Showing posts with label Swords & Wizardry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Swords & Wizardry. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Releases Tuesday: The Witch for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light

I have been keeping this one under wraps for now, but it's Halloween and it's the time for witches.

Cover art by the wonderful Marlena Mozgawa, Lenamo Art. and

The Witch for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light includes:

  • Seven levels of the Witch Class with three brand new witch traditions
  • new, never before published witch spells
  • rules for familiars and ritual magic
  • new spells, monsters and magic items for Swords & Wizardry Light/Continual Light

All in 13 pages for your Halloween games.

The Witch for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light is designed for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Green Witch in Print

I mentioned it yesterday, but today I wanted to give the Green Witch its own due.  It is out in print now at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

The book follows the same format as does The Warlock and they are 100% compatible with each other with very, very little repeated content (some spells like Bestow Curse are repeated).

In fact the goal for all my witch books is to give you a complete playable class where you don't need any other book I publish.  If do buy one of the other books then you get something that both classes can use.  Witches can use Warlock spells and visa-versa.

Each book features either a different class (Witch, Warlock, Huntsman and Green Knight) or a different witch tradition.  So each book gives you something new.

Not only can you now get the Green Witch in print, you can get it on sale!
OneBookShelf's Christmas in July sale is still going on and I have a lot of books up for sale from various publishers (and various levels of contribution on my part).

The next witch book I have due is the White Witch.  It is going to be Swords & Wizardry White Box focused.

After that, I think it will be The Mara Tradition and then The Winter Witch.

Should be great!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New in Print: Mail-call Edition

When I get games or game books together; either via a con, or an auction, 2nd hand sale, or whatever I tend to think of them as "linked" products whether they are or not.  This is doubly true when I get a bunch books at the same time in the mail.  Like I did over the last couple of days.

Here is what the UPS man left on my door in three different boxes.

That is +Mark Taormino's latest Maximum Mayhem Dungeon #4 Vault of the Dwarven King, fresh from the Kickstarter.  The print proof of my own The Green Witch, which you can now buy in print AND while it is on sale at RPGNow's Christmas in July.   With +Gavin Norman's print copy of Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition. His PDF is also on sale.

Let's jump in!

First up is the fourth installment of Mark Taormino's Maximum Mayhem Dungeon series.  This time for characters level 4 to 7 it involves investigating a Dwarven mine.  But you know that is not all.

The mine cars and tracks look more like roller coasters and there are monsters breeding down in the mines.  I would say they are unimaginable, but in truth, they are EXACTLY the sort thing we probably imagined at age 13-14 when making our own dungeons.  Mark just has better production values.  Like the others in this series, this is pure nostalgia fueled gonzo fun.   Crazy mines, insane monsters, goblins with chain saws. Yup.  This module has it all, and what it doesn't one of the others in the series does.

OR order them this way to have The Maximum Mayhem CampaignTM for levels 1 to 14!

Makes me want to pull out my Basic and Expert books and do that!

If so then you can bet that I will be including one of Gavin Norman's Vivimancers in the mix.

Theorems & Thaumaturgy Revised Edition has been out for about 7 months and it looks like it is doing well.  That's great because this is completely kick ass little book.

Inside we have three new classes, The Elementalist (specialist in the volatile energies of nature), The Necromancer (master of death and restless spirits), and The Vivimancer (expert of cloning, vat-growth, and bio-sorcery).  All for you Labyrinth Lord or Basic-era game.
If you have the older T&T then Gavin has put up a blog post to explain the differences.

And of course, I will have to include a Witch in the mix.

The Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry follows up my Warlock class.  These are witches that protect the wood.  Are they protecting it from humankind, or are they protecting humankind from it? Maybe both.

Like my other witch books, this presents a new witch Tradition which includes new Occult Powers and Spells.  It also has some new associated classes, the Green Knight (a paladin for witches) and the Huntsman (a pagan-inspired Ranger).

