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

Monday, December 24, 2018

Kris Kringle, Winter Warden

The lands of the north are full of magic. There is the Abominable Snow Monster, also known as the Bumble, the Dreaded Winter Warlock and human evils like the Burgomeister Meisterburger.  To protect the children of the lands of the north there is a fierce guardian, a Winter Warden, a man named Kringle.

Here is Kringle as a Warden from my new book The Winter Witch for Swords & Wizardry.

Kris Kringle
Winter Warden, 12th level
Human Male, Lawful

Abilities
Strength 16
Intelligence 15
Wisdom 16
Dexterity 17
Constitution 16
Charisma 18

Hit Points: 70
AC:  6 (Heavy coat and dex)
Saving Throws: 4

Favored Enemy: Anyone that mistreats or harms children or animals.

Spells
Druid 
1st level (3): Locate Animals, Predict Weather, Snowball
2nd level (2): Cure Light Wounds, Flurry of Snowballs
3rd level (1): Ward of the Season

Witch
1st level (2): Animal Friend, Create Snow
2nd level (1): Raven Spy

Equipment: Kringle coat, magic snowball, a huge sack of toys.

The man who would be known as Kris Kringle was left as a baby near the home of the Kringle Barbegazi (Ice Gnomes). Those these gnomes had also lived close to many Álfar (Snow Elves) that they had picked up their ways.  Many local humans simply called them Kringle Elves.
Kris grew to manhood and took on his adoptive family's decree as the First Toy Makers to the King to deliver toys across the mountains to Sombertown, the only place where the Kringles had not given out their toys (they were related to Tinker Gnomes as well).


To do so he had to first face the terrible Winter Warlock, whom he defeated but would take on as a friend.  The Winter Warlock (now Lawful and lost some of his powers) provided him with his Snowball of Seeing and magic corn for his flying reindeer.


Kringle is the current Winter Warden for the area surrounding Sombertown.  No one is sure who his parents are, but it is suspected his father was a powerful wizard or cleric.

--

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Other Side!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Queen Elsa, the Winter Witch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



My money is on the Queen.

Even real Norwegians love her.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

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

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

The Winter Witch Tradition


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

Inside you will find:

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

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

All for your Swords & Wizardry games!

Winter is here, are you ready?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Featured Artist: Anna Marine

I am not sure how I found my next Featured Artist, I am just glad I did!

Anna Marine is from Prague, Czech Republic and is an amazing talent.  As you can expect from me she loves to draw witches and demons.

Here is a commission I had gotten from her for my Swords & Wizardry White Box Witch.
She was so great to work with that I am now looking for any excuse to get to do it again!


It's a young Larina flying to her sabbat sky-clad.  She does some really wonderful stuff.


Her newest is "Yule".










You can buy all these prints from her Big Cartel or Etsy stores.

You can find her on the net at:
She is available for commissions as well.


Thanks so much Anna!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monstrous Monday: Frost Maiden

Woke up to freezing fog this morning.  That sounds totally made-up, but there is a thin sheet of ice everywhere.  Remind me again WHY I live in Chicago?

Today's little beastie is another one from the upcoming Winter Witch book.  It should feel familiar to any old-school gamer.

Frost Maiden
Hit Dice: 10
Armor Class: 3 [17]
Attack: Spell abilities or two fists (2d8x2) (giant size)
Saving Throw: 8
Special: Spell-like abilities, growth, immune to all cold.
Movement: 18 (can run without impediment over snow and ice)
Alignment: Chaotic
Number Encountered: 1
Challenge Level/XP: 12/2,000
Frost Maidens are related to both Frost Giants and Snow Elves.  It is believed that the first Frost Maiden was the offspring of a snow elf princess who was abducted by a Frost Giant Jarl.  The Princess was a powerful winter witch and she cursed her abductor and his family.  Now once every 100 or so births among frost giants will result in a frost maiden.  Due to the curse, the frost giants cannot abandon their frost maiden daughters and they usually rise to levels of importance and power.
These creatures stand some 5’ tall under normal conditions. Her skin is an unhealthy white or pale blue with white or platinum blonde hair. Their eyes are a piercing ice blue. They appear as a snow elf, but something is different about them.  They are unearthly beautiful with melodious voices and a coquettish smile. The often will appear wearing only the barest minimum to support modesty, but little else.  They are often barefoot.
Frost Maiden are all irredeemably evil. Their favorite game is to tease human males to point they are maddened with lust then they lead them to their deaths.  Usually in a blind canyon where they will bury them in an avalanche or trap them in a deep bit of ice.  They are also not above leading them into ambushes of winter wolves, worgs, or their frost giant brothers.   Some males they trick into acts of passion.  The resulting children are the same race as the father. Children of these unions have an additional +1 to saves against cold-based attacks.
The frost maiden can cast spells as a 7th level winter witch and can also once per day grow to three times her size (15’) to the size of a frost giant once per day.  She will revert to her normal size at sunrise.
Some sages say that the “snow elf princess” was actually the Snow Queen, the Faerie Lady of Ice and Snow and the “frost giant jarl” was no less a personage than Thrym, lord of the Frost Giants.  This is unconfirmed and both the Snow Queen and Thrym are loathe to discuss it. But it is known that many frost maidens serve the Snow Queen in her court.



