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

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monstrous Monday: Bánánach for OSE

Working on all sorts of things, mostly getting my bits of Night Shift done and a TON of day job stuff.

I wanted to get The Pagan Witch out to you all soon, and I still might, it is done, minus some little bits. Here is something in the mean time.

Bánánach
Semi-transparent spectres of witches that haunt battlefields or other areas of great violence.
AC 3 [16], HD 5** (18hp), Att 1 × touch (1d6 +ability drain), THAC0 15 [+4], MV 120’ (40’) / 240’ (80’) flying, SV D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (5), ML 12, AL Chaotic, XP 175, NA 1d4 (1d6), TT None

▶ Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to effects that affect living creatures (e.g. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (e.g. charm, hold, sleep).
▶ Mundane weapon immunity: Only harmed by silver weapons or magic.
▶ Damage reduction: Half damage from silver weapons.
▶ Energy drain: A successfully hit target permanently loses one point of Wisdom. This incurs a loss of all other benefits due to the drained ability (e.g. spells, saving throws, etc.). A person drained of all Wisdom becomes a wraith in one day, under the control of the bánánach that killed him or her.

A bánánach is the specter of a witch.  They are attracted to areas of great death and suffering.  They can be seen flying about the areas of death.  They drain the willpower of those she attacks. 
They are often accompanied by 2-3 wraiths.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Old School Essentials: New Witch Spells

The hottest new property in OSR gaming is Old-School Essentials.  Justifiably so too.   It is a great reinterpretation of the Basic/Expert rules and it is a lot of fun.  It is also on sale today as the DriveThruRPG Deal of the Day.

I am still a little bit away, further than I want to admit, from finishing up The Craft of the Wise: The Pagan Witchcraft Tradition.  But in celebration of OSE's sale here are some new witch spells.

First Level Witch Spells

Call Spirits of the Land
Duration: 1d4 hours
Range: The Caster
Call Spirits enables the witch to gather local spirits of the dead and elements, which appear to the caster as small ghostly disembodied heads, and listen to their tales about the surrounding
land and people.
▶ Characters listening can make an Intelligence Ability check to learn something about the local area.
▶ Characters who fail the check by five or less hear nothing but endless ramblings and chattering, possibly in an unknown or ancient language, that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.
▶ Those who fail by more than five hear nothing.
▶ A roll of a natural 20 provides completely false and maliciously misleading information.

Material Components: The caster must pay for the information with offerings of food, alcoholic beverages, incense, song, and pleasant conversation. The offering should total at least 1 gp.

Salving Rest 
Duration: Special
Range: The caster or a creature touched
This spell allows its subject to enjoy soothing, peaceful sleep, free of pain and sorrow, whenever she slumbers. As a result of this salving rest,
▶ The subject of the spell will heal an extra 1d3 hit points during each day of complete rest.
▶ The spell ends when the subject stops completely resting or if she takes any damage.

Material Components: A tea made from valerian root and lavender.

Second Level Witch Spells

Chameleon
Duration: 1 turn per level
Range: Touch
This spell allows any character touched to blend into her surroundings to the point of becoming nearly invisible. The character gains a +4/+20% to hide in shadows. Characters affected by a chameleon spell can always hide in shadows with a skill of at least 25% chance. This spell is used to create elven cloaks.

Material Components: The scale of a chameleon or a bit of skin from a cuttlefish. Alternately a bit of multi-colored cloth will also work.

Inscribe Tattoo I
Duration: Permanent
Range: One willing target
With this spell the caster inscribes a tattoo onto a willing subject. Only three such tattoos can ever be placed on one subject.
Tattoos have different abilities
Become animal: Allows the subject to shift into a normal animal, chosen at the time of inscribing. The animal’s HD must be equal to or less than the subject’s level. The subject can only shapeshift once per month.
Strike true: The subject gains a +1 to hit/damage. Magical creatures can be hit with this magic.
Magical protection: +1 to saves vs. magic. This can be from spells, wands, rods or magic-like effects.
Battle protection: +1 bonus to AC. Tattoo must be visible to have effect.
Magical Affinity: Used by spell casters this gives as -1 penalty to target’s saves.

Similar tattoos do not add their effects. Two Magical Protection tattoos do not prove +2 protection.  Only higher-level tattoos can.
The caster cannot tattoo herself.

Material Components: Special tattoo pens, needles, and inks are required.