All my recent witch books are for Swords & Wizardry and written not only to be compatible, but also to have very little in the way of overlap.  Obviously, the Experience tables are the same (they are all witches) and some spells are shared by all witches (Bestow Curse is a good example).  I try to make each one worth your while and moeny to buy.

And right now it is on sale. In fact nearly everything for the witch is on sale now.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Plays Well With Others: Blue Rose + White Box S&W

Well, I am back at today with another "Plays Well With Others".  I want to spend some quality time with Blue Rose still so today I want to talk about one that jumped out at me right away.
Blue Rose works great with Swords & Wizardry White Box rules.

Yes. In fact, there is very, very little you need to do to make Blue Rose more like White Box.

Let's start with what I am wanting to accomplish here.  White Box is OSR/D&D stripped down to the bare bones. It leaves a lot more to the imagination and the guidance of the Game Master/Referee.  There is a lot of narrative control in refs hands.   The AGE version of Blue Rose has similar DNA (more on that) but places more narrative control in the hands of the players. NOT ALL, but a little more.

Blue Rose, in its AGE or True20 editions has DNA and elements that go back to the 3rd Edition D&D rules and the OGL.  The genesis of the Swords & Wizardry rules from the OGL is more than obvious.  This gives us a common thread to look at these games, a common ancestry to compare and contrast.   It also informs us on how we can bring them together.

One of the big surprises in Blue Rose for me as that the ability scores are all rolled on a 3d6 in order.  This is closer to "Old School" than some OSR games.  But that is only one thing, not enough to build a larger set of connections on.

White Box is not just a fun set of rules (we have thousands of those now) it is also a philosophy of gaming where less is more and the people playing need to decide what to do.  That last part is 100% Blue Rose.  But how do we make Blue Rose more like White Box?

White Rose

Well for starters let's cap the levels at 10.  This is just like White Box and has the effect of negating some of the later Specializations and higher level focuses of the game. With this done the core character classes, Warrior, Expert, and Adept need to focus on the things central to their class.  Fighters and Experts should not be able to take arcane training of any sort really. Adepts should be focused on either an arcane path (magic-users) or a divine on (clerics). Want a REAL restricted game? Don't have a cleric analog. Though you will need to consider what to do about healing.

Ending the levels at 10 restricts the classes to only one specialization. This is perfect for a White Box-inspired Blue Rose.
I would limit Experts to specializations like Assassin or even Pirate. For a real White Box feel I would create a "Thief" Specialization.
For a Cleric,  have the Adept take the Healer Specialization.
Warriors have the most flexibility. They can take the Champion, Guardian, Knight, Outrider, or Slayer.
For true White Box feeling, drop the thieves completely, and let Experts take the Healer Specialization.  Then you have three class to three classes.

For your races, you can crib the races from Fantasy AGE.

The big question is, "Why even do this?".

Simple. I can use White Rose as a "gateway drug" to Blue Rose for people that play White Box or another OSR clone.   I would run it as more or less a straight up D&D-like game with only some "Blue Rose" materials until later on.

I would try this out with some well-known Swords & Wizardry adventures. I am thinking something like Frog God Games' Razor Coast or any Swords & Wizardry adventure by Creation's Edge Games.
I have to admit, their Blue Crystal Mine has appeal to me as a gateway S&W/Blue Rose adventure, and how can I say no to an adventure called Curse of the Web Witch?  I might replace his monster with my own Web Witch.  I should convert it to AGE.

Looking forward to trying this out.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Red, White and Blue Rose

June may have been "Blue Rose month" but I have so much more to say and do!

I am going to have a couple of upcoming "Plays Well With Others" coming up.  More details later, but here are some teasers.

First, something that was inspired by my old "Black Rose" game (Blue Rose + Ravenloft) and something that came to me in a flash on a recent run.  Something I am calling "Blood Red Rose".

Blue Rose + Vampire the Masquerade (2nd Edition).

