Showing posts with label tara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tara. Show all posts

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dark Places & Demogorgons: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Hex Girls; Bizzare Love Triangle

This one time, at band camp...

Seriously. You can't have read ANY of this blog and not know that my obsessions are music and the 80s.   So for me, an obvious build is the Hex Girls for my "Sunny Valley, OH" game set in the mid-80s for the Dark Places & Demogorgons game.

So what are the Hex Girls doing here?   We know the Hex Girls live in Oakhaven, MA so maybe the band trip seems to be the best choice. The girls are in for a competition.  This is a great time for me to let Oz shine.   A romance between Oz and Thorn?  Or better yet Oz and Luna, they have a lot more in common.



If I set this Pre-Tara (which I am loathed to do, BUT...go with me on this) this could be when Willow and Oz are still dating (I am a die-hard Willow/Tara shipper, but I like Oz and I don't undervalue the relationship they had).  Oz and Willow are dating, but something is not right (Willow is really gay) and along comes Luna.  Smart, musically talented and gorgeous as hell.  Plus I like the idea of Oz, the werewolf, being attracted to a girl named Luna.

It also allows me to use this as the title of the episode.

Bizzare Love Triangle
"The Hex girls are in town and they have awakened something in Oz and Willow both!"

The setup for this one will dirt-simple.  One of the bands in the competition is using magic to cheat by raising a ghost of a dead musician.  The cast needs to find the object that is the focus of the dead musician and destroy it before the ghost is successful in summoning more ghosts in order to "Get the Band back together".  Given the year I am going to say the living band who did the summons is a Bon Jovi rip off, and the "dead" band is a KISS/Glam Rock sort of deal.  Pay homage to the Scooby Doo roots of all these sources and make them like KISS.

OR better yet, just steal this Scooby-Doo Hex Girls episode and have everyone turn into zombies!





AND this gives you an excuse to use Bloat Game sister product, Survive This! Zombies! 2nd Edition.

If this Willow-Oz-Luna thing is happening, maybe I could play with a Buffy-Angel-Thorn thing.  Angel thinks Thorn is a vampire, and Thorn thinks he is just really into the goth scene.  This conflict though is quickly resolved.

Luna is busy with her Oz and Willow issue.  Thorn is dealing with Buffy, and Dusk...Dusk is doing her thing.

The trick now is figuring out what class(es) fit the girls best.

Thorn would make a convincing White Witch. But all are Goths.  I am going to say all are Goths, but they sacrifice a level of goth for a level or two of white witch.

For this episode, I will use the Core book, the Player Options & GM Guide (for White Witches) and the Werewolf Sourcebook (for Oz).


Thorn
AKA Sally McKnight
Class: Goth 2 / White Witch 2
Alignment: Good
Languages: English
Age: 15

Attributes
STR: 10 +0
INT: 14  +1
WIS: 15 +1
DEX: 10 +0
CON: 11 +0
CHA: 16 +2
SUR: 15 +1

AC: 11    HP: 17    Attack Bonus +1

Courage: 3
Critical: 3
Death: 4
Mental: 4
Poison: 2

Class Abilities
Can see spirits and ghosts.
2 Minor spells
Healing touch

Skills
Art & Music +4, Paranormal +4, Knowledge (local "Oakhaven, MA") +1, Knowledge (magic) +2,Intimidation +2, Hide +2, Toughness +2

Possessions
Goth clothing, fake teeth, guitar

Money: $25

Luna
AKA Kim Moss
Class: Goth 2 / White Witch 1
Alignment: Good
Languages: English
Age: 15

Attributes
STR: 11 +0
INT: 14  +1
WIS: 15 +1
DEX: 11 +0
CON: 10 +0
CHA: 17 +2
SUR: 15 +1

AC: 11    HP: 15    Attack Bonus +1

Courage: 3
Critical: 2
Death: 3
Mental: 3
Poison: 3

Background: Biracial

Class Abilities
Can see spirits and ghosts.
1 Minor spell
Healing touch

Skills
Art & Music +3, Paranormal +3, Knowledge (local "Oakhaven, MA") +1, Knowledge (magic) +2, Intimidation +2, Hide +1, Toughness +1

Possessions
Goth clothing, fake teeth, keyboards and bass.

Money: $40

Dusk
AKA Muffy St. James
Class: Goth 2 / White Witch 1
Alignment: Good
Languages: English
Age: 15

Attributes
STR: 12 +0
INT: 12  +0
WIS: 13 +1
DEX: 10 +0
CON: 14 +1
CHA: 16 +2
SUR: 15 +1

AC: 11    HP: 16    Attack Bonus

Courage: 3
Critical: 2
Death: 4
Mental: 2
Poison: 2

Class Abilities
Can see spirits and ghosts.
1 Minor spell
Healing touch

Skills
Art & Music +3, Paranormal +3, Knowledge (local "Oakhaven, MA") +1, Knowledge (magic) +2, Intimidation +3, Hide +2, Toughness +3

Possessions
Goth clothing, fake teeth, drums

Money: $100 (family is stinking rich)

I will have to play these versions to see how they work.

The Hex Girls win with the version of "Bizzare Love Triangle" sung like Frente!.  Note the singer, Angie Hart of Frente!, actually wrote most of the songs from Buffy's musical episode.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dark Places & Demogorgons: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed; How Soon is Now?

The Buffy crossover I did with Supernatural was so much fun I thought I would try something similar only this time for my favorite genre show of all time, Charmed.


Of course, this is not the first time I have done a Charmed / Buffy crossover.  Back in the days of my Willow & Tara games, I had an episode/adventure "Semi-Charmed Life".

This one though is different. This one needs to live in the world of "Sunny Valey, OH".  Thankfully, while transporting the cast of Buffy to 80s requires some tweaks, I can transport the entire cast of Charmed to the mid 80s (let's say 1986) with barely a change.

Ok, what do we need to know about Charmed in 1986 for a Dark Places & Demogorgons game?
Well. For starters, the girls are all young. Their mother, Patty, has been dead now for 8 years and they are being raised by their grandmother, Penny.  Penny, or Penelope Halliwell has blocked their powers to keep a warlock from feeding on them.  When Patty died she kept the power block in place to keep the girls safe.  Penny was no witch to mess with either.  While originally a peace-loving hippie witch, she soon learned that the only way to deal with demons and warlocks was to kill them.
Leo, the girls' Whitelihter and Piper's future husband, would also be watching the girls at this point.

We have a rule in writing Willow-centric adventures.  Try to avoid having her spells go awry.  It is lazy writing and unbecoming of someone that is supposed to be one of the most powerful witches in the world.  BUT.  This Willow isn't that yet is she?  She is young. She is eager to learn.  So let's say that one day she finds a spell to summon a witch teacher (this is a spell I actually use in my D&D games).  She takes the spell to Tara, who advises caution but can see nothing wrong with it.  There isn't until Willow casts the spell and asks not for a witch tutor, but the most powerful witches in the world.  She is a little shocked when she gets three girls just a few years younger than herself.

For an adventure, I would have the Charmed girls either be NPCs to the regular cast OR as PCs if there are new people.

I see Pru as being angry at first that she was transported here, then angry at grams for hiding their powers.  Pru comes up with the idea of blocking grams and Leo.  Pru also enjoys going on patrol with Buffy (a nod to their real-life friendship).


Piper would be the most out of sorts and the angriest.  I can see her having the most interactions with Willow; the both have issues with witchcraft to work out.
Phoebe would find this to be a great adventure and, this is 100% Phoebe, she is the one that learns Tara is in love with Willow.
Grams will scry for the girls, not get them, yell for Leo then yell at him. She will eventually find them, 100% safe and sound.  I would not be too surprised if she didn't have a word or two with Willow.

