Showing posts with label character. Show all posts
Showing posts with label character. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Your Time is Gonna Come: More Character Life (and Death) Span Development

Working on a project (more on that in a couple of days) and I came across my original post on Character Life Span Development.

The idea is that I would run a game, or rather a mega-game where the different parts of a character's life would be handled by different games.   My game choices have changed since that first post, but the ideas have not.

My witch Larina at various ages
For Pre-Teen and Teen, I want to use Dark Places & Demogorgons.  I have spilled a lot of virtual ink on DP&D, so you can read all of that here.  I also happen to think it is a great game and really grabs what I want to do.  The question remains is how well will it mix with something like Little Fears for the ages before?

I still want Unisystem for adult years and maybe one of the Worlds of Darkness games for later adulthood.  But it is the afterlife that has me interested now.  Or maybe even the before life.

Elizabeth Chaipraditkul writes a good game.  Her writing and style is quite evocative and I can't help be pulled into her games.  Her latest, Afterlife: Wandering Souls is in it's last few days of Kickstarter and it looks like it will be great.

She does have a Quick Start of it out now, and it is giving me ideas.  Actually, it is making me want to use it in many of my games

How about this.  I am going to have my group (hypothetical at this point since all my groups are really busy with our current games) make some basic character concepts that will work in any age or game.  Well, any age or game that magic is real. 

Run them through a D&D adventure where everyone dies. Pick up the next game with Afterlife: Wandering Souls.  These would be the now dead characters that no longer remember who they were.

Play through a couple of games of Afterlife till they are reincarnated into the next games.

So maybe my Life-Death-Rebirth character development can be something like this:

D&D 🠺 After Life 🠺 Little Fears 🠺 Dark Places & Demogorgons 🠺 Unisystem/WitchCraft 🠺 Mage 🠺 Kult

Seven games, figure two "Adventrures" per game, for 14 games. 

I think the lynchpin of this will be whatever the characters (and the players) discover about themselves in Afterlife. The logical endpoint then for me at least is Kult.

I could also do a "Past Lives" or "Alternate Lives" development with very different kinds of worlds too. Maybe something like Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion.
I did something like this back in 2010 when I was running parallel Pathfinder and D&D 4 games with the same characters.   If that is the case I would want to throw in some Ghosts of Albion, Call of Cthulhu and maybe even some Exalted.

I have already done this with many characters including Willow and Tara. It would take a lot of prep and planning and players willing to work out some details ahead of time, but it could be very rewarding. 

Of course, this idea is ambitious, so I might try out little pieces of it in other games and see how it works.   I have used Basic D&D as a "flashback" for one of my D&D 5 games, so I know the idea has merit.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Melisandre. Priestess or Witch?

"The Night is dark and full of terrors."
- Melisandre

Melisandre of Asshai - by John Picacio
Game of Thrones is in its final season and so far it has not disappointed me.  Well...there was that "whole new world" scene with Dany, Jon, and the dragons.
This past week we got to see the Red Woman, Melisandre again during the battle at Winterfell against the Night King and his army of the dead.  It was so fantastic, to be honest.   Loved the battle, loved how the episode ended.  Everything.

But I am not here today to talk about the battle.

I want to talk about Melisandre.
In particular is she a Priestess, read Cleric, or is she as many will claim, a Witch?

I thought a firey red priestess/witch would be good for Beltane today.

Let's look at what we know.  I am going to focus nearly exclusively on the TV show on HBO.  I'll grab from the books when needed to smooth out some details or get answers to questions.

In many ways, I am going to follow the spirit of my other series, One Man's God and Class Struggles.

What is Known
Or Me nem nesa as the Dothraki say.

We know that Melisandre calls herself a priestess of the god R'hllor, known as the Red God, The Lord of Light or the One True God.  In Westeros this sets her apart from most people as they tend to worship the Seven, or the New Gods. The ones that don't worship the "Old Gods".
Melisandre claims that all the other gods are false gods.  Most people have no issues with the Old or New Gods, so this also sets her apart.

She has seen to have powers of divination, cursing, breeding shadow spawn, summoning fire and the greatest, bringing people back from the dead.  She able to cast glamours and her red-gold choker seems to keep her young or at least appear young.
We know she is very, very old. She was a slave named "Melony" who was sold to the Red Temple in Asshai.

Looking at her through the lens of classes in D&D, and in particular B/X version, has many limitations.  It is still a fruitful exercise though.  For starters, it shows the flexibility of the B/X flavor of classes. It also helps me see how well my own witch classes can emulate various media representations of witches.  My philosophy in game and class design has always been "if a player wants to do to something my rules should tell them how they CAN do it, not how they CAN'T." (I hear grognards, OSR purists and other screaming in rage now. That's fine, let them scream.)

So let's pull out my D&D Expert book and give Melisandre a go.

Melisandre is a Priestess
This is the easiest of course. She refers to herself as a priestess as do others.  Her religion is widely accepted in Essos and treated as such.  The biggest clue, of course, is her ability to raise the dead, a power she claims is not hers, but that of the Lord of Light.  Her spells and powers seem closest to a cleric.
If we take "Raise Dead" as the peak of her powers then that puts her level at a minimum of 7th level for B/X D&D. I would not say she is much past 9th level, but I am willing to accept 9th.

Melisandre, Priestess of R'hllor


7th level female Cleric

Strength: 9
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 17
Dexterity: 10
Constitution: 12
Charisma: 17

AC: 9
HP: 33

Magic items: Necklace of Protection Against Aging

Spells
First: Cure Light Wounds, Light, Remove Fear
Second: Hold Person, Resist Fire, Silence 15' radius
Third: Continual Light, Remove Curse, Striking
Fourth: Cure Serious Wounds, Protection/Evil 10' radius
Fifth: Commune, Raise Dead

Close...but missing some of her abilities she is really known for, starting fires and giving birth to shadow monsters.  Plus by the rules Melisandre the Cleric can Turn Undead.  That skill would have been helpful in the Battle of Winterfell.

Taking a peek at my 5th Edition D&D books it looks like a Cleric and not a Warlock or Druid would be the best choice.

Let's see how she works as a witch.

Melisandre is a Witch
Of course, for that, I would also need to decide on a tradition for her.  Something like Lord of Light Tradition.  Witches, in general, do not get the spell Raise Dead.  So I am thinking that should be an occult power.  Something they gain at 7th level.
Also, there is her lesser explored power of alchemy/herbalism.  Something all witches get.