Next is less of a Plays Well With Others and more of a "Campaign Model".
I give you my "White Rose"

Blue Rose + Swords & Wizardry White Box.

This is going to be great.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fundraiser for Mona Dowie

I met Mona Dowie online, via Facebook.  We bonded over our shared love of witches, Stevie Nicks, and coffee.

We were paired up on Petty Gods and she produced the art for my characters Nox and Syla.

I loved these so much I HAD to have her do some art for my then upcoming Swords & Wizardry projects.  I sent her some basic ideas and she sent me some art of my iconic witch Larina.

She was sick then and things have only gotten worse.

+R.J. Thompson let me know of a GoFundMe going for her.  You can find that here:

Please donate what you can.
+Erik Tenkar over at the Tavern is going to match the first $250 donated by the OSR crowd.

So until further notice, I am donating ALL profits from my Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry (which features the Larina art) will be donated to her GoFundMe page.
It's not much, but it is something I hope.

Whether you buy my book or donate directly please help her out.
The OSR is full of some great, generous people.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Witches are (Still) the New Vampires!

A quick pop into RPGNow this afternoon and I noticed this.

Not too bad really!

You have my Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry.
My Strange Brew: Magic Items for Pathfinder.
And Zenith Games' Paragon Hags.

Great time to pick up a new witch book!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Green Witch Now Available

Only running a few hours late on this one!

Now for your Swords & Wizardry pleasure, the next book in my series of witch traditions.

The Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry

A witch never fears the wood. 
Because she knows, deep in her heart, that the most dangerous thing in the wood
Is her.


Only the Green Witch knows the true secrets of the wood and the worlds that lie beyond, under and through it.  But is she protecting us from the wood or the wood from us?

Inside you will find answers to these secrets:
  • The Green Witch tradition 
  • The Green Knight and Huntsman classes
  • New race for S&W Complete: Forest Gnomes 
  • 200+ witch spells
    • 91 Druid Spells
    • 61 Magic-User spells
    • 43 Cleric spells - Places of Power for Witches and other Spellcasters 
  • Monsters  
  • Magic Items
  • The Grand Coven of the Earth Mother for Witches and Druids
All for your Swords & Wizardry games!
With a Forward by +Elizabeth Chaipraditkul

On Sale Now!

100% compatible with:

and "Clone" compatible with:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sick Days, New Year's Resolutions and Upcoming Books

Not feeling so hot today.  Some viral thing has been running through my home and at work, so I guess it was only a matter of time before it got me too.

This got me thinking about my New Year's Resolution.

Each year I try to resolve to do something new, or better, in the upcoming year.  I am happy to say I am usually pretty successful at keeping these.  This year was no different.

For 2017 I resolved to clear out a lot of the half-finished "Works in Progress" I have on my list.  Having five half-finished documents are not as good as having one finished one.  So you can see the fruits of my efforts this year with a new witch book out every six weeks so far. I also finished up a project for the DMsGuild and the Classic Modules Today group.

Now I don't want to burn out my audience so I am debating on whether or not my Summer Solstice book should be a "witch" book.  Oh if you think I don't have another witch book up my sleeves you haven't been paying attention here for long. ;)

Which gets me to today.
Since I am feeling kind of crappy I was digging around in my projects drive and found some docs I had written about the Healer Class. Actually, I have two; a Clerical healer and a Psychic healer.

The other projects I have are:

The Faerie Witch / Green Witch.  This is planned for the Summer Solstice.  It covers the Faerie Witch traditions as well as the Fey Pact Warlock.  I also will talk about "Grand Covens" and have more faerie creatures.  For Swords & Wizardry complete with conversion notes for Basic Era.

The White Witch. This is a simple book for playing good-aligned witches in Swords & Wizardry Whitebox.  Due out in August.

