Showing posts with label wga. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wga. Show all posts

Monday, November 23, 2009

RPG Net Discussions; Pirates and Witches

So there are two threads I am currently actively following on RPG.Net.


Normally I don’t air the dirty laundry on other sites, but the issues of these two discussions need a wider audience.

The first is something that I think more people need to know about.

Outlaw Press, known for selling Tunnels and Trolls products, has been stealing art and publishing material they do not own.

It is worth reading for a few reasons. One, to know if anything you have done might be there (though I think all the artists have been identified). Two, as a cautionary tale, if you steal someone else's work you will get caught.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=483885 but also discussed in my T&T centric places, http://trollbridge.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=1163

The other is a discussion on Princess Lucinda Nightbane from Witch Girls Adventures.

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=484151

That one has to be read to be believed. But I do find it a tad hypocritical that people playing games about their characters killing things and taking their stuff can get so bent out of shape when it is a little girl doing the exact same things.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Selfish Succubus


I picked up a copy of "Instant Antagonist: The Selfish Succubus" last week. Instant Antagonists is a new product line from Flames Rising. Now full disclaimer here, I know Matt McElroy and I am a fan of his site and his work. IF you are a horror gamer you really can't help but be a fan really. Horror news, gaming news, interviews and now products like IA.


What is IA? Well it is actually a very cool idea. They spend a few pages to fully develop a character to use in any system. This is quite a good idea really. Most often you get character stats, but not much in the way of background or story. The IA aims to change that. So how do they do? Well I have the first one here.
Lily Sinclaire is a succubus. Not in the metaphorical sense, but a really honest-to-the-devil succubus and for whatever reason she is out of Hell and here to have a good time. In "Instant Antagonist: The Selfish Succubus" we are introduced to Lily, also known as Lilis, through some fiction and a description. She is beautiful, looks and sounds exotic and has a prehensile tail. Yeah a tail. She has to cut it off every night, but otherwise it is a tail. In what might be a preview of how future Instant Antagonists might be like, we are given descriptions of how she looks, about how smart she might be. WE are also given insight to what they might be like, powerwise, through their systemless system of Mind, Body and Spirit. Things like "she thinks quickly on her feet", or "she knows a lot about ancient history". I found this to be a very effective way to describe the character. So I have an idea of what she might be like in say Tri-Stat or Unisystem, stats wise.
Multiple origins are given for her to help place her in your favorite system better. Or even as rumors about her. Despite the fact that the book is all fluff, there is no waste.
And finally there are story hooks, ways you can pull her into your game. Either as the titular antagonist or as someone the characters are likely to interact with. Though given how detailed Lily is, she likely to be elevated to the level of "Guest Star" and not "Monster of the Week". So all the plot hooks can be used one way or the other.
I think that the idea behind Instant Antagonists is a great one. Often times it is too easy to come up with stats and forget the character they are supposed to represent. Lily is the opposite. By presenting her as a character, sans stats, you are forced to think of her as a character, with background and motivations, first and not a collection of numbers.
So what would Lily look like. Mind you here is the other plus of this. I can make as powerful or as weak as I need her to be. Given this background I see Lily as a fringe player in the supernatural world. Yes she is evil, and yes she will need to be stopped sometime, but her introduction will be one of a succubus, freed from Hell making her way in the world. Like a demonic Mary Tyler Moore.
So let's build a Lily Sinclaire using Ghosts of Albion/Angel. Using the Mind-Body-Spirit guide in the book lets convert her to some stats. Her Mind says she knows a lot about ancient history, can manipulate others, has a lot of occult contacts. Ok, so To me that says a better than average Intelligence, say 3 or maybe 4, but maybe a higher Willpower and Perception. I would give her a higher level in some skills and maybe keep her Intelligence at 3. Body says she is very attractive, so Appearance 3, a good dexterity 3, but maybe only a 2 in strength. She has a high tolerance for drugs and alcohol (party girl) so a 4 in Constitution. Her Spirit supports a higher Willpower and even some obsessions or mental problems. She is a succubus, so she gets some demonic powers too. So where does that leave us? I fill in the rest with my own guesses and what I need her to do.

Name: Lily Sinclaire

Motivation: To get what she wants
Creature Type: Succubus (demon)
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Constitution 4, Intelligence 3, Perception 4, Willpower 4
Life Points: 37
Drama Points: 15
Qualities and Drawbacks: Addictions (Sex 2), Adversaries (anyone that knows her true nature), Attractive 2, Contacts (Supernatural 3), Covetous (lecherous 2), Emotional Problems (Cruel 3, Arrogance 2), Hard to Kill 1, Immortal, Innate Magic, Regeneration, Resources (Well off), Secrets (3, many), Supernatural Form (1, has a tail)
Skills: Armed Mayhem 1, Art 2, Athletics 3, Crime 3, Driving/Riding 1, Engineering 1, Fisticuffs 2, Influence 4, Knowledge 5, Languages 4 (English, Latin, Sumerian, Greek), Marksmanship 0, Notice 4, Occultism 4, Physician 1, Science 1.
Maneuvers

Name Score Damage Notes
Dodge +5 Defense action
Grapple +7 Resisted by Dodge
Punch +5 4 Bash


We can also do her up for Witch Girls Adventures using the same guidelines, though I am going to have to guess about her magic and what powers succubi have in this world.

Lily Sinclair, Succubus
Rank: 3
Body: d6 Mind: d6 Senses: d8
Will: d8 Social: d8 Magic: d6
Life Points: 12 Reflex: 9
Resist Magic: 9 Zap Points: 12
Skills: Athletics +2, Basics +2, Dancing +4, Fighting +1, Hear +1, Leader +3, Look +2, Magic Etiquette +2, Mundane Etiquette +3, Mysticism +2, Mythology +4, Streetwise +3
Abilities: Beautiful, Mysterious
Heritage: Demon
Spells: Lily does not know any spells save those magics all Succubi can use.

Looking forward to more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Craft: Rochelle Zimmerman

The last Craft Girl.  The very hot Rachel True as the dangerous type Rochelle
Again, for Unisystem, using Ghosts of Albion magic rules and Witch Girls Adventures.


Rochelle Zimmerman (Rachel True)
Quote: I don't know. She doesn't want to be white trash anymore. I told her, You're white honey! Just get over it.

Drama Points 20
Life Points 34

Attributes
Strength: 3
Dexterity: 3
Constitution: 3
Intelligence: 4
Perception: 2
Willpower: 3

Useful Information
Initiative: 1d10 + 3
Perception: 1d10 + 3
Additional Actions: 2
Fear Modifier: 6
Survival: 6

Qualities
Athlete
Attractiveness 2
Magic 2
Guardian of the Watchtowers (Water)

Drawbacks
Addiction (smoking) 1
Minority
Misfit
Teenager

Skills
Acrobatics 2
Art 1
Computers 1
Crime 1
Doctor 1
Driving 1
Getting Medieval 1
Gun Fu
Influence 2
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 1
Languages 2
Mr. Fix-It
Notice 1
Occultism 3
Science 1
Sports 5 (swimming)
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Punch +3 4 Bash
Dodge +3 Defense action
Grapple +5 Resisted by Dodge
Cast Spell +8 Varies By Spell

Rochelle is the most different of the group, not because she is African-American, but because she is the most normal of the girls. Pretty, athletic (she is on the swim team), and her quest for power was for to be more understanding against the racist members on her swim team. Later though she casts a spell (with Sarahs help) that causes one of the swimmers, Laura, to begin to loose all her hair.

It is Rochelle and Bonnie that leave the group when Nancy turns murderous, and they both approach Sarah in the end to try to reacquaint themselves with her in the end.

Witch Girls Adventures
Clique: Insider

Rochelle (Rachel True)

Body: d6
Mind: d6
Senses: d4
Will: d6
Social: d6
Magic: d6

Life Points: 12
Reflex: 9
Resistance: 9
Zap Points: 17

Traits: Calm, Jock
Heritage: Attuned

Skills: Acrobatics +2, Acting +1, Athletics +5, Basics +2, Computers +1, Fighting +1, Pop Culture +2, Science +1
Casting +3, Magical Etiquette +1, Mysticism +3

Magic:
Elementalism 3
Alteration 2
Conjuration 1
Curse 2
Illusion 3
Offense 1

Age: 16
Gender: Female
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

If we are going to have Bonnie working at a witch school teaching ethics then it seems only right to have Rochelle there as well as the swim coach. I would imagine that Bonnie and Rochelle would have stayed friends after the end of the movie. An listening to the commentary I think that Rochelle would have come around to point of view that she can’t use magic to curse other people, no matter if the racist stuck-up little bleach blonde deserved it or not.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Craft: Bonnie Harper

More Craft girls. Up next, former Partier of Five and future Wild Thing Neve Campbel as Bonnie
Again, for Unisystem, using Ghosts of Albion magic rules and Witch Girls Adventures.

