Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day: The Witch

Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day

Today is Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day hosted by Tenkar of his eponymous Tavern.
Nearly 150 blogs are gathered to talk about S&W.  He did the same thing a few months back for Basic Fantasy Role-Playing and it was a huge success.   I am a fairly late comer to the world of S&W, having read it and then dismissed it.  I have recently come back to it and detailed my findings in  review and post

I do have to hand it to Frog God Games to have gotten me re-interested in this game with their Complete Rulebook.
If you would like to get some products for this game here's a coupon you can use at the, thanks to  John Reyst: SWAD252013

So what should I post about today?  Well really there is only thing I can and should do.  I get a some emails asking me for me for a S&W compatible version of the Witch.  Now to me ALL the retro-clones are largely compatible, but sometimes a ready to go product is also nice.  So for you, the S&W fan, here is the Witch for S&W.

You will still need my book, The Witch: A sourcebook for Basic Edition fantasy games, and a copy of the S&W rules.  But this will get you going. 
I am also including a new Tradition for you to use with ANY version of the Witch you might want to play.

OGL Notice: The following text is considered OPEN under the Open Gaming License. 
Section 15: "The Witch for Swords & Wizardry" and "Amazon Tradition" copyright © 2013 Timothy S. Brannan.
Art is not considered open and copyright is retained by the artist, Toby Gregory and is used here with permission. 


Prime Attribute: Charisma
Hit Dice: 1d4 per level up to 10th level.  At 11th level, +1 hit point per level.
Armor: Cloth, Padded or Leather only, no shields.
Weapons: A witch may only use a dagger, staff, flaming oil, holy water, net, thrown rock, sling, and whip as weapons.
Special Abilities: Occult Powers; witch spells, ritual spells, herb use.
Race: Elves, Half-elves and Humans may be Witches. Dwarves and Halfings may be NPC Witches.

Witch Experience Table Spells / Level
Hit Dice (d4)
Saving Throw
Occult Powers
2 3 4 5 6 *7 **8
1 - - - - - - -
Herb Use
2! - - - - - - -

2 1 - - - - - -

2 2! - - - - - -

2 2 1 - - - - -

3 2 2! - - - - -
3 2 2 1 - - - -

3 3 2 2! - - - -

3 3 2 2 1 - - -

4 3 3 2 2! - - -

4 3 3 2 2 1 - -

4 4 3 3 2 2! - -
4 4 3 3 2 2 1 -

5 4 4 3 3 2 2! -

5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1

5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2!

5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2

6 5 5 4 3 3 3 2
6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2

6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3
+1 hp/level

6 6 6 5 5 4 3 3
* 7th Level Spells usable only by Witches with CHA of 16 or greater
** 8th Level Spells usable only by Witches with CHA of 17 or greater
! A Witch may take a ritual spell at 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, and 16th levels.

Witch Class Abilities

Saving Throws: The witch gains a +2 bonus to any save verse charm or hold spells.

Spell Casting: The witch owns a book of spells called a “Book of Shadows” this is similar to the books used by magic-users, but each book is unique to each witch.  A Read Magic spell will not enable another witch or magic-user. Witches may cast up to 8th level spells.

Familiar: The witch gains a familiar at 1st level.  This is a supernatural creature that often appears to be a normal animal such as a cat or frog.

Occult Power: At first level and every 6 levels hereafter the witch gains an Occult Power.  These powers vary from Tradition to Tradition.

Ritual Magic: At 2nd level the witch may opt to choose a Ritual Magic spell. These spells have special requirements in terms of components needs and multiple participants. 

Coven: at 13th level a witch may leave her coven to form her own coven. 

New Tradition: Amazon
Witches of the Amazon tradition are one of the most misunderstood witches.  To begin, “Amazon” is a misnomer.  These witches are only remotely related to the legendary female warriors of the same name.  Also these witches are not a group of female warrior-witches, though they opt for fighting professions more often than members of other traditions.

Witches of the Amazon Tradition can only be female; no man may enter this Tradition. This attitude of superiority further extends beyond their own Traditions and covens.  Amazon witches believe that no man should be allowed to be a witch regardless of Tradition.  An Amazon witch will always refer to a male witch as a warlock.

These witches also share an honoring of the Goddess Diana with their warrior cousins. They are associated so much with the Goddess Diana that many call their Tradition The Cult of Diana.  Nonetheless, some small groups of Amazon witches do worship other Goddess, such as Freya, Artemis, Brigit, or even Hecate.

Despite stereotypes, not all Amazon witches are man-haters.   Some are happily married with children. This is not viewed as a problem for these witches as Diana is also viewed as the Patron of children and of women in childbirth. They just believe that men should not be witches.

Humans make up the majority of the witches in the Amazon traditions.  Elves, dwarves and halflings, from a racial standpoint, do not share the Amazon’s philosophy.  Elves in particular gravitate more towards the Faerie tradition.  Dwarves have a special type of Amazon-like tradition that is embodied in the Xothia, the Dwarven witch.

Role: Amazon witches represent, what they believe, to be the righteous anger of the Goddess.  It is believed that these witches may have began as part of the Classical tradition.  When witches began to be hunted and killed, mostly by the priesthoods, the Amazon rose up to fight this oppression.

This tradition overlaps, geographically at least, with areas that are common to Classical traditions and druids.  Thus there have been successful attempts over the years to work for each group’s mutual benefit.  The philosophical differences between the groups have always been the greatest hurdle.

Joining this Tradition: There are no special ability scores required to be an Amazon, although high Strength and Constitution are entirely desirable. The only requirement to becoming an Amazon Witch is the character must be female.

Amazon Witches usually meet in groups, called Meets, during the time of the waxing moon till the full moon.  These meets are very secretive and there is a rumor that any man viewing one will be put to death.
Amazons for the most part are neutral, with some gravitating towards lawful.

Leaving this Tradition: The belief system of the Amazon witch are deeply ingrained into her personality and culture. So most will never leave this Tradition.  Generally, an Amazon who leaves the Tradition will be warmly welcomed into the arms of the Classical or Craft of the Wise Traditions.

Occult Powers:
Minor: 1st Level: Minor Fighting Prowess.  The Amazon witch gains some minor fighting ability and may add one of the following weapons to her skill set; long sword, large axe, long bow or spear.  She may use one of these weapons as she chooses.  She still uses the Magic-User attack tables, but she adds +1 to her “to hit” rolls.  The Amazon witch may also sacrifice one spell per day to give her a bonus to hit and damage equal to that spell level.  This will allow her to overcome the natural resistance that require some creatures to only be hit by magical weapons.

Lesser: 7th Level: Immune to Fear. The Amazon witch becomes so focused in purpose and drive that she becomes immune to the effects of mundane and fear.  She also gains +4 to any checks versus magical induced fear.

Medial: 13th Level: Shape Change. The Amazon witch may shape change as per the Druid ability Wild Shape or Polymorph Self. This may be done once per day at 13th level. The witch may only change shape to a natural animal that is within one size category of her normal size. So a Medium sized witch may only change to a Small, Medium or Large animal.

The number of times the witch may do this per day increases with every other level.  So 2 times per day at 15th, 3 times per day at 17th and 4 times per day at 19th.  The witch may opt to sacrifice one of these times to go outside of her normal range of sizes.  So a 17th level Amazon witch could shift to Huge or Tiny once and her normal sizes the other two (total of 4 shape shifts per day).

Greater: 19th Level: Charge of the Goddess. The Amazon witch at this point is such a force for her Patron that she can summon the Goddess’ own power into herself.  The witch radiates an aura of Fear at 15’ to all her enemies.  She gains a bonus of +3 to all her saves and AC.  She also gains +2 to all offensive attack forms, spells or weapons.  This charge lasts for a number of rounds equal to the witch’s Wisdom or Charisma score, which ever is better.  It may be performed once per day and takes one full action to perform.

Special Restrictions:  Only women may join this tradition.

Equipment:  None required. Amazon witches are more likely to use martial weapons, such as a longbow or spear, than any other Tradition.

The ritual tool of the Amazon witch is the cauldron (representing the Goddess). If adventuring, the witch can or will use a staff, which can double as a weapon.  Both items may also be used for more mundane purposes.

Preferred/Barred Covens: This Tradition is suited mostly to all Amazon covens. Amazon Witches will join covens with other Traditions, but the coven must be exclusively female.

Relationship to the Goddess/Patron: Diana is the protector and guardian of the Amazon witches; they are Her children and heirs to Her world.

Source/Views of Magic: Magic comes from the powers of Creation.  As the bearers of children, only women can be true receptacles of creative forces.  Men can only destroy or pervert this pure and sacred power.

Wealth: Amazon witches start with the amount of wealth allotted to any witch.

Other: Amazon witches generally get along well enough with other traditions, in particular Classical and Craft of the Wise.  The Amazon’s views on male witches usually leads to the Amazon being seen with distrust by the other traditions. Amazon witches do not get along well with clerics of any type, even if they have the same alignment and similar world outlook. They view priests and wizards as patriarchal tyrants.
Amazons will always burn the body of a deceased witch as a proper funeral. It is also common that the coven will burn the witch’s Book of Shadows with the body.

You can download this a PDF file from my service.

My A to Z post is here:


ERIC! said...

I love this, I have considered for a bit on putting witch's in Ganth. I always dug the Pathfinder version.

For me it was a matter of just not calling Druids a Witch or not.

The Amazon Tradition gives the class a "Greek" feel something that may work better in Ganth.

Dr. Theda said...

Thanks for the "Stats"... this will help out in our current game ... I wanted a "Witch" ...not just a "Mage"... Cool Your new "fiend" and Follower ... the Doctor

Doctor Futurity said...

Very nice class build. I'll have to print this out and add it to my S&W folder!

Fabio Milito Pagliara said...

I really like your take on Witch (and your book is bewitching ;-))

Fabio, My Swords & Wizardry post (Healer class)

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Thanks all!

Fabio, I wanted to do a Healer class myself. But this migraine I have is killing me.

R.J. Thompson said...

I like it. It makes a good companion to my sorcerer!

Jim said...

Nicely done sir. Thank for sharing!

Bruce Heard said...

Well done, Tim! I'll trade you your witch form my wraithling! :D

Gregg Metcalf said...

This is quite a site. I have seen anything like it.

David Baymiller said...

Excellent as always!

Kristen said...

Wow, this is a cool blog! Very impressive post. I don't think I've ever seen a blog like this.

#atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

Gothridge Manor said...

Tim fantastic. DLed it and adding it to the other witch booklet of yours.

Disha Doshi Shah said...

did a post on white love spells. and that was be-witching enough. this is a whole new level. keep it going. Happy to connect. Do visit I am following you via #AtoZChallenge

Unknown said...

great A to Z post! you put a lot of thinking into it, I can tell!

Noree Cosper said...

This has me curious. Why can dwarves and halflings only be NPC witches? Are they all evil or something?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

@Noree, it was the way these old rules were written. They felt that the dwarf or halfing would be too powerful.

I did do dwarf and halfing witches though in other books and I loved how they worked out.

Dwarf Witch and Halfling Witch. Enjoy!

The Scarecrow said...

Thanks for this new character option. Great work :)

The Scarecrow said...

Thanks for this new character option, good work :)