Saturday, April 19, 2014

A to Z of Witches. Q

Q is for Queen of Witches

I have talked about and around the Queen of Witches many times here.  It is one concept that you will see in almost all my games.  I have talked about it for Basic D&D, Ghosts of Albion/Buffy and even 3rd Ed/Pathfinder.  I even began this challenge with Aradia, the first Queen of Witches.

But what is a Witch Queen or a Queen of Witches?

In my games the Witch Queen is the most powerful witch of any given tradition. She would control many covens and their leaders, the high priestesses, report to the Queen and her Court.

The last season of American Horror Story: Coven gave us an idea of what Queen of the Witches would be like.  We had a Witch Queen, called a Supreme, and a Voodoo Queen.  It certainly gave me some ideas of what could happen when rival queens interact.

One point I have made in my books, but never really elaborated on was the fact that there is only one Queen of Witches per Tradition.  With magics like longevity and Timeless Body a powerful Witch Queen can reign forever...or at least a really long time.

I would say in traditions that are closer to nature, Craft of the Wise and Classical, the Witch Queen steps down after a number of years in favor of younger sharper minds.  In evil traditions, like the Demonic, Mara or Malefic I would say the Witch Queen is usually killed.  Other traditions might vary. I can see a Family or Gypsy Tradition doing either, depends on what they need.

I came up with the idea of a Queen of Witches from a lot of different places.  Most obvious was the well trod ground (for me) of the Sisterhood of Karn.  They were Gallifreyians! They were witches! Perfect really.

A member of the witch court and her Queen
I also thought Witch Queen had a nice sound to it.  Clerics had already laid claim to High Priest/ess so I felt something different was needed.  Plus there were already Faerie Queens and courts and Vampire Queens, it made sense.
Plus I was doing most of this writing in the 80s so this had some influence as well:




This was the hot stuff back in 81!

I have a few Witch Queens detailed out.  Interestingly enough my Witch Queen for the Voodoo witches is a Witch King, a character I have been using for years, Bone Man.  He is not a particularly nice guy, but as a character I really like him.
Another character familiar to Greyhawk fans is Iggwilv she is the Queen of the Demonic Witches and maybe one of the more powerful Queens in my game.  I think as a nod of respect to Vince Garcia and his Quest of the Ancients I might name my Queen of the Faerie Witches, Elvyra.




Supernatural AtoZ

Friday, April 18, 2014

Playing Some Old School Basic D&D Tonight!

Dropping in on a friend's game tonight to play some old school Basic D&D tonight!  I am quite excited about it.

Even better than that I am going to get to play my own witch class!


I have not had the chance to play one of my own witches in a long time. So this is going to be great.

Just need to survive this work day!

A to Z of Witches. P

P is for Prue, Piper, Phoebe and Page

I don't hide it.  I loved Charmed. One of my wishes is to write the official Charmed RPG.

Not a real game, but I wish it were.
I have talked about Charmed a few times here including the first A to Z Challenge I ever participated in; C is for Charmed.  I also wrote a Buffy/Charmed crossover for the Buffy RPG, "Semi-Charmed Life".

What I liked the most really was the interaction between the sisters.  It was a show about family that also happened to be witches and kill demons.  Supernatural covers similar ground and I like it for similar reasons.

I also picked up the Charmed comic that continued the story of Piper, Phoebe, Paige and yes, Prue.
That was the other thing, Prue was killed at the end of Season 3. They were still mourning her in one way or the other by Season 8.  Star Trek The Next Generation did that with Tasha, but most other genre shows forget after an episode or two (looking at you Buffy).

A couple of Gen Con's back I got a chance to play a Buffy-based Buffy/Supernatural/Charmed crossover. I got to play Piper. It was a blast.

Buffy is an obvious choice for a Charmed game, but I have also been playing around with Fate a little.
My ideas are only in the genesis phase at the moment, but I have some.  I also have a Fate Week coming up so hopefully I will get them altogether for that.



Supernatural AtoZ

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A to Z of Witches. O

O is for Occult Panic and Obeah

I picked Obeah for a very snarky reason.  It goes back to this terrible Christian video "Turmoil in the Toybox" based on the book of the same name.  It was your typical 80s Satanic Panic nonsense that talked about how evil Dungeons & Dragons and cartoons are for kids.
The host, Gary Greenwald,  and his guest, Phil Philips, think the devil is hiding in every toybox.

You can watch it and have a laugh like I did.  The jumps in logic are insane.

