Duck Bandit Cults
This page contains suggestions for duck bandit keywords for use in HeroQuest, and a quick overview of some central duck cults. It is presented in the spirit of Indlas Somer and Terry Pratchet.
And it’s a work in progress. Always
I love the Durultz, and think they deserve respect and serious discussion. Unfortunately, these notes aren’t going to advance the cause.
The marvellous duck art on this page is by Makoto Hokura and Stewart Stansfield.
Ducks were first described in HeroQuest terms by Jamie ‘Trotsky’ Revell in Anaxial’s Roster.
Duck cults were first described by John Castellucci and Stephen Martin in RuneQuest Adventures. I have adapted and expanded those descriptions for HeroQuest.
Much of the basic duck and cigar lore featured in these pages arose from discussions on the HeroQuest RGP list, and has been purloined with considerable gratitude, including suggestions from Simon Bray, Mark Galeotti, Guy Hoyle, Jeff Kyer, Roderick Robertson, Stewart Stansfield, and Jane Williams, among others.
We all worship at the altar of Paul Jaquays and Rudy Kraft, authors of the immortal, Legendary Duck Tower, Duck Pond and Return to Duck Tower.
These notes were created in the course of writing a module for Scotscon entitled Beak No Evil / Bad Boon Rising.
Duck Bandit Keywords
Common Physical Traits
Skill & Rating
Close Combat (Shortsword,
Shortsword & Shield, Knife,
Viciously Peck At Kneecaps) 17
Endure Weather 1W
Fight In Rain 17
Gather Grubs 19
Hide In Cover 17
Hold Breath 1W
Ranged Combat (Crossbow,
Throwing Knife, Reed Spear)17Run Away!15Small10Sneak19Swim3W
* Dabble (preferably in a pond – heads down, butts up, we can’t see them so hopefully they can’t see us.
Special Physical Traits
Light Soggy Cigar, Mating Yodel (males), Ride Alynx (Get On), Ride Alynx (Get Off), Ride Horse, Quack Foo (duckish martial art), Curling, Hockey (Ice)
Common Mental Traits
|Durultz Customs 19||19|
|Dragon Pass Geography||13|
|Follow In A Line||12|
|Know Local Area||12|
|Know Local Waterways||1w|
|Mythology of God||17|
|‘Stand & Delibber!’||15|
|Tactics: Attack Enemy While
He Writhes In Laughter
Special Mental Traits
Bribe Innkeeper, Clever Disguise, Flee! Flee!, Recognise Foe, Strategy, Tactics: Jump & Stub Lit Cigar in Eye, Tactics: ‘Take Me I’m Wounded’ (Motherduck), Tactics: ‘Pwease don’t hit me!’
|Fellow Fweedom Fighters||7|
|Hate: Snapping Turtles||17|
Personality & Flaws
|Price On Tail||7/12/17|
|Throw Temper Tantrum When
|Hated by Nick Brooke||12|
Poveri PondFather and Canarda StweamMother are the leaders of the duck pantheon. When the Great Ice froze the Stream World, Poveri the Fisher King stole fire and sweet herbs from the hostile gods, bearing it to his people in the form of a sacred cigar. Canarda taught bullying and good nestkeeping, and so made the ducks what they are today.
The three eldest sons of Poveri and Canarda are the ancestral lords of death – dwead Hueymakt, Dueymakt and Loueymakt, the Death Dwakes. Hueymakt, who kept fighting even when he lost his arms and his legs; Dueymakt, the Boat Bandit, who can see a long way even though he has only one eye; and Loueymakt, the dwead Berserker Storm Bill, who runs to tell someone when Chaos is near. ‘Eat, dwink, smoke, and guzzle down gwubs, for we choose the day that we die!’
Other gods born of the Cosmic Egg include Finoswam the Waider, Mallard Gor the MudSlinger, Babeakster Gor the Egg Avenger, Vinga Nestguard the Weed Pwotector (“Not ‘weed’, ‘weed!”‘), Mudhome the Nest Maker, Sogarsi the Stweam Voice, Swimmer In Shadows, the dancing shamanka, Ty Kora Quack, Mistwess of Secrets, and Ducka Fowl, Judge of the Quick, the Dead and the Dwead. Ducks also recognise Orlanth the Twickster, the cold wind who makes circles cwoss the pond, who once stole their wings but promised to one day return them.
