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Censure, the Divine Punishment

Divine Censure

The Blessed have the ability to grant blessings on mortals as a reward or sign of favor from their god. However, it’s not all wine and roses all the time. Sometimes the Blessed may find it necessary to display divine disapproval in a substantial way. Sometimes the Blessed may consider themselves a conduit for their god’s righteous anger. Sometimes the Blessed may seek a dram of the Wrath of the Gods for their own ends. In these cases, the initiate may call upon their god to censure someone rather than bless them.

A god’s divine censure is nothing more than any one of the god's blessings, inverted to punish and hinder the recipient. They function like blessings in all ways, (see WFRP p. 220) with the following modifications:

  • The initiate must be pure of heart to invoke a censure. Pure of heart means that the initiate has 0 Sin Points.
  • A censure is equal to a blessing for purposes of multiple invocations (WFRP p. 217). Thus, if a priest invokes the Censure of Truce, they cannot use the Blessing of Battle until the Censure of Truce expires. Likewise, placing two identical censures upon a single target has no cumulative effect.
  • A censure always gets the attention - a divine raised eyebrow, if you will - from the initiate’s god. The Petty Concerns rule (WFRP p. 220) comes into play and the god will judge the initiate harshly if they have abused their station: the initiate will gain 3 Sin Points. This occurs as the Pray Test to invoke the censure is rolled (there is no going back), and can thus immediately invoke the Wrath of the Gods (see Sin and Wrath, WFRP p. 218).
  • If the initiate is pure of heart, they may revoke their censures with a successful Pray Test (one per censure). They may revoke a censure regardless of where the censured is in the world in relation to them. Otherwise, the censure remains in the purview of the gods and beyond the control of mortals.

Duration of Censures

Normally, censures have the same duration as the blessing they invert. However, the initiate may increase the duration of the censure if they are willing to accept the risk of angering their god.

The initiate may extend to the duration rounds of a censure into a like number of minutes, hours, or longer - even centuries - if the initiate willingly accepts 1 or more Sin Points immediately before rolling to invoke the censure, thus also risking the Wrath of the Gods (see Sin and Wrath, WFRP p. 218). The number of Sin Points gained depends on the desired length of the censure (see the table below).

  • Minutes, 1 Sin Point
  • Hours, 2 Sin Points
  • Days, 3 Sin Points
  • Months, 4 Sin Points
  • Years, 5 Sin Points
  • Decades, 6 Sin Points
  • Centuries, 7 Sin Points

For example, Torvald, who is pure of heart, wishes to extend the Censure of Sin upon an apostate priest into years. The normal duration of the censure is 6 rounds. If Torvald accepts 5 Sin Points, he can extend the duration to 6 years.

Again recall that censures are equal to blessings for the purposes multiple invocations. If a priest somehow puts the Censure of Truce on Drachenfels for 6 centuries, the priest cannot invoke either the Blessing of Battle or the Censure of Truce for those 6 centuries.

Why Don’t Priests Just Censure Everyone They Don’t Like For Years?

First, only the pure of heart can invoke censure, and few initiates are truly pure at heart. Second, extending censure duration always incurs Sin Points, making all Pray Tests extremely risky and removing the ability to perform any censure until all the Sin Points are removed through penance. Third, a censure locks out the censure and the related blessing for its duration, making them unavailable for use again until the censure expires. Fourth, censure always attracts the attention of the god and the god will inspect the censure request for pettiness; therefore, initiates should be certain their motives are pure.

Begging Forgiveness

The censured may beg the god for forgiveness - indirectly (through common prayers, propitiation, and sacrifice) or directly (through Prayer or other magical means) - to remove an extended duration censure. Unfortunately, the gods are reluctant to overturn a censure once granted. However, if the censured shows remorse and follows a course of appropriate penance, it can happen. In other words, it’s possible but usually difficult, and requires a lot of role-playing and time.