The Complete Necromancer. This is a much larger project. In addition to the Mara Tradition Witches and Death Pact Warlocks, I am going to comb through many OGC sources to provide a "complete" Necromancer class, an Undead Slayer class and a Death Priest. Some of the material in this book goes back to the beginning of my witch class.  This book will feature hundreds of spells and dozens, if not scores, of undead monsters.  It is a huge book.  I want to get it out for Halloween (natch) but not sure if I will get it all done.  Swords & Wizardry Complete / Basic Era.

The Healer.  Again this is a class that shares a genesis with the witch and necromancer. The Clerical Healer will have plenty of new spells and things to do. Plus rules on how to play a passivist character in a world of murder-hobos. The Psychic Healer will be similar but rely on psionic powers and manipulating chakras. Basic Era, no set date yet.

Space Truckers.  Ah. This one has been running around in my mind for years.  No witches. No magic. Think back to 1977, this is "Star Wars" meets "Smokey and the Bandit" meets "CHiPs".
An Ode to roadtrips and the strange alchemy that was the late 70s.  New classes, new races, new rules for short and long haul spacetrucks. For White Star.  No date yet, but this year is the 40th Anniversary of both "Star Wars" and "Smokey and the Bandit", so I should do it this year.

Below is a quick poll.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts.

Let me know what you think. I am on a ton of allergy drugs right now; who knows what you can convince me to do!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry

Now to the Brocken the witches ride;
The stubble is gold and the corn is green;
There is the carnival crew to be seen,
And Squire Urianus will come to preside.
So over the valleys our company floats,
With witches a-farting on stinking old goats.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe "Faust" 

Tonight is Walpurgis Night.  Tonight the witches will ride on brooms and goats to the Brocken in the Harz Mountains and celebrate with the Devil.
Tomorrow is Beltane and Witches will celebrate the start of May and the return of Summer with bonfires.

Today I celebrate the release The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry!

Cover art Copyright 2015 Dean Spencer

The Warlock includes:
  • The Warlock class
  • New race: The Tieflings
  • Rules for goblin, hobgoblin and bugbear warlocks
  • 160+ spells
  • 50+ Warlock invocations
  • New monsters including the Baalseraph, Calabim, Lilim and Shedim demon families.
  • Animal Lords and Faerie Lords
  • New Magic Items
The Warlock is 64 pages and is compatible with The WitchThe Witch for Swords & Wizardry LightThe Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry, and The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG.  It is also rules-compatible with Sisters of the Aquarian Order.  In fact, all are designed to work together as a complete whole.  Getting these various witches to work together in your game is another matter entirely.

A softcover version is coming in the next couple of days.  I just need to wait till it is delivered to me for approval.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

S&W Warlock: Meet Nik Nak, Goblin Warlock

Nik Nak is one of the first warlocks I worked up for my new Warlock for Swords & Wizardry.
He is a sneaky little goblin, but smarter than most.

Nik Nak by Jacob Blackmon
Nik Nak
3rd Level Goblin Warlock (Bogelbo)
hp 11

S: 9
I:  13
W: 10
D: 12
Cn: 10
Ch: 14

Saves: +2 to saves against charm, hold, paralysis and sleep spells.
BtH: +0
AC: 7* (lesser if Armor of Shadows is invoked)
Alignment: Chaotic

Arcane Blast, Agonizing Blast, Armor of Shadows

1st: Häxen Talons, Obedient Beast
2nd: Poisonous Stare

Nik Nak is a respected, and feared, member of his goblin clan.  He is an impressive and smarter than average goblin. So smart in fact he found his way to the center of the Goblin City and presented himself to the King of Goblins beseeching him for power.  The great King admired the young Nik Nak's verve and granted him a token; a feather from his own cape.  The feather became Nik Nak's warlock familiar and now Nik Nak serves as a warlock with the Faerie Pact to the Goblin King.
In battle, Nik Nak carries a bone rod and wears leather armor. He rides on a giant frog (named "Mrs. Black") he has made obedient. He wears the skull of a giant rat as a helmet. Though this is more to protect the feather he has braided into his long dreadlocks than his own skull.
Nik Nak is a goblin, but he is not a particularly evil one.  He has learned that the threat of violence and terror of his power is usually more effective than actual violence.
Also, Nik Nak is perfectly happy to deal with adventurers in amicable terms as long as there is something in it for him or his Lord the Goblin King.

