Showing posts with label witch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label witch. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Announcement: The Pagan Witch Tradition

And now the project I was working on all summer.  For Old-School Essentials.

The Craft of the Wise: The Pagan Witch Tradition



From the Foreword:
It was 40 years ago.  1979.

The 70s were ending and I was excited for the coming of the new decade of the 80s.  It promised to be a great decade of home computers, new music and for me, looking forward to Junior High and High School.

It was also a watershed year for my involvement in D&D and witches.

1979 was the year I was introduced to D&D. I have told the story before; I learned from a poorly Xeroxed copy of Holmes Basic and an AD&D Monster Manual.  That formed what became my D&D incubator. I would later move on to the Moldvay Basic rules.   What *IS* D&D to me was formulated at this time.

1979 was also the year that two books that would become central to what people considered witches to be were released.  Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler and The Spiral Dance by Starhawk.  Both books were released on October 31, 1979, and became best sellers.  Both authors were very influenced by the works of Margaret Murray (The Witch-Cult in Western Europe) and Gerald Gardner (Witchcraft Today).  While the archeological and historical scholarship of Murray and Gardner has been rightfully dismissed, the mythology of all these works is captivating.

The witches I started playing back then, Luna, Cara, Marissa and soon Larina, were based on these and other sources. I gathered notes, began my own classes; The Witch became the front runner and my favorite.

October 31, 1999. 20 years after my start and the publication of Adler’s and Starhawk’s books I released the Complete Netbook of Witches & Warlocks. My very first book on witches for the D&D (then AD&D 2nd ed) game. In the grand occult publishing tradition, I went under the pseudonym “Web Warlock”.  I clicked “OK” on the upload while sitting in the hospital three days after my first son was born.

October 31, 2019. Twenty years later again I present you this book.  It is something of a milestone for me.  It is the penultimate release of my “Back to Basics” series of Old-School Witch books. It is also the one that cleaves the closest to how I was playing in those long lost days.  And as a special treat; my son who was only three days old when I released my first book is now 20 and contributed some spells to this book.

I am looking forward to seeing where I go in the next 20 years.
I am really happy this is the book that will celebrate the anniversary of my Complete Netbook of Witches & Warlocks.

Out on October 31st 2019, Halloween.

Here are the Back to Basics series books so far.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

File Under: You should have seen this one coming...

This started as a joke, but I am actually beginning to love this project.   It is Fall after all.


The next, and totally unplanned, book in my Back to Basics series of witches.

The Pumpkin Spice Tradition gives us the Basic White Witch.

Join Becky and Karen and learn such spells as:

  • Blessed
  • Create Wine
  • Live, Laugh, Love
  • Does This Bring Joy?
  • Oh my God, Becky!
  • You Can’t Sit With Us
  • Summon Higher Power

Gain Occult Powers such as:

  • Resting Witch Face
  • I Want to See your Boss

No idea how many pages this one will be, but all I can say is I am having a great time writing it!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Children of the Gods: The Classical Witch for Basic Era Games

The next book in my Back to Basics series is now out!

The Children of the Gods: The Classical Witch for Basic Era Games



Old Gods Rise! 
“Who knows not Circe, The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup Whoever tasted, lost his upright shape, And downward fell into a groveling swine?”  - John Milton

Sumer. Egypt. Greece. Rome.
These are the foundations of civilization. Where mythology, religion, and magic collide in a fertile land.

It is a time of Gods and Witches!

This book introduces the Classical Witch Tradition. Witches from the ancient time of myths and legends.
  • The witch class and four new combination classes
  • Guidelines for playing any species of witch
  • Six witch covens of the Classical Tradition
  • 120 Spells and Rituals for witch characters
  • 24 Monsters to challenge or be allies
  • 29 magic items and six artifacts
  • Three Non-player character witches from pages of mythology
Fully compatible with BLUEHOLMETM and other Basic-Era games.

Fully compatible with other witch books from The Other Side.

Print on Demand copy available soon! 
Just waiting on my proofs.

Also, check out my other Back to Basics witch books, The Daughters of Darkness for Basic Era Games and The Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch for Basic Era Games.




Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch for Basic Era Games

The first of TWO related releases for Lughnasadh and Mabon and continuing my Back to Basics series.

