Showing posts with label Larina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Larina. Show all posts

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Larina Nichols for Amazing Adventures

I have some projects going on right now that I am trying to get organized for my big Christmas break this year.  I am planning on burying myself in writing. So I am finding bits of text here, and some ideas there, and I have not even gone through my bookmarks* yet.

(*I scribble ideas on bookmarks while I read. Habit from my undergrad days.)

A couple came to me more or less at the same time.  The first was more details on what I am doing with the various incarnations of my iconic witch Larina. The other was some notes about an Amazing Adventures street-level supers game I keep batting around in my notes.  Since the new printing of Amazing Adventures (well, new printing and reorganized material) is now up on Indiegogo I thought, let's clean up one stack of notes with a post. 

The Game: Amazing Adventures

I have always been rather fond of Amazing Adventures. It is a modern version of Castles & Crusades and with the 2nd printing, the rules cleave much closer to the C&C SIEGE Engine rules. My understanding is that this new printing (a bit like a 2.5) is even closer. So close that the three books of Castles & Crusades are called "The Three Sisters" and the new three books for Amazing Adventures are called "The Three Brothers." Three brothers and three sisters? That sounds like my family. 

If you like modern games then this is a great time to get into Amazing Adventures. Especially if you are a fan of Castles & Crusades.

The Character: Larina Nichols

Larina Nichols, witch

One thing that I do with my Larina is to have different versions of her in different games. These are truly different versions of the same character in the multiverse but connected a bit like the Eternal Champion.  These are my worlds, I get to do these things. The GREAT thing about Amazing Adventures is that it IS so much like Castles & Crusades I can make moving between a modern world and a fantasy world much easier. If I can do that with her, you can do it with any character.

Also for me, there is this notion of adventures connected by places or people and displaced in time. This would be my trilogy of adventures "All Souls Night," "Blight," and "The Dark Druid" dealing with D&D-like fantasy, Victorian-age Gothic horror, and modern supernatural respectively. Larina, or someone like her, would be there in all three, reincarnated each time to deal with the threat of the Dark Druid.

But before I can do that right, I have to make sure I can move characters, or their other incarnations, to each time.  Here is my Drosophila melanogaster for these experiments.

Larina photo
Larina Nichols

19th Level Witch (Arcanist)
Race: Human

Strength: 10 (0)
Dexterity: 11 (0)
Constitution: 13 (+1) P
Intelligence: 17 (+2) 
Wisdom: 17 (+2) P
Charisma: 18 (+3) P

Hit Points: 79
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
AC: 10 
BtH: +4
MEP: 226
Primary Spellcasting Attribute: Charisma

Sanity (SAN): 90 (Max), 75 (Current)

Fate Points: 6
Fate Die: 1d12

Languages: English, Latin, Gaelic, Greek, Russian (native language is English)
Background: Scholar (Librarian)
Skills: Mythology (Celtic, Norse)
Traits: Spellgifted (Enchantments/Charms)

Powers
Familiar: Cotton Ball
Spellcasting

Spells
Cantrips: (9) Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Illusion, Detect Magic, Light, Magical Aura, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Stun
First: (5+1) Color Spray, Command, Darkness, Identity, Shield, Sleep
Second: (5+1) Alter Self, Blur, Burning Hands, Hold Person, Pyrotechnics, Scare
Third: (4+1) Aid, Blink, Nondetection, Remove Curse, Tongues
Fourth: (4) Dispel Magic, Emotion, Phantasmal Killer, Seeming
Fifth: (4) Feeblemind, Mass Suggestion, Projection, True Seeing
Sixth: (3) Mislead, Veil, Wind Walk
Seventh: (3) Prismatic Spray, Teleport without Error, Word of Recall
Eighth: (3)  Antipathy, Prismatic Wall
Ninth: (2) Astral Projection

That went pretty fast really. Like creating an AD&D 1st Character.  In fact, that should really be the main reason to check this game out; how close it is to AD&D. 

