Showing posts with label 5e. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 5e. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Today is the day I was waiting for.  The release of Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.  I just picked it up about an hour ago so I have not had a chance to get into it in detail, but here are some initial thoughts. I am also going to talk about it from the point of view of an Old School Gamer and how well does it mesh with the established history of Iggwilv.

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything covers

The Book

The book itself is 192 pages, full color.  Both covers retail at $49.95.

The big update here is the various classes and subclasses.  We get a new(ish) class, The Artificer, bringing the total to 13 classes for D&D.  The artificer gets the subclasses Alchemist, Armorer, Artillerist and Battle Smith.  

Each of the 12 standard classes also gets one or more new subclasses.  Also, many of the spellcasting classes get new spells, detailed later.  There are a lot here, among the one I like the best are Cleric Twilight Domain, Druid Circle of Stars, Fighter Rune Knights and Psi Warrior, this is in addition to all sorts of maneuvers the fighter can get for the Battle Master.  The Ranger gets the Fey Wanderer, the Rogue gets the likely new favorite.  The Wizard gets another Bladesinger (not sure how different this one is) and one I am looking forward to trying the Order of the Scribe.  There are a lot more, but those are the ones I want to try.

One of the new ideas is Group Patrons.

These are essentially people, things or organizations that fund your characters' adventuring career.  This is something that was kinda done ad-hoc or less explicitly. This entire section can be used AS IS in any version of D&D with no changes. 

A book about/by/from Tasha would not be complete without new Magic. In this case some new spells and magic items.  We get some explicit spells for traveling to other D&D worlds, as befitting Tasha.


Some old familiar items back their 5e comeback including Baba Yaga's Mortar and Pestle, the Crook of Rao, The Mighty Servant of Leuk-O, and the Demonomicon of Iggwilv.  There are also rules on personalizing spells and some magical tattoos. 

The is also a section on DM's Tools.  This can also be adopted by players of any version of the game.  There is some advice on Session Zero which includes how did the party come together, a useful bit in light of the new Patron rules. A bit on social contracts as well as hard and soft limits. 

Something sort of new is the idea of Sidekicks.  These are "semi" or NPC classes that go along with the party or adventurer.  These are a restating of the 3.x Edition NPC classes from the Unearthed Arcana' Warrior, Expert, and Spellcaster. Substitute Fighter, Thief, and Magic-User if your version is older and you can do the exact same thing. 

There is a section on parleying with monsters, something I have seen used since the Moldvay Basic set.  Environmental hazards of supernatural, natural, and magical regions. 

And the puzzles. Again easily used as-is for any versions of the game.

So like it says on the tin, a little bit of everything.

I was talking with my friend Greg just a bit ago and not only did we just miss each other at our FLGS, he said the book has a solid Unearthed Arcana feel to it.  I have to agree.

Is it Tasha?

Iggwilv is a storied character in D&D lore.  But in truth what we know about her is very, very limited.  For 1st Edition AD&D we know her from the modules S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojanth and WG4 The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun.  Most other details come to us from 2nd ed and beyond. Maybe the most we learn from her is actually from 3.x era.  So to make the claim "is this Gary's Tasha/Iggwilv" is a fallacious one; there never was a Gary's Tasha.  "She" was, in fact, a "He" in the first drafts of the "Lost Caverns of Tsojconth."


There are little sidebars and enough information here to make a few things clear. This is Tasha before she became Iggwilv.  So I am placing it at or around CY 395 to CY 406 (Current year is CY 597 or so).  This Tasha has wit and charm and maybe a little bit of a caustic or salty sense of humor.  She is not really interested in killing Mordenkainen (nor really do I think she ever was) but she does want to take him down a peg or two.




She acknowledges she was Hura (Hura appears in Ket around CY 297) and plenty of references to Baba Yaga. This is very much the remembrances of a powerful spell caster on what would be considered her "University Years."

Is it Tasha?  Yes. This is the person that would later go on to become the ruthless and amoral Witch Queen Iggwilv.  Spend some time as a prisoner of a Demon Prince, especially one as depraved as Graz'zt, and see if that doesn't change you a little.

The art really gives you the feeling of "brilliant university girl trying to show her teachers she is smarter than they are" vibe. 


Old School Content

I mentioned in a few places that there is a lot here that old-school D&D players can use and that is true.

A lot of it can be used right out of the book as-is.  The classes would need some work, but as many in the old school community are so quick to point out that the differences are largely one of role-playing. Ok, here are some role-playing ideas.

Some things, like the fighter maneuvers, feel like they could be right at home in BECMI.  The tattoos, something I have used here before, can be easily translated.

Was it worth the wait? Yeah, I say it was.  Looking forward to trying some of the ideas here.

Things it Didn't Cover that I Wish it Had

Or. I just have not found them yet. 

I would have liked to know more about Tasha's face tattoo and why Iggwilv no longer has it.  Related when did Tasha's stop calling herself that and instead became Iggwilv. We do learn that her tattoo is an Eldritch Claw tattoo.

Given her timeline, I am sure it had a lot to do with her summoning of Graz'zt and her imprisonment in the Abyss. Also likely around the time she fled Greyhawk with the Tome of Zyx.


Definitely, a lot to use in this book.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Tasha Cosplay (Start of Tasha's Week of Everything)

You know I love my theme-Weeks.  On Tuesday we get the new "Tasha's Cauldron of Everything" from Wizards of the Coast featuring Tasha, aka Natasha the Dark aka Iggwilv.

So far we have learned that this book will be focusing on the younger Tasha. The girl who was adopted by Baba Yaga.  While I have always thought that Eva Green would make a fantastic Iggwilv, here is cosplayer, D&D streamer, and all-around cool gal Ginny Di cosplaying AS Tasha in a WotC sponsored shoot.

