Monday, June 2, 2014

Why I am NOT running D&D5/Next

If you spend any time here at all you will quickly learn a few things about me.  But one of the biggest in my mind is that 1.) I will try any game and 2.) I am not a fan of edition wars.

That all being said I am not going to be jumping on the 5e playing bandwagon right away.  I am in the early stages of a great 1st Ed AD&D game and the final stages of an epic 3rd Ed D&D campaign and I just don't have to the time or inclination to switch. Not to mention the 2nd Ed and Pathfinder games I am playing in now.

This has nothing to do misguided grognard loyalty. Or even "hate" against WotC (I rather like WotC to be honest).  I just really don't have the time to devote to it.

I will be be buying it. If a game comes up I will play it.
Who knows. Maybe if it is as good as Wizard's says it is I might work in some concepts to my current games.  Anything is possible really. I did like the playtest and I am liking all that I hear about it.

I guess Next month I will know.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Kickstart Your Weekend

I have some great Kickstarters to share with you this Friday.

First up is the Castles & Crusades full color Kickstarter.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/castles-and-crusades
Castles & Crusades was Old-School before there was an OSR.  The game is the simplicity of Basic D&D, the fun of AD&D and the flexibility and modern design of 3e.  Best of all worlds really.
OSRIC may be more compatible with AD&D, but C&C is closer to the spirit of the game.

The Witches
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1241563696/the-witches
Tonight we get "Sleeping Beauty" through the eyes of Maleficent.  The Witches is a turn on Macbeth, with the eponymous king in Hell being tortured by the same three witches he went to visit.
Something wicked this way comes indeed.

The Holmes of the Baskervilles & The London Vampire Girls!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/415194828/the-holmes-of-the-baskervilles-and-the-london-vamp
A very different take on Holmes and the murders at Whitechapel. I like because it sounds like a wild alt-History Gothic Victorian romp.  Plus I was pleased with his last effort, The Victorian Academy of Magick.

Strange Brew (Pathfinder/C&C): The Ultimate Witch & Warlock
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/962794554/strange-brew-pathfinder-the-ultimate-witch-and-war
Of course I have to mention my own.  We are down to the last week and half now and we are so close.
So please consider funding us, there is a lot of great material here.

So every dollar helps.In the case of Strange Brew it is to pay for art.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Skylla: Castles & Crusades Witch

I was looking back at some posts and I realized I have not done a Skylla post since the start of the year.

It also seems like a good idea to do a Castles & Crusades version of her since +Stephen Chenault has the new edition/printing of Castles & Crusades is up on Kickstarter (only 4 more days to go) and so is my new Witch book for Castles & Crusades (less than 2 weeks).

Now unlike the other posts of Skylla, where I take a published witch class and see how close they come to each other, this is a new class. So new in fact that some of the details are likely to change.  Well...not all the details and certainly not the broad ideas.  I might change the Occult Powers a little bit. I put up a prototype version a while back, so I am going to use that one today.

Castles & Crusades gives me a ton of options when making a witch class.  In fact if you look over the classes in the Players Handbook there is certainly a hole in terms of a Charisma based spell caster.  Plus all the classical fantasy archetypes are covered and then some, save for the witch.

Castles & Crusades is too fun of a game not to have a witch.

Not exactly Skylla, but really close
Skylla, 7th Level Witch (C&C)
Race: Human
Malefic Tradition

Strength: 9 (0)
Dexterity: 11 (0)
Constitution: 10 (0)
Intelligence: 12 (0) P
Wisdom: 11 (0) P
Charisma: 15 (+1) P

Hit Points:  20
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
AC:  (Ring of Protection +1)
BtH: +2

Powers
Familiar: Pseudo Dragon
Herb Use
Ritual Magic
Occult Power (7th level): Evil’s Touch

Spells
Cantrips: (5) Alarm Ward, Chill, Daze, Ghost Sound,
First: (3+1) Charm Person, Detect Invisible, Light, Sleep
Second: (2) Evil Eye, Locate Object,
Third: (2) Bestow Curse, Witch Wail
Fourth: (1) Phantom Lacerations

Magic Items
Ring of Protection +1, Dagger +1, Broom

Makes me want to drop everything and finish up my Castles & Crusades version of the Witch!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Who is Your Favorite Witch?