Cult of Diana: The Amazon Witch for Basic Era Games


https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/286580/Cult-of-Diana-The-Amazon-Witch-for-Basic-Era-Games?affiliate_id=10748

Diana, Queen of the Hunt!
“Let us be Diana's foresters, minions of the moon”  - William Shakespeare

Artemis and Diana, Forever Young. Forever Wild.
Time out of mind the symbol of Diana meant freedom. And in freedom there is Power.

This book introduces the Amazon Witch Tradition. Witches from the ancient time of myths and legends.

 - The witch class and two new witch covens

 - 40 Spells and 8 Rituals for witch characters

Fully compatible with BLUEHOLMETM and other Basic-Era games.

Fully compatible with other witch books from The Other Side.

All for the low, low price of FREE.

Overtly this is designed to go with the Blueholme Prentice Rules. This gets you going using my Holmes inspired witch class for the price of a couple of clicks.

Also, check out the first of my Back to Basics witch books, The Daughters of Darkness for Basic Era Games.



AND Coming soon...

Children of the Gods: The Classical Witch Tradition also for BLUEHOLME!


Sunday, August 25, 2019

#RPGaDAY2019: Calamity

Today's topic is Calamity.

In many ways, this post is a continuation of my post on Lost.


One of the things all my Lost Lands have in common is they are lost due to some calamity.

Atlantis, Doggerland and East Beleriand were taken back by the sea.  Their secrets hidden by the waves.

For the Suel Empire, it was the Rain of Colorless Fire.  And that makes it interesting.

I think flooding is something we can get.  We see it. Some have experienced it.  I  grew up near the Illinois River Valley.  My wife grew up near the Fox River Valley (it was her backyard).  We have both seen several "once in a lifetime" floods.   Flooding I get. I know what happens, even when it is terrible.

Fire from the sky?  That is some apocalypse level shit.

Ithink that is also one of the reasons that attracted me so much to the whole Suel Empire.  Their world was just under a sea, in this case the Sea of Dust, but they were wiped out by fire.  Like Pompei.

A good calamity can add some gravitas to your world.  Plus it helps explain all those lost treasure hordes dragons seem to have.


Rain of Fire 
Level: Witch Ritual 6
Ritual Requirements: Minimum 3 witches, see text
Range: See text
Duration: See text
"It is said that only those that give life know the price of taking a life.  This is why only witches were given the power to destroy." - from the Journal of Larina Nix

The witches of old had powerful rituals both of creating life and creating death. This ritual is very much the latter.
Three or more witches are needed for the most basic version of this horrible ritual, more witches added the more devastating the effects.  Each witch must know this ritual.
The witches take a prepared focus item, an effigy made from the same materials of their target.  Usually a town or a locale. Each witch contributes a bit of blood (1hp worth) to item's creation since life must be given to take life
Once the ritual has begun the witches make a plea and summons to dark gods of vengeance, destruction, and fire.   The pleas, once heard, will be answered in kind, with vengeance, destruction, and fire.   

The witches then burn the effigy, each providing the flame via magic.  Once that is done the fire rains down on the actual location destroying it and anyone in it.  Victims can run from the location if they make it out of the area, they will be safe, but a save vs. Spells must be made or take 1d6 hp of damage per all the level of the witches involved, or half on a save.

Witches Participating
Minimum Damage
Area Sq. Miles
3
36d6
5
4
48d6
10
5
60d6
25
6
72d6
50
7
84d6
100
8
96d6
250
9
108d6
500
10
120d6
1,000
12
144d6
2,500
13
156d6
5,000

Material Components: The effigy of the place targeted, made with materials from the target. Each witch also uses a rod of ash that she uses to focus her energy on the effigy then they raise their rods to sky to direct the energy out to the target.  Each witch also contributes 1hp worth of blood in the casting.

This ritual is rare and all witches must know ritual in order to cast it.

I wonder what lies in the Suel Cities of Dust?  Treasures? The Suel people preserved only as ashen shells?  One day I should find out.

Water was running; children were running 
You were running out of time 
Under the mountain, a golden fountain 
Were you praying at the Lares shrine? 

But oh your city lies in dust, my friend 

We found you hiding we found you lying
Choking on the dirt and sand
Your former glories and all the stories
Dragged and washed with eager hands 

But oh your city lies in dust, my friend 

Water was running; children were running
We found you hiding we found you lying 

But oh your city lies in dust, my friend 
Hot and burning in your nostrils
Pouring down your gaping mouth
Your molten bodies blanket of cinders
Caught in the throes 

And your city lies in dust

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Adventures in Hyperborea

Hat tip to Jason Vey for sharing these with me.

