Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Daughters of Darkness: The Mara Witch Tradition

Tonight, evil witches gather on the Brocken to celebrate Walpurgis Night.
Tomorrow, good witches gather to celebrate the new spring with bonfires of Beltane.

But now you can join the celebrations with the Daughters of Darkness and the Mara Witch Tradition for Labyrinth Lord and other Basic Era Games.

The Daughters of Darkness for Basic Era Games


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/274429/Daughters-of-Darkness-The-Mara-Witch-for-Basic-Era-Games?affiliate_id=10748

Hail Lilith!

“Humanity has forsaken their Dark Mother.
 We will remind them.”

Lilith. 
 First Woman. First Witch. Mother of Demons.
 Now Her Daughters of Darkness are ready to take what is theirs.

Introducing the Mara Tradition, witches dedicated to the Dark Mother.
 - The Daughters of Darkness coven
 - 175 Spells and Rituals for witch characters
 - 39 Monsters to challenge or be allies
 - 3 Non-player characters to challenge the mightiest characters

Fully compatible with Labyrinth LordTM and other Basic-Era games.
Fully compatible with other witch books from The Other Side.

Part 1 of my "Back to Basics" series!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Daughters of Darkness: Lilith and the Mara Witch Tradition

This year marks my 40th year of playing D&D.  I started with Holmes Basic and quickly moved to Moldvay Basic when it was released.  It is also the 20th anniversary of my "Netbook of Witches & Warlocks".  So fairly auspicious anniversaries.

Since this year has been about "Back to Basics" for me I have some books ready to celebrate.

I am pleased to announce the first of three new Witch books for Basic Era Gameplay.

Daughters of Darkness: Lilith and the Mara Witch Tradition



Of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake’s, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
 - Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Lady Lilith” 1873

"The world has forgotten their dark mother.  
WE will remind them why they should fear the dark."
- Traditional Mara oath.

Presented here are:

The Mara Witchcraft Tradition, an evil tradition for Basic Witches.


To be released next week on Walpurgis Night or Beltane Eve, or April 30th.  Print version to follow.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Winter Witch is the Deal of the Day!

The calendar may say Spring, but the temps are still cold here in Chicago.

To celebrate the end of winter I am offering the Winter Witch Tradition book on sale as today DriveThruRPG/RPGNow's Deal of the Day.


So take advantage of this sale.  The Winter Witch for Swords & Wizardry is only $1.20 for the PDF for the next 20 hours (from this posting).




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Isaina Lyd’ar for The Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box

I don't think it is hubris to say I know my witches.

My first knowledge of Thomas Denmark was when I picked up a copy of the absolutely fantastic d20 book "Way of the Witch" by Citizen Games.  His work is featured throughout the book and on the cover. For me, it really helped define the feel of that book and the classes involved.


Since then I have worked with nearly all the authors of that book and Christina Stiles and Megan Robertson joined me on the Strange Brew d20/Pathfinder project which we all felt was the spiritual successor to Way of the Witch.   Sadly Citizen Games was a casualty of the d20 bust.
The text lives on in Strange Brew and the art lives on with Thomas Denmark.

So it was not a big surprise, but a pleasant one all the same, when I saw the art for Isaina Lyd’ar in Beasties II.    In fact, I have seen it before.


I was very, very pleased that Thomas could use his art again in his own products.  It is too good to let lie forgotten in an out of print book.

It is only fitting then that his "magic-user" should really be a witch in the proper sense.  She is 100% Open OGC in Beasties and my The Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box is as well, so it is a perfect match in my mind.

Isaina Lyd’ar
Human Female
4th level Witch, White Witch Tradition
(or perhaps Sinderan Tradition)

Strength: 11
Dexterity: 13 (+1)
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 14
Wisdom: 14
Charisma: 18 (+3)

HP: 12
Alignment: Neutral Good
AC: 7 [12] (Leather Armor)
Saves Base: 12
THAC0: 18 [THAC20: 19]

Equipment: girdle of stealth, this confers near invisibility for 3d6 turns. It takes half a day to recharge.

