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

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Fate Spins Along as it Should

 Thanks to the magic of Withers (and a mere pittance of 100gp), my warlock Larina from my first run can now join my paladin Johan on his current run.

Larina and Johan in Baldur's Gate 3

The game is still rather fantastic and 300+ hours later, I am still discovering more. With some of the mods I added I don't think I'll be able to get Sinéad in there as well. The "half-elf" hireling is gone, replaced by Alfria.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Baldur's Gate III

 I picked up Baldur's Gate 3 yesterday and spent most of the night/early morning playing it with my oldest. We did a LAN connect between our two computers and it was an absolute blast.

The game plays just like D&D 5th Edition. So combat is easy and intuitive and honestly a lot of fun. Characters are just like 5e as well.

I did a version of my witch Larina for solo play.  Here she is as a Warlock.

Larina in Baldur's Gate III

And for the game I started with my son, I am playing a version of my paladin Johan.  He is playing his typical character, a blue dragonborn wizard. But tonight was not about exploring new things. It was about Dad and Son time with characters we both know well.

Dragonborn and human

I guess there are something like 1,700 alternate endings to this game and several hundred hours of cinematics. Plus, according to my son who has been playing it since it was in Early Access, it is very mod-able.

This is good, because once you design your character that is what you have. Want something new/different? Make a new character. So it is like D&D! ;)

Baldur's Gate III Johan

The game is gorgeous and the game play is easy. Actually playing the game is typical of computer RPGS. In my first go I missed saving a cleric that could have helped me (found her later) and a wizard.

Baldur's Gate III Game Play
Woo hoo! I have 18 hp and an ally!

Since the main plot involves Mind Flayers (that's not a spoiler, that is the first 3 mins of the game), you can even ally yourself with the enemy of my enemy, a githyanki.

Rescuing Lae'zel

And the nicest cleric of Shar you will ever meet.


I am not sure how much I am going to get to play it. But looking forward to it!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

#RPGaDay2023 Favourite CHARACTER

 I do have a few. There is the whole Werper family with Johan I as the first character I ever created and played for longer than one session. Every version of *D&D gets a new version of Johan as either a Paladin or Cleric. A (mostly) unbroken line of father and son dedicated to fighting evil, particularly the undead.

But I have to say my favorite character has to be my little witch Larina Nix/Larina Nichols.  Johan gets a new version (a son of the previous) in every version of D&D. Larina gets a version for every game I ever play.  I don't play her in every game, but I at least give her a try in the character creation rules.

I also like to get custom art of her and support artists.

Larina by Odin

Larina by Claudio Pozas

Larina by Djinn

Larina by Djinn

Larina by Djinn

Larina by Djinn





I might be a little obsessed. 


Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Wasted Lands: Larina Nix

 If I am going to try to convert my D&D games over to Wasted Lands, then it only makes sense to try to convert my witch Larina. 

Larina Nix

I have already converted her modern incarnation to NIGHT SHIFT, which is the one I am happiest with. But Wasted Lands has a lot to offer, and I want to see what she can do here.

In this case I want to convert her AS&D 1st Edition version to Wasted Lands, though it will not be a 1 to 1 conversion. Instead, I will convert her concept. Also, this will not be a conversion of her NIGHT SHIFT stats. They will be similar, to be sure, but I want to rebuild her from the ground up.

I always imagine that the various versions of Larina were all in some way different aspects of the same character or even past lives. One thing I have never, to date, figured out was who was the very first (game world chronology) Larina.  It makes sense then to base this build on the first Larina (real-world chronology) from AD&D 1st Edition.

This would be that very first one. Maybe not the first witch in the world (that is a bit presumptuous even for me), but certainly the first one in her line. 