So if I know ANYTHING at all about Conan, likely it came from Jason Vey. In addition to being a top rate game designer, he is a Master's level scholar on Robert E. Howard.  So when he shares something related to Conan, or Howard or realted topics, I pay attention.

This week he shared this with me, Adventures of the Hyborian Age. This is an older site with adventures for the Mongoose d20 Conan game.  Jason is using this material for his OD&D-based Conan game which sounds fantastic.

He shared with me something he knew I would love. A Conan-flavored conversion of one of my favorite adventures of all time, S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.

The new adventure has a more Hyborian feel to it and draws heavily from Conan lore, in particular, Red Nails.

HS4 The Lost Caverns of Acheron

The adventure is, at it's heart, the same as S4.  Save now it has been reskinned for the Hyborian Age and all the background has been changed.

Now maybe I have been reading a lot of Eric Fabiaschi of late (or always really) but this sounds like a PERFECT adventure for  Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea!

Eric has had a LOT to say about AS&SH (most of his blog) and S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.  In fact he pulls in a lot of Jason Vey's own game, Amazing Adventures into the conversations too.

In fact, I am very curious to hear what Eric has to say about this adventure. (EDITED: I talked to Eric before this post went up. He has played it using AS&SH. He also pointed out my next point.)

Now AS&SH only takes us to level 12.  This adventure is right up against that level limit and might even be a bit more than a party can deal with. I would alter this by having a larger party to be honest or carefully scaling the encounters.

Outside of the Hyborian skin the biggest change is the Witch-Queen Xaltana.  She essentially combines the characters of Iggwilv and Drelzna into one.

So instead of this:


We get this:


It actually works out quite well. In fact, Xaltana is much more interesting than Drelzna ever was. (Sorry D!)

Appropriately the adventure takes on a more Clark Ashton Smith feel to it.  This plays so well into the sequel WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun. Which could in like fashion be reskinned as The Forgotten Temple of Thasaidon. Hmm. Maybe that is something to try; borrowing heavily from The Tomb-Spawn.

She would make a great Witch Queen!  More on that later.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

In a time of Ancient Gods...

There were the ones that beseeched these gods for power and it was granted!

These are the witches of the Classical Traditions and their closely allied sisters the Amazon Tradition.



Coming soon for the BLUEHOLME Journeymanne and Prentice Rules.


Sumer. Egypt. Greece. Rome.
These are the foundations of civilization. Where mythology, religion and magic collide in a fertile land.
It is a time of Gods and Witches!

This book introduces the Classical Witch Tradition. Witches from the ancient time of myths and legends.
  •         The witch class and four new combination classes
  •         Guidelines for playing any species of witch
  •         Six witch covens of the Classical Tradition
  •         120 Spells and Rituals for witch characters
  •         24 Monsters to challenge or be allies
  •         29 magic items and six artifacts
  •         Three Non-player character witches from pages of mythology

Also fully compatible with Daughters of Darkness: Lilith and the Mara Tradition.



Saturday, August 17, 2019

#RPGaDAY2019: One

Today's topic is One.

Every so often the topic comes up of what RPG would you choose if you could only choose one.

If I over-think it, it becomes hard. There are so many great RPGs out there.  So many that I love and have loved playing.  But if I could only choose one, forever, then the choice becomes clear and easy.

CJ 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 gaming-wise and personal that may have added to 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 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 gamebook. 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 managed 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 Reckoning coming, everyone feels it, but no one knows what it is.  Characters then take on the roles of various magic-using humans, supernaturals or even mundane humans and they fight the threats.  Another conceit of the game (and one I use a lot) is that supernatural occurrences 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 until 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 portrayal. A lot of "artistic" 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 surprise then that the Willow and Tara stats that appear there are not that much different than my own.  I can be quite vocal in playtests.  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 its 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://www.drivethrurpg.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 it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

#RPGaDAY2019: Familiar

Today's topic is Familiar.

Again, I think I'll make a hard turn here and talk about Familiars; as in animal familiars, not something that is familiar.


I have talked a lot about familiars here. Books on familiars, spells for familiars, and what familiars could do for witches and wizards.

Sometimes I have pondered doing a book on just familiars. An OSR books for both witches and magic-users/wizards.  I'd include animal companions for druids as well.

But there are already good books out there for that and most of what I have wanted to add have been already added to my various witch books.  So maybe there is no need.

Still. It could be fun.

What do you all think?  Would this be something anyone is interested in?  I wouldn't do it if I didn't add a bunch of new material.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Christmas in July Sale!