I used this monster as a "side quest" after running G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl.  The ice maiden in question was the daughter of the Jarl.  My players were quite surprised when the "snow elf" they were chasing starting using spells and became a 15' frost giant.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Featured Artist: Larry Elmore

This one might seem something like a cheat or a dodge. I mean the idea behind Featured Artist is to share with you artists I enjoy and want you to know more about.  Let's be honest EVERYONE knows who Larry Elmore is.

But in truth, there might not be my witch class and thus not this blog had it not been for Larry Elmore.  Well. That might be overstating it since I was working on my witch rather early.  But it was his art that gave me inspiration.  I do know I would never have published my first "netbook" of witches had it not been for his art.

This week is my "anniversary week" and Elmore has had an inordinate influence on my writings. It seems only fair to give him his due here.

I have to be 100% honest.
I love his witches.


This witch appeared in the famous Dragon #114 version of the witch class and she was the "face" of my witch character ever since.  My goal is to get this as a print to put up in my game room.

Equally as influential was the Dragonlance character Laurana, which is not a great mental leap to my own Larina.  Though really only in name.  Laurana went from spoiled princess to warrior to one of the main heroes of the Dragonlance saga.



Though this next one was more influential.
"Early Snow" was one of my favorites. So much so that at Gen Con 2010 I bought the mini from Dark Sword and a signed print from Larry himself.


Larry admitted he loves drawing women and witches in particular.





He is pretty famous for his clerics too.


Aleena should have been working with Avalyne! She might still be alive.

And of course, there is this one, maybe his most famous painting ever.

But on Earth-2 they got this one as the cover.


I have to say, I like this one better.  Maybe not as epic as "one man vs. dragon" but it is more "D&D" with a fighter, magic-user and what could be an elf or halfling. I am going with halfling.

There is so much art out there that I could spend days talking about it and him.

You can find Larry on the internet at:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

This is How I Die. New feature for Winter Witches

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

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

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

Each Winter Witch knows exactly how she will die.

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

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

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

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

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

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



Coming December 20th.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Blood Trees of Yule

Honestly. I couldn't resist.


Blood Trees of Yule
Hit Die: 3
AC: 8 [11]  (hardness)
Attack: 1 branch (1d6), blood drain 1d6 hp
Saving Throw: 14
Special: Cold resistance, fire vulnerability, Grab on natural 20 of 1d4 Con loss in blood
Move: 0 (see below)
Alignment: Chaotic
Number Encountered: 1d3 or 2d6
Challenge Level/XP: 4/120

The Winter Solstice, also known as Yuletide, is a time of rebirth amidst the surrounding chill of night, winter and death.   Witches of all traditions celebrate the return of the sun and rebirth of the Summer Lord who will reign until Midsummer.  People of all sorts stop and turn to each other and say "Well done. You made, half-way through the dark."

But not all Yuletide is celebrations. There are reminders that death still walks the lands.  Such are the Blood Trees of Yule.  Created by a powerful but evil and jealous witch these trees lure revelers to their death.  Once a creature, medium-sized or smaller is within a foot of these trees they will lash out with a branch to impale the unsuspecting victim. Impalement happens on a critical roll of a natural 20. Once so impaled they pull the victim into their branches where they are drained of all blood, 1d4 Con points per round.  The victim can be freed only on a successful Save modified by Strength.

These trees possess a rudimentary intelligence. They cannot move but they can bend and sway as much as 5 feet from their stationary position. The redder the tree the more evil and dangerous they are.

Encountering one such tree is usually the sign of some nearby corruption, the use of dark magics.  Encountering three or more is the sign malign witchcraft.  Encountering up to a dozen is a sign of the darkest, most evil form of witchcraft known.  The foulness of such trees is eclipsed only by the foulness of the witch that created them.

--
Speaking of blood.

