Thursday, October 19, 2017

This Old Dragon: Issue #54

Again today is a bit of cheat. I had been going through all my October issues and this is the next one on the pile.  It's October 1981.  I am in the earliest days of my gaming life, having played Basic D&D pretty much exclusively but adding the bits from AD&D where we wanted. This would place me in 7th grade and my life was full of D&D and learning to program on a TRS-80 Model III.
Radio and the movies have been dominated by "Endless Love" and "Arthur" since August and on the shelves is Issue #54 of This Old Dragon!

Ok let's get to that cover.  I HATED it!  Not because it is bad or anything, but when I was little I had gotten really scared of the trees in the Wizard of Oz movie.  I also was scared of the Tree Monster from the terrible movie "From Hell it Came".  Poltergeist didn't help either. Ever since then Tree Monsters freak me out. Not today of course...that would be silly...(looks behind).
But all kidding aside it is actually a really fun cover.

We start of the issue with a letter from J.D. Webster concerning the fate of the comic Fineous Fingers.  FF was also that bit of D&D history that "predated" me. While I was playing and had been now for two years (little less) I was not reading Dragon yet and I had not even heard of White Dwarf.  I used things like FF to judge how long people had been playing.  If they talked about it I knew they had been more involved than me.  Plus one of the groups in town had a player (I forgot who) whose character was Fineous Fingers.   Oh, the letter.  Yeah, this is the last issue for FF.

There are some letters, mostly about a recent adventure competition.

Up first in real articles we have something from Ed Greenwood.  So this year (2017) I have been spending some time expanding my knowledge of the Forgotten Realms.   This article is one of the earliest articles on the Realms I know of.  Down-to-earth Divinity discusses how Ed has put together his Pantheon of Gods.   You can easily see how this evolved into the gods of the Realms.  I found it interesting that he includes the elemental gods from the Melnibonéan mythos. There are a lot of "reskinned" Deities and Demigods gods here too (which is the point of the article).  I liked that Ed specifically mentions that witches worship Selûne.  The article is long and seriously good.

A feature I loved in the past is present in this issue, The Dragon's Bestiary. We get a different version of the Boggart here, closer to it's Brownie origins. The Stroan, which looks like a giant water bug, and the Incubus.

Beware the Jabberwock is next by Mark Nuiver.  Background and stats for the creature and the poem that gave us the vorpal sword.

The centerpiece of this issue is the competition adventure for AD&D, Cavern Quest by Bill Fawcett.  It's a long one and has one of the most complex scoring systems I have seen. It might be fun to try with the right group.

Abomination is the fiction bit. Seems related to the cover.

Cash & Carry for Cowboys by Glenn Rahman is one of the very few Boot Hill articles I can recall reading in the pages of Dragon.  Odd that Boot Hill has not been remade in the wave of nostalgia hitting both WotC and the OSR.   It is a very useful price list of items for sale in the Old West.

Simulation Corner by John Prados looks like it was a semi-regular feature on Game Design.  This one, Practicing Game Design III Rules of Realism covers how to get realism into your game.  It might be interesting, in a purely academic sense, to compare this five-part series to what later would be said about GMS game theory or the work at The Forge.  My philosophy of game design is a simple one.  Do what is fun and serves the game the best.  Derive everything else from that.

Another favorite feature from the past, Bazaar of the Bizarre is next. This time we get More feather tokens by Edward J. Greenwood.   To go with a loose Halloween theme there is the Skull Mace, Mace of Pain and Jug of Undead.

Hmm...there is a continuation of an article on Ruins that I don't seem to have the first part of.

There is a silly little technology quiz on page 74.  At 11 I would have loved it. Today...it's like seeing an ad for polyester kung-fu pants.

We get a What's New. A Dragonmirth.  Both Wormy and Fineos Fingers in color.

Ads for both the D&D Basic set (A Dungeons & Dragons Adventure!)


Loved these ads. But you never got to fight a Purple Worm in Basic!

And and ad for the D&D Folders.


Always wanted one of these!

Great issue. Not very Halloween-filled, but still a lot of fun.

Here is what I said about White Dwarf #27 from the same month.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Love Will Have Its Sacrifices: Carmilla and Laura for the Buffy RPG

Some pairings just work so well that it feels like the universe clicks into place.
This is one of those times.

Carmilla is a web series based on the Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu short story of the same name.  Like many (MANY) updates to Carmilla, this takes place in modern times.  We have Laura Hollis (played by super cute Elise Bauman) a 19-year-old freshman at Silas University in Styria, Austria.  Laura starts a VLog when here roommate Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Spielsdorf goes missing.  Laura, a journalism student with an over-protective father, decides to investigate and her suspicions fall squarely on her new roommate, Carmilla Karnstein (played wonderfully by Natasha Negovanlis).

Along the way, we meet Lola Perry (Annie Briggs) a German-language student, compulsive neat freak (and former below-average witch) her best friend S. LaFontaine (Kaitlyn Alexander), a non-binary cool science geek biology student, and Danny Lawrence (Sharon Belle) a 6'2" (no really, she is that freaking tall) English lit TA.

The first season, 36 episodes, covers the relationship between Laura and Carmilla as well as the mystery of all the missing girls. The next two seasons (36 episodes each) cover other issues facing the often tormented students of Silas University. Including fighting the Faerie Queen Titania, the Deep One Dagon, oh and getting in the middle of a 3 millennia-old war between Inanna and Ereshkigal.  Fun times.

The writing is witty. It is a geek-filled romp with plenty of nerdy pop cultural references. I wanted to die every time I saw Laura drink out of her TARDIS cup.  And these were not just fan-service nods these were legitimate geek moments.
The acting is great and the chemistry between the two leads is some of the best I have seen in a long, long time. They are in another series together by the same creators but as different characters.  I have to admit I am little hesitant to watch it less I ruin the good juju of them as Carmilla and Laura.

I missed the whole fandom that surrounded this show and that is my loss. The fans, the "Creampuffs", seem like a great community. The creators of the show know what the fans mean to them and it feels like a great relationship.

But that's not why YOU are here, is it?

Carmilla is pretty much in every sense of the term the spiritual successor to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  So it stands to reason then that the cast should get the Buffy RPG treatment.

I did this once before for Carmilla for the Ghosts of Albion RPG, but these stats will be based more on the characters around Season 2 or so. Plus the GoA stats are based more on the novella than this.

Yeah, I might be a little obsessed.