Her Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/CHdiPg0FUgb/ 

View this post on Instagram

"Tasha, in her brilliant curiosity, is untroubled by the various moral variations in the planes of existence." ⁠⠀ — Jeremy Crawford, Lead Rules Designer of "Tasha's Cauldron of Everything"⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ I couldn't resist my own little attempt at recreating the cover of the new @dndwizards sourcebook!! Mine has a completely different vibe, but I still love it. 💛⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ By the way, thank you to everyone congratulating me on the partnership with Wizards!! I couldn't believe it when they emailed me saying they wanted to sponsor a costume, and it has been such an incredible experience working with them on this project and seeing all these names I recognize complimenting the cosplay on Twitter 🙈 I'm so grateful for how the tabletop community has welcomed me over the last few years, and I can't wait for what the next few years hold!!⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ✨ Tasha is from Dungeons & Dragons⁠⠀ ✨ Costume made & modeled by me⁠⠀ ✨ Watch the whole build on YouTube (link in bio!)⁠⠀ #TashasCoE #sponsored #tashascauldronofeverything #tashathewitch #tashacosplay #dnd #dungeonsanddragons #dndwizards #dndcosplay #dndcostume #witch #witchyvibes

A post shared by Ginny Di 📆 #Natural2021 (@itsginnydi) on


And her YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySRmaMYaV6I


This is just another example of what I love about the new gamers to D&D, they bring so much love and energy to their creations in and out of the game.

Let's hope the book lives up to all this hype. But even if it doesn't this has all still been great fun!

Friday, November 6, 2020

Kickstart Your Weekend: Dark Places & Demogorgons 5e

Ok, now this one has my attention!

Dark Places & Demogorgons 5e

Dark Places and Demogorgons for 5e
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jiangshi/dark-places-and-demogorgons-5e?ref=theotherside

Spend ANY time here and you know that I love Dark Places & Demogorgons.

This seems like a perfect match for anyone that is a fan of D&D really.
Go to the page, read up and then back it.  It is going to be great!


Friday, October 30, 2020

5e Witch Project: Witchcraft: Magic of Hereva (5e)

This one is a last-minute find.  I am going to have more to say on all my 5e reviews and how they might work together.  But for now, let's look at this one on its own merits. 

Witchcraft: Magic of Hereva (5e)
From Xacur

This one caught my eye with its very striking art. Downloaded and the art continues throughout the book and the layout and design are top-notch.  I do want to get into detail about the art, more so than other products I have reviewed, but first I want to talk about the 5e content.

The PDF is 121 pages for $13.00.  That might sound like a lot, but given my guidelines of 10 cents per page that is only a buck more.  So that is fine.  You also get a mobile version for your phone or tablet.

This looks like the first OGL book for this author, prior to this they have had some DMsGuild Titles. 

This witch appears to be based on the Web Comic "Pepper & Carrot" which helps explain the art. Again, more details on that in a bit.  But for playing purposes this is part class and part world guide. The world of Hereva to be precise. 

The Witch Class

The witch class presented in this PDF is a full 20 level caster.  They do get spells up the the 9th level, but they do not have the normal spell progression as say Wizards or Clerics. They have known Cantrips (max 4) and known spells (max 15). It is the same as the warlock, without the Invocations. They do get Spell Research starting at 11th level and something called Rea ("Reality") Points starting at 1st. Rea points to power your spells.   Doing some quick mental calculations this means that there are many spells that will tap out your Res points quickly.  This makes this spellcaster a bit underpowered compared to others. They do have some other powers though.

I supposed here it should be noted that this is not a generic Witch class, but rather a Witch of Hereva. 

This witch gets 1d8 hp per level and is a Charisma-based spellcaster.   You do get familiars, and they have a mechanical benefit to the characters.  

Witches of Hereva's archetypes or subclasses are known as Houses. A nice change from the others I have reviewed all month.  You get your House at 2nd level.  

These witches also can brew potions (3rd level) and get Broom riding at 5th level. 

There are six Witchcraft Houses. Each provides an additional list of spells and powers. Each also has its own special niche to cover in the world. 

There is a chapter on Player's Options. This includes a number of backgrounds. Most are specific to this world, but all can be altered as needed and easily done.  There are some Feats as well that fit both the world and the witch in general. 

The magic chapter has the witches' spell lists as well as 43 new spells. It also 74 new magic items for witches. Making this chapter a step above many of the other witch classes I have reviewed all month long. 

There are also two Appendices. The first covers Familiars. The second monsters. Both feature creatures that are unique to this world. 

We end with some art credits and the OGL.

The Art and Artist

I grabbed this product because of the art. It has a cool "Kiki's Delivery Service" vibe about it and that is something I have been wanting to play lately. I thought this might be the product to do that, but I was prepared to like it anyway if it wasn't.  

Since this is based on a webcomic I thought I should check it out. After all, the art here is fantastic.  The webcomic is "Pepper & Carrot", Pepper is the witch and Carrot is her cat familiar. It is created by David Revoy.  You can find him at davidrevoy.com and the comic at peppercarrot.com.

It was here I discovered that Revoy releases his comic into the public free as Open Source!  I mean wow. The comic is supported by his Patreon who charges per comic released. That is seriously cool. The comic looks fantastic and I am going to have to start reading it.   I went to his story to see if there was a paper/dead tree version of his comics, there are, and to see if there was a paper or even PDF version of this D&D 5 supplement.  There wasn't.  Ok, no big. Did some digging.

So according to this post the Witchcraft: Magic of Hereva (5e) was a Kickstarter project (again, no big deal) BUT the comic creator didn't know anything about it. He was not consulted or asked.  Now that all seems to be fine with Revoy, he released the comic as Open Source after all, so it fits with his overall philosophy.  There is a bit about how any new art created will be released back into the public domain via Creative Commons. That sounds nice and Revoy seems to take that as good enough.   The author of this game supplement Xacur did in fact do that.  But it was only two pieces of new art; a broom and a wand.  The Kickstarter for this PDF raised a little over $3,100.00.  You would think that most of that money would go for art, as typical for a Kickstarter, but all of the art was free/open source.