This happened over the weekend:


I have not always been a fan of Lamentation of the Flame Princess, but James Raggi does do good work and I AM a fan of Elizabeth Chaipradikul.  She did the fantastic WITCH Fated Souls and the forward to my Green Witch book.
The book in questions above is She Bleeds.

James mentions that the warehouse in question could have destroyed copies they paid for, so he is looking into it now.  But the destruction of a book, any book, is anathema to me.

So show Liz your support. Pick up a copy of one of her books.  I can only imagine how this must feel to her.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: The Almas

I am back from Thanksgiving break only to have the worst blizzard in two-three years hit the Mid-West.  My kids schools are closed and my office is even closed!  With all that snow outside it is a PERFECT day to do some more work on my Winter Witch book.

Today I want to feature a monster that has some significance to me.  The Almas is a cryptid that dates back at least to the 15th century.  I featured the almas as suspected antagonists, but later turned allies in the Ghosts of Albion adventure "Almasti". Here a tribe of Almas has come to London to stop the plans of the evil god Chernbog. 

For the Winter Witch I wanted something a little different, but close enough that it was obviously the same creature.

Almas
Hit Dice: 3 (4 for Shaman)
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Attacks: 2 fists (1d6) or by weapon type
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Fly, immune to cold, spells
Move: 12 / 24 fly
Alignment: Neutral
Number Encountered: 1d8
Challenge Level/XP: 6/400

Almas are the smaller, more intelligent cousins of the Yeti. Due to their smaller size, they do not have the yeti’s hug attack.  For every group of six almas, one will be a shaman who has the spellcasting ability of a 2nd level winter witch.  With the aid of the shaman, an Almas can fly on the boreal winds, but only after the sun has gone down.

They are immune to normal and magical cold.  Almas speak their own language and that of giants.

--

Working hard to get the Winter Witch to you in time for the holidays. 
Until then check out the Cyber Monday sales at DriveThruRPG. All my Swords & Wizardry witch books are on sale.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Snow Golem

I want to do this on Friday but the day job had me really busy.

Last week we had our first real snow in Chicagoland this season.  I thought it might nice to share another new monster from my upcoming Winter Witch book. 

Snow Golem
Hit Dice: 5 (22 hp)
AC: 7 [12]
Attack: 1 body slam (1d8 plus 1d6 cold)
Move: 12 / 24 over ice
Save: 11
Alignment: Neutral
CL/XP: 8/800
Special: Breath weapon, cold, immunity to cold, immunity to magic, double damage from fire

Snow Golems are amongst the simplest of golems that can be made by a witch.  The material to make them, snow, is easily available to them and easily molded into a humanoid shape.  All that is required in the casting of the spell is some magical fetish to focus the energy.  This can be nearly anything, but it is often a hat or a scarf.
Once animated the golem can perform routine duties can be ordered in a dozen words or less. Such orders would include "let no one pass but me." or "guard this treasure and let no one take it."
Snow golems are susceptible to weather conditions.  If the temperature rises above 32 degrees their movement is halved and their attacks are at half damage.

Snow Golem, Awakened
Among the awakened golems (Flesh, Clay, and Druthers) snow golems seem the least likely to have an awakened form, but because they are so easy to make young witches will often put more of their own energy or their own life force into their golems and they will spontaneously awaken.
The golems are often Lawful in alignment and have a child-like nature to them.  This is particularly true for snow golems brought to life by young, but very powerful Winter Witches.

These golems are also created at special times of the year.  If snow falls on Samhain then those snows can be used.  These awakened snow golems often have the spirit of the recently departed, but they usually can't recall their previous life.  These golems are typically Chaotic in nature.
Awakened snow golems constructed on or near Yule or the Winter Solstice are among the most powerful (HD 10, hp 40, move 18/36).

Regardless of type snow golems rarely live out a season and the magics holding them together will give out on the Spring Equinox.  There are some protections against this, and even an awakened snow golem can come back again someday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Askafroa, The Ash Dryads

Halloween is over. The elections are done.  I have cleaned up all the garden plants and set the clocks back. When I drive home from work and the weatherman is saying the "s-word" on TV.

Time to get back to my oft-neglected Winter Witch book.
Thought I would start the ball rolling here (though I have been working on it for a while) with a creature that almost went into the Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box.