Carmilla

The young Mircalla Karnstein and Elle in 1872 (great for Ghosts of Albion)


Countess Mircalla Karnstein, aka "Carmilla"
Vampire

"Buckle up, creampuff."

Life Points: 63

Strength 6
Dexterity 6
Constitution 5
Intelligence 3
Perception 3
Willpower 5

Qualities
Age (3) (335 years)
Attractiveness (3)
Cloak of Beasts (Large Cat)
Fast Reaction Time (Vampire)
Hard to Kill 3 (2 from Vampire)
Natural Weapon (Vampire)
Reduced Damage 2 (Vampire)
Regeneration (6 Life Points per hour) (Vampire)
Vampire

Drawbacks
Adversary (2, mother, various vampire hunters)
Bloodlust
Love, Tragic (Elle)
Love (Laura) (2)
Emotional Problems, Emotionally Dependent (victims) (1)
Mental Problems, Covetous (Lechery) (1)
Minority (lesbian) (1)

Useful Information
Initiative +8
Actions 2/1
Observation 1d10+6
Fear +5

Height: 5'3"
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown

Skills
Acrobatics 3
Art 2
Computers 0
Crime 2
Doctor 0
Driving 1
Gun-Fu 0
Getting Medieval 3
Influence 4
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 2
Languages 6 (English, French, Latin, German, Romanian, Sumerian)
Mr. Fix-it 1
Notice 3
Occultism 1
Science 1
Sports 1
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus  Damage  Notes
Dodge / Parry     +8 - Defense Action                           
Grapple +9 - Defense Action
Bite +7 6 Slash / Stab, needed for blood drain
Punch / claw +8 12 Bash / slash


Laura Hollis
White Hat

"What would Mina Harker do? Get bitten. Mina Harker would totally try and act all alluring to the bloodsucking fiend and totally get bitten. Let's not do that."

Life Points: 26

Strength 2
Dexterity 2
Constitution 2
Intelligence 4
Perception 3
Willpower 3

Qualities
Attractiveness 1
Nerd

Drawbacks
Honorable (1)
Love (Carmilla) (2)
Minority (lesbian) (1)

Height: 5'2"
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Brown

Skills
Acrobatics 2
Art 2
Computers 3
Crime 2 (Investigative Journalism)
Doctor 1
Driving 1
Gun-Fu 0
Getting Medieval 1
Influence 2
Knowledge 3
Kung Fu 2 (Krav Maga)
Languages 2 (English, German)
Mr. Fix-it 1
Notice 2
Occultism 0
Science 1
Sports 1
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus  Damage  Notes
Dodge / Parry     +4 - Defense Action                           
Grapple +5 - Defense Action
Punch  +6 4 Bash

These stats represent our stars around Season 2.  So each one has a bit more points than expected of starting characters.

I think LaFontaine would

You can watch all three seasons on the KindaTV YouTube Channel.

Season 1



Season 2



Season 3




The movie is out next week!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Black Swan (2010)

Is Black Swan a Horror flick?

It certainly has elements of it and IMDB and Wikipedia list it as Psychological Horror.  I mean it is no Silence of the Lambs, but it can get to you.
Plus Darren Aronofsky can do some really creepy shit (see "Requiem for a Dream").

There is no "last girl" here and certainly no one is murdered (except for a hallucination) and we can never really be sure of Nina's (Natalie Portman) ultimate fate (though to stick with Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake theme she certainly died).

Portman gave a fantastic, Oscar worthy,  performance, as to be expected, and Mila Kunis was also really good as Lily.

This movie was a happenstance for this challenge.  I do not have it on tape but it was on one of the movie channels.

A good movie makes you think afterwards.  Though not all movies that make you think are necessarily good.  This is both.  Sometimes Aronofsky can get on my nerves, but this was a good one.





Monday, October 16, 2017

I *need* Some D&D t-shirts

If you have been on Facebook or other social media it is likely you have seen ads for some D&D themed/branded t-shirts.    They look really cool.



I am not here to link them or rat them out for selling unauthorized D&D products.  That is not my point today.


My point today is this ad.


If you are unfamiliar with the "Gateway to Adventure: 1981TRS Hobbies, Inc." brochure that came with the Basic and Expert Sets there is a copy on Archive.org.

I had always wanted those shirts.  In particular the D&D Basic set, the Players Handbook, and the Deities & Demigods shirts.

At age 11 though even the $6.00 + shipping seemed like a lot of cash when I was saving and buying things on my own. That six bucks was two paperbacks or half way to my next hardcover.

I am now at an age, and the means, to buy what I want.  I want some of these shirts, but sadly these are not something that comes up at game auctions or eBay. Plus if they did would I really want one?

I have made some shirts for other games, namely Ghosts of Albion, for when I am running games. But I really would just rather buy one.   I'd like WotC/Hasbro or their authorized reseller to have a storefront where I can buy retro-style D&D T-shirts.  I bought a "Red Box" D&D shirt from Wizards one Gen Gen con a number of years ago.  I would like some more.

HELL.  I want a Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord,  or White Star tee shirt too!
+Erik Tenkar,  +Matt Finch+James Spahn who needs to be bribed to get these done?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Witch Superstitions

It's Friday the 13th! Always a special day here at The Other Side, but a Friday the 13th in October? That's practically a national holiday here!

I am participating in the RPG Blog Carnival for October on Superstitions. Hosted by Of Dice and Dragons.

Witch Superstitions

In my games, witches have a lot of superstitions.  Actually many believe they HAVE to do these things or their magic will be in jeopardy.  It is one of the defining features of the witch as opposed to wizards, clerics, druids or other types of spellcasters.

Most of these are designed with roleplaying flavor in mind, if anything I would say that if they don't follow them they get an immediate -1 on their next roll or where appropriate.

Brooms
- A witch never buys a new broom in May.  "New broom in May, sweep your family away."
- A witch never takes an old broom to a new house.  When the new house has a broom an old broom may be brought in.
- If a broom falls it means a stranger is coming. Or that someone is under a curse.
- Newlyweds should jump over a broom after a handfasting to ensure a good marriage.
- Floors are never swept widdershins, west to east or left to right.
- Knocking a broom handle on the floor (bristles up) three times will remove mischievous fairies.
- If a broom breaks while being used it will bring bad fortune on the whole house.

Cauldrons and Pots
- A witch never stirs a cauldron, pot, or even her teacup widdershins (counter clockwise). Stirring widdershins is allowed when brewing a curse or when you want bad things to happen.
- Cauldrons must be seasoned prior to proper use.  A cauldron not seasoned will never produce acceptable results, whether this is a potion or soup.  Use the most common type of animal fat available.  Typically an old mother hog who is past her own season is the best.
- The ember to light the cauldron fires after Samhain must come from a fire that was started before Samhain.