In truth, that was a LOT of fun to do. Makes me realize how much I miss playing C&C and AD&D too.

So everyone get in on that Indiegogo campaign so others can see just how much fun this game really is. 

Amazing Adventures


Friday, October 28, 2022

Witches Larina and Solaine make a potion

Well, this is a fun little treat!

My good friend and wonderful artist Djinn not only created a wonderful little toon of our witches Larina (mine) and her's (Solaine) but she animated them too. And Larina talks!

These are part of her "Dirty Sticky Journal" series, little cartoons like this featuring her character and others she has drawn over the years. She has done a lot of art of Larina, but seeing her come to life like this is really fun.

You can find them on her Instagram page and this one in particular.

The best place though is her Patreon site. And her Linktree.

I have shared her art in the past and she was one of my earliest Featured Artists.

Oh, and speaking of art. I shared The Simbul, Witch Queen of Aglarond yesterday on Twitter and I got this from Ed himself.


All in all a pretty red letter geek day for me!


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Larina for Witchblood

Witchblood
Today is October 25th, the day I traditionally observe as the "birthday" of my first real witch character Larina.  Since I rolled her up in 1986 she is now 36 years old! Not too bad really.  I thought she might be a perfect character to try out for Witchblood. I reviewed this game just this past Sunday to start my last full week of #100DaysOfHalloween

The Game: Witchblood

This is a new game from Rose Bailey, (author of the great "Die For You" RPG), Benjamin Baugh ("The Shadow of Golgotha" with Bailey), and Jacqueline Bryk (lots of Onyx Path titles). While reviewing it I knew I wanted to build some characters right away. The only downside for me is that character building for this game is best done with all the players in Session 0 so everyone knows what they are doing and how all the characters work together.

I don't have that luxury here and now, but at least using a character I know so well makes some choices easier. So I printed out my sheets and hit Chapter II: Wanderers and went through the extremely easy Character Creation process.

I knew some things up front. Larina was a Witchblood and a Wise One. But there were still things for me to discover about a character I have known for 36 years.

The Character: Larina Nix

In Witchblood you start with your name, your Birthright, and your Calling. You Birthrighe sets your points for the Identity pairs of Patience-Cunning (Mental Identities), Vigor-Grace (Active Identities), and Understanding-Persuasion Spiritual Identities).  

Your Calling sets your points for dual Quality pairs of Generosity-Selfishness and Demonstration-Observation, Courage-Wrath and Endurance-Defiance, and Trust-Faith and Honesty-Deceit.  These points can change in the course of the game. Sometimes rapidly and often. Always due to the nature of what is going on around them (these changes are called Slides).

For Larina here, these were easy choices for me. Her Birthright is Witchblood and her Calling is Wise One. For her Profile, I went back to her early incarnations as a lone solitary witch so the Stranger seemed like a good one.

Next, I added her bonus dots/points. I get to raise my Birthright or Calling by +1, I picked Calling since the earliest versions of Larina always had her hearing the "Call of the Goddess" at an early age.  I get +3 points for Identities but none can be raised over 3. All my pairs had one 3 in them, so that meant just adding to the ones with only one in them. I kept her Patience at 1 and moved Understanding to 3.  Lastly, for points, I get +5 points for Qualities. These were distributed across all six pairs. Finally I calculate my Violence Potential, which is a 9. This is mostly used in combat situations. 

What does this give me?  Well, I am actually rather pleased with it.

Larina in a purple dress
Larina y Diamynedd, art by me 
Larina Nix

"The Witch of the Wood," "y Diamynedd (The Impatient)"

Birthright 3
Calling 2
Profile: The Stranger

Patience 1 / Cunning 3

Generosity 3 / Selfishness 1

Demonstration 1 / Observation 2

Vigor 2 / Grace 3

Courage 2 / Wrath 2

Endurance 2 / Defiance 3

Understanding 3 / Persuasion 3

Trust 1 / Faith 2

Honesty 3 / Deceit 1

Violence Potential: 9

Traits

She knows,

  • the speech of the higher animals, though they owe you no fealty.
  • the best paths through the wilds your witch dwells in, such as the forests, glaciers, or deserts.
  • appropriate gifts to attract the attention of most supernatural beings.

