DARK MESSIAH is petulant, demanding, and always watching.

Whenever you roll one or more 6s when rolling an APPROACH, count the SUCCESS and place any dice showing a 6 in the middle of the table.

When three 6s have been placed in the middle, the last player to roll a 6 is given a special task by the DARK MESSIAH.

Roll a d6 and immediately attempt to act out the DEMAND against the nearest object to you.

d6 DEMAND
1 Steal
2 Destroy
3 Burn
4 Break
5 Hide
6 Bury

Once this is done, remove the dice in the middle and start the process again the next time a 6 is rolled.

6 candles, with wax dripping from them

Suspicion

The VILLAGERS are mostly oblivious to the CULT’s activities, but if they get too suspicious things will go badly for you.

You start with a maximum of 20 SUSPICION for your whole CULT. Whenever you MARK SUSPICION, you get a little closer to being found out.

If you ever reach maximum SUSPICION, then you are discovered; the CULT is driven out of the VILLAGE and your DARK MESSIAH is destroyed.

If this happens, you and the CULT will have to find another VILLAGE where you can try again.

The Rituals

The DARK MESSIAH will ask you to gather COMPONENTS so that It can perform three RITUALS and unleash Its darkness on the world.

Each RITUAL requires three specific COMPONENTS, which you will have to acquire from the VILLAGE by any means necessary. You must gather all the components for one RITUAL before you can begin the next one.

Roll a d6 on each side of the table to fill in the gaps below and name the RITUAL.

The ________ of the ________.

1st WORD d6 2nd WORD
Ascension 1 Host
Consecration 2 Darkness
Beatification 3 Chthonic
Canticle 4 Impure
Observance 5 Unholy
Immanence 6 Abhorrent

ornate goblet

Once you have a name, roll d66 three times on each side of the table to generate COMPONENTS for each RITUAL. Re-roll any duplicates.

FORM d66 MATERIAL
A pound of 11-13 Clay
A lump of 14-16 Ash
A bowlful of 21-23 Incense
Tincture of 24-26 Glass
A crown made of 31-33 Iron
A sword made from 34-36 Hair
A sceptre made of 41-43 Flesh
A doll stuffed with 44-46 Moss
A cup of 51-53 Twigs
A goblet filled with 54-56 Silver
A lyre covered in 61-63 Dirt
Antlers adorned with 64-66 Stone

Once you’ve gathered all of your COMPONENTS, the DARK MESSIAH will perform the RITUAL and reward you for your hard work. After each RITUAL, choose one:

Remove a NOTABLE VILLAGER

Increase maximum SUSPICION by 5

Reduce current SUSPICION by half (rounded down).

The Village

The VILLAGE has a name like Goodwick, or Piety, or Blessed-by-the-Forest. It’s a place of god-fearing folks who work hard for their families and their home.

The daytime will be busy, with lots of people out and about, working their various jobs or making conversation. Most folk don’t lock their front doors. The sun rises high and the days are hot and slow.

The night is quiet and cold. A watch of volunteers will walk the streets. Houses will be shuttered, or candles will be lit in the windows. Wolves howl and crickets chirp.

the edge of a corn field

Notable Villagers

The VILLAGE will be where you get all of the COMPONENTS required for each RITUAL. It also houses VILLAGERS, who will want to ask about your day, regard you with SUSPICION, stand in your way, or make things more complicated.

Most of the inhabitants of the VILLAGE will just be in the background, but there will be a few NOTABLE VILLAGERS for you to interact with. You will need twice as many NOTABLE VILLAGERS as there are players.

NOTABLE VILLAGERS will ask questions, get in the way, provide services, and unwittingly help out when members of the CULT are gathering COMPONENTS.

Use the tables below to generate roles for your NOTABLE VILLAGERS. Give each one a PROFESSION and two QUIRKS.

If you roll the same PROFESSION twice, re-roll; roll once on each side of the table to generate QUIRKS.

d66 PROFESSION
11-13 Preacher
14-16 Baker
21-23 Farmer
24-26 Blacksmith
31-33 Butcher
34-36 Healer
41-43 Bard
44-46 Candlestick-maker
51-53 Hunter
54-56 Weaver
61-63 Artisan
64-66 Potter

wooden building that looks like a southern baptist church

QUIRK 1 d66 QUIRK 2
Talkative 11-13 Foolish
Inquisitive 14-16 Wise
Charitable 21-23 Night-owl
Friendly 24-26 Workaholic
Weird 31-33 Lazy
Nosy 34-36 Aggressive
Shy 41-43 Sociable
Grumpy 44-46 Dim
Greedy 51-53 Bossy
Mean 54-56 Arrogant
Nervous 61-63 Eccentric
Popular 64-66 Messy

Map your Village

Grab a sheet of paper to map out your VILLAGE. It can be blank, squared, hexed, whatever makes it easier for you. You don’t need to map your VILLAGE, but it might help you out to have some visual cues.

There is always a CHURCH in the centre of the village, a FOREST on one side, and a CORNFIELD on the opposite side to the FOREST. A RIVER runs nearby.

The CHURCH is a large, stone building, filled with riches and materials for religious services.

The FOREST is dark and brooding, full of wild creatures and strange plants.

The CORNFIELD is tall, golden, easy to get lost in and glows in the moonlight.

The RIVER is fast-flowing and neck-deep; full of fish and long, straggling weeds.

Divide your paper into 6 sections – they don’t need to be perfectly equal, but they should be roughly the same size.

Number each section, then roll a d6 for each NOTABLE VILLAGER. Place their home into the corresponding section on the map.

Finally, do the same for each player.

You’ve now got a fully populated VILLAGE. It’s time to try and burn it down…