Occult Powers
Familiar: Visions* (instead of a familiar Isaina gets dreams that instruct her on what spells she needs.)
Herbal Healing

Spells 
Cantrips (6): Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Knot, Lift, Mend, Object Reading,
First (2): Locate Animal or Plant, Protection from Evil
Second (2): Extra-Sensory Perception, Sleep

Description From Beasties 2:
Isaina has always been an outsider. She would rather talk to animals than humans. When she does make friends she is incredibly loyal and close. She always thinks about how her actions can lead to the greater good, and she believes it is each individuals responsibility to bring more happiness into the world and reduce suffering.

She often has visions and haunting dreams of a coming disaster. She is driven to prevent these from really happening.

She is a bit too enamored with ale, wine, and intoxicants and is occasionally willing to try out new experiences.
Section 15:
The White Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box. Copyright © 2018, Timothy S. Brannan, Other Side Publishing
Beasties 2, Copyright 2019, Night Owl Workshop

Now that is a cool character.  Can't wait to use her in a game.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Maximum Mayhem Mail!

Got home last night to a mail call from Mark Taormino.  This is always a good time.



The box came with his new adventure module #5 Palace of the Dragon's Princess and some dice in a bag.  The dice are actually quite nice.


The box is nice an sturdy.


It holds all five of the Maximum Mayhem adventures and the monster book, Monsters of Mayhem #1.  It will also hold a bunch of his characters sheets once I print them out on goldenrod paper and all the extra perks that came with the adventures (posters, 3D art).


There is also enough room in the box for a rule set.  While the monsters and adventures are overtly "Advanced" in design (OSRIC, Advanced Labyrinth Lord), the maximum level for the adventures is 14 and that screams B/X to me.   I'll have to find the right OSR rules that fits the feeling of these.

You can still get a box while supplies last directly from Dark Wizard.
The adventure modules, monster book, and character sheets can be found at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.


I should spend some time and go through all of these in detail. Maybe look over different games to run them under.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Review: Shadowtide: A Blue Rose Novel

Shadowtide: A Blue Rose Novel

The trouble with most "gamer fiction" is you can practically hear the dice being rolled in the background.  Sometimes, and it doesn't matter how compelling the story, you can't bu help see or hear game terms being thrown about.
Thankfully that is NOT the issue here with Shadowtide: A Blue Rose Novel by Joseph D. Carriker, Jr.

Carriker gives us a story we can get into and characters we can care about, that is the job of all good storytellers; whether that medium is a novel, a play or a role-playing game.  In this case, we get a good novel that preserves what we like or want from the RPG but still satisfies as a novel.

The story opens with the disappearance (likely murder) of two envoys from the Sovereign's Finest.  The Sovereign is Queen Jaelin of Aldis and her envoys are tasked with helping out where they can and mostly fighting the forces of evil. The two envoys are tracking down a reported case of Shadow Sorcerery in the Veran Marsh east of Aldis.  Shadow is more than just black magic, it is a taint of the unworldly, of the unnatural.  Contrasts are turned up in Aldis, the evil are very evil and the good...well the good try to be very good, but as this book reminds us even the Envoys of the Queen, the very symbols of good, have to make hard choices.

The story begins with a trio of envoys.  I would say "unlikely" but in truth the envoys are a varied lot. We have Soot who is a Rhy-Crow, or an intelligent crow with the abilities of an Adept. Morjin Brightstar, a lovable rogue and rake who works best alone, but is constantly falling love with whomever he meets.  A note. Morjin is a character who in a lesser hand would have been VERY annoying.  But Carriker invests a lot of attention and dare I say love into Morjin that you feel for the guy.  He is a former Roamer, a nomadic culture similar to the Romany of our world, but he has been exiled from his clan.  So it becomes easy to see how his happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care nature hides a profound sadness of what would be a good heart.  Finally the last of our trio is Ydah (pronounced EE0dah). She is a Night person, or what might pass for a half-orc in other books. She is the fighter to Morjin's lover.  She is also recovering from recent grief and hides her sadness behind a gruff exterior and a desire to beat the living crap out of people. Which she excels at. 