I have a lot of books on sale in DriveThruRPG's Christmas in July sale.
Yes, it is 100+ degrees heat indices outside, but DTRPGs thoughts are to Christmas.


You can even get my newest book, The Daughters of Darkness, on sale.


If you have grabbed one of my books here is a great time to finish up your collection.

Coming soon, "Children of the Gods. The Classical Witch Tradition".

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Mystic Locales: The Library

This one is for all my librarian friends out there and for all the libraries I have loved.

Mystic Locales: The Library


There is a rumor. 

Naturally, it is whispered since talking aloud is not permitted and many find that they can no longer say the rumor in anything above a whisper.  The rumor is ignored by sages. It is conjectured as a flight of fancy among occult scholars. It is whispered among students, who find the idea terrifying at some level. But the librarians know it is real and true. Moreover, they have all taken a sacred vow to protect the secret and keep it from those who would use this power for evil ends.

Librarians all know that all libraries, everywhere, are connected.

From the first construction of the Library of Alexandria to the Carnegie Libraries of the 20th Century to the largest University Libraries to the small Little Libraries of a local neighborhood to the planet-sized Library of the 51st Century, all are connected. Not just spiritually, but physically as well.  One can wander the stacks of a library and end up in the stacks of another library hundreds of miles away and even dozens of years different.

When people go missing like this often a librarian will find them. A quick check in their own "inter-library loan" memos will discover who the person is and where they belong. The librarian will escort them back to where they need to go under the guise of 'helping them find their book' and send them along the way.  Most often the person in question will have no recollection of this other than the very pleasant and helpful staff.

There are those rare individuals who know how to navigate "The Stacks". The entrance is never the same for each library, and sometimes it can change in the same library.  These special people usually have some things in common. They spend a lot of time at libraries, often just reading or roaming the stacks and shelves looking for interesting and rare books.  They often have a love for books in general; not just in learning, but in the simple joy of reading or holding a book.
The rare ones even know how to move from one library to another as easily as others walk into a room of choice and back.   These special few are usually discovered and offered a job as a librarian where they can learn more ways to other libraries.

New Witch Ritual

Access the Library
Level: Witch Ritual 5
Ritual Requirements: 1 witch, 1 cleric, and 1 magic-user. see text
Range: 10-foot radius centered around a thaumaturgic triangle
Duration: See text
Legends claim that there is a library, The Library, that can be accessed if the intention is one of pure learning.  This library exists in its own extra-dimensional space and it contains the works of all sages, scholars, researchers, and authors as well as works of magic divine, arcane and occult.
To open the door the witch must gather together a magic-user (wizard) and a cleric, all of whom can cast 5th level spells.  It is believed that only by working together in ritual can all access the library.  Once the ritual is cast, usually taking an hour, all three may enter.  Their time spent in the Library is equal to a number of hours equal to their combined levels.  Time outside the library passes normally, but nothing else from the outside world affects them. Only the three that have cast the ritual may enter.
Once inside the ritual participants may look up any information they wish.  This can be used to research any magical question such as new spell creation, magic item creation or learning a new spell.  For every level the participant has they gain a +1 or a +5% where appropriate.
While in the Library the participants will see ghostly figures moving about. These are other patrons who have entered the Library via their own means or by means of a similar ritual.  Patrons cannot interact with each other; no talking or physical contact.  Patrons can only interact with those they entered with. 
Once the spell duration is complete the ritual participants will find themselves back in their thaumaturgic triangle.  A patron may leave at any time, but it will end the ritual.
Material Components: Each participant must bring and leave behind a book, scroll or other forms of printed work to give to the Library.  It need not be original, but an original work will grant the patrons an extra hour of reading/research time.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Featured Artist: Djinninthebox

I am very pleased to present another Featured Artist!

Today I have Hera, also known as Djinninthebox and Djinnintheshade.  She is an artist and gamer (only old school D&D for her!) and has been doing some great work.

Here she is in her own words:
For the bio... I'm Djinn, a italian girl. I'm a professional animator who loves rpg and draw a lot. I draw anything I play: characters, maps, heraldry, and I really love to draw NSFW stuff... so I'm developing a Fantasy Erotic Comic!
Here is some of her Safe for my Blog works.

She did one for me of my witch Larina.

My witch Larina!