Bonnie Harper (Neve Campbell)
Quote: A new wholeness and with it a new balance. Earth, air, water, fire. Maybe it's our fourth.



Drama Points 20
Life Points 29

Attributes
Strength: 1
Dexterity: 2
Constitution: 3
Intelligence: 3
Perception: 2
Willpower: 2

Useful Information
Initiative: 1d10 + 2
Perception: 1d10 + 4
Additional Actions: 2
Fear Modifier: 4
Survival: 6

Qualities
Attractiveness 2
Magic 2
Guardian of the Watchtowers (fire)
Hard to Kill

Drawbacks
Addiction (smoking) 1
Depression
Outcast
Screwed-up Adolescent
Secret (covered in burns)

Skills
Acrobatics 1
Art 2
Computers 1
Crime 1
Doctor 2
Driving 1
Getting Medieval 1
Gun Fu
Influence 1
Knowledge 3
Kung Fu 1
Languages 2
Mr. Fix-It 1
Notice 2
Occultism 3
Science 2
Sports 1
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Punch +3 2 Bash
Dodge +3 Defense action
Grapple +5 Resisted by Dodge
Cast Spell +7 Varies By Spell

Bonnie is the most withdrawn of Nancys group and maybe one of the most knowledgeable. At some point Bonnie was caught in a fire, leaving most her back, and her psyche, all scared. When she gains her power she uses it to heal herself, but like Nancy and Rochelle it goes to her head. Her attractiveness starts at -1 and then goes up to +2.

She was also the first to notice Sarah was a witch and to notice their power. Bonnie is most likely to have turned back to the religion of witchcraft.

Witch Girls Adventures
Clique: Gothique (not as perfect as with Nancy, but it works)

Bonnie (Neve Campbell)

Body: d4
Mind: d6
Senses: d4
Will: d6
Social: d4
Magic: d6

Life Points: 8
Reflex: 7
Resistance: 9
Zap Points: 12

Traits: Gloomy, Meek
Heritage: Oracle

Skills: Acrobatics +1, Acting +1, Basics +2, Computers +1, Fighting +1, Pop Culture +2, Science +2
Casting +3, Magical Etiquette +3, Mysticism +3

Magic:
Elementalism 3
Alteration 2
Conjuration 2
Curse 1
Healing 1
Illusion 3
Offense 1

Age: 16
Gender: Female
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown

What might make an interesting Witch Girls adventure idea is have Bonnie, now older, working at a magic school where she is teaching magical ethics.  She does not cast anymore (except when dramatically needed, and she is able to heal and near death student) and discovering her past could be a episode away from the main story arc for a season.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Craft: Nancy Downs

Here are the Craft girls.  Everyone's favorite psycho-witch played by a real life pagan, Nancy.
Again, for Unisystem, using Ghosts of Albion magic rules and Witch Girls Adventures.

Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk)
quote: You know, if I were as pathetic as you are, I would have killed myself *ages* ago. You should get on with it.



Drama Points 20
Life Points 33

Attributes
Strength: 2
Dexterity: 2
Constitution: 3
Intelligence: 3
Perception: 2
Willpower: 3

Useful Information
Initiative: 1d10 + 2
Perception: 1d10 + 4
Additional Actions: 2
Fear Modifier: 6
Survival: 7

Qualities
Attractiveness 2
Guardian of the Watchtowers (air)
Hard to Kill
Occult Library 1 (Minimal)
magic 3 (4)


Drawbacks
Addiction (smoking) 1
Conspicuousness (only goth girl in school with a pierced nose)
Cruelty 2
Depression 1
Delusions 1
Lechery 1
Obsession (be powerful) 1
Outcast
Screwed-up Adolescent
Violence 1


Skills
Acrobatics 1
Art
Computers 1
Crime 3
Doctor 1
Driving 2
Getting Medieval 2
Gun Fu 1
Influence 2
Knowledge 3
Kung Fu 2
Languages 1
Mr. Fix-It 1
Notice 2
Occultism 4
Science 2
Sports 1
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Punch +4 4 Bash
Choke +4 1
Kick +3 6 Bash
Knife +4 3
Dodge +4 Defense action
Grapple +6 Resisted by Dodge
Cast Spell +10
Telekinesis +10


Nancy has always been an outsider. Poor, from the wrong family, living in a trailer with mom and her mom's boyfriend, is everything the young and rich of St. Benedicts is not. If Nancy has a philosophy it is "if you can't gain their respect, go for their fear."
With the arrival of Sarah, Nancy sees her chance at real power. Nancy and the other girls gain true power, but it goes to their heads with Nancy even cursing her mom's boyfriend to death. Of course power corrupts and quicker than you can say been there and done that Nancy and Sarah are at it, and not in a good way.



Witch Girls Adventures
Clique (if we were to use it she would be perfect): Gothique

Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk)
Body: d4
Mind: d6
Senses: d4
Will: d8
Social: d6
Magic: d6

Life Points: 8
Reflex: 7
Resistance: 9
Zap Points: 12

Traits: Queen Bee, Wicked
Heritage: Evil Eye (not so much, but Fairuza has some killer eyes)

Skills: Acrobatics +1, Acting +1, Basics +1, Computers +1, Fighting +2, Pop Culture +2, Science +2
Casting +3, Mysticism +4

Magic:
Elementalism 4
Alteration 2
Conjuration 2
Curse 1
Illusion 3
Offense 2

Age: 16
Gender: Female
Hair: Black
Eyes: Blue

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Craft: Sarah Bailey

Here are the Craft girls.  First up Sarah.
Unisystem, using Ghosts of Albion magic rules and Witch Girls Adventures.

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney)
quote: Relax... it's only magic. Now who's pathetic?



Drama Points 20
Life Points 33

Attributes
Strength: 2
Dexterity: 2
Constitution: 3
Intelligence: 3
Perception: 3
Willpower: 4

Useful Information
Initiative: 1d10 + 2
Perception: 1d10 + 6
Additional Actions: 2
Fear Modifier: 8
Survival: 8

Qualities
Attractiveness 2
Guardian of the Watchtowers (earth)
Hard to Kill
Magical Family 1
Magical Group 1
Occult Library 1 (Minimal)
magic 3 (4)


Drawbacks
Adversary (Nancy)
Depression 1
Love: Tragic (Mother)
Misfit
Secret (attempted suicide)
Teenager

Skills
Acrobatics 1
Art 3
Computers 2
Crime 1
Doctor
Driving 1
Getting Medieval 1
Gun Fu
Influence 2
Knowledge 4
Kung Fu 1
Languages 2
Mr. Fix-It
Notice 3
Occultism 4
Science 2
Sports 2
Wild Card

Combat
Maneuver        Bonus      Base Damage        Notes
Punch              +3           4                           Bash
Dodge             +5                                        Defense action
Grapple           +3                                        Resisted by Dodge
Telekinesis       +11
Cast Spell        +11        --                           By Spell


Sarah has already experienced a lot of pain for someone so young. Her mother died in her childbirth and she attempted suicide recently. She moves to LA with her dad and his new wife and her troubles begin a new.
Sarah gets involved with the girls, but has a change of heart when they start to abuse their magic. She tries to bind Nancy, so Nancy uses glamours to get Sarah to kill herself. To fight back Sarah must embrace who she truly is; a witch.  At the end of the movie she has gained an extra level of magic.


Witch Girls Adventures

Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney)
Body: d4

Mind: d6
Senses: d6
Will: d8
Social: d6
Magic: d8

Life Points: 8
Reflex: 7
Resistance: 11
Zap Points: 16

Traits: Jaded, Gloomy
Heritage: Atuned

Skills: Acrobatics +1, Acting +1, Basics +3, Computers +2, Fighting +1, Pop Culture +2, Science +2
Casting +4, Mysticism +3

Magic:
Elementalism 5
Alteration 2
Conjuration 1
Mentalism 2
Protection 2

Age: 16

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scarecrow

"Scarecrow on a wooden cross, blackbird in the barn…" - John Mellencamp, Scarecrow


When I think back to Halloweens of my childhood one image keeps coming back to me. No not vampires or witches, those were more artifacts of my later years. No the image that kept my 4-5 year old self up at night is a Scarecrow. We had the cardboard, jointed Scarecrow that that was common in the 70's. We hung up in our house for a couple of Halloweens. Given the house, I had to have been 4 or 5 at the time. That thing scared the hell out me. I don't feel that fear now, nor even the memory of it, just the memory of the memory, devoid of fear. It's odd really. So this year we wanted to find a Scarecrow for our house, now some 35 years later. I have NEVER seen one though that can match up to the memory I have. So it should be no surprise that I have used Scarecrows in all my games. In fact, Larry Elmore was channeling me (of course!) with this famous cover to Dragon Magazine. I loved the witch on it (and no one can do a witch quite like Mr. Elmore) but that Scarecrow is just plain evil.

