Showing posts with label Larina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Larina. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Larina Nix and Malcear for Quest of the Ancients

 The other night my oldest son Liam and I were going to continue our AD&D 2nd Ed game in the Forgotten Realms. I got to talking about about some of the NPCs of the Realms and mentioned the strangest one I knew was Raven of Raven's Bluff.  Which got me on the topic of Quest of the Ancients in general and what a Fantasy Heartbreaker was. He asked if I had stated up Larina for it already, and too my utter shock I saw I had not.

Instead of playing some AD&D 2nd Ed, we rolled up characters for Quest of the Ancients. I built Larina and he did his human/demon-hybrid assassin Malcear. 

Quest of the Ancients

I do want to extend my public thanks to Vince Garcia. I told my wife there was a game developer out there who was as obsessed with witches and Stevie Nicks as me, and she didn't believe it.

Larina Nix
Larina Nix
13th level Human Witch

Armor rating: 0 / 0
Tactical move: 10'
Stamina points: 36
Body points: 10

St 9 (Dmg. +0, L/N/H/VH Load 18/45/63/90, Max lift 180)
Ag 12 (AR att +0)
Cn 12 (Rest 7, Stamina/Body recovery 1/1)
IQ 20 (memorization time 1)
Ch 19 (Reaction +15%)
Ap 18
Lk 7

Attack 1
Combat phase: 4
Dmg: 1D4+1 (dagger) or by spell
Ethics: I
Size: 5'4", 125#

Witch Abilities
A: Create Focus (wand)
B: Additional Combat Skill Slot (2 for 4 total)
C: Create Potions and Elixirs
D: Form Coven

Skills (200 pts)
Language: 50 (read/write 10)
Courtliness: 15%
Danger Sense: 4%
Herbalism: 60%
Music: 10%
Nature Lore: 10%


Rank 1: Beguile, Control Fire, Disenchantment, Evil Eye, Magic Dart, Read Magic Script, Skull of Flame, Slumber, Trick, Whisper, Witch Warrior
Rank 2: Cure Wounds, Enchant Bracers, Fire Darts, Jack-o-lantern, Moon Sigils, Witch Wand, Witch Wind
Rank 3: Babble, Charm, Charm, Electric Arc, Energy Blast, Hand of Glory, Sheet Lightning, Starburst, Witch Mark
Rank 4: Bat Swarm, Death's Eye, Hex, Shooting Stars, Time Vision, Witch's Eye
Rank 5: Candle Magic, Cauldron of Magic, Moon Web, Witchfire
Rank 6: Aura of Fear, Enflame, Pentagram of Protection, Starfire
Rank 7: Ethereal Whirlwind, Witch Ward

1st level Human (demonic) Assassin

Armor rating: 1 / 1
Tactical move: 10'
Stamina points: 36
Body points: 10

St 17 (Dmg. +1, L/N/H/VH Load 34/85/119/170, Max lift 340)
Ag 20 (AR att -5)
Cn 15 (Rest 6, Stamina/Body recovery 1/1)
IQ 15 
Ch 12 (Reaction +0%)
Ap 13
Lk 10

Attack 1
Combat phase: 1
Dmg: 1D6+1 x (short sword) 
Ethics: I
Size: 5'8", 175#

Assassin Abilities
Disguise: 40%
Information Gathering: 37%
Stealth: 45%
Climb: 67%
Concealment: 40%
Detrap: 40%
Lock Pick: 40%

Skills (150 pts)
Blindsight: 30 pts
Danger Sense: 24%

Larina and Malcear in Islay


Ok. Not bad. The system was not really enough to keep Liam's attention, so we did not try to play it. I am thinking I have extracted pretty much everything out of this game I can get. I think this one is moving to the lower shelves now.

Unlike some other games I have tried out over the last couple of years, I do not recommend this one as a D&D 5 replacement. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Converting D&D 5 to Blue Rose 2nd Edition: Character Exploration

 Ever since the Great OGL Debacle of 2022-2023, I have been looking for something to replace D&D on my table and in my development space. I have not always been successful on either front, but I have found many great contenders, including Castles & Crusades, Pathfinder 2nd Edition, and Wasted Lands. I have another one I wish to add to that list. Blue Rose 2nd Edition.