The Divine Censures

What follows are the list of the divine censures. The censures have the same Range, Target, and Duration (unless the initiate increases the Duration per above) as the blessing it inverts. Each censure has the blessing it inverts in parenthesis after the name of the censure.

Describing the Censure

The GM and players are encouraged to describe exactly how the censure manifests. While it is not necessary for a censure to be visibly obvious, a visible censure of some kind can send a clear signal of divine disapprobation.

The List of Censures

Censure of Truce (Battle): The censured suffers -10 WS.

Censure of Suffocation (Breath): The censured is out of perpetually breath, can only hold their breath for Toughness Bonus seconds, and will begin suffocating immediately if suddenly deprived of air.

Censure of Repulsiveness (Charisma): The censured suffers -10 Fel.

Censure of Sin (Conscience): The censured acts in a way directly contradicts the Strictures of the initiate’s god, heaping sin upon their soul. The censured must pass an Average (+20) Willpower Test to not break a stricture of the god when confronted with the opportunity to follow the god’s Strictures. If they fail, they feel no shame and sin, gaining 1 Sin Point. Once the censured gains a Sin Point, the censure goes dormant until the next dawn or dusk (decided by the nature of the god).

Censure of Cowardice (Courage): The censured suffers -10 WP.

Censure of Ineptness (Finesse): The censured suffers -10 Dex.

Censure of Tragedy (Fortune): The next critical success rolled by the censured becomes a roll of 99. The censured may spend Fortune, Resolve, or Resilience to roll again or change this result - the censure will not affect that result. Once the censure has affected a roll, it goes dormant until the next dawn or dusk (decided by the nature of the god).

Censure of Gawkishness (Grace): The censured suffers -10 Ag.

Censure of Enfeeblement (Hardiness): The censured suffers -10 T.

Censure of Injury (Healing): The censured suffers a single unhealable wound (-1 W) in the location touched for the duration of the censure. The initiate may describe the nature and appearance of the wound. If the censured is at 0W already, this wound does not cause a Critical Wound.

Censure of Fouled Strings (Hunt): The censured suffers -10 BS.

Censure of Weakness (Might): The censured suffers -10 S.

Censure of Regret (Protection): The censured must make an Average (+20) Willpower Test to engage an opponent in combat, or be overwhelmed with regret and shame (as Blessing of Protection). However, if engaged by an opponent or if the censured successfully engages an opponent despite the censure, the censured may attack that opponent freely (see Engaged, WFRP p. 159).

Censure of Lingering (Recuperation): Any disease the censured already suffers from gains the Lingering (Average) symptom (see WFRP p. 189). If the disease is already Lingering, the Lingering difficulty increases one level. The censure may only be attempted once per instance of a disease per person. If the censured heals from the disease before the censure expires, the censure remains and will add Lingering (per above) to any new disease the censured becomes infected with (but only one disease at a time).

Censure of Disgracefulness (Righteousness): Any weapon in the hands of the censured gains the Dangerous weapon flaw (WFRP p. 299).

Censure of Leniency (Savagery): When the censured next makes a roll on a Critical Wound table, if the units die is lower than the tens die, reverse the roll (a roll of 91 becomes 19, for example, but a roll of 19 remains 19). If the roll is not reversed, the censure remains in effect. If the censure reverses a roll, it goes dormant until the following dawn or dusk (decided by the nature of the god).

Censure of Weakness (Tenacity): When invoking the censure, the initiate may specify a single Condition (WFRP p. 167) for the censured to suffer a particular weakness to. The Condition must be a stacking Condition (Prone, for example, does not stack). If the censured becomes affected by that Condition, they gain 1 extra Condition of the same type. Once the censure stacked an additional Condition on the censured, it goes dormant until the following dawn or dusk (decided by the nature of god).

Censure of Foolishness (Wisdom): The censured suffers -10 Int.

Censure of Heedlessness (Wit): The censured suffers -10 I.

Under a Deadly Moon
Under a Deadly Moon

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