Now my first Buffy/Charmed crossover has such a great title. What should I call one from the mid-80s?

Episode Title: How Soon is Now?


Pru Halliwell
Born: 10/28/1970
Age: 15*
(assuming early in Season 2, 1986)

Class: White Witch  Level: 5 (temp)
Alignment: Good
Languages: English

Attributes
STR: 11 +0
INT: 17 +2
WIS: 16 +2
DEX: 14 +1
CON: 11 +0
CHA: 17 +2
SUR: 16 +2

AC: 10     HP: 22    Attack Bonus +0

Courage: 6 +3
Critical: 5
Death: 5
Mental: 4
Poison: 3

Background
Lives with an overprotective grandmother.  Acts as stand-in mother for Piper and Phoebe.

Class Abilities
+1 to saves involving magic, +3 to courage saves, healing touch 8/day, heal at double rate, summon light, see in darkness, advantage on saves, immune to fear, talk to animals and plants, create potions

Skills
Art +5, Math +1, Science +1, Knowledge (History) +5, Paranormal +4, Botany +3

Possessions
(none)

Money: none

Spells
Minor (4), Major (1)

Power: Telekeniss.

Piper Halliwell
Born: 08/07/1973
Age: 13
(assuming early in Season 2, 1986)

Class: White Witch  Level: 3 (temp)
Alignment: Good
Languages: English

Attributes
STR: 10 +0
INT: 13 +1
WIS: 13 +1
DEX: 12 +0
CON: 11 +0
CHA: 12 +0
SUR: 12 +0

AC: 10     HP: 12    Attack Bonus +0

Courage: 5 +3
Critical: 4
Death: 3
Mental: 4
Poison: 3

Background
Lives with an overprotective grandmother.  Acts as peacemaker for Piper and Phoebe.

Class Abilities
+1 to saves involving magic, +3 to courage saves, healing touch 5/day, heal at double rate, summon light, see in darkness, advantage on saves, immune to fear, talk to animals and plants

Skills
Cooking +3, Math +1, Science +1, Paranormal +3, Botany +3

Possessions
(none)

Money: none

Spells
Minor (4), Major (0)

Power: Molecular destailazation.

Phoebe Halliwell
Born: 11/02/1975
Age: 10
(assuming early in Season 2, 1986)

Class: White Witch  Level: 1 (temp)
Alignment: Good
Languages: English

Attributes
STR: 8 -1
INT: 12 +0
WIS: 10 +0
DEX: 12 +0
CON: 10 +0
CHA: 14 +1
SUR: 12 +0

AC: 10     HP: 5   Attack Bonus +0

Courage: 3 +3
Critical: 4
Death: 3
Mental: 4
Poison: 3

Background
Lives with an overprotective grandmother.

Class Abilities
+1 to saves involving magic, +3 to courage saves, healing touch 5/day, heal at double rate, summon light, see in darkness

Skills
Atheletics +2, Math +1, Science +1,  Paranormal +2, Botany +2

Possessions
(none)

Money: none

Spells
Minor (1), Major (0)

Power: Premonitions.

My god, these characters look fun!  I should do this with more Charmed characters.

Take us home Morrissey!



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Willow & Tara: Survive This! Dark Places & Demogorgons

Yesterday I took the entire Buffyverse and dropped them into 1984 Ohio and found it works rather well.  Today I want to continue that thought but also do a deep dive into the three witch classes that DP&D has to offer.  And I know of no better way to do this.


So for reasons that work for the game, I am going with Dark Places & Demogorgons: Player Options & GM Guide for the witch classes. A White Witch for Willow and a Nature Witch for Tara.  So far I have no reason to assume that Willow will need a Black Witch.  The two realities are connected, but also different.

Willow D. Rosenberg
In 1984's Sunny Valley Willow is a mathematical genius who is the only person, quite likely in the whole town, that knows how to use a computer for more than just video games.  She has been best friends with Alex Harris since kindergarten and has been friends with Daniel "Oz" Osbourne since Junior High.  Oz is obviously rather fond of Willow, but he suspects there is something holding her back.


During her summer job at the local library, Willow discovered a locked room.  Normally one to follow every rule, this room called to her.  One day she found a key (after several weeks of searching she would later admit) and opened the door.  Inside books on the occult, summoning demons and more importantly magic.  She has been reading them and trying to master them.  Though she has help from a fellow witch and honest to the goddess wiccan in Tara.

Willow Rosenberg
Class: White Witch  Level: 5
Alignment: Good
Languages: English, Hebrew, Latin, Greek
Age: 14

Attributes
STR: 9 +0
INT: 18 +3
WIS: 16 +2
DEX: 11 +0
CON: 11 +0
CHA: 17 +2
SUR: 16 +2

AC: 10     HP: 19    Attack Bonus +0

Courage: 6 +3
Critical: 5
Death: 5
Mental: 4
Poison: 3

Background
Parents are rarely at home.

Class Abilities
+1 to saves involving magic, +3 to courage saves, healing touch 8/day, heal at double rate, summon light, seen in darkness, advantage on saves, immune to fear, talk to animals and plants, create potions

Skills
Computers +5, Art +1, Math +5, Science +5, Knowledge (Magic) +5, Paranormal +4, Botany +3, Electronics +4

Possessions
Bike, Home Computer,

Money: $40

Spells
Minor (4), Major (1)
Charm, Glammerd Appearance, Magical Insight, Burning Ash hands,
Firebolt

Tara A. Maclay
Tara attends Sunny Valley Community High School on the southside of town.  She lives in a trailer with her father and brother.  Her mother Megan died from cancer just last year.  Having a rough time with that and struggling with being the "known gay" in school she was picked on quite a bit.  It was not till the arrival of Faith did things change.  Faith protected Tara because she felt something of a connection to her.  When Elizabeth Summers died north of town Faith became the new Slayer. Elizabeth came back (thanks to Alex) and soon Tara and Faith joined the Northsiders on their nightly fight against vampires, zombies and other undead menaces.  While Faith has been drawn more and more to Elizabeth and their shared mystery. Tara has been getting much closer to Willow.


Tara and her best friend Faith

Tara Maclay
Class: White Witch  Level: 4
Alignment: Good
Languages: English, French, Latin
Age: 15

Attributes
STR: 12 +0
INT: 16 +2
WIS: 18 +3
DEX: 9 +0
CON: 12 +0
CHA: 16 +2
SUR: 12 +0

AC: 10     HP: 16    Attack Bonus +0

Courage: 5
Critical: 4
Death: 3
Mental: 5
Poison: 3 +4

Background
Mother is dead, Father is super-strict

Class Abilities
Toughness: Nature/Weather +4, Empathic w/ Animals, Create Potions, Control Animals.

Skills
Botany +4, First Aid, Knowledge (magic) +4, Outdoorsmanship +2, Paranormal +4, DAnce +3, Horsemanship +4,

Possessions
Bike,

Money: $40

Spells
Minor (3)
Blind, Charm, Magical Insight

If this were an 80s show then Willow and Tara would have had (implied) sex but then Tara would have been killed and Willow sent on an "evil lesbian" rampage only end the show crying in the arms of some man.  Really, who wants to see some shitty after-school special cliché like that?

I think these classes work great, to be honest.  I would like to reorganize their powers a bit to fit my concepts of these characters. Normally I would let Willow have access to some Dark spells and Tara should be the one to heal by touch.

This also brings up an interesting dilemma. Should Willow be a multiclassed Kid Scientist 1/Witch 4?  DP&D, like a lot of OSR games, has no Multiclassing rules.  To me though I like the idea of a multiclassed Willow.  She starts off as a Kid scientist and then moves to White Witch and maybe Black Witch IF we follow the original series.  Tara can start as a Nature Witch then move to White after a bit.

