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

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



Tis the Season

Well, Trick or Treating is nearly done here and there is only four hours left of Halloween.

If you want to grab the 2019 Pumpkin Spice Edition of Advanced Labyrinth Lord you had best do it now.  It also looks really nice with my Pumpkin Spice Witch.


Hey, they look so good you should grab them both!

It was 20 Years Ago Today...

All apologies to the Beatles, but it was 20 years ago today that I released my very first witch book on the internet.


It was a "netbook" back in the days before the OGL and when TSR would go after everyone for even talking about D&D online.  This really put me "on the web" as it were.  Of course, I also published it under my pseudonym of "Web Warlock" at the time since I want to keep my "game" writing separate from my (then) Academic writing.

Today I am celebrating the release of The Basic Witch: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition and the last couple of hours of the Kickstarter for NIGHT SHIFT.

It has been a really fun game design carrer. That little witch book I published while sitting in the hospital after my son was born got me into working with Eden, doing some of the D&D 3e playtests, and then a lot more.  But 20 years ago was when it all really started. Also kind of fitting it was 40 years ago that started playing this game to start with!





New Release: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The Basic Witch: The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition



Samhain Blessings!
Autumn.

A time of change, a liminal time between times. A time for warm sweaters, pumpkin spice, and witchcraft!

Introducing the Pumpkin Spice Tradition, witches dedicated to this time.

- The Sisterhood coven
- 122 Spells and Rituals for witch characters
- New magic items including magic cauldrons, masks, and tea. Plus the magic item black market
- 3 Non-player characters to challenge or aid the mightiest characters

Fully compatible with Labyrinth LordTM and other Basic-Era games.
(But pairs nicely with Advanced Labyrinth Lord Pumpkin Spice 2019 Edition)

Fully compatible with other witch books from The Other Side.

Available Now!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

NIGHT SHIFT: Talking 'bout my Generation

We are getting into the final days here for NIGHT SHIFT so I thought I'd share some more details on two of my "Night Worlds" for the book.  Some details will certainly look familiar to readers here.



Ordinary World
This is one I have talked a bit about here.  The idea behind Ordinary World is a simple one.  You are some sort of supernatural creature.  A witch, a vampire, maybe an exiled fae.  You are just trying to get by in a world full of other supernaturals, humans, and hunters. 
Every character will get the Supernatural levels for free (different than the core rules)  BUT you have to work blending in amidst all sorts of hazards thrown at you. 
There is a government group known as the Bureau, that wants to grab any supernatural they can to either dissect or use as a weapon and they already have few working for them now.
There are is an underground slavery market of Supernaturals run by "demons" that also want to grab you.   There is a group of Witch Hunters known as the "Dorothies" that really, really want to burn you alive.
And there are the humans that do what humans do in large groups.

And you just want to get to your job and pay the bills!

Lots of urban intrigues and working against a huge enemy that has all the advantages.  It will make you wish for the days of just dealing with angry mobs with pitchforks.

I am planning on introducing some new supernatural types including Cat People.

Generation HEX
Another one I have talked about here.  This one has two focuses, foci, there is more going here.
First, magic is back and everyone knows it.  But it is only the newest generation that can do it.
So there is that kind of world to deal with.
The second aspect of GenHEX is the magical school aspect for the first generation of new witches in 300 years.

You get some of the struggles of Us vs. Them as we do in OW, but this is Magic vs. Non-Magical, as well as Generational. 

Characters will all be younger, high school age, with some members of their magic-using Generation as just a little older, maybe in their very early 20s.

Rule additions here will be more kinds of magic and rules for running a Generation HEX school in any of the other Night Worlds or even other Old School games.

We have so much more planned for you all.  So give us a little support on the Kickstarter if you can!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

October Movie Challenge: The Witch Files (2018)

What do you get when you cross "The Blair Witch Project", "The Breakfast Club", with "The Craft"? Well, the producers were hoping you would answer "The Witch Files."  Sadly that is still not the correct answer.

That is not to say the Witch Files doesn't have it's moments.  It does and there is some fun to be had here, I just can't quite figure out what it is missing or what else it needs to do.

