Showing posts with label GinnyDi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GinnyDi. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials

A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials
Honestly, I could not pass this one up. It is a low-level adventure featuring a witch, it is quick and it is for Old-School Essentials.  So yeah, I had to grab it.  But how does it play?  Let's look into it.

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

A Witch's Desire - Adventure for Old-School Essentials

PDF and PoD. 27 pages. Color covers and interior art.

The designed levels for this are 1 to 3, but I find that it works well as an "interlude" adventure, that is as the characters are moving from one major adventure to the other.  Not to say that this can't be a major adventure, it can. But for me, I wanted to feel more like the characters "wandered into a dream" sort of deal. 

To start with, and what helps fuel this notion of an interlude, are some rules for travel.  While the PCs are moving from their last adventure to this one using these rules helps give this one it's own feel. Yes they can be used elsewhere and adapted. Adding to this is the section after the travel and before the adventure proper, and that is the influence the witch has on the lands near her. I have been using something similar for my War of the Witch Queens based on the old superstition of Hex Signs, but the rules here are more explicit in their application.

 The adventure is a "straightforward" mission to get some water for the Witch of the Wilds they meet at the start of the adventure. I say "straightforward" because obviously, it isn't.  They are plenty of hazards along the way and foes to fight. The adventure is scaleable so that is also quite good. 

There are no stats for the witch herself, nor should there be. The PCs should not be fighting her.

This adventure is set in the Forever Winter setting. Honestly a name like screams to be used.  Also, there is mention of the Ice Queen and her rivalry with the Witch of the Wilds.  The Ice Queen is not mentioned much here save for a sidebar, but the potential is great.  So great in fact that I have an idea of how to work the Ice Queen (also a witch in my world naturally) into my War of the Witch Queens.  I'll discuss her tomorrow. It is likely that their A Wintry Death adventures could be used in conjunction with this one, but I am pretty pleased with it as is to be honest.

While the art is wonderful for this it does make you think the Witch of the Wild could be something of an evil-ish character, certainly otherworldly.  While reading through this I kept asking myself, what if this witch was good and just really needed the character's help?

Suddenly all I could think of was Ginny Di's character Morelia the Wood Witch.  She would need the water for her potions obviously. Changes the whole tenor of the adventure.   Not that I have any problems coming up with witches. It would also change the nature of the relationship between the Witch of the Wilds and the Ice Queen. They are still rivals, but now it is different.

Witch of the Wilds VS Morelia the Wood Witch

Note: I just noticed that Morelia's familiar Crimini is a cat with white fur and gold eyes. Much like the art for the Witch of the Wilds. Maybe Morelia polymorphs Crimini to act as the scary Witch of the Wild? She then hides in the background so that the PCs she is hiring don't know she really is about as dangerous as a bunny. A lot like Balok in the classic Trek episode "The Corbomite Maneuver."  Instead of tranya she offers them tea of course. Yeah, I like this idea. 

In either case, the Witch of this adventure would need to be a potential ally for the characters in my game.  I can't actually see Morelia getting mad with them anyway. And I really want to use Morelia. I just don't think I can pull off the voice Ginny Di uses for her!

In any case a fun adventure with a lot of ideas for use in my home campaign. The PDF version comes with separate maps. The PDF also features layers so you can turn on the background image for readability. That's worth an extra star in my book to be honest. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Lady of the Soil Warlock Patron

Lady of the Soil
Kicking this off with a very summery sort of "Witch." And this one is a bit different than most of my fare here.  It is a Warlock Patron for 5e warlocks and it is on Itch.io, a platform I really don't use much.

The Lady of the Soil - a 5e Warlock Patron

This warlock Patron was written by Harlen Eherenman and based on the patron of Ginny Di's warlock character Aisling.  I like Ginny Di. She is super enthusiastic about all things D&D and she is a joy to watch.  Likewise, Aisling is also a very enjoyable character. I can see Aisling and Morelia the Wood Witch both making guest appearances in my War of the Witch Queens campaign as "celebrity NPCs." 

How is this product though?

Again it is on Itch.io and I typically see prices much higher than I see for similar content on DriveThruRPG.  If I am using a rule of thumb of 10 cents per page at DriveThru then I should likely expect 25 cents per page here.  Sill, I am going to follow my rules for these reviews. 