Larina Nix
Larina Nix

Class: Sorceress (Persona Aspected)
Level: 16 
XP: 2,741,986
Species: Human (Avian heritage)
Alignment: Neutral-Light
Background: Sage

Strength: 9 (+0) 
Agility: 11 (+0)  
Toughness: 12 (+1) 
Intelligence: 17 (+2) N
Wits: 16 (+2) N
Persona: 18 (+3) A

Fate Points: 10
Defense Value: 7
Vitality: 33 (d4)
Degeneracy: 14
Corruption: 3

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +7/+5/+3
Melee Bonus: +3 (base)
Ranged Bonus: +3 (base)
Saves: +6 vs magical effect

Arcane Abilities
Arcana, Spellcasting (140% base + bonus)

Sage Abilities

Languages (17), Lore (37%), Mesmerize Others (20%), Suggestion, Renegade Skills, Spells, Read Languages

Renegade Skills

Hide in Shadows: 20%
Open Locks: 15%
Bypass Traps: 10%
Sleight of Hand: 20%

1st Level: Black Flames, Arcane Darts, Mystical Senses, Night Vision, Chill Ray, Read Languages (Sage)
2nd Level: Beguile Person, See Invisible, Locator Spell: Objects, Magic Lock, Levitate
3rd Level: Clairvoyance, Globe of Darkness, Concussive Blast, Dark Lightning
4th Level: All-seeing Invisible Eye, Befuddlement, Protection against the Deeper Dark, Hop and Skip
5th Level: Convert Stone to Mud, Passageway, Shadow Armor, Dominate Other
6th Level: Dispel Evil, Invisible Servant, Enchant Item
7th Level: Ball of Sunshine, Wave of Mutilation, Widdershins Dance
8th Level: Animosity/Affinity, Wail of the Banshee

Arcane Powers
Level 1: Telekinesis 
Level 4: Beguile 
Level 7: Empathy
Level 10: Precognition
Level 13: Psychic Power: ESP
Level 16: Shadow Walking

Divine Touchstones
Level 1: Sense Magic
Level 2: 
Level 3: Bonus to Spellcasting (+10%)
Level 4: 
Level 5: 
Level 6: Level 1 of Sage
Level 7: 
Level 8: 
Level 9: Spirit Guide (Nightbird) 
Level 10: 
Level 11: Glamour
Level 12: 
Level 13: Magical Recovery
Level 14: Level 2 of Sage
Level 15: 
Level 16: 2 Level Ones: Arcane Power: Astral Projection. Psychic Power: Bio-feedback

Heroic (Divine) Archetype: Witchcraft, Occultism

Staff, dagger, ring of protection

Why this Build is Important to Me

AD&D Larina was a very special character for me. I rolled her up as a "Magic-user" with the goal of playing her as a witch. We used our new method of rolling up psionic abilities and she ended up with psychic powers. I thought this was great. Later the infamous Dragon #114 came out, and I converted her to a proper witch. She kept her level of Magic-user (Dual classing), and we said it was because, as a witch, she was pretending to be a wizard so as not to get caught being a witch.

As the game progressed, she became less the magical powerhouse I envisioned back then and more the group's sage, occult expert, and polyglot. So when it came time to level her up I took the spells that gave her more social and mental power/aspects. If the choice was to take a power/spell/magic item that gave a blasty power OR say, learn a new language, then I always took the language.  

For me, the Wasted Lands rules had to capture what happened by happenstance in 1986. Her odd combination of magic-user, psychic, sage, and witch.

I was able to replicate the feel of that AD&D 1st Edition Character rather perfectly, I think. She even has a bit of corruption to cover her, occasionally dipping her toes (sometimes a whole foot) into dark magic. In AD&D, I covered this by having her eyes change color and would replicate in other ways in other games.

Larina, Then and Now

Please check out and back the Wasted Lands Kickstarter in its final week!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Jenny, Larina and Valerie for the Doctor Who RPG Second Edition

So it is June, and historically June has been D&D month around here. Though I have to admit I have not been in a D&D mood all year.  I do have some things that fill that space certainly and will get to them.

Today though feels more like May 32nd. So I am going to do a little bit more with my Doctor Who posts and move on to other things.  And a good place to do that is to compare the three characters that I have been using for all my Doctor Who posts; Larina, Jenny Everywhere, and Valerie. 

The biggest difference between the 1st Edition and 2nd Edition Doctor Who RPGs is predominantly in character creation. Since I have three characters here that are a bit outside of the norm they make good test subjects for the new Distinctions.

Three Time Travelers meet in a bar

Who Are You?

So I have a public domain "shifter," an immortal from the 16th Century, and a witch vaguely aware of all her past lives. How do these three get together in a bar in Soho?