  • the difference between illness, poison, and curses.
  • how long a wounded or injured person has to live.
  • herbal or other remedies for common illnesses, poisons, and curses.

Liar’s Magic
Awaken the Wilds
Fulfill Fate

Predict Weather
Treat Wounds
Ward Curse

Stranger Prompts

What do they call you?
  Larina y Diamynedd (The Impatient one)

What do you do?
  I travel to learn more about the nature of magic

Why do you stand out?
   People can tell there is something off about me. Even when they can't see my witchmark on my left wrist.

Why can’t you go home?
   My home burned. I have nothing and no one left.

What have you picked up on your travels?
   Knowledge of the world and friends. 

Why do you travel with companions?
   They are my found family. People who accept me for who and what I am.

Why are you dangerous to your companions?
   There is a darkness that follows me. Whatever gave me my magic is jealous of my attention.

Why do you interfere?
   Because I must. Not everyone in this world has my gifts and the world is not just.

--

OK! I like this. In fact, I like it so much these sheets might get stapled to my D&D version of her as a role-playing guide. 

Now to find a group to play with!

Oh. And Happy Birthday Larina. 36 looks good on you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Ah, now this one has a special place in my heart. I backed this on Kickstarter years ago and went in for the deluxe edition. This allowed me to add a character design to one of the cards.

I'll get to that in a bit.

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Cauldron is part of the "new wave" (or at least to me) of board games that have a lot of resource management and various goals.

In this game you take the role of witches and warlocks in a potion-brewing contest. Play involves planting gardens, harvesting ingredients, and hexing your opponents.  There are points you collect and the goal is to win the potion-brewing contest and win the coveted Witches Eye.

There are game pieces that represent ingredients and all players get a little cauldron to put all their materials in. There are four Cauldrons and four player mats, so the max is four players. 

Players start the game with five resource cards. These cards tell you what you can do each turn. They all have a hex, ingredient and recipe. Each player on their turn can choose what to do with the card. They can hex an opponent which could take their ingredients or steal their victory points. They can add an ingredient to their cauldron or get a recipe. They discard and draw another. Then we move to the next player.

The strategy comes from knowing when to complete your own potions or stop another player from theirs.  Hexing another player costs victory points

Once your ingredient is in your cauldron you need to keep track of them.  You are never allowed to look into your cauldron or into other players!  There are also black "Corruption" tokens that can ruin your potions by destroying an ingredient. The player with the most corruption earns 5 points. The player with the least earns 10 points.

Once you have the ingredients in your cauldron (colored cubes) then you can make the potion listed on your card.  BUT be careful! if your ingredients are wrong your potion fails. The goal is to get the most of seven potions.

There are expansions to this as well. Like the Moon Deck which will add or subtract effects from other cards. Like removing corruption or adding extra ingredient colors.  There are other expansions like the Cove pack (which I am a fan of).

It took a bit to get into it but once we did it moved pretty quickly. Our first game took a little bit longer than an hour, and the next one was fast at just under an hour.

The biggest issue were people (who will be nameless) remembering what was in their cauldron.  This was a combination of one not paying attention and another not actually caring what they had in their cauldrons. 


Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Yes! That is Larina!Yes! That is Larina!

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

The art for this game is amazing. I really love it.  The characters are interesting as well. 

For Use in War of the Witch Queens

Feeding deep into my Traveller envy today. My idea was that this Potion Making contest is something they have at the Tredecim. Which has grown from just a meeting of high-level witches to something akin to a carnival of seven days where the high witches hold their conferences and meetings, but all witches gather to discuss plans, trade secrets, and generally enjoy themselves. 