These are great.  This really captures what I wanted from this game quite well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Willow and Tara: Amazing Adventures, 2018 update

In many ways I still associate Tuesdays with Buffy.

Hard to believe, but five an half years ago I posted Amazing Adventures stats for Willow and Tara.  The idea then, and now, was to experiment with different types of Arcanists.  Willow is a very typical Intelligence-based spell caster while Tara was always a more Wisdom-based one. I have also done a Charisma-based Aracanist, in the form of Rachel Morgan.

As you can imagine I am trying to replicate my C&C Witch in a modern format.

The Amazing Adventures of Willow & Tara, 2018

Recently I have been using Amazing Adventures as a modern game as opposed to a pulp game.  So instead of thinking about Tommy Guns and the like I am more interested in smart phones, computers and GPS.    The shift has been an interesting one.  Thankfully Amazing Adventures is based on a core of d20 so finding extra material is very easy.

So what have my witches been up to?

Given what I have been doing with the characters for the last few years I would have to say they have been largely retired.  So taking the reunion staged by Entertainment Weekly, I would say something pulled them out of retirement.  Maybe a horrible orange monster threatening to take over the world. Or something.  Of course I do want to figure out an adventure to pull all my favorite supernatural shows together in one mega-episode crossover.

Willow Danielle Rosenberg-Maclay
Arcanist (INT) 12
Human Female, Lawful Good

Age: 37, Ht: 5'3", Hair: Red, Eyes: Green

hp: 45
MEP: 114
AC: 12 (locket of protection)/ 15 (when in physical contact with Tara)
Move: 30'

STR: 9 (0)
DEX: 11 (0)
*CON: 11 (0)
*INT: 18 (+3)
WIS: 16 (+2)
CHA: 17 (+2)

Languages: English, Latin, Hebrew, French* (extra language)
Background: Computers +4 (+2 initial, improved at 5th, 10th level), Science +2
Traits: Spellgifted (offensive), Reckless
Skill: Knowledge (Arcana)

Spells per Level 9/6/6/5/3/2/1
0: Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Open/Close, Prestidigitation
1: Arcane Bolt, Burning Hands, Identify, Read Magic, Shocking Grasp, Sleep
2: Bullet Proof, Darkness, Enhance Attribute, Invisibility Scare, Shatter
3: Blink, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Fly, Lightning Bolt, Magic Circle
4: Confusion, Locate Creature, Scrying,
5: Telekinesis, Telepathic Bond
6: Chain Lightning

Willow's class is Arcanist, but her backgrounds are computers and science. She does have increased knowledge skill in Arcana.  It is also likely that Willow has bought off her Reckless by now.  Compared to my earlier version, I have dropped the unneeded Gadgeteer level.

Tara Ann Rosenberg-Maclay
Arcanist (WIS) 11
Human Female, Lawful Good

Age: 38, Ht: 5'5", Hair: Blonde, Eyes: Blue

hp: 42
MEP: 100
AC: 12 (locket of protection)/ 15 (when in physical contact with Willow)
Move: 30'

STR: 12 (0)
DEX: 9 (0)
CON: 12 (0)
INT: 16 (+2)
WIS: 18 (+3)
CHA: 16 (+2)

Languages: English, Latin, Gaelic, Japanese (bonus free language)
Background: Historian +4 (+2 initial, improved at 5th, 10th level), Artist +2
Traits: Spellgifted (defensive), Polite
Skill: Knowledge (myth and legend)

Spells per Level 9/6/6/5/3/2
0: Blinding Flash, Detect Evil, Detect magic, First Aid, Know Direction, Light, Purify Food & Drink, Message, Prestidigitation
1: Animal Friendship, Command, Cure Light Wounds*, Protection from Evil, Remove Fear, Shield of Faith
2: Aid, Darkness, Delay Poison, Hold Person, Lesser Restoration*, Speak with Animals
3: Cure Serious Wounds, Dispel Magic, Magic Circle against Evil, Remove curse, Spiritual Weapon
4: Dismissal, Restoration*, Wall of Force
5: Dispel Evil, Scrying

*Tara still retains her healing touch divine powers from when she was brought back from the dead.
To fit my general idea of Tara more I would like to up her MEP to the maximum amount. She might not have a lot of different spells, but she has a lot of power.

So for me it has been nearly 10 years since I used these characters in these incarnations.

What have they been doing?  Well in the Dragon and the Phoenix/Season of the Witch timeline they moved to Boston, been married for years. Willow owned a software security firm ("RedWitch") that she later sold making millions. Tara has degrees in art history and counseling. She teaches at a school for young magicians and witches (no not Hogwarts). They have two daughters Brianna 12 and Chole 9.

Reading over this I think what I really need to try is to start these characters over again at 1st level and see what it is like to run them under AA.  It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Buffy = Demon Hunter
Xander = Hooligan
Willow = Arcanist (Int)
Tara = Arcanist (Wis)
Cordelia = Socialite
Giles = Occultist
Oz = Werewolf
Angel, Spike = Vampire

I could be a lot of fun.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Willow & Tara: Mighty Protectors

Willow and Tara are a couple of serious powerhouses in my games.  If you look at the most recent "canonical" versions of them from Armageddon they can do some serious supernatural smacking down.
For their Mighty Protector's versions I toned it down a bit, but still set them at over 200 CP.  These are very similar to their Villains & Vigilantes 2.1 counterparts which I have put at around 12-13th level.



Now I can easily dump more CPs into powers and "spells".  I truthfully want to tweak them both a bit to see how well my magic rules work.  That is the real test of any character I would normally want to play.

Willow Rosenberg
Willow has a lot of spells and I can swap them out as needed. Willow and Tara share a psychic bond to allow them to communicate with each other regardless of distance. Willow also has increased wealth due to selling off her software firm.



Tara Maclay
Tara retains her ability to heal that she gained as an ascended witch.  She shares Willow's psychic bond.  I likely could have dropped the CP cost for both since it would work fine if only one had it.


Both have TK, a holdover from the Buffy RPG rules and both magical senses, aka "Lesser Sensing" from Ghosts of Albion.  The real tweaks for these two characters would be their magic and spells.  Given that I have them in semi-retirement I would not expect some of their powers, and certainly not their Basic Characteristics, to get better. Though one could argue that Willow's IN could be higher.
Also I could raise their Energy by a lot really.  Somewhere in the MP book it mentions the amount of CP/XP I can expect and I have seen online a rough V&V Level to MP CP conversion.  So if I come back to these two I can dump those extra points somewhere.

But all in all I am pretty happy with these builds.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Willow & Tara: Blue Rose 2nd Edition

Yesterday I posted the first part of my conversion of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe to Blue Rose.  Today I want to post the second part.  In this post, I'll look at Blue Rose versions of my two favorite witches, Willow & Tara.
I had posted some conversions for these two using the Blue Rose/True 20 system, but those were modern versions of what I call the "Dragon and the Phoenix" timeline.  They were not Aldean versions of the characters.  Honestly given their treatment in the main continuity, they will be more respected in Aldea than in Sunnydale.

Like with Bethan I am starting with what is the essence of the characters and adapting that to a Aldean/Blue Rose background.  So I am pleased to introduce Helyg (Willow) and Brynn (Tara).

Helyg & Brynn, Rose Adepts
In my games, and in much popular fan fic, Willow and Tara have been reincarnated many times and in each life they have been lovers.