Usually found in the Goblin Wood outside the Haven Valley, Nik Nak can also be found wandering the Goblin Market where he trades wares, and insults, with other Bogelbos or in the town of West Haven where he deals with darker beings.

Despite racial enmity, Nik Nak has friendly if strained, relations with the Winterhaven gnome clan. This is mostly due to the legendary friendliness of the Winterhaven gnomes.

The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry will be out April 30, Walpurgis Night.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Leviathan

Have not done one of these in a long time.

I thought it would be nice to present a monster from my new Warlock for Swords & Wizardry book.

In the book I introduce some new demonic races including the Eodemons or the Proto-demons.  These are creatures that lived in the lower planes long before the devils were cast down or the demons were there.  Warlocks can beseech the Eodemons for power, but there is always a danger.

Here is the Eodemon Leviathan.
Leviathan has featured in a number of my games and is the destroyer of worlds. "He" eats magic and is attracted to worlds full of magic. "He" has destroyed a number of worlds already in my multi-verse and he hungers for more.
Warlock can choose the Leviathan as a Patron, but doing so makes the Leviathan aware of the warlock's own world.  Some warlocks believe that tapping into the Leviathan's power weakens him and keeps him in a sedated state.

Hit Dice: 25 + 19 (131 hp)
Armor Class: -6 [25]
Attacks: 1 bite (4d6)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Capsize, digestive acid, swallow whole, dominate and summon water-borne creatures, spells, +2 or better weapon to hit, immunity to fire, electricity, and poison, magic resistance (100%), telepathy 100 ft.
Move: 24 (swim) / 9 (ground)
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 34/8,600
This monster is supposed that this is the oldest of all the Eodemons.  Leviathan is so ancient that even other demons seem in awe of “his” age and power.  It assumed that it is a he though there is no evidence to suggest either way. Leviathan exists only for one purpose; to feed.  Leviathan can be found in the Astral realms devouring entire worlds.
"He" spends his time in the deepest parts of the oceans of the worlds that Leviathan visits. Here he consumes all living forms and is drawn to the world with strong magic.  After devouring 800,000 levels/hd of magical life Leviathan will then be strong enough to destroy the entire world.  From there he moves to a new world where he rests before starting the cycle anew.
Leviathan is completely immune to all magical attacks. Consequently, he is incapable of using magical attacks or spells.

Leviathan can appear as a large sea monster, whale or other great gargantuan creature.

Powerful Warlocks that share Leviathan's desire for the destruction of magic and the world can become his Exarchs.  The Hand of Leviathan and the Voice of Leviathan are his heralds.  The Hand appears first to destroy and sacrifice powerful spell casters. The Voice proclaims the return of their lord and opens the gate to allow Leviathan to swallow a world whole.
Killing these heralds does not stop the coming of Leviathan, but it does slow him down.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Swords & WITCHERY! Introducing The Warlock

Once again +R.J. Thompson is hosting Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day.

I have known about Swords & Wizardry for a long time. I just never really played it much.
Part of the problem was I felt it did not live up to the claim of feeling like a 0e D&D.  I had a good retro-clone for that in Spellcraft & Swordplay.  But last year I sat down and played a few Swords & Wizardry games and I really loved it.
Part of this was due to +James Spahn's White Star, a game I really enjoy.

Playing this and the publication of Swords & Wizardry 3rd Printing I decided to do a series of Witch books.

My idea was simple really.  Produce smaller books featuring a witch class variant for Swords & Wizardry or a compatible game. Each book needed to do a few things for me.