The five girls, Julia, Claire, MJ, Brooke, and Greta, fit all the needed stereotypes for a teen movie so that is covered.   The town has a spooky history, check and there is some neat displays of magic.

I really wanted to like this movie more.  Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, it just wasn't great.









Watched: 27
New: 20




Featured Artist: Silveztra

Today's Featured Artist is another one I found at the D&D Fantasy Art Facebook page AND on Twitter.
Silveztra is a great artist and has such a cool style I knew right away I needed some art from her.

Here she is in her own words.
Hello! I am Silveztra a 24-year-old self-taught freelance artist who is inspired by fantasy characters. I am an avid video gamer, anime watcher, and D&D player! I love drawing both cute characters, the threatening and powerful, monstrosities and also delve a lot in drawing pinups! I mainly draw females. I actually have a four-year degree in applied communications, which may seem useless, but I attribute it to a lot of my success in building my customer basis! In the future, I hope to get more commissions and be part of projects bigger than myself in the gaming, art, and rpg communities.
And here is some of her art!

Of course first up is her Pumpkin Spice Witch version of my OC Larina.  This is going to be the cover of my new Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition book.









She has a lot more, some NSFW, but all really good.

Check out all her links including her commission rates.  Twitter is her main site, but she has all the usual ones.
Be sure to check her out!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October Movie Challenge: The Love Witch (2016)

One could be easily excused for thinking this is a movie from the late 60's or early 70's.  In fact when I saw come up in my suggested movies that is in fact what I thought.  Looking at the film stills only reinforced that idea.  But the movie is from 2016.  It was shot on 35 mm film and used effects to mimic the Technicolor film of the time.  The sets, the costumes, and even the sensibilities are all from late 60s/early 70s.   It is a real vision from writer, producer and director Anna Biller.

The movie is "comedy horror" but dark comedy/horror is a better description. It deals with a witch named Elaine (played by the wonderful Samantha Robinson) who leaves San Francisco looking for love.  Trouble is her love spells usually leave her suitors dead.

Love Witch is fun little tale of feminist tropes and some interesting witch trivia. My only gripe was that the movie was a little too long.  At 120 minutes it should have really been 80 to 90 minutes.

This is one of those movies with a message to unpack and it was fun. Scary? Not so much, but I supposed a lot of people died all the same.


Watched: 26
New: 19




Pumpkin Spice Witch: New Witch Rituals

One of the things I enjoy about doing these witch books is creating new spells and rituals.  At present, I have featured over unique 1,000 spells in all my books combined I am thinking of one day putting them all into one document.

But until then here are some Halloween entertainment rituals from the Pumpkin Spice Witch.

Blessed Wanna-bes
“If you wanna be in my coven, you gotta get with my friends.” 
Level: Witch Ritual 2
Ritual Requirements: One witch and members of the coven
Duration: One Day per Level
Range: One dwelling
This ritual initiates a new witch into the coven.  Often called an Initiate, or sometimes in jest, a “baby-witch”, this ritual requires the entire coven to cast.
Once complete the new witch initiate can read the coven’s Book of Law, and learn the greater mysteries of the coven. 
During the duration of the spell the new initiate has a +1 bonus to all saves and to AC.
Material Components: The ritual tools of the coven for the initiate. Also food and drink for the cakes and ales ceremony afterward.

Séance
Level: Witch Ritual 4
Ritual Requirements: The witch and at least one other person
Duration: 3 questions
Range: Caster
This ritual resembles the Clerical Speak to the Dead, save that the corpse of the dead person does not have to be present.
All that is required is the witch, who will do the actual speaking to the dead, and someone who knew the person in life.  The amount of time the queried spirit has been dead is not an issue as long as the person who knew them in life can still remember them.
There is a chance that the spirit summoned is not the spirit intended. The base chance is 75% reduced by 5% per level of the Witch and 5% per ritual member that knew the deceased in life.  So a 9th level witch with two family members calling on the spirit of their long-dead father has a base chance of 75%-(9x5%)-(2x5%) or 20% chance.
There is no way to know if the trickster spirit is telling the truth or not, usually not. Also unless directly challenged the witch has no way to know if the spirit is true or not.
Material Components: A crystal ball, witch board, or some other divinatory devices, and lit candles. All members of the séance must sit in a circle and hold hands.  They need not be at a table, a circle on the floor is acceptable.