Something I did for another site, but thought it would work well here.  I started watching "Salem" finally. Love it so far.  Has not grabbed me like American Horror Story did, but it is only a matter of time.
We also have Maleficent out this weekend so really it is a good time for witches on TV and Movies.

Or as Time Magazine said it, "Witches are the new Vampires".

My goal with Strange Brew: The Ultimate Witch and Warlock would be to allow you play ANY type of witch. Good, Bad, Wicked, whatever type of witch is YOUR favorite, that is what I want to do.

Here is a list of my Top Ten witches, in no particular order.  Who is your favorite?  Let me know in the poll below and in the comments section.

1. Cordelia Foxx (American Horror Story: Coven) - In the 13 episodes of 'American Horror Story - Coven' we saw Cordelia go from meek instructor of Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies and living in the long shadow of Jessica Lange's Supreme to be being blinded, given the Sight, finding out her husband was a witch killer, given some new eyes, blinded again and then finally displaying the Seven Wonders to become the newest Supreme.
As the Supreme she is in charge of all the world's witches.  Since going public that is a lot more girls that need training.  American Horror Story never shied away from death, gruesome dismemberment, sexual taboos and killing off main cast members.  While we might not see Supreme Cordelia again, we certainly will see Sarah Paulson in more seasons.

2. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Books and Movies) - Harry may have been the 'Chosen One' but you know what he would have been without the "most brilliant witch of her generation"?  Easy. Dead.  Remember in the books Hermione was shy, not very attractive and an infuriating know-it-all.  By Book 3 Harry and Ron both begin to notice, but long before her magical makeover Hermione was proving she was worth more than a full Quidditch team of Chosen Ones.  She mastered spells long before any of her classmates, she brewed the Pollyjuice potions, even in Book 3 (the Prisoner of Azkaban) she is using a Time Turner to take extra classes in the same day.  Who else has done that?  Not to mention while dealing with the whole You-Know-Who thing she still manages to fight for House Elf rights.
Plus, and let us be honest here, she could have a wicked temper.  She was the one that tricked Dolores Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest to get captured by Centaurs and she keeps Rita Skeeter trapped in a jar for the last part of The Goblet of Fire.

3.  Piper Halliwell (Charmed) - For eight seasons of Charmed Piper went from the quiet middle sister of the Halliwell witches to the ass-kicking, demon killing leader of the Charmed Ones, the most powerful witches in the world.   She helped kill the leader of the demon-world, The Source of All Evil, twice. Three times if you count the near attempts in the later seasons.   She married a Guardian Angel (a "White Lighter" in the show), gave birth to two sons that were half-witch and half-lighter and destined to be the future protectors of the innocents of the world.  But more importantly she did all of this while keeping her family and friends safe. Well...mostly safe.

4.  Willow Rosenberg & Tara Maclay (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - Willow was the shy Scooby. The one that didn't want cause problems, but she helped her new friend Buffy Summers, another chosen one, because if nothing else Willow does what it right.  She got a little taste of magical power in Season 2 and the rest. Well Willow became the most powerful witch in the series.  She re-ensouled Angel, she went toe to toe with demons of all sorts, and when a god destroyed her girlfriend Tara's mind then Willow did something that the Slayer herself had not done. She made a god scream.  Willow though struggled with her power and when a stray bullet killed Tara, Willow (and the Willow and Tara fans) went crazy and nearly destroyed the world. She was talked back down, but she never seemed the same after that.
Tara was and is my favorite Buffy character. For me she is a quiet, but deep well of power. Spend anytime on this site to see what I mean.