  • Each book needed to be a complete class. Everything you need except core rules.
  • Each book needed to offer something new, so customers never felt like they were buying the same material over and over.  Yes, there has to be some overlap, but I typically want 75% to 80% new material.
  • Each book needed to be 100% compatible with the other books. So if you did buy them all you had something that would work together. 

So far I think I have met with success.

My S&W Witch books to date have been:

The Witch for Swords & Wizardry Light
Levels 1-5 for SWL.

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry
A new tradition compatible with The Witch and future products.

The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG
The Hedgewitch tradition for the Hero's Journey RPG and 100% compatible with S&W and other witch books.

Of course Sisters of the Aquarian Order.
Witches for the White Star game.

Today I would like to announce the publication of my newest "Witch" book for Swords & Wizardry.

Next week, on Walpurgis Night, I am releasing The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry.

Cover art Copyright 2015 Dean Spencer

The Warlock includes:

  • The Warlock class
  • New race: The Teiflings
  • Rules for goblin, hobgoblin and bugbear warlocks
  • 160+ spells
  • 50 Warlock invocations
  • New monsters including the Baalseraph, Calabim, Lilim and Shedim demon groups.
  • Animal Lords and Faerie Lords
  • New Items

I still need to add the art but looking at 64-68 pages.

Hope you all enjoy it!  Look for more in the coming week.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Back on Track! Minis and more!

Just got off of Spring Break with my kids. Had a great time, but now I am back in the grove of work (or at least that is what I keep telling myself as I weep into my coffee).

Got a ton of stuff done on various projects including my next Swords & Wizardry one.

But more important to me is what my wife has been doing.  Last week we started off our Spring Break by going to Gary Con and to Adepticon.  It was great and my wife picked up this miniatures painting starter kit from Reaper.  Well, a week later we are at our FLGS +Games Plus during their 35 Anniversary celebration to buy more minis, more brushes, and more paint.

Here are the fruits of her efforts this past week.

I have found my "Lolth" character.  The blonde witch in the red robes is Tanith, one of my newest characters.

This Vrock is my favorite.
I had to mount it so it would stand up right.

She is still working on learning different techniques and getting better, but this is going to save me hundreds of bucks!

This is going to be a lot of fun.  Plus while the boys and I play D&D she can sit there and paint with us. Which, truth be told, she enjoys more.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG in PRINT

I am pleased to announce that The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG is now being offered in softcover.

The book is 68 pages, so it is a small book, but it goes great with your copy of +James Spahn's The Hero's Journey RPG. (Print copies are at Lulu in full color or B&W pages.)

Or even my other Witch books.

Each book offers a different set of witch "Traditions" so you can buy them all and combine them.

Get your copy today!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Reviews: Battleaxes & Beasties and the Witches of Hagswallow

I have been wanting to get some more reviews in and I am woefully behind schedule. So along with my deep dive into the Forgotten Realms, I am also investigating more games and products built around Swords & Wizardry.

First up is Battleaxes & Beasties by +Anthony Hunter.