The trio finds themselves in a hidden smuggler's town called Serpent's Haven.  Where basically everyone is a criminal or descended from a criminal of some sort.  Their mission here is to discover what happened to other envoys and figure out what the nature of the Shadow they were looking for.

I don't want to spoil the plot, but suffice to say it involves cults, crazed cultists, a Dark Fiend and the ever-present danger of Shadow to all that are around it, friend and foe alike.

Naturally, comparisons will be made to the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey, of which Blue Rose is inspired by, but those comparisons are mainly superficial here.  Sure one can tell a "Valdemar" story with Blue Rose.  One could also tell this story with Blue Rose.  The differences to me lie at the heart of what Shadowtide and Blue Rose are really about.  The characters of both the novel and game try to do Good with a capital G.  But often the only choices they have are goods with a little g.  They can't fix every problem.  The difference I think then between a Blue Rose character and say a D&D character is that it is the good they can't do is what bothers the Blue Rose characters, and this makes them want to do and be better next time.

That is certainly true for our trio of heroes here.  Morjin feels bad about how treats certain people when he knows he has worked towards the greater good.  Ydah feels bad about having to kill (and kill she does) cultists, but she needs to stop an even greater evil. Soot, well Soot has some problems all his own and shows us how dangerous the cult they are dealing with is.

In the end, the characters care about their actions. They care about how others see them as envoys and they care about how others are treated.  They know there is injustice in the world, even Ydah mentions the stares she still gets in "enlightened Aldis", but they are working to make things a little bit better.  Because they care they are not the "murder hobos" of other games or stories and we care more for them as well.

The book ends, but room for a sequel is left open. I certainly hope so. The characters are entertaining and the mystery they are delving into is a fascinating one.  Kudos to Carriker for giving us characters whose motivations I believe and whose stories are compelling enough to make me want more.

You can get this book in a lot of places.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Winter Is HERE! The Winter Witch Tradition for Swords & Wizardry

From the lands of the Ice and Snow comes the newest Witch Tradition for Swords & Wizardry.

The Winter Witch Tradition


With this book, you can now learn the secrets of the Winter Witch, the living personification of all that makes winter the most dazzling and the most dangerous season.

Inside you will find:

The Winter Witch tradition and the Winter Warlock Pact
The Vǫlva and Warden classes
New races for S&W Complete to suit the winter world.
  • 130+ witch spells
    • 100+ Warlock spells
    • 14 Cleric spells 
    • 40+ Druid and Magic-User spells 
50+ Monsters
New Treasure, magic items and artifacts of powerful witches.

Art by Dean Spencer, Jacob E. Blackmon, Daniel Comerci, Larry Elmore, William McAusland, Todd Shearer, and Josh Soper.

All for your Swords & Wizardry games!

Winter is here, are you ready?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

This is How I Die. New feature for Winter Witches

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

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

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

Each Winter Witch knows exactly how she will die.

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

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

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

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

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

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



Coming December 20th.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Which Witch is Which? Swords & Wizardry Edition

This month see the release of my version of the Witch for the Swords & Wizardry White Box.  If things go as planned I'll have the Winter Witch out this Yule and some others after that.

It has gotten some people asking if the books are all compatible (they are) and what features each book has to make it "Special".  I hope this help clears some of that up.

For starters, yes, there is some overlap.  The table of experience points and spells per level are all 100% the same.   There some spells in common.  For example, the 3rd level spell Bestow Curse appears in multiple books since a curse is so central to the archetype of the witch.  There is also a lot new material in each one.


The Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box
  • The Witch class, levels 1-10
  • The White Witch Tradition
  • 76 unique spell (out of 183 total spells)
  • Monsters, treasures, and magic items

The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG
  • New Race: The Gnome
  • New Professions
  • The Witch class, levels 1-10 
  • Hedge Witch Tradition
  • 80 spells new to The Hero's Journey
  • 15 new monsters
The Green Witch for Swords & Wizardry
  • 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
The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry

  • The Warlock class and Traditions
  • 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 groups.
  • Animal Lords and Faerie Lords
  • New magic items

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry

  • The Aiséiligh witch Tradition
  • The Daughters of the Flame Coven
  • 70+, new to Swords & Wizardry spells including never before published spells.

The Witch for Swords & Wizardry Continual Light

  • The Witch for S&WCL
  • Three new Traditions, The Light, The Dark, and Twilight Witches
  • New Spells
  • Seven New Monsters

The Witch for Swords & Wizardry Light

  • The Witch for S&WL

Additionally, I have my other two OSR Witch books.

The Witch: A sourcebook for Basic Edition fantasy games
This book is designed with the "Basic" rules in mind.  So Holmes, Moldvay, or Mentzer or them modern clones like Basic Fantasy or Labyrinth Lord.  Largely compatible with my Swords & Wizardry line.  In includes:

  • The Witch Class
  • Six Traditions (Aquarian, Classical, Faerie, Family, Maleficia and Eclectic)
  • 381 New Spells
  • Monsters
  • Magic items

Eldritch Witchery for Spellcraft & Swordplay
Again this book is largely compatible with the S&W line, though in different ways than the Basic Witch is.  It includes.

  • The Witch and Warlock classes (slightly different than the ones above)
  • New Witch traditions, Craft of the Wise, Tradition of the Magna Mater,  Demonic, Faerie and Gypsy.
  • New Warlock Lodges, The Dark School of the Scholomance, Fraternity of the Bones, Goetic, The Hermetic Lodge and The Secret Masters of the Invisible College.
  • New Demons, the Calabim, the Shedim, the Lilim, and the Baalseraph.
  • 248 spells


So 17 Witch traditions and 761 total spells!



Currently in the works:

The Winter Witch. the Winter Witch tradition, the Pact of Winter for the Warlock. New monsters and magic items. Lots of new spells.  New races

The Black Witch.  A B/X dedicated witch, levels 1 to 13.  The Black Witch Tradition (no, it's not what you think it is), lots of new spells, new magic items and maybe some monsters. Hags as a playable race.

and finally The Complete Witch a book that combines all these books into one.  Maybe...have not decided yet.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Basic Instincts, Part 2

Last week I posted a Lulu version of a possible POD for the D&D Basic book; B/X flavor.
I think it went a long way in showing that a Basic book POD is a viable solution.

To further that end, here is a book from roughly the same time period and with a similar scan. 
The Gamma World boxed set is more of a contemporary with the Holmes D&D boxed set but it is also currently in POD on RPGNow/Drivethru RPG and I got my book in the mail last week.



The cover is the same as the box art. As opposed to the cover of the book inside the box.






All of the box contents are reproduced in the book. Except for adventure and dice.


The text is rather clear and very easy to read.  In fact reading through this again today I found things in the rules that I either forgotten about or never knew!


It is in much better shape than my old GW book.

The PODs from WotC/DriveThru keep getting better and better.  So there is a reasonable expectation that a Basic set POD will look much better than my 15-minute effort.

Looking forward to seeing more PODs from Wizards/DriveThru and hopefully, Basic/Expert D&D will be part of that!

--

Don't forget the Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box is now out! Featuring the White Witch Tradition.  It is 100% compatible with my other Swords & Wizardry witch books.  Each one with a new tradition, occult powers, magic items, spells, and rituals.  Many even include new monsters.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box

It's 13 days till Halloween.
What better way to celebrate than with



A complete set of rules for the witch class for the Swords & Wizardry White Box RPG.