For this Halloween here is a collection of Scary Scarecrows to add to your games. Not every game is here, but some of the ones I have used in the past.

Ghosts of Albion/Cinematic Unisystem
Scarecrow

Razzle dazzle drazzle drone. Time for this one to come home.
Razzle dazzle drazzle die. Time for this one to come alive!
- Parchment found near a risen scarecrow

Scarecrows are basic guardians similar to druthers, but not nearly as powerful. Like mundane scarecrows, their bodies are made of straw and cloth. They stumble clumsily about their assigned area and attack most anything that wanders through it. Some scarecrows are bound to a post, and use their paralyzing (fear) gaze to imprison any trespassers.
Scarecrows are assigned to protect a particular area. They never leave the area, even when chasing an intruder. They will attack anything humanoid or animal-like in appearance that walks into it's territory, unless otherwise instructed by their creator.

Name: Scarecrow
Motivation: To follow orders
Creature Type: Magical Construct
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 2, Constitution 6, Intelligence 0, Perception 1, Willpower 0
Ability Scores: Muscle 16, Combat 5, Brains 0
Life Points:
Drama Points: 1
Powers: Fear Gaze (paralyze), Hard to Kill 2, Immune to cold, fear, poisons, sleep, water, and any mind effecting spell, Vulnerability to fire.

Manoeuvres
Name Score Damage Notes
Punch 5 8 Bash
Slam tackle 5 8 Bash
Takedown 6 4
Dodge 6 Defence action
Grapple 7 Resisted by Dodge

A scarecrow can paralyze a victim with its gaze via its fear attack. The victim needs to make a Willpower check (doubled) with at least one success level.
Because of their straw bodies, scarecrows are extremely vulnerable to attacks from fire. They take double damage from all fire attacks. In addition, a scarecrow guardian will catch fire easily after any attack that would normally ignite mundane items.

Construction
A scarecrow can be created easily by a standard ritual. A basic scarecrow is used for the body. It usually takes a couple of hours to construct a scarecrow, not counting the time for the ritual.

Animate Scarecrow
Quick Cast: No
Power Level: 3
Philosophy: Witchcraft
Requirements: The creation of a scarecrows body and an hour long ritual.
Components: Common components.
Effect: The witch must prepare the scarecrows body out of hay, straw and old clothes. This should take at least an hour or two to gather materials and make the body. Longer times are needed for more complex scarecrows, but never more than three hours. Successful casting means the scarecrow is animated and will respond to the witchs commands.
Spell failure or backfire results in a scarecrow that can never be animated. The witch will need to burn the wood and start over.
Creation: Alteration, minor (+3), Casting Time (-2), Touch (-1), Permanent (+6), Unusual materials (-1), Philosophy ().

Witch Girls Adventures
Scarecrow (Rank 2 Monster)

Body: d8
Mind: d2
Senses: d2
Will: d2
Social: d2
Magic: d2

Life Points: 16
Reflex: 11
Resist Magic: 5
Zap: 10

Skills: Fighting +2, Scare +6

Abilities
Construct: Scarecrows are created and are immune to Mentalism magic. They also feel no pain, never grow tired and do not need to eat or sleep.
Vulnerability to Fire: Scarecrows take x3 damage from fire.
Fear: Scarecrows are surrounded by an aura of fear. (Scare Skill at +6)

Magic
None

Equipment
Whatever they made with. Some witches will equip their Scarecrows with a mowing scythe.

Description: Scarecrows look exactly like normal scarecrows, though those with the ability to see magical auras will notice an aura around the Scarecrow and possibly an evil looking glow in their eyes. Scarecrows can follow very simple orders. "Guard this field from trespassers." "Keep everyone but me and those I am with out of this barn." The words are not as important as the intent of the words. As long as it is simple and the witch can put it in a sentence or two then the Scarecrow will follow her commands.
  • Cryptozoology fact: Scarecrows can be created by any witch with the proper spells, but regardless of the type of witch all Scarecrows "Seem" evil.

  • Cryptozoology fact: Witches cannot turn people into Scarecrows nor bind their spirits to one, that is only rumor.

  • Cryptozoology fact: Scarecrows are known for their fear causing effects and their difficulty to make; a Scarecrow in a field is a good sign that the witch that owns it is powerful.
Create Scarecrow Spell
Conjuration, Rank 3
The witch needs to construct a scarecrow and then use this spell in order to bring it to life. The spell is difficult to learn because it is no longer featured in most spell texts. The cost to make the Scarecrow materials and construct it is worth only 10 allowance points, but can take a couple of hours to fashion properly.

Spellcraft & Swordplay
Scarecrow

#App: 1 (1-2)
AL: N
SZ: M
AC: 3
Move: 40'
HD: 3 (13 hp)
Attacks: Slam (fists)
Special: Immune to sleep, charm, paralysis, compulsion
Treasure: None
XP: 20 + 39 (59)

Vulnerable (Fire)

D&D 3.x / d20
Scarecrow Guardian (From my "Liber Mysterium")
Medium-Sized Construct
Hit Dice: 3d10 (15 hp)
Initiative: -2 (Dex)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 10 (-2 Dex, +2 Natural)
Attacks: Slam +2
Damage: Slam 1d6
Face/Reach: 5 ft by 5 ft
Special Attacks: Paralyzing Gaze
Special Qualities: Construct, Fire Vulnerability, damage
reduction 15/+1
Saves: Fort +3, Ref -1, Will +4
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 6, Con --, Int --, Wis 16, Cha 1
______________________________________
Climate/Terrain: Any
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-4)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 4-8 HD (Medium) 9-12 HD (Large)

Scarecrow Guardians are basic guardians similar to golems, but not nearly as powerful. Like typical scarecrows, their bodies are made of straw and cloth. The stumble about their assigned area poorly and attack most anything that wanders through it. Some Scarecrow Guardians are bound to a post, and use their paralyzing gaze to imprison any trespassers.

Combat
Scarecrow Guardians are assigned to protect a particular area. They never leave the area, even when chasing an intruder. They will attack anything, humanoid or animal like in appearance that walks into it's territory unless otherwise instructed by their creator. Paralyzing Gaze: Target can not move, as per the Hold Person spell as cast by a 10th level cleric, 30 ft., Will Save DC 15

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.
Fire Vulnerability: Because of their straw bodies, Scarecrow Guardians are extremely vulnerable to attacks from fire. They take double damage from all fire attacks.
In addition, a scarecrow guardian will catch fire easily after any attack that would normally ignite mundane items. A scarecrow on fire receives 2d6 damage each round (do not double this damage)

Undead ScarecrowSome Scarecrow Guardians are imbued with a spirit of a person. These scarecrows have all the same traits as a normal Scarecrow Guardian, except their creature type is undead, and have the same hit dice (though the type of die is changed to d12) and skills as their previous incarnations. Undead Scarecrows can still be bound to an area to protect, and still obey the commands of their creator. An Undead Scarecrow has the same CR as when he was living +1. An Undead Scarecrow whose master is killed has a 10% chance of being freed from his control, 25% chance of dying and a 65% chance of continuing to guard his specified area.

ConstructionA Scarecrow Guardian can be created easily by a standard ritual. A basic scarecrow is used for the body. The material components necessary for creating a Scarecrow Guardian costs 2,000 GP and require the Craft Wondrous Item feat. Understanding the ritual necessary for creating the Scarecrow can be done by a caster of at least 10th level. Completing the ritual drains 500 XP from the creator and requires the spell Animate Objects. The material components necessary for creating an Undead Scarecrow cost 10,000 GP and require the Craft Wondrous Item feat. Completing the ritual drains the creator of 1,200 XP and requires the spells Trap the Soul, Animate Objects, and Animate Dead, not to mention a living sacrifice (usually a small animal) which must be killed during the ritual to provide the life force.