The ancient enemy of ducks is the chaotic Quackodemon, who laid the Wed Egg in the Sky, the Wed Moon of the Lunar Empire. Dwead prophecies reveal that if the Red Egg ever hatches, it will release into the world Kwakboth, the Devil Weborn. And that could turn a bit nasty.
Note: Most duck hero feats have a verbal component which entails shouting the feat’s name aloud. If you get it wrong… whammo! Remember in particular to distinguish between a Whack and a ‘Wak!’
Fisher King, Lightbwinger, Cigar Stealer, Old Ironbeak, Snapping Turtlebane, StormHater, HerbMaster, Founder of the Pond Tribe.
Poveri is chief god of the Pond Tribe. All ducks are communal worshippers of Poveri, and strive to obtain at least a few cigar-related common magics, talents or feats.
Sacred cigar smoking is endemic in duck culture. (And the average life span for a duck is around thirty years).
Cigar Common Magic Talents
- Balance Ash
- Counter Delecti’s Fog
- Flick Ash
- Fumigate Bugs
- Good Shag
- Hide In Smoke
- Manipulate Fire
- Noxious Cloud
- See In Smoke
- Shape Smoke
- Smoke Any Old Weed
- Smoke Underwater
Mental Abilities: Avoid Blows, Quieten Ducks, Gwumble, Blame Others
Physical Abilities: Swim, Hold Breath, See Underwater
Twaits: Cautious, Expect the Worst, Quack with Authority
Fisher King (Sense Fish, IronBeak, Wiggling Gwub, Resist Current, Avoid Net)
Pondfather (Everlight, Sacred Thief, Face Storm, Face Fire, Command Ducks)
Cigarbwinger (Conspikquous Consumption, Haze of Leadership, Smoke of Repulsion, Lungful of Courage, Smoke of Spirit Seeing, Smoke of Concealment, Cloak Stench of Undead, Sweet Smell of Success, Healing Smoke, Noxious Cloud, Cigar Against the Darkness, Flick Ash, Herb Life, Herbal Insight, Bwak Lung)
Canarda is the Gweat Stweam of the Pond Tribe, the Mother of the Gods. She teaches bullying and good nestkeeping.
Membership Requirement: Must be a female duck. Must have strong desire to dominate and always have last word. Members turn a little blue and develop strong biceps. Some devotees develop beards.
Mental Abilities: Bully, Last Word, Sense Weakness
Physical Abilities: Contwol Underlings, Enforce Peace, Form a Line!, Head Butt, Stwong, Tough
Twaits: Earthy Tongue, Fowl Temper, Petty, Violent
Family (Bless Egg, Order Family, Intimidate Opponent, Waaak! Wak! Wak! Whack!, For Your Own Good, Heal Subordinate)
Stweam (Float, Cleanse Water, Suck Under, Command Stweam Daimon)
Secwet: Become Stweam
First of the Death Dwakes, dwead lord of death and honour.
Hueymakt teaches his servants to choose the moment of their death. Most ducks choose to die in bed at age 30. However, in desperate times, Hueymakt produces many dwead heroes.
Membership Requirement: Must be a duck. Must have iron sword. Must sacrifice leg to learn feats (negotiable).
Mental Abilities: Don’t Fib, Forge Dwead Fighting Farce, Quick In Seeing Victorious Side, Survive On Battle Field, Wecognise Lie
Physical Abilities: Close Combat (Short Sword, Whooping Big Sword), Hobble Silently, Perform Sacwifice
Twaits: Brave Wen It Suits, Honourable, Loyal To Leader
Death (Go Slightly Berserk, Chop! Chop!, Lighten Whooping Great Sword, Shiver of Fear, Fight Undead)
Honour (Spell It Wight, Empower Oath, Don’t Fib, Sense Ambush)
Secwet: Die in bed at age 30
Hero Cult: Peg Leg Paluga
Peg Leg was a Keet from the Eastern Isles. (Being seabeings, Keets tend to be deeper than Durultz, who as pond dwellers are pretty shallow). His hero cult teaches the feat of Sword Surfing.