Helyg, Adept of the White Rose

Helyg was born to a not-very-rich merchant and his University schooled wife.  She had expected she would join the service of the Church of Pure Light in Jarzon like so many other intelligent, but not wealthy, girls living in Jarzon.  Helyg knew though she was different. Very different.
She knew the thoughts of others, even when she didn't try. She could "see" when things were about to happen and avoid them.  As her magical power grew so did her realization that she also was caria daunen and preferred other girls. She had been in a relationship with boy who was a childhood friend because this was expected of her.  When she was with him she could avoid the questions her mother had, but only voiced in her mind.  Helyg planned to escape to Aldis where she could, at least, be away from a country that did not approve of her love or her magic.  Somehow she managed to convince her parents, and to this day she believes she used Arcana to do this, to allow her to attend University in Aldis.
Here she met the Darkfiend Slayer, Bethan and learned of her battles.
She also met Brynn.
When she met Brynn she felt a deep connection to her from the start. She thought at first it was because she had met another young adept and a potential "study buddy" and friend. It was not till they touched, physically and mentally, that she learned the truth.  Helyg and Brynn had been part of each other's Eternal Dance since the dawn of time. Always together, always finding each other. Thousands of lives and names. Names like Bodhmal and Liath, Sallie and Teamhair, Will and Tamara, Willow and Tara, flooded their minds. Sometimes the love was romantic, other times familial, but always in love. They knew they were Anamchara.
They have had no time to reflect on this though. They have encountered a new Shadowgate and more Darkfiends pour out.  Helyg and Brynn have also learned that they might be the first Rose Adepts in nearly one-hundred years.



Name:
Helyg
Race:
Human
Background:
Jarzoni (living in Aldis)
Class: Adept Level: 3

ABILITY
Score Focus
ACCURACY
3 2
COMMUNICATION
2 Psychic
CONSTITUTION
2
DEXTERITY
2
FIGHTING
2
INTELLIGENCE
5 4 Historical Lore, Arcane Lore
PERCEPTION
2
STRENGTH
1
WILLPOWER
3

Combat
AR 0
Defense 12
Health 32
Weapon Groups: Brawling, Staves

Staff, Attack 3, Damage 1d6+1
Athame, Attack 1, Damage 1d6

POWERS, TALENTS, AND SPECIALIZATIONS
Armor Training: None
Talents: Arcane Training: Shaping (J), Psychic (N)
Mundane Talents: Lore (N), Linguistics (N)

ARCANA
Psychic: Psychic Contact*, Psychic Shield, Second Sight
Shaping: Move Object, Arcane Weapon, Wind Shaping, Wind Walking

Persona
Calling: The Adept, Mastery of the Arcane
Destiny/Fate: Seven of Chalices, Practical/Deluded
Goals: Keep Brynn safe, help Bethan, Learn the secrets of the Rose Adepts.
Corruption: None, but she thinks she might have unduly influenced her parents with Psychic Arcana. This is something she has only shared with Brynn.

Relationships
Brynn (4). She is the love of my life. My soulmate, my anamchara. I see a better version of myself in her eyes and she makes me want to be that person. I will always find her.
Bethan (2). She is my best friend. To everyone else, she is the indestructible Slayer but we have shared fears, sorrow, and happiness. I know the true Bethan.
Gwawr (2). She is my best friend's sister. I sense power from her, but she doesn't know it yet herself. She loves Brynn so much I can't help but be protective of her.

Brynn, Adept of the White Rose

Living in the great forests of the Pavin Weald is not an easy life.  Living under the shadow of sorcery makes it much tougher.  Brynn grew up in such an environment. Her father and brother were both stern military men that took the point of view that women need to remain at home.  He wanted to rais his daughter the same way, her mother, Meghan, would have nothing to do with that. While many girls in this part of the Pavin Weald did not bother to learn to read, Brynn was taught by her mother. She also learned that she, her mother and grandmother, were all part of a great legacy of Reznan Witches. Her father, Riobard, had rescued Meghan from a Darkfiend attack many years ago.  Riobard always felt it was the trace of Vata blood in Meghan, her mother and now in Brynn that had attracted the Darkfiends.  After Meghan had died Brynn learned that a sizable sum of money had been saved for her to attend University in Aldis.
She left her home and entered the wide world for the first time.
She also met Helyg.
When she met Helyg she felt a deep connection to her from the start. She knew Helyg had power, she had felt the same around her mother and grandmother.  It was not till they touched, physically and mentally, that she learned the truth.  Helyg and Brynn had been part of each other's Eternal Dance since the dawn of time. Always together, always finding each other. Thousands of lives and names. Names like Bodhmal and Liath, Sallie and Teamhair, Will and Tamara, Willow and Tara, flooded their minds. Sometimes the love was romantic, other times familial, but always in love. They knew they were Anamchara.
They have had no time to reflect on this though. They have encountered a new Shadowgate and more Darkfiends pour out.  Helyg and Brynn have also learned that they might be the first Rose Adepts in nearly one-hundred years.

Name:
Brynn
Race:
Human (some Vata heritage)
Background:
Forrest Folk (living in Aldis)
Class: Adept Level: 3

ABILITY
Score Focus
ACCURACY
3 2
COMMUNICATION
2 Psychic
CONSTITUTION
2
DEXTERITY
2
FIGHTING
1
INTELLIGENCE
4 3 Natural Lore, Arcane Lore
PERCEPTION
2
STRENGTH
2
WILLPOWER
4

Combat
AR 0
Defense 12
Health 35
Weapon Groups: Brawling, Staves

Staff, Attack 3, Damage 1d6+1
Athame, Attack 1, Damage 1d6

POWERS, TALENTS, AND SPECIALIZATIONS
Armor Training: None
Talents: Arcane Training: Psychic (J), Healing (N)
Mundane Talents: Animal Training (Horses) (N), Medicine (N)

ARCANA
Psychic: Psychic Contact*, Psychic Shield, Second Sight, Calm, Sense Minds
Healing: Cure, Sleep

Persona
Calling: The Moon, Discovery of Secrets
Destiny/Fate: Six of Rods, Confident/Apprehensive
Goals: Protect Helyg from Corruption, help Bethan and Gwawr, Learn the secrets of the Rose Adepts.
Corruption: None.

Relationships
Helyg (4). She is the love of my life. My soulmate, my anamchara. I see a better version of myself in her eyes and she makes me want to be that person. I will always find her.
Bethan (1). She is Helyg's best friend and she treats me like I am family. If I can help her in anything I will.
Gwawr (2). She is my best friend, even though she is younger. She also has powerful psychic potential, but it is untested. I will protect her as my mother protected me.

*When using Psychic Contact between each other, neither Helyg nor Brynn suffer fatigue.  Contact is made at +5 to their rolls.

WOW. I am so, so pleased with these stats. I can't wait to play these two!

Anamchara
“The only thing more frightening than meeting a Celt in battle is meeting a Celt in battle with his wife at his side.” 
- Attributed to Pliny the Elder, 1st Century CE

Anamchara (“on-um-kor-ah”), or soul-mate, is the Gaelic term used to describe a deep and powerful bound shared between two people. This goes beyond mere companionship and even beyond love; the souls of the two people are connected at a deep and fundamental level. Some occult scholars even speculate anamchara share one soul between two physical people.
The anamchara (singular and plural) are often aware of each other on a preternatural level. While this not a full blown telepathy or even empathy it is beyond what the normal senses would allow. This manifests itself in mundane ways as two lovers humming the same song at the same time with no outside influence, husband and wife completing each others sentences, separated twins living parallel lives, or even one sibling knowing her other sibling is about to walk into a room before the event happens.
Anamchara can be, and often are, lovers, but they are not limited to that alone. Some anamchara can also be very close siblings or very deeply devoted friends. Sometimes the connection can be forged in battle, giving rise to a “brothers-in-arms” effect. The Anamchara can also have a deep connection resulting from life times of being together, often both having been in the Eternal Dance together for centuries.
The only prerequisites for this are the two characters must love each other, as represented by a relationship intensity of 3 or greater.