Food and home
- A witch never uses salt at the table.  If you do, throw some over your left shoulder first.
- Breaking a cobweb is good luck.
- Finding a spider is a good omen.
- A portrait falling from a wall is a omen of death.
- A cracked mirror is ill-fortune for the one that cracked it and the one that sees it first.
- Cat on your threshold means you will have a visitor soon.
- A Cardinal (or a red bird common to your area) singing in your garden means an old friend will contact you.
- if your cat hisses at a stranger do not let them into your home.
- Plant roses and lavender in your garden for luck.
- Crooked windows will keep rival witches from flying into your home.
- Bury a horseshoe under your front step to kept evil spirits from your home.
- Burn sage in a home to remove evil spirits.
- If you believe your house is haunted, move the furniture to new positions to confuse the spirits.  If the furniture is moved to same places they were before you could have a boggart.
- Ring bells to remove evil spirits
- If someone knocks their chair over when getting up from a meal it is a sign they lied.
- Never lay money on the table before eating.
- Never shake hands or kiss in a threshold.
- If three or more witches gather in a home the youngest (or lowest level) must make the tea and serve it to the oldest (or highest level) first.

Personal
- Wear black on Wednesdays, wear purple on Sundays.
- Do not sleep with wet hair, your dreams will portend madness.
- If a witch must go to a church or temple of another god she should sit in the back row.
- Always start new endeavours facing East. Never start something new on a Friday.
- when making a camp, sleep with your feet pointed in the direction you will be headed in the morning for quick and speedy travel.
- properly dispose of all nail clippings and fallen hairs to prevent another witch from casting a spell on you.
- if you have to speak the name of an enemy, spit on the ground after you speak it.




Thursday, October 12, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Burn Witch Burn! (1962)

Also known as Night of the Eagle, this is one of the many versions of Fritz Lieber's Conjure Wife and one of my favorite versions of it.

this version cleaves much better to the spirit of the book, but it is also missing significant portions of the book and some of the elements that made to book so good.  In particular, it changes the entire ending.  To be fair, the movie ending fits the movie better, but I do prefer the book ending more.

The whole bit where Tansy looses her soul is also missing.  The movie does not suffer for it, but the story has less punch.

Janet Blair and Peter Wyngarde are very good as the young college professor and his witch wife Tansy.  They look very much like I would expect them to look from the book.

My son Connor did not watch this with me.

This Old Dragon: Issue #138

October 1988.  I was a sophomore in college, but not just any college. I was at Southern Illinois University and Halloween was a HUGE deal. I debuted my first version of my "Astaroth" devil costume.  A couple of my friends got wasted, damaged part of the football field and got arrested.  I also "invented" the "Bush Whacker"; a double shot of vodka washed down with a Bush beer.  Never been able to drink vodka after that night.  My college roommate had a new girlfriend so I ended up with a dorm room all to myself.  It was pretty sweet really.  I had finished my first draft of the Witch class nearly two years prior and was now into deep playtesting and revising.   It's October 1988 and this is issue #138 of This Old Dragon!

As far as Dragons go I consider this one in my top five.  I remember walking to the bookstore down "The Strip" (Illinois Ave) to pick this up.  The cover could not be more Halloween-themed if it tried.   The material inside completely lives up to this cover.

Roger E. Moore is now the Editor, replacing the departing Kim Mohan.  I am not sure when exactly this took place, but I do know that this was the first issue I really noticed it.   This is post-Gygax TSR and if we didn't know that know we soon will.  Not that I am trying to draw parallels between Moore and the people that took over TSR.  Far from it.  But there was a new direction in art and in in content in Dragon and other TSR works that really began to show about this time.  It is easy to lump it all into 2nd Edition era, but it started before that.

Letters cover the lack of Dragon magazine indexes.

Nice big full ad for Space 1889. I picked up this game used not soon after, but sold it in one my "purging" moods.  I finally got another one at Half-Price books a while back.

The Forum covers a variety of topics, heavy on contributions from IL I notice.  At the time I really had no idea how good I had it.  I have heard of an Original D&D corridor that ran from Chicago and Lake Geneva all the way down to Carbondale, IL (where I was) and hitting nearly every major university along the way down south.  Even in my hometown, there were several independent D&D groups running at same time.   The Egyptian Campaign (in Carbondale, aka "Little Egypt") had been running since it's involvement with fellow Saluki (SIU alum) Tim Kask.   All I knew was I had access to books, games, and people and I thought everyone had this.  Later I learned this was not the case and one of the reasons these other games and supplements began popping up, to fill a gap.

We get some advice on painting undead in Through the Looking Glass.

Ad for Dragonfire computer-aided DM's software.  I know people that swore by this.


I have heard that this software had been released as share-ware, but I could be mistaken.

The unofficial start to our Halloween issue is Sage Advice. Here Skip Williams covers various questions about the undead that I found very useful.  I notice that a lot of what was written here later informed the undead monsters of 2nd Edition.

Page 15 we hit the meat of this issue, all about horror!

Up first a little something for the Call of Cthulhu game. The Black Book and the Hunters by Craig Schaefer introduces The Black Book of Shub-Niggurath and the Hunters of Shub-Niggurath (Greater Servitor Race).  While I am not sure if I ever used these in CoC, I certainly used a lot of ideas from this article in dealing with demons.  In fact, I penciled in "Lesser" and "Greater Servitor Race" on many demon entries.

Double page ad for the SF&F book club.  Some great books here!

Up next is something from none other than Tom Moldvay.  No wonder I love this article so much.
The Ungrateful Dead expands the ranks of the undead with some monsters I STILL use to this very day.  These horrors include The Bloody Bones, Skleros,  Dry Bones ("Dem Bones"), Gem Eyes, Shock Bones (something I had come with independently based on a nightmare I had as a kid), Galley Beggers, the Walking Dead, the Lesser and Greater Colossus, the hungery Dead, Le Grand Zombi, Ghula, Baka, Gelloudes, Spirit Ghouls, a Wendigo (!), Black Annis and her cat, and the vampire like Callicantzaros.  Whew. A ton of undead from myth, legend and popular culture. So many I have used over the others and others I had forgotten!