Thankfully I already have good ideas about who these characters are in the Doctor Who universe. I just need to get them to jell together.  Using the Shared Background Experiences table on p. 33 helps. 

  • Jenny has met other versions of Larina but sees that, unlike her, Larina is only vaguely aware of them. Larina wants to know what Jenny knows.
  • Jenny has come across Valerie in the past. Val thought Jenny was immortal, Jenny (never Jen) thought Val was another shifter. 
  • Val and Larina have known each other for years. Val has also interacted with Larina's past lives.
  • Jenny goes to Larina for a Tarot reading, and despite all the shuffling, all the cards when flipped over are blank. The same thing happens again with Valerie. 
  • This is the big one. All three try to avoid each other. Larina says they have strange auras, and not the same sort of strange. Jenny says the other two "buzz" and it gives her a headache. Val says that when they are together weirder than average shit happens. When it is all three the wierdness increases.

So when a chance meeting in a bar in Westminster one cold November night, things got weird.

Going back to the characters now and build them by the new rules. 

Jenny Everywhere

I have mentioned Jenny a lot. She is a great character for the Doctor Who game and maybe even a better character for this newer version.

As always, I must include her license:

"The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition. This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, in order that others may use this property as they wish. All rights reversed."

Concept: Shifter in time and space.

What does that mean? Well she can sense changes in time flow, she can move about realities, she knows things that she otherwise would not know or not be capable of knowing. This new edition is explicit on the fact that the Time War changed history and the future and what we thought happened didn't or happened differently. Jenny can sense that.

Focus: Adventure

Jenny is nothing if not about adventure. She doesn't bemoan her abilities or lot in life, she embraces them.

Distinction: Shifter

This is what she is. It defines her. Since this is a major one her Story Points are reduced per page 47.

Jenny Everywhere for the Doctor Who RPG 2nd Edition

Valerie Beaumont

To paraphrase the Doctor, she is not my character but I have put a lot of work into her. Valerie is an immortal and she is always search for others like her, somewhat out of companionship and kinship but mostly to discover why she is the way she is. 

Concept: Immortal seeker of knowledge

Everything about Val revolves around her desire to learn more about who she is and her place in this cosmos. 

Focus: Discovery

Val is cautious not to let people know who she is until she knows who they are first. But when it comes to a mystery or discovering something new she jumps in feet first and then figures out how she will land on the way down.

Distinctions: Immortal, striking appearance

This one was easy, and the examples are given in the book. She also takes a minor reduction in Story Points.

Valerie Beaumont for the Doctor Who RPG 2nd Edition for the Doctor Who RPG 2nd Edition

Larina Nichols

Ah. Now this girl. We go way back. 

She is a witch. Regardless what that means in any given world that is who she is. If anything she lives by the quote "A witch is not what you do it is who you are." Sounds like a Concept to me.

Concept: Modern Witch

She believes in magic, in the power of crystals and more. She does not view these as "paranormal" just "extra normal." Certainly in the universe of Doctor Who she can be justified.

Focus: Curiosity

Larina wants to know things just for the sake of knowing them. Her curiosity is insatiable and it gets her into trouble. A lot.

Distinctions: Psychic, striking appearance

Ah, now here is where the Distinctions work better than traits. In the First Edition, I had to buy a lot of traits to get her the powers I wanted, even if in a small bit. Here she takes a Major Distinction, Psychic and I work out with my GM ( and figure out what she has when. So she is telepathic and empathic and can have visions of the future (precognitive) when needed.  There are plenty of examples of these sorts of humans in Doctor Who, well traveling with this bunch has turned her abilities up. Turned up so much that they might even become dangerous. 

The balance here is do I reduce her Story Points OR as the GM use her as a plot device?  Both sound appealing. 

Larina "Nix" Nichols for the Doctor Who RPG 2nd Edition for the Doctor Who RPG 2nd Edition

I have to admit. I rather love these. I knew with the new 2nd Edition system, things like my group of weirdos here would work so much better.

Right now the only thing keeping me in the First Edition game is inertia, but if I had too I could switch over to the Second Edition with no looking back.

We are the Weirdos Doctor.

I'll reiterate this with more clarity.