Blue Rose and Characters

I love Blue Rose. I love the game, the idea, the setting, the mechanics, everything. 

I spent a lot of time reviewing this game when it was released.

The game is an absolute joy, and I hope to continue it for a long time.

Unlike the three games I mentioned above, Blue Rose 2nd Edition's AGE system is not d20-based. It does have some d20 DNA via Blue Rose 1st Edition's True20 system. It is fairly trivial to convert D&D material over to Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, and Wasted Lands. Blue Rose takes a little more work. However, the scaling is very similar with all of these games.

Blue Rose

The Characters

For this, I will do conversions of my main witch character, Larina, and two of my Forgotten Realms characters. Why these three? I want to play around with how adepts work. Plus, these are the three characters (well, them and Johan) that are most on my mind right now. Sinéad and Nida are part of my 2nd Ed AD&D Forgotten Realms game, so exploring who they are in this Blue Rose/AGE set-up is useful for both Blue Rose and the Forgotten Realms. And Larina, well, she is never far from my mind. 

Plus, it is the Summer Solstice, one of the pagan celebration days, so witches seem appropriate. 

Also, lately, I have been comparing and contrasting Larina and Sinéad. If Larina is my go-to witch, Sinéad is becoming my go-to sorceress or wild magic wielder. Though I am noticing I am playing Sinéad a bit like Larina so I need to find ways to make her (Sinéad) her own character. 

I have already explored a lot of characters for this game. Especially a lot of adepts and how they can feel different from each other. 

I have spent quite a bit of time with this over the years and I really love the characters you can make and play with this game.

Sinéad for Blue Rose
Female Human/Vata'an Adept, Level 5

Accuracy: 5 (Primary) Focus: Bows
Communication: 3 Focuses: Persuasion, Performance, Deception
Constitution: 3 Focus: Swimming
Dexterity: 3 Focus: Artisan
Fighting: 2 
Intelligence: (Primary) 3 Focus: Arcane Lore
Perception: 3 (Primary) 
Strength: 2
Willpower: 2 (Primary)

Speed: 13
Defense: 13
Armor: 3
Penalty: 0

Health: 56
Conviction: 5

Powers, Talents, and Specializations

Starting Talents: Lore (N), Performance (N)

Arcane Talents: Healing (J), Wild Arcane (J)
Skillful Channeling
Arcane Training: Shaping (N)

Specialization: Bard (N)


Wild: Fire Shaping, Sense Minds, Visions
Shaping: Psychic Shield, Move Object, Second Sight
Healing: Cure, Sleep

Arms and Armor

Dagger, Melee (Accuracy) 1d6+1
Dagger, Ranged (Accuracy) 1d6 6/12 Minor

Leather (Light Armor)


Calling: The Moon: Discovery and Learning Secrets
Destiny: Queen of Rods, Curious
Fate: Jaded
Corruption: 0 

Goals: To discover the secrets and source of her magic


Taryn (3), "She is my adopted sister. We will do anything for each other."
Larina (2), "She is Taryn's mother. I am not sure what their deal is, but I will respect her."
Nida (2), "I have never had a friend like her, and so unlike everyone I have met before."


Nida for Blue Rose
Female Human Expert, Level 5

Accuracy: 2 (Primary) Focus: Arcane
Communication: 4 (Primary) Focuses: Deception, Disguise
Constitution: 3 Focus: Swimming
Dexterity: 3 (Primary) 
Fighting: 2 
Intelligence: 4 Focused: Arcane Lore, Shaping
Perception: 4 (Primary) Focus: Empathy
Strength: 1
Willpower: 2 (Primary) Focus: Courage

Speed: 13
Defense: 13
Armor: 3
Penalty: 0

Health: 58
Conviction: 5

Powers, Talents, and Specializations

Starting Talents: Light Armor Training, Pinpoint Attack

Arcane Potential (N), Thievery (N)
Specialization: Shaper (Fire), (N)


Fire Shaping

Arms and Armor

Dagger, Melee (Accuracy) 1d6+1
Dagger, Ranged (Accuracy) 1d6 6/12 Minor

Leather (Light Armor)


Calling: The Sun: Championing the Everyday
Destiny: Eight of Chalices, Daring
Fate: Stubborn
Corruption: 0 

Goals: To find her true path


Sinéad (3), "Sinéad is a naive kid with her head in the clouds. And I love her for that. She reminds me of what I was."
Larina (2), "She honestly kind of scares me, but I know she has the answers I seek."


