Saturday, September 24, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood

Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood
Head back to not only just the OSR but to Old-School Essentials. This one is from Knight Owl Publishing who has been putting out some really great stuff lately.

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood

PDF. 73 pages. Color cover, black & white interior art.

This book is a sequel and elaboration on The Chaos Gods Come to Meatlandia. I don't know much about that other product save that it seems to be a wild "anything goes" sort of setting.  This has a similar feel. 

This product includes both the Worm Witch and Worm Warden, classes.  Witches and Wardens are classes I have also explored in my various book so I am quite excited to see these.

The Worm Warden is like a paladin, ranger, or guardian for the witch cult. They are fighter types. Their primes are Strength and Charisma. 

The Worm Witch is a witch class and it shares many similarities with other witch classes. This is largely due to books we all read and the various means we all use to make classes.  Personally, I find this great. The Worm Witch could fit in well with all the witches I have played and still have enough unique features to make her special. What makes her special of course is her connection to worms. Even the worm witch's special abilities could be mapped on to my Occult Powers.

Both the Warden and the Witch share a secret language

The Worm Witch also gains witch spells. And there are some great ones here.  There is the expected ones like Animal Friendship and Charm Animal, and some really interesting ones like Infect with Worms, Mass of Maggots, Wave of Worms, and more.  Yeah, they do pretty much what you expect.

This is all about one-third of the book. And this was all then I would be really happy. I am glad someone wrote this book. This is a needed sort of witch that I would not likely write. Ok. I would have never done this one. Worms are great for my wife's garden, and that is about all the use I have for them.  So kudos to Wind Lothamer and Ahimsa Kerp for doing this.

We still have the rest of the book. 

Belinda Blood
The next section covers the land of Annalida, a land near Meatlandia. This is another third of the book and it is interesting, but I have no context for it. Still, the Witch Wood is very cool. 

The last third (or so) covers the monsters of the land, which as you can imagine, is full of worms. 

The NPC witch, Belinda Blood, is also presented. She was a very powerful Worm Witch and could fit the bill as a Witch Queen for my War of the Witch Queen Campaign.  It is also all written for Old School Essentials so that is another good fit. Alive or dead she would be a great Witch Queen.

As I mentioned this book is written for OSE and fits well.

So I bought this hoping for a class and a few new spells. I got that. I also got another class, a campaign setting, some monsters, AND a new Witch Queen to add to my Old-School Essentials campaign. 

That's pretty nice if you ask me.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Friday, September 23, 2022

Kickstart your Weekend: Gateway To Adventure Trilogy

A fun one today Correction, TWO fun ones today.

Gateway To Adventure Trilogy For Old-School Essentials

Gateway To Adventure Trilogy For Old-School Essentials

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gamersandgrognards/gateway-to-adventure-trilogy-for-old-school-essentials?ref=theotherside

Appendix N is kickstarting a trio of books for Old-School Essentials. So the "Gateway to Adventure" is quite appropriate.

These books are updates to various new Appendix N books, a few I am going to review for my 100 Days of Halloween to Old School Essentials.

From the campaign page,

Within the Gateway To Adventure trilogy you will receive optional rules and classes based on the Mid-Realm campaigns of R.J. Thompson, as well as lore for the various kin and classes. All of this information will be presented in a way that will be easily transferable into any campaign setting! These books are meant to be cherry picked by referees and players alike to create the campaign that they want to have! Similarly to how we present our adventures, so that every table's experience is different, so too with our rules variants, we want everyone to have their own unique game! All of this in an A5 format so these books fit on your shelf right next to the core Old-School Essentials line!

Sounds like a lot of fun and OSE is my current OSR clone of choice.

They just launched and are very, very close to hitting their funding goal now, get them a look.

And a late entry.

Raiders of R’lyeh: From the Tideless Sea—Epic Horror Sandbox

Raiders of R’lyeh: From the Tideless Sea—Epic Horror Sandbox

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1375282718/raiders-of-rlyeh-from-the-tideless-sea-epic-horror-sandbox?ref=theotherside

An adventure/sandbox set in 1900 for " RAIDERS OF R’LYEH tabletop roleplaying game and other d100 GAMES based on H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Call of Cthulhu’ and other mythos or pulp stories."