If you are new to RPGs and/or new to Doctor Who, then this is the version of the game to get.  Get to your FLGS (preferably) or Amazon (if you must) and grab a copy. Or if you are a Save the Trees type (good for you!) then head over to DriveThruRPG and grab a copy in PDF. It has everything you need except dice.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Jenny, Larina and Valerie for Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space

Time to put it all together now.  Over the course of my reviews of the various Doctor Who RPGs I have looked at some characters with the express purpose of comparing them across different versions. 

Today I want to take three characters and have a go at building them in the 1st Edition of the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space RPG. The three are: 

For this group, let's say they are all traveling together. The game gives us a lot of options on "Games without Time Lords," so this would be a good place to test it all out. Either Jenny or Val have a vortex manipulator, but I also like the idea that Jenny can travel in time and space (to a limited degree) all on her own without needing gadgets. 

In all three cases I stuck as close as I could to the point-buy budgets for character creation. Though in all three I did go over. That is not a big deal in my mind since Val has already had some adventures (The Ghost Tower of Inverness, Illinois), and Jenny, well I can use nearly anything to justify her stats. But in all cases I tried to stay close to what I had done in other games.

Jenny Everywhere

Jenny, as I have mentioned in previous posts, is a "shifter" she can shift between realities and times and even interact with her own alternates. She is expressly a public domain character that everyone can use, so for my tests, she is the perfect stand-in for a Time Lord. In previous versions of the Doctor Who RPG, this was a conceit since there were other Time Lords, but in the "new" game, there is only the Doctor.

Here she has some of the qualities/traits of a Time Lord, but not the ability to regenerate as River Song did.

As always, I must include her license:

"The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition. This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, in order that others may use this property as they wish. All rights reversed."

Jenny Everywhere
Jenny Everywhere

"The Shifter"
Story Points: 12

Awareness 4
Coordination 3
Ingenuity 4
Presence 3
Resolve 4
Strength 3

Athletics 1
Convince 2
Fighting 1
Knowledge 4
Marksman 1
Science 3
Subterfuge 2
Survival 1
Technology 3
Transport 1

Brave, Charming, Lucky, Time Traveller (Minor), Eccentric (-1)

Special Traits
Shifter, Feel the Turn of the Universe

Various gadgets

Home Tech Level: 6 (Jenny has some solid tech)

Larina Nichols

Larina of course is my witch that I use everywhere. She is my experiment to see if I can do a witch in any game, Rule as Writen. So far I have come up with some very interesting versions of her. Unlike Jenny she is only vaguely aware of her other selves in different realities, usually images that appear to her in dreams. She knows what they are but she has no control over them.  

In the Doctor Who universe her "magick" appears as advanced psychic powers. Humans in this game have a bit more psychic abilities than assumed in previous games. Indeed in the new series of Doctor Who we have seen actual witches.  Larina though is human and not a Carrionite. Though I am not ruling out that human witches might not have Carrionite blood/DNA in them.

Larina Nichols
Larina Nichols

"The Witch"
Story Points: 12

Awareness 4
Coordination 3
Ingenuity 4
Presence 4
Resolve 6
Strength 3

Convince 1
Craft 2
Fighting 1
Knowledge 4
Marksman 1
Medicine 2
Science 1
Subterfuge 1
Survival 2
Technology 2
Transport 1

Attractive, Empathic, Psychic Training, Insatiable Curiosity, Obsession (learn more about magic)

Special Traits
Psychic (Package)
 - Clairvoyant 1
 - Precognition 1
 - Telekinesis 1
 - Telepath 1

Book of Shadows (on her phone), Tarot Cards.

Home Tech Level: 5

I have this funny notion that Jenny goes to Larina for a Tarot reading about her and despite all the shuffling all the cards when flipped over are blank. The same thing happens again with Valerie. 

That seems like a fun hook.

Valerie Beaumont

Val is an immortal who was born in England in 1569. She came with a family to the new colonies (America) to be the nanny of Virginia Dare, the first child to be born of European parents in an American colony. Both she and Virginia are immortals and have a Doctor/Master style relationship.

She is not my character per se, she is the character of one of my good friends Greg, though she does appear as an NPC in many of my games.