Up next is an article I have a bit of contention with.  Not this article per se, but ones like it.
Ed Friedlander gives us madness in fantasy RPGS in Methods to Your Madness.
The article itself is not bad and really focuses on the fantasy aspects of the game and the potential effects.  In general, I find many bits on madness, "insanity" and psychological impairment to be hamfisted at best and dangerously wrong at worst.  My background is in Psychology. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in it. I spent years working as a Qualified Mental Health Professional in a group home setting with schizophrenics. I don't like "sanity" rules in most games.  I like the ones in Call of Cthulhu because they work within the confines of the system and the mythos.
The rules in this article work because they do not try to cleave to close to modern psychology.  Instead of a diagnosis of a disease, we get descriptions of behaviors.

Eileen Lucas is up with an article I didn't read much then but have since come back too many, many times. The End of the World: Of plagues, player characters, and campaign worlds.  I think I am not the only one.  Remember the old Knight Rider TV show?  Every season it seemed like they had to crash and nearly destroy KITT (and sometime Micheal) to only rebuild it and make it stronger, better.  I see this sometimes in Campagin Worlds.  We saw it in Greyhawk and I am not sure how many times in Krynn and the Forgotten Realms.  The article though is very, very good and has a lot of great ideas on how to end the world and start again.  At this time in my own gaming the "Dragon Wars" had just happened and my world had been largely destroyed.  When I wanted to bring my world back for 3e I went back to this article to read up on the plague and the after effects of wars.

We break from disease and death to talk about lasers.
Martin Landauer is next with Putting Fire into Firepower or lasers for the original Top Secret game.  I always thought of this as the bridge between Top Secret and Star Frontiers.  Maybe they were in the same universe.

The fiction piece is next, Between Lightning & Thunder by Nancy Varian Berberick.

Cool full page ad for DC Heroes with my first introduction to Amanda Waller.


The Role of Computers covers the then cutting edge of computer games. Many with new CGA graphics!  Many games are listed at around the $40-$45 area.  Interesting how the price of games has not changed all that much.

A couple of pages of small ads.

Role-playing Reviews covers a few horror-themed game titles.  Cthulhu Now is a supplement for the Call of Cthulhu changing the setting to modern times.  Future versions of CoC will fold this information into the core book to some degree.  GURPS Horror was at this time considered to be the MUST HAVE horror supplement for any game.  I remember looking for it for years in my local stores; so much for easy access!  Beyond the Supernatural was also considered one of the hot horror games of the late 80s.  It is notable not just for it's content but for also starting the writing career of many horror RPG authors like C.J. Carella who would later go on to write WitchCraft.

A page of TSR Previews. This features (and there is an ad later) the LAST AD&D hardcover to be produced, Greyhawk Adventures. This book was notable for being 1st Edition, but also having 2nd Edition AD&D stat blocks for monsters.


I can't help but notice that the blue background on this is almost the same blue background that will be later used for the AD&D 2nd Edition preview book.

Convention Calendar is next.

DragonMirth has some comics including newbie Yamara.
SnarfQuest hits episode #62.
There is no Wormy.  Little did I (or anyone else) know Tramp had moved and was living about 2 miles from where I was.

Lots of full color, full page ads.

Wow. What a packed issue.  AD&D 1st Ed was in it's twilight years and we all knew it.  What we didn't know was that soon AD&D players would engage in "The Edition Wars".  Yes there had always been the AD&D vs. D&D ones, but that was minor when it came to the 1st vs. 2nd ed or the TSR vs. WotC ones over the next, well, forever.

But until then we have this brief moment of stillness and this really great issue.

What are your memories of October 1988?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Alien Covenant (2017)

Another new one.  Plus I am running out of tape material.

Note: Spoilers ahead.

Alien Covenant attempts correct some of the mistakes from Prometheus.  Not sure how well it succeeds. For starters, this is a proper Alien movie, with xenomorphs, spaceships, a crazy android. Everything that made the first one a sci-fi and horror classic.

This one doesn't quite work as well.

It's a good sci-fi flick and has some good moments, but otherwise, it is only ok.

I am not exactly sure why that is.

I talked to my wife and son about this.  They pointed out that the alien was not really the enemy. They were only a tool. The real bad guy was the android, David.

Well, I had hoped for more.




Monday, October 9, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Mummy (2017)

A bit of a change of pace for this Challenge.
This is a first time view. It's a Tom Cruise movie (whom I can't stand). And the movie is not as bad as I was lead to believe.

The idea is an interesting one, but it is the same as many of the Mummy movies since Boris Karlof. Though Sofia Boutella is better to look at it.
There are some neat ideas and personally, I wanted to see more of Russel Crow's Jekyll and Hyde.

Connor enjoyed it but thought they did some stupid things.
I tend to agree.


Into the Nentir Vale, 5e Style

Vacation day today.  So the boys and I are starting our "Halloween" adventures of Into the Nentir Vale.  Yes, I am converting the 4e the adventures to 5e.  I started these adventures back when 4e came out and they really had an impact on what I am doing now with Come Endless Darkness.


So today we start H1, Keep on the Shadowfell.


I have done the conversions to 5e and they look good.



We are going to stick with this one for a bit and pick up Vault of the Drow when we go to Gen Con in 2018.  That would be a good time to do that!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Dracula 2000 (2000)

Not one of my favorite Draculas to be sure, but it is satisfying that I also got to finish a tape.

It's an interesting tale. Bringing Dracula into the modern age, trouble is that we have seen this story many times and many times it has been better.  The twist here is that "Dracula" is actually Judas.
The movie starts out ok, I like the idea of a quasi-immortal Van Helsing dealing in ancient arms.

Somewhere along the way through the movie falls apart for me.



Saturday, October 7, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Gothic (1986)

Gothic is another one of those films that you either love or hate.  I enjoyed the hell out of it. The story of how Frankenstein and the Vampyre came to be? Ken Russell as the director? Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron, Julian Sands as Percy Bysshe Shelley, and an absolutely lovely Natasha Richardson as Mary Shelley (in her film debut)?  Music by Thomas Dolby? What's not to love?
Well plenty it seems.  The movie was a commercial bomb, though it did make good money on the home video market.

Connor hated it. Though he did recognize Timothy Spall who played Dr. John William Polidori here and later Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew.

I watched this a few Challenges back but for the life of me I can't find the write up.  My wife hated it then too. It does feel dated and the music is very much mid-80s synth.  But it is still a lot of fun.





Zatannurday: Interview with MYSTIK U's Alisa Kwitney

A few of weeks ago I mentioned the news of the new Zatanna centric comic MYSTIK U, about Zatanna's days at university.
As you can imagine I did a very unmanly squeal of delight and immediately set out to finding out as much as I could.