     ANAMCHARA STUNTS
SP  Stunt
5   I Will Always Find You. This acts like a mild form of Empathy or Awareness that extends only to their anamchara. This grants +2 to locate their anamchara via mundane, magic or psychic means. This also gives each anamchara a broad sense of the other’s health and well being.
5   I’ll Stand By You. When anamchara are together even dire situations do not seem as grim. With a soothing word or even a knowing look a character can grant her anamchara +5 on any one test. Best of all, she can do it after the player has already made this test. The granting character spends her Action explaining she is doing this to aid her beloved. This can only be done once per game session per character.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Willow & Tara: Armageddon, the End Times

This post has been a long time coming.

Back in 2001 I started a project to stat out two of my favorite witches for every RPG I have ever played.  You can see the fruits of those efforts here.  I printed out hundreds of character sheets, filled them out, even used a few in games.  Deep diving into two characters and seeing how they work across different systems and different worlds. It has been a great time.



One set of sheets I started in 2006 and thought, oh I'll get to these when I run my "Generation HEX" game.  Well...I never got around to those sheets.  I was in the habit putting the date of the game on the top of the sheet. That way I could keep the overall campaign straight in my head.

This week was the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a milestone I was going to leave unremarked.  But I pulled out those sheets and noticed the date on them.   The game was also one I wanted to revisit this year given ...all sorts of reasons.

The year was 2017 and the game was Armageddon: The End Times.



There are so many reasons that Armageddon is the most perfect choice for Willow and Tara in 2017.

Armageddon is the sequel to the WitchCraft RPG much in the same sense that the Buffy RPG is; just a different evolutionary path. Armageddon features much more powerful characters in a post-apocalyptic world. In fact, there is a lot about the game world of 2017 that we can relate too in the real world of 2017.

I described Armageddon as:
The ultimate expression of the Classic Unisystem game line. Use it as a future for your WitchCraft games, or as source material for WitchCraft and All Flesh Must Be Eaten. Far improved over the poorly edited 1st Edition, this could be C.J. Carella's finest work and that is saying something.
It should then stand to reason that my versions of Willow and Tara should also be represented in their ultimate expression.

Willow & Tara in 2017



Given what I have been doing with the characters for the last few years I would have to say they have been largely retired.  Given the reunion staged by Entertainment Weekly, I would say something pulled them out of retirement.  Maybe a horrible orange monster threatening to take over the world. Or something.

On my sheets, I gave them both 200 extra character points. One of the first things I did was buy off many of their drawbacks. Most of that stuff dealt with youth and being young.  I am also going with the fan-favorite theory that they have two daughters by this time.

I didn't buy up their attributes much save for maybe ones that would be expected to improve due to better diet and exercise.

Willow Rosenberg-Maclay
Wicce Seeker of Knowledge
Gifted Master

Age: 36, Ht: 5'3", Hair: Red, Eyes: Green

Attributes: Str 2 Dex 3 Con 3 Int 5 Per 5 Wil 6
Life Points 36
Endurance 38
Speed 12
Essence 65

Channeling Level: 8

Qualities & Drawbacks: Gifted (+5), Essence Channeling (25), Increased Essence Pool (+20), Adversary (Assorted, 2), Ambidexterity, Anamchara, Attractiveness (+2), Hard to Kill (+2), Honorable (-1), Minority, Lesbian (-1), Nerves of Steel (3), Old Soul (2), Resources (3, wealthy)

Skills: Acrobatics (4), Brawling (3), Bureaucracy (5), Computers (9), Computer Hacking (9), Computer Programming (9), Craft (5), Dodge (6), Electronics (5), Engineering, Robotics (5), Humanities, Psychology (1), Languages (English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Russian), Magic Theory (5), Instruction (1), Medicine, General (2), Occult Knowledge (9), Research (4), Rituals, Wicce (7), Trance (1).

Powers: Absob Power, Aura of Confidence, Create Ward, Essence Shield, Farsee, Flame, Float, Mindtalk strength and art (7), Mindhands strength and art (5), Lightning Bolt, Mindfire strength (5) art (4), Mindtalk strength and art (5), Physical Shield, Search Person (4)* (8 if that person is Tara, Brianna or Chole), Sending, Soulfire Blast, Visual Illusion.


Tara Rosenberg-Maclay
Wicce Weird One
Gifted Master

Age: 37, Ht: 5'5", Hair: Blonde, Eyes: Blue


Attributes: Str 3 Dex 2 Con 3 Int 5 Per 6 Wil 6
Life Points 36
Endurance 38
Speed 10
Essence 70

Channeling Level: 8

Qualities & Drawbacks: Gifted (+5), Essence Channeling (25), Increased Essence Pool (+20), Artistic Talent (7), Hard to Kill (+1), Honorable (-1), Minority, Lesbian (-1),  Nerves of Steel (3), Old Soul (2), Resources (3, wealthy)

Skills: Cooking (5), Craft, Candle Making (2), Craft, Simple Crafts (4), Humanities, Art History (6), Humanities, Psychology (7), Languages (English, French, Gaelic [Irish], Greek, Japanese, Latin), Magic Bolt (4), Magic Theory (5), Instruction (5), Medicine, General (2), Myth and Legend, Folk Magic (7), Occult Knowledge (9), Research (4), Rituals, Wicce (7), Singing (2), Survival, Urban (2), Trance (2), Dancing (3)

Powers: Blessing of Protection, Create Ward, Essence Sheild, Flame, Float, Influence Emotional State, Lesser Healing (Heal Wounds, Cure Disease), Mindfire strength and art (4), Mindtalk strength and art (5), One with the Land, Perceive True Nature, Physical Shield, Search Person (4)* (8 if that person is Willow, Brianna or Chole), Sending, Touch of Healing*, Visual Illusion

*Tara still retains her healing touch divine powers from when she was brought back from the dead.

Not sure if I spent all my points correctly, but that is fine. I had a lot of fun doing this.

So for me it has been nearly 10 years since I used these characters in these incarnations.
What have they been doing?  Well in the Dragon and the Phoenix/Season of the Witch timeline they moved to Boston, been married for years. Willow owned a software security firm ("RedWitch") that she later sold making millions. Tara has degrees in art history and counseling. She teaches at a school for young magicians and witches (no not Hogwarts). They have two daughters Brianna 12 and Chole 9.

If you want to see a "timeline" of their development then here you go. These are in world-chronological order, not the order I wrote them.

Pre-2000, BESM
2000-1, WitchCraft
2001, d20 Modern
2002, BESM-d20
2003, BESM 3rd Ed
2004, World of Darkness
2005, Chill
2006, Cartoon Action Hour Season 3
2006-7, Doctor Who
2007, Savage Worlds
2007, DC Heroes
2008, Cortext
2008, World of Darkness (new)
2009, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd ed
2010, OVA
2011, Mutants and Masterminds 3rd ed
2012, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
2013, Superbabes

There are more, but you get the idea here.

This was great. Like meeting up with old friends again and seeing that they are getting along wonderfully. Been wanting to do this for a while now and it did not disapoint.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Willow & Tara: Victorious

I am continuing my week-long deep dive of the Victorious game and I thought I'd go back to some familiar territory for me.   Though to be fair, the game did give me this idea.

There are a couple of things about Victorious right from the start. First, the ability to port in other classes from other SEIGE Engine games, like Castles & Crusades.  Second, the in-game plot element that there are some characters there from the 21st Century.
So what if I DID decide to bring some characters? Who should I bring over?  No real question really.
While I was working on this post the question of Savage World's Rippers was also brought up. So why not try something with that too.