It also looks like a lot of fun and they are also very close to their funding goal.

100 Days of Halloween: Stranger Stuff & Teenage Witchcraft (TinyD6)

I am jumping around on systems like a meth-addicted moth this week.  Tiny D6? Sure, why not!

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Stranger Stuff and Teenage Witchcraft (TinyD6)

Tonight's game uses the Tiny D6 game system and is a supplement for Fat Goblin Games' Stranger Stuff game. Stranger Stuff is described as "80's Inspired Adventure, Horror, and Science Fiction."  I think it is pretty easy to tell where this inspiration is from and frankly, that is good enough for me.

I love how the book cover aims for an old-school writing journal look for the core RPG and a "Sweet Valley High" look to the Teenage Witchcraft book.  Really nice.

Stranger StuffStranger Stuff: Teenage Witchcraft

Stranger Stuff

PDF. 124 pages. Color covers and interior art; sort of. It is black & white with accents of red.

Both books use a similar notebook-style art as their background watermark.  So these books look like they were written in a notebook. 

Stranger Stuff is a Tiny D6 game, based on the Tiny D6 engine released by Gallantknight Games.  IT is also based on Fat Goblin's own vs. Stranger Stuff game.

Essentially you are playing a kid in the 1980s in a small town where things are, well, strange. There is a list of movies to watch to get the proper feel for this time, but I honestly feel that most of my readers have seen them. 

Character creation is simple. Come up with a concept, give them some traits, and disadvantages and you are set to go! There are only two stats, Toughness and Stress.

The system is based on the venerable D6 system, but stripped way down. 

The book is rich in background and has plenty of details about playing in this odd world during the year 1984.

Teenage Witchcraft

PDF. 44 pages. Full-color cover and black & white interior art with accents of red. 

This book takes the basics of the Stranger Stuff game and adds in the ability to become a witch and cast spells.  So if you are thinking the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina or The Craft, but in the 80s, then you have the right idea here.

Most of the rules involve the casting of spells, as appropriate, There is an example walk-through with two spells and many examples are given, but the fun, of course, is making your own spells. OR as in the case with The Craft or Charmed, finding the right mix of witches to work with.

The two combined look like a ton of fun and since the rules are easy, something you could pick up and do in an afternoon.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Sucker for a Slipcase

Maybe it goes back to my first set of the Lords of the Rings books, but I am a sucker for a slipcase for my books. I was in my office and I was noticing that many of my books are getting bleached out due to the fluorescent lights I have.  I turned the spines to the back, not a great solution, which got me to notice all my slipcases for other books.

Slipcases

This got me thinking about my AD&D 1st Ed collection and how they seem to be getting the worse of it all. So I went on a search for some slipcases that would fit my AD&D books, in particular my oldest ones, and "fit" them thematically. 

Searching for custom ones was not very helpful since most places that make them custom-made expect you to order a bunch of them.  There are binder ones too, but nothing that I really liked.

Once again, eBay provides.

Back in the 1980s the RPGA made slipcases for Dragon and Polyhedron magazines. I found one on eBay that was only slightly more expensive than a binder slipcase.

RPGA Slipcase

I can fit in my second printing of the PHB, DMG, D&DG, and my softcover PHB and MM from Games Workshop. There was enough room to slip in my DM's screen too.  I can justify grabbing this since I actually had joined the RPGA during its last days

PHB

Softcover MM & PHB

Deities & Demigods

Signed by actual demigods!

You can see why I want those protected.

The only problem is that the double slipcase is taller than my shelves!  I am going to need an oversized bookcase or make room on my desk for my oversized books.

But at least now they are protected.

I still would like to find a custom one for some other books, in particular, my 1st and 2nd Edition reprints.

1st and 2nd Ed reprints


100 Days of Halloween: Witches & Spellcraft

Witches & Spellcraft
Another little departure tonight, another story game, and this one looks like fun.

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Witches & Spellcraft

PDF. 15 Pages. PWYW. Full-color art.

Ok, to start off I have to say I really love the art in this. It is not a lot and it is mostly character art, but since characters are the focus of this game that is 100% fine with me. And the art is good. You can see the cover and those might be my least favorite, but I still like them a lot.