Well, my obsessions are your gain!  I got the chance to interview Alisa Kwitney.

Tim/The Other Side: Hello, my name is Tim Brannan and this is my blog The Other Side.  Today I am talking with author Alisa Kwitney. Alisa has been given the reigns on a new Zatanna comic for DC; Mystik U.  Our favorite fishnet-wearing magician is headed back to school to learn magic. She meets some now-familiar names and encounters a bunch of new adventures.

But first, let's meet the author herself.  Hello Alisa, why don’t you introduce yourself and give us a little bit a background on who you are?

Alisa: I was on staff at DC for about 7 years, working in the Vertigo imprint on SANDMAN and SHADE THE CHANGING MAN and other books in Karen Berger’s group. At the same time as I joined DC, my first novel, Till the Fat Lady Sings, was a comedy of manners about the first year of college, published by HarperCollins. My 10th novel, a YA called Cadaver & Queen, is now coming out from HarlequinTeen which is part of HarperCollins, so it’s kind of full circle. And now that I think about it, it’s also a novel about a school--a Victorian medical school that reanimates corpses to produce Bio-Mechanicals.


Tim: Excellent. The big one now, how did you get into writing comics?

Alisa: I actually said I wanted to write and edit during my first interview. These days, you have to choose between writing or drawing and being on staff, but at that time, lots of editors wrote or drew or inked or colored. Dick Giordano, the Vice President, once worked as inker for me on Sandman. I had already had a novel published, so people knew I could write--at least, in theory. In practice, I was still learning how to write comics. My first comic was a Phantom Stranger special, and whenever we got pages back from penciller Guy Davis, I would check to see where he had changed my pacing. Basically, he was giving me a master class in how to tell a better visual story.

Tim: So, if I can, you are something of Sci-Fi Royalty! Your father is the late Robert Sheckley. Did he give you good advice about writing? Do/Did you take inspiration from his works?
BTW, Immortality, Inc. is still one of my favorites and Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming was a lot of fun to read.

Alisa:  When I was 19, I asked my father if he thought I had it. I wanted him to anoint me and say, in effect, Yes, my child, you have the magic spark of writerly brilliance. Instead, he said in this very dismissive tone, “Yeah, you got talent, I suppose. Whatever that’s worth.” At the time, I was disappointed in his response, but over the years I’ve come to realize that he was absolutely right. Talent counts for very little. Applying yourself to your stories is everything. And in a sense, that’s what I’m writing about in Mystik U. These 18-year-olds come to college, wanting validation of their special powers, and instead they discover their limitations.

Tim: You are no stranger to the DC Universe.  Your run on Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold was up for an Eisner Award.  How did you get that job and did it help when pitching Mystik U?

Alisa: I pitched Destiny when I was pregnant and obsessed with plagues. I kept imagining these awful horror scenarios and I had to get it out of my system. I also wanted to do something sweeping and epic, like the big Frank Yerby historicals I read when I was a kid. (My favorite was The Odor of Sanctity.) Neil told me about The Secret History of Procopius, which is a history of the early Byzantine empire written by a scholar who was convinced that the emperor had been possessed by a demon.

I’m not sure how much Destiny helped in my pitching Mystik U. In general, I find that if you’ve written a historical horror story, people tend to think it means you can write historical horror stories. If you write a contemporary YA, (which I did for Shelly Bond’s Minx line at DC), then people might say, Oh, I see, you can write contemporary YA. Mystik U is sort of a hybrid of superhero and horror and YA, so it seems a logical next step to me--but I’m not sure it seemed logical to anyone else at first.



Tim: Now tell us about Young Zatanna and Mystik U.  Was this your idea?

Alisa: Yes. I wanted to do a book about college, because that first year of being off on your own and finally learning things you choose for yourself is really rich with story possibilities. People keep comparing the concept of Mystik U to Hogwarts, which is fine--I own not one but two Harry Potter wands, and consider myself a Ravenpuff--but I could never write a book about boarding school. At age eleven, I would have hated Hogwarts, because I was basically Neville Longbottom. I also really enjoyed Lev Grossman’s books about magical college, but his take is also different from mine. For me, college is a stage where people go to improvise themselves. It’s a place where you get to try on new ideas, new philosophies and new identities. And it’s a place where the bathrooms contain some unpleasant surprises.

Tim: Stories about schools and young heroes are very popular. You don’t need to look much farther than Harry Potter or Buffy to see that.  On the comics front we have the classic Chris Claremont run on X-Men and the George Pérez run on Teen Titans.  What do you want to do with Zatanna as a character that covers this same sort of time in her life and the storytelling opportunities?

Alisa: Zatanna comes to school thinking that she has a great power and that she needs training--and then finds herself unable to access her power when she wants it. There are other people there, on her hall, who seem a lot better at magic than she is--like Enchantress, and Davit Sargon, and her roommate Pia and the broody Sebastian Faust. She’s like a lot of people, who were amazing at something in high school, and then get to college and find they aren’t the top of the heap anymore. In an earlier version of Mystik U, I thought this character was going to be Tim Hunter, and I’m so much happier exploring the theme with Zatanna. There are fewer stories of female ambition and drive that aren’t posed as cautionary tales. There’s a parallel story about Rose Psychic, the dean of the school, and her relationship with Dr. Occult, who shares her body. (I wanted Rose to look like Ming Doyle, by the way. I met her when I first pitched Mystik U, and she remains the model for Rose in my mind’s eye.)

Tim: I am a huge fan of Paul Dini’s run on Zatanna, but I love the old Gardner Fox stories as well. What are some of your favorite Zatanna stories?

Alisa: I love Paul Dini’s storytelling. I also love a lot of the stories where she meets up with John Constantine. I figured she was always drawn to bad boys, which you get to see in her relationship with Sebastian Faust.

Tim:  What sort of older elements might we see in your version of Zee? (I already saw Zatara is still around).

Alisa: Mike Norton, the artist, has done an amazing job creating a Zatanna who feels like the bright, upbeat, pragmatic character we know, but also seems like a college freshman. I really wanted all of the characters to feel like real people. For example, Davit Sargon performs a small feat of magic when Zatanna first meets him, and says, “that’s just a little cantrip I picked up.” Zatanna doesn’t know what a cantrip is, and her roommate, Pia explains that it’s a clue that Sargon plays D&D.

Tim: And finally where can we find you on the internet?

Alisa: https://www.facebook.com/alisa.kwitney.sheckley/. Twittter @akwitney. My website is www.alisakwitney.com

Tim: Ok last question and this is one I always ask here at the Other Side. Who is your favorite wizard, witch or magic-user?