This is $3.50 for four pages.  One page is for the cover and the last page is a half-page, so here we are doing $1.00 per page.  The PDF is full color.

What is included here is some background on the Lady of the Soil. What spells she grants her warlocks and what powers they gain at various levels.  There are four new invocations, but no new spells.

The cover mentions that this uses the OGL, but there is no copy of the OGL included (as required) and while there is a notice of Product Identity, there is no explicit declaration of what is being claimed.  The assumption I guess is the whole document.

Ok, it is fun, but there isn't really enough here.  This really is for the Ginny Di fans out there. Without Aisling to make this interesting there is not enough here to justify the price tag.  

Sorry. I really, really wanted to like it a lot more. 

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween

Friday, September 24, 2021

#FollowFriday: Ginny Di

It's Ginny Di!
I gotta admit I love the shirt!
Kinda burned out on Kickstarter right now.  So it's another #FollowFriday!

I will admit, I adore Ginny Di.  She has unbound enthusiasm about D&D and all things related.  I know she is young enough to be my daughter and I have characters older than her, but I still think she is great.

It is so refreshing to come to her Twitter or YouTube pages and see how excited she is over something D&D-related.  I'll read the posts or blogs of some of my contemporaries and wonder when the fun died in their lives leaving them as bitter old husks.

Plus she seems to irritate the right people, so that is a bonus all on its own. 

The fact that she also loves her witches has almost nothing to do with it. Well...maybe a little. 

I have already posted about her or her projects in the past.

This week Ginny is back with Morelia the Wood Witch in a POV roleplay. It is a fun little bit video, but it really helped me cement the idea that Morelia would be a great NPC in my War of the Witch Queens. 

Content Warning to Bitter Old Grogs Who Are Dead Inside: The video features a shop where an NPC Witch SELLS POTIONS! Gasp, the Horror! The audacity! The cheek of it all! 

Anyway. She is fun. She is funny. She has a ton of enthusiasm and I think she is great. In fact, I even sought out items she has been sponsored by at Gen Con because she made them look really fun.

So check her out. If you don't like her ask yourself, when did I die inside?

Ginny Di online

Give her a follow or a like or something.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Ginny Di: Backstories don't have to be tragic to be interesting

Ginny Di
Let's take a quick break from Ravenloft to talk about something that will send many DM's screaming for the hills in horror.

Character backstories

Now, most old-school players will argue that 1st level characters don't need a backstory.  That would be fine and all, but I remember playing in the 80s. I have lost count of how many "disgraced princes," "lost royalty," or "tragic orphans" I ran into in games.  I get it, it was fantasy and a way to play out various ideas, concepts, whatever.  D&D was cheaper than therapy. I get it. I do.  And it is fine you don't want to do them now.

But don't pretend it didn't happen.

I have no issues with backstories.  In most of the RPGs I play a backstory is an excuse for the GM (me) to torture your character some more.  Have the Love quality/drawback in the Buffy RPG?  Yeah. Might want to rethink that one.  But I don't always have to do that.   

Our two primary modern examples of "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joesph Campbell are Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter. By all accounts, they are 1st level characters.  Luke is a farm kid. Harry is an abused 11-year-old.  BOTH have great backstories.  "Yer a wizard Harry!" "My name is Luke." "Yer a Jedi Luke!"  But, yes, both are tragic backstories.  Take Campbell's own example of the Monomyth, Gilgamesh.  Gilgamesh is already the King when the story starts.  That's a backstory no one would accept!

Let's just say that there is going to be some sort of backstory.  How should you do it?

Well once again let's turn to Ginny Di.  

She might be new at D&D but her enthusiasm is greater and more infectious than a room full of Grogs blogging about it. Your humble author included.

Her recent video is overtly about one topic, but she actually makes two very good points here that pretty much everyone should agree with.

So her two major points are:

  1. Backstories don't need to be tragic or even dark
  2. Leave it open enough for your DM to work it into the campaign

That's solid advice. One I would like to hope that most Old-Schoolers follow already.

My oldest son has already instituted a "maximum" limit on what a backstory in his games are.  Right now I think it is a page, but he has talked about a paragraph.  Me? I don't care, make as long as you like just keep it in reason.

