Showing posts with label Night Shift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Night Shift. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Wasted Lands Playtest: Ereshkigal

Queen of Night
We are in the midst of the Wasted Lands playtest right now. It is fun to play a game I am at the same time familiar with (it is very similar to NIGHT SHIFT) and yet brand new at the same time.  For me, there is extra fun here since I can use so much of my own One Man's God material in my home games.  

My home game, right now, is a bit of a riff on my "Second Campaign" ideas.  Recall that in the Wasted Lands during the "Dreaming Age," the first generation of humanity (or proto-humanity) has thrown off the yoke of the Old Ones (the stars went "wrong" again), and now they have an Earth to themselves.  It is part Mythical Age and part Post-Apocylptic. 

With the Old Ones gone, humanity renews its battles with their most significant threats, the reptiles. So I have reptiles and Snake People as my big bads here, at least for this trail run of the game.

Since the characters will become the gods of our myths and legends, I want to try out some of my favorite gods here.

Up first is one I have called "The World's First Goth Girl" Ereshkigal.

She was the Queen of the Underworld and the Goddess of the Dead in Sumerian mythology. In the Dreaming Age, though, she is now just a 1st Level Necromancer.  This is good for me since my very first D&D character was a cleric dedicated to destroying the undead. So a nice little flip side to that.

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age uses the same O.G.R.E.S. rules as NIGHT SHIFT does. So following along here will be easy. 

So. Let us see what we can do.

Siouxsie Sioux as Ereshkigal
Siouxsie Sioux as Ereshkigal
Ereshkigal

Class: Necromancer (Persona Aspect)
Level: 1
Species: Human

Alignment: Dark Neutral

Abilities
Strength: 16 (+2)
Agility: 13 (+1)
Toughness: 15 (+1) N +1
Intelligence: 13 (+1)
Wits: 15 (+1) N +1
Persona: 17 (+2) A +2

Fate Points: 
Defense Value: 7
Vitality: 5 (d6)
Degeneracy:
Corruption:

Check Bonus (A/N/D): +2/+1/0
Melee Bonus: +2
Ranged Bonus: +1
Saves: +3 to Persona based

Special Abilities
Channel the Dead 22%
See Dead People
Summon the Dead 15%
Command (Spirits)
Protection from Undead
Turn Undead 20%

Divine Notes: Death, Earth Psychopomp
Background: Undertaker

Gear
Leather armor: DV 8
Dagger: 1d4

Here is my concept for her.

At this time, Ereshkigal of Irkalla & Kur is the daughter of Nanna, an oracle of the moon. It has been her task to take care of the dead of the city and in particular, the dead that have been killed by dark magics. 

I have yet to do much with her, but rolling her up was as easy as rolling up any D&D-like character. Faster even if you are a fan of NIGHT SHIFT. Now I don't have everything figured out just yet, but I want to get her into a game to figure it all out. 

The campaign I am working up will be against a cult of Snale Men that are trying to rise up in the vacuum left by the Old Ones. Humanity is on the brink of being wiped out before they even begin and only one group will inherit the Earth. 

Since I see Ereshkigal as the world's first goth girl, it only makes sense that she is portrayed in my games by Siouxsie Sioux.

Want to know more about The Wasted Lands? Head on over to Jason's blog to read more.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Wasted Lands: Don't be the Hero, Be the God.

Busy time. I have not written anything in over two weeks, but I am hardly idle.  On my plate this week?  Playtesting the newest game from Elf Lair Games.

The Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age

Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age

This is a new Swords and Sorcery RPG set in a savage lost epoch, millions of years ago. A time lost to current humanity.  Players will take on the roles of human (near human) characters struggling against the remains of the Old Ones, ancient gods and alien threats. 

These characters will fight, and struggle and eventually, they will become the Gods we know today. 

This game uses the same rule system as NIGHT SHIFT: Veteran of the Supernatural Wars.

Playtest is now underway.

Wasted Lands Playtest

Wasted Lands Playtest

Wasted Lands Playtest

Wasted Lands Playtest

Wasted Lands Playtest

I am hoping to use some of the material I have created for my own One Man's God posts in my Wasted Lands game.  In particular, I will use this to flesh out my Roman-Norse Pantheon, actually play out the legends that would later become these gods.  And of course, because I have a rep to maintain, expect to see some gods/goddesses of magic and witchcraft.

I am quite excited about this game and I hope to get you all excited about it as well. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Welcome to the NIGHT SHIFT

I have a little project going on, and it would be nice to make a formal introduction to the NIGHT SHIFT Veterans of the Supernatural Wars Role-Playing Game



What is NIGHT SHIFT Veterans of the Supernatural Wars?