Alisa: I loved Witch Hazel, from the old Bugs Bunny cartoon.  She loved being green and hideous and hated being seen as a conventional beauty--which is kind of badass and punk, in retrospect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzEYxGc2RmMI

I also totally understood Endora’s point of view in Bewtiched. Why was her powerful witch daughter wasting time on a dull mortal? In my dreams, Endora and Snape are sitting together in a pub, making caustic remarks about everyone sitting around them.

Tim: Love that visual!  Alisa thank you so much!

Zatanna and MYSTIK U will be out in Novemember.

Friday, October 6, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Lair of the White Worm (1988)

On to my vampire tapes now.  I am not going to review all of these since I had done so many of these in past Challenges. But there are few that stand out.

Lair of the White Worm (1988) is one of those movies.  Rather infamous at the time and a lot of the same visuals from director Ken Russell that made Tommy (1975) so good.

The star of this is a deliciously sexy-evil Amanda Donohoe as the snake-vampire thing Lady Sylvia Marsh.  I read that the role had been offered to Tilda Swinton. Could you have imagined that? I think it would have been awesome. Of course watching it now it is a very young looking Peter Capaldi with a thick northern accent as archaeology student Angus Flint.

I know this is based on a Bram Stoker novella, but it's not a very good novella really.  I read it, gods, back in my university days.  Connor wanted to know why worms, dragons, snakes, and vampires were all getting blended together in this.  It's a good question really.





Kickstart Your Weekend: Jacob Blackmon style!

If you have been here for any period of time of bought any of my Pathfinder books then you will have seen the fantastic art of +Jacob Blackmon.

We are at a point where there are three Kickstarters out now featuring the art of Jacob and you can get in on all of them (if you hurry).

Super Powered Legends Sourcebook for M&M


A collection of supers for M&M that Jacob has been creating over the last couple of years. I have seen many of them and they are a lot of fun.  It features what I have come to think of his "cover girl" Pendragon.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1768030821/super-powered-legends-sourcebook-for-mandm

The Orcish Beefcake Calendar 2018


In what gets the prize as one of the silliest things I have seen is a pinup calendar of orcs.
Sure. Let's do it!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zombieorpheus/orcish-beefcake-calendar-2018

And ending in just a couple of hours is +Mark Taormino's

Dark Wizard Games: Double Mayhem Adventures


Jacob has had art in Mark's modules before, not sure if any will be in this one but I think so.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marktaormino/dark-wizard-games-double-mayhem-adventures

There you go!

Jacob has a Pateron and can also be found on RPGNow with a TON of art and books you can buy.

He forever gets credit for really bringing my iconic witch Larina to life.


Not an easy task to draw a character that has been in my head for nearly 30 years and get her exactly right!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: Dark City (1998)

This must be my Alex Proyas tape.  Dark City was one of those movies that came up a lot on the old Kult RPG list I was on.

Connor thought it was cool, but had a lot of his own theories and questions.

As much as I talk about the Occult Revival 70s, there is also the Paranoid 90s.  Everything is a conspiracy and THEY are always out to get you or keep you from the truth.  You can see this in the X-files and movies like The Matrix and They Live.

Games like Kult (1991), Conspiracy X (1996), Beyond the Supernatural (1987), Chill 2nd Edition (1990), even to a degree Alternity's Dark Matter, all captured different aspects of this feeling.

I was involved in many online debates on what system would do Dark City justice.  I had always put my chips in a Conspiracy X/WitchCraft hybrid.








This Old Dragon: Issue #90

Ok. I will admit this. I am totally cheating.  Normally I grab an issue off the top and review it as is.  But this is October and that's a big deal here at The Other Side.  So I went through my stacks and pulled out the remaining October issues I had and put them on top.  So let's go back to the scary 80s.  Reagan is in office. We have two Germanys. And the USSR is still biggest big bad on the planet. Nukes will fly at any moment, especially if there is some "glitch" in a computer (or a kid with a modem wanting to play a game). It's October 1984 and this is issue #90 of This Old Dragon!

The cover. I always liked this cover a lot.  I always felt that harpies were an under-used monster and they needed to be scarier. When I first saw this though I thought the harpy and human were on a DESK not a deck and that for some reason they were shrunk down to a smaller size.  It was such profound first impression that I have to look hard at it NOT to see that.  Strange how memory works.

Ok for an October issue there is not much in the way of a horror theme here.  There are some horror elements to be certain, but nothing that explicitly ties them all together.

Out on a Limb covers the seemingly impossible relationship between chaotic to the core Norebo and hard-line lawful Wee Jas.  Kim Mohan makes two suggestions. First, opposites attract and Norebo has a big mouth.  Second, they goofed.   I like the idea of them being together, to be honest.  Gods need to be complicated.   There are some letters of praise of Baba Yaga's Hut adventure but pointing out how Baba Yaga does not match earlier versions in Dragon or the Hut matching up with the one in the DMG.  In these cases that was all done on purpose; which I get.

The Forum begins (or continues) the long debate on physics and falling damage.

Our first proper article is from Ed Greenwood.  We are introduced to the Incantatrix NPC class.  This is issue 90, we are still 2 years away from the witch class so, for now, this is the current AD&D attempt at a witch.  Incantatrix means a woman that makes incantations, or a female spell caster.  This class has seen a lot of love and hate online and it was a little controversial in our groups as well.  The article is six pages and has some great ideas and some really neat spells.  I have a lot of issues with this class, but I want to focus on only a couple.  First, it is much weaker than a similar level magic-user. I guess this is why it is an NPC class afterall.  Also, the class has something of a split personality. It is a spell-thief AND a class that fights other spellcasters and outsiders.  I think splitting it up into two separate concepts would fit much better.   Let's talk about the spell-thief bit for a second.  Here is a quote from the article:
But how could a mere wizard defeat the Archmage with a spell so beyond her powers? asked the sage skeptically.
Ok. First point. How did you know that the incantatrix was a "mere wizard"?  Now granted, many worlds have classifications of wizards. Look at Krynn and I know that "Archmage" is actually a big deal.  But at the same time to a casual observer, do you know how powerful someone is?
Now that is not to say that this class doesn't have a lot of potential. It does. In fact, it came back as a 3.0 Edition Prestige Class in Magic of Faerûn. This version focused on her "meta-magic" feats.
An OSR or 5th Edition Incantatrix is needed I think.

Nice big ad for Chill.

