Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This doesn't really make sense

Everyone else was doing it, thought it might be fun.

But this is what I got:

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

I mean, I don't try to be NC-17 or even R-rated really. I would have been perfectly happy with PG-13. I like to keep my content fairly open.

I guess there are some key-words that were tagged.

Oh well.

I re-did it after this post and must have pushed some content down.

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites

Go figure.

Practical Magic: Spells

Not the book or movie, I already did that.

I have been working on finishing up all the new spells for my witch books, and I am taking what might be an unpopular point of view.

D&D, in any version, is a game about combat and being able to protect yourself and others from damage and cause damage.  The spells of the cleric and magic-users reflect this.

What isn't in most D&D books are the day-today magics, the workhorse magics or even the practical magic.

For the witch I wanted to give her her own magical niche in which to operate.  I figure that most of the witches in a game world are not of the adventuring type, so they have spells that linked more to what they need to do and not cause damage per se.   So charms, minor curses and hexes, but also finding things and protection.

I have also looked into the gaps of the spell lists.  Quick question, what spells go into making a creature like an owlbear?  Where would you start?  Well I have those spells too.  Good low level witches will often act as a mid-wife in many villages, so the same spells that are used to protect the mother and newborn (and to ensure conception to begin with) can be altered to other means.  Not always evil or insane means.  In my game "Batlings" are a magical crossbreed that are not aberrations, but a new race born of magic.

I have given long thought to how each spell can be used in an adventure like setting.  I have also thought about how each spell would be useful to that NPC witch, either the local herb woman or the evil Witch Queen that the PCs must defeat.  There are still going to be some though that are useful to the witch, but maybe not a useful in combat situations.

I am still following Tom Moldvay's advice on witches.  Even though this is a "retro era inspired" game, modern audiences have expectations.  Years of Charmed, Buffy, and Harry Potter have given us new ideas on witches.  I want to retain that late 70s, early 80s feel, but sell it to a post 2010 audience.

Whatever your expectations are I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Chicago School of Magic

So yesterday I worked with my boys to start up a new Witch Girls Adventures game.  I am calling it "Magick Kids" for them.  They are boys and 8 and 11 at that and would not be open yet to a game with "Girls" in the title.
I am using some ideas from WGA, from the Claremont game I was playing some years back and even some characters (or character ideas) as NPCs from Magic Chicks, Eerie Cuties and School Bites.

I am centering everything around the Chicago School of Magic.

Here is some of the background on the school.  I leaving some of it vague so I can come up with it in-game.

The Chicago School began in appropriately enough in Chicago.  Some like minded witches and wizards gathered together to create a wholly new school to support what they felt was the "working-class" magical student.  They gathered in Chicago's Haymarket and drew up their charter.  Like the general populace of the city at that time, the wizards were a pragmatic sort and many came from a number of different countries and traditions.  They agreed that a new school, with a new vision was needed and opted not to name it after any one wizard or school from the "old countries".    So in 1869 The Chicago School of Magic was founded.

Over the last 140 years the CSM has produced a number of fine wizards.  Many have gone on to great careers in magic, but a fair number have also gone in politics.  Many even suspect that the infamous Chicago Machine is somehow driven by magic. They have had their infamous moments as well.  The Great Fire of Chicago burned down their original school building (and current rumor is that is was a student in Evocations working on "extra-credit").   The famous curse on the Chicago Cubs was done by a graduate that was not allowed to bring his familiar, a goat, to a game.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Return to Witch Girls Adventures

My kids have been playing a lot of Wizard 101 over the weekend.  Of course like a good dad I investigated the game first.  It has really gotten me in the mood to run some Witch Girls Adventures with them.
I would let them play their characters in the computer game but I'd need to alter some things.  There are a bunch of schools in W101 that would need moved over to WGA, but that is easy.

I think it will be fun.
Updates soon.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Zatannurday: Deviant Art, Part 2

Zatanna is not just a favorite of mine, but a lot of people over at Deviant Art as well.
She has her own fan group there, Zatanna-Fans and plenty of pictures, photos and just about anything else you care to look for.
So here some of my favorites.  No Rule 34 pics here though.