AD&D 2nd Ed
Witch's Scarecrow (from my "Complete Netbook of Witches & Warlocks")
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Fields or Gardens (Sub-arctic to Sub-tropical, always near a witch's lair)
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: None
INTELLIGENCE: Low (5-7)
TREASURE: Nil
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
NO. APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: 8
MOVEMENT: 6"
HIT DICE: 2
THAC0: 18
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-4
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Scare, Fear
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Fascination
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Special
SIZE: M (4-6')
MORALE: Fearless (19)
XP VALUE: 200
PSIONICS: Nil, Immune to Psionics

Appearance: Witch's Scarecrows are motley creatures pieced together from a variety of materials. Sticks, twigs, old leaves, straw and similar materials are used to stuff old clothing into a manlike shape. Their heads are often stuffed bags with crude caricatures of a face or hollowed out, carved gourds or pumpkins. These creatures are usually set on a stout staff stuck in he ground, and look completely unremarkable. So unremarkable that only a Detect Magic or True Seeing allows someone to distinguish it from a normal scarecrow when it is not in motion. A moving Scarecrow has an odd grace, joint-less and fluid. It seems on the end of collapse yet continues to walk in defiance of what it ought to do.
Combat: Witch's Scarecrows made for combat, they're only supposed to scare things away. These creatures are surrounded a powerful fascination aura that they can employ whenever they are seen to move. Any intelligent being observing a moving Witch's Scarecrow must save vs. spells or be so overcome that they can do nothing but gape at the moving creature. Once this fascination has a hold of a victim, it lasts until one turn after the scarecrow leaves the area, the scarecrow remains still for a turn, the victim is scared by the scarecrow, or the victim suffers a damaging attack.
The Witch's Scarecrow has two forms of magical fear. It can cause anyone meeting its gaze to flee in utter fear for 1d4+10 rounds, with a chance (adjudicated by the DM) of dropping anything they have in hand while they panic. Only Witches, Priests, and victims with 6 or more hit dice, are allowed a saving throw against this attack. Whenever a Witch's Scarecrow is actually pressed into a fight its fascination aura becomes so intense that it acts as anyone approaching within ten feet becomes stricken by an identical magical fear. Things that have no fear, such as golems or undead, are immune to this effect.
These creatures are immune non-magical missiles of less than siege size, any harmful effects of the weather. They are immune to some spells, including Call Lightning, spells that cause sleep, charm, paralyze, or hold victims, as well as spells that require a biological target like the carious cause wounds spells.. They are resistant to most forms of fire (+2 saves, & half damage). They are vulnerable to the flames hand-wielded, non-magical torches, suffering 1d10 points of damage per strike. Additionally so long as their creator lives or a witch inhabits her nearby dwelling, these scarecrows neither decay nor show any signs of aging. Habitat/Society: Witch's Scarecrows are guardians created, not to force or harm intruders, but to frighten them away. Their nature limits the places they can inhabit, but within those limits they perform well. The ceremonies that allow one of these creatures to be animated fail if not performed in a field, garden, or other cultivated area of land. Thereafter, the creature regards this area as its home. While it will keep watch over it's maker and her dwelling while they are nearby, it will not travel with her if she leaves or wander off on its own.
Witch's Scarecrows are not violent by nature, and only attack if they are struck first. They seldom pursue fleeing opponents, only doing so if their maker has been slain in their sight. Those knowledgeable about such similar creatures find Witch's Scarecrows have a one distinctive behavior. They are themselves fascinated by children. They will neither harm nor attack them regardless of the children's actions. They will entertain children with pantomime and play along with any of their games as best they can. It will try to interpose itself between fighting children, and anything attacking a child in the presence of such a creature will be attacked it turn.
Ecology: Witch's Scarecrows have no need to eat, respire, or even breathe. Unlike most magical constructs, they have some small effect on the local ecology. Simply, they're excellent scarecrows. Most animals, for birds and foraging rodents to deer and even bears, will be quickly chased from any area the Scarecrow guards.
These creatures are created by witches to guard their lairs. The three part process requires a small stone (and any natural stone will do) to be consecrated by a Bless, then covered with layer after layer of certain leafy herbs, soaked in water to make them pliable and bound with twine. When this is the size of a proper heart a body must be built around it, a task which requires no special materials or effort. Finally, the scarecrow must be taken to a field the witch owns for its animation. This must be done on a moonless night sometime between planting and harvest or the ceremony will fail. The Witch must prop the scarecrow up on a staff and cast the following spells: Animate Object, Cloak of Fear, Resist Fire, Spook and Quest. If successful, the witch hears a slow, steady heartbeat for a short time.
Of course, a number of legends surround Witch's Scarecrows. The tales of these creatures becoming fierce avengers of their mistress' murders are certainly from some form of divine intervention rather than any inherent ability of their own. The report of one such creature, who was often used as a target by local archers, hurling arrowheads from its bodies was most likely the result of some singular enchantment. Lastly, legends that such creatures may freely use a the powers of a magical wand concealed within one of their forearms or similar staff that they are propped up with are probably not true.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shadow Girls, Charon McKay

Charon McKay is the mother of Becka. Charon (pronounces "Share-on") has had it rough. She was raised by her grandmother when her mother and father died when she was 4, then Charon herself went missing for a few months at age 15. She returned home, incoherent, very pregnant and no idea who the father was (the age Becka is now). She gave birth to Becka and settled into a mostly normal life of a teenage mother. Of course her one true love, Jack, had moved on to Chrissy, her one true enemy, then her grandmother died leaving her and her daughter on her own..and this was all before she discovered that whole destiny thing.



Charon is a very interesting character. She is a bit of a drunk, not above swearing, getting her hands dirty or sleeping around, but her soul is pure. You can see it in the way she treats and loves Becka. Charon is not dumb, she knows what sort of life she leads, but she often thinks the best solution to a problem is violence. This is amplified in her Shadow Child form which is pure aggression. Something like the Incredible Hulk, only shadowy and a wearing a set of brass knuckles with the word "BITCH" printed in reverse on them.

Now what is really cool is we have seen a few different versions of Charon as Shadow Girls evolved from some the early ideas Dave had to it's present (and canonical) form. Sure those other Charons are different, but certainly you get the idea of what makes this character tick. For example, Charon wears a cross. We have not been privy yet to what religion she practices, but we do know that she is religious to a degree. So much so that it comes out even in her Shadow Child (and Shadow Girl) forms.

Here is Charon in all her violent, drinking, sleeping around, foul mouthed, but loving, protective motherly ways. For the Witch Girls Adventures game.


Charon McKay (Shadowform after /)

Body: d6 / d12+5

Mind: d6 / d4

Senses: d6 / d8

Will: d6 / d4

Social: d4+1 / d4+1

Magic: d6 / d10


Life Points: 12/34

Reflex: 9/20

Resistance: 9/13

Zap Points: 12 / 20


Skills

Acrobatics 4, Basics 2, Fighting 6/12, Fix Mechanical 6, Pop culture 4, Scare 2/10, Streetwise 4


Traits: Beautiful, Tinkerer

Heritage: Shadowchild (Nodens)


Magic (all magic is shadow based)*


Charon
Morph 6 (Shadowchild, Merged Shadowforms only)


Shadowchild

Move 2

Zap 4

Screamer 4

Shield 3

* Like Becca, Charon can only use magic in one of her Shadow forms, including morphing into the Shadowchild or merging into the full Shadowchild with Charon. In any case all magic will be shadow-based.


Up next. The Shadow child herself.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shadow Girls, Lindsey Jun Yeoh.

Shadow Girls, Lindsey Jun Yeoh.


Lindsey Jun Yeoh, aka Lin Lin, is Becka’s best friend. She has no powers, no status, nothing that would allow her to help out her friend to fight the darkness, and she is still there. Whether beating a bad guy with a folding chair, or stealing a gun, Lindsey will always be there for Becka to make up for the one time she wasn’t. Charon and Becka’s motivations are fairly clear to understand. Lindsey is much more complex. She still bears the scars of her battles (a credit to the artist!) and they only meaning they have to her is that she must still fight to help Becka no matter what. Becka has moments of fear, Lindsey is her rock. She doesn’t know anything more than her friend does, but because she is there. If there was a scene ala the Oscars where we could see the scene from Lindsey that clinche’s her nomination then it will be these two pages: http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/comics/book-1/chapter-7-the-bloody-shore/brave-new-day-part-one/ http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/comics/book-1/chapter-7-the-bloody-shore/brave-new-day-part-two/

We see for the first time that all those battle’s Lindsey fought while helping Becka will leave her scarred, but no where near as much as the scars Lindsey feels is on her karma/soul. It should be no surprise that Lindsey is the most popular character in the series.