I can't help but think that this PDF adheres to the letter of Revoy's Open source philosophy while violating the spirit of it.  No mistake, the class is fun and the spells and magic items are very nice, but I was drawn to this product based on the art and style. That all belongs to someone else's vision.   Strip away what started with David Revoy and what is left?  Well. Mostly an underpowered warlock with some powers I have seen in various "Hedge Witch" products.  I mean the author didn't even have the decency to list Revoy as the artist on the DriveThruRPG page. Note: He is listed on the supplements for this class. 

Is this a playable class? Yes.  Is this a fun playable class? Absolutely.
Could have Xancur created this class without the influence of the webcomic? I don't think so.

But there is something here that I feel is a bit distasteful. I know that David Revoy is likely ok with all of this. But it feels a little off to me. 

Here are the links to David Revoy's sites.

In the end, you have to decide if this product is the one for you. 


Thursday, October 29, 2020

5e Witch Project: Hidden Oddities, A Witch’s Primer

Here we are at the end of all my 5e Witch class reviews.  I was saving this one for last just because it is so complete and there is so much here.  

Again, I am following my own rules for reviewing these; I want to stay fair. 

Hidden Oddities, A Witch’s Primer
By Eva M. Brown

Hidden Oddities is a monster of a book.  At 154 pages for a single class it has my attention.  Also at 154 pages, no point in figuring out how much is content vs. title, ogl and the like.  It is a beast of a book.

This book rivals any other published book for the D&D 5 game or any other game.  The layout is great, with crisp easy to read text. The artwork is fantastic.  And the authors know their OGL.  I should really just say "Author".  While it looks like Eva M. Brown surrounded herself with a great team to work on this, it is obvious from the reading that this is a single voice and author vision. 

Up first is a Foreword and it becomes obvious that this book is just more than a witch class. There is a bit of world-building going on as well.  This can only be a good thing in my mind.   There are Seven Chapters in this book. 

Chapter 1 covers the Introduction, what this book is about and the list of Kickstarter backers.

Chapter 2 is the Witch Class.  There are little quotes and “magical text” all throughout the book that really gives it a nice feel.  Break the code of the magical text for more information!

And in a bit of “magic text” of my own, “yes Eva, I do think we will be great friends!”

We start off in a place I think it great.  Background.  There are also d6 tables of “I Became  A Witch Because…”, a d6 table of “We Whisper to Each Other By…”, “Our Relationship Is…” and “My Curios Are…”  This is great stuff and perfect not just for EVERY D&D5/DMsGuild Witch I have reviewed but nearly every witch I can think of (and that is a lot is I can be so bold).

An aside. Curios are a great idea. I love them. I wish I had come up with them first.

The witch is a full 20 levels spellcaster. She can’t use armor and has 1d6 HD.

Instead of getting spell slots the witch gets curios, which are tiny mundane object that can store spells.  The witch records her spells in her spell book but uses that knowledge to charge her curios.  The witch gains two spells per level (four at level 1) of any spell level she can cast, half her own level rounded up.  This means the witch can know up to 42 spells. She can only cast the number of spells as she has curios.

The witch also gains an otherworldly companion. These are roughly the same as Familiars, but can be more than just animals.  The witch’s other worldly companion teaches the witch, Witch Script. It is invisible to all non-witches save for when detect magic is cast on it.

The Witch Archetypes are known as Sacred Secrets. There are also some powers known as Arcane Wonders.  

Between these, the different types of otherworldly companions and the various types of Curios, there should be an unlimited variety of witches one can create with this book.

Chapter 3 covers the Sacred Secrets.  Each one has their own background, Arcane Wonders and other powers.  Again, these are treated like subclasses, Traditions, or Covens in other books.  There are 14 of these and are all quite details have a lot of great potential.

Chapter 4 (mis-labeled Chapter 3 in text) are Additional Options.  This is a great chapter and one often forgotten about by other authors of Witch classes (including myself on occasion) and that is other archetypes for other classes.  There is a new Druid Circle, a Fighter Archetype, A Paladin Oath, a Ranger Archetype, and a Wizard Tradition. There are also new backgrounds, complete with personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, for any class.

This chapter also has a number of new feats and some new equipment.

Chapter 5 gives us Spells.  Here there are 111 new spells. Overtly for witches they can be used by other classes as well.  Some of these spells share the same or similar names with spells I have written, enough to make me do a double take.  But it is obvious from reading them that these are not used OGC, merely the result of both Eva Brown and myself reading a lot of the same source materials.  Which in a way is really cool.

Chapter 6 Lore is our world-building chapter. Here we get some organizations the could belong too, or are against the witches. Even if you only use them as ideas or seeds there is a lot here to add to any game.   Membership, leaders (some detailed), goals and headquarters are all detailed.   Nine such organizations are detailed here.

The Appendices cover how to choose a companion, what equipment you might need and the roles of the witch. 

Additionally, there is art information and a Witch’s Script translation guide.  OGL and a four-page Character sheet.

While this might not be my favorite 5e Witch class, it is my favorite 5e Witch book.  There is just so much here that is great and really grabs my imagination.

I mentioned before that the art is great, but it really needs to be re-said.  This is a great book.

You can also get the Character Sheet for PWYW.  It works nicely with other witch classes as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

5e Witch Project: The Witch A 5e Compatible Class

Getting back to more 5e Witch classes today I wanted to review one from Hope Punk Press that caught my eye.    Again, these are OGL based classes, but I am still following my own rules on reviewing them.