I still might do this, but in this round I do not have enough magic using characters to make it work.  Ah well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Witches of Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

Yesterday I spent some LONG overdue time with Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition. It is a ridiculously fun game that is really easy to learn and play. I want to give it some more trials, but one of the first things I always do with a game is to see how well it emulates one or two of about a half-dozen or so characters I am always throwing at a game. 

I choose these characters because I know how I want to play from the start, the question is can I make the game do what I want.  Today, with the Fall Equinox knocking on our door and my 100 days of Halloween still on my mind, I am going to do witches.  Shocking. I know.

The Witches of Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

BUT there is a good reason for this. I always want to check out the "magic" power of any supers game since that is the place you can really break the system. Also, I want to use characters familiar to readers here. This way you can compare and contrast between the various systems. They all do very similar things, but they all also do something different and it is in these differences I make my decisions. 

So, let's get back to some old favorites of mine!

Click on the sheets for larger.

Taryn Nichols, AKA "Teen Witch"

Taryn is my young, "Teen Titans"-esque superhero character. She needs to be on the low end of the supers scale. Her purpose is to see what I can do with the fewest amount of points.  In P&P I started her off at "Low" which is 100 hero points.

Taryn character sheetTaryn mini

Larina Nichols, AKA "Witch Queen"

Larina is always my "rules as written" witch.  To get her the way I wanted I had to jump a level to "High" at 150 hero points. I wanted to do 125 but she kinda got away from me.  Plus I would like to see the interplay of mother and daughter here in a supers game. 

She gains the extra Super Senses (Magic) power from her cursed left eye.

Larina character sheetLarina mini


Tara Maclay

Anyone who has been here for a while knows of my undying love for Willow and especially Tara.  They are largely retired now but would still be magical powerhouses in any game. I set Tara at "Legendary" with 175 hero points. She puts some points into her ability to heal by touch.

Tara character sheetTara mini


Willow Rosenberg

Willow sits at the highest end of my experiments. She is at "Iconic" level with 200 hero points. Like Tara she no longer has Burnout or Concentration con modifiers to her powers the Nichols girls do.  They have to focus, magic to Willow and Tara is like breathing at this point. 

Wilow character sheetWillow mini

I like how they turned out.  As with any game you might do things a little differently and that is fine. These builds work for me and give me a good idea of what the Omni-power can do for Magic.

I used the character sheets instead of typing them all up because I wanted that visceral feel of pencil on paper. Also so you all could an idea of what the sheets look like. 

You can see my other write-ups too for Zatanna, The Refrigerator, and Justice.

ZatannaThe RefrigeratorJustice


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Review: Vigilante City #1 Core Rules

Vigilante City #1 Core Rules
It is the start of Vigilante City Week here at The Other Side for my unofficial Super Hero month of September.  

Vigilante City has been sitting on top of the computer I use as a home server forever.  I figure now is a great time to let everyone know about this great street-level supers game.

Vigilante City #1 Core Rules

PDF and softcover book. 292 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.  For the purposes of this review, I am considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG and the soft-cover books I picked up either via Kickstarter or from Bloat Games' own store.

Vigilante City, or more accurately, SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City #1 Core Rules, is a street-level supers game for the SURVIVE THIS family of games from Bloat Games. The same folks that gave us the awesome Dark Places & Demogorgons and the amazing We Die Young RPGs.  So right away these rules feel familiar.  But this game is more about teenage angst in the 80s and 90s. There are mean streets out there.

The game really is a great starter for anyone that has played D&D/OSR-like games and wants to get into a supers game.  Like all SURVIVE THIS!! games this one in class and level with levels topping off at 10. 

Right from the start, this game lets us know what it is all about. These are street-level supers. While there might the occasional mutant, anthropomorphic otter, Super Soldier, or power suit we will not be seeing the likes of Superman or Wonder Woman. This is Batman, Captain America, and Tony Stark down all the way to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and some guy with a baseball bat.  If this sounds like your kind of game (and really who wouldn't want to play this?) then buckle in, because this is going to be fun.