NIGHT SHIFT Veterans of the Supernatural Wars is a modern urban fantasy role-playing game with horror roots but with multi-genre elements as well. It is designed to be played the way you want, from light and fast to gritty and complex. It also features of examples of play thanks to our various Night Worlds. So you can be a student in Chicago's only school for Magical Youths and partake in various magic-fueled hijinks, all the way to a post-apocalyptic Earth where the forces of Good and Evil battle it out in the skies above and the streets below. Or to play a supernatural creature that just wants to live and get by in a world full of humans trying to hunt them down.

Play it silly, straight, dangerous or just fun, NIGHT SHIFT can do it.

Wait. What is a Role-Playing Game?

Role-playing games have a LONG history. But the modern role-playing game (RPG) began, roughly, in 1974 with the publication of the Dungeons & Dragons rules.  You can read more about what a role-playing game is in this excerpt from the NIGHT SHIFT core rules book.

NIGHT SHIFT Veterans of the Supernatural Wars is self-contained. Meaning every rule you need to play is found in the covers of the core book. You will need dice (available nearly everywhere now), some paper, some pencils, but most of all some good friends to play with. No computers, no phones, and if your internet goes down, you can still play!

What Can I do With NIGHT SHIFT VSW?

Anything you want! As a multi-genre game NIGHT SHIFT VSW is open to all sorts of situations and ways to play.  Have a favorite TV show, movie, or book series? NIGHT SHIFT VSW with its varying degrees of play difficulty (Cinematic, Normal, and Gritty) allows the players to set the tone of the game.

Players take on the roles of various characters of their own creations. It's the game of Chosen Ones, Survivors, Witches, and Something Weird.  YOU decide what you want to play and how to do it.

NIGHT SHIFT is an urban fantasy, horror, and dark modern supernatural game that uses a brand new system of old-school mechanics inspired by and derived from the original, basic, expert, and advanced versions of the World's Most Famous Role Playing Game. It allows you to mimic all the tropes of just about any film, TV series, or novel you like.

All of the following are possible with NIGHT SHIFT VSW:

  • Cheerleaders that are chosen to slay vampires
  • Sisters imbued with the power of chosen witches
  • Worlds where Fae of all manner battle in the politics of light and dark
  • The great-grandniece of a famous gunslinger inherits the legacy of the demon hunter.
  • A world where two brothers armed with knowledge and weapons hunt the supernatural in their father's name
  • And more!

What is Old-School Play?

Old-school play in RPGs refers to a style of play that emphasizes fewer rules and more freedom to play. This is why NIGHT SHIFT VSW is complete as a single book. Players familiar with new RPGs can still do all the same things they had done before or want to do, now it just depends on how they all want to do it. It is more about how you play with each other rather than how you play with the rules.

But if you want more details here is co-Author and lead designer Jason Vey on what Old-School play means for NIGHT SHIFT VSW over on his blog for Elf Lair Games.

Sounds Great! How Do I Get Started?

Well, start with some friends who all want to play. One person (maybe you!) will be the Game Master or the one that builds the adventures that everyone goes on. They are like the writer, director, and producer of a movie or TV show. As everyone gets more familiar with the rules you switch off Game Master roles so everyone has a chance to build your new world. Unlike watching a movie or reading a book, everyone playing gets to decide what is happening in the world. 

You can certainly buy the NIGHT SHIFT VSW core rules and supplements. But in the meantime here are free resources to get you started right now.

Not to mention all the free NIGHT SHIFT content found on the authors' personal blogs and websites.

If you are a fan of physical books you can get NIGHT SHIFT VSW directly from the publisher or if PDFs are your thing you can buy NIGHT SHIFT VSW from DriveThruRPG.

We hope to see you on the NIGHT SHIFT!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Elf Lair Games Doomsday Sale

This issue with the OGL is changing all the time now. I suppose there will be some sort of announcement about the OGL 2.0 today (yes we are on the 2.0 now).

But until then, we have decided to have a big sale on all Elf Lair Games products, including NIGHT SHIFT.

Elf Lair Games
https://www.elflair.com/

For products on our website, use the code DOOMSDAY40 at checkout to get 40% off your sale. 

For our products on DriveThruRPG, all are on sale for 25% off, no code needed.

Again, NIGHT SHIFT and our upcoming new fantasy RPG "Wasted Lands: The Dreaming Age" will break free of the OGL and will be powered by our in-house O.G.R.E.S. 

Interesting times ahead!  Let's all have some fun together and get back to what we have always felt was our #1 job; make fun games for people to enjoy.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Ethyl Critchlow for NIGHT SHIFT

Running a bit late on this one.  Today I am going to show how to use NIGHT SHIFT with one of my often-forgotten witches, the Hedge Witch for Hero's Journey RPG, First Edition.

NIGHT SHIFT and the Hero's Journey

The Hero's Journey is a great RPG from James M. Spahn.  Designed to capture the feel of a bygone time when people would go on adventures for the sake of adventure. The rules are close enough to Swords & Wizardry to be, oh, 95%-97% compatible. In truth, it is my favorite presentation of the Swords & Wizardry rules.