The Witch: A 5e Compatible Class
by Brandon Elliott, Hope Punk Press

This is a 26-page pdf (cover, 2 OGL pages, 23 pages of content) for the witch class.  The art is good and used well. The layout is good and very clean to read, but the background image makes printing a bit expensive. 

This witch is also a full 20 levels (as expected) with spellcasting to the 9th level.  This witch has 1d6 for HD and can’t wear armor.  These witches use Intelligence as their spellcasting ability.  This witch is a ritual caster.   

These witches choose a magical conduit; eight are presented here in two broad categories. Each one gains a list of bonus spells and new powers as expected of any archetype/subclass.   Other conduits could easily be added to these lists. 

The two broad categories, Dawn and Dusk witches have slightly different spell lists.  This is a nice touch and something I have done with my various Traditions for my own witches. 

There also 11 new spells for this witch so that is pretty nice.   

A discussion on magic items, feats, and spells from other books to add to the witch.  With the way the conduits are put together, there is infinite flexibility to this witch.  

This one has quite a lot going for it as well. It takes the witch in different directions and I like it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

5e Witch Project: Complete Witch

I am still reviewing 5e Witch classes, but now I am expanding my reviews to the OGL-based publications and not DMsGuild ones.  I am going to still follow the rules I have set up for this month of reviews, though I can also be a little more critical of these publications since I am also expecting a higher caliber of production value.

Up first is the Complete Witch from Mage Hand Press.  

Complete Witch
from Mage Hand Press

This book is 41 pages (cover, table of contents, credits, OGL, for 37 pages of content).  

This PDF sells for $5.99, but currently is $4.99 for the Halloween sales.  Given that the art is more expensive for an OGL book than a DMsGuild book I am not sure if my 10 cents per page rule of thumb is appropriate anymore.  In any case, this one is very close to that.

If my expectations were for better art, design and production then Mage Hand has met those expectations and surpassed them.  The layout is extremely clean and readable.  The art is fantastic and liberally used.  The cover in particular is very dynamic.  This is a product that grabs your attention.

The witch class itself is a full 20 level caster with spells to the 9th level.  The witch has a number of cantrips known and a maximum number of spells known.  This witch also gets something called “Hexes” at the first level and these progress.  The witch has 1d8 HD. She is a charisma based spell caster and can cast ritual spells.  Ok so far every box has been checked.  

Each witch also has a curse. Now this is a nice touch and I really like it.  I am not going to detail the curses here, you should really buy it to see, but I am very, very fond of the Burned, Hideous and Hallow.  But the coolest is Visions.  As a DM I’d use that one to my advantage.

As the witch progresses she gains other powers.  Most notably the Hexes. These are roughly equal to the Hexes of the Pathfinder Witch or even of the Occult Powers of my witches. There are a good number of them, including Grand Hexes.

The Archetypes of this Witch are the Witch’s Crafts.  I would call these Traditions and others call them Covens.  But regardless of the names, they work really well.   Each craft gains a list of additional spells and choices of Hexes unique to that craft. There are 14 different Crafts.  I would have gone for 13 myself, but hey I am not going to complain here.  Special shout out for the Tea Magic Witches. 

IF that was all that this publication gave us, then frankly I would call myself happy and been good.  But that is only half the book.

Up next we get a Chapter (yes a proper chapter) on Familiars. There are many new ones introduced here too. There are 17 here including the very inspired Pet Rock (I am nor joking! I love it!) 

Chapter 3 covers spells.  This is the witches' spell list AND new spells. There are 18 new spells here.  For a D&D 5 book that is a lot.   But again, that is not everything we also get some new Dark Rituals. There are 11 of these and they remind me a lot, in form and function, of the Ritual Spells I also give my witches.  They are very well done. 

We get a new god/monster/elder thing.

We end with an Appendix on Epic Boons! (This is a first!)

At 41 pages, this one packs a huge punch. 

I can’t find a single issue with this product save for a couple of nit-picky layout issues.  It is really, really good. 

I had very high expectations and this product met and surpassed them all. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: Wonders of the Witch

This is the last week on my DMsGuuild Witch Project Reviews. I am going to focus on some of the larger PDFs now. Also, all of these are full witch classes.

I am going to still follow my own rules and guidelines to make sure I am giving these a fair review. 

Wonders of the Witch
by Ryan Van Natter & Matthew Emerson

This PDF is 50 pages (front and back covers, legal, 47 pages of content) and runs for $9.99. 
It is light on art (save for a great cover) but high on design.  It is a very attractive book to look at and super easy to read.

I have not talked about PDF bookmarks so far because there has never been a need; all the other pdfs have been small enough to not really need them.  This PDF is larger and uses them. So another plus in their favor.

We open with a fiction section with Baba Yaga instructing a young Igwilv (sic) on the nature of magic and witchcraft.  Seriously are you guys just flirting with me now?  As someone that has spent a lot of time with both characters in my games, this one feels right.  Canon accepted.  Hell that cover could double as the young Iggwilv/Tasha really. 

We start out with witch-related background details. There is the Dedicate, the Disciple, the Healer, the Hidden One, the Malefactor, and the Temptress (or Tempter). Each with associated Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws.   Eight pages of this and I want to figure out a witch for each one. 

Next is the Witch class proper. It is a full 20 levels with powers at many levels.  The archetypes/subtypes/subclasses for this are known as Covens and they are Hag, Grey, Elemental, and White.  Spellcasting ability is Charisma.   This witch has spell slots like all casters, and a max number of spells known.  Witches are Ritual casters and use arcane spell foci.  So yeah, everything I want to see in a witch really.

Witches gain a power at 2nd level (Beguile) and then a "Witch Craft" at levels 3, 10 and 17.  These function a bit like Hexes (Pathfinder) or Occult Powers (mine).  There is a list to choose from and these are independent of coven.