Inside you will find:
  • The Witch Class (levels 1-10)
  • The White Witchcraft tradition
  • 183 witch spells
  • 76 brand new spells
  • 18 monsters 
  • New treasure and magic items

All for your Swords & Wizardry White Box old-school games!

And 100% compatible with all my Swords & Wizardry witch books/traditions.

Cover art by A.E. Short.
Some interior art by Anna Marine:



Available NOW in both PDF and Print on Demand formats.


Joyous Samhain and Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Basic Instincts

There has been some discussion online and in the B/X groups in particular about getting Print on Demand versions of the Moldvay Basic book and the Cook/Marsh Expert book.

Part of that discussion was how viable are the current PDFs for POD printing. You can see some of that discussion on the Basic D&D DriveThruRPG page (linked above).  Others began to wonder how difficult would it be to do?

Well everyone knows what a huge fan I am of B/X D&D so I thought I would give it a go.
I grabbed my PDF of Basic D&D and set a 10-minute time limit.  If I didn't have a book ready to go by then I would pack it up and go home from work.  It took me 15 minutes.

I fired up Adobe Suite and took apart the PDF to put back together on the Printer's website.

Today I got the results in the mail.




As you can see no one will mistake these for the real deal.  For starters there are no table of contents nor index.






While the newer one has whiter pages and clear text, the cover is not really the best.

Could I make a better one? Sure.  Given time and effort in Photoshop and Acrobat.  But I won't.  For starters the book, while not really expensive, was costlier than say buying a print copy of Basic Fantasy and I get more in that.  There are  other, cheaper options as well.

No this served the purpose I wanted well; could the current PDF make a passible POD.  The answer is Yes, with some work.  Now I have another table copy of D&D Basic and that is never a bad thing.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sleeping Not Yet Dead

Well, nowhere near dead really and not sleeping either (no worries, I am going to doctor next week) but I can't help but use a Jefferson Starship quote.

I might not be posting as much, but be assured I am busy.
In fact here is a bit of teaser. No here are two.
Coming Halloween 2018



Coming Winter 2018

I have lost track of how many new spells, magic items, occult powers and monsters I have written for these two. 

I am hoping to open 2019 with some new fun stuff, like my love letter to 80s horror, Völlig Losgelöst and Space Truckers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: A Discovery of Witches

“It begins with absence and desire.
It begins with blood and fear.
It begins with a discovery of witches.” 
- Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches

I read Deborah Harkness' "A Discovery of Witches" a bit back.  I kept debating on whether or not to stop reading it many times.

Somethings about the book rubbed me wrong.  While I can appreciate the scholarship that went into this book there were some things that just bugged me.
Diana Bishop, our protagonist, is supposed to be a smart, independent woman.  She is a Ph.D. and overtly a feminist.  So why does she keep falling for the dry as old paint vampire?
The story has an interesting quest, the search for an alchemical text that might have something to do with all creatures (vampires and witches). They run all over the world and do a lot of research.
I stuck through it till the end, since I think there was an interesting mystery in there with some fairly unitesting characters in my mind.
In the end I wanted to like it more than I did, but I did read the next one in the series too.  More that one later.

You can find Deborah Harkness on the web at http://deborahharkness.com/.

2018 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Books Read so far: 3
Level: Initiate
Witches in this book: Dozens, more implied
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Good for the most part, but some evil.
Best RPG to Emulate it: I get a New World of Darkness vibe here. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: Crash Override

 
"Sometimes you need to burn a bridge while you are still standing on so they know you mean business. ... All us witches, past present and future, need to do better...Suffer us witches to live." 
 - Zoë Quinn

This might seem like a stretch here but stay with me on this.  I finished reading Zoë Quinn's Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, and I am going to make the case this is a book about a modern witch and the witchhunt that came from it.

I want to get into the meat of the book, but let me address the parallels first.