The game is designed for one Head Witch and four other witches, but that number is variable. You fill out your school sheet and witch sheet as a group.  The Head Witch then helps guide the story along as a game master/GMPC.

Rolls are simple, largely a 2d8 plus or minus various modifiers. Rolls of 10 or greater are a success and you can get even better success with higher rolls. There are also failures. 

The game covers spell creation and there are worksheets for your witch and school.

I think it is lacking a good example of play BUT I also see how such an example could also be limiting to new players. They might end up just following the example. 

While you could use this game to say make your own school of witchcraft in the Scottish Highlands, it feels better suited to properties like Sabrina or the Magicians or even something like the mobile game Switchcraft or a new take on The Craft. 

There is an actual play video. It is 4 hours long, but gives you some ideas how the game can be played. 

If I were the developers here I would do this but break it up into chunks for new players to digest. 

In any case, this is another fun game. I am so pleased I found it.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Witches of Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

Yesterday I spent some LONG overdue time with Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition. It is a ridiculously fun game that is really easy to learn and play. I want to give it some more trials, but one of the first things I always do with a game is to see how well it emulates one or two of about a half-dozen or so characters I am always throwing at a game. 

I choose these characters because I know how I want to play from the start, the question is can I make the game do what I want.  Today, with the Fall Equinox knocking on our door and my 100 days of Halloween still on my mind, I am going to do witches.  Shocking. I know.

The Witches of Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

BUT there is a good reason for this. I always want to check out the "magic" power of any supers game since that is the place you can really break the system. Also, I want to use characters familiar to readers here. This way you can compare and contrast between the various systems. They all do very similar things, but they all also do something different and it is in these differences I make my decisions. 

So, let's get back to some old favorites of mine!

Click on the sheets for larger.

Taryn Nichols, AKA "Teen Witch"

Taryn is my young, "Teen Titans"-esque superhero character. She needs to be on the low end of the supers scale. Her purpose is to see what I can do with the fewest amount of points.  In P&P I started her off at "Low" which is 100 hero points.

Taryn character sheetTaryn mini

Larina Nichols, AKA "Witch Queen"

Larina is always my "rules as written" witch.  To get her the way I wanted I had to jump a level to "High" at 150 hero points. I wanted to do 125 but she kinda got away from me.  Plus I would like to see the interplay of mother and daughter here in a supers game. 

She gains the extra Super Senses (Magic) power from her cursed left eye.

Larina character sheetLarina mini


Tara Maclay

Anyone who has been here for a while knows of my undying love for Willow and especially Tara.  They are largely retired now but would still be magical powerhouses in any game. I set Tara at "Legendary" with 175 hero points. She puts some points into her ability to heal by touch.

Tara character sheetTara mini


Willow Rosenberg

Willow sits at the highest end of my experiments. She is at "Iconic" level with 200 hero points. Like Tara she no longer has Burnout or Concentration con modifiers to her powers the Nichols girls do.  They have to focus, magic to Willow and Tara is like breathing at this point. 

Wilow character sheetWillow mini

I like how they turned out.  As with any game you might do things a little differently and that is fine. These builds work for me and give me a good idea of what the Omni-power can do for Magic.

I used the character sheets instead of typing them all up because I wanted that visceral feel of pencil on paper. Also so you all could an idea of what the sheets look like. 

You can see my other write-ups too for Zatanna, The Refrigerator, and Justice.

ZatannaThe RefrigeratorJustice


100 Days of Halloween: Paragon Hags and Occult Covens

Paragon Hags and Occult Covens
More hags and more Pathfinder tonight!  Really getting in the mood for some witchy hijinks this Halloween!

In Pathfinder (much like AD&D 2nd Ed) there is a deeper connection between hags and witches. I have looked at a few products here that explore that. This one looks promising as well.

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Paragon Hags and Occult Covens

PDF. 28 pages. Color cover. Black & White interior art. 1 cover, table of contents, 1 OGL page, rest content.

We start off with some history and the in game assumption that all hags are the daughters of hags and mortal men. These offspring are known as changelings, and will eventually become hags once they reach 15 years of age.

We get a new race, Hag, for player characters, and a new class, the Paragon Hag. 