Lindsey Jun Yeoh


Body: d6
Mind: d6
Senses: d6
Will: d10
Social: d8
Magic: d4

Life Points: 12
Reflex: 9
Resistance: 7
Zap Points: 8

Traits: Brave, Unshakable
Heritage: Mundane

Skills: Acrobatics +3, Acting +2, Basics +1, Computers +2, Fighting +3, Plucky +3, Pop Culture +2

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shadowgirls + Witch Girls

So I mentioned yesterday of my fondness of the webcomic Shadowgirls and the RPG Witch Girls Adventures. So here is my first attempt of "two great tastes that taste great together". So in that spirit I present Rebecca McKay.

You can read all about Rebecca on the Shadowgirls website, including a Mutants & Masterminds version.

Reading through these posts obviously point to Becka being a great character to play. Witch Girls Adventures is a great game with a lot of great powers that would allow a Director to run a great Shadow Girls-like game. Maybe something high school focused (which of course I have a cool idea).

But in the meantime, here is Becka and her Shadow Girl form


Becka McKay (Shadowform after /)



Body: d4 / d12
Mind: d8 / d8
Senses: d6 / d8
Will: d8 / d8
Social: d6 / d8
Magic: d8 / d10

Life Points: 8 / 24
Reflex: 7 / 15
Resistance: 11 / 13 +2
Zap Points: 16 / 20

Traits: Brave, Eidetic Memory*
Heritage: Shadowchild (Nodens)

Magic (all magic is shadow based)**

Becca

Morph 6 (Shadowchild, Merged Shadowforms only)

Shadowchild
Move 1
Zap 2
Screamer 4
Shield 2

*Eidetic Memory: same as the M&M feat of the same name.

** Becca can use magic only in one of her Shadow forms, including morphing into the Shadowchild or merging into the full Shadowchild with Charon. In any case all magic will be shadow-based.

Coming up, Lindsey and Charon!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shadow Girls

I have been a long time fan of the webcomic Shadow Girls.


http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/






Well they have a few things going on that I'd like to let everyone know about.

First, it is a cool comic. Described as "H.P. Lovecraft meets the Gilmore Girls", which as far as mashups go has to be one of the coolest ideas ever, but the comic goes far beyond that.

Second they have a figure they are getting made that looks really awesome.

And they are being nominated for WebComicPlanet's awards. They are very much deserving of all of these awards.


Shadow Girls would make a great RPG (but the creators aldeady know that and are working on it), so until the official one is out I might try stating up the characters for Cinematic Unisystem or Witch Girls Adventures.


So go to the website, read the comic, vote, nominate and if you like, buy.

OH, and of note: the current running comic is a guest comic, please go to the first page to get the full experience.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory, Witch Girls Adventures

Now here is something to get us through Gen Con. The Witch Girls Adventures version of Elizabeth Bathory. I can see a mini-series of adventures featuring Bathory here at the Willow-Mistt school. First with her take-over and the cast slow finding out she is not just named after the sadistic vampire, but is in fact her all the way to the final battle.

I like her numbers here, but would need to playtest them to be sure.

Elizabeth Bathory
Witch Girls Adventures
Vampire
Rank: 5 (or 6 depending on how the cast finds her)
Age: 449 (looks either in her late 20s or 449)
Motivation: To stay young and beautiful forever.

Body: d10
Mind: d12
Senses: d8
Will: d10
Social: d8 +1
Magic: d12

Life Points: 20
Reflex: 13
Resist Magic: 15
Zap Points: 24

Skills (Rank)
Acting d8 +7
Athletics d10
Art d12
Basics d12
Casting d12 +4
Focus d10 +6
Fib d8 + 11
Fighting d10 +2
Hear d8 +1
Instrument d8 +6
Leader d8 +9
Look d8 +4
Magical Etiquette
Mundane Etiquette d8 +7
Mysticism d12 + 4
Mythology d12 + 4
Potions d12 +2
Scare d8 +6

Traits
Beautiful* (only when fed. If not then Hags Syndrome)
Rich
Wicked
Imperial

Magic
Alteration 1
Divination 2
Illusion 3
Mentalism 2
Necromancy 2
Offense 1
Protection 2

Signature Spell: Glamour

Abilities
Common Vampire abilities
Magic Immunity: Bathory is immune to Mentalism and Necromancy type magic.
Shape Shift: Bathory can become a paragon raven or paragon wolf at will.
Special Immortality: Bathory can only die if she is forced to see herself in her “hag” state.

AttacksBite: 10 damage and drains a person of all Life and Zap points. Bathory only feeds on young witches.
Claws: 6

Plot HookElizabeth manages to get on the Board of Directors of the Willow-Mistt School. Through manipulation, magic and outright threats she manages to get Amora Mistt removed as Headmistress and herself put in her place.
Bathory then starts recruiting the best and brightest senior girls to her side, to help ease the transition, to have lackeys in the school and of course when her plans comes, to have these girls nearby so she can drain them of their life-force. She will have also vamped one of the teachers to her side, some she will be grooming as her Scion (I am thinking Connie Li, but certainly NOT Ursula Scratch, too cliché).

Once the big dance comes on Walpurgis Night, Bathory will have worked out a ritual to drain every girl in the School of their magic, blood and life.

That is of course, unless the Stars can do something about it.

The teachers can’t help since going after Elizabeth violates some magical contract they have all signed and she has manipulated to her advantage (something like teacher cannot threaten the school and since she is Headmistress and on the Board and maybe tapped into the energies of the school, she *is* the school). The senior class are all her thralls now (they will willing drain their dates for their mistress at the dance). I would have to say she had Tandy arrested for something, she looks like she is too clever to fall for Bathory’s magic. Ebony would have to be magicked somehow. Leaving Ursula and the Krofts left to help the kids. I like the idea of Ursula having to team up with Susan and Derrick.
Or just do what I did when I originally ran this, make is a inter-term like J-Term (a term in the Winter during break where students can take an extra class for more credit) or Summer Term. I like Summer better, then the dance becomes the Mid-Summer's Ball (figure a 4 week term May 21 to June 22/July 1). Most of the faculty will be away; of course only to show up at the final battle against Bathory’s vampire minions with a very pissed of Amora in the lead. Of course the Stars will need to stop (the rapidly aging) Bathory themselves.
In the grand tradition of horror movies, anime and TV shows, I might need a few red shirt teachers and students to go down in the battle. I am not one to kill characters randomly or even to make a point, but in this case it might be needed.

Elizabeth Bathory in Witch GirlsElizabeth began her life as a young woman as an apprentice witch. She enjoys the power she gains from magic, but has never had the frame of mind to complete her studies much beyond the beginning phases.
She hates the formal training witches receive (part of her reasons to attack the school) but loves that some many potential victims are under one roof.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory

For the next few days I want to do something different. Given that Friday is the 449th birthday of Elizabeth Bathory the infamous Blood Countess, I figured I'd post her history as I have researched it and stats for a few of my favorite games.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction for my role-playing games.  Please do not consider this page as anything other than that.

(and portrayed in my games by Monica Bellucci)

So Happy Birthday Elizabeth. It is too bad you had to gain your infamy in such a brutal and sadistic way, but isn't that often the case.

Erzsébet Báthory
Countess Báthory Erzsébet, Elizabeth Bathory, Alžbeta Bátoriová, also known as the Blood Countess of Hungary.

She was in life, one of the most notorious serial killers in Hungarian history, with detailed accounts in her own hand of how she killed 610 servant girls.

Birth: August 7, 1560 in Nyírbátor in present-day Hungary
Death: August 21, 1614 in Castle Čachtice (Csejte) in present-day Slovakia (54 years old)

Life
Erzsébet Báthory was descended from a long line of one of Europe's wealthiest noble families. Her family had, in the years before her birth, already began to exhibit signs of mental illness and sexual depravity. Known for their brutal acts of sadism, fiery tempers, and bizarre sexual tastes (incest, satyrism and necrophilia being the most scandalous), the Báthorys provided the young Erzsébet the perfect breeding ground for her own neuroses.
Erzsébet began her lifetime of depravity very early. Erzsébet was a Báthory from both her father and mother's side of the family. It is also claimed that Erzsébet is a descendent by blood (if one can use that term) of Vald the Impaler himself.