The class I designed for it is the Hedge Witch. Someone that dabbles in magic but was not a full-on wizard. 

The Hedge Witch

These are lower-powered witches and are thus perfect for dabblers or supernatural species that also gain other abilities. 

The Hedge Witch has the following powers.

Level 1: Supernatural Awareness. This acts as a Detect Evil spell, and the Hedge can determine if someone is a supernatural creature in disguise or not.

Level 4: Craft Potions. The stock and trade of the Hedge witch are her potions. Guidelines are the same as in the Witch for the Hero's Journey book. Essentially she can replicate any spell she knows.

Level 7: Evil Eye. She can cast the Evil Eye spell once per day at any target.

Level 10: Curse. The hedge witch can curse one target per day.

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I did Ethyl Critchlow a while back as an Urban Hag, but I always wanted to give her some levels in witch.

Ethyl Critchlow
Ethyl Critchlow
9th Level Hedge Witch / Urban Hag

Strength: 17 (+2)
Dexterity: 17 (+2)
Constitution: 18 (+3) s
Intelligence: 16 (+2) P
Wisdom: 16 (+2) S
Charisma: 8 (-1) 

HP: 78
Alignment: Dark / Chaos
AC: 2
Attack: +1

Fate Points: 1d10

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +5/+3/+1
Melee bonus: +2 Ranged bonus: +2
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Supernatural Awareness, Craft potions, Evil Eye

Skills
Knowledge (supernatural), Knowledge (occultism), survival

Background
400 year-old hag

Spells
First Level(4): Bad Luck, Far Sight, Glamour, Minor Curse
Second Level(3): ESP, Evil Eye, Night's Companion
Third Level(3): Clairvoyance, Mind Shield, Scry 
Fourth Level(2): Discern Lies, Remove Curse 
Fifth Level(1): Primal Scream

Note Ethyl uses Intelligence as her prime for spell casting. 

Every child, whether human or witch-born, knows to stay away from the house on the corner of Taylor and Bell.  Here sits an old run-down house that everyone thought would either fall in on itself or the city would have condemned.  

But it is not the house that frightens the children, though it is frightening.  Nor is it the small angry dog everyone remembers from their childhoods, making it at least 25 years old or older.  Rumor in the neighborhood is that once the dog got out and bit the fingers off of a boy who could not run fast enough. 

It is not the dog or the house. It is the owner of both that keeps people away.

Ethyl Critchlow looks like a stereotypical old witch, but this is just a glamour, her true form is that of an ancient and hideous old hag.  She is an Urban Hag and has been living in West Haven for nearly as long as there has been a West Haven.  She hates all children and takes glee in terrorizing them, but a pact made with the City Council keeps her from doing any actual harm to them.  Though if their toys land in her yard she will keep them and if any child climbs her fence to get these toys then she will send her "dog" (in actuality a glamoured Hell Hound) Maximillian after them.  

Ethyl would also admit that at her age (almost 400), eating children, especially modern ones, gives her terrible heartburn.  Though she did eat a couple of missionaries from East Haven back in the 1960s, but no one came looking for them.  

She stays in West Haven because she has nowhere else to go. The city tolerates her and is just waiting for her to finally die of old age or a magical mishap.   She is also a great source of magical knowledge and history. She can be bribed with 18-year-old single malt scotch. Ethyl is a heavy drinker, so bring more than one bottle if you plan to use this for information.  Also, fair warning, as Ethyl drinks, her glamour begins to fade. Her glamour will be gone when she has worked through two bottles.

Urban Hags are hoarders. Her home is a falling apart pit of junk she has collected over her nearly four centuries of life.  Amongst the filth, garbage, and debris of decades, there are also some magical treasures.  In particular, Ethyl has several magical scrolls with spells that can be used by any witch or scholar. There is also a magical pipe that can lure the undead to sleep. Though one is advised not to go looking for such treasures.

You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get my the Witch for Hero's Journey RPG here.

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Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge



Thursday, January 5, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Katherine Montblanc for NIGHT SHIFT

Moving on to one of my older witches, one of the first I did for Swords & Wizardry.

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for NIGHT SHIFT

 The Aiséiligh, or "reclaiming" tradition, is pretty much my "Social Justice Witch" book. I never come out and say that, but that is what they are and what I was thinking when I wrote it.

While they are not 100% living up to their potential in Swords & Wizardry, they could shine in NIGHT SHIFT.  Especially in the "Nocturnumverse" and "Ordinary World" Night World settings. 

The Aiséiligh

These witches also have a strong connection to NIGHT SHIFT.  When I worked for Eden Studios and worked on the WitchCraftRPG line, I had a group of Wicce known as the Daughters of the Flame. I am sure if you are a long-time reader, you have seen them here before. The Daughters of the Flame were a coven