Zoë Quinn began, like many historical witches, as a woman a bit marginalized from the world but found solace, comfort and even expertise in a traditionally "man's space".  For the witches of old this was often medical knowledge in a world of male doctors or religious knowledge in a world of male clergy.  In any case, she was a  woman (or a girl really, she was not much older than my son when this all went down) against a patriarchy.  Does that sound like a feminist theory to you?  It is ONLY if never actually studied feminist theory or have ever used the word "feminazi" in anything other than a derisive tone.  She was attacked and all but pilloried and burned at the stake.  Though virtually speaking she was. She even describes the mob after her as a group of "inquisitors".  The appropriate name really.

Actions speak louder than words and while I had heard and read the words of these internet inquisitors and gatekeepers of their "culture" I don't for a second believe them.  Their claims can be easily dismissed and discarded.  There were no witches on Pendle Hill in 1612. No devil in Loudun, France (1634). There was no devil in Salem (1692), no Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and no conspiracy in August 2014 to censor video games*.  (yes there is more than this, but the trouble is sorting through a metric ton of shit to get to it. This is not the place to detail my last couple of years of "ritual filth" reading about this and going to where they "live".)

But like those times, facts do not matter once the mob smells blood in the water, or online.  Quinn is a bit more understanding of her inquisitors, the ones that would see her dead for the audacity of being a woman.  I do not extend to them the same benefit of the doubt; I have seen this play out too many times in the exact same way with nearly textbook results.

Zoë Quinn is a witch, an unburnt witch in fact (her nom de' net in fact), and like the best witches of old, her name and exploits will outlive her inquisitors and tormentors.

She spends the first half of her book recounting her love of video games, finding solace online with like-minded people and discovering that she too could build something or make something.  There were many times I smiled or laughed out loud because I could relate to exactly to what she was doing and feeling.  Then we get to that day in August of 2014 where the mob, spurred on by an abusive ex-boyfriend and some easily dismissed internet rumors decides to act.
I have seen online abuse first hand, I have also stood on the sidelines and watched it unfold like a spectator sport.  So it was not without some personal horror that I listened to what she went through.
Honestly, you have to have zero empathy not be moved here.  Even IF (in all caps) she did the things she was accused of, it doesn't justify the violent outburst here.  (seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?)

There is some repetition, but this is a memoir, not a research paper. It is told like a memoir, with the unedited bits of a person's messy life left in. And the author is quite upfront about that.  In fact listening to it you get the feeling it could have been a "LiveJournal" post AND that is perfectly fine because that is the vibe the author wants.  Listen to her words and what she wants, the book is the ultimate expression of that. It is also almost, but not quite, a requiem for a life lost.  I can tell you, as a former QMHP, she sounds EXACTLY like people I used to counsel after they had dealt with something traumatic or after a significant period of depression.  I do not doubt that these are the words from someone who has in my professional opinion "seen some shit".

The first half had me depressed and sad for this girl. But the second half made happy for the woman she has become and what she has been able to do.  Sure, she can never get back that old life.  In many ways, her tale is the same of that as someone that has suffered a traumatic disease or accident.  In others, it is worse, because she knows if it were not for the actions of others she could go back to that old life and do the things she loved.

The last half of the book's title is "How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate" and she talks about what she has done and what she has been doing and freely admits that she is neither equipped or qualified to do the job that needs to be done.  I hope she will excuse the Batman allusion here (she has a section "You are not Batman"), but she is the hero we need.

She is open about needing more non-CIS, non-white, non-male voices in this fight. Not that we don't need CIS hetro white males, it's just that people like that, like me, are a dime a dozen.  We are.  She is open and even empathizes with the mobs of inquisitors that were after her; not wanting them to be subject to same actions she faced.  She is very cognizant (maybe painfully so) of the limitations of the tech companies and law enforcement.

To top it all off she built the Crash Override Network to help other victims of online abuse.
This alone is worthy of praise.