Melisandre, Witch of R'hllor


9th level female Witch, Lord of Light Tradition

Strength: 9
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 17
Dexterity: 10
Constitution: 12
Charisma: 17

AC: 9
HP: 26

Magic items: Necklace of Protection Against Aging

Occult Powers
Familiar: Spirit of fire
Herb Use
Raise Dead

Spells
First: Bewitch I, Burning Hands, Glamour
Second: Augury, Dark Whispers, Hypnotize
Third: Bestow Curse, Brave the Flames
Fourth: Divination, Intangible Cloak of Shadows
Fifth: Summon Shadow

So I had to raise her level to 9th to get the Summon Shadow spell.  In general, I like her spell choices as a witch better.  BUT that could be my biases since I have written so many (900+ so far!) and I have many to fit an exact situation.

She doesn't really have a familiar, so I am saying her "familiar" is her ability to look into flames.
I also did not give her any "bonus" spells since I wanted a pure B/X experience here.

I should point out that Green Ronin produces a very fine game based, not on the TV show, but the books in A Song of Ice and Fire.


It's Beltane! A time for witches to celebrate.  Start your own celebrations with my new witch book: Daughters of Darkness, The Mara Witch Tradition

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Refrigerator for Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

Still playing around with Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition, so this time I decided to bring back a villain to challenge Justice.

A while back I introduced you all to Dr. Andreas Gelé, aka The Refrigerator. He is a socially stunted misanthrope with mommy issues and the intellect to act out in the worst ways possible.
This guy came, literally, out of a nightmare.  Around 1982 or so (I was 12) I was hit with a double shot of women being frozen alive, the movies were "In Like Flint" and "Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die". It really bugged the hell out of me and gave me nightmares for a long time.  Still kind of bugs me.  Of course, later I learned there is a whole creepy fetish thing related to this.  I think my issue is far more elemental.  I hate being cold and think being frozen is quite possibly the worst thing ever.

What solidified this character for me was a cover from the pulp magazine "Horror Stories" from 1937.


The cover is by John Newton Howett and typical pulp tradition it was reused for the first issue of Startling Mystery. That picture deserves a villain.  I have not found the issue yet so I can't say if there is a story that goes with that cover. But I have enough of my own nightmare fuel.

His name, The Refrigerator, has a nice pulpy sound to it, but that is not its origin.  He was named for the comics trope, Women in Refrigerators.   I figure I will have superheroes in my games fight this trope in a quite literal way.

History of The Refrigerator
Dr. Andreas Gelé was born to wealth and privilege but never to love.  His father was a rich industrialist who made his money on the work of others and his mother was a noted and beautiful stage actress.  From his father, he gained his intellect and from his mother, he learned lessons in cruelty.

As his mother aged she became more distant and crueler.  In his mind's eye, he still saw her as beautiful. This was reinforced by all the pictures of her on the wall of their estates where she was young, beautiful and happy. Frozen in time.  Gelé began to work on a process to forever keep the beautiful women young.  He was drawn to beautiful women, and his prestige later as a doctor and his wealth made that easy.  But he never could talk to or relate to them having grown up socially stunted.  So Gelé embarked on a plan so he could have his desires met.


His first experiments in cryonics were failures. Animals would not return to life when frozen and even when he perfected the process they still had damage.  Finally through a combination of fluids and gases at supercooled temperatures.  He tested it first on his hated father. He died soon after he was free of the ice, but Gelé expected that since the old man's heart was now weak.  He froze his mother next. He was overjoyed that the ice preserved her remaining beauty.


All his research though has left his fortunes depleted so he robs banks to keep himself funded for more research and to keep his "beauties" on ice.

The Refrigerator Today
The Refrigerator is very much a pulp style villain.  I always pictured his mother as a silent film star and his father cut from the same cloth as the business men of the early 20th century.  So how is he still around today?  Or more to the point how is he still around in the world of 2040 where Justice is from?  Well, that is easy really.  Sometime after his last defeat, he escapes the authorities once again and freezes himself to be awakened at a future date.  The plot point here is that the future date is much later than Dr. Gelé planned on and now it is the 21st Century.  Still, undeterred he goes about rebuilding his "collection".

Dr. Andreas Gelé, "The Refrigerator"

Archetype: Gadgeteer / Scientist
Major Villian

Edge 10
Health 3
Class Major
Group None

ABILITIES
Agility 1d
Intellect 7d
Might 1d
Perception 3d
Toughness 3d
Willpower 3d

TALENTS
Academics 6d
Charm 1d
Command 3d
Covert 3d
Investigation 3d
Medicine 7d
Professional 4d
Science 7d
Streetwise 2d
Survival 4d
Technology 5d
Vehicles 2d

POWERS
Omni Power (Gadget, Cold Protection Suit)
- Armor 10 Points, 5 toughness
- Healing (self only) 10 points
- Hibernation
- Immunity (cold, ice)
- Super Senses (thermal vision)

Omni Power (Gadget, Freeze Ray gun) (Item)
- Blast (freeze ray)
- Elemental Control (ice)
- Hibernation ray (Affect Others)
- Charges (Con) 3 times per scene
- Signature (ice residue)

Expertise (Cryonics)

PERKS
Headquarters (lab)
Resources
Great Wealth (has built it back up over the years)

FLAWS
Quirk (arrogant)
Compulsion (seek out beautiful women)
Insane (misanthrope)

GEAR
Cold Protection outfit
Freeze ray gun

DESCRIPTION
Age: 99 (appears to be in his late 30s)
Sex: Male
Hair: Gray
Eyes: Ice Blue

MOTIVATION
Power (over others, over the ravages of time)

CONNECTIONS
Iron Maiden (sometimes aids him in shared goals)

Horrible bit of work isn't he.  But I wanted a villain that people really hate.   He is after Justice because all he can see her as is a beautiful prize to add to his collection.  He would say it is because of her strength and unique heritage, but he is much more shallow than that.  All he sees is a 6'2" supermodel.   In his own sense of superiority, he can't even see Justice as equal, even though she is his superior in every aspect.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Vampire Willow & Vampire Tara: Ubiquity / Leagues of Gothic Horror

I love Ubiquity.  It's a great system that has the cinematic feel of Unisystem and the grit of Savage Worlds.

