Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain: Any/Sacred Mountains
Frequency: Uncommon
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Sacrifices
Intelligence: 14
Alignment: Any lawful
No. Appearing: 4- 400
Armor Class: 10
Movement: 10
Hit Dice: 1
THAC0: 20
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: By traditional weapon
Special Attacks: Nil
Special Defenses: +1 or better to hit
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: M
Morale: Champion (15-16)
XP Value: 60

In areas where the inhabitants revere and respect their deceased relatives and ancestors, an image of the departed lingers, perpetuated by the memory of the living.

Appearing as large crowds, the youngest ancestors stand to the fore while the vague outlines of the almost forgotten lurk at the rear. Only those remembered in folk-tales, or those still remembered by the living, can appear individually, and these always appear as the living remember them, rather than as they actually were.

Only ancestors of the previous generation and the figures of folklore and myth can undertake individual actions. The total number of ancestors who can attack, speak, or aid a shaman is usually equal to the current size of a community +2d20 ancestors, plus hero spirits as appropriate.

Combat: Ancestor spirits fight with whatever weapons are traditionally wielded by the tribe they watch over.

Accepted Alignments: Any lawful.

Familiarity: Ancestors automatically accept any shaman descended from them. Establishing relations with a foreign set of ancestors usually requires that the shaman offer sacrifice to them (worth at least 100 gp) and prove willing to protect their people.

Demands: The ancestors want two things from the living: their continued remembrance, and food. To ensure that they are remembered, they usually encourage the living to memorize tales of past heroes and lists of their forbears' names. To acquire food, they demand the community hold elaborate ritual meals in their honor. The food nourishes the ancestors as their descendants consume it.

Ancestors do not require sacrifice directly from the shamans. But, if their descendants turn away from them, ancestors usually hold the community's shamans responsible, so that it is in the shamans' interests to ensure that the people remember and venerate the Ancestors.

Ancestors further demand that the people continue to live in the traditions of their community. They insist that the people maintain ancient customs and rituals, that traditional leaders are respected and obeyed, and that the spirits are respected.

Benefits: As a group they may grant any spells from the tribal shaman's list up to and including 6th-level spells, and standard priests' spells up to and including 2nd-level spells. Individually, they have insufficient power to fuel spells.

Ancestors have a degree of control over their descendants, and any property which was once theirs. So, they may make any descendant fertile or virile, barren or impotent as they wish. They may also aid or hinder warriors in battle (Bless or Curse them at will), and "guide" any weapon one of them once owned when it is in the hands of one of their descendants (so that it becomes a nonmagical +1 weapon). They can also affect the fertility and health of any herd or flock they once tended, or the fertility of any field the community has traditionally farmed