Third Level Witch Spells

Hopping Doom 
Duration: 1 turn/level 
Range: 60 feet
The witch can summon 1d10 x 1,000 slimy wet bullfrogs to a spot designated (crawling out from rocks, nooks and crannies, or otherwise dropping from the ceiling or sky). They jump madly about, getting underfoot, and croak at a deafening volume that prevents conversation within the area of effect. The distraction is such that spellcasters must save (spells) before they can cast, and missile users roll to hit at -2. Movement within the area is halved.
▶There is a base 10% chance (+5% per level) that 1d10 poisonous frogs will be in the group. ▶They will attack non-frog targets within the area of effect, forcing them to save (poison) at +2 or die. The poisonous frogs are colorful but otherwise identical to the rest.
▶The caster can move the mass of frogs by telepathic command, at a maximum speed of up to 60 ft per round.
▶The area of effect is determined by the number of frogs summoned (10 ft² per 1,000 frogs).

Material Components: A small fly.

Malice
Duration: 6 turns
Range: Touch 
Malice weakens the target creature's attacks: each time the target creature inflicts hit point damage on an enemy (by any means), damage dice must be rolled twice, and the lesser result used.

Material Components: The witch must be able to touch the target while giving a word of power.

Fourth Level Witch Spells

Venus Glass
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: One glass of water
The witch sends a prayer out to the spirits of her ancestors and to the spirits of those not yet reborn into her life for a vision. A question is asked to give her a vision of a face. Typically the witch casts a venus glass for a maiden hoping to see the face of her future husband.
She then cracks an egg and suspends the egg white in a glass of water
She can then see the future, usually, the face of someone important to the witch or whomever the witch is asking about.
▶ Face: the face of someone will appear. It may be indistinct or quite clear.
▶ Portents: If the egg has blood in it means that the person they seek with bring them death.
▶ Visage of Death: If the face switches from normal to a skull face then the person they seek will die.
▶ Unclear: No face is revealed. The witch may try again the next night.

Material Components: An egg from a hen taken at or just before the dawn and a clear glass of pure water.

Fifth Level Witch Spells

Flood of Tears
Duration: Instantaneous and one round per level
Range: Cone 60’ 
The witch begins to cry and creates a flood to wash away her foes. 
▶ In the first round, the tears flow creatures caught in the flood must make a save vs. paralysis or take 1d6 hp of damage for every two levels of the witch (max 7d6). Save for half. 
▶ For the rounds that follow the area remains inundated with water and the flotsam and jetsam of debris. Movement is reduced to half in this area. 

Material Components: The witch must cry.

Sixth Level Witch Spells

Eye Bite
Duration: 1 round per 3 levels
Range: 25’ + 5’ per 2 levels
The witch glares at a target. 
Each round, the witch may target a single living creature, striking it with waves of arcane power.  Depending on the target’s HD, this attack has as many as three effects.


HD
Effect
10 or more
Sickened
5-9
Panicked, sickened
4 or less
Comatose, panicked, sickened

▶ Sickened: Sudden pain and fever sweeps over the target’s body. A sickened creature takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws and ability checks.  A creature affected by this spell remains sickened for 10 minutes per caster level.  The effects cannot be negated by a remove disease or heal spell, but a remove curse is effective.
▶ Panicked: The target becomes panicked for 1d4 rounds as if under the influence of a fear spell.  After the initial effect is over, the target can become panicked again if he sees the witch and fails a saving throw.
▶ Comatose: The target falls into a catatonic coma for 10 minutes per caster level.  During this time, it cannot be awakened by any means short of dispelling the effect.  This is not a sleep effect, and thus elves are not immune to it.

The witch can affect victims for 1 round per three caster levels.  Spell effects can last longer than this depending on the effect. 

Material Components: The witch needs to be able to see the victim.  She needs to touch her eye and point to the victim.


The Craft of the Wise: The Pagan Witch Traditions


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Updating Layout and War of the Witch Queens

I updated my layout a bit over the last few day here at the old Other Side.


I updated my Books page, which I have not done since 2016 or so.  Witch Links is getting updated more frequently now. I am still unsure if I'll update Downloads or OGL anymore, so they might go.

The biggest update is a new link above to my War of the Witch Queens old-school Campaign.

Here is some of the information I have on that page.

The War of the Witch Queens

The basis of this campaign was something I scrawled on my notes one day while working on one of my books.

"The Witch Queens gather every 13 years to discuss politic, issues of their realms, to share magical discoveries and socialize. But mostly they meet to make sure they stay out of each other's way.  Each Conclave a new High Queen is chosen to make sure that all witches abide by the rules.  This year however one the first day of the Conclave the current High Queen was murdered.
With the High Queen dead and her successor unchosen, the Witches are threatening to go to war with each other and worlds are caught in between."