Even as a very young woman she was known to be cruel, manipulative and promiscuous. Early on she had been sent to live with an aunt only to be introduced to her aunt's own obsessions with bisexuality and witchcraft. While her aunt was content to being merely cruel and have sexual dalliances with the servant girls, Erzsébet had already graduated to torture. Her aunt did introduce her to the whip and flagellation of the servants. A taste she quickly grew accustomed too.

One tale of Erzsébet's early cruelty deals with her treatment of one of these servant girls. Erzsébet was only 14 but already showing the signs of her adult ways. A servant girl, a milk maid, discovered the young Erzsébet in a stable being pleasured by two young stable hands. The servant told her mistress of the deed. Erzsébet denied the whole affair of course and the girl was whipped. Erzsébet, not having satisfied her taste for revenge planned an ambush for the young girl. Once the servant girl was alone in the stable the two young men from before attacked her and ravaged her while Erzsébet watched in delight. When the milk maid later died from her trauma Erzsébet had the two men castrated and executed.

She was engaged to Count Ferncz Nádasdy at the age of 11. The count came to claim his bride when she was 15. Once married they moved into Csejte Castle situated in the Carpathians in present-day western Slovakia near Trenèín, then part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In addition to Erzsébet's illegitimate daughter (born when Erzsébet was 14, father unknown) Erzsébet had six children with the count, but only four survived to adulthood.

Erzsébet inexplicably abandoned Nádasdy to run off with a "Dark Stranger" sometime during the first years of her marriage. Erzsébet returned to Nádasdy and she was forgiven, but speculation about the identity of this dark stranger would come up much later in her life.

Nádasdy was often away at war with the Turks and Erzsébet was left as lady of the castle. She spent this time learning to read and write in four different languages, and came in contact with more horrific forms of torture. She also began to gather around her a rogues gallery of support. Her former nurse Ilona (Helen) Jó, the witches Katarína Benická, Dorota "Dorko" Sentéšová and Anna Darvulia who taught her more witchcraft, her captain of arms Thorko (with whom she was reported to having an affair) and János "Fickó" Ujváry, a twisted dwarf who also relished in the torture and murder of young girls. At times Erzsébet's "Dark Stranger" would make appearances at her torture sessions.

Her marriage did nothing to quell her sadism. She was known to severely beat any of her servants for even the most minor of infractions. Her husband would partake with her when would make his infrequent visits to their home and he introduced his young bride to even more gruesome forms of torture for their shared amusement. Soon even he was outpaced in cruelty by the young Erzsébet. Nádasdy himself came to an ignoble end, the great hero, the "Black Hungarian" feared by the Turks, was killed by a whore he had refused to pay. After his death all restraint Erzsébet had shown was now gone.

A well know, and often retold, tale of Erzsébet deals with the first servant girl Erzsébet tortured to death. While brushing her mistress' hair a servant girl pulled a little too hard and tugged out several strands of Erzsébet's hair. The Countess struck the girl so hard that blood spurted from her nose onto Erzsébet's skin. The countess rubbed the blood away and felt the skin underneath was younger, more beautiful. She quickly sent for the servant girl, had her stripped naked and drained of all her blood. Erzsébet then bathed in the blood of the dying girl. For the next few years it is claimed the Countess tortured, killed and drained the blood from her victims, all beautiful young girls and women, to fill her literal bloodbath. As many as 610 girls met their fate this way in the dungeons of Castle Čachtice.

As the inventible tide of age grew, Erzsébet went from bathing in the blood of virgins to bathing and drinking the blood of virginal girls of noble birth. It is speculated that the law of the time ignored Erzsébet when she focused on peasant girls (whom she regarded as little more than dogs or worse) and focused on noble birth girls.

Erzsébet kept a diary of every victim she killed in her sexual-sadism. She quickly went through the local crop of peasant girls and moved up through the lower gentry. She had to resort to sending out her henchmen to collect young girls from neighbouring lands. One night after an orgy of blood lust Erzsébet had the corpses of three girls tossed out the window instead of taking care to bury them. This was the last straw for the local townsfolk.

Death
On the morning of December 29, 1610 György Thurzó, the palatine of Hungary, was sent by emperor Matthias II to investigate the complaints. Thurzó and his men invaded Csejte and caught Erzsébet in the act in the Csejte country-house; she was torturing several girls - one of them had only just died. She and four collaborators were charged with sadistic torture, as well as mass murder. Despite the overwhelming evidence found by investigators, Elizabeth herself was not brought to trial.

Except for Katarína, all of Erzsébet's collaborators were executed at Bytèa on January 7, 1611. Katarína's guilt could not be proven, and according to McNally's sources from recorded testimony by all witnesses, she seems to have been dominated and bullied by Dorota Sentéšová and Anna Darvulia. Two of the women had their extremities hacked off before being thrown onto a blazing fire, while Fickó, whose guilt was deemed the lesser, had the mercy of being beheaded before being consigned to the flames. A public scaffold was erected near the castle to show the public that justice had been done.

Erzsébet herself was walled up alive in her castle, kept alive only by food poked through a slit in her door. On August 21, 1614 one of her guards took a peak to see the famed beauty of the countess saw that she was dead.

Undeath
Erzsébet was burned at the stake after her death and placed in the family crypts. It was then that her dark stranger, none other than her own distant relative, Dracula, returned. Having infused Erzsébet with his own vampiric blood during their initial tryst he called to her to join him in unlife.
Erzsébet remained with Dracula for many years, but they had a disagreement over his "harem". She demanded to be his one and only bride, an equal in his endeavours, he refused and she left. At least that is the story that Dracula scholars tell. It must have been much more than that since there exists a great animosity now between the two noble vampires.

Erzsébet has since travelled throughout Europe, often accompanied by a young woman or man. These thralls are not vampires, but under her control. Erzsébet also has numerous allies that will aid her in dozens of countries.

Every new moon Erzsébet (now using Elizabeth for the most part) must feed on the blood of three virgins or she will begin to age. She appears as a hauntingly beautiful woman in her prime (25-30). However every month she does not feed she appears to age 10 years. This is similar to the aging that Dracula does, but while the Count uses this as a way to keep people from realizing he is a vampire, the Countess is very vain and cannot stand to be anything but perfect.



In life Elizabeth had long black hair. Given the style of the time she died it blonde very often and it sometimes appears to be red. In undeath her hair is black right after feeding but changing quickly to iron grey to white as her month progresses.

Elizabeth has been searching for a permanent solution to her aging problem, one that will allow her to stay forever young. There was a time in 18th century France that she felt she had a solution, draining a virgin girl a day. But even that did not stave off her aging effects. Elizabeth was also known to be in London in the 1840's, Ireland soon after, Russia in the 1900's to 1920, and Germany in up to 1945. It was believed that she was working with the Nazis on their Gegengeistgrüppe, though she had her own motives and plans. She was seen again in her native Hungry during the late 1970's and then she vanished, believed to have been destroyed.

Erzsébet Today - Mid-Semester's Nightmare
Elizabeth was recently spotted in Boston, her first recorded American encounter. Here she worked her way into a position at BLANK* Academy. Of note in this particular class were a large number of Gifted and magic wielding girls. Elizabeth had moved not only to the "blue bloods" of America, but ones that were magical as well. Elizabeth's plan was to drain the blood and magical essence of these young girls in order to achieve her ultimate goal of everlasting immortal beauty.

Notes: I had this idea of her finding a job at a school so she could feed on all the young virgins there. I thought I might go BESM with it, but I started to play M&M and Claremont looked like it fit rather well. I would also love to try this in Witch Girls Adventures, though the tone of that game is much lighter than the plot of a depraved blood fiend feeding on all the magical girls she can get her hands on.

The game, "Mid-Semester's Nightmare", was my "crossover" mini-season where I dual (or tri-) stated most things. Chill, d20, BESM and M&M were all worked in to my normal Unisystem game.

Bathory was my big bad from Chill and I thought that she would be perfect to bring back.

Of course she was defeated at the end of "Mid-Semester's Nightmare", but that is not the first time someone has thought that.

Links
http://bathory.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_B%C3%A1thory
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Erzsebet-Bathory/15657774961
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A593084
http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0026864/

*It was "Claremont Academy" under Mutants & Masterminds, "Eden Girls' Academy" under Unisystem, the "New School" for BESM, and "Boston Academy for Girls" in Chill.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Witch Hunter Robin for Witch Girls Adventures

Here is one that I have wanted to try for a while.