The covens are nicely detailed. They are all written in a manner that immediately makes you realize that the authors could add any number of extra covens as their imagination sees fit. This is yet another positive aspect of this class. The covens also feel different enough and cover a wide variety of witchy archetypes. 

Spell lists follow with the expected spells. There are also NEW SPELLS. This is the real gem of this book.   There are 27 new spells here. They are truly new spells. There are some that will feel familiar, but many that are new.

For clerics there is a new "Black Magic" Domain. 

We also get some new named covens.  There is the Daughters of Twilight, dedicated to Shar (and a new spell).  The Vistani get the Stravaneska Tasque, and a new spell. The Secret Shards dedicated to Selûne (and a new spell).  The Sun Sisters, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sun. The Blood of the Green, witches of the forests.  The Red Witches of Thay, a Lawful Good sect of witches in Thay!  So six more new spells.

There are some Tools fo the Trade which covers many new magic items. 
50 plot hooks for witch adventures. 

A bit on the Mother Goddess in the Realms, or bringing the Witch Goddess to the Toril. 

Finally a bestiary of witch related creatures.  These are the: Brownie, Gallows Hag, Rune Hag, Weeping Hag, Gilt Hag, Severed Hag, Daughter of Darkness (!) Witch, and Witch High Priestess.  They are organized by CR.

This really is a quality product. One of the best of the DMsGuidl Witches to be honest. 

Friday, October 23, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Witches, Part 3

Going to look at some more D&D 5 Witch classes today. Today and the rest of the week I am going to look at some of the smaller PDFs.  Usually less than 20 pages.

For these DMSGuild classes, I am going to still follow my own rules and guidelines to make sure I am giving these a fair review. 

Witch Class
by Todd D

This PDF is eight pages, all content. The PWYW price is set to $0.00, but following my guidelines $0.80 or even a buck would be good. There is no art but the layout is good. This is one of the earliest witch classes submitted to DMSGuild.

This witch is more like a warlock, but that is what it is advertised as. These witches appear to be manipulators of Fate. These witches also use Wisdom as their spellcasting ability. Instead of pacts or traditions, this witch has "Heritages"; the Traditionalist, the Blighted, and the Clairvoyant. Each one gives the witch some different sorts of powers. Ends with a spell list. At eight pages it seems a bit thin but does exactly what it said it was going to do.

It is less like a witch and more like a "Hedge Warlock" in my mind.  Granted, this is not a bad thing at all. 

Toss the author a buck and wish them "Happy Halloween."


Witch Class for DND 5e
by Dani Sankovich

This PDF is 8 pages, all content. The PDF sells for $0.50 PWYW, so under my 10 cents per page guidelines. Since it is also all content and no filler, so $1.00 would be appropriate here. 

The class is a full 20 levels with spell casting to the 9th spell level. There is a max Spells Known per level. The ability for spell casting is Intelligence. 

These witches have a "Binding Locus" that gives them their power. This also grants them abilities at certain levels. Binding Loci can be Arcane, Void, Wilds and Entity. The Entity is somewhat like the Warlock's patron and has a few more powers.

We end with the spell list. No new spells.

It's Halloween, go ahead and give them $1.00.


Witch Class (D&D 5e)
by Brian Barnshaw

This PDF is 11 pages (1 title, 1 legal, 9 content) and no art. The layout is clean but the background image makes it a little harder to read.  

There is some background given, relating the witch to the druid. It is fine, but I don't quite think it came over the way the author wanted it to. 

This witch is a full caster of 20 levels and to the 9th level of spell ability. This witch is also a wisdom caster and has ritual casting.  These witches also gain a familiar.

The archetypes are known as covens, as expected. There are two Creators and Hag's Disciple.  The Hag one is expanded based on the type of Hag. 

There is a spell list, but no new spells.

Again, each one gets at the witch from a different point of view and works well within that point of view. It might be interesting to build a Grand Coven with a witch from each of these.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Witches, Part 2

Going to look at some more D&D 5 Witch classes today. Today and the rest of the week I am going to look at some of the smaller PDFs.  Usually less than 20 pages.

For these DMSGuild classes, I am going to still follow my own rules and guidelines to make sure I am giving these a fair review.

Witch Class 5E
by Donald Armstrong

This pdf is 15 pages (1 title, 1 legal) and selling at $1.00 PWYW, falling below my 10 cents per page price threshold.  The PDF itself reminds me a bit of the style and presentation of an Unearthed Arcana article, but with art. I am sure that is the author's intent.

This class has a bit more flavor than others, with a little more background for the witch. It takes a specific point of view on witchcraft but is easily adopted or adapted.  Like most of the other DMSGuild witches, this one is a full 20 levels with casting to the 9th spell level ability. This one also has a limit on the total number of spells the witch can know.  The witch gets some powers common to all witches and some that specific to their coven.  The common powers are known as Witchcraft (naturally) and revolve around channeling life energy. 

The covens include the Celestial, Fey, and Infernal. There is a spell list and four new spells.  So this gives it an edge over many of the others. 

There are a lot of neat ideas here and many worth looking into deeper.

D&D 5e Witch Class
by Nils Kjesem

This PDF is 18 pages (1 title, 17 pages content). There is no art and no layout above what can be done in a simple word processor. It also only sells for $1.00, so that evens everything out.

This witch is at 20 levels, but only progresses to the 5th spell level ability. Interestingly enough this witch also uses a 1d8 for HD, so making her a little tough than other witches. This one also puts more details into the various familiars the witch can get.

The archetypes are referred to as "Teachings" here. There are Fortune Teller, Herbology, and Sigils. 

We get a spell list at the end.  

Some interesting ideas, but it feels a bit like a rough draft rather than a completed product. Then again for $1.00 you can buy it and detail it any way you like. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Witches, Part 1

Going to look at some more D&D 5 Witch classes today. Today and the rest of the week I am going to look at some of the smaller PDFs.  Usually less than 20 pages.