5.  Samantha Stephens (Bewitched) - You know what real power is?  Not strangling the annoying people around you! At least that is what I think Samantha's real power was.  Married to a muggl-sorry, mortal, Darren, Samantha still managed to use her powers, stay out of the spotlight (or at least the prying eyes of neighbor Mrs. Kravitz), solve the problems and still look fantastic all in 25 minutes.  A lot of Samantha's problems came from trying to please her husband Darren or from her relatives and later daughter.  With a twitch of her nose and nary a "hocus pocus" heard she still managed it all.

6. Joanna Beauchamp (Witches of East End) - Joanna Beauchamp has managed to do something so magical it makes the other witches seem like First Years at Hoggwarts.  She made me really like Julia Ormond!  I am being slightly snarky with that I fear.  I like Julia Ormond, I just never cared for her characters till now.  Joanna is a fierce witch. She is the protective mother (and ALL that entails) of Freya and Ingrid and loving sister of Wendy (who I thought was going to be my favorite Beauchamp witch). She has proven to be strong, determined and despite all that, she still doesn’t know all the answers.  I like that in my witches; knowing that magic can’t solve all her problems.  Joanna and Julia keep me coming back for more Witches of East End.



7. Lafayette Reynolds (True Blood) - Lafayette may have died in the books early on, but in the TV series he is a series regular and one of the most popular characters.  Later on he learns he is witch when his boyfriend Jesus reveals to him that he is a Brujo.  Lafayette can channel the spirits of the dead and possibly even a demon.

8. Mary Sibley (Salem) - I have only just started watching this series but so far I love what I see. Mary is an interesting, conflicted character.  It is hard not to sympathize with her, but she is certainly not on the side of angels here.  Special recognition has to go out to Tituba, one of the historical Salem “witches” and the bridge point between this series and American Horror Story Coven.

9. Katrina (Sleepy Hollow) - We have only seen glimpses of Katrina and her power. But one thing is for sure she is firmly in the camp of the “Good Witches”.  Also given her birth she would be one of the first women to truly be called an “American Witch”.  I am looking forward to seeing so much more of her next season of what turned out to be one of my favorite shows of 2013.



10. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent) - She is either a fairy or a witch, maybe both, but there is no doubt that she is powerful. She put a princess to sleep for 100 years and raised and entire forest of thorns.

Honorable Mention: Cassie (Hex), Wicked Witch of the West (Oz, Wicked), Angelique (Dark Shadows), Robin (Witch Hunter Robin), Sabrina (Sabrina the Teen Aged Witch), Luna and Tonks (Harry Potter), Witchiepoo (H.R. Puffinstuff), Jadis (The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe), Rachel Morgan (The Hollows Series) and Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

Who is your favorite?


Favorite Witches
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

D&D5 Basic. For Free.

Wizards of the Coast really, really, really wants you to play their new D&D game.
How much?

Well they have the Starter Set coming out which covers up to level 5. Not bad really.
But that is not all.

Today Mike Mearls announced the D&D Basic Set.  What is that?
Well it is a stripped down version of D&D 5 with only the Basic 4 classes (Fighter, Wizard, Thief and Cleric) but you can take them to level 20.

And it is 100% free.

That's right a free PDF of the D&D rules.
https://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd%2F4ll%2F20140527

Mearls likens it to the old D&D Rule Cyclopedia without any world or campaign materials.

It also looks like there will be more freebies in the future too.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Strange Brew. Now for Castles & Crusades

I am pleased to announce that are also offering Strange Brew: The Ultimate Witch & Warlock for Castles & Crusades!


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/962794554/strange-brew-pathfinder-the-ultimate-witch-and-war

This book is part of the same Kickstarter as the Pathfinder book.  So really for one price you could get 4 books instead of 1.

  • Strange Brew for Pathfinder
  • Strange Brew for Castles & Crusades
  • The Witch for Basic Era Games
  • and the update of Way of the Witch for Pathfinder
We are at 75% funded now with about 2 weeks left to go.

Material is written. We just need to secure the art and layout.