Paragon Hags get a number of powers above and beyond that of just what the Hag race gets. Among these is the ability to cast Witch spells up to the 6th level. 

Different Hag families are detailed. Many of these are familiar. They are the Annis, Blood, Bone, Green, Hearth, Moon, Night, Sea, Storm, and Winter.

We get new archetypes to go along with the new class. There is the Cauldron Hag, Coven Mother, Focused Hag, and Mother of Steel.   So by choosing different archetypes and different hag families you can get a wide variety of hag types. 

New races and new classes mean new feats, and we have them here. Pretty good mix really. Mostly "Coven" feats, which could be used by witches as well. 

There are new Rituals and new Spells. 

Finally, we get monster stats for the Bone Hag, Hearth Hag, and another take on the Moon Hag.

I have to admit I rather like it all and will add to my growing pile of Pathfinder material to use.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Review: Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition
This one has been sitting in my TBR pile for so long I actually feel kinda bad that I am just now getting to review it.  But this is my unofficial superheroes month so but late than never I guess.

Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition

I like supers games. While I might be suffering from a little bit of superhero burnout right now I still enjoy these games. While I have not found the Prefect-for-Me supers game, this one is very, very close.

For this review, I am considering the POD and PDF I got from DriveThruRPG via their 2019 Kickstarter.  The book was ready rather quickly I am just really slow on my review.

PDF and Hardcover, 192 pages. Full-color covers and interior art.

This is a supers game so one of the first things I consider is the art. I know, that seems shallow of me, but comics are a visual medium. So are superhero movies and TV shows. The art of P&P is gorgeous. I read through it and wonder where is the comic that should be attached to this game? No comic. But the game still looks great.

Foreword and Introduction

The foreword from Sean Patrick Fannon talks about the game he wanted to create and then discovers that the original P&P from Leonard Pimentel did more or less everything he wanted. This new P&P updates the old with some new ideas from both Pimentel and Fannon.  

The Introduction covers the game and various glossary terms to get you going.

Chapter 1: Basics

The game mechanic is very basic and very easy to use. Every trait, ability, power, or what have you has a score. Figure our what you want to do, find the right combination, add those numbers up, minus any negative modifiers, and then roll that number of d6s.  "2s" and "4s" are one success, "6s" are two successes.  Compare that to the Thresholds table and you will know by how much you succeed, or fail.

Some special d6s would be nice, but that could get cost prohibitive. Keep in mind Fannon's original supers game was called "Handfuls of Dice" so it's good you can use regular d6s here!

Actions, Combat, Resolve, and Adversity are all dealt with in more detail in chapters 3, 4, and 5. But it is great to have here to get an idea on how to create your characters.

Chapter 2: Characters

The heart and soul of any supers game are the super themselves. Here we cover how to create your characters which will include types and power levels. This is a point-buy system so you get so many points depending on your power level and then use those points to buy everything you need. 

Abilities are your base abilities like what you can find in most games. Agility, Intellect, Might, Perception, Toughness, and Willpower.  Similar to D&D and very similar to Unisystem. 1d (1d6) to 6d represents the human norm. Talents are like skills, but broader.  We also have our huge list of Powers. Powers can have Pros and Cons. For example, Ironman and Green Lantern both need to have a power source for their powers. This would be a con. Characters can also have Perks (Wealth for Batman) and Flaws (Compulsion, also for Batman). 

The powers seem pretty comprehensive. Very much similar to say Mutants & Masterminds or other supers games.

This is the largest chapter of the book as expected.

Chapter 3: Action

This is the shortest chapter since action rolls are pretty easy to figure out.  Again you are rolling a bunch of d6s (determined by abilities, talents, powers, and other modifiers) and counting your successes ("2s" and "4s" are 1, "6s" are 2). Compare that number to the Thresholds chart. You can also embellish your actions.

Chapter 3: Action

Chapter 4: Combat

Combat is largely a specific type of action, but since fighting bad guys is so central to many supers games and the variety of ways to engage in combat, this one is a bit larger and on its own.