The idea is these war of these powerful witches will happen.  The PCs get pulled in to this drama and must discover who killed the High Queen and how to stop it.

The Witch Queens 

A big old-school campaign I am working on is War of the Witch Queens.  I have been collecting these NPCs for years.  Not all are Witch Queens, but all have something to do in the campaign and all were at the Conclave of Witches, so each one is a suspect.

I will admit I have some ideas on who the murderer is.  I am also split on which of these will be the victim, though I have two in mind.  Part of the fun here is to build the mystery.
Check the link above for a list of all the Queens and adventures.

In addition to figuring out the mystery, it is also an excuse to try to use as many different D&D-like systems I can.  So DCC, S&S, Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC and D&D proper all live in harmony on my shelves.



Monday, January 13, 2020

Monstrous Monday: Horned Women

The Horned Women of Celtic Myth

The horned women, or horned witches, are magical hags of Irish myth and legend.  They pester newly married young women or new mothers.  They are also known to plague any sort of homeowner.


Horned Women are a particularly nasty creature that is related to both faeries and hags.
They will appear as ugly old women with a horn protruding from their forehead. How many horns will tell you how powerful they are. A woman with one horn has 1 HD and so on.  It is unknown if this is related to age, all appear to ancient hags.

They will rush into a home, especially that of a new young mother or wife, and begin performing chores at a breakneck speed. While they perform the chores each one will demand a task of the overwhelmed bride. Saying that if she does not complete the tasks, they will fly off and eat her baby. The tasks are designed to be seemingly impossible; chop wood with an ax handle with no blade, or collect water in a bucket full of holes, or make a cake with no flour. The tasks can be completed by the bride, but she has to be clever about it.

Their voice is compelling, as per the suggestion spell, to get the wife to do these tasks.  A save vs spells will keep this from happening, but the threat of eating her baby is still real.

If she can do all the tasks the Horned Women want they will scream and fly away never to return. If she doesn’t they will take the baby.

Horned Women cast witch spells at the same level as their HD. They do not have access to ritual magic or occult powers.

Witches are often employed to fight these creatures.
Using a simple spell (typically dispel evil or remove curse) and adding "Witch! Witch! Fly away from here!"
The horned women will fly away and never return to that house.

Horned Women
(Labyrinth Lord)
No. Enc.: 1-8 (1-12)
Alignment: Chaotic (evil)
Movement: 80' (240')
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 1** (5 hp) to 8** (36 hp)
Attacks: 1 (claw)
Damage: 1d6
Special: Witch spells, compelling voice
Save: Witch 1 to Witch 8
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None
XP: HD 1: 13, HD 2: 29,  HD 3: 68, HD 4:  135, HD 5: 350, HD 6: 570,  HD 7: 790, HD 8: 1,060

Horned Women
(Blueholme Journeymanne Rules)
AC: 3 [16]
HD: 1d8 to 8d8
Move: 80
Attacks: : 1 (claw, 1d6), Witch spells, compelling voice
Alignment: Chaotic
Treasure: None
XP: HD 1: 45, HD 2: 70,  HD 3: 95, HD 4:  145, HD 5: 255, HD 6: 395,  HD 7: 650, HD 8: 950

Horned Women
(Old-School Essentials)
AC 3 [16], HD 1 (5 hp) 8 (36 hp), Att 1 claw (1d6), THAC0 19 [+1], MV 240’ (80’), SV as W 1-8, ML 10, AL Chaotic, XP HD 1: 45, HD 2: 70,  HD 3: 95, HD 4:  145, HD 5: 255, HD 6: 395,  HD 7: 650, HD 8: 950, NA 1-8 (1-12), TT None
 Witch spells: The horned woman can cast spells as a witch at the same level as her HD.
 Compelling Voice: The horned woman's voice acts as a suggestion spell.  She may use this once per day.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Witch's Caldron

Another "Holy Grail" find this week.  But this is a cheat, I have been looking for this on eBay for a while.

Ral Partha's Witch's Caldron
Not to be confused with The Witch's Cauldron.

I didn't want the newer 2016 version so I have been looking for a complete 1980 version with minis. Well, my persistence finally paid off.



The box is full great stuff too.







The minis are what you expect from Ral Partha in the 1980s. Yes, that is a positive thing.




The Wizard and the Witch,




Lots of great minis in this.

Part of me wants them painted, another part of me doesn't.  Maybe I'll just find some pre-painted minis that I can use in place of these.

Going back to my "Traveller Envy" I would love to figure out a way to use this in my War of the Witch Queens campaign.  A battle that the wizard pulling the strings of the PCs makes them participate in against one of the Witch Queens.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Next Projects, the OSE Witch & Warlock

Work has been busy as hell and I had a couple of other unexpected projects dropped on my lap.
What's that mean to you?  Well a long story short, that means my next scheduled release is going to be late.

Granted. These were all self-imposed deadlines.  So the only one here who is upset about this is me.

My next two books will both be for Gavin Norman's Old School Essentials.

I am extending my Back to Basic celebration a little into 2020 where I hoped to also publish a few books for D&D5.  Ah well.  This gives me time to give these two projects the more attention they deserve.



So what can I tell you now?

The Craft of the Wise: The Pagan Witch Traditions


This book follows the same series as the Daughters of Darknessthe Cult of Diana, Children of the Gods, and the Pumpkin Spice Witch.


This book covers the Pagan Witch Tradition and it is really about 75% done.  It has a bunch of new spells, a lot of new rituals, some new monsters.  I also talk about spell creation, magic item creation and running a Pagan campaign.  I talk about how the witch is a better fit with druids, barbarians and bards than magic-users do.  I am also working on a few more covens.  If you have any of those books then you have an idea what this one will look like.

This book is overtly compatible with OSE but it also harkens back a little more to the B/X sources.  You can probably see where it is going based on my posts since Halloween.  This book will also have more of an "Advanced Genre Rules" feel to it.

I wanted to post this on the Winter Solistice (ten days from now) but I am not going to make that. So instead look for an Imbolc (February 2) release.  It will be a "Letter-sized" or 8.5" x 11".  Aiming for 64 pages.

The Warlock for Old School Essentials



This book will present a new Warlock class for Old-School Essentials.  This book will fit more with the "Core Fantasy Rules" of OSE and I'll present some options for "Advanced Fantasy".  It will be largely compatible with my other Warlocks and the spells can be used by witches or warlocks.

The idea here is that both books will be complete unto themselves but also can be used to complement each other.  This one is not as far along.  I was aiming for an Imbolc release and I think I will stick to that.

This book will be "Digest sized" or roughly 6"x9" or 5.5"x8.5".  I need to check what DriveThru supports.

There will be lots of new spells (at least 60) and new invocations.  Not sure if there will be any monsters or not.  Likely it will not have any demons since they really don't fit the feel of OSE or B/X.

Right now this book is only about 45% done.  Aiming for 32 or 48 pages.

I am disappointed I am not going to make my dates, but I think it makes for better books.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Grýla the Christmas Witch

Grýla, by Þrándur Þórarinsson
Baby, it's cold outside, so wear a coat over your armor and grab a sword since for the next few Monstrous Mondays I am going to deal with Christmas monsters.   Let's start with a classic, Grýla the Christmas Witch.

Grýla, The Christmas Witch

Grýla, and her husband Leppalúði, haunt the dark, frozen mountains far to the North.  Grýla is a foul hag that is rumored to be descended from the ancient Frost Giants.  Every year on the shortest day of the year Grýla comes down to find the naughtiest children in the lands. She captures them, stuffs them into a large magical sack (treat as a bag of holding). 
She takes these children to her 3rd husband (who is too lazy to leave their cave) where she puts these children into a large cauldron to make her favorite dish, a stew of naughty children.

Grýla can move across ice and snow with no difficulty.  Her nose is infallible, she can dependently detect alignments.  She will avoid Lawful (Good) and Neutral characters if possible.  She will approach any Chaotic (Evil) characters to see if they have any children. She will also abduct children from their homes.

Much like the Callieach, Grýla is inactive in the warm summer months.  Her husband never takes action; he is simply too lazy.

Grýla can cast spells as 4th level witch of the Pagan or Winter Witch traditions.


Grýla, The Christmas Witch
(Labyrinth Lord)
No. Enc.: 1 (1) Unique
Alignment: Chaotic (evil)
Movement: 30' (90')
Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 8+8*** (44 hp)
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite)
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d8
Special: Enhanced sense of smell, acts as "Detect Alignment", witch spells
Save: Witch 9
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None
XP: 1,700

Grýla, The Christmas Witch
(Blueholme Journeymanne Rules)
AC: 2
HD: 8d8+8
Move: 30
Attacks: 2 claw (1d6 x2), 1 bite (1d6+2), witch spells
Alignment: Chaotic
Treasure: None
XP: 1,700

Grýla, The Christmas Witch
(Old-School Essentials)
AC 2 [17], HD 8+8 (44hp), Att 2 claw (1d6x2), 1 bite (1d6+2) + detect alignment and witch spells, THAC0 17 [+2], MV 90’ (30’), SV D13 W14 P13 B16 S14 (8), ML 10, AL Chaotic, XP 1,700, NA 1 (1) Unique, TT None
 Detect Alignment: Grýla can "smell" evil. This enhanced sense works as a Detect Alignment spell.
 Vulnerability: Vulnerable to silver, magic weapons and holy items. 
 Witch spells: Grýla can cast spells as 4th level witch of the Pagan or Winter Witch traditions.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Updated Witch Links

I have updated my Witch Links Page.   Every so often I search the blog archives and find links to articles, posts or what have you on what others are saying or doing with witches.  Yeah, I am a tad obsessed, but anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.


So here are some of the ones I found that I thought were fun or interesting from the last six or so months.

If you visit, let them know I sent ya!
If you have a link you would like to share, post it in the comments below.

Boccob's Blessed Blog
20 Pathfinder Witch Quest Ideas
https://boccobsblog.com/2019/05/17/20-pathfinder-witch-quest-ideas/

Daemons & Deathrays
Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 1)
https://daemonsanddeathrays.wordpress.com/2019/11/22/eastern-gothic-creatures-of-slavic-folklore/

Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 2)
https://daemonsanddeathrays.wordpress.com/2019/11/29/eastern-gothic-part-2/

Greyhawk Stories
Iggwilv: Mother of Witches
https://greyhawkstories.com/tales-from-the-flanaess/iggwilv-mother-of-witches/

Greyhawkery
Witch Queen Iggwilv Discussion Tonight
http://greyhawkery.blogspot.com/2019/09/witch-queen-iggwilv-discussion-tonight.html

Hall of the Mountain King
Project - Blackmoor Land of a Thousand Witches - the Sisterhood
http://jasonzavoda-hallofthemountainking.blogspot.com/2019/05/project-blackmoor-land-of-thousand_16.html

Project - Blackmoor Land of a Thousand Witches - NPC Tuure
http://jasonzavoda-hallofthemountainking.blogspot.com/2019/05/project-blackmoor-land-of-thousand_17.html

Project - Blackmoor Land of a Thousand Witches - The Moon Hall
http://jasonzavoda-hallofthemountainking.blogspot.com/2019/05/project-blackmoor-land-of-thousand_22.html

NPC - Linnea Schnai Witch
http://jasonzavoda-hallofthemountainking.blogspot.com/2019/12/npc-linnea-schnai-witch.html

Hero Press
Which Witch Are You?
http://heropresstwo.blogspot.com/2019/10/which-witch-are-you.html

I Don't Remember That Move
a peeper deeper, Ready to Harvest the Witch's Garden
http://rememberdismove.blogspot.com/2019/10/a-peeper-deeper.html

Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque
Conjure Wife
http://talesofthegrotesqueanddungeonesque.blogspot.com/2019/10/conjure-wife.html

Satanic Temple, Witch Board Museum, Count Orlok, Lighthouse, Parasite
https://talesofthegrotesqueanddungeonesque.blogspot.com/2019/12/satanic-temple-witch-board-museum-count.html

Writeups.org
All of these are for DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Tara Maclay (!) but sadly no Willow
https://www.writeups.org/tara-maclay-amber-benson-buffy-vampire-slayer/

Evil-Lyn (Masters of the Universe cartoons) 
https://www.writeups.org/evil-lyn-masters-universe-cartoon/

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Class Struggles: The Basic/BX/BECMI Witches

I have not done one of these in a while, and this one seems like a no-brainer. 

The Basic/BX/BECMI Witches

Maybe more so than AD&D, the witch, in one form or the other, has been a part of the Basic D&D game from the early days. 

Holmes Basic
The "Holmes Witch" has been talked about in old-school blogs for years, mine included.  The so-called Holmes witch never materialized, but it kept us waiting for years and kept bloggers entertained for even longer.

GAZ3: Principalities of Glantri
This is, without a doubt, my favorite of all the Gazetteers and one of my all-time favorite Basic-era books.  I reviewed this book in depth a while back and one of the most overt witches in my Basic book collection.
The Witches of Glantri are some of the most detailed of the Basic-era witches.  It's no lie, that red-head on the cover of the Glantri book was one of the inspirations for where I took my own witch character, even if the book came out a year after I rolled up the character (July 1986 for the character and June of 87 for the Glantri book if I remember right.  OR at least that was when I got it).

One thing I don't care for so much with this class is the charisma reduction, but it seems to come up a lot.

I detailed at least one witch, Skylla, using this witch class and it worked out well.  Also, years and years ago, I redid the Glantri witch to make it something closer to my Complete Netbook of Witches for AD&D 2nd ed.

In the AD&D 2nd Ed version of this book, Glantri: Kingdom of Magic, the witch is completely replaced by the Wokani.

GAZ7: Northern Reaches
This Gazetteer covers the lands Ostland, Vestland, and the Soderfjord Jarldoms.  I REALLY wanted to use this back in the 80s with the G-Series.
This book features the Wise Woman (Witches).  This class is considered an NPC Class, but we all know what that means right?  They get a nice balance of both Magic-user and Cleric spells (up to the 6th level), along with the ability to use magical runes.  I kinda wish I had done more with runes in my own Winter Witch book.
The treat I found here was Carrah the Witch Queen of Hel.   Given the focus on Basic/Expert rules, I would likely have made her 14th level.  Or more likely 13th. But there is some good backstory on her here. While the temptation would be to make her a Winter Witch, I think given her unliving status and her ties to Hel she might be more of a Mara Witch.  Maybe a Winter Witch who had been in a Mara coven.

D&D Master Rules Boxed Set
The D&D Master Rules, also the one I know the least about, has rules for non-human spell casters.  Shamans, who can use cleric and druid spells, and the Wicca who can use Magic-user spells.  The list of spells given to Wicca certainly has a witch feel to them. They are really only missing a cure spell or two.

Spells Usable by Wiccas
First Level Magic-User Spells
Detect Magic (B39)
Light (B40)
Protection from Evil (B40)
Read Languages (B40)
Read Magic (B40)
Sleep (B40)

Second Level Magic-User Spells
Continual Light* (B41, XI1)
Detect Evil (B41)
Detect Invisible (B41)
Invisibility (B41)
Levitate (B42)
Web (B42)

Third Level Magic-User Spells
Clairvoyance (XI1)
Dispel Magic (XI1)
Fire Ball (XI1)
Fly (XI2)
Lightning Bolt (Xl2)
Water Breathing (XI2)

Fourth Level Magic-User Spells
Charm Monster (X13)
Growth of Plants* (XI3)
Ice Storm/Wall (X13)
Massmorph(X13)
Remove Curse* (X14)
Wall of Fire (XI4)

Fifth Level Magic-User Spells
Animate Dead (XI4)
Cloudkill(X14)
Dissolve* (C20)
Hold Monster* (XI5)
Pass-Wall (XI5)
Wall of Stone (X15)

Sixth Level Magic-User Spells
Death Spell (XI6)
Move Earth (C21)
Projected Image (X16)
Reincarnation (C21)
Stone to Flesh* (XI6)
Wall of Iron (C21)
* reversible spell

The shaman and wicca are used throughout the Basic line in future books, though the name would later be changed to Wokan or Wokani.

GAZ10: Orcs of Thar
This Gazetteer covers playing orcs, goblinoids, gnolls and other humanoid creatures.  It also has a guide for using the book with AD&D. Goblinoid wicca are featured here but they use the rules already outlined in the Master's book.

PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk
Several non-human creatures are given options for Wicca levels. There are also plenty of new spells for Fairy spell-casters.  Many have since gone on in other products to have even stronger witch associations.  I reviewed this one in-depth yesterday.

PC2 Top Ballista
This also covers several spellcaster non-humans and new races.  In particular, we get gnomes and harpy wicca.  Gnomes advance to level 12 as wicca which is not too bad really.

PC3 The Sea People
Sea Wicca are also presented in this book but by this time we know what to expect.

D&D Rules Cyclopedia
By this point, the Wicca has been renamed to the Wokan, or the plural Wokani.  The spells usable are largely the same. That is to say, no obvious differences jumped out at me.  It also includes a fairly comprehensive list of monsters and what level they can advance to.  Interestingly enough Hags do not cast as Wokani, but rather they cast as clerics.

So. Wicca, Wise Women, and Wokani.  All three share a certain level of similarity and have, over the editions, been used in place of the other.  A good example takes all the way back to the dawn of D&D, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor.  Not the original Blackmoor, but the versions we got from 3rd and 4th edition.  For the 4th edition rules I talked a bit about the Wokani and their relationship to both witches and druids.  That version is no longer available, but the 3rd Edition version is.

Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book
This is not a Basic-era book. This is a 3rd Edition book, or more to the point, a d20 book.  I bring it up only because we get the Wokani here again.  They read more like primitive arcane spellcasters with a closer tie to the natural world.  That would work fine with most of the products above, to be honest.  These casters use wisdom as their prime and spellcasting ability.  The Blackmoor connection intensifies with it sharing a few gods with the Basic Gazetteers. In particular Hel (Gaz7) and Hella (Blackmoor).  There are more, but that is the one that interests me the most.
The Wokani here seems to move further away from the Glantri Witch, but there are still plenty of commonalities.

Honorable Mentions
I could let things go without a mention of the witches Karelena, Solorena & Trilena from Rahasia. Though these seem to be more of the "witches as weird female magic-users" rather than as witches as I usually mean.

Also, the witch class from Dragon Magazine #20 should get a mention as well.

There is a lot of material here, but not say as much as you could find for the wizard or cleric.  The witch remains one of the great almost-classes of D&D.  Given the dates of all of these works including Dragon Magazine #114, it seems I was tapping into something needed back in 86.   Or, more to the point, we were all exposed to the same influences in culture and this is another fine example of parallel development.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Monstrous Mondays: Pyewacket for Basic era games

Working on some content for various projects.  One of which is the Craft of the Wise The Pagan Witch Tradition for Basic Era Games and designed for Old-School Essentials.

Pyewacket


Pyewacket is a familiar spirit, similar in many ways to the witch's normal familiar but more powerful.  They usually take the shape of a larger cat, often of some rare breed.  A couple of things set it apart from normal cat kind.  A pyewacket usually has some odd features about it.  Odd colored fur like green or purple, mismatched eyes,  or even small horns. Most often the observer can't tell you why the cat looks odd, just that it does. The paws of a pyewacket are particularly dexterous, allowing them to pick up small objects with ease.  Also, all pyewackets can speak.  They typically know 3-4 languages including the language of cats and that of woodland creatures (Sylvan).  Additionally, they are all arrogant and convinced of their own superiority over most creatures.
Some occult scholars claim they are fae in nature, others claim they are more akin to the nether planes of the hells.  Whatever the case the pyewackets will not say, claiming only they have been part of this world for thousands of years and remember a time when they were worshipped like gods.
A pyewacket can also cast spells as 2nd level witch.

Pyewacket
(Old-School Essentials)
A large strange cat with odd features. It speaks to you in an intelligent but bored, condescending voice.
AC 7 [12], HD 2* (6 hp), Att 2 × claw (1d4) + spells, THAC0 19 [0], MV 90’ (30’) , SV D12 W13 P13 B15 S15 (E1), ML 7, AL Neutral, XP 35, NA 1d2 (1d6), TT None
 Attacks with clawa
 Cast spells as a Witch 2nd level
 Serves as a familiar to special witches.



Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New in Print: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition

It's a little later than I wanted, but just in time for Thanksgiving!

The Basic Witch: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition is now available in print on demand.


And if you act right now you can grab it for just $9.00 with DriveThruRPG's Thanksgiving weekend sale.

The cover ended up printing a little lighter than I expected, but not enough to make me want to go back and redo it.



The book look great and makes a nice addition to my recent series of Basic-era Witch books.



It also works great with your "Pumpkin Spice Flavored" adventures.


I hope you enjoy it.

Up next...The Pagan Witch for this:


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Merry Part, Witches' Voice

A non-gaming post today of sorts.

I just read the announcement that The Witches' Voice will be shutting down its service.
Witches' Voice, or Witch Vox, has been online serving the Pagan, Neo-Pagan and Wiccan community online since 1997.


Now to be clear, I am not a pagan, Wiccan or anything like that.  I have always been a pretty hard-core Atheist. But I liked Witch Vox and I like Pagans in general.

I liked going to WitchVox because it also kept me informed on what was happening in the community of Neopagans and Wiccans.  While my own witch books are what I like to think of a nice mix of myths, fairy tales, and legends, some of those myths are also modern myths.  See my Pumpkin Spice Witch book as an example.

Through WitchVox I was able to find several occult bookstores in my area, great back in the late 90s when I first moved out into the suburbs from Chicago.  I found a great little occult bookstore not too far from my Favorite Local Game Store.  Sadly that bookstore is gone. And much like WitchVox itself a lot of these places are closing due to people getting their materials online.  Amazon has replaced the occult bookstore and Facebook has replaced WitchVox.

I also used WitchVox as a starting point for research.  It was a crucial find for me back when I was putting together my first witch "netbook".   Prior to this, like all good little academics, I went through books and later journal articles.  WitchVox opened up new avenues of research to me.

Thankfully much of the original purpose of WitchVox can now be handled well with their Facebook Page, and potentially hit a much larger audience.

WitchVox may be shutting down their website, but the cycle of birth-death-rebirth is something that witches often believe.  So I am sure there will be a rebirth of WitchVox in some form or another.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Reviews: DMs Guild Picks

Been spending some time on the DMSGuild to see what sort of products are there.  In general, I have been a bit underwhelmed.   Here are a few that caught my attention.