Tripping the Light Fantastic
Level: Witch Ritual 5
Ritual Requirements: The witch and at least one other person
Duration: Preset time
Range: One other person per level of the witch
This ritual is a powerful glamour the witch can cast on the behalf of another person or group of people.  When cast the those affected will appear to be wearing the finest attire, jewels, immaculate hair, and impeccable courtly manners.   This ritual can make the lowest member of society appear and act as if they were reared in the highest society.
The glamour is perfect in every respect and even magics such as detect magic or true seeing will only reveal that the clothing itself is magical, making their disguise seem even more lavish.  Otherwise, the clothing, jewels even the manners and actions of those affected will be perfect in every way.
The ritual will only last for a prescribed time.  Typically till midnight or sunrise. After that, the illusion will fade and those affected will revert back to their true appearances.
Note: This ritual can not be used as a spell to cause fear or in place of other glamours such as Sister to the Dark Ones.
The spell gets its name from one of its first recorded uses, to prepare a servant girl to go to a royal ball.
Material Components: The key component here is nothing material, but the recipients' dearest desire to go wherever this ritual will allow them to go.

Grand Séance
Level: Witch Ritual 6
Ritual Requirements: The witch and at least one other person
Duration: 3 questions
Range: Caster
This ritual is nearly identical to the Fourth level Ritual séance save that in this case, none need to have known the spirit in life. The witch can call on the spirit on her own.
There is a chance that the spirit summoned is not the spirit intended. The base chance is 75% reduced by 5% per level of the Witch.  So a 15th level witch calling on the spirit of a long-dead king has a base chance of 75%-(14x5%) or 0% chance. 
Material Components: A crystal ball, witch board, or some other divinatory devices, and lit candles. All members of the séance must sit in a circle and hold hands.  They need not be at a table, a circle on the floor is acceptable. In a grand séance the witch will often burn fine incense and pour strong libations to attract the spirit.



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Blood Craft (2019)

Well.  This one should of have been better, but I also should have known better really.

So the premise is good.  Two girls use witchcraft they learned from their mother to bring back the soul of their dead father who had raped and abused them so they could torture him.
Of course, things don't go as planned.

The father was a preacher and set up more of a stereotype of every bad behavior you can think of.  The girls Grace and Serena are likable enough and the actresses play the damaged types well. In fact I felt that they got better as the movie went on.

They summon the spirit and the girls learn some really horrible shit.

There is a nice twist at the end that I really should have seen coming.  But in the end, it was not really enough to redeem this movie.

Oh, and don't expect to see a lot of Dominque Swain in this.

Ah well. It could have been fun.



Watched: 25
New: 18




New Pumpkin Spice Witch cover

I am having a weird day.

So let's do something fun.  Here is the new cover for my upcoming Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition book.




The "Pumpkin Spice Witch" is by the super talented Silveztra.  I'll be featuring more of her art later this week, but here is a sneak peek.




I can't wait for Halloween!!


Monday, October 21, 2019

Monstrous Mondays: Pumpkin Headed Demon

Working on getting The Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition book out to you all very soon and also working on NIGHT SHIFT.   So here is a creature that works well for both.  A demonic spirit summoned into a body of golem or lifeless corpse.  The Pumpkin headed demon.

Pumpkin Headed Demon

A Pumpkin Headed Demon, or Pumpkin Head for short, is a demon that is either summoned by dark forces or finds it way to inhabit a Pumpkin Golem, Scarecrow, or other such construct.  The material the golem was made from  is replaced by a crude flesh but the general shape remains the same.
The Pumpkin Head exists only to kill.  It is not mindless, even if it’s killing spree seems to be.  It is surrounded by an aura of fear that acts as the Cause Fear spell to a 60’ radius.  It attacks with its claws which appear to be made of steel.  Once per day is can breathe fire for 6d6 damage (save vs. Breath Weapon for half).