Dwead Eye Dueymakt
Second of the Death Dwakes, Boat Bandit, soggy Far-Seer, Dead of Eye and Deaf of Tone, dwead lord of poetry and pond piracy.
Membership Requirement: Must be a duck. Must have eye patch.
Mental Abilities: Choose Winning Side, Compose Limerwick, Ignore Opposition, Memorise Music, Wally Warriors, Pond Piwacy
Physical Abilities: Dance, Duck Incoming Garbage, Dwead Battle Cwy, Quack Fool (Wave your arms about and pretend you know Quack Foo), Sing While Wunning Away, Yodel
Twaits: Persistent, Thick Skin, Tone Deaf
One Eye (Ignore Obvious, See One Side of Debate, See Far, Dwead Soggy Evil Eye)
High Entertainment (Widiculing Song, Battle Yodel, Sorrowful Bawad, Uplifting Anthem, Vengeful Dirge, Earthy Limerwick)
Special Hero Feat: Ho! Ha Ha! Guard! Turn! Parry! Dodge! Spin! …[Splash].
Secwet: Battle March. Allows devotee to ignore multiple target penalties when using his High Entertainment affinity to aid his clan in battle. If roll fails, skald succumbs to fwiendly fire.
Loueymakt the Storm Bill
Third of the Death Dwakes, Berserker, Chaos Cleanser, Pond Wippler, Wave Maker, Bottom Feeder, Life of the Party. Also a deft shot with the cwossbow.
Membership Requirement: Must be a male duck. (Mostly). Must fail intelligence test on entry.
Storm Bills must never wun away too quickly from Chaos, and are duty bound to weport chaos outbweaks to the proper authorities, or at least to someone bigger. Members usually experience deep twobbings in the pwesence of Chaos.
Membership of the cult requires great devotion, for it is vewy difficult to snort when you have a bill.
Devotees are known as Atak Waks or MarlJarls. (Marl is the mixture of clay and duck skat found at the edges of nests).
Mental Abilities: Comprehend Orders, Ignore Pain, Tough
Physical Abilities: Close Combat (Big Stick), Inbibe Mead, Snort, Wanged Combat (Cwossbow), Wun Away Slowly
Twaits: Beastly, Weckless
Anti-Chaos (Wetreat Slowly, Brave Face, Wemember Encounter, Wighteous Fuwy)
Berserk Combat (Fwoth at the Bill, Whack! Whack! Wak! Whack! Wak! Whack!, Cwipple Kneecap, Gweat Blow, Make Waves)
Secwet: Report Chaos to SomeWon Bigger
Special Magic Ability: Sense Chaos
Storm Bills use the HeroQuest rules for berserk magic. Whatever they are.
Vinga Nestguard, The Weed Pwotector
Vinga saved many cowards and ducklings in the Great Ice. She made the first javelins from reeds.
Vingans must defend cowards, which means they are responsible for all of duck society. Many dwakes dislike the cult.
Membership Requirement: Must be a female duck. Must have weed spear. Members feathers become wedder and wedder. Devotees must swear never to mawwy, at least until somewun nice comes along.
Mental Abilities: Dwy Land Survival, Let a Woman Do It, There Is Always a Way, Twack, Wally Cowards
Physical Abilities: Close Combat (Weed Spear), Jump, Left Upper Cut, Piercing Shweik, Ranged Combat (Weed Spear), Quack Foo
Twaits: Clucky, Zesty
Vinga Nestguard Affinities:
Combat (Dwead Spear Throw, Thwow, Weally Long Thwow, Stoopid Dwake!, Stoopid Hooman!, Stoopid Chaos!, Spear Leap)
Movement (Duck!, Weally Deep Dive, Wun On Water, Duck Torpedo, Dodge Missiles)
Secwet: Defend Cowards.
If you have survived this page, and seek to dive deeper into the pond of your inner duck, then let me recommend The Centre for Duck Studies. Learn to stick your butt in the air without feeling embarrassed! The Centre features many documents from studied quacks.