Battleaxes & Beasties is a core rule book from Sleeping Griffon Productions. It is based on Swords & Wizardry, but has some interesting quirks of it's own.   The book is 175 pages, black & white interior with color covers.   There are hardcover and softcover options, I am reviewing the PDF.
We spend a couple of pages going over the basic "what is roleplaying" and "what are these funny dice".  We have all seen this a 1000 times, but it does make it work well for a new player.  Indeed the whole book is great for anyone that has never played before.
Since this is based on S&W we have the same basic six Attributes and modifiers.
It is not till we get to the classes that we some changes.  Now B&B can act as a standalone game, there are enough classes here, but it can also act as a supplement to and other S&W-based game.  I could not help but feel there was a certain level of, well, camaraderie between this game and The Hero's Journey.  Both fall closer together on the "Heroic vs Muder Hobo" scale than say Dungeon Crawl Classics.  The classes include a Beguiler (which is like a Bard, but instead of songs he masters lies), the Faithful (like the cleric), Hunter (something like a Ranger), Scout ( Ranger-y Rogues), Totemist (Druid-Shaman cross),  Warrior and the Wizard.  All the classes advance to 10th level, so this is solid White Box territory.  After the human classes, we get race-specific classes.  Now, these are a lot of fun really. There is the Dwarven Guardian, Dwarven Paladin, Elf Ranger, and the Halfling Outcast.  Seriously fun stuff. We are 20 pages in and the book has paid for itself in my eyes.
There is a section on careers, which other games might call backgrounds.
Spells come next and are sorted by class and level.  There are some new ones here too, not just a rehash of the same old spells.  Additionally, magic is divided into Arcane, Miracles and Fey magics. An interesting touch if you ask me. It doesn't have a lot of game play effects, save on how Rangers learn spells, but it does provide a nice bit of flavor.
Next, we get to the default setting for this game, the Borderlands of Zarteth.  It starts with a "Z" so you know it is going to be a dangerous or at least strange place!
The setting is very D&D; that is neither good or bad, just what it is.  I got the feel reading it that was Clark Ashton Smith plus Robert E. Howard, without the extra helping of doom and despair. It's not 4e Points of Light, nor is it Hero's Journey's "Let's go on an adventure" nor is it the Grimdark of DCC.  It is in between.
The rest of the book is the Referee's Section. I say "rest" but it is really half the book. Everything you expect is here.
The gem here is the Monster section. The monsters are divided up by type first then alphabetically.  There are some nice new monsters here too, again making the book rather worthwhile.
To go with those monsters are some great magical treasures.
There is also an included adventure, reference sheets and a nice character sheet.
Battleaxes & Beasties does not break any new ground, but covers the same ground in interesting ways. Interesting enough to make it easily worth 10 bucks for the PDF.
I am caught between 4 or 5 stars out of 5 here. I'll give it a 5 to adjust the review average.

Witches of Hagswallow Adventure is an adventure for Battleaxes & Beasties.
It is 47 pages, color covers, Black & White interior. Designed fro 3-6 characters of 2-3 level. It can be run directly after the included adventure in the corebook and gives more background on the setting of the Borderlands of Zarteth.
It is a great example on how even the simpleist monsters can be used to great effect.  The "witches" are not witches of course, they are harpies.  But for all practical purposes, the might as well be.  After all these are 2nd level characters; most have just learned which end of the sword is the dangerous one!
There are a lot of great maps, a bunch of new monsters and it expands the world a little bit more for the players.
The adventure also comes with pre-generated characters.
Everything comes in the PDF, but separate files are also included.

All in all this is a very fun system.  Familar, but with a enough new materials to make it completely worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Spell: Forget Me Knot

The witches of the Aiséiligh tradition have a few spells they are well known for. Typically these spells deal with protection or often an offensive spell designed to harm the witch's enemies or those who attack the witch first.  This spell, ironically enough, is usually forgotten about.

The spell is believed to be the root of the practice of tying a string around your finger to remember something important.  For the witch, this practice is part of a spell.

Forget Me Knot
Level: Witch 1
Range: 1 person
Duration: special, see below
The witch casts this spell and can remember anything said to her or anything she reads roughly equal to a page of information; 600-800 words. She commits the spell by tying a bit of string into a knot. She can then keep the knot safe for any amount of time. If she wants to recall the information perfectly she merely unties the knot. This spell can be used to deliver information to another of the witch's choice, but it cannot be used to remember spells or scrolls. If the knot is destroyed the information is lost.
Material Components: A bit of normal string, thread or yarn the witch can tie into a knot. The thread disappears when it is untied and the memories released.

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry is on sale now with all profits going to the ACLU.  This spell is one of the 70+ spells in the book.

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