Chapter 5: Resolve and Adversity

It is not the powers that make heroes the heroes, but their ability to do what is right and fight on. This is Resolve.  Resolve allows the heroes to push through the tough times, to help their allies, to be able to "do this all day." It is a bit like the Drama Point system in Unisystem (Buffy, Ghosts of Albion). You can save it for the right moment for the best heroic action. Adversity is what challenges them. 

Chapter 6: Equipment

Utility belts, flight suits, fast cars, even swords, bats (baseball, not the flying kinds), and your base of operations are all covered here.

Chapter 7: Environment 

Street-level supers might be limited to the mean streets, but a supers game can take you anywhere and the players need to know how to handle these situations. 

Chapter 8: Friends and Foes

I always love these chapters in Supers games. We get a variety of heroes and villains to help populate our worlds. Often they are the authors' homages to the heroes and stories they love, but also to fill certain niches.  This chapter starts out with the basics; animals, extras (NPCs), and then we move onto the main heroes.  There are variations of some classics here; your speedster, your blaster, you martial arts expert, the super soldier, and so on. If you have read a comic...well...ever then you should know what to expect here. I can almost judge a game by how many of these heroes I'd like to use. So far this game is doing great since all of them seem interesting me. These are followed by the Foes. They are also very interesting. Sure in both cases (heroes and foes) are built on very, very familiar archetypes, but that is also why they work. 

Heroes and Foes

Chapter 9: Superhero Gaming

This last chapter covers running your Prowlers & Paragons games including creating villain and their motivations. Also creating scenes, stories, and series.

This is followed by a character sheet, a list of Kickstarter backers, and a good index. 

Honestly, this is really a great supers game. It is a little less on the complexity scale than say Mutants & Masterminds, but more so than say Icons.  

while the notion of rolling say 20+ d6s can be daunting for really powerful characters, the fact that you are just looking for success makes it go really fast. Plus dropping a handful of dice for an attack? Yeah, there is sublime satisfaction in that as well.

There is also a free Quickstart and free Character Sheets.

Character creation is pretty fast and very fun.  Here are some examples of ones I was able to do with just some of the Quickstart details and a pre-Kickstarter draft.

I am going to have to come back to this game for some more!

100 Days of Halloween: Elements of Magic - Mythic Earth

Elements of Magic - Mythic Earth
Going back a bit when the D&D 3.5 edition of the game was all the rage and ENWorld began publishing material under the OGL and d20 STL.

This one covers the mythic magic of our World. 

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Elements of Magic - Mythic Earth

PDF in a zip file. 58 pages. Front and back cover supplied as separate JPG files.  

You can tell this is the early days of PDF publishing. The publisher provides a README file to explain how use the layers to make a print-friendly PDF. Vey nice I have to say. Very polite.

This book largely assumes that you will be using this in a modern d20 game where magic is real.  There is an appendix in the back about using it with "Fantasy d20" coughD&D3.5cough.

Preface

A one-page overview of what this book is and how it is updated from it's predecessors (other Elements of Magic books).

Chapter One: Myths

This chapter is the foundation layer for playing a "mythic" game. This covers what sorts of myths you to use or create for your game. The default is a modern high fantasy. We get some very basic examples of how myths work in the world. Such as the abduction of Persephone causing the seasons to a basic overview of A Hero with a Thousand Faces monomyth.

Honestly, there could have been a lot more here.

Chapter Two: Spellcasting and Magical Traditions

This covers the spell-casting basics.  This includes "regular" spell casting and ritual magic. Magic is largely a skill-based system. Because of this any class can cast spells but some are going to be better trained than others.  There are new backgrounds, new skills, and of course lots of new feats.  Feats are the primary vehicle to differentiate the various magical styles.  It works much better than it would seem or even to anyone that is "feat exhausted."

In truth, the feat system is really rather perfect for this, or maybe, this book's conceptualization of these different mythic traditions is well suited for feats.  In other games, these would be all different classes or sub-classes.  Here it is entirely possible to build an arcane dabbler that knows a little runic magic, some voodoo. Your dabbler will never be an expert in anything due to the limited number of feats you can take, but that is also true in real life. They are also designed to provide some interesting playability if you do take more than one Tradition feat.

Examples of some magic items and a ritual spell are also given.