So here is my premise. Sometime in 2006 (not 2016) Willow and Tara are ripped out of their time back to London of the 1890s.  Let's just say 1896.  Digging through some old games....ah yes, they were at a museum in London and they saw a daguerreotype picture of themselves in Victorian period dress with another woman.  Maybe something like this.

Willow and Tara flanking the Slayer of Victorian Age, Tara LaGrange by mqken.
The other young woman is Tara LaGrange who is featured as a "Slayer" in the Rippers book.

So. Let's try bringing in my two favorite witches using some of the spell casting rules from Castles & Crusades (I'll do something different tomorrow) and see if I can build a Slayer using these rules.

As cool as those guns are and as tempted I am to really turn the Steampunk elements up to 11 on this, I also want to do a simple spellcaster conversion first.
I have a few things I need to consider.  1. Are spells Vancian in nature?  I think I am going to say yes with the option that certain low-level spells can be cast more than once. A signature spell so to speak.
2. Can spellcasters mix in magickal powers? Again yes, but I am going to limit it to just what they get for their CHA bonus +1.

For spellcasters, they take the "Spellcaster Power" every other level.  This gives them access to the next level of spells.  So Spellcaster as levels 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17 for spell levels Cantrips and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 respectively.  This gives them roughly half of the free Power Points of other characters. So these remainder points can be allocated as needed.  Typically I would see a spellcaster at first level taking Spellcasting, Blast (Magick) and Psycho-Kinesis.  The 1 point shortcoming is that the spells must be studied in a book of rituals.

Willow
Proper Name: Willow Danielle Rosenberg
Strength: 9 (0)
Dexterity: 11 (0)
Constitution: 13 (+1)
Intelligence: 18 (+3)*
Wisdom: 16 (+2)
Charisma: 17 (+2)*
INIT: +0
Actions: 1 per round
AC: 10, +6 (Mystic)
Defensive: +9 Vision
Hit Points: 44
Level: 12
Alignment: Good
Victory Points: 5
Skills: History/Legend (Intelligence), Linguist (Intelligence), Occult (Intelligence), Prime (Intelligence), Science (Intelligence)
Languages: English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew
Supernatural Powers: see Packages

Packages:
Spellcaster (Arcane) 12th level.
Spells
0: Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Message, Prestidigitation
1: Burning Hands, Comprehend Language, Identify, Magic Missile, Shield, Shocking Grasp
2: Darkness, Knock, Levitate, Locate Object, See Invisible
3: Clairvoyance/Clairaudience, Dispel Magic, Fly, Lightning Bolt, Suggestion
4: Arcane Eye, Fear, Mnemonic Enhancer
5: Contact Other Plane, Permanency, Telepathic Bond*
6: Chain Lighting, Guards and Wards

Powers: (Spellcaster) Blast 2, Keen Senses (Sight, Magick), Psycho-Kinesis 2, Telepathy,

Shortcomings: Enemy 2 (The Beast), Enemy 1 (Dracula), Minority (Lesbian Jew in 1890s England), Notorious, Phobia (Frogs), Watched (British Home Office)

Tara
Proper Name: Tara Ann Maclay
Strength: 12 (0)
Dexterity: 12 (0)
Constitution: 11 (+1)
Intelligence: 16 (+2)*
Wisdom: 18 (+3)*
Charisma: 16 (+2)*
INIT: +0
Actions: 1 per round
AC: 10, +6 (Mystic)
Defensive: +9 Vision
Hit Points: 42
Level: 11
Alignment: Good
Victory Points: 6
Skills: Fine Arts (Charisma) History/Legend (Intelligence), Occult (Intelligence), Prime (Wisdom)
Languages: English, Latin, Greek
Supernatural Powers: see Packages

Packages:
Spellcaster (Divine) 11th level.
Spells
0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Endure Elements, First Aid, Light, Purify Food & Drink
1: Animal Friendship, Calm Animals, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Obscuring Mist, Shillelagh
2: Animal Messenger, Cure Light Wounds, Hold Animal, Produce Flame, Speak with Animals
3: Call Lightning, Neutralize Poison, Protection from Elementals, Pyrotechnics, Speak with Plants
4: Cure Serious Wounds, Dispel Magic, Scrying
5: Cure Critical Wounds, Commune with Nature
6: Find the Path

Powers: (Spellcaster) Healing, Keen Senses (Sight, Magick), Psycho-Kinesis 2, Telepathy,

Shortcomings: Enemy 1 (The Beast), Enemy 1 (Dracula), Minority (Lesbian Wicca in 1890s England), Watched (British Home Office)

I like both of these. They are right out of C&C, but I feel they could go toe-to-toe with the big bads of Victorious.  I also think they compare favorably to their Amazing Adventures counterparts.

Now on to The Slayer.
Tara LaGrange appears in the Savage Worlds Rippers universe.  I converted her to Unisystem as both a normal girl and as an honest-to-goodness Vampire Slayer.
If I stick with 1896 then Miss LaGrange will be 21.

The Slayer
Proper Name: Tara LaGrange
Strength: 18 (+3) / 23 (+5)
Dexterity: 16 (+2) / 21 (+4)
Constitution: 13 (0) / 18 (+3)
Intelligence: 12 (0)
Wisdom: 12 (0)
Charisma: 16 (+2)
INIT: +12 (Intution, Lightning Speed)
Actions: 1 per round
AC: 10, +2/+4 (Dodge), +3 (Lightning Speed)
Defensive:
Hit Points: 50
Level: 5
Alignment: Good
Victory Points: 5
Skills: Prime (Strength), Melee
Languages: English, French
Supernatural Powers: see Packages and Powers

Packages:
Slayer (theme)**
- Attribute Increase: Strength
- Attribute Increase: Constitution
- Intuition
- Might
- Regeneration (heal self 1d6 per rank)
- Robust

Powers: Robust 2 (taken at level 2), Might 2 (taken at level 3), Attribute Increase (Dexterity) (taken at level 4), Robust 3 (taken at level 5)

Shortcomings: Enemy 2 (Vampires)**, Enemy 1 (Dracula), Obligation**, Watched (British Home Office)**

Powers marked with ** are part of the Slayer Package.


I might need to tweak it a bit more, but for Miss LaGrange here I think it will work rather nicely.
I am now thinking I want to run a game with these three!  Maybe do that vampire game I have been thinking about for a while now.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Willow & Tara: D&D 5th Edition (Modern)

I haven't visited my witches in a while. Some part of my brain likes to think they are nice and retired, living in the suburbs somewhere raising a bunch of daughters.  So I never even considered doing a post with them for D&D 5.

Geek and Sundry decided to do it for me.

Granted they did for the Buffy cast, but Willow and Tara got a special place on their list.
Check out their link, If the Apocalypse Comes, Play D&D, to give them the hits.

They also did some Harry Potter sheets too, because Hermoine and Willow in the same game would be epic. (Also remember, the Scobby gang are the same ages of the Potter kids. They were in "high school" at the same time).

But here are my girls in their D&D form.


So. What Wild Shape would Tara prefer?  I also approve of Tara being just a bit lower level than the rest of the gang.



Necromancy for Willow?  You know, I think I can see this.

These are obviously early in their adventures, Season 4 to 5 I would say.

Consequently, today is Alyson Hannigan's birthday! So Happy Birthday Alyson!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Willow & Tara: Castle Falkenstein

It's been a while since I visited my two favorite witches.  I thought they were mostly retired by now, trying to live a quiet life.    Well I was wrong!