The Core Rule book covers the basic hero classes (this is a class/level system derived from the SRD) and basic rules.  I am going to point out here that the rules are very much the same as other Survive This!! games with notable areas to aid heroic play.  While in the past I have pointed out that teens of the 80s in Dark Places & Demogorgons can grow up to become the young adults of the 90s We Die Young, there is no logical progression here from those games. To be fair that is also not the designer's intent. I *can* see a world that involves all these games (that and their newer What Shadows Hide line) but let's first appreciate this game for what it is right now and not what inhuman creation I'll make with it later. 

Who was that masked otter?
The Basics

We start off with the basic rules, or maybe I should say "Basic" rules since these rules are designed from the d20 SRD to feel like old-school D&D, D&D Basic in particular. As mentioned before it shares this design with all the other Survive This!! games.  You generate attributes, the usual six plus a seventh "Survival," you generate your saving throws, pick your alignments, calculate your Vigilante Points, work out your Origin/Background (every good hero has a backstory!) and then comes the time to choose your class.

Human Classes

Basic D&D's DNA is peaking through here. You have your normal human classes and then a section on "Mega Humans." But let us talk about humans first.  Essentially these are the roles that an everyday, but not really average, human could pick up and say "I am going to fight crime as a ..." Yes a lot of these require training and/or to be born with the right genetic lottery (smart, rich, or both).  

These classes are: Athlete, Crime Fighter, Dark Avenger, Gadgeteer, Genius, Hardboiled Detective, Knight Nurse, Martial Artist, Mentor, Mercenary, Protégé, Sharp Shooter, Street Preacher, and True Vigilante.  Most, if not all are fairly self-explanatory.  Each gets 10 levels of advancement where they gain certain advantages. Like the comics that inspired them the character classes are fairly 2-Dimensional. THIS IS APPROPRIATE. You fill in the blanks with your backgrounds and skills. You can choose "Street Preacher" but you have to figure out if you are Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel's character in "From Dusk til Dawn) or Jesse Custer from Preacher. 

Mega-Humans

Much like the split between Demi-humans and humans in D&D, and Meta-humans/Mutants and humans in comics, we get our section on Mega-Humans. Mega humans are both a "species" and a "class" they can pick up skill packages to differentiate themselves, but largely this is what they are. Again, this fits the tone of the X-man comics.

Our Mega-Human classes are: Anthropomorphs, Borg, Mutant, Mystic, Powered Armor, Psion, Super Soldier, and Super Speedster.  Lots of choices here.  

The Mystic

These classes and their powers (spells for the mystic, psionics for the psion) cover the first 210 pages of or 2/3rds of this book.  That is expected really.

The classes are followed with Skils & Skill Packs, XP/Leveling, Gear, Vehicles, Game Terms and Critical tables.

There is a solid index and the PDF is bookmarked. 

The game has a feel of Villians & Vigilantes mixed with Mutants & Masterminds with the difficulty of Icons.  Any veteran of either of those games will pick this one up fast. Anyone that has played D&D or other Survive This!! games will pick it up even faster.  That is already given the fact that this is a quick and easy game to learn and play.  There are groups out there that are searching for the perfect Supers game and this could very well be it for them.  I find it very, very appealing.  

Like all games from Bloat Games, there is a lot of support online and in other books for this line.

Vigilante City

Larina Nix for Vigilante City

Give me a magic-using class and I am going to try it out with my Drosophila melanogaster of magic, Larina. 

Given this is an old-school game I opted to go old school with dice, a printed character sheet, and a pencil.  I spent longer troubleshooting my scanner than I did on this character build!

Larina Nix for Vigilante City

I like how she came out, to be honest. And I like how fast it was to create a 10th-level character too. I'll pick her spells later. I figure she would have access to all of them. 

I'll do this for the other books in the series as well, adding what each book adds to the game. This will be quite fun really. 

All I could think of while doing all of this was this song.  So play us home Steve!


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

#RPGaDAY2022 Day 24 - When did you start playing this character?