I Got The Magic in Me by ~hugMEETSkiss on deviantART

I like this one. I like the glasses too, even if I have never seen Zee with glasses before.

Zatanna by ~Requiemwebcomic on deviantART

Zatanna colors by ~craigcermak on deviantART

Zatanna Commission by *Volatile-Tifa on deviantART

Razzle Dazzle by ~Kazekuro on deviantART

Zatanna Sketch 6 by ~Tarzman on deviantART

And one my favorites.

Hipster Zatanna by *CallMePo on deviantART

Zantanna Commission by ~calslayton on deviantART

Friday, September 2, 2011

How many spells is "too much"

I working hard on getting "The Witch" and "Eldritch Witchery" to "press" now.  I am working on the spells for both books and I am wondering something.

How many spells is too many spells?

Potentially I could have 720+ new spells to add to these books.  All culled from nearly 20 years of playing witches in FRPGs.  Not all are equally useful, but all are very witchy.

But is that too many?  More than half the book would be spells, and I am under the opinion that less is more when it comes to old school play.

There is certain market advantage by saying "Over 700 new spells!" which is just a good way of saying "A lot of new spells!" is 700 fine? How about 100? or 200?  Where do I need to stop.

What does the market want?
What do you want?

In the end I think I won't be putting in all 700.  Some of them are a touch redundant (is Beguile all that different in game terms from Charm?)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Unisystem

In celebration of Holly G.'s birthday today here is a Tarot post!

I'll admit it.  I like Tarot. Yes, yes there are some gratuitous images that puts most fan-service to shame, there is also a story here that I like.  That battle between the mundane and magical worlds and those that try to protect both sides.    In a way, Tarot is a bit like Tamara Swift or Buffy Summers, except that while Tamara and Buffy are more explicitly protecting humans and the mundane world, Tarot has the more difficult job of protecting mundanes and magicals from each other.

The exploits of Tarot are also the perfect kind of story you could tell with any Cinematic Unisystem game.  Though the attention paid to real world pagan beliefs and world view make it closer in tone really to WitchCraft RPG, a game I still love.

It is easy to see Tarot (Rowan) as a Buffy-style witch (using Magic) or even a WitchCraft Gifted.  My general rule of thumb is WitchCraft for books and some movies and Cinematic Unisystem for everything else.

Given some of the comic book action, I think Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy and Ghosts of Albion) is the way to go.

Again, Tarot really amounts to what is a Witch Guardian in my games.  A little magic, some combat ability and a desire to protect others.  Everything else aside that is what Tarot (the character) is all about.

So here is the Tarot for Unisystem. And happy birthday Holly!

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose (Rowan)
Str: 3 Dex: 3 Con: 3 Int: 4 Per: 4 Wil: 5

Life Points: 46 Drama Points: 10

Attractive 3, Contacts 3 (supernatural), Fast Reaction Time, Hard to Kill 4, Heightened Senses 1, Magic 4, Magical Philosophy (Witchcraft), Natural Toughness, Nerves of Steel, Occult Library 4, Witch Guardian, Visions

Adversary 3 (her sister, dragon witches,other evil supernaturals), Honorable 2, Love 4 (Jon "Skeleton Man" Webb (romantic), Boo Cat (romantic), Mother (platonic)), Obligation 3 (her coven), Reputation 3, Tradition Bound

Acrobatics 4, Computer 1, Crime 1, Doctor 4, Driving 1, Engineering 1, Getting Medieval 6, Gun Fu 2, Influence 4, Knowledge 4, Kung Fu 4, Languages 2 (English, Latin), Notice 4, Occultism 6, Science 1, Sports 2

Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Sword of the Goddess* +11 16/20 (two handed) Slash/stab
Punch +8 Bash
Dodge +10 Defense action
Parry +10 Defense action

Spell +15, special
 - Deflect +15
 - Hold +14
 - Dispel +12
 - Lesser Sensing +12

The Sword of the Goddess is a unique weapon, but not an uncommon concept. Using Tarot's own magic the weapon gains a +1 bonus in combat and adds to her strength by +1.

I have not detailed the Witchcraft magical philosophy yet, though i have a good intuitive idea of what I want and need for it.  Witches get a +1 to their Doctor/Physician skills for herbal healing,  and +1 to their Occult Library.
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