Long time reader and friend Ronnie Bradley shared his Castle Falkenstein stats with me.  I really like what he has done here.  Ronnie was also responsible for the Kult stats from a few years ago.  Willow from Boston and Tara having a Fey background actually ties in nicely to things I have done too.

So thank you Ronnie! Here are his stats.

Willow & Tara for Castle Falkenstein

The world of the Victorian age of New Europa is a world of steampunk technology, Faerie, Magick and derring do. It is of course our own Europe of the Victorian era with a few obvious changes but the nations remain the same. How do Willow and Tara fit into this world? Here is my take on it.
Given that so much of the action takes place in New Europa and the sheer weight of history and intrigue in that area I am going to have Willow and Tara emigrating to London. Willow will be a Consulting Detective (very similar to Madame Vastra in Doctor Who) who specializes in dealing with the occult and mystical crimes with her partner and lover Tara, who is the heiress to a great estate and fortune in England thanks to her Fey lineage.

The character sheets along with a small biography for the two characters are presented below. I have added the Health Points for those who wish to use the standard combat system from the main rulebook rather than the revised one from Comme Il Faut.
Whilst the overwhelming amount of information is held by the core rulebook, some of the skills and tomes come from Comme Il faut and a few tomes from The Book of Sigils. It would be useful to have these 3 books at least (and Sixguns & Sorcery is always a good one as well).

Willow and Tara flanking the Slayer of Victorian Age, Tara LaGrange by mqken.
Willow Rosenberg
Willow was born in Boston, Massachusetts and showed herself to be an adept and able student at school, excelling in the sciences and engineering. Many believed that she would become a great mathematician and perhaps solve the great scientific mysteries of the day. However as she entered College (still a great rarity for a woman of that age) she found herself becoming interested in the mystical and how magick could be manipulated.
For Willow magick became an equation to be cracked, a formula to be stripped down and re-assimilated. Using her keen mind she was able to strip spells down to their core components and re-assemble them as she wished. In the course of her studies into the mystical arts she became friends with and eventually lover to Tara Maclay, a sorceress whose power was only matched by her beauty. Willow soon learned that there was a price to pay for her tinkering and began to realise that magick was part of the natural lifeblood of the world and that damaging and tinkering with its power unchecked could cause grave repercussions.
Unwittingly letting loose a daemon from the Unseelie Court into the college, she was able to stop it with Tara’s help. Her actions however had her thrown out of the college to the shame of her family, who could not accept Willow’s new found interests, both academic and romantic and disowned her. With nowhere to go she was heartened by Tara’s offer to come with her to her ancestral home in England, where they could live in comfort as she continued her studies. There Willow has learned to harness her intellect and keen perception in providing services for those needing help against dark magickal forces.
In the 10 years since their move to England Willow has gained a reputation in London as someone to go to when the crime is mystical or supernatural in nature and her business is a thriving one. Tara remains her partner both in business and in love and together they have defeated many attacks on British soil by nefarious  Wizards and sorcerous orders and the Unseelie Court. Willow is by nature loyal to her friends and especially to Tara although she can at times be quick tempered and whilst Tara is by nature passive Willow is more certainly more aggressive.

STATS
Willow Rosenberg, 32 yr old Sorceress (Consulting Detective) Health Points: 7

Skills:
Athletics (GD/♣)
Charisma (GR/)
Comeliness (EXC/)
Connections (GR/♠)
Courage (GR/)
Education (EXT/)
Exchequer (GD/♠)
Invention (EXT/)
Fencing (GD/♣)
Marksmanship (GD/♣)
Motoring (GD/♣)
Natural Sciences (GR/)
Perception (EXC/♦)
Performance (PR/)
Riding (PR/♣)
Sorcery (AST/)
Tinkering (EXC/)

Equipment: 22 Derringer, Rapier, Notebook, magnifying glass. Willow also has an extensive library of criminology and a small  lab in the basement of the London mansion that is their base of operations. Money is almost no object so assume any day to day items needed can be provided for.

Tara Maclay
Tara was born the daughter of a wealthy woman who met and married her father, a lay preacher, whilst on holiday in Boston and chose to stay there with him. Their eldest, a son, followed his father into the ministry whilst the younger, Tara, grew up as a gentlewoman.
Tara’s mother however had kept back one thing from her husband, her Fey ancestry. Not only was she Fey, she was in fact Tuatha De Danu, one of the rarest of all the Fey races and the most powerful. Her husband, whilst a good man in most respects, saw the Fey in strict black and white and saw them all as demons and tempters to be thwarted. As such, she did not share her life energy with either of her children, ensuring they were born mortal so as not to raise suspicion. Although she did not pass on her secrets of magick to her son, who she quickly realised was her husband in younger form, she did teach what she knew to her daughter, especially with regards to the delicate nature of balance and the need for the Second Compact. Tara showed a remarkable ability with magick. Whilst not powerful she showed an effortless ability to cast spells seeming to easily and safely grasp the thaumaturgical energy from the ether and give it form.
Sadly, her mother’s presence was soon discovered by the Unseelie and in her determination to save her children, she sacrificed herself to protect them. Her father and brother, grief stricken, declared all fey to be the enemy of the family and went on a moral crusade to rid all of them, Seelie and Unseelie, from the town. They were eventually stopped by Tara, using spells of defence and confusion to keep them from killing a family of fey who had resided in the area for decades. In doing so she accepted and embraced her fey heritage and was renounced by her family as a demon.
Tara moved away, eventually becoming a part of a small coven dedicated to protecting the people of Boston from the forces of darkness. Whilst at a meeting with the head of her coven who taught at the local college, she struck up a friendship with a young woman who was interested in learning about magick. The young woman, Willow, soon won Tara’s heart and their relationship grew stronger. She saw in Willow incredible power but a recklessness in her determination to wield and understand the forces around her. It was this recklessness that led to the opening of a portal and the near destruction of the college.
Tara aided Willow in defeating the demon that appeared but when the Coven asked her to choose between them and her new friend, she chose Willow. At that point fate intervened and she was visited by a man who turned out to be her maternal Grandfather. She learned of her lineage and of their ancestral home. Although she was not Fey she was still the eldest of the lineage as her brother had refused to acknowledge the line. She was given the title of Lady Tara Maclay of Constance Manor, a
stately home on the outskirts of London, along with the deed to the house. The grandfather died soon after, but not before giving his blessing to her love and wishing them well.
In the 10 years since their move to London, Tara has graced high society and her initial shyness has been replaced by a quiet confidence. She aids Willow in her Detective work whilst often entertaining dignitaries from around the world and from the Fey realms. She is often seen as a neutral ambassador and her clear headedness is often used for diplomatic work for the Fey in high society.

STATS
Tara Maclay, 32 year old Sorceress (Noblewoman) Health Points: 7

SKILLS
Charisma (GR/)
Comeliness (EXC/)
Connections (GD/♠)
Courage (GR/)
Education (GD/)
Exchequer (EXC/♠)
Fencing (GD/♣)
Fisticuffs (PR/♣)
Marksmanship (GD/♣)
Motoring (GD/♣)
Perception (EXT/)
Performance (GR/)
Physician (GR/)
Riding (GR/♣)
Social Graces (EXC/♠)
Sorcery (AST/)
Tinkering (PR/)
Equipment: 22 Derringer, rapier. Assume any other equipment needed is either already owned or can easily be acquired given
the wealth available.