Larina Nix for Blue Rose
Larina Nix
Female Human Adept, Level 20

Accuracy: 2 (Primary) Focus: Arcane
Communication: 5 Focuses: Persuasion, Performance +2, Investigation
Constitution: 3 Focuses: Swimming, Stamina
Dexterity: 3 Focused: Artisan +2, Calligraphy +2
Fighting: 2 
Intelligence: (Primary) 5 Focuses: Arcane Lore +2, Research, Sorcerery Lore, Historical Lore, Healing
Perception: 3 (Primary) Focuses: Empathy, Visionary
Strength: 1 Focus: Intimidation
Willpower: 5 (Primary) Focus: Faith

Speed: 11
Defense: 11
Armor: 5
Penalty: 0

Health: 114
Conviction: 11

Powers, Talents, and Specializations

Arcane Talents: Arcane Training (M), Healing (M), Witchcraft (M), Psychic (M)

Linguistics (M), Performance (N), Contacts (J)

Specialization: Seer (M), Shaper (Fire) (M)

Stunts: Skillful Channeling (1), Disrupt Arcana (4), Lasting Aracan
Epic Stunt: Effortless Arcana

Add Willpower to Damage, Familiarity mod -2


Fire Shaping
Enhancement, Heart Reading, Light Shaping, Ward, Second Sight
Cure, Sleep, Draw Vitality, Flesh Shaping, Body Control, Psychic Shield
Psychic Weapon, Psychic Contact, Calm, Illusion, Mind Shaping, Mind Reading
Visions, Scrying, Object Reading, Nature Reading

Arms and Armor

Dagger, Melee (Accuracy) 1d6+1
Dagger, Ranged (Accuracy) 1d6 6/12 Minor


Calling: The Priestess: Oneness with Spirit
Destiny: Queen of Rods, Curious
Fate: Jaded
Corruption: 1

Goals: To become a powerful witch


Taryn (3), "My daughter. We lost so much time together in my service to Baba Yaga."
Sinéad (2), "Taryn's adopted 'sister.' I have watched this one from afar and subtly guided her on her path."
Nida (3), "It's...complicated."


Ok. Three different approaches to magic (arcana) in Blue Rose. The Wild Talent (Sinéad), the dabbler (Nida), and the Witch Queen (Larina).

Frankly, I am pleased with all three. Larina is scary powerful, and that is what I was aiming for. She has some corruption. I was also going to do Larina's daughter and Sinéad's best friend, Taryn, but I want to work some details on her first. 

I like that this world and this system allow me to bring out different aspects of these characters. 

In some ways I like to think of these as "parallel universe" versions. What these characters could be if the world they lived in was less horrible and had more light.  BUT...I don't even play Blue Rose as all "sunshine and kittens." The bright spots in this world are bright because there is still a lot of darkness out there.  I mean, even (especially) Larina has some corruption because she dabbles in Sorcery, or at least "Forbidden Knowledge." 

These characters compare very, very well to their Wasted Lands counterparts (Larina, Nida, Sinéad). They are not 100% the same, nor should they be, but I can see each (D&D, Blue Rose, Wasted Lands) are an aspect of the other. Given this I really should do Johan for Blue Rose. He would fit in rather nicely, really. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Larina Nix for Alternity Dark•Matter

 It's time to put everything together and see how it works. Since this is a modern horror sci-fi game, I'm going to use my standard character for these things. But first, I should at least talk about how I'm going to do it all.

Alternity Dark Matter books

I knew I had to use both the Alternity Core rules as well as the Dark•Matter campaign setting. I also looked into two of the other books I have here, Mindwalking: A Guide to Psionics and Beyond Science: A Guide to FX. Both books are good, but they are designed with Star*Drive in mind. Plus the rules for Psionics and FX, in particular Arcane and Miracles, have been updated in the Dark•Matter book. The designers even mention there are differences. So as fun as those too books look, I am going to not use them for this build.  

Now, one of the things I have had for Dark•Matter, well, forever, it seems, is this download on Witchcraft FX. While I am not 100% sure where I got it originally, it can still be downloaded from the site. 