For these DMSGuild classes, I am going to still follow my own rules and guidelines to make sure I am giving these a fair review.

The Witch Class
by Spencer Dimmick

This one is 15 pages (1 title, 1 legal, 13 pages content) and sells for $1.99. There is no art.  This class is a full 20 levels, with spell casting to the 9th spell level ability.  This witch also has a number of spells known per level. Spellcasting is based on Intelligence.

This witch has a number of special powers and more granted by their Practitioner's Path. These include The Hedge Witch, The Seer, The Maleficent, The Familial, and The Weaver. So a few more than average. Each has a nice solid witchy feel to it and can fill many niches for the witch class. 

Also detailed are more powers for the witch and the list of witch spells. No new spells are included.

For 2 bucks it packs a lot of punch.

Witch Class: Cackling Guidebook for lonely Spellcasters
From Ingo Könemann

This PDF is 9 pages and $1.00 PWYW. There is no art but the layout is nice. 1 page for the title and 1 page for legal and changelog, bring the content down to 6 pages.  This class is a full 20 levels, with spell casting to the 9th spell level ability. 

This one is interesting since your "Source of Power" determines your spellcasting ability. You may choose Intelligence or Charisma. This witch is also a ritual caster.

Covens grant the witch some "secret spells" starting at the 2nd level and special powers.

The Covens are Coven of the Beast, Coven of the Storm, Coven of Nature.   

There is a list of spells, but no new spells. 

Both have some good points but I'd like to see them expanded a bit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: The Witch

Going to look at some more D&D 5 Witch classes today. These are all just called "The Witch." Since that was also the name of my first witch book back in 2012 I thought I should check them out.  As it turns out I have one for each primary spellcasting ability, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. 

For these DMSGuild classes, I am going to still follow my own rules and guidelines to make sure I am giving these a fair review.

The Witch by Jeroen Boogaard

This pdf is 8 (6 pages content, 1 cover, 1 page of spells) pages at $0.50, so right under my ¢10 per page guideline.  The pdf is full color but light on art. Mind you, that is not a big deal here since the art it does have is used to good effect. 

Presented here is a full 20 level spellcasting class similar in feel to the Pathfinder witch, including minor (five of these) and major hexes (also five of these).  They get a full 9 levels of spell casting slots and Intelligence is their spellcasting ability.   These witches also get an herbalism ability.  Their subtypes are known as "Covens" so that is a good thing.  There are the covens of the dragon, the ancestor, and of the wild.  Each coven gets some special abilities and additional spells.

There is a spell list on the last page, but no new spells.  There are some minor typos, but nothing that impedes the understanding of the text.

The Witch by Dave Rich

This PDF is 15 pages (1 cover, 10 pages content, 3 pages of Appendicies, 1 legal). No art.  The pice is $3.00 PWYW.  So twice my ¢10 per page guideline. 

This one presents the witch class with four archetypes and a sorcerous origin.  We get a full 20 levels of the witch class. Spellcasting is based on Wisdom, and the witch gets a full 9 levels of spellcasting.  This class has a limit on the total number of spells known.  For example, the witch has a full 22 spell slots from 1st to 9th level, but only knows 17 spells.  you can choose to forget a spell of lower level when a higher one is available.  Witches gain familiars here and have a number of unique powers.

The Archetypes of the witch are called Entropic Spirals here. There are the Spiral of Life, Spiral of Fate, Spiral of Bewitching, and Spiral of Glamour. There is a list of spells, with an expansion to cover Xanathar's Guide.   

Appendix A covers a sorcerous origin for witches. Appendix B details the author's thoughts on the creation of this class; namely Terry Pratchett's Discworld and Mage: The Ascension. 

Some neat ideas and I like the sorcerous origin.

Class: The Witch by Calum Brough

This PDF is 11 pages (1 cover, 1 table,  2 pages of spell list).  I don't recall if I paid $1.02 for this or $1.27. Either way right around my ten cents per page.  There is no art. 

This class is designed to be an arcane variant or compliment to the Druid.  A full 20 levels (as expected) with spellcasting to the 9th level of spells.  This class is a Charisma-based spell caster. There are some witch powers here, some are copied over from the druid.

The Archetypes for this witch are the Maiden, Mother, and Crone.  Each archetype has some nice powers to go along with it.  There are no new spells.



Each of these comes close to the idea of the witch, but not the ideal witch. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: Vesper Burjoski's Witches

This week I am going back to looking at pure Witch classes.  Today I am grabbing two PDFs from Vesper Burjoski.  One of a class and one of the additional subclasses.   

For these DMSGuild classes, I am going to still follow my own rules and guidelines to make sure I am giving these a fair review.

The Witch: 5e Class

This is the base witch class.  The PDF sells for $2.00 and has 24 pages (1 cover, 23 pages of content) so well over my 10 cents per page guideline.  This PDF also looks nice, making good use of layout and art. 

This witch is a charism based caster with wisdom as the ability to cover other abilities.  She also has a lot of nice background information. This witch casts similar to a warlock but is limited to the 5th level.  This makes her similar to the Hedge Witches I have reviewed in the past.   This witch also has magical tattoos called kennings that provide powers.   I'll give it to this witch class, it has a lot of really cool features.

The archetypes are known as Coven-Keepers, Mediums, and Transmaurge. Each has some neat features including some additional spells.  Coven-Keepers draw on their covens which can include other spell casters.  Mediums speak with ancestral or fey spirits. It might work well, thematically, with some warlock multiclassing.  The Transaurge alters and changes animals around them.  A really cool idea to be honest.

Speaking of multiclassing there is even a section on multiclassing this witch. 

Next up are the Kennings, or the tattoos with power. Mechanically they work a bit like Occult Powers,  Hexes, or Invocations.  The kennings have a solid witchy feel to them. 