She also does a lot of her own original character, Solaine,  from her current D&D game.
Here is what she says about Solaine:
Let me introduce you to Solaine, my D&D character: a young sorceress forced to hide her powers from the eyes of an oppressor kingdom, behind the innocent image of an educated librarian. Thanks o my costantly patient and creative DM, I play Solaine in a long homebrew campaign, soaked of intrigues, adventures, emotions, blood and love... ...or is she play me?




And many others









Check out her sites at:

Here commissions are currently closed, but she should open up again soon.

You can find Djinn on the web at:

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Daughters of Darkness: The Mara Witch for Basic Era Games in Print

It took me a while (work and a couple of dumb mistakes in editing) but my latest book is now out in print!

Daughters of Darkness: The Mara Witch for Basic Era Games


It looks great and even better when paired with the Witch for Basic Era Games.


100% compatible with that book.  Also compatible with my Swords & Wizardry line of books.



I will share some details about the books so you can see things like spell overlap (spoiler: some version of Bestow Curse appears in every book).

I will send out codes for a discounted print copy for people who already bought the PDF.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

OMG: Greek (and maybe Roman) Mythos, Part 3 Hecate

Hecate is getting her own post.

There is no way I am going to say everything about this Goddess; either for D&D or in general.  So keeping that in mind, let's go.

Hecate, or sometimes, Hekate, is the Goddess of Witches, Ghosts and the Crossroads OR she is a Titan. OR she is something different. 

Like some of the Olympian Gods, she is of the third or fourth generation.  Her Great grandparents are namely Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Sky), same as Zeus' own grandparents.  Their offspring was Crius, whom the D&DG gives as the Greater Titan of Gravity.  Gaia (Earth) and Pontos (Sea) gave birth to Eurybia (Winds and Constellations; things that seemingly comes from the sea). Crius and Eurybia give birth to Perses (Titan of Destruction). He joins with the Titaness Asteria the Titan of stars and nighttime oracles.  She herself was the daughter of Phoebe and Coeus, making her a half-sister to Leto the mother of Apollo and Artemis.   Though there are other claims to her parentage.  Some also claim she the daughter of Leto, which would make her Apollo and Artemis' half-sister.

Hecate then is the daughter of Peres and Asteria and of the same generation of Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, and Dionysus.  While she is their generation she is often considered to be a Titan.

Like many of the Greek and later Roman Gods, Hecate has more than one, in what D&D came to call Portfolio.  She is the Goddess of Nighttime as opposed to Nox the Personification of Night. She is the Goddess of Oracular power based on stars (as opposed to her semi-cousin Apollo who is the God of Oracles), one of the Goddess of the Moon.  Her torches light the night.  She is the goddess of the Crossroads. With her three faces, she can see the past, present, and future.  And most notably, she is the Goddess of Witchcraft, Creatures of the Night and Ghosts.
Due to her rather complicated lineage, she also has dominion over Earth, Sky, and Sea.

She has been associated with the Goddess Demeter having been mentioned int he Homeric Hymns to Demeter.  She is believed to have lit the way to Hades for Demeter to find Persephone. While Persephone is in the underworld she and Hecate are companions.  She helps Persephone on her trip to and from the underworld.  This gives us one of our first triple-goddesses, with Persephone, Demeter, and Hecate as the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

As a Goddess, she is often seen in the company of large dogs from the Underworld, the Hellhounds and common house cats.

She is depicted in the D&DG as being Lawful Evil.  I am not buying it.  Lawful I can live with, but so much of what she does is both good and evil that Lawful Neutral is the much better choice.

Hecate is one of the few gods that retains her name in both the Greek and Roman versions.  Though there is the Roman Goddess Trivia that also takes on some of what makes Hecate.

Goddess of Witchcraft
We know that many tablets and surviving scrolls have her mentioned in many curses and spells of protection against creatures of the night.  According to Hesiod, "Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honored above all. He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She received honor also in starry heaven, and is honored exceedingly by the deathless gods."

Interestingly enough her domain over witchcraft relates to her being worshipped by Circe and Medea. Medea, in fact, is called a Priestess of Hecate. Medea is almost always described as a witch.

Hecate also appears in Shakespeare's Macbeth and mentioned in Hamlet. Each time due to her association with witches.

Lampad the Nymphae Avernales
The lampads are described as Underworld Nymphs.  They were the constant companions to Hecate as a reward for Hecate taking part in the war against the Titans.  Sometimes described as the Daughters of Nyx or of Daimones, they share a similar relationship to Hecate as the forest nymphs do with Artemis.

Lampads appear in the Pathfinder game, in Bestiary 4.  Here is my interpretation.