Leagues of AdventureLeagues of Gothic Horror and Leagues of Cthulhu are Ubiquity powered games from Triple Ace Games.  The Hollow Earth Expedition RPG is a Ubiquity powered adventure game from Exile Game Studios.  All these games are compatible and together give us a world full of adventure and horror.

There is a new Kickstarter for Leagues of Gothic Horror RPG Expansions from Triple Ace Games.  It looks like a bunch of fun (as all the LoGH books are).

So today though I wanted to come back to some characters near and dear to my heart.
The Vampire versions of Willow & Tara.  In of particular use to us here is Leagues of Gothic Horror: Guide to Vampires and Guide to Black Magic.

Of course, everyone knows who Vampire Willow is. Vampire Tara appeared in the video game Chaos Bleeds and the related stories, all by Christopher Golden.  They also appear in the Wish-verse comic One Soul.

I have also used Vampire Willow and Tara in my adventure Through a Glass Darkly. I stated up Vampire Tara for both Cortex and Unisystem.  I always meant to do Vampire Willow, but never got around to it.  Well, in truth Vamp Willow for Unisystem appears in one of the books (forget which one, I remember writing the stats) and I don't play Cortex anymore.


Here they are for Leagues of Gothic Horror, though for a modern age game.

Vampire Willow
Vampire Willow
Willow Danielle Rosenberg
Female Vampire Witch

Patron 3
Archetype: Vampire
Motivation: Mayhem, Protect Tara

Style: 5
Health 11*

Primary Attributes
Body 5, Dexterity 6, Strength 5, Charisma 6, Intelligence 6, Willpower 5

Secondary Attributes
Size 0, Move 11, Perception 11, Initiative 12, Defense 11, Stun 5*

Skills
Academics: Computers 7, Religion 3, Athletics 6, Brawl 6, Con 5, Diplomacy 4, Intimidation 7, Linguistics 5, Science 4, Survival 3

Talents
Attractive +3, Fearsome, Fearsome Attack, Magical Aptitude, Tough, Unarmed Parry (can block melee weapons), Well Educated

Resources
Contacts 2

Rituals
Empower, Fear, Greater Hex, Harm,

Flaw
Thirst for Blood (+1 Style point when her unholy appetite reveals its true nature), Lustful

Weapons
Bite 9L**, Punch 9N

Vampire Willow has less experience as a witch than her human counterpart.  This is not a problem as Willow prefers to use her vampire powers to scare and intimidate.



Vampire Tara
Vampire Tara
Tara Ann Maclay
Female Vampire Witch

Patron 2
Archetype: Vampire
Motivation: Stay with Willow

Style: 5
Health 11*

Primary Attributes
Body 6, Dexterity 5, Strength 5, Charisma 6, Intelligence 4, Willpower 6

Secondary Attributes
Size 0, Move 10, Perception 10, Initiative 9, Defense 11, Stun 6*

Skills
Academics: Art 4, Religion 1, Animal Handling: Horses 4, Athletics 3, Brawl 5, Diplomacy 5, Empathy 4, Intimidation 7, Linguistics 4, Performance 3, Survival 3

Talents
Animal Affinity, Attractive +2, Danger Sense, Fearsome Attack, Magical Aptitude, Tough, Unarmed Parry (can block melee weapons),

Resources
Contacts 2

Rituals
Empower, Fear, Greater Hex, Harm, Lesser Hexr, Spirit Binding, Summon Animal

Flaw
Thirst for Blood (+1 Style point when her unholy appetite reveals its true nature), Danger Magnet

Weapons
Bite 9L**, Punch 9N

Tara was essentially the same witch she was in Season 4 prior to becoming a vampire.

* Vampires are immune to lethal and nonlethal damage except fire or holy objects.
** If Vampire Willow or Tara scores 3+ successes on her bite attack, she has latched onto her victim’s neck. Until she ceases feeding voluntarily or is forcibly removed (as per ending a grapple), the victim takes automatic damage equal to her Strength rating each round.

Decapitation/Piercing the Heart: This requires a Called Shot against a vital area. If the damage exceeds the Vampire’s Body rating, she is instantly killed, otherwise, the attack has no effect.

All in all good builds I think.
Make sure you check out the Kickstarter for Leagues of Gothic Horror Expansions.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Zatannurday: Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

Let's try my hand at doing some stats for Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition.  I can think of no one better than Zatanna.

Zatanna Zatara

Concept: Daughter of stage magician John "Giovanni" Zatara.  Both father and daughter can use real magic.

Joanie Brosas as Zatanna. This weekend at C2E2 Booth #1553
HERO
Edge 11
Health 6
Resolve 4
Hero Points 125

ABILITIES
Agility 3d
Intellect 5d
Might 3d
Perception 4d
Toughness 3d
Willpower 9d

TALENTS
Academics 6d (mostly related to magic and the occult)
Charm 5d
Command 4d
Covert 2d
Investigation 3d
Medicine 2d
Professional 4d (professional stage magician)
Science 3d
Streetwise 2d
Survival 2d
Technology 3d
Vehicles 1d

POWERS
Sorcery, Omni-Power (Sorcery, Broad) 14d (Area)
Cons: Concentration, Situational: Must say spells backwards

PERKS
Contacts (Justice League)
Fame
Wealth

FLAWS
Public Identity (not in the book, but going to try it)

GEAR
Stage magician's garb, top hat, and magic wand (the wand is only a prop).

DESCRIPTION
Age: Early 30s
Sex: Female
Hair: Black
Eyes: Blue (varies on artists)

MOTIVATION
Responsibility (and Adventure)

CONNECTIONS
Dr. Fate: Fellow mage
Batman: Old friend
John Constantine: Ex-boyfriend, constant pain in her ass.
Madame Xanadu: Friendly Rival
June Moon / Sorceress: Frenemy, Less friendly rival?  Depends on June's attitude and sanity.

Ok, that took only about 20 mins.  I bet future characters builds will be much faster.
Most of her points are being dumped into her Sorcery Omni-Power.  She can replicate any other power in the book (within reason) but she must say the spell backward and she can generally only concentrate on one effect at a time.  I might not have gotten everything 100% by the book, but I will try some other builds in the next week or so.