Valerie Beaumont
Valerie Beaumont

"The Immortal"
Story Points: 12

Awareness 4
Coordination 5
Ingenuity 5
Presence 5
Resolve 4
Strength 3

Athletics 2
Convince 1
Fighting 3
Knowledge 5
Marksman 2
Medicine 1
Science 1
Subterfuge 2
Survival 3
Technology 1

Attractive, Brave, Quick Reflexes, Tough, Adversary (Virginia Dare), Dark Secret (is Immortal)

Special Traits
Immortal (2), Fast Healing (2)

Sword cane

Home Tech Level: 4 (she was born in 1569)


In truth I am rather happy with these. I altered some of Valerie's skills from her play test file. 

I can easily see a series of adventures with these three. Likely running into Madam Vastra and Jenny in Victorian times (and whom Valerie has dealt with before), Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in a modern London (gotta figure out how that works!), and of course fellow witches Willow and Tara

It's a weird and wonderful universe out there, and this is the game to explore it!

character sheets

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Time Lord: Larina & Jenny

The rules for the Time Lord game are lite on character creation, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. The Appendices in the Print and PDF versions give some guidelines but with 7 Doctors, 29 companions and more NPCs, putting together a new character is not very difficult.  Let's see how this game fares in recreating two characters we have already seen; Jenny Everywhere and my witch Larina.

Jenny Everywhere

Again, I am having Jenny stand in for our Time Lord character. The Time Lord RPG is thin on character creation and even thinner on creating new Time Lords and Gallifreyians.  Jenny makes a good stand-in. Again I am making the claim here that this Jenny is Gallifreyian/Human, raised mostly as a human. I am also going to speculate that there are other Gallifreyian/Humans out there, this may explain Henry DeTamble of "The Time Traveler's Wife" (It can't be a coincidence that Henry was born in 1963.)

As always, I must include her license:

"The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition. This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, in order that others may use this property as they wish. All rights reversed."

Jenny Everywhere
Jenny Everywhere

Apparent age: Mid-20s
Species: Gallifreyan/Human
Equipment: Scarf, Cool Goggles, bike messenger bag

Strength: 3, Cheat Death 2, Iron Constitution 2, Regenerative Powers 3
Control: 4, Escapology 1,  Blunt Weapons 2, Brawling 2, Edged Weapons 2, Marksmanship 2, Sleight of Hand 2, Stealth 1
Size: 3
Weight: 3
Move: 3, Running 1
Knowledge: 5, Computing 1, First Aid 1, MacGuffin 2, Pseudoscience 3, Science  3, TARDIS 1,  Temporal Science 2
Determination: 5
Awareness: 4, Bureaucracy 1, Resourceful Pockets 2, Serendipity 1, Striking Appearance 1

Attack: 4, 6, 6, 6, 6
Basic Defense: 3

I am unsure if this is the same Jenny from the FASA game. This one feels a little different, but I can't explain why. I mean they could be different and yet aware of each other all the same. 

Larina "Nix" Nichols

As with the FASA game (and every game I try her out in), I go outside the strict rules for character creation. Based on what I did for the FASA game, this is Larina after she had been in contact with one of the blue crystals from Metebelis 3. This was the start of her adventures. The Larina for the FASA Who game was a Welsh girl. Since this game takes place in 1991, I will use a version of her that I was using in back in the 1990s, an American foreign exchange student living in Scotland at the time. 

Edited to add: OR if this takes place in 1996 this is an older (25 years old) Larina back in the US. In my timeline for her, this would be right after her divorce. 

Larina "Nix" Nichols
Larina "Nix" Nichols

Apparent age: Early/Mid-20s
Species: Human
Equipment: Small knife, tarot cards,

Strength: 3, Cheat Death 1, 
Control: 3, Edged Weapons 1, Stealth 2
Size: 3
Weight: 3
Move: 3, Running 1
Knowledge: 4, First Aid 2, History 2, Occultism 4, Science 1
Determination: 5, Independent Spirit 1, Psychic Shield 2, Telekinesis 1, Telepathy 1
Awareness: 4, Striking Appearance 2

Attack: 3, 4
Basic Defense: 3

Ok. I do like these builds much more than I thought I would when I picked this one back up. Jenny is a very flexible character and any differences between this version of her and others is honestly part of her character design. That is, there are supposed to be differences. 