It is Robin Sena, the titular character of the awesome anime series Witch Hunter Robin for the Witch Girls Adventures RPG.
Robin Sena
Witch Sorceress

Body: d4
Mind: d6
Senses: d4
Will: d10
Social: d4
Magic: d12

Life Points: 8
Reflex: 10
Resist Magic: 15
Zap Points: 24

Skills (Rank)
Basics d6 +2
Computers d6 +1
Drive d4 +2 (Vespa, bike)
Science d6 +2
Streetwise d6 +1

Casting d12 + 4
Focus d10 +5
Magical Etiquette d4 +3
Mysticism d6 +3
Spellbreaker d12 +3

Talents
Mysterious
Urban

Heritage
Prodigy

Magic
Elementalism 2
Mentalism 2
Offense 5 (all fire based)
Protection 3

Signature Spell: Zap (manifests as fire)

Equipment
Glasses, Vespa Scooter, Messenger Bike
Occupation: Witch Hunter / Witch
Age: 15 (in 2002)
Gender: F
Height: 5'1"
Weight: 105#
Eyes: Green
Hair: Auburn

Mother: Maria, dead
Father: Toudou, dead.
Grandfather(maternal): Juliano Collegrie, priest and high ranking officer of Solomon HQ.
Allies: Amon, Nagira, hunters from STN-J
Enemies: Rogue witches, rival hunters

Ethnicity: European/Japanese
Languages: Japanese, Italian, English

All in all, I like it. I think what WGA now needs are more elemental based powers/spells that manipulate the elements to do different things. That way we can get at something closer to Avatar or W.I.T.C.H. Yes there is an elemental section, but it is not quite what I need at the moment. I'd do a new Elemental magic and rename the old elemental to "Nature Magic" or something.
Here are the stats I did for Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy, Angel and Ghosts of Albion): http://edenstudiosdiscussionboards.yuku.com/sreply/43111/t/Witches-.html

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Witch Girls Adventures: Willow and Tara

It really was only a matter of time before I did this.

Witch Girls Adventures is my new favorite system, and of course Willow & Tara are long time favorites of mine. Instead of presenting them like I normally do, I am going with the girls at about the time they met.






I used the rules right out of the book, with the updates for 18 year-olds. I like how they turned out, not a direct translation from their Unisystem stats (Willow and Tara), but really nice.

So here they are. Willow and Tara for Witch Girls Adventures.


Willow Rosenberg

Witch Outsider

Body: d6
Mind: d8 +1
Senses: d8
Will: d12
Social: d6
Magic: d10

Life Points: 10
Reflex: 9
Resist Magic: 14
Zap Points: 21

Skills (Rank)
Computers d8 +7 (+1 from Brainiac)
Fix-Electronics d8 +5 (+1 from Brainiac)
Fix-Mechanical d8 +4 (+1 from Brainiac)
Mythology d8 + 3 (+1 from Brainiac)
Plucky d8 +2
Science d8 + 7 (+1 from Brainiac)

Casting d10 + 6
Focus d12 + 4
Herbalism d8 +2 (+1 from Brainiac)
Mysticism d8 +5

Talents
Brainiac
Zap Happy

Heritage
Attuned (MTR +1)

Magic
Alteration 2, Conjuration 1, Cybermancy 3, Divination 1, Illusion 2, Mentalism 2, Offense 2, Protection 2
Signature Spell: Move

Equipment
Dolls Eye Crystal (-1 Zap)


Tara Maclay

Witch Insider

Body: d6
Mind: d6
Senses: d8
Will: d10
Social: d6 +1 (Empath)
Magic: d10

Life Points: 12
Reflex: 11
Resist Magic: 15
Zap Points: 20

Skills (Rank)
Acting d6 +2 (+1 from Empath)
Art d6 +3
Basics d6 +2
Computers d6 +1
Hear d8 +2
Mythology d6 + 6
Singing d6 +5 (+1 from Empath)

Casting d10 +5
Cryptozoology d6 +2
Focus d10 +3
Magical Etiquette d6 +4
Mysticism d6 +3
Potions d10 +2

Talents
Goody-Goody (+1 to casting rolls to beneficial spells)
Meek (+1 to mundane skill rolls when unobserved)

Heritage
Empath*

Magic
Alteration 3, Divination 4, Elementalism 2, Healing 1, Mentalism 4, Protection 2
Signature Spell: Levitate

Equipment
Cat – Miss Kitty Fantastico

New Heritage: Empath
Empaths are very much in tune with the ebb and flow of emotions. She is the first to know when a friend is experiencing joy, but also when she is feeling mental anguish. People are naturally drawn to the Empath knowing that she does understand.
Advantages: The Empath gains 1 rank of Divination and her Social is +1.
Disadvantages: So tied in the emotions around her the Empath is at -2 to casting Curses and Offensive spells.

I added Empath since it seemed like a no-brainer to me. Tara's an empath.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Witch Girls Adventures + WitchCraft RPG = Crazy Delicious!

I know I said I would not do this, I even warned against such things in my own review of WGA. But yet there it is, taunting me.




WitchCraft RPG (from Eden Studios) and Witch Girls Adventures (from Chanel M) would really work nice together. Both cover a lot of the same ground and both have similar backgrounds, worlds and ideas. Both books/games use many of the same tropes and world views. So merging them seems to be a no brainer. BUT, I fear that the essential spirit of both games are sacrificed in a merge, but I can see this:

Use the Witch Girls Adventures book to help shape how young gifted fit into the world of WitchCraft. Use WitchCraft to help decide how the adults work in WGA. And Witch Girls provides something that WitchCraft lacks; a way and a means of dealing with the children of the gifted/supernaturals.

Are the "Fear the Witchspiracy" groups nothing more than a Combine training-camp? Could I break the Insider and Sorcerer Cliques down into "Wicce" and "Rosicrucian"?

One thing I am sure of, translations between the two games is pretty easy.
Witch Girl Adventures / Drama Dice System
WitchCraft RPG / Unisystem
D2
1
D4
2
D6
3
D8
4
D10
5
D12
6
D12+1
7


Attribute costs are roughly equal. WGA "Other Attibutes" add up to about the same as attribute costs for Gifted Attributes. Though the attributes don't exactly line up to each other; WGA has more mental attributes for example and only one physical to WitchCraft's three of both. I am not worried so much about actual numbers here, only what "feels right".

Mundanes are Mundanes in both games. Though Witch Girl Adventures does not have a "lesser gifted" at all though. Maybe Lesser Gifted could be the same as "Outsiders" with their Magic Die dropped to a d4 or d6 and given them an extra mundane skill at rank 2. I suppose that it should be noted that even some Mundanes in WGA have Magic at d4.

My quick look tells me that powerwise, a 14 year-old witch in WGA is more powerful than a 14-year old Wicce in Witchcraft. But they also live in different worlds. I would need some sort of way to "normalize" the world for both to really see. To that end I am going to re-tool my Generation HEX project a bit and try running it under WGA for a while. I have tried it under Unisystem, Mutants & Masterminds and even True 20. So what is one more system, really?

Lots of things to consider really, I just wish I had to time to do all of this, my writing and all the other stuff I need to do.

In the mean time, here are some links.

Eden Studio's WitchCraft RPG, http://edenstudios.net/witchcraft/ Download the free rules.

Witch Girls Adventures, http://www.witchgirlsadventures.com/ Download the free goodies.

Discussion of my review of WGA, http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=458968

Review at Teen Blips. Not your average game review. http://teenblips.dailyradar.com/story/witch_girls_adventures_ddg_a_diffrent_kind_of_game_for/

Malcolm Harris interview at everyone's favorite Sequential Tart, http://www.sequentialtart.com/article.php?id=1409

Witch Girls Adventures Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Witch-Girls-Adventures/72148672606?ref=mf

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Witch Girls Adventures: Review

Review: Witch Girls Adventures

Written and Designed by Malcolm Harris

http://www.witchgirlsadventures.com/




Witch Girls Adventures is a new "Drama Diaries" game, using the "Drama Dice" system from Malcolm Harris. It is aimed at new players predominantly and girls in particular. Now despite be WAY out of the target demographic for this I was pre-inclined to like this game. I do, but I am not cutting it any slack here. In fact I might be a little TOO critical in places because my expectations are high. How high? Well I bought the book online and while waiting for it to be shipped I got impatient and ordered the PDF as well. So I can review this book from the point of view of both the physical book and the digital file and the "Nice" and "Wicked" versions.


The book begins with 10 pages of the Witch Girls Adventures comic, which one you get depends on whether or not you have the regular edition or the "Wicked" edition. This, plus the cover art, is all the differences between the two. The PDF download on DriverThru or RPGNow is the normal "Nice" edition.