Turmoil in the Toybox
Part 1 - Introduction.  With Scooby Doo and the 13 Ghosts.
Part 2 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. "He-Man is more powerful than Jesus!"
Part 3 - They talk about evil vs. evil...or so they think.  Again, everything they mention is wrong.
Part 4 - Commercials. I seriously doubt either of these guys have even had a class in Child Psychology.
Part 5 - ThunderCats. Evil or gateway drug to Furries?
Part 6 - Next Episode.  Ken and Barbie. But at 3:30 we get Dungeons & Dragons!
Part 7 - Insectars are featured in the Book of Revelations! Vader looks like Odin! Obi witchcraft!
Part 8 - Violence and the Occult influence of G.I. Joe and Smurfs. Though they won't say they are evil.
Part 9 - Care Bears. Littles and My Little Pony. Rainbow Brite is also evil. Voltoron and Transformers.
Part 10 - More Voltron and Transformers. Buy Gary's stuff!

I love how they pretty much get every detail wrong.

Of course in the 80s I loved all this stuff and if it looked evil I wanted it in my games.  Coming off of the 70s Occult Revival I always felt Witches needed to be a part of the game.  Was there some snarkiness on my part? Of course there was.  If you read my Atheism blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief, you know that this was the same time I was "coming out" as an Atheist.  So if I got to piss off some uptight Christians, all the better!

Of course what does this have to do with "O"?
Well Part 7 discusses, briefly, "Obi Witchcraft". Where witches chant Obi-Obi-Obi all the time.
Pure nonsense and like everything else in this they are as so far off base that they are not even in the same ballpark.

But there is Obeah.
Obeah is a folk tradition that is similar in origin to voodoo.
In my 3rd Edition book, Liber Mysterium, I described it as a form of the voodoo tradition.

I will talk abit more about this when I discuss Voodoo later one, but representing Obeah in a game is not as easy as first seems.  Though if the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies are any indication, then I could combine bits of Obeah with the archetype of the Sea Witch to create something that could be rather fun.

I have a witch, Sycorax, that is a prototype of this sort of witchcraft.  She is something of a witch, a little bit of a hag and lives on an island.  Yes, she does have a monstrous son named Caliban.  You can do worse than imitating the Bard.

There is something here I think. Something that could be cool.  So I supposed in a way I should thank those two idiots for putting me on the path to getting my Sea Witch figured out.



Supernatural AtoZ

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back to the Dungeon! Again, again...

Wizards of the Coast is going to re-release their classic board-game, this time with some new cover art.
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/28383.html




You can pre-order on Amazon.

I am huge fan of Dungeon and have multiple copies, but I am not sure if I'll pick this one up or not yet.
But I am sure I will check it out.

A to Z of Witches. N

N is for Nox 

So almost a year ago exactly I submitted my "Petty God" to the Petty Gods project.
I am not sure where that project is at the moment, but I am sure it will be out eventually.  In the meantime I wanted to share the god I cam up with; Nox.

Nox is an interesting creation.  Back in the day when we all got together to play we would not get started till it was dark outside.  Why? It seemed cooler and it was the 80s after all.  Nox represent that time when it was still light enough to see, but dusk was gone.

Nox later appeared in the first drafts of some of Buffy/Ghosts of Albion games. I later changed the part and it was switched over to Lilith.  I choose to do a witchy goddess because that is what people would expect me to do and I really wanted to do it.

Here she is, in Petty Gods format to be used with Labyrinth Lord or Adventurer Conquer King.

NOX
Goddess of Near Night
Also known as: Goddess of Twilight, Mistress of Near Dark, Keeper of Secrets, Trick of the 
Light, Mistress of Illusions
Symbol: A sunset with a crescent moon and a star above.
Alignment: Chaotic (Neutral)
Movement: 120' (40')

Armor Class: 2
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 80 hp (19 HD)
Attacks: Special, see below
Damage: Special, see below
Save: M19 (or Witch 19)
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 6,400
--
Armor Class: 2
Hit Points (HD): 80 (19 HD)
Save: M19 (or Witch 19)
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: Q
XP: 4,400

Nox is the mysterious Goddess of the Twilight, Near Night and the space between sunset and full night. She is the daughter of Night (Nyx) and sister to the God of Vampires (Camazotz). She is not a widely worshiped Goddess, but her name is often invoked by those that welcome the night; typically thieves, vampires, prostitutes, witches and lovers, especially clandestine lovers that seek the cover of night.