Ginny points out that characters, and this is true for every version of the game, are not normal people. A level 1 character is still better than a 0 level Normal Human.  They have more hp, are better at fighting or even have magic.  Even in Van Righten's Guide to Ravenloft, the Survivors are slightly better than normal humans.  Luke already was Force-sensitive, Harry could still do some minor magic and talk to snakes.  

Also, no normal person is going to live a life to go out adventuring.  So find those reasons.  Even if that reason is "I just want a pile of treasure." 

Taking Ginny's Advice

At the end of the video, she asks us two questions.  

Have you ever had a character with a happy backstory?
What kind of problems do you run into when writing character backstories?

These are good questions to ask.  

Happy Backstory?

Yes. My wizard Phygora, like his namesake and idol Phygor, came from a well to do, happy prosperous family in Glantri.  He was well-liked, no issues with school, loves, or friends. Just one day he decided, like Phygor before, him to travel the world to learn all the magic he could.  While this could have been tragic, it was symbolic of my own desires to learn all sorts of things.

I have had fighters and thieves that have "only it for the money" or as the kids say "the lolz."

Backstory Problems?

Sadly I do find the tragic backstory easier to write.  Larina's family died in their apothecary shop while she was away studying.  Though I recently brought her mother and father back. Johan's twin brother was killed by ghouls, then he died to become another's character's back story.  I have the usual suspects of orphans, outcasts and other murder hobos.  They far outweigh the happy stories.

Over the years though I have been looking at other ways to generate characters and backstories.

It occurred to me years (ok. decades) ago when sitting in my History of Psychology course.  We were going over Freud's theories of self and were contrasting them with later theorists. Now I have always preferred Jung over Freud.  I guess I am just Jung at heart! (sorry. That joke is mandated by my university, if I don't use it they take away my degrees.)

I am planning to expand on this, but I came to see many of my characters as representations of various Freudian and Jungian concepts.

The easiest one to show is Larina, she is a manifestation of my Jungian Anima/Shadow Self.  Phygora is my Freudian Super-Ego, Johan is my Ego and my assassin character represents my Id.  

I have always been curious if others have done this.

You can find Ginny Di online at:

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Morelia the Wood Witch for Basic Era D&D (BX/OSE)

I make no excuses for it, I like Ginny Di. She is great and is having more fun with D&D than a roomful of dudes my age.  She often has content I enjoy but this week she has given her viewers three more NPCs to adopt or adapt and I just couldn't say no.

So with her (implied) permission here is Morelia the Wood Witch.  She has accidentally overdid it on a love potion and now the whole village is madly in love with her.  She is very happy to see any new PCs, especially ones not from the village.  She will work out a deal with them. If they can bring back enough Pixie's Tongue (it's actually a type of plant) then she can brew up the antidote for everyone.  But you better hurry! Two fights for Morelia's hand have already broken out and things promise to get worse soon!


Morelia the Wood Witch

Ginny Di as Morelia the Wood Witch
8th Level Green Witch*, Elf, Lawful (Good)

Abilities
Strength: 12
Intelligence: 15
Wisdom:  13
Dexterity: 17
Constitution: 16
Charisma: 17

Saving Throws
Death or poison: 10
Wands: 12
Paralysis: 11
Breath Weapons: 14
Spells: 13

AC: 9
HP: 45
Age: 216
Gender: Female

Occult Powers

Familiar: Cremini, a white cat with shocking gold eyes.
3rd: Herbal Healing
7th: Speak to Plants and Animals

Spells
1st Level: Color Spray, Salving Rest. Consecrate Focus Item (Ritual)
2nd Level: Burning Gaze, Glitterdust, Bonds of Hospitality (Ritual)
3rd Level: Dance of Frogs, Summon Guardian of the Green (Ritual)
4th Level: Dryad's Door, Venus Glass

*The Green Witch Tradition from my Swords & Wizardry Green Witch book is perfect for her, but I also want this character to have access to some Pagan spells. Plus I want to use her as an NPC for BX/OSE, so she is a Pagan Green Witch.  Combine books and mix and match spells.  And given that hair I can't help but think there is a little Pumpkin Spice Witch in her as well!