For Larina, well, her job is to stick as close to the Rules-As-Written as I can and yet still get the character I want. My concept of her is a "witch", writ large, and maybe even stereotypically. How can I make that work in a game where so far everything has a scientific explanation.  Though I will point out that this game has an "Occultism" ability and it says this:

Occultism [Knowledge]

A character with Occultism knows about the white and black magic practices of witches, druids and the like. The ability also implies a familiarity with superstitions and old sayings.

So there is a solid hook here, AND I will point out that no other characters (companions, NPCs, or monsters) have this skill on their sheets. 

Time Lord Character Sheets

The real question now becomes, are these two traveling together? I like the idea of the Doctor being involved, particularly Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor.  That is if I go with 1991, when the rules were in print. I could very easily go with 1996, the year that the game was released on the Internet, AND when the Paul McGann Doctor Who movie came out. That is also the same year that "The Craft" came out so using the logic of the TV series, the Eight Doctor is traveling with a young American witch. I don't hate the idea, certainly. 

Yeah...I don't hate this idea at all really. Maybe the bike messenger bag that Jenny has in my build above she gives to the Eighth Doctor for his Big Finish audio dramas. The Eighth Doctor's time is ripe for all sorts of shenanigans to be honest.

I'll have to consider this one more, but I like these builds and would use them to give the Time Lord rules a go. 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Larina Nichols for FASA Doctor Who RPG

You didn't think I would go through all this effort and not at least see how my own Drosophila melanogaster would work. I least wanted to try out a witch. 

In truth, my little witch Larina has a lot to do with Doctor Who, especially the Doctor Who I was watching in the 80s.  My original version of her had bits of Sarah Jane Smith and Jo Grant, but not as "screamy" as they were. And more than a little of Romana II. And many of my favorite episodes had a more horror feel, especially "The Brain of Morbius" and The Sisterhood of Karn. does a witch fit into Doctor Who? We have the Sisterhood of Karn in the classic episodes and even the Carrionites in the later "The Shakespeare Code" (2007).  The episode "The Daemons" gave us a White Witch, and "The Stones of Blood" gave us druids. So there is at least some fertile ground here. Humans in rare cases have been shown to develop mental powers like telepathy and tk ("Planet of the Spiders") 

Given my love for the occult 70s revival and British folk horror, I am tempted to set her as a companion to the Doctor (or one of the other PC Time Lords) in 1974 (Tom Baker era). Have her a "white witch" from Wales (because why not) who is trying to figure out what to do with her parents' old spice shop. That is when a Time Lord comes into her life.

Larina Nichols, 70s style

Larina Nichols
aka, "Nix"

Human Female
Profession: Spice shop owner, neo-pagan
Approximate Space/Time Coordinates: TNP Earth, 1974

Apparent Age: 20s
Actual Age: 25
Regog. Handle: Bright red hair, blue eyes, thick Welsh accent
Height: 5'4"
Build: Slim/Average
Looks: Striking 


Max Op END: 20    Wound Heal: 4
Curr Op END: 10    Fatigue Heal: 4
Inact Save Lvl III: 12
Unc Thresh Lvl II: 6

Special Abilities:  Telekinesis (11), Telepathy (11)

AP: 7

Artistic Expression II
Gaming II
Life Sciences II
General Medicine II
General Medicine, Herbal Cures III
Physical Sciences II
Public Performance I
Social Sciences II
Streetwise I
Trivia, Occultism III
Unarmed Combat, Brawling II
Verbal Interaction III

I can see her traveling with her Time Lord roughly parallel to Sarah Jane Smith and the Fourth Doctor's adventures. Maybe in this alternate reality, she got her mental powers from one of the blue crystals from Metebelis 3, turning her eyes from brown to blue, somewhat like they did with Leela.

Travel with her Time Lord until she decides to stay on Karn and join the Sisterhood? No idea, really yet.

As it turns out, I did, in fact, have a character sheet for her. It wasn't complete, but enough to get me going. 

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)

Familiar: Cotton Ball

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 Solaine (her's) 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

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


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.