There are no new spells (but not really needed) and five NPC witches.

All in all you get a lot for your $2.00.  

The Witch: 3 New Subclasses

This PDF provides three new witch subclasses. This is 11 pages with a PWYW suggestion of $1.00, so again right at that 10 cents a page.  The subclasses are, The Wortwitch (which the author also calls a Hedge witch), the Fatalist, and the Rambler.  The DMSGuild page does a great job of detailing the various sub-classes. 

Like his previous witch book, this one has a lot of flavor to it.   There are also more Kennings in this pdf as well.  

Both PDFs together come in at $3.00 and over 30 pages. 

The author has other pdfs on DMSGuild too. I might need to check them out.

Friday, October 16, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: Near Witches and Witch-related

A bit of a different batch today.  These PDFs came up in my searches and suggested products, so I thought I should check them out.  Most of these are not Witches in the sense I have been using the term, but close enough.  Since this past week has all been about other classes as witches I thought I'd end the week with these.

Again, I am going to try to stick to my own rules and guidelines for these reviews. 

The Witch Born (Half Hag)

Ok, this one caught my eye because it uses the same art as my "The Witch for Basic-era Games" and it offers up a new race; something I have not done a lot of myself. 
The PDF is 3 pages (1 cover, 2 pages of content) and is PWYW with a suggestion of $0.50. 
The layout is nice and the internal artwork also good.  The pdf presents a playable race, a sort of half-hag known as a Witch-born.  The material is good and the race seems playable.  Only a couple of nitpicks. The race is often described as cursed, but there is little in the way of mechanics behind that. All the traits seem positive and there seems little reason not to play this over a normal human.  There is the fact that hags hate them, but hags hate everyone.   It's hard to complain about 50 cents, but something to make them stick out a bit might have been nice. 

Class: The Witch Doctor

NOTE: Between my review and today this PDF changed it's name to The Shaman.

This one is a 9 page PDF (7 pages content) with a PWYW price suggested at $1.00.  So right there near the 10 cents per page guideline I am looking at.  My issue with this one is it conflates "Witch Doctor" and "Voodoo" together. Granted, so has Hollywood and western culture for years. In the 7 pages, the class is presented with three different "Occult Practices." The class seems playable, but if this is to replace the various tribal shamans or tribal priests I would have gone a different direction myself. 

The layout is good, but the color background will drain your ink. The art is good. The pieces I recognize are from the DMSGuild collection, the ones I don't do not have a credit attached. 

I would like to see a Voodoo-like class done right someday. 

The Witch Knight

Witch-knight is one of my favorite concepts for witches. An armored knight that is sworn to protect and defend witch covens.  I have done it many times as Cowans, Witch Guardians, and Wardens.  But this one is a witch knight proper.

This PDF is 14 pages (13 pages content) and is PWYW with a suggestion of $5.00.  A bit more than my 10 cents per page guide, but lets see what is inside.  The art and layout is great. It looks like a 5e book. The art and layout are all given proper credit, so that is a mark above many titles in the DMSGuild.  

The Witch Knight is a full martial class of 20 levels with some limited spell-casting ability.  The powers the witch-knight gets look good on the surface. It feels like a good playable class. The sub-classes of the Witch Knight are known as Disciplines and there are five of them.  The Spellblade and the Eldritch Guardian are my two favorites and fit best with my own concepts of a Witch Knight.

There is a spell list and even a section on brand new spells.  So that is a nice bonus.

All in all the class looks like a lot of fun, but I am left wondering (and not just for this one but for my own and others like it) what does this class do that an Eldritch Knight can't already do?  The obvious answers are in the powers, but couldn't this just be a way to role-play an Eldritch Knight?  However you decide to do it, this PDF has some great ideas. 

Kickstart Your Weekend: C&C and Weird War II

A couple of fun Kickstarters today.

Castles & Crusades Roads to Adventure


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ckg/castles-and-crusades-roads-to-adventure?ref=theotherside

The Troll Lords always put out a quality Kickstarter.  While I don't need a new printing of the Player's Handbook, a collection of all the spells has me intrigued. The Player's Archive also sounds fantastic.  So yeah there is a lot going for this Kickstarter.  You can customize your pledges in many ways. So say you only want the Spellbook and Archive? You can do that. Want all three? Yup. Want one book and some of the great add-ons? You can do that too.  Now that they have hit the stretch goals of the Spellbook in hardcover this is a no-brainer for me.

Castles & Crusades is still one of my favorite alternatives to D&D.  

Speaking of D&D, modern designers are doing a lot with the current version.

Nazi Dracula Must Die! Campaign Setting for DnD 5E


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nazidracula/nazi-dracula-must-die-campaign-setting-for-dnd-5e?ref=theotherside

It's occult World War II!  Sure we have seen this particular Alt-History a lot in the RPG world, but this one has something cool about it.  Plus it is for D&D 5th Edition so there is that.

Frankly, I might get it as an addition to my D&D games.  It just looks like a lot of fun!

Besides any time I can fireball a bunch of Nazis is great.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Wizards as Witches

And our last look at D&D 5e Base classes as witches.  Today I will work with Wizards.

Again, I am using these rules/guidelines for my reviews.

School of Witchcraft

This pdf is only two pages (no cover). It is listed as PWYW with a suggested price of $1.00.

It is a pretty straight-forward Arcane Tradition (Wizard sub-class) to add a witchy feel to a wizard. IT does offer a stat block for a witch, which is nice, but some new spells would have been nicer or even a list of spells the witch can access outside of the wizard's list.  The Warlock's Witch Bolt and the divine/Cleric Cure Wounds would have been good choices. 

I had hoped for more.


The Coven Guide to Witchcraft (5e Bundle)

This pdf is 39 pages and is priced at $5.99. So also a bit more than my ¢10 per page rule of thumb.  This one combines four of the author's previous works into one pdf with a witchcraft theme.  As themes, they work and I can see where the author is coming from but there is one rather big issue.