She will only manifest in a humanoid form in the hour after sunset but before full darkness.

Nox grants no spells to her followers, but she have been known to render people invisible or at least unnoticed at the times of twilight to hide their activities. This boon is not extended to all who invoke her name, but her name is still whispered by those who wish her aid.

Nox never speaks. It is not that she can’t, she just has nothing to say to mortals. She speaks through her minions though. Not that she is in telepathic communication with them, they just know. Because of this she is also known as the Keeper of Secrets. Lovers whisper their secrets to her, witches tell her where their sabbats are, thieves plot their crimes to her, vampires speak the names of their victims, all knowing that their secrets are safe. A saying has even taken root among those who know her; “Only Nox knows” meaning no one else knows.

She prefers not to attack anyone as she is not a Goddess of violence. Any who attack her, or even annoy her, she can cast any Charm or Illusion spell of her choice as a 19th level Magic-User/Witch to deflect others. Failing that she can cast Sleep that can affect up to 20 people.

She is honored by some vampires since it is believed she created vampires with her brother and they are all their children. She is mostly honored by the reluctant vampire, new to their condition since it is believed that her participation in the creation of vampires was not through her own choice.

Nox appears as a stunning woman of young adulthood. She has two forms that often chooses. She appears with pale skin, flowing gold-red hair (like a sunset) and bright blue eyes. She also appears as fiercely beautiful woman with dark, ebony skin and silver-white hair (like moonlight), but with the same blue eyes. Alternately she has appeared as a large white owl. With her powers of illusion she can appear as anything she wishes, but those forms are subject to the same rules that govern all illusions.

She is on good terms with the Goddess of Night and the Goddess(es) of the Moon. She is neutral to the God of Vampires and the God/Goddess of the Sun. She is on reasonable terms with the various Gods and Goddesses of the Occult and Secrets provided that they do not share said secrets.

Minions

Nox is a Goddess of in-betweens; neither light nor dark, day or night, so she served and honored by a number of faeries. In the times of her reign; after sunset but before full night, she is served by the Fyre Fae. These creatures are like pixies in all respects except that they also glow in various colors. At a distance they appear as Will-o-wisps or even Faerie Fire.

Nox’s current chief minion, voice and lover is a witch named Syla. Syla will speak for her lover and will be with her most twilights. Syla is a vaguely elfin woman, who maybe half-elf, half-nymph or a human with elven parentage. She has short platinum-blonde hair and piercing green eyes. She is also a witch (magic-user) of 9th level. Her spells are mostly charm and illusion, but unlike her mistress she is more than willing to attack those who anger her or Nox.

Reaction Table (2d6 Modified by Charisma and below)
2: Sleep. Nox is so insulted by your presence that she puts you to sleep for 8 hours
3-5: Illusion. She casts an illusion of herself while she teleports from the area
6-8: Fyre Fae: She remains, but so many Fire Fye are summoned that approaching her is difficult.
9-11: Boon. She grants you a boon, you can remain undetected (as per a thief hide in shadows at your Charisma x 5%)
12: Boon. She grants you the ability to turn invisible once at any time after sunset but before full night (1 hour after sunset).

Modifiers
+1 if you are present with a lover
+1 if you are thief, witch, prostitute, vampire. (Can’t combine, vampire thief is still only +1)
+2 if you share a personal secret with her.
-2 if you have divulged the secret of another in the last 24 hours
-1 if you are a cleric of the sun.

And something new.

Fyre Fae
Armor Class: 1 [19]
Hit Dice: 1d8 (5 hp)*
No. of Attacks: 1, special
Damage: -
Special Attacks: Dancing Lights 1 per day
Movement: 10’, fly 60’ (perfect)
No. Appearing: Gang (2-4) or tribe (20-80)
Saves As: Fighter 1
Morale: 9
Treasure: None
- Tribe: 3d6 SP, 2d4 GP, Gems: 5% 1d4
Alignment: Neutral
XP: 70

Fyre Fae are often confused with Willow-o-the-wisps or even fireflies.  They are tiny fae resembling smaller pixies.  In the hours of dusk the Fyre fae come out to play where they will flash a multitude of different colors from their wings.
They are harmless and prefer to flee if attacked. Though if needed they will cast a dancing lights spell to confuse attackers of their whereabouts.
1 Fire Fae out of 100 also has the abilities of a first level witch and can cast Light into the eyes of attackers.





Supernatural AtoZ