Pumpkin Headed Demon
(Labyrinth Lord, Pumpkin Spice Editon)
No. End.: 1 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic (evil)
Movement: 90’ (30')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice: 8d8+8* (44 hp)
Attacks: 2 (claws)
Damage:  1d4/1d4 + fire breath (6d6), fear
Special: Fear aura
Saves As: Fighter 8
Morale: 10
Treasure: None
XP: 2,200
A Pumpkin Head can be turned as “Special”.

Pumpkin Headed Demon
(Blueholme Journeymanne Rules)
AC: 5
HD: 8d8+8
Move: 30
Attacks: 2 claw (1d6-1 x2) + Fire Breath (1/day 6d6)
Alignment: Chaotic
Treasure: None
XP: 1,130

Pumpkin Headed Demon
(Old-School Essentials)
AC 5 [14], HD 8+8 (44hp), Att 2 claw (1d6-1 x2) + Fire Breath (6d6), THAC0 17 [+2], MV 90’ (30’), SV D8 W9 P10 B10 S12 (8), ML 10, AL Chaotic, XP 1,130, NA 1 (1-3), TT None
 Breath fire: 1/day, 6d6 damage, save for half.
 Demon-possessed Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

Pumpkin Headed Demon
(Night Shift)
No. Appearing: 1
AC: 5
Move: 40ft.
Hit Dice: 8
Special: 2 attacks (2 claw) + Breath Weapon (Fire)


Thursday, October 17, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Mark of the Witch (1970)

Enough TV movies for now.  Reading Anita put me in the mood for some movies about witches.  And I never say no to that!

Up first is Mark of the Witch from 1970, but it looks more like the 1960s really.  We don't quite have that 70s vibe here yet. 

This move covers similar ground to Black Sunday; a vengeful witch killed by witch hunters comes back 100s of years later to exact revenge.  Only this time the witch possesses a young college coed.  She proceeds to kill off other college kids for...I am not quite sure why. Maybe because she is EVIL?

Anyway, there are a few nods to actual witch practices and at least they got the hanging, and not burning, right.  The special effects are cheesy and the acting is only slightly better.  But it was a fun little romp.   Anitra Walsh is not bad playing Jill and possessed by the Witch Jill.

Still, there are better films out there. 





Watched: 22
New: 16



Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Anita

Anita Thompson is a witch.  Not an ancient, cantankerous witch (that would be her Gran) but a young witch ready to make her mark on the world.  I just don't think the world, in this case, late 1960s England is ready for her. 

"Anita" by Keith Roberts has been on my TBR pile for some time. The first edition of the book in the 1970s collected all the Anita stories that had appeared in the pages of Science Fantasy and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.  She became the prototype for many teen witches to follow.

Anita is a thoroughly modern witch in a world of supermarkets, televisions, and sports cars.  But she is still a witch and can whip up a spell-raising with the best, or worst, of them.   But she is also generally a good girl who falls in love with whatever handsome boy or pretty girl (or mermaid) that crosses her path.

I picked up the most recent audiobook version from "Neil Gaiman Presents" with a wonderful introduction by Neil himself.  I agree with him that Nicola Barber was a fantastic choice to give voice not only to Anita but her old Gran as well.  It is a treat to hear her do Gran's voice.
This version is based on the 1990 edition with edited text, mostly to bring the stories in line with each other, and adds a new story of Anita in the 1980s.  It seems though, like many witches, Anita ages slower than humans.

The whole series is quite a treat and Anita is easily a likable character.  She is sweet, fun and even she is not being particularly nice she is still fun.   Don't get me wrong, these are not saccharine exploits of a teen girl who happens to have powers ala the first Sabrina the Teenage Witch series.  The undertone is closer to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, including Anita knowing her soul is already damned.  In one story a girl Anita falls in love with kills herself over a boy so Anita animates the corpse and terrorizes the entire suburb that the girl was from.

The book is a forgotten gem really and I would have loved to have heard more exploits of Anita.  Does she ever settle down (doubt it!), is she still working as a veterinary assistant to Dr. MacGregor? (I can see that).  Did she ever have sex with Dr. MacGregor?  (Hard to say!) and so on.