Gary is up next with Hold that person! The definitive list of charm-able humanoids.  This is the list of anything affected by Charm or Hold Person spells. I had kept this list in with my notes on what would become the Witch.  It's a good list.  Gary shares other news like the huge GenCon 17 turnout and how they sold out of the D&D Companion set.  He is also working on T2 The Temple of Elemental Evil, or rather handing it to Frank Mentzer who is also busy with the Masters Set of D&D rules.  There is no more movement on AD&D 2nd Edition at this point, but there is speculations that the Monster book will be two books.  The D&D cartoon is renewed and the D&D movie script is moving ahead.  It does make me wonder if some of the items for AD&D 2 ended up in next year's Unearthed Arcana.

Ed is back again with Bats that do more than bite: Six species from Elminster's latest lecture. Or six types of bats unique to the Realms.

The next installment of Gods of the Suel pantheon is up. Len Lakofka gives us Phyton, Xerbo, and Osprem.   Our two sea gods Xerbo and Osprem both have tridents.  I guess there is a rule that sea gods must have one.

Mike Beeman has some advice on Playing the political game: A change of pace for AD&D game adventuring.  This article covers how to play a game of political intrigue.  I nice companion piece I think to the rules from the Companion Set and the upcoming Master Set.  Also one I think that would be well received today with the popularity of Game of Thrones.

Plane facts on Gladsheim: What it's like in the land of the Norse gods covers the planes of Gladsheim by Roger E. Moore.  It is a nice companion piece to the adventure coming up. I liked this article because at this time I was really beginning to move away from Greek myth and into more Norse and eventually Celtic myths.  This is a good starting point. Most of the article is devoted to spell changes.

This is followed up with Aesirhamar, a high-level adventure taking place in Gladsheim also by Roger E. Moore.

Jerry Epperson contributes to the Halloween feel and gives us a review of the first edition of Chill.  The review, while only a page an half long, is very positive and covers all the basics of what you can do with Chill.

Lots of ads.

We get to the Ares section now.

Up first is Skills for the Super Agent: Agent skill packages in the CHAMPIONS game by Gregg Sharp.  This is for making proper "Super" Spies in a Supers game.
Steve Perrin has some more powers for the Superworld game.

The big one, and one I had cut out of my original copy and stuck in my Star Frontiers box, is The Mega-Corporations for Star Frontiers by Kim Eastland.   This article shifted my SF playing from a Star Wars/Star Trek kitbash to a proto-ShadowRun game.  Though we took a lot from Blade Runner too.   I swear I had created some mega-corps myself but for the life of me, I can't recall any.

Riddle of the Ring has a big full-page ad.  They have sold the rights to their "unique" game to Iron Crown Enterprises.



Another Gen Con 17 report, this time from Roger Moore and focusing on the sci-fi elements of the con.

Big for Bard games.
Convention Calendar.
Lots of small ads.

Wormy's trolls go fishing and Aveeare encounters magic in Snarf Quest.

Very memorable issue.  Lots of nostalgia.  I was a big fan of I.C.E.'s Middle Earth back in the day and seeing the ads for it and the "Riddle of the Ring" always make me smile.  If you want to learn more about I.C.E.'s Middle Earth in White Dwarf #58 from the same month and year as this Dragon.

Did anyone play an Incantatrix? I am curious to hear your experiences.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Crow (1994)

No movie captures the "Noir of the Nineties" more than "The Crow".

It has been said that the only difference between a slasher flick and an action flick is if the "Last Girl" is a woman or a big action star.  The Crow does this in reverse.
The "Last Girl" is Brandon Lee's Eric Draven. Who is not a big hulking action star, but a man engulfed in sadness.   The plot, minus the supernatural elements, is not much different than Steven Seagal's "Hard to Kill".  The difference, of course, is that Eric Draven is an undead champion of vengeance.  He is not a zombie though and he still feels, well, everything.

This leaves us the question. Is The Crow a horror movie?
I still say yes.  The horrors visited on Eric and his fiancé Shelly are enough to merit a "Horror" tag.  Eric himself, an undead force of vengeance is akin to Freddy and Jason; he just kills bad guys.

In truth, this movie influenced a lot of what we think of as the Modern Supernatural out now.  This struck the same chords in people (and often the same people) that "Lost Boys" did.  While Lost Boys was very much a product of the late 80s, The Crow is a product of the mid 90s and it's influences reached far and wide.  Watch the scene where Eric confronts Top Dollar and his gang and then watch Heath Ledger's Joker confront the criminal underworld in The Dark Knight.

Ultimately the movie is sad.
Sad not just for the subject matter, but sad for the real-world death of Brandon Lee.



The Temples of Elemental Evil in the Multiverse

I have been thinking a lot about my interconnected D&D 5 campaigns.
  • There is the Mystara/Oerth combination on my wold of Mystoerth I have been running for The Order of the Platinum Dragon. Which cover all the classic "Greyhawk" modules.  Big bad is Lolth.
  • There is the one I have been calling The Second Campaign which I have started in the Forgotten Realms (2017 is my year to be introduced to the Realms).  I am running other classic 1st modules here too.  Big Bad here is Asmodeus.  I am including some elements of Dark Sun here too. 
  • There is a third campaign I have not started completely just yet. It is a resurrection of my old 4e game and deals with the rise of Orcus.  Originally I wanted this one to be the Realms but I am likely to set it in the Nentir Vale.  Have not decided yet. If I do then I need a better home for the Second Campaign.  I'd love to play a little with Krynn, to be honest. 
I still have some details to work out. But all of these fall under the larger umbrella of Come Endless Darkness. Tharizdûn is returning to the multiverse and the PCs of the three campaigns need to stop him.

But I need to know my end game. I know all three are coming together at the very end.  In the "main" Order of the Platinum Dragon game, the PCs have already been to Hommlett. They know about the Temple of Elemental Evil, so they have a pretty good idea that they are headed back there.

I know that I am planning that have the big bads, or at least their proxies, in the final battle too. But how do I get the characters of three universes together?

Then it dawned on me. There is a Temple of Elemental Evil in every game world.


Let's look at it from this point of view.  Nearly every game world (notable exception Mystara) got its genesis from First Edition AD&D.  The first level First Edition adventure was T1 The Village of Hommlett.   So if you played regularly in any game world there is a good chance that that world had a Hommlett and accordingly a Temple of Elemental Evil.