Helping Morelia now in the adventure will pay off later.  Morelia knows about the Tredecium and what is going on with the Witch Queens.  She will be an invaluable source of information. That is if she can fix her love potion mishap.

ETA: Ginny has added some more about this lovely character on her World Anvil site

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Character Advice from Ginny Di (and Aisling!)

I have gone on record with my love for the newest generation of D&D Players.  They are passionate about the game they play and they LOVE their characters.  I know that can sometimes feel a bit odd to the old-school crowd, but I don't care.  They have passion and energy and it is them that will carry role-playing into the future for the next generations, not us.

Among all these "New School" players one of my favorites is Ginny Di.  I'll provide some links below.


I featured her last week as the start of my Tasha's Week of Everything. She did a cosplay of Tasha, sponsored by Wizards of the Coast. It was a fun video and I enjoyed seeing all the work she put into the costume. 

This week she is back with another great video.  Here is her Twitter post for it.

And the video itself.

I know what you are thinking and to quote the Ninth Doctor, "I bet you are fussing and moaning right now, typical."

But really, how is this any different than what we all used to do anyway?  Roll 3d6 in order and deal with it.  Ginny is not so much against "Old School" as she thinks.  Maybe against the "Middle School" of character optimization (positive spin) or Min-Maxing (negative spin).

It is also great advice.  Characters should never be perfect.  Flaws, quirks, and shortcomings make for far more interesting characters.  Stan Lee knew this well. Peter Parker was a neurotic teen struggling to make ends meet. Doctor Strange was an arrogant prick before and even after his accident.  Tony Stark was an arrogant prick alcoholic.  I have/had a cleric who is afraid of the dark, a warlock who is colorblind,  a dwarven thief that was kicked out of his clan, loves opera, and hates ale (one did not cause the others).  

One of the things the New School D&D players do and do well is to think about their characters and try to build a good group dynamic.  This is mocked in Old School circles as "back story" but that is a rather naïve or limiting way of looking at it.   It is simply a different way of having fun with the same game.

Here is another video where she talks about 50 Character Builder Questions to ask of your character.  Now in a game like D&D where characters can grow and change a lot based on what happens around them then I say it is ok to answer "I don't know yet" or even change answers later.

She does these before each session (not all of them of course) and I think that is a good way of doing things.  I have been looking at her list and thought I might use some of them for my 31-day character challenge in January. 

Aisling

An aisling is a poetic dream or vision and an Irish name for girls.  It is also the name of Ginny's elf warlock/druid character.  And she is also such a great character!   Here are some videos about her character.



Count me among those that have grown to love Aisling as well. She is such a great character and sounds like she is a lot of fun despite no because of her various flaws. 

Since I feel that Ginny's advice is actually in line with Old School character creation ethos I wanted to try to recreate Aisling for old school/OSR D&D.  Since she is a warlock/druid "witchdaughter" it makes sense to me that she is a type of witch.  Her Fey patron, Ùir, the Woman of the Soil, would make her a good Faerie Witch, but given her multiclassing into a druid and other factors, I see her as a Green Witch.   All apologies to Ginny for borrowing Aisling here.

Aisling by Ginny Di
Aisling by Ginny Di
Aisling
Female Elf
5th Level Witch (Green Witch Tradition) 

Strength 8
Intelligence 14
Wisdom 15
Dexterity 13
Constitution 15
Charisma 15

Saving Throws
Death Ray/Poison 13
Magic Wands 14
Paralysis, Polymorph 13
Dragon Breath 16
Rods, Staffs, Spells 15

Hit Points: 19
AC: 7 (leather)
To hit AC 0: 18

Occult Powers
Familiar: Psuedo dragon "Nightshade"
Herbal Healing

Spells
1: Fey Sight, Fury of the Ancestor
2: Blazing Gaze, Evil Eye
3: Bestow Curse

Patron: Ùir, the Woman of the Soil
Coven: Solitary

I think this works well. 

There is a lot of "fan art" of Aisling out there.  Here is one from joenni, an artist I want to feature one day.

Aisling by joenni
Aisling by joenni

I can't do fan art, but I can do character write-ups.  I hope I did her justice.

check out Ginny's sites and especially her video content. It is all great fun.

Links

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!