"The Dryad" by Henry John Stock
Askafroa (Ash Dryad)
Hit Die: 4
AC: 5 [14] (natural armor)
Attack: 1 claw (long nails) (1d6)
Move: 12
Save: 13
Alignment: Neutral
CL/XP: 5/240
Special: Charm person (-2 save), use witch spells*

The Askafroa, also know as an Ash Wife, is the spirit of an ash tree much in the same way a Dryad is the spirit of an oak.  There is a rumor that these creatures were made by the gods themselves to protect the sacred ash trees.
Askafroa appear to be slightly smaller elvish humanoids.  Their dark hair is intertwined with ash leaves and twigs but otherwise, they seem to be mortal.   They are faerie and thus beautiful to behold, with long brown or black hair and piercing green eyes. Some though have been reported to grow hideous in countenance when their ash trees are threatened. This gives them their other name, Ash Hags.
Askafroa do not attack unless their ash trees are threatened, then they can attack with their wooden nails which act like claws.  They can also cast spells as a 4th level Winter Witch.  Askafroa are very liberal in what they determine is a threat.  Walking into their forest with an axe or even a torch might be considered a threat.
If a human or elf makes an appeasement and the proper sacrifices in front of an ash tree then the Askafroa can be made more friendly and even talkative to the human or elf.  Other races they do not trust or are unaware of.
Like her dryad cousins, the Askafroa is bound to an ash tree. If she strays too far from the tree (more than a day's walk) she will begin to weaken losing 1d6 hp per day.  If her tree is cut down or burned she will die.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Charmed Season 1, Episode 4 "Exorcise Your Demons"

Exorcisms seem to be a popular topic on witch shows of late. We start the fourth episode of the season with the Charmed One still harboring the Harbinger demon stuck in the body of their friend Angela.  We learn that six month back that Marisol (their now dead mother) was working with Angela to press sexual harassment charges against a male professor (the same from episode 1).
She gets depressed and tries to OD and ends up in a coma.   Here she is easy pickings for the Harbinger demon.


This is also when the Charmed Ones meet their first Elder.  Now Elders in the Original Series were powerful Whitelighters.  In this series, we meet Charity who seems to be a living witch.  She is the CEO of a non-profit organization to help women in developing countries.  Yes, Charmed is still wearing their politics on their sleeve.   But saying this is far more than just "fan service" it established two essential plot points. 1. Elders are living witches, not powerful Whitelighters and 2. that this is someone the girls would trust.  We also learn through Charity that Marisol was an Elder or Senior Witch; "the same thing" according to Harry.
Charity's plan is to kill the demon and thus Angela.  This doesn't sit well with Mel, who pushed Angela to press the charges; she feels responsible.   Eventually, Mel discovers that Angela is alive and trapped in her own body.
Mel convinces Maggie, Macy and eventually even Harry that Angela can be saved.  They discover a new spell, one that had been hidden but only revealed till all three girls agreed to try, in the Book of Shadows.   It is a witch exorcism spell based, according to Harry, on Santariea. All I know is that Mel sounds great speaking Spanish.
Again, I won't be spoilery with the ending, but not everyone makes it out alive.

What is New for this Series?
The Book of Shadows has a "search feature" not sure if I like this or not.
Elders are living, senior witches, and someone/thing is killing them
Demons look cooler.
Marisol was an Elder.

Elders in Your Game
Last week I gave you all Exorcism and Vanquishing spells so no need to go over that again.
But I do want to investigate this idea of Elders in the game.  Now if this were 3rd Edition/Pathfinder we were talking about then an Elder would be a Prestige Class for a witch. Much like my Imbolc Mage Prestige Class.

For OSR style games I would just make some sort of social structure.  Something like the Witenagemot of 7th century England.  This "Council of the Wise" in many ways typifies what I think the Elders should be about.  J.K. Rowling used this idea for her "Wizengamot" of her world.
In my world, I supposed I could call it a "Wiccegemot" or "Council of Witches (Wicce)".
What would they do? What powers would they have?  I would like to think that representatives of the major covens and traditions would be here.  Maybe this is the council that my Witch Queens are on that meet once every seven years. Or thirteen years, can't remember right now.  Looked it up, it's 13 years.

I would say there are special ritual spells that only can be cast by the Wiccegemot.  Powerful spells. Earth, or even Plane, altering spells.
I am also likely to give them access to secret spells of lower levels, just ones they don't widely share.

Right though, I'll just keep them mysterious and unknown.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Seoni, Pathfinder Iconic Sorceress, B/X style

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

Seoni
12th level Magic-User

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am pretty happy though with both builds.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Featured Artist: Jacob Blackmon

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

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

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

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

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

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




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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Swords & Wizardry

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sabrina Spellman

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

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

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

Occult Powers
Familiar: Salem (Cat)

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

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

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