Make sure you check out the Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition Kickstarter.
I am going to try some more over the next week.

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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Darlessa the Vampire Queen

I have had a long and sorted history with the "Vampire Queen" in my games.

One of the first adventures I worked on for OSR publication was called "The Tomb of the Vampire Princess" or "Vampire Queen" or "Palace" depending on my mood at the time.

I essentially saw it as a sequel of sorts to the original Wee Warriors / Pacesetter Games "Palace of the Vampire Queen".  But a few things happened. First Mark Taormino published his own "Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen" which was AWESOME.  Then Bill Barsh of Pacesetter Games produced some sequels of his own with Castle Blood and Crypts of the Living.
So the need for my own sequel dwindled.

A couple years back Small Niche Games produced Guidebook to the Duchy of Valnwall. I had the pleasure of working on that product.  I submitted a character to be "Saint" in the game, Father Johan Werper, my very first D&D character ever.  When I got my copy I was so thrilled. Something I had wanted to happen for ages was going to happen, Johan was going to be a real saint in a "D&D" book! I opened it up and I was not disappointed at all!  Moreover the book's main author and designer Pete Spahn had added this section:
He died in a tragic tale that is recounted in the Hunt for the Dark Mistress, where he tracked down and slew Darlessa the Vampire Queen who had abducted his granddaughter.
Unfortunately, Johan was himself cursed by the taint of the vampire's blood. Rather than remain an undead abomination, he bid goodbye to his granddaughter and used the last of his strength to douse his body with oil and set himself alight.
Pete never contacted me about this and I could not have been happier!  Without knowing it he included things that happened in my game; Johan dying and leaving his granddaughter, Celene, behind (Celene was my first 2nd Ed character, and afraid of the dark.  Now I know why).  The use of holy oil in my games (does 1d8 damage to undead; more when lit) and of course giving a name to an enemy that had been lurking in the back of my mind ever since I first read about Elizabeth Bathory.

It was like throwing a deck of cards into the air and having them land in a perfect house of cards.

So modules V5 and V6 combined will cover a lot of similar territory to what I was going to do in my adventure. So I'll just drop that and keep the elements that are new.  The opening of the crypts.

I have a stack of various notes, maps, ideas and going through them all I think I have something pretty cool here.  I'll have to get it all together in time for my annual Halloween horror game.

Right now the working title is Descent into the Crypts of the Vampire Queen. It will be my homage to the great adventures of the Golden Era but also a nod to the two Vampire Queen adventures that brought me so much joy.

Here she is for Advanced Labyrinth Lord.

Darlessa, The Queen of Vampires
Female Vampire Witch, Demonic Tradition
No. Enc.: 1 (Unique)
Alignment: Chaotic (evil)
Movement: 120’ (40’)
   Fly: 180’ (60’)
Armor Class: -5 (bracers of defense, amulet of protection, ring of protection)
Hit Dice: 13
Attacks: 1 (touch, see below) or spell
Damage: 1d10, drain 2 points of Constitution, witch Spells
Save: W13
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: XXII
XP: 11,400

Str: 18 Int: 15 Wis: 14 Dex: 18 Con: (18) Cha: 22

In addition to the powers of a vampire, Darlessa has the following witch spells and Occult Powers.  She casts as a 13th level witch.

Spells by Level
Cantrip (3+5): Alarm Ward, Black Flame, Daze, Knot, Mend, Mote of Light, Object Reading, Spark
1st (4+3): Burning Hands, Cause Fear, Everlasting Candle, Hecate's Spiritual Dog, Minor Curse, Read Languages
2nd (4+3): Agony, Bewitch II, Burning Gaze, Enthrall, Ghost Touch, Produce Flame, Rite of Remote Seeing
3rd (3+2): Astral Sense, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Danse Macabre, Toad Mind, Tongues
4th (3+2): Arcane Eye, Bewitch IV, Elemental Armor, Moonlit Way, Phantom Lacerations
5th (2): Death Curse, Greater Command
6th (2): Death Blade
7th (1): Wave of Mutilation

Occult Powers
Familiar (Undead Raven)
Evil’s Touch
Devil’s Tongue

Magic Items
Intangible Cloak of Shadows, Amulet of Protection* (also prevents cleric turning), bracers of defense, ring of protection, ring spell storing.

Links to Adventures



Links to my 'Vampire Queen' posts



Thursday, February 28, 2019

Tanith, Iconic Witch for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

When Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea first edition came out I loved it.  At the time I was also doing a bunch of reading of what I was calling "Beyond Appendix N", or similar authors and time periods, but with much more of an occult bend to it all.  Not "real" occult, but pop-culture occult.  I wanted to get a good feel for what people were reading at the time D&D was created to really capture the idea of a "D&D Witch".
A lot of that reading would later go into the making of my Swords & Wizardry witch classes.
But AS&SH was never far from my physical and mental reaches.

A Witch Shall Be Born

With the idea of old witch families and dark occult secrets passed down generations I started putting together some ideas, overtly for a different project.
So back in 2014-5 I jotted this down in some notes:

Winters
The Winter family is very, very old. So old in fact that many people believe that the season was named for them. As their name implies their magic comes from the use and application of cold.
In this family, only women can become witches.  Once a girl in the family turns 13 her hair will turn white and this is the sign that she must travel north to train with the ancient Grandmother Winters.  The girls return to the family a year and a day later with the basic knowledge of their family witchcraft.  Once returned they will continue their training with other women in their family.  Each year they all congregate at a location determined by Grandmother Winters, usually one of the larger homes of the family.  The family gathers to begin their celebrations on the Winter Solstice, the height of their power.
The family is common in the northern, colder climes.  They own lots of land, but their homes tend to be more primitive than the local homes. Longhouses are most common. Women are almost exclusively witches, with the occasional priest or even wizard.  Men tend to be barbarians, warriors or occasional bard.  They are masters of survival in the cold.   Witches gain the Chill Touch spell for free.
Dark Secrets: The Winters Clan often are associated with darker, colder gods like Chernobog.  Their men are often accused of lycanthropy, mostly as werewolves.
Clan leader: Grandmother Winters
Current PC: Tanith Winters

Tanith Winters was born.

Tanith became my first AS&SH PC witch.  She never got past 2nd level since I tend to be the Gamer Master rather than the player.  Later I converted her to Swords & Wizardry and she became my first play-test Winter Witch.

