Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A to Z of Witches. G

G is for Gris-gris

A Gris-gris, or grigri, is a talisman found in voudun or voodoo practices.

For my games a talisman is the simplest magic item a witch can create.  A Gris Gris is the same for a Voodoo witch.  Now I have not exactly decided yet what a voodoo witch is for Strange Brew.
It could be a witch archetype, a multiclass path of a witch and shaman or witch and cleric. Or something new.

What ever a voodoo witch is or will be the Gris-gris is more or less set in my mind.
It is always made of natural materials, something the witch could make on her own without the need of another craftsman.  So cloth or leather pouch that she wove or tanned herself.  To me that is the important part.  While some magic items focus on the quality or even the masterwork of the item (like a wand, staff or sword) the gris-gris needs to be personal.  In fact the exact ingredients in the gris-gris should be different from witch to witch.

my new dice bag from Blessed be Garden (sadly closed)

While Pathfinder/d20 has pretty good rules about magic item creations in terms of what needs to go into it, the gris-gris runs counter to all that.  So for a witch a gris-gris of protection could include a bit of cloth that was cut from her mother's dress and bit of wood from the house she grew up in.  While another might include the key to a locked door.

For Pathfinder,

Create Talisman [Item Creation, Witch]
With Create Talisman you can create the weakest of all magical items, a talisman.
Prerequisite: Membership of a witch tradition. Each tradition has slightly different means
You may create the simplest of all magical items, a Talisman. A Talisman can hold only one spell (or cantrip, charm or hex) of a maximum of 3rd level. The talisman can be made of stone, paper, clay or any object that can be written upon. The object must be used for this purpose only. Talismans can only be used once. After use the medium that was written on become unusable for other talismans. Spells that may be used for talismans are indicated in the Witch Spell Lists. This is an item creation feat that all witches gain for free.
The base price of this feat is 10 gp multiplied by the spell level (not the price for a similar item in the Core Rulebook II). The XP cost is 1/25 of this base cost (rounded up). The material component cost is half of the base cost. The witch or any other person regardless of class or alignment may use a talisman.
For example: a 1st level witch creates a talisman of Charm Person (1st level), she chooses to inscribe a flat piece of clay with a charm symbol. The base cost for this item is 10 gp, then the XP cost is 10/25 or 0.4 XP (rounded to 1 XP) and the material costs (clay, special incense, a special stylus) is 5 gp. So the witch will spend 5 gold pieces and 0.4 xp

I have extended this feat to Druids as well.  We called the gris-gris of a druid "mojo bags".  Maybe not the most celtic of names, but it has stuck.  Maybe something like "mála draíochta"  would be better.

Supernatural AtoZ


Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I think I first heard of a gris-gris in James Bond - the movie with all the voodoo, or it might have been another TV show, but I remember being fascinated :)
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Timothy S. Brannan said...

I remember that too. In Live and Let Die. It was the first James Bond movie I ever saw.

Sophie Duncan said...

Considering we're twins, it's not surprising that Tasha and I both first saw Voodoo in Live & Let Die. It's still one of my fav James Bond movies :).
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Mina Burrows said...

Very cool. I was thinking the gris-gris for a voodoo would be super creepy and filled with bones. Or not...

I like the Druids name better. I would rather have a mojo bag than a gris-gris.

Great post.

Unknown said...

I've never heard of gris-gris. Unless it was on Supernatural and I don't remember! :)

Sara C. Snider said...

In Swedish, gris = pig. So I read gris-gris as pig-pig. Not a bad thing, because I love pigs.

Anyway, I like how you describe its attributes and how it needs to be personal. Makes sense, when talking about voodoo and such.

Nice post. :)