I will admit that while I was listening to this book I was also binging both seasons of Fleabag.  I kept thinking that a mid-30-year old Anita would be like Phoebe Waller-Bridge's character Fleabag.  Complete with the drinking, smoking, promiscuity and the "occasional sodomy".  Maybe even with Fleabag's sadness too.  Anita always seemed to be losing someone.   This also made me cast Andrew Scott (aka "The Hot Priest") as MacGregor, and the reason why Anita's charms never worked on him was that he was gay.  If that were true then I could see Anita trying to set him up with any number of men she found attractive.

The D&D Connections

Even though the Anita stories do not appear in any version of the "Appendix N" there are spell names here that predate their D&D counterparts.  Enough that I have a strong belief that Gygax and Co at least had a passing familiarity with these stories.

So. Anita is a perfect witch then to try out for Night Shift.

Now Anita for Night Shift might actually be a Supernatural creature.  As a witch she is distinctly different than humans (or "Oomans" as Granny Thompson would say).  But not enough to really merit the extra expenditure of XP.   So instead I am going to say that Anita is part of a world where witches just age slower than humans.

Anita Thompson
Str +1 Dex +1 Con +0 Int +1 Wis +1 Cha +3
XP: 151,000 (Level 7)
Hit Dice: 7d4 Hit Points: 18 AC: 8  Attack Bonus: +1 Check Bonus: +3 (Primary) +2 (Secondary) +1 (Tertiary)
Armor: none
Saves: +5 vs. spells and magical effects
Class Abilities: Arcana 85%, Spellcasting 85%
Other Special Abilities: Enhanced Senses (Anita has 9 senses), Telepathic Transmission

Spells: 1st level charm person, cure light wounds, minor illusion, speak to animals  2nd-level animal summoning, esp, phantasmal image, 3rd-level animate dead, dispel magic 4th-level polymorph self

Gear: Has an amulet of Widdershins Dance.

The 1990 version also had art by Stephen Fabian, familiar to many AD&D Mystara and Ravenloft lovers.





Sunday, October 13, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Satanic Saturday

Staying in all day. Let's have a Satanic Sunday!

Jaws of Satan (1981)
Druids, Witches, Cursed Priests, and Satan.  It sounds like a great mix. And a young Christiana Applegate and her real-life mother to boot!  Well... the movie is not great, but for 1981 it is not bad.

Satan comes to terrorize a small town in the form of a snake.  Not a giant snake, just a regular-sized snake. But I guess it does some strange things to the corpses and moves really fast, so that is something right?

Well, the Devil-as-a-Snake controls all the other snakes in the area so that is kinda fun.  This is more of a snake movie than a Satanic one.  Though I am not sure what is worse though, the snake or the casual misogyny and racism.  Well, this is the danger I knew I would run when I decided to go through every horror movie in the "Basic Era" (1977-1981).

The priest does have a nice "magical" battle with the Satan Snake, so that is cool.  Something I would have loved my cleric to have done back in the days of Basic D&D.

Monster Idea: Demonic Snakes.

Demonoid (1980)
A mine in Mexico uncovers a Satanic cult long buried. The soundtrack is pure 70s, but the movie stands up to be honest.  Again, if you don't mind the casual racism and sexism (are nurses supposed to show that much cleavage?). The movie is not great mind you, but the basic premise is solid.   The movie doesn't really pick up until about a third of the way in.  At no point, however, do the events depicted in the poster actually occur in the movie itself.

Though I expected a little more emotion from the protagonist.  She takes the death of her husband and then him getting up and walking from his grave in stride.

I could not help but think about how this would be a good set up for any sort of evil hand-like artifact focused adventure.  The hand gives up strange powers but at a cost.  Combine it with a bit of the Doctor Who serial "Hand of Fear" and the Hand of Vecna.

Monster/Plot Idea:  Demonic Hands.