I figure this is a good time to bring her home to Hyperborea.

The new Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea now has a Cyromancer class.  Something that I didn't have when I made Tanith.  To use the Winters family in AS&SH2 I would have some of the men, a rare few, become Cryomancers. Most would be Barbarians or Huntsmen.
Members of the Winters family tend to be shorter and smaller than other Hyperboreans. It has to lead to the pervasive rumor that they are in fact "Elf-folk" and not really human at all.

Yes. I named her for Tanith Lee.

Tanith Winters

Base Stats

Female Hyperborean Witch
Alignment: Neutral (but it is likely she will move towards Evil at some point)

Languages: Common, Hellenic (Hyperborean), Old Norse, Speak with the Dead, Speak with Nature Spirits
Size: M (Height: 5'2", 114lbs)
Move: 40
Saving Throw Modifiers: Transformation +2, Sorcery +2
Secondary Skill: Weaver (almost all Winters women begin as weavers)
God: Lunaqqua

ST 10 [+0 +0 2:6 2%]
DX 14 [+1 +0 3:6 8%]
CN 13 [+1 +0 80% 3:6 8%]
IN 16 [+1 75%]
WS 12 [+0]
CH 16 [+1 8 +1]

Snowy Owl Familiar ("Beira"): AL N; SZ S; MV 10 (Fly 80); DX 15; AC 7; HD 1/4 (hp 5); #AT 3/1 (claw, claw, bite); D 1/1/1; SV 17; ML 5; XP 11

Normal Gear
Winter robes, winter cloak, clothing, daggers (2), backpack, woolen blanket, chalk, ink and quill, polished steel mirror, incendiary oil, parchment (4), soft leather pouch (2), small sack (2), tinderbox, torches (2), wineskin (mead), writing stick, iron rations (one week), spellbook (contains all prepared spells), 1 gp, 5 sp

1st level Witch

Age: 14 (1 year and a day since training with Grandmother Winters)
AC: 9 (heavy cloak of winter)
HD: 1
hp: 5
FA: 0
CA: 1
#Attacks: 1/1
Damage: 1d4 (dagger), 1d4 (sling)
SV: 16
ML: 9
XP: 20

Abilities
Speak with the dead; Speak with nature spirits; Brew Poison (once per month) Ingestible I; Brew Potion 1/month (a hallucinogen, a paralytic, or a soporific);  Read Magic; Read Scrolls; Scribe Scrolls; Familiar (Snowy owl);

Spells
First level (1+1): Sleep, Write Spell

Gear and Magic: Scroll (detect magic), wineskin (sapphire wine*),  amulet of undead turning (TA 3),

5th level Witch

Age: 19
AC: 4
HD: 5
hp: 19
FA: 2
CA: 5
#Attacks: 1/1
Damage: 1d4 (dagger), 1d4 (sling)
SV: 14
ML: 10
XP:  200

Abilities
Speak with the dead; Speak with nature spirits; Brew Poison (once per month) Ingestible I, Ingestible II, Ingestible III; Brew Potion 2/month (a hallucinogen, a paralytic, or a soporific);  Read Magic; Read Scrolls; Scribe Scrolls; Familiar (Snowy owl); Brew Philtre 1/month; Dance of Beguilement; Effigy

Spells
First level ( 3+1): Charm Person, Shocking Grasp, Sleep, Write Spell
Second level (2+1): Darkness, Extrasensory Perception, Ray of Enfeeblement
Third level (1): Phantasm

Gear and Magic: Scroll (detect invisible), potion of healing, antidote, wand of freezing, ring of feather falling, amulet of undead turning (TA 3), Bead of Force, Defensive Bracers (AC 4)

9th level Witch

Age: 24
(add one point of Intelligence, IN 17, +one level 3 spell, 85% chance to learn)
Age: 19
AC: 4
HD: 9
hp: 35
FA: 4
CA: 9
#Attacks: 1/1
Damage: 1d4 (dagger), 1d4 (sling)
SV: 12
ML: 12
XP: 1,500

Abilities
Speak with the dead; Speak with nature spirits; Brew Poison (once per month) Ingestible I, Ingestible II, Ingestible III, Ingestible IV, Ingestible V; Brew Potion 3/month (a hallucinogen, a paralytic, or a soporific);  Read Magic; Read Scrolls; Scribe Scrolls; Familiar (Snowy owl); Brew Philtre 1/month; Dance of Beguilement; Effigy; Witch's Apprentice

Spells
First level (5+1): Charm Person, Light, Scare, Shocking Grasp, Sleep, Write Spell
Second level (4+1): Darkness, Extrasensory Perception, Identify, Ray of Enfeeblement, Ungovernable Hideous Laughter
Third level (3+1): Continous Darkness, Slow, Phantasm, Wind Wall
Fourth level (2): Freeze Surface, Moonlight
Fifth level (1): Cause Lycanthropy

Gear and Magic: Scroll (detect magic), wineskin (sapphire wine*), sapphire necklace, platinum ring, potion of healing, wand of freezing, wand of lightning bolts, ring of feather falling, ring of warmness, amulet of undead turning (TA 3), Defensive Bracers (AC 4), Crystal Ball, Horn of Valhalla

*sapphire wine is made by the Winters family. It is very strong and used as a bartering item between northern clans.

About
Tanith Winters was born on a very auspicious night. It was midnight on the Winter Solstice during a full moon.  She was born with a full head of blonde hair and bright blue eyes.  So notable was her birth that Grandmother Winters herself came to southern lands (though still considered the north by most others) to see this new babe.  To everyone's delight, she proclaimed that she would train this child when she came of age (13) and to everyone's gasps she also promised babe to her own grandson for marriage.  The grandson, Azhrarn, was already as a teen a powerful Cryomancer and was considered to be one of the most handsome men produced by the Winters clan. He was also a notorious rake and already showing signs of the family curse of lycanthropy.

Tanith grew and learned witchcraft from one of the most powerful witches in the world.  While she grew in power and womanhood her cousin Azhran also grew in power, but also more evil.  After her intial training Tanith took up with a group of adventurers in an attempt to delay her fate.  She knows that it is only a matter of time before Azhrarn finds her. She hopes that she will also be powerful enough to face him on her own terms.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Queen Elsa, the Winter Witch

I just recently watched "Frozen" (I know, I am late to the game) and I admit it lived up to the hype.  I am very familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Snow Queen" in which Frozen is based, but it became a very different story when it hit the big screen.
In any case, Elsa, much like her literary counterpart the Snow Queen, can be depicted as a Winter Witch.