Chapter Three: The Magic of High Fantasy

This is our campaign world; magical modern Earth. They make a distinction between our Earth, "Terra" and the magical Earth, "Gaia." It is not a particularly new idea, but it is well executed here and that is the important part. Detailed within are various organizations that exist on Gaia that are related to magic. There is the governmental "Bureau" that act as the law enforcement in the magical world and "The Knights of the Round" that enforce the treaties with the Fey.  There is room for many more.

We are also given The Mage, an Advanced Class for d20 Modern. This rounded off with some NPC Mages.

Chapter Four: Spells

Spells here are applications of magical skills. The ten skills are Attack, Charm, Create, Cure, Defend, Divine, Illusion, Move, Summon, Summon, and Transform.  Each skill must be trained. So it is easy to see you can have generalists in all skills and experts in just a few.  Each skill has a number of spells associated with it.  You can design spells as needed with whatever enhancements seem to work the best.  Each enhancement requires a skill rank.  So four enhancements mean four additional skill ranks. 

The system takes a little bit to learn but is easily adaptable and usable in play.

Appendix

This covers converting the Mage advanced class to a Base class for use in Fantasy d20 worlds. 

It is obvious to me that this was someone's favorite campaign model for a while. There are a lot of really great ideas here and few I'd like to try out.  Reading it now I am taken by how much of this could be ported over to True20 or even a modern OSR game.

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Monday, September 19, 2022

Monstrous Mondays: Pathfinder Bestiary 4

Still working my way through a bunch of different monster books. Been spending the month of September on Pathfinder, but today is something a little different.  Let's get to it!

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 and Box

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 and Box

Today I am going to cover the Pathfinder Bestiary 4 and the Pathfinder Bestiary 4 Box.  We grabbed these back in 2015 or so I believe.  My oldest was running his D&D 5e game and wanted to add more Mythos monsters to it.  We grabbed the Bestiary 4, which has quite a lot of them, and then got the box of monster pawns to go with it.  By then we had also discovered the Cthulhu Wars game at GenCon and bought a bunch of those minis for him to use. So the box has been sorely underused.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4
Pathfinder Bestiary 4

PDF and Hardcover book. 320 pages. Full-color cover and interior art. For this review, I am considering the hardcover I bought in 2014 and the PDF I got from Paizo's webstore.

We grabbed this book for the mythos monsters. There are over 250 monsters in this book, so there were plenty of reasons to grab it.

This Bestiary gives us Kaiju. This book introduces them and there are more in the Pathfinder Mythic Realms books. There are 11 kaiju mentioned and three are detailed here.  They are all mostly Chaotic Neutral, with some suspected at Chaotic Evil. All are CR 26 and higher. 

Among the Mythos creatures, which are known as Elder Mythos here, are the bhole, colour out of space, elder thing, flying polyp, mi-go, nightgaunt, ratling, Spawn of Yog-Sothoth, Star-spawn of Cthulhu, and an whole collection of "Great Old Ones" that include Bokrug, Cthulhu, Hastur, and even Dagon as a Demon prince.

I can finally do my big "Godzilla vs. Cthulhu" idea!

There are even some old favorites here like the Leanan Sidhe, Nosferatu and Swan Maidens. Even really old ones like the Lurker Above and the Trapper (Monster Manual 1 AD&D) favorites get an update here. Spoiler: They are from the same family of creatures, no shock there. 

So yeah, for a "4" in the series, this one still has great monsters to give us.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 Box

The Pathfinder Bestiary 4 Box is filled with cardboard cut-outs of *most* of the monsters listed in the Pathfinder Bestiary 4 book.  

They are study and work fine in places where you don't have a dedicated mini.  Also, the price of the box is much more economical than getting all of these minis. 

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 Box
Pawns and mini comparison.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 Box


Pathfinder Bestiary 4 Box

There are no minis for the Kaiju or Great Old Ones. Which is one of the reasons we grabbed it.

Should have checked the back of the box I guess.

Bestiary Box contents

Still, this is great to have to fill out the places where I don't have the right mini.

Demons. Undead. Kaiju and Old Ones? Yeah, no wonder my oldest loves this one.