It goes on to your typical introduction into what is a roleplaying game and is written for a young or teen girl audience ("just tell the geek (trust me; they are used to being called geeks) behind counter you need... ") cute. But too much of this would ruin the presentation of the game for me. Thankfully this is the only time, but it does establish one thing right away; this game is going for a different audience. The intro stuff continues with some terms both for the game and for RPGs.


It makes an odd left turn to give us optional rules (we haven't had any rules yet for these to be optional to) about how to run a "Harry Potter" like game with this. Eh. Nice, but this should have come last, not first.


Chapter 2 gives us "Cliques" . So perfect. In another game these would be "Factions" or "Classes" or even "Traditions" or "Associations" or "Backgrounds", but given the Middle-school/High-school this is great. Cliques basically give your starting dice and what skills you are likely to have. The system is very easy. The dice system (The Drama Dice system as it is called) quickly reminds one of Cortex or Savage Worlds. Attributes are scored d2 to d12 for most types. The spread even looks the same as Cortex and Savage Worlds. Not surprisingly, afterall it is a logical progression. You have six attributes Body (which combines Strength, Agility and stamina), Mind (intelligence), Senses, Will, Social and Magic. Right away you see there is only one body type attribute but four mental ones. This is the way it should be really, WGA is not about beating people up, it is about the social aspects of the game and about magic, our last attribute. There are some secondary attributes that are derived. Rolls are made depending on the dice vs a difficulty table very similar to d20 or Unisystems' success levels. Cliques are detailed and they are your basic magical girl stereotypes (the Goth, the insider, the outsider…) . Plenty here to work with and if you are so inclined create your own (which is what the "Harry Potter" bit tries to do).


Chapter 3 moves onto skills. Each chapter has some fiction to introduce you to the Witch Girls world. It seems to be a cross between Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Buffy and the Craft mixed in with anime magical girls. Skills. Unlike Cortex or Savage Worlds, skills are given a + score like Unisystem or d20. Roll the die associated with the attribute (each skill is connected to an attribute like d20) add the bonus the skill provides, check your success, or roll greater. There are 34 mundane skills and 10 magical skills. A little too much in my book, but I am willing to see how it works out here.


Chapter 4 Traits details traits, which are like Edges or Qualities. They are broken up into Talents (which you can get later in life) and Heritages (which are inborn and never change). Heritages have both a positive and negative aspect to them. Typical ones are there like "Beautiful" and others which have to be unique to this game like "Drama Queen".


Chapters 2, 3 and 4 are all well detailed and very straight forward.


Chapter 5 is Magic. Really this is what we came here for. There is a lot more here on what magic is and what it means to a witch. There are different types of magic (necromancy, mentalism, cybermancy…) which you can spend points on to improve your rank. This can provide a lot of variance between witches. Think of it as somewhere between Harry Potter's classes and Mage's spheres. As GM (a Director in WGA) I might limit some of these to NPCs (Guest Stars) and not to PCs (Stars). Spell casting is broken down into a lot of detail. More than maybe the seasoned gamer needs, but given the audience it might be about right. Effects are broken out into Magic Type Rank (MTR) and the overall feel is like a table you might see in Mage or Mutants & Masterminds with what MTR (read as Power level) you need to achieve a certain effect. Want to cast that spell across the world? Better have an MTR of 9.
There are rules for Signature Spells, which take less Zap (read: Mana, Essence), choose only one and from the "School" with your highest MTR (which makes sense really). I like the idea of the signature spell and might try it in my other games too.
This is all followed by 20 pages of spells and these by no means seem to be all of them. Since your cast member (Star, remember) isn't going to be buying swords, guns or anything else that characters spend money or points on then this is a good thing.


Chapter 6. Your Star gets an allowance allowing her to buy things like magical computers, flying Vespas, and more brooms than found in Home Depot. There are familiars, clothes, wings and all sorts of magical equipment here as well. You could build an adventure on just shopping for these things cause I am sure getting them is not as easy as going to the mall. Lots of neat wands and I have to say the books for young witches are pretty funny ("Samantha's Guide to Merry Mortals" yeah that made me laugh). And a bunch of mundane stuff like DVD players and skateboards. The allowance system is nice, I like it better than the Modern d20 purchase DCs and easier than keeping track of cash.


Chapter 7 is some odds and ends. A character questionnaire (nice) and a filled out character sheet (also nice). Good detail on what things mean and if you are new to games a certain boon.


Chapter 8 is for Directors, so all the rules of the game. The system, some combat rules (yes this is the FIRST game I have seen where the rules for shopping are longer than the rules for combat. ;) )
Some nice background fluff and some ideas for different types of stories, basically you can do Buffy, Good vs. Evil, Charmed, and Magic School. The experience system is "interesting" (Voodollars), but it looks like it works.


Chapter 9 is the world background. Now this one is kind of neat. I details the various races (witches are a different race) and they are not alone. Some history, some magical places (Santa's Workshop, No joke and it looks cool!) The ruling council of Witches (I am yoinking this for my Unisystem games), Spelling Bees, groups and other schools. Even how the mundane world reacts to all of this.


Chapter 10 presents some creatures. But if the art is any indication most of these are not for combat purposes, but potential dates (well there is only one witch kissing a vampire…) Nearly every kind of creature is covered from fairies to Cthulhu like horrors. But no demons. Seems a bit odd, given it all. Some NPCs (Guest Stars) of note.


Chapter 11 details the Willow Mistt School. Lands, buildings, faculty, everything you would expect to find is here. Willow Mistt is not Hogwarts, but it is easy to make the comparisons. I actually found it closer to Claremont Academy from Mutants & Masterminds.


We close with a sample Episode, some plot ideas, a lexicon, and a list of Witch names (see how many you recognize!), and very important, a sample class schedule.


The Good:
Harris obviously has a love for this genre and it shows. The rules are well crafted and while there is nothing earth shaking here, they are familiar mechanics done up in a very nice way. The point of view of the work is nice. This is anti-Grim-Dark. It's not all unicorns, princesses and kittens (though it does have all that), it's a fun game. The art is not D&D 4e, but it is good and more to the point very appropriate for this game.
For new players this is a great little game. More experienced players may want more, but that is not due to the game itself, but rather expectations. Do not expect this to be "WitchCraft: The Junior High Years" (though you can do that).


The Bad:
I know Harris is basically a one man operation so I am willing to cut him some slack here. But there are a number of typos that should be fixed and some terms that might have either been mistakes or from earlier versions (the Magic attribute is called "Zap" in one spot.) I am willing to overlook those IF they are corrected in say, 2nd Edition.
There are some issues in my printed version with some of the pages being so dark thee art is hard to see (ex: one of the teachers is so dark her face is obscured) this is not the case of the PDF.
Lastly I would have done the skills a different way myself, but I am not willing to second guess the design until I have plated it a few more times.


The Ugly? (not really)
A book like this REALLY should have full color art inside, but costs may have prevented that.
The optional rules should have come in an appendix.


So. Who is Witch Girls Adventures for?
Well , that sort of depends but here is what I see.

  • New players and Game Master get a lot with this book. I see them having a great time.
  • People that enjoy the more social aspects of a game (and of gaming) rather than a bunch of combats.
  • Anyone that is a fan of Magical Girl Anime, Witches or even high school based games.
  • Anyone that has ever wished for a Harry Potter RPG.
  • Anyone that looks at the setting and resists the urge to make it "darker". WGA is not about being dark. You can be evil sure, and as a witch the entire world is after you, but the setting does not need the WoD feel at all.


AND
Anyone playing Cortex or Savage Worlds that craves a more granular, customizable magic system.
This is a big one really. For a list price of under 20 bucks, use this book's magic system in place of the system you have now. Make "Magic" an Edge (SW) or a Trait (Cortex) and then buy spells like skills. You don't have to convert much and it will work fine. Plus it is much better than the built in magic system in the Cortex Core book (Sorry Jaime!) and an improvement over the Savage Worlds core.


Last WordsThis is a fun game. Take it as it is, not as you want it to be, and you will have fun too. If you are an old pro, use this game to introduce younger people to the hobby. I hope that Malcolm Harris is successful and ends up getting a lot of new people, boys and girls, to our hobby.


In RPG.Net style:
Style: 5/5 (this game oozes style)
Substance: 4/5 (I wanted more, but was happy still)

Witch Girls Adventures

http://www.witchgirlsadventures.com/

180 pages, + Comic, character sheet and a page of ads. (190 pages total)

Print and PDF reviewed.

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