Another good reason to consider her a witch is her voice is done by Idina Menzel, who is also known for her portrayal of Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked.  That's a serious witch-pedigree in my book.

So here is Elsa, the Winter Witch Queen for my newest book, The Winter Witch.

Elsa, Queen of Arendelle
Human Female, Lawful
20th level witch
Winter Witch Tradition

Abilities
Strength 12
Intelligence 15
Wisdom 13
Dexterity 16
Constitution 15
Charisma 18

Hit Points: 54
AC:  5 (dress is made of ice granting a +3 to AC, +1 due to dex)
Saving Throws: 4
+1 to cold-based attacks, +2 to charm spells

Occult Powers
Familiar: Snow Golem "Olaf".
Lesser: Cool Demeanor. +2 to cold-based saves, +1 to mind-affecting spell saves.
Minor: Pass Without Trace
Major: Hyperborean Apotheosis

Spells
1st level (6): Chill, Chill Touch, Freezing Hands, Hold Portal, Ice Dagger, Obscuring Cloud
2nd level (6): Flurry of Snowballs, Fogbank, Frigid Slowness, Gust of Wind, Ice Armor, Winter's Grasp
3rd level (6): Aura of Frost, Chilling Mist, Ice Spears, Sleet Storm, Soul of Frost, Weather the Storm
4th level (5): Conjuration of Ice Elementals, Elemental Armor, Ice Storm, Mirror Talk, Wall of Ice
5th level (5): Breathe Frost, Cone of Cold, The Howling, Ice Bridge, Summon Weather
6th level (4): Blanket of Healing, Control Weather, Freezing Sphere, Frigid Chrysalis
7th level (3): Freezing Cloud, Ice Body, Ice Castles
8th level (3): Antipathy/Sympathy, Encase in Ice, Glacial Slide

For a "kid's movie" Elsa can do some serious freaking damage if she wanted too.

Speaking of damage, if you have not seen it here is Else in a Rap battle against Snow White.



My money is on the Queen.

Even real Norwegians love her.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Featured Artist: Teresa Guido

Welcome back to another Featured Artist post.
I discovered my next artist, as I have discovered many others that will be future FAs, in the Facebook group D&D Fantasy Art.

Teresa Guido has a great style and has some really fantastic character art.  I believe it was her art of a drow that got my attention. She has done work for both Paizo Inc. and Purple Duck Games.

Here are some that I really liked. As usual, posted with permission.





She is available for commissions.
You can find her at:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Seoni, Pathfinder Iconic Sorceress, B/X style

Seoni might arguably be the most popular of the Pathfinder iconic characters. She is certainly one of my favorites.  She might not exactly be a witch, but she is close enough.


A few things have come together over the last couple of weeks to make me want to do this post.
First,  there is the new Seoni statue Kickstarter that I posted about this morning.
Secondly, I have really been getting interested in B/X again (as if my interest ever waned) thanks in large part to Gavin Norman's B/X Essentials line which looks like so much fun.

With the Art & Arcana book out I went back to the cover of D&D Basic which was the inspiration for the Pathfinder Core Rules book cover that introduced us to Seoni in the first place.



I also did stats for Feiya so long ago, so it seems right to me to also convert Seoni as my "second favorite" Pathfinder Iconic.

The witches three. Larina, Feiya, and Seoni
So I thought it might be fun to see how Seoni converts to B/X era D&D.  Of course in Pathfinder she is a Sorceress a class that B/X doesn't have.  But they do have the Magic-User which the ancestor of the Sorcerer class.  But I am contractually obligated to provide Witch stats too! ;)

For fun, I will do the Magic-User stats using only Gavin Norman's B/X Essentials: Core RulesB/X Essentials: Classes and Equipment, and B/X Essentials: Cleric and Magic-User Spells.

For her witch stats, I will use D&D Basic and Expert with my Basic-era Witch book.

I took her ability scores from her 1st Level iconic version to represent her stats as "rolled" but will base these off of here 12th level iconic version.  In the case of her Magic-user stats I rearranged her Int, Wis, and Cha to better fit the magic-user rules.  For her Witch stats I left them as-is.
For her other items like equipment and feats I tried to convert or perserve those the best I can within the rules of B/X D&D.

Seoni
12th level Magic-User

Abilities
Strength: 10
Intelligence: 18
Wisdom: 10
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Charisma: 13

Saves
Death Ray or Poison:  9
Magic wand or devices: 10
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 9
Dragon Breath: 12
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 11

Hit Points:  26
Alignment: Lawful (Lawful Neutral)
AC: 3 (unless using spells to protect herself more)
To Hit AC 0: 14

Familiar:  Blue Skink ("Dragon") (Basic Magic-users did not have a way of gaining a familiar. So this is a DM-fiat).

Spells
First (4): darkness (light, reversed) magic missile, read magic, shield
Second (4): continual darkness, detect invisible, invisibility, web
Third (3): fire ball, haste, lightning bolt
Fourth (3): charm monster, dimension door, wall of fire
Fifth (3): cloudkill, pass-wall, wall of stone
Sixth (2): control weather, death spell

Equipment: Amulet of Natural Armor +3, Ring of Protection +3, backpack, potions of cure wounds, scroll of fly, wand of magic missiles (32 charges, 7th level), staff of wizardry, dagger

So not exact copies of all the spells are found in the B/X era, but enough that I am fairly happy with this magic-user build.

Now. What if Seoni were a witch?  Valeros certainly thinks she is...

"I wonder about that witch and her schemes."
- Valeros, companion, friend and erstwhile lover of Seoni.

Seoni
12th level Witch, Dragon-blood Tradition* (Blue)

Abilities
Strength: 10
Intelligence: 10
Wisdom: 13
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Charisma: 18

Saves
Death Ray or Poison:  8
Magic wand or devices: 9
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 8
Dragon Breath: 11
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 18

Hit Points: 26
Alignment: Lawful (Lawful Neutral)
AC: 3
To Hit AC 0: 14

Occult Powers (*the Dragon-blood tradition is something I have been playing around with for a couple of years now. Not ready for prime-time yet.)
Familiar:  Blue Skink ("Dragon")
Minor: Draconic Magic: Lightning Bolt (once per day Seoni can call on her draconic patron to cast Lightning Bolt).

Spells
Cantrips (6): dancing lights, detect curse, false glamor, flare, mend, spark,
First (4): burning hands, darkness, minor fighting prowess, spirit dart
Second (4): burning gaze, invisibility, produce flame, spell missile
Third (3): continual fire, dispel magic, fly,
Fourth (3): charm monster, intangible cloak of shadows, magic circle against evil 10'
Fifth (2): hold monster, primal scream, waves of fatigue
Sixth (2!): mass agony, wall of roses

Equipment: Amulet of Natural Armor +3, Ring of Protection +3, backpack, potions of cure wounds, scroll of fly, wand of magic missiles (32 charges, 7th level), dagger,  Staff of Enchantment

Witch-Seoni has a totally different feel to her than Magic-user-Seoni.  I would say that as a Dragon Witch her spells manifest in ways that remind one of a dragon.  Primal Scream, for example, would be the roar of a dragon. Produce Flame would be a spark of electricity that creates fire,  Mass Agony would come out as electricity like a blue dragon's breath, and so on.

I am pretty happy though with both builds.

Don't forget to check out the Seoni statue Kickstarter ending really soon.

Kickstart Your Weekend: Pathfinder Seoni Statue

This is a different one, but still pretty cool.  Seoni is the famous (or infamous) cover-girl of the Pathfinder core book.  Well, now you can have your own Seoni, at least a 12-inch version of her.

Pathfinder Limited Edition Statue


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dynamiteent/pathfinder-limited-edition-statue

I have to admit, I like iconic characters and Paizo did it right for their characters.  They made them interesting and while they are not the subject of novels like Eminster or Driz'zt they still were/are characters that people get invested in.

Of course, my particular fascination with Seoni is because this cover:


Is Wayne Reynolds' homage to this cover:



Are they the same people? Are they their descendants? Who knows.

The cover is popular enough to give us a statue and a 3D render.


Now you can get a Seoni of your own.  I have a Merlin, a Morgan LeFey and a Tarot Witch of the Black Rose as statues.  Maybe getting a Seoni would be nice.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Featured Artist: Jacob Blackmon

Welcome to a new feature here at the Other Side!
I love art. I am terrible at it, I mean just god awful really, but my curse is to love things I am not very good at like art and music.   But I have a good paying job and a huge list of contacts so one of my pleasures is to get art made of my characters.

What I thought I could do is start to share some of these artists I have found and maybe you will want to commission them as well.

While my peers are moving more and more to podcasts, art is truly a visual medium and needs to be shared in a place like this.  So without further ado here is the inaugural post of the newest Other Side feature: Featured Artist.

I could not really do this without having Jacob Blackmon as my first artist.
Jacob and I have been working together for years on various game books, but primarily on the Strange Brew line for Pathfinder.

Jacob has an absolute ton of art out there.  You can see work from a dozen or so publishers, but primarily from Misfit Studios and Purple Duck Games.  He has an RPG art line out for authors/publishers on a budget. He does commission work and has a Patreon site.

Readers here know him best as the artist that first brought my Pathfinder version of Larina to life.




He also brought my D&D 5 character, and Larina's daughter, Taryn to life.


From his bio:
Jacob E. Blackmon was born in California, where he studied art – which is to say, he read a lot of comics and RPG game books and created art based on the things he loved. He now lives in Oklahoma (for some reason) and spends even more time drawing, playing games, and watching movies to fuel his addled imagination.

Jacob has worked as a freelance artist for over ten years, working with companies such as Fainting Goat Games, Misfit Studios, Rite Publishing, and Rogue Genius Games. He had dipped his toes in writing with the sourcebooks ‘Lunar Knights’ and ‘Super Powered Bestiary.’ Jacob's current project is the 'Super Powered Legends' series for the Mutants and Masterminds RPG.

A collection of Jacob’s work can be found at https://www.deviantart.com/prodigyduck

Support Jacob here: https://www.patreon.com/jacobblackmon

For those who are 18+, you may find a selection of Jacob's erotica here: http://www.hentai-foundry.com/pictures/user/prodigyduck

Jacob can be hired for art commissions at this email: commissionprodigyduck@gmail.com
You can find Jacob here:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Swords & Wizardry

It has been a GREAT time on TV for witches!  We have Charmed, another Vampire Diaries spin-off, Constantine has joined the Legends of Tomorrow and we got a Salem episode Monday night.

The big star of this Halloween season is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina


Anyone expecting the old ABC Sabrina the Teenage Witch is going to be in for a surprise. This is an honest-to-Satan hit and sometimes creepy as hell.  The cast is amazing with stand out performances by Kiernan Brenna Shipka as Sabrina Spellman, Lucy Davis ("Etta Candy" from WW) as Hilda Spellman, Miranda Otto (Éowyn) as Zelda Spellman and the true, true treat Michelle Gomez as Mary Wardwell / Madam Satan.  We also get Richard Coyle as Father Faustus Blackwood who is better known (by me anyway) as Jeff from Coupling and the originator of the Giggle Loop.

You can read more about the show over at Tim Knight's fantastic blog, Hero Press.

Going into this show with the Melissa Joan Hart series and the classic comic in mind I thought she would make a perfect Swords & Wizardry White Witch.  But...well I won't spoil the show for you, but Sabrina as a White Witch...well it doesn't really fit. 

This is, however, a great chance for me to bring up a topic.  How can I use a Basic Witch with a Swords & Wizardry Witch?

Say my player, let's call her Kiernan (she's a cousin on her mother's side)  REALLY wants to play a  Diabolic Witch from my Witch book, but I am running a Swords & Wizardry White Box game.

The answer is simple, use all the rules and tables from the White Box and the Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box, but grab the Diabolic tradition from the Basic book.  I have made all the of Experience tables the same and the witches all get Occult Powers at the same levels.  I will also grab some spells from both books to flesh her out more.  Now Kiernan is happy playing the character she wants and I am running the same I want.

Halloween is Sabrina's 16th birthday.  She has not had formal witch training but has had extensive training by her aunts at home.  We see cast glamour, remove curse (or dispel magic) and maybe Vanquish.  But I am going to say she is still pretty low level.  1 or 2 tops.