100 Days of Halloween: Blood and Broomsticks - Sorcerers & Witches

Blood and Broomsticks - Sorcerers & Witches
Getting back to some Pathfinder tonight. There is just so much great material for this game I feel I am barely scratching the surface.  One thing is certain though.  Morpheus is the witchiest of all the fonts. 

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

Blood and Broomsticks - Sorcerers & Witches

PDF.  41 pages. Front and back covers. Credits (including art credits). Compatibility and References. Table of Contents. 1 ad.  2 pages of OGL.  About 30 pages of content, minus various bits of art.  Full-color covers and interior art.

This book gives us one sorcerer bloodline and two witch archetypes. 

We open with a word about magic and spells and how Sorcerer magic differs from Witch magic. There is a bit on what are some of the best spells for both classes to take. 

New Sorcerer Bloodline: The Altered. This is the offspring of a witch whose patron altered them in the womb.  An interesting concept and one I have also played around with myself.  These sorcerers get access to the Patron's spells as their own bonus spells.  They also gain access to a handful of Hexes.  Not as many as the witch of course, but enough to keep the class interesting.

New Witch Patrons: These are also related. The Blood Patron and the Family Patron are the direct extensions of the offspring of witches. Others include Greed, Kinetics, Metal, Pyre, and Sunlight.

New Witch Archetypes: The Ink witch is a tattoo witch and various powers linked to markings.  The Pyre witch is all about fires and flames. 

There are 14 new hexes (of all levels) and five new magic items.

There are also 13 new spells. All can be used by the witch, and most can be used by sorcerers. 

I like how the book looks and the game material also looks pretty solid and fun.  Certainly something I would use in my games.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Sunday, September 18, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Love Witch

Love Witch
Something a little different tonight. NUELOW Games has given us a lot of off-beat supplements for d20; many using old comics that have fallen into the public domain. It is a good idea really, some of these older comics are actually good and some are kinda creepy and many lend themselves well to all sorts of games.  That is what we have tonight.  Though I will admit I am not 100% sure if the comic used IS public domain OR if it is one they licensed for this use.  The copyright notice seems to indicate that Marv "Teen Titans" Wolfman still owns and it is used with his permission. 

Love Witch

PDF. 56 pages. Color Cover. Black & White interior art.

Not to be confused with the similar-sounding movie out the same year. 

This product is split into four major parts.  Parts 1 to 3 are the comics about the "Love Witch" and Part 4 is the OGL d20 rules to use some of the magic.

Burnick is our titular Love Witch. The first comic introduces us to this beautiful but evil witch. The next two deal with her various battles, with the last one dealing with her battle with her arch enemies the Druids.

The Game related sections start on page 36 and deal with the fall of Atlantis and the migrations of the Atlanteans.  The magic of Atlantis, at least in terms of the d20 rules are a bunch of different feats that can be taken to provide magical effects.  Not a bad method and it certainly feels different.

In the modern eras, we get two groups that continue the Love Witches fight. The Daughters of Burnick continue in the steps of the Love Witch and the Watchers of the Stones who are the modern-day Druids.

It's fun and I could easily see a "Daughters of Burnick" coven that I could use with my own witch books or even better with the Hyperborea RPG. 


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween


Saturday, September 17, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: The Pantheon and Pagan Faiths

The Pantheon and Pagan Faiths
Tonight I am doing my third Samurai Sheepdog product, but this was not planned out that way.  Also, this is another former Mystic Eye Games product that Samurai Sheepdog has brought back.  It is also one of my favorite books from the early d20 days.

As always I will be following my rules for these reviews.

The Pantheon and Pagan Faiths

PDF. 208 pages. Color cover. Black & White interior art. 

Released originally in 2003 by Mystic Eye Games this was part of their campaign "Hunt the Rise of Evil" for their World of Gothos world.  I remember at the time thinking it was a touch cliché but still fun and it kept my attention.  This was my favorite book in all their publications to that point. 

Samurai Sheepdog is, as far as I can tell, the same people that made up Mystic Eye Games. So this is not a case of a new publisher buying the right to old stock, it is a new publisher re-organized from the remains of the old.  Does this mean we could get more "Hunt the Rise of Evil" products? Maybe!  But until then let's discuss this older product.