There is no witch class within these pages.  I am sure that the four different crafts could be layered over the top of other classes, say like the druid or wizard, there is no advice on how to do so.  This is a supplement where I don't have the book it is a supplement too. 

There plenty of neat ideas here and 20 some odd new spells as well as recipes and poisons. 

The author has close to 150 titles on DMSGuild, but this one looks like an early attempt. I searched to make sure there wasn't a book of classes that this might be referring too.  

Which is too bad for the size and the price I was hoping for a bit more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Sorcerers as Witches

We have done druids, warlocks so let's now have a look on how D&D 5e Sorcerers can be witches. 

Up first might have the longest title yet.

The Witch - A Sorcerous Origin and Character Background Option for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

This PDF is seven pages and is PWYW with a suggested payment of $1.17.  Ok, a bit random, especially since the $1.14 makes a little more historical sense. 

The author knows his sorcerers, so that is reflected here. The pdf has background information for your witch characters as well as some other useful tables. The Sorcerous origin reads like a "Natural" or "Born" witch archetype so often used.  It works well here too.

No new spells, but none were expected to be honest. 

This one packs quite a bit into six or so pages of content.


Call of the Wild - The Witch Class and Archetypes for Harnessing Primal Power (5e)

This one a bit larger at 35 pages. It is also PWYW with a suggestion of $2.99. This falls under my $0.10 per page rule of thumb so we are still good.  This book offers a lot of varied content. 

There are different sorts of animal-folk (beast folk, bear folk, cat folk), a full witch class (not a sorcerer build as I was expecting) complete with hexes and curses. There are also three Witchcraft "Practices", the Herbalist, the Pact Maker, and the Soulsplitter.

There are also new class options for all the D&D5 classes. There is a new Sorcerous Origin, the Hagborn, and three new Warlock Patrons/Matrons including Mother Nature.  

Both the Sorcerer and the Warlock could double as a witch.   

What might be fun for this one is choose one of the new races and make a coven of the Witch, Warlock, and Sorceror types here.  

This book also doesn't have any new spells which is a bit of surprise given how much else it has.  


Archetypes for D&D

This seven-page PWYW PDF covers five new archetypes for some D&D 5e classes.  Of interest to me are the Witch archetype for sorcerers and the Witch Hunter archetype for any martial-type class.

The witch gets some new spells (from other classes) and four new powers. If I were to use this with other witch classes I might call it a Witch-kin or a Witch-blooded.

This one also highlights one of my strong dislikes for DMSGuild.  The art on the cover for this comes from the book Four From Cormyr.  I could be mistaken, but I don't think that is in any of the approved art packs I have downloaded.  Some of the author's other titles also feature art that I know is not part of the approved packs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

DMSGuild Witch Project: 5e Warlocks as Witches

Yesterday I reviewed some DMSGuild Druid circles that would work as witches.  Today I am going to look at some Warlock Pacts that would work as witches. 

For many a witch is a distaff warlock, but as you can imagine that has never really worked for me.  That is not to say you can't do it. I am currently playing a very witchy warlock. In fact the whole point of the character is to see if I can get a witch-like experience of the Rules As Written warlock.   



For these reviews, I am still following my rules


Warlock Patron: The Witch

This PDF is one page (cover not included in the download).  It is a PWYW with a suggested price of $1.00.  

While it is called the Warlock Patron The Witch, I am not seeing much to differentiate it from other warlocks. Nor anything about it that is particularly witchy.  I was hoping for warlocks that make pacts with ancient witches and Witch Queens like Baba Yaga, or even Tasha/Iggwilv.  So some neat ideas here and there, but not pulled together well enough for me. 

Which is too bad, the cover art had a lot of promise.


Warlock Patron- Hala

Hala was the Goddess of Witches for Ravenloft.  She was introduced in the late 2nd Edition days along with the Ravenloft Witch. 

This PDF is three pages (1 cover, 1.5 content) and sells for PWYW, suggested $0.50. 

In this case the warlocks do choose Hala as their patron and we get a Warlock pact that is very, very similar to what we saw in 2nd Ed Ravenloft, Van Richten's Monster Hunter Compendium Vol. 3. It works so well in fact that this could be the model for other witchy-type warlocks.  

Easily worth the $0.50.

Gingerbread Witch

This one is a neat idea.  A Warlock with a special kind of patron to become a Gingerbread Witch, ala the witch from "Hanzel and Gretel."
This PDF is a straight sale of $0.75 and you get three pages of class features to the Warlock. There is also a Gingerbread familiar which is a nice touch.  Though I am less impressed with the art; the author uses the Gingerbread man from the movie "Shrek."  This is doubly disappointing given the number of public domain images that could have been used or artists out there that would have done art for this. 
While the idea has some merit I don't see a lot of people playing this as a class option long term.


Lastly, I have one that covers Warlocks, Druids, Sorcerers and Wizards all as witches.

A Witch with Options- Witch Character Options

This 9 page PDF is PWYW with a suggestion of $2.00.  It covers four different subclass archetypes that can be used as the witch.  

There is Druid: Circle of the Coven, which draws on the natural powers associated with the Fey.  Sorcerer: Witch Stigma, which is a sorcerer with faerie blood, or witch blood if you prefer. Warlock: Haggardly Pact which is a pact with hags and finally the Wizard Arcane Tradition: Coven, which is similar to the witch kit found in AD&D 2nd ed or the witch subclass for wizards in D&D 4e.

Each one is like viewing the witch through the lens of the stated class. Each one also provides something unique, but also each one is an incomplete picture.  I think what might be fun is to have a coven of five witches, each one represented by a subclass here and one more as a Witch class. OR create a witchy subclass for the cleric.

That would be fun to try. 

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