Evilspeak (1981 or 1982)
An evil priest,  Father Estaban (an almost unrecognizable Richard Moll), is excommunicated by other priests in Middle Ages Spain.  Estaban shows how evil he is by cutting off the head of a perfectly nice Spanish girl.
We come to the modern age where we meet Stanley Coopersmith, an orphan in a military-like school played by B-Movie stalwart Clint Howard.  Coopersmith is picked on by everyone, the other kids, the teachers, even the priest.  While cleaning the chapel he finds Estaban's diary.  The diary, of course, is full of Satanic fun.  Coopersmith in true early 80s fashion types it all into a computer and it translates it automatically.  He begins to put more information into his schools' Apple 2e and soon he has the power.  Not sure if this is first mix of Satanic rites and computer technology but I am hard-pressed to name something that would have scared the Religious Right of the 1980s more.  I do love the Atari 2600 sound effects though.

This movie follows a cliched formula of the odd kid getting picked on and the kid turning to evil to get revenge.  We saw this to better effect in "Fade to Black" and the trope turned completely around in the Harry Potter books and movies.

The ending though is really fun with Coopersmith getting revenge on everyone by summoning up undead pigs from hell.  Interestingly enough, in the end, Coopersmith was admitted to the Sunnydale Asylum.   I have to admit this one was a lot of fun.

Monster Idea: Devil Swine

Lorna the Exorcist (1974)
Ok, this one is fairly notorious even by Jesús Franco's normal standards.  When I did my Franco October series a while back I had heard about it, but could not find a copy.  This year I did and saved it for tonight.  After all, if  Hall of the Nephilim can make Succubus Sundays a thing, I can contribute.
So right out of the gate.  "Lorna" is not an Exorcist. Nor are there any exorcists in this movie.  I can only assume that the English name was used to capitalize on the recent "The Exorcist" movie.  The original title in French is "Les possédées du diable" or roughly "Possessed by the Devil".  That's a better title really.
There is another bit to get over too.  There are two versions of this movie, an 81 minutes NR version and a 99 minute X rated one.  The X rated one features some rather graphic scenes featuring Lorna (Pamela Stanford) and Linda (a very young Lina Romay).

The plot is basically Rumplestilskin with demons.  Patrick Mariel is an out of his luck man who makes a deal with a woman named Lorna. She will make Patrick wealthy, but in 18 years he must give her his daughter.   He doesn't believe her but becomes wealthy all the same.  Nearly 18 years later his daughter Linda is a wild teen and Lorna has come back to make her claim on the girl.
Lorna can only really be described as a succubus (that would also explain the green eye makeup).  She seems to invade Linda's dreams where the two have some fairly graphic sex.  Likely these are the part of the edited out 18 mins.  There are also a few other scenes that are fairly notorious like the crabs' scene and one between Linda and her father Patrick.  The most notorious has to be the one where Lorna finally claims Linda as her own.

There are plenty of Franco hallmarks in this. Gratuitous nudity, jazzy soundtrack, casinos, weird almost psychedelic cinematography, and Franco himself making a cameo appearance.   He once talked about how much he loved seeing Lina Romay (aka the future Mrs. Franco) in all these scenes and how much she enjoyed them herself.  I will give her credit in this one. She actually is putting forward a good performance.  There is a marked difference in Linda before and after Lorna.  It also seems to me that Lorna turned Linda into a succubus herself.
There is also a bit with a madwoman, who I took to be a former lover of Lorna who still seems connected to her.
Franco is hit or miss, and mostly miss, to be honest, but this is one of the better ones I have watched.

Monster Idea: Succubus

Watched: 19
New: 14



Friday, October 11, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Midnight Offerings (1981)

A made for TV movie about early 80s witchcraft?  Sign me up!  I am a little shocked I have never seen this one.  Maybe I did, hard to say, but I certainly don't remember it.

The move features a who's who of early 80s TV stars.  We have Melissa Sue Anderson (Little House on the Prairie) as evil witch Vivian, Mary Beth McDonough (The Waltons) as good witch Robin. Cathryn Damon (Soap) played Vivan's mom and Gordon Jump (WKRP in Cincinnati) played her dad. And everyone's favorite mom Marion Ross played the older witch Emily.

The plot is simple, even a little weak, but still a lot of fun. Writer Juanita Bartlett tried to use everything popular about witchcraft in this tale and it works really.  I mean I have seen better, but I have also seen much worse.  It was a fun bit of 80s TV horror.