The obvious spiritual parent of this book is AD&D 2nd edition Faiths & Avatars book. Right up the art of the various priests, shamans, and witches of the various faiths in a lineup. I will not lie, it did appeal to me and help me know right away what this book was about. 

The Usual Suspects 1

While this book is overtly for the Hunt the Rise of Evil campaign and the World of Gothos I used it rather nicely with my D&D 3.x games where I feel added materials from a lot of different d20 publishers.  It is "labeled" but also flexible.

This is also a good-sized book at 208 page and 10 Chapters. 

Introduction

This covers what this book is and how to use it. 

Chapter 1: Piety and Conversion

This covers the rules of dealing with the various gods and how they can grant favor. This is where we get to see our lineup of clerics. Additionally, there are rules for conversions. So if you are playing clerics in a d20/D&D 3.x game then this a great source of information. 

The Usual Suspects 2

Chapter 2: Core Divine Character Classes

Covers the expected classes like Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Rangers. We also get Shamans and Witches/Warlocks. Both classes are well-detailed. These witches are, naturally, divine spellcasters not arcane. The witch can also choose to be a White Witch or a Black Witch which is also called a Warlock.  Witches are even further divided into covens associated with a different god of faith. The covens are actually very interesting and kept me coming back to this book. They are also fairly tied to this world and these gods. 

Witches

Chapter 3: Prestige Classes

I will not lie. I do like Prestige Classes.  I like the idea of being able to further differentiate your character later inplay.  I do wish that 5e had prestige classes not tied to their base classes so much. 

These Prestige Classes are tied to this world but it looks a little easier to detangle them given the way Prestige Classes were most often constructed at the time. Here we have the Beast Friend, Covenant to the Hunt, Furies of Destruction, Hammers of Justice, Inquisitor of Justice, Ovate Bards (one of my favorites here), Slaughter Priest, Sorcerer Priest of Vlag, Strictor, and The Taken.  I did not try many of these but I did try the Ovate Bard and thought it was really great.

Chapter 4: Feats

There are some interesting feats tied with faith, birth, and how people can approach the divine.  It takes a game mechanic and weaves it back into the structure of the world. I rather like it to be honest. But, let's be honest, there are a lot of feats here. Maybe more than we really need.

Chapter 5: Spells in Gothos

Ok. You know I love my magic and this chapter does not disappoint. We get new cleric domains and new witch and shaman spells. Nearly 40 pages worth. There are new spells as expected for Bards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Rangers. There are even some new one for Sorcerers/Wizards. 

Chapter 6: Saints and Sainthood

Now, this is an interesting chapter. Back in my starting days of D&D Basic I played a Cleric. We decided that this cleric would later be a Saint of those who fight undead and demons in my AD&D world. (Interestingly enough that same said cleric is a Patron Saint in the Duchy of Valnwall now.) This chapter lists a numbers of saints and the benefit to having a patron saint. There are both good and evil ones here.

I think most gamers of a certain age will agree that the Patron Saint of Adventures is St. Aleena the Brave

Chapter 7: The Pantheon

This covers the gods, the major clerics, and centers of worship or divine power in the world of Gothos. The gods are wonderfully detailed though like gods should they are tied to their world.  

Chapter 8: Outscat Gods

Ah, now here is something not often covered in campaign books. (well. the Forgotten Realms does a good job here too). This covers all the gods that have fallen, been kicked out, or have left the main pantheons including our cover boy Chargrond.  The gods here also get some special rituals.  These gods are all evil.

Chapter 9: Outsider Gods

Like the outcasts, these gods are not part of the main pantheons. Unlike the outcast gods, they never were a part of it to begin with. Their alignments vary. Like the previous two chapters in addition to gods, we get major clerics/worshipers and some rituals. 

Chapter 10: Pagan Gods

 In modern parlance, these are the "Old Gods" to The Pantheon's "New Gods." These are the gods followed by Druids and Witches. Like the previous three chapters we gets gods, major worshipers including some specialty priests, and rituals. 

We end with the OGL and a very nice index.

This book packs a lot into its 200+ pages and for less than the price of a Grande PSL you get a good value.

The print option has long been OOP, but sometimes you can still find them on eBay or Noble Knight. 

I unloaded mine in my D&D 3.x purge. Well. At least I still have the PDF!

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween