Here is a link to the announcement I made back in March.
Also you may know that Jonathan Becker over at B/X Blackrazor is also doing a witch class for his "The Complete B/X Adventurer". I personally think that is very cool, and I dig the name of the book too.
I am looking forward to seeing else JB will do with his witch. I am sure it will be different than what I am doing and I think the Basic Retro-clone market is large and now getting diverse enough to support more than one view on the witch.
I want to talk about his ideas in a bit, but first I want to talk about my own ideas, as they are right now.
Presently this book has about 63 pages of game material and an additional 52 pages of nothing but spells. Frankly that is WAY too much material for what is essentially just one new class. Though I have much more than just that of course. The spells can be used for other classes and there are some new monsters and magic items.
Here is a small sampling of what I'll be offering, though edited to fit the narrative of the book better.
- Cantrips for Original and Basic-Era Games
- Earth Trolls
- Gnomes for Basic era FRPGs
- Gypsy Elves
- Level Titles for Magic Using Classes
- Magic Hats
Plus I am very keen on doing a witch that was likely to have been built back when the Moldvay boxed set was still new. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about the role of witches and what they do in a game. Again, taking my cues from Tom Moldvay as detailed here, http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/2011/01/tom-moldvay-on-witches.html. I have tried to address all these points (and then some) in my new witch.
The other issue that is important to me is that the witch must have a role that does not take away from the Cleric or the Magic-User/Wizard. There should be overlap, that is fine, just like a fighter and thief can both use weapons to attack a monster. The cleric, magic-user and witch all use spells. They just use them in a different way.
I have done witch books for *D&D before including one for AD&D 2nd Ed and another for D&D3/d20. There will be some similarities of course, but I am more focused on the Basic Witch to create a book that feels like it was made in the later 1970s/early 1980s. I am reading witch and occult material that was popular at the time. I really want a good old-school feel, but while still taking advantage of all the research I have been doing over the last 25+ years.
Now lets go back to JB's Complete B/X Adventurer Witch.
His links are here:
Jonathan has a good idea of what he wants and I think he is going about it in a very cool way.
His Something Wicked... goes over a lot of the same ground I have gone over here, but he also points out that we get a lot of references to witches without any witches themselves. Now he mentions he has never read the the classic Dragon Magazine articles on witches (#5, #20, #43 and most famously #114), but I think there is a lot in those articles that bear reading. One of which is the Tom Moldvay list from my previous post.
I am looking forward to seeing how these two different, but related, interpretations are welcomed by the OSR community.