In the end, her advice is simple, be better to each other online and try to empathize with the human on the other side of the screen.   She knows there is a lot of work to do and this only the start.

Final note. I listened to the audiobook version of this with Zoë Quinn reading it herself.  I think that was a great choice for me, to hear her own words in her own voice, but also to get her to do it.  She knew when to be funny and when to be sad more than some other narrator.

You can find Zoë Quinn on the web here: http://www.crashoverridenetwork.com

2018 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

Books Read so far: 2
Level: Initiate
Witches in this book: 1. Keep in mind that "Witch" has never, EVER been an insult in my mind.
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Good, but in her own words, flawed.
Best RPG to Emulate it: NA. But the snarky part of me does want to build a ShadowRun game around this with real trolls and real witches.
Use in WotWQMaybe not appropriate, but this was one of many real-life events that got me to write the Aiséiligh Tradition Witch.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: Mistress of Ambiguities (Silverglass #4)

“But I-But you-Do you mean to say that you’re the Witch of Rhostshyl?”
“It’s not a title to which I lay formal claim,” said Nyctasia, smiling, “but, yes, I’m called that.

Here we are with the last of the Silverglass books. It is our time to bid witch Nyctasia r'n Edonaris brenn Rhostshyl and mercenary Corson brenn Torisk, Sorry, Lady Corson goodbye.

Nyctasia is finding her home as ruler of Rhostshyl while Corson...well she is back at the Hare getting drunk and looking for fights to pick.  In the meantime men from their pasts have come back.  For Corson it is scholar from her past that taught her how to read, amonge other things, and is now looking for work.  For Nyctasia her former lover Ben is back.  Trouble is Ben was supposedly killed in the Yth Wood back in Book 1.
Now it would be great if all these plots all came together to a satisfaying ending, but they don't. Not Really.  Ben never really lives up to his former glory or threat. The scholar thread went no where and even the drama of Nyctasia rulership of Rhostshyl was anti-climatic.
I got the feeling that the authors had a bunch of ideas and notes and a 4 book deal.

Still though, it was a fun read and I am going miss these two.

2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
2017 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
Books Read so far: 22
Level: Crone
Witches in this book: Nyctasia, even if she denies her own power.
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: Nycatasia
Best RPG to Emulate it: Nearly any D&D game would work great. Tying D&D 5 for this one.
Use in WotWQ: Yes.  I absolutely need to include these two in my War of the Witch Queens.

I could not let the year go out and not try these two out under D&D5.
Corson is remarkablly easy.  She is a fighter with military training and she likes to get into fights.
For Nyctasia I first tried her out a sorcerer and even considered a druid for about 30 seconds. In the end I went with one of the new Warlocks with a Celestial Pact.  It seemed to be the right choice for the Vahnite religion and her ability to heal others.  I gave her Pact of the Tome to cover her scholar background since made D&D5 Background as a Noble.

Corson brenn Torisk, D&D 5th Edition (PDF)

Nyctasia r'n Edonaris brenn Rhostshyl, D&D 5th Edition (PDF)

Book 1: Silverglass
Book 2: Web of Wind
Book 3: Witch of Rhostshyl

And with that my 2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge is at an end.  Looking forward to 2018!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2nd Ed Unboxing

I am interrupting today's normal posting for something I have been waiting for for a long time.

Working from home today and my doorbell rang.  Sitting on my porch was a big box!


I immediately knew what this was and got out my phone.

a few cuts and what do we have inside?



A HUGE copy of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2nd Ed!

When I say huge, I mean it.


I cleared out space on my "OSR" shelf, but now I think I need to clear out a lot more.


The book is gorgeous really.




And that is only the tip of the iceberg really.

There is a new map that is huge improvement over the old map.



It is in color and much larger.  But it is not as thick.


The new book is great and it will sit next my 1st Ed box rather nicely.


+Jeff Talanian and David Prata did a hell of a job on this.  Can't wait to game with this one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...