I like it. I have liked it for many years now*, and I really wanted to use it. Instead of explaining it, you can download it for free yourself.  Here Witchcraft is a Faith-based FX. I like this. It tracks with what I was doing with Larina and all my witches at the same time. My own 1999 Complete Netbook of Witches & Warlocks had witches as a type of priest using wisdom. 

I began my base stats for Dark•Matter Larina using her AD&D 2nd Ed stats as a base. I used the guidelines in the Alternity Gamemaster's Guide for conversion. For her "back story" well, I used the version I was using at the time in WitchCraft. Here she is, a 29-year-old divorcee living in Chicago and working in the library of a major university. She is a librarian and linguist by training but an occultist "by night."  This gave me a good idea of who this Dark•Matter Larina was going to be.

Larina "Nix" Nichols
Larina "Nix" Nichols

Human Female, Age 29 (1998)
Height: 5'4"  Weight: 125 lbs

Level: 10

Profession: Diplomat
Career: Occultist

Motivation: Find the truth
Morals: Ethical / Just
Traits: Curious

Allegiance: Independent

Strength 8  (Res. Mod. 0)
Dexterity 9  (Res. Mod. 0)
Constitution 9
Intelligence 14  (Res. Mod. +2)
Will 14  (Res. Mod. +2)
Personality 14

Stun 9
Wound 9
Fatigue 5
Mortal 5

Last Resorts 3

Action Check Score
Marginal 13+
Ordinary 12
Good 6
Amazing 3

Combat Movement Rates
Sprint 8
Run 6
Walk 2
Easy Swim 1
Swim 8
Glide (8)
Fly (16)

Armor: None

Special Abilities: Witchcraft (Faith) FX

Perks: Great Looks, Second Sight

Flaws: Obsessed (+2)

Social Class: Middle Class

Contacts: Scott Elders (Psychic), Heather McHael (Seer). 

Enemies: Eric MacAlister (ex-husband, former IRA operative)

Attack Forms
Unarmed 4/2/1 LI/O Personal d4a/d4+1s/d4+2s
Athame 8/4/2 LI/O Personal d4w/d4w+1s/d4+2w

Skill Points Spent: 91  Stored: 6


Skill    CostAbility RankScore
Vehicle Operation3DEX
Land Vehicle3DEX11052
Lang. English1INT31784
Lang. Latin1INT31784
Lang. Greek1INT31784
Lang. Hebrew1INT11573
Lang. Russian1INT11573
Medical Science3INT11573
Physical Science7INT11573
Social Science6INT11473
Conspiracy Theories3WIL11573
Occult Lore3WIL21684
Psychic Lore3WIL11573

Bolded skills are Free. Skills in Purple are from Dark•Matter.


Cast the Circle2WIL21684
Earth's Harvest2WIL31784
Part the Veil4WIL31784
Ward of Protection3WIL21684
Call Familiar3PER11573
Crone's Curse4PER11573

I went ahead and gave her Glamour even though it is not on the witchcraft list—it should be.


So I REALLY like this build. A few notes.

Levels in Alternity are treated differently than they are in *D&D games. In D&D games, you gain a level, and that helps define how powerful your abilities and skills will be. In Alternity, it is the other way around; your skills and powers help determine your level.

So Larina here would be a lot more skilled if she had dumped all of those skill points she spent on FX  (65 total) on more skills. 

She is not a combat person. She has no combat skills to speak of, and I am not likely to add much more to her for that. She can read a lot of languages and is a good researcher. More importantly, she has magic. I should give her some sort of blasty magic, but she is a support character for the most part. 

She compares well to her WitchCraft and AD&D 2nd Ed versions. I should get her WitchCraft version up sometime.

I will admit this build took me a while. A lot of it was my unfamiliarity with the system. It still took a bit. Going between multiple books is never really ideal. But this is a character I would play.

Now, if I were to get serious about Alternity Dark•Matter, I would likely work up my go-to psychic character, Scott Elders. He is a good choice since it would allow me to use all of the Mindwalking rules. He has alternates in AD&D, Modern times, and the Far Future so that also makes him a good fit.

*In the process of re-reading this to post today I found my original Dark•Matter sheets for Larina AND the printout of the Witchcraft Faith FX.

I started working on her back in March of 2000.

Original Witchcraft FX

Larina's first Dark•Matter character sheet

It only took me 24 years to finish.