Class: Elven Cavalier
I have said before that someone out there picked up Dragon #114 and instead of fixating on the witch class like I did, they fixated on the Elven Cavalier.   Well, that person might be Christopher J. Ferguson.  I will look into some of his other works later, but right now let's focus this.

The PDF is 5 pages and $1.00.  The first thing I notice is that the art is largely taken from The Hobbit movies.  I am not sure what the rules are at DMSGuild, but I am still pretty sure this is a copyright violation.
The background makes it difficult to read in some places and some of the font choices also don't help.  The class is a fairly good replication of the 1st Ed AD&D class from Dragon #114.

From a D&D 5 perspective, I am not sure where this class is supposed to live. It does not seem to be part of the core classes where variants are built like sub-classes.  This could have been a sub-class of the Paladin or Fighter for example.
It's too bad really, I was hoping for more.

Witch Class, D&D 5e (inspired by Dragon #114 witch)
Another one from Christopher J. Ferguson.
This is a 9-page $1.00 PDF with color interiors.
I love the art for this one, but the background image makes it harder to read and difficult to print. He starts with a bit of history of the witch in D&D, but I am not sure if the author knows how far back this class actually goes. That's fine the focus here is on the Dragon #114 witch.

This witch uses both Intelligence and Charisma for spellcasting and is a divine spellcaster. There is a distinction between White and Black magic witches. I like the "A Blessing and a Curse" idea here. It's a nice touch. The witches also get a lot of powers in addition to their spells. Some, like the candle magic powers, really do invoke the memories of the old Dragon Magazine witch. There are even 5 new spells. I had hoped that since this was inspired by the Dragon witch that there would be High Secret Order spells too, but the author did not include those. There are some good ideas here.

I have been reading a lot of scholarly works on myths and legends and I have wanted to see more from a Shaman class.  Here are two.

The Shaman - A New Take
From A Point of Inspiration, this PDF is full color and has 9 pages. It is Pay What You Want with a suggested price of 50 cents; it is worth more than that.  This is presented as a new full caster class with two archetypes, the Witch-Doctor and warden.
The class is good, but could use a little more detail, even a little history would be fun.  Even at twice the price it is still good.  There are new powers, but no new spells.
This class has spellcasting foci, like a fetish or idol, which gives it a nice feel. Wisdom is the spellcasting ability. This class also has some spirit based powers that are interesting. The relationship here is similar to the cleric and druid is similar to the Sorcerer-Wizard-Warlock one. I think I would have liked to have seen this class use something more like the Warlock style spellcasting to be honest, but what is here works fine. IT's a good class, but I am left want more.
The PDF is nicely designed and it looks like a fun class to try out.

Shaman Class (5e)
Another Shaman class, this time from Michael Wolf.  This is also PWYW, with a suggested price of $0.00.  It is worth a lot more than that.  The book is 17 pages.
This is a pretty full class with new archetypes, a new type of magic including using spirits, and a few new spells.  The book is pretty well researched and because of that this Shaman is a much fuller class.
This one does fill that "Warlock" niche for divine spell-casters.
If you want to try out a Shaman class then this is not just a great choice, it is one of the better products I have grabbed at DMSGuild recently.






Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Suspiria (1977, 2018)

Been wanting to get to both of these for a while and tonight was the night.  I actually kinda wanted to do them last, but I was also hoping to get a few more in.  Been busy I guess.

I saw the original (1977) Suspiria many years ago.  I honestly think it was when my oldest son was born and I remember watching one night while holding him to get him to sleep.  I rewatched it and there was a lot I had forgotten.

The remake of Suspiria in 2018 has been mixed. Some loved it, others hated it and wanted to know why we needed a remake.  I thought it was visually stunning and I will watch Tilda Swinton in anything.  If she is playing a vampire or a witch?  Sign me the hell up.  I just wanted to know why this one was a full hour longer than the original.

The basic story deals with Susie/Suzy a naive American girl joining a dance studio in Germany; a divided Berlin of 1977 in the 2018 version.   Of course, the studio is a front for a coven of witches and Susie is the newest recruit.

Both films are visually stunning, with the original Suspiria edging out over the new one.

There is a mythology here that I feel I need to read more about.  The movies are derived from "Suspiria de Profundis" by Thomas De Quincey.   I am going to have to do some research on this.

In any case, both movies are great horror movies, each with their own moments, and I am ending the 2019 October Horror Movie Challenge on a very high note.

I think I am going to put the 4k restoration of the 1977 version on my Christmas list.


Final Tally
Watched: 33
New: 25



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