Wednesday, December 5, 2018

This is How I Die. New feature for Winter Witches

I often joke with my wife that I know exactly how I am going to die.  It's going to be an M.I. while shoveling snow one winter.  Statistically speaking given my age, health, previous heart issues and where I live this is a pretty safe bet.  So if I do, you heard it here first.

The trouble is shoveling snow gives me great ideas.  Pretty much the entire Winter Witch book came to me while digging out of one Chicago winter.

Foresee Death
The witches of the Winter Witch Tradition have a secret they almost never share with others, not even their sister witches.  Everyone knows of course and the secret is still kept.

Each Winter Witch knows exactly how she will die.

She may not know the details, and certainly not where or when but she knows as sure as she knows her own date of birth how she will meet her end.  Many know it will be via fire or violence. Rare is the witch that sees herself lying in a bed as a great crone surrounded by loved ones. No. The witch knows her end and she knows it will not be pleasant.
Some occult scholars believe that this is because the Winter Witch, like the Mara Witch, deals with aspects of the divine closer to death.  Winter is the month of death, but also of rebirth, the witch then learns how she will die so she may prepare for her own eventual reincarnation and rebirth.

Using Foresee Death in Your Games
For PC Winter Witches the player must jot down how she sees her witch character dying.  Emphasis on the dramatic or even maudlin is preferred.  The details can and should be light and simple.  "I will die in a fire" or  "I will die surrounded by my fallen enemies".  Something that makes a mental picture. A single scene of death; not a movie. 
The Player and the Game Master then should agree on this with the assumption that the character very likely will have a long life ahead of them.  Each then takes on certain responsibilities to the character.
The GM agrees NOT to create scenes purposefully to kill the witch character. The GM can have fires and enemies and everything that are in the Forsending of Death, but to let the dice fall where they may.
The Player agrees to play her character as normal knowing full well that the GM knows the situations of death and could use them.
Both agree to the following depending on the system used.

  • Old School D&D/OSR: The character is given a +3 bonus to any saving throw that might result in death that is NOT of the situation described.  If the situation is as described then the character gets a saving throw penalty of -7.
  • 3rd/Pathfinder or 4th Editions:  The save mods are the same +3 or -7, but apply to Fortitude saves/defense and Death saves.
  • 5th Edition:  The witch or warlock character has Advantage on all Death saves that do not fit the situation described or Disadvantage on all Death saves in situations that do.

If your game does not have Winter Witches then this can extend to other witches or to warlocks as the case merits itself.

The idea here is not to give the character a way to cheat death. Quite the opposite really. It is designed to let the character (and the player) know that death is always there, waiting, like a wolf in the winter.  If given the chance it will pounce on you. Knowing this doesn't change it.

There will be more in my upcoming book, The Winter Witch Tradition.



Coming December 20th.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...