Lampad (Nymph)
Armor Class: 9 [10]
Hit Dice: 3d8 +16 (30)
Attacks: 0 (see below)
Damage: None
Special Attacks & Defenses: Cause feeblemindedness, malaise and death
Movement: 120’ (40’)
No. Appearing: 0 (1d4)
Save: Witch 3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: IX, XI x 10
Alignment: Neutral (Chaotic)
XP: 100
Nymphs are stunningly beautiful female fey creatures that closely resemble elven women. The lampad are nymphs of the underworld and desolate places.  They appear similar to drow (dark elves), with grey ashen skin and long white hair.  Anyone that sees a lampad must make a save vs. spells or become feebleminded as per the spell.  If more than one lampad is present the victim is instantly killed on a failed save.
Lampads have the spell-casting abilities of a 6th level witch. They have their own language and speak common and the languages of the infernal realms.

Tears of the Lampad:  These tears are extremely magical if a tear touches a mortal (not an elf though) they must make a save vs. poison at -4 or enter into a depression so deep they are unwilling to move or do anything.  A victim will starve to death before they will attempt to bring themselves out of this malaise. Only a remove curse spell will allow them to return to their normal life.

The Empusa
I have used the Empusa many times in a lot of games.  I have often categorized them as Lilim, or the Daughters of Lilith (who also shares a lot with Hecate) but in ancient myth they are the daughters, or at least the offspring, of Hecate.

Empusa (Lilim)
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 8d8+4** (40 hp)
No. of Attacks: 2 claws and 1 bite or 1 weapon
Damage: 1d6 / 1d6 / 1d6 or 1d10
Special Attacks & Defenses:  Magic resistance (25%), Lilim abilities, magical abilities, +1 magic weapons to hit, Intelligence drain
Movement: 120' (40')
   Flying: 240’ (80’)
No. Appearing: 1d4
Save As: Witch 9
Morale: 8
Horde Class: X, XI
Alignment: Chaotic (evil)
XP:  2,380
These are believed to be the daughters of Lilith or Hecate and the various proto-demons. They are the most “demonic” of all of the Lilim. The Empusae (or “forcers-in”), like all Lilim, can appear as a stunningly beautiful woman or as a demon. The demonic form of the Empusa is one of the most hideous of all of the Lilim. The body remains mostly humanoid and female but covered in fine scales. Its legs become like those of a horse or ass and end in hooves that are made of brass or bronze. Its back supports a set of large leathery bat-like wings, similar to that of a succubus. It is its head that features its most horrible transformation. The creature’s long flowing tresses are replaced with a mass of snakes similar to that of a medusa. Its facial features are blocked by an area of complete darkness, only it’s glowing eyes are visible. It is said among sages that face of the Empusa is not shrouded in darkness, but it is so horrible that our minds block the vision from us. It is also said that other demons can actually see the Empusa’s face and run in fear from it. Its former delicate hands now end in razor-tipped claws. A long reptilian tail completes the picture.
An Empusa can appear as human, or it can also shapeshift into a large dire wolf (statistics as per Dire Wolf).
Unlike the combat avoidant Succubus, Empusae live for battle. They can either use their natural claw/claw/bite routine or use a flaming sword that strikes for 2d6 points of damage plus 1d6 of flame damage. Empusa gain to hit and damage bonuses due to their high strength as well.
The touch of an Empusa drains the Intelligence of the victim at 1 point per barehanded, not weaponed, attack.



Hecate / Heka Connections
The Greeks and the Egyptians had a long and complicated relationship.  Greeks scholars used to say that everything they know came from the Egyptians.  Back when I was doing the research for OMG: Egyptian Mythos I came across this saying all the time.  This lead me to the Egyptian God of magic Heka.  Like many before I noticed some similarities with Hecate and Heka.  Both are their respective gods of magic. Both are heralded as "gifts" to the human race by their respective heads of their pantheon.  Despite the similar portfolios and similarity in names there is no linguistic connection between the two.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Must Be the Season of the Witch: Movies and TV

Now, this is working WITH me!

A new movie and new TV series created just for my entertainment. Though I am sure you all can watch too.

First up, Angelina Jolie is back as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.





And over on Disney's FreeForm, who is currently KILLING IT with Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, we are getting a Witches-as-Warriors in a modern-day supernatural show, Motherland: Fort Salem.


I mean seriously, has someone been peeking at my birthday wish list?
Can't wait for these!
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