Also, I do believe that this is where we get the "Noctila" from the AD&D 1st ed Monster Manual II. The timing is just about perfect really. Yews, yes the word existed before this, but I am talking about her particular inclusion in the Monster Manual as a Lady of Hell.

In any case, this was a fun little trip.

Watched: 11
New: 6



Night Shift: The Craft

The Kickstarter for Night Shift is now in full swing. We got off to a great start and would love to see so more pledges.  I *REALLY* want to get this game out you all, it has been so much fun.

If you are long-time reader here you know of my desire to have a system that lets me play or stat any character I want.   So it should not be a surprise then that I am trying out Night Shift with a lot of different types. 

Here are some that should be familiar to everyone here.  I rewatched the movie this week and have been running them for this week's The Other Side Rewind.  Here they are, the dangerous types, the girls of the Craft!

Note:  Sarah, Bonnie, Nancy, and Rochelle are all owned by Columbia Pictures.  These are my playtest versions to see if I could make them Rules-as-Written.



Sarah Bailey
Relax... its only magic. Now, who's pathetic?

Str -1 Dex +0 Con +0 Int +2 Wis +2 Cha +3
XP: 42,000 (Level 5)
Hit Dice: 5d4 Hit Points: 17 AC: 9  Attack Bonus: +1 Check Bonus: +3 (Primary) +2 (Secondary) +1 (Tertiary)
Armor: none
Saves: +4 vs. spells and magical effects
Class Abilities: Arcana 75%, Spellcasting 75%
Other Special Abilities: Arcane Bond (with Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle), Telekinesis.

Spells: 1st level-charm person, cure light wounds, minor illusion  2nd-level protection from evil, phantasmal image, 3rd-level fly

Gear: Book of Shadows, Spell Components

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

Str 0 Dex +1 Con +0 Int +2 Wis +1 Cha +2
XP: 42,000 (Level 5)
Hit Dice: 5d4 Hit Points: 18 AC: 7  Attack Bonus: +1 Check Bonus: +3 (Primary) +2 (Secondary) +1 (Tertiary)
Armor: leather jacket
Saves: +4 vs. spells and magical effects
Class Abilities: Arcana 75%, Spellcasting 75%
Other Special Abilities: Arcane Bond (with Sarah, Bonnie and Rochelle), Telekinesis.

Spells: 1st level-charm person, command, disguise self  2nd-level cause fear, phantasmal image, 3rd-level fly

Gear: Book of Shadows, Knife, Spell Components

Bonnie Harper
A new wholeness and with it a new balance. Earth, air, water, fire. Maybe it's our fourth.

Str -1 Dex -1 Con +0 Int +2 Wis +2 Cha +3
XP: 42,000 (Level 5)
Hit Dice: 5d4 Hit Points: 15 AC: 10  Attack Bonus: +1 Check Bonus: +3 (Primary) +2 (Secondary) +1 (Tertiary)
Armor: none
Saves: +4 vs. spells and magical effects
Class Abilities: Arcana 75%, Spellcasting 75%
Other Special Abilities: Arcane Bond (with Sarah, Nancy and Rochelle), Telekinesis.

Spells: 1st level-charm person, detect magic, light, 2nd-level continual flame, levitate, 3rd-level fly

Gear: Book of Shadows, Spell Components

Rochelle Zimmerman
She doesn't want to be white trash anymore. I told her, You're white honey! Just get over it.

Str +1 Dex +2 Con +1 Int +2 Wis +2 Cha +3
XP: 42,000 (Level 5)
Hit Dice: 5d4 Hit Points: 21 AC: 7  Attack Bonus: +1 Check Bonus: +3 (Primary) +2 (Secondary) +1 (Tertiary)
Armor: none
Saves: +4 vs. spells and magical effects
Class Abilities: Arcana 75%, Spellcasting 75%
Other Special Abilities: Arcane Bond (with Sarah, Nancy and Bonnie), Telekinesis.

Spells: 1st level- bane, charm person, inflict light wounds, 2nd-level levitate, suggestion 3rd-level fly

Gear: Book of Shadows, Spell Components

What do you think?



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