Sabrina Spellman

2nd level Human Female Witch,
Malefic Witch Tradition (using White Witch rules)

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 15 (+1)
Constitution: 13
Intelligence: 12
Wisdom: 12
Charisma: 17 (+2)

HP: 8
Alignment: Neutral (Good Tendencies)
AC: 9 [10]
Saves Base: 14

Occult Powers
Familiar: Salem (Cat)

Spells 
Cantrips: (5) Arcane Mark, Black Flame, Call Bats, Toads, or Spiders, Ghost Sounds, Summon a Witch (Ritual)
First: (2) Glamour (from Basic Witch), Mind Obscure (as a Ritual)

So mixing these works well.  I had to fudge a bit to get the Mind Obscure spell.  But I figure that was a ritual she learned from her aunts to protect herself.

Happy Halloween!
You can also check out Justin Isaac's version of Sabrina for Dark Places and Demogorgons on his site, https://punverse.blogspot.com/2018/10/chilling-adventures-of-sabrina.html
And my Unisystem version for modern times and an older Sabrina at Sabrina, the Middle-Aged Witch.
Thanks again to Tim Knight at Hero Press for sharing the word.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Wicked Time. Glinda the Good Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box

Today, October 30, 2018, marks the 15th Anniversary of the premiere of Wicked on Broadway.
It has gone on to be not just the longest-running Broadway musical, but also the most profitable.

But I am not going to talk about Wicked.  Instead, I want to focus on the stars, the Witches of Wicked. In particular Glinda the Good Witch.

Glinda is considered to be the most powerful witch in Oz, though we see more magic from the Wicked Witch of the West.
Here she is for Swords & Wizardry White Box for the White Witch Tradition.

Glinda, The Good Witch 
aka Glinda Arduenna Upland
10th level Human Female Witch,
White Witch Tradition

Strength: 11
Dexterity: 15
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 17
Wisdom: 15
Charisma: 18

HP: 36
Alignment: Lawful
AC: 9 [10]
Saves Base: 6

Occult Powers
Familiar: Invisible Stalker (Spirit of the Air)
4th level: Herbal Healing
7th level: Create Magic Items
10th level: Coven* (I will argue that all the Cardinal witches are part of the same coven)

Spells 
Cantrips: (6) Alarm Ward, Animate Tool, Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Object Reading, Warm
First: (4) Animal Friend, Bright Blessings, Detect Danger, Speak with Animals
Second: (3) Augury, Barrier, Calm Emotions
Third: (3) Animal Summoning I (Ritual), Calm Animals, Fly
Fourth: (2) Cleanse, Plant Growth
Fifth: (2) Enchant Item (Ritual), Find the Path

Equipment
Wand

In other games, Glinda very well could be a dual-classed Witch/Magic-User since she was described as studying Wizardry as well as being a Witch.

--

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 25, 2018

Happy Birthday Larina!

Sort of.  I actually rolled the character up in July of 86 but I put her birthday down as October 25. It was one of those character quirks I gave her. She was born on the 25th but told everyone that her birthday was the 31st.  Yeah, a weird thing. We used real-world dates since we could never really liked the World of Greyhawk ones.

So for 32 years, she has been one of my favorite characters and my iconic witch for my books. She is also one of my favorite characters to get art of.   The most recent one comes from artist Hassly.

I discovered Hassly from his Patreon site with his Alice Kyteler, the "First" Irish Witch post.
My post was here and his is here.  I loved it.  She looked like, to me, that she could have been one of Larina's ancestors. I had to get a commission from him for my witch.

He posted his version of my witch today.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/larina-22225140


I love it. I wanted something that showed off her back tattoo and I am not disappointed.

So check out his Patreon, he has a bunch of other great pin-up style art.

I absolutely love getting art of my characters and love how every artist gives me something new. I have something REALLY special coming up next month.  Can't wait to share it with you all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Mary Poppins: The White Witch (Swords & Wizardry)

It is no shock or surprise, but the White Witch has it's roots in Disney as much as it does in D&D.

There is no one character I can point to and say "that is it, that's her!" but a lot that I can take aspects of.  It all gets jumbled up a bit to be honest as the same character can also inspire different interpretations. 

No one is a better example of that than Mary Poppins.
In grade school, I forget what grade, I remember my teacher taking us all out of the classroom and we went out to this atrium area that was large and domed outside of the library and she read Mary Poppins to us.  I remember being very interested in it once she mentioned Mary knew a girl from the Pleiades. 

I have talked about Mary before.  I have even given stats for her as a witch and as a Time Lord.
My good friend and blogger Tim Knight over at Hero Press has a trailer up for the new Mary Poppins Returns and of course, he says she is a Time Lord.  I will admit I am very fond of that idea myself.

The new movie is coming out and I adore Emily Blunt. I can't think of a single thing I have seen her in that I didn't like and think she was the reason it was as good as it was.

So in the case of going back to my roots, here is Mary, as a White Witch.

Mary Poppins
10th Level White Witch Tradition
From Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 15
Constitution: 14
Intelligence: 16
Wisdom: 17
Charisma: 18

HP: 42
Alignment: Lawful
AC: 7 [12] (coat equal to leather)
Saves Base: 6

Occult Powers
Familiar: Jackdaw (Raven)
4th level: Herbal Healing (with a little drop of sugar)
7th level: Create Magic Items
10th level: Coven* (Mary gets the benefits of a coven when she is with a family)

Spells 
Cantrips: (6) Alarm Ward, Animate Tool, Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Object Reading, Warm
First: (4) Analgesia, Animal Friend, Detect Danger, Speak with Animals
Second: (3) Augury, Healing Broth, Raven Spy
Third: (3) Animal Summoning I (Ritual), Calm Animals, Fly
Fourth: (2) Cleanse, Joyous Tidings
Fifth: (2) Animal Summoning III (Ritual), Enchant Item (Ritual)

Equipment
Bag of Holding, Umbrella (serves as staff and witch's broom), Bowtie, Jaunty hat (witch's hat), tea-set.

Using Mary in Your Games
Mary, of course, works best when there are children about. If your game has younger children as the Player Characters then Mary practically, as she often does, invites herself in.
For me, I am planning on using her in various "flashback" episodes with the current characters.

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