SPELLS
Given that Castle Falkenstein doesn’t have a traditional spell list but rather certain spells in certain tomes I list below the tomes that Tara’s mother, over the years, has managed to copy out of. This makes the Maclay tome one of the most complete tomes of magick ever assembled and would mean instant death from several orders if they knew the couple had access to spells and rituals known only to specific sorcerous orders. As such the tome is held in a secret part of the library, hidden from all so as to keep the Manor and the couple safe.
A note on casting. The corebook states that if more than one person casts then only the Sorcery skill from the primary caster is subtracted from the Thaumaturgical energy cost. That is fair enough but not really in line with Willow and Tara and how they cast when together so for them subtract their total score from the TER (which yes makes them incredibly powerful). A Joker will still wildfire a spell but they should be able to mitigate the results.

The following tomes all appear in the core rulebook with the exception of those marked * which appear in Comme Il faut and those marked ^ which are found in The Book Of Sigils.

Manuscriptum Mentallis
Ritual Writing Of Psychic Binding
Megron’s Realm Of Dreaming
Realm Of The Unknown Mind
Osman’s Tome Of Physical Movement
Scrolls Of Dimensional Movement
Manuscript Of paranormal Divination
Manuscript Of Elemental Shaping
Burton’s On The raised Forces Of Nature
Primal Forces Raised*
Realm Of The Senses*
Zwinge’s Practicum^
The Didi Papyrus^
The Book Of Glass^
The Riddler’s Guide^

Ultimately this is just one possible interpretation of how the couple could exist inside the great world that is Falkenstein. Obviously change and augment what you feel needs changing but I think as they sit they would be interesting characters and fun to play and powerful in themselves without being completely unstoppable.

--

Ronnie, I don't think I could have done any better myself!  Thanks so much.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why I Love RPGS: C. J. Carella's WitchCraft RPG

Note: This is part of the Dyvers Project on RPGs.  We are supposed to talk about RPGS we love and why we love them.  This is my second part.

RPGS I Love: C. J. Carella's WitchCraft RPG

WitchCraft is, hands down, my favorite game.  Period.  Picking up a copy of this book back in 1999 was just like picking up a copy of the Monster Manual in 1979.  Everything I ever wanted in a game was right there.
Everything.

WitchCraft had such a profound effect on my gaming that I can draw a rather clean line between what came before and what came after it.  Granted a lot was going on in 1999/2000 both gamingwise and personal that may have added to the this effect, it was an effect all the same.

Back in 1999 I was really burned out on D&D.   I was working on my own Witch netbook and reading a bunch of different games when someone, I forget where, must have been the old RAVENLOFT-L that TSR/WotC used to run, told me I really need to check out WitchCraft.  At first I balked.  I had tried Vampire a couple years ago and found I didn't like it (and I was very much out of my vampire phase then), but I was coming home from work and the my FLGS was on the way, so I popped in and picked up a copy.  This must have been the early spring of 2000.

I can recall sitting in my office reading this book over and over. Everything was so new again, so different.  This was the world I had been trying, in vain, to create for D&D but never could.  The characters in this book were also all witches, something that pleased me to no end, it was more than just that.  Plus look at that fantastic cover art by George Vasilakos. That is one of my most favorite, is not my favorite, cover for a game book. I have it hanging in my game room now.

WitchCraft uses what is now called the "Classic" Unisystem system.  So there are 6 basic attributes, some secondary attributes (derived), skills and qualities and drawbacks.  Skills and attributes can be mixed and matched to suit a particular need.

WitchCraft uses a Point-Buy Metaphysics magic system, unlike Ghosts of Albion's levels of magic and spells system.  Think of each magical effect as a skill that must be learned and you have to learn easier skills  before the harder ones first.    In D&D for example it is possible to learn Fireball and never have learned Produce Flame.  In WitchCraft you could not do that.  WitchCraft though is not about throwing around "vulgar magics".  WitchCraft is a survival game where the Gifted protect humanity from all sorts of nasty things, from forgotten Pagan gods, to demons, fallen angels and the Mad Gods; Cthulhoid like horrors from beyond.  WitchCraft takes nearly everything from horror and puts all together and makes it work.

The Eden Studios version was the Second Edition, I was later to find out.  The first one was from Myrmidon Press. I manged to find a copy of that one too and it was like reading the same book, from an alternate universe.  I prefer the Eden Edition far more for a number of reasons, but I am still happy to have both editions.

The central idea behind WitchCraft is the same as most other Modern Supernatural Horror games.  The world is like ours, but there are dark secrets, magic is real, monsters are real. You know the drill.  But WitchCraft is different.  There is a Rekoning coming, everyone feels it, but no one knows what it is.  Characters then take on the roles of various magic using humans, supernatuals or even mundane humans and they fight the threats.  Another conceit of the game (and one I use a lot) is that supernatural occurances are greater now than ever before.  Something's coming.  (dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria).

It is most often compared to World of Darkness, but there are things WitchCraft does that I just like better.  Unlike (old) Mage there is no war between the (good) Mages and the (evil) Technocracy.  There is a war certainly, but nothing so cut and dry.  Unlike new Mage there are rarely clean divisions between the factions.  Yes, yes Mage players, I am being overly simple, but that is the point, on the simple levels new Mage dives everything into 5 because that is how the designers want it.  There are factions (Associations) and there are different metaphysics for each, but also overlap, and sometimes no clear and defined lines are to be found or given.  It feels very organic.

In my opinion C. J. Carella may be one of the best game designers out there.  WitchCraft is a magnum opus that few achieve.  I took that game and I ran with it.  For 2000 - 2003 it was my game of choice above and beyond anything.  The Buffy RPG, built on the Cinematic Unisystem took over till I wrote Ghosts of Albion, which also use the Cinematic Unisystem.  I mix and match the systems as I need, but WitchCraft is still my favorite.

WitchCraft in fact is what got me into professional game design.

Back in the Spring/Summer of 2001 I started up a new game.  I had just purchased the WitchCraft RPG book about 16 months prior and I was looking for something new.  That something came to me in the guise of Willow and Tara.  I had been watching Buffy for a bit and I really enjoyed the character of Willow.  When she got together with fellow witch Tara I thought they were perfect.  I had become very involved in the online Willow/Tara fandom so I created a game, focusing on just them.

The game would focus on just these two, no one else from the show (which I would soon become an ex-fan of, but that is a different story).  Plus it gave me something to try out in a modern setting, something I have not done since my days with the Chill RPG.

The trickiest part of developing game stats of any fictional character that belongs to someone else is knowing how to strike a balance between the game's rules and the fictional pottrayal. A lot of "artisitc" license needs to be used in order to get a good fit. For example, how do you determine what some one's strength is when there is little to no on screen evidence? What spells would the girls have?

In the end I decided to play it a little loose, but I love where their stats ended up.  In many ways this is who Willow and Tara are to me, not the characters on TV or comics, but the ones that were my characters since that day back in May 2001 that I decided they needed their own chance to shine.

After this I went on to work on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG.  It should be no suprise then that the Willow and Tara stats that appear there are not that much different than my own.  I can be quite vocal in play tests.  That got me the chance to write the Ghosts of Albion RPG. This also allowed me to meet, work with and remain friends with Christopher Golden and Amber Benson.

WitchCraft paved the way for so many other games for me, not just in terms of playing but in writing.  If it were not for WitchCraft then we would not have had Buffy, Angel or Army of Darkness.  Conspiracy X would have remained in the it's original system. There would be no Terra Primate or All Flesh Must Be Eaten and certainly there would be no Ghosts of Albion.  The game means that much to me.

But you don't have to take my word for it, Eden Studios will let you have it, sans some art, for free.
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=692&it=1&affiliate_id=10748

Download it.  If you have never played anything else other than D&D then you OWE it yourself to try this game out.

My thing is I wish it was more popular than it is.  I love the game. If I was told I could only play one game for the rest of my life then WitchCraft would be in my top 3 or 2 choices.
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