Again, more than one character means more than one date, but that is cool.

For Sinéad and Nida it was in January of 2021 that I rolled them up, making them some of my newest characters. Though both had concepts prior to this and Nida at least had a name.

For my others, well I got in the habit early on to put the date I made the character on their sheets.

Johan I was 1/9/1980
Johan II was 1/30/84
Johan III was 1/2/86
Johan IV was 9/13/2000
Johan V was 6/13/2008
Johan V Pathfinder version was 2/19/2011
JohanVI D&D Next PlayTest 8/17/2012, converted to 5e proper on 9/13/2014

Larina, despite all that I post about her, was not my first character.  She was created on October 25 (or 26), 1986.  I have been saying October 25th forever, but some details on her sheet lead me to believe that it was more like the 26th. 

Larina's first sheet

While every new edition means the next in line for the Weprers, Larina moves between the editions.  Advantages of being a quasi-immortal witch.


RPGaDAY2022


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Oh, Oh Shelia!

Busy day at the day job today (Fall term is starting) so a quick one today.  I picked up the Icons of the Realms: Dragons of Stormwreck Castle minis over the weekend. I mentioned these back in June and had hoped they would at least include the thief Shelia.  Well...they didn't.

Icons of the Realms: Dragons of Stormwreck Castle minisIcons of the Realms: Dragons of Stormwreck Castle minis
 

I do like the way they all look.

Icons of the Realms: Dragons of Stormwreck Castle minis

I was never a big watcher of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. I worked on Saturdays and often missed it. BUT I picked up the DVD boxed set back in the early 2000s and my kids LOVED it. It was the set with the 3rd Edition stats for everyone.  

You might notice that this set is missing Bobby, Uni, and Shelia. I will get to that in a bit.  It does include someone just labeled "Cleric."

I can't help but think that this Cleric is none other than Aleena.

Is that you Aleena?

The outfits are not perfect. And I thought I read somewhere that Aleena was a blonde. But this certainly works.  I have been using Aleena as the Patron Saint of Adventurers for a while now.  Though like the D&D cartoon, the D&D Red Basic set for BECMI was not something I was into then.

Since Kelek was in the D&D Cartoon and Skylla was supposed to be they seem to work well with this set.

D&D Cartoon reunion

Oh Shelia

I said I did not watch the D&D cartoon much, but I was aware of it. I can't help but wonder if the red-headed girl with a penchant for wearing purple and hoods in 1983-85 didn't somehow influence my red-headed witch with a penchant for purple dresses and black hoods in 1986?  I honestly can't say.

In fact, I did even think about it until I scored this D&D Cartoon "kids" book at my local game auction.  It is called "The Witch's Spell Book."

The Witch's Spell Book

The basic plot is you have the Golden Wood by finding Agnes the Witch's Spell Book. For reasons, only Shelia can read the spell. You would think Presto, but no it is Shelia. 

Now not to go out on a limb too far, but those that make Shelia an initiate witch?  It would in my games. She is 13 in the show, the age witches often "hear the Call of the Goddess" in my game worlds. (BTW this is what makes Larina special, she heard the Call at age 6.)

But sadly I don't get to add Shelia to my War of the Witch Queens yet. But all is not lost thanks to Hero Forge!

HeroForge Shelia the Thief HeroForge Shelia the Thief

I could get the print from HeroForge and for the Invisible Sheila download the STL and print her here at home in clear resin.  Like I did for my "Ghost" of Aleena.  Click on the pictures above to buy your own from HeroForge.

Aleena

I think we have some clear blue resin still.

If Shelia has a theme song then Aleena should too.  It kinda works. Or maybe this one, if I go with the idea that she was a blonde. At least the timing of all three is right for me. 

So that only leaves a question for me.  Should I introduce Shelia to my War of the Witch Queens campaign?  I might need to revisit the dual classing or multi-classing rules from OSE Advanced.

They do all fit on my shelf rather nicely together.

Witches in the Realms of Dungeons & Dragons