I thought at first I wanted a Tanelorn-style temple that flitted from world to world.  But that is unsatisfactory to me and I already had something like that in Halfway. I thought about having it as a place that exists on all worlds at the same time,  but I also have that in West Haven.
So instead I am thinking of something more along the lines of the Altgeld Castles here in Illinois.

On five different campuses here in Illinois there are five gothic-style castles all (except one) called Altgeld Hall. Named after Gov. Altgeld.   The rumor was that all these buildings can be combined, Voltron-style, to make one complete castle.  There is no facts to back this up, but it is much more fun than the rumors that usually surround campuses in Illinois.

So I propose the following:

Every game world has a Temple of Elemental Evil.  Some are decrepit and decayed, others are active and strong, and others still are only just starting.  The main feature of these is that all are connected.  They can be combined together across time and space to form a giant Temple and Cathedral of Elemental Evil.

For locations, I went to the experts online.
They have given me some good ideas. I didn't go to Eberron or Dark Sun since I know very little about either world other than the most basic basics.  I figure they have them as well.

For maps, it will be easy.  I can grab one from the T1-4 Supermodule for each world. I can also grab an absolute ton of material from the Princes of the Apocalypse.  Appendix C of PotA gives me plenty of ideas of different loacations and backgrounds for the Temple in various game worlds too.



Heroes of the Three Worlds will have to come together to defeat evil and face the ultimate evil in Tharizdûn.

It's gonna be epic!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Shinning (1980)

This might not be the best Stephen King book made into a film, but it is certainly a great one.  This is a Stanely Kubrick masterpiece of insanity, murder, and supernatural happenings that few movies can compare too.

This is Kubrick at his best, Nicholson at his most manic, and Stephen King at his most...well, Stephen King.

Connor loved this one. He had known about the movie and many of the scenes for a long time, I mean how could you not?  So the movie lived up to the hype in his mind.

Rewatching this now, many years later, I am struck by how much I really enjoyed Kubrick's direction here.  His vision may not have been the same as King's, but it is a good vision, even a great one.

This isn't just one of my favorite horror movies it is one of my favorite movies of all time.  It's not perfect of course, but it is great.









Watched: 3

Monday, October 2, 2017

October Horror Movie Challenge: The Car (1977)

Ah. This little piece of cinematic trash made to it TV sometime in the late 70s. I am sure I recorded it back in the 80s at one point, and then transferred to another tape in the 90s.  I WISH I had kept the commercials in this, but I edited them out to make more room on the tape.   That's a lot of work to spend on this movie.

Rewatching this now, 40 years later, I am again taken with the 70s obsession with the Devil.  Plus I will never get that horn out of my mind.
The movie is lack luster really.  Killer car.  People find some really dumb ways to put themselves in the path of this thing.

I remember thinking at the time it was cool concept, but poorly executed.

Connor, predictably, was bored. So was I to be honest.

My memory of this movie is much better than the movie itself.  The final scene where the car is blown up and "the devil" is released was also much cooler in my memory than on this tape.
I remember my brothers and sisters watching this and then laughing many years later when a still of the explosion was later used in a supermarket gossip rag as the "face of the devil" in a storm.

Maybe it is time to remake this one.  Maybe now with a killer drone.







Watched: 2

Rosaleen Norton: The Witch of Kings Cross at a 100

Rosaleen Norton would have been 100 years old today.

She was an occultist, artist, nude model, bi-sexual, and self-proclaimed witch all in a time when women barely had the same civil rights as men.

I first discovered her art back, like many things with me and witches, in the 70s at my local public library.
I am not sure what book it was.  I was convinced that she had done a lot of drugs to get these images onto canvas, but I certainly underestimated her.

Recently I had read a bio about her, not a very long one, and how she seemed to have been born to create the life she really wanted. She had numerous obstacles thrown at her, but none of those kept her from being who she was.
You have to respect that.

Even if you do not know her name it is likely you know her art.  She had painted a number of images over the years including one of my favorite pictures of Lilith (below). 

She had even been charged with obscenity in Austrailia.





Does this remind anyone of Orcus?

You can find out more about her here:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/history/the-witch-of-kings-cross.aspx

Fohat
One of Rosaleen Norton's most controversial images was that of a demon she called Fohat.  Representing male sexual power the demon has a goat's head, a man's upper body and a snake for a phallus.  Describing this work, she stated that "The goat is the symbol of energy and creativity: the serpent of elemental force and eternity."  Needless to say, it got her into some trouble.

In the writings of Theosophy Fohat is a force of male sexual potency. Norton obviously knew this background.  The question for us though is Fohat a unique demon or a species?  He is likely an incubus, but given the proper name, I am going with "the Lord of Incubi". 

Here is for use with my Swords & Wizardry Warlock book.

Fohat
Hit Dice: 13
Armor Class: -1 [20]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d6+3) or 1 weapon (1d10+3)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Magic resistance (35%), immune to fire, Lilim Abilities, dual forms, Wisdom  drain, blood drain, magical abilities, +2 magic weapons to hit, charming voice
Move: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 24/5,300

Fohat is the Lord of Incubi. They revere him, not due to his ability in combat, but by the number of warlocks he has at his command.  There are others though that do challenge his title, but none that are willing to go to war over it.
Fohat appears as a lare man with a goat's head, a man's upper body and the lower portion of a goat. His phallus is a large snake.
While evil, Fohat is the epitome of a "Lover, not a fighter" and he would rather charm his way out of a situation than fight his way out.  His voice acts as if hee had a constant Charm Person spell cast and anyone listening to it must save vs. Charm at a -3 or be unable to physically attack him.  Even races immune to charming magic can be affected.
His numerous offspring are all Tieflings of a demonic sort.

Fohat is difficult to classify. He shows all the same abilities of one of the Lilim races, but also appears to be part of the Shedim race of demons.  He is old, but none (so far) have postulated that he is an Eodemon.

Pacts with Fohat
Fohat takes on young warlocks willingly.  Some even say enthusiastically.  While he prefers female warlocks, he will take on the odd male warlock with high charisma.  The initiate must summon Fohat into a circle. Typically other warlocks of Fohat will summon him with the initiate warlock placed in the circle.  The pact is sealed with an act of sexual intercourse with the demon.  Warlocks and Witches may form a Grand Coven dedicated to Fohat and they are expected to partake in a Bacchanal on every new moon.
The pact with Fohat is a demonic pact and has all the features of a demonic pact as described on page 7.  Additionally, Fohat's warlocks may impose a -2 penalty to anyone attempting to make a saving throw against their charm spells.   Warlocks of the Lord of Incubi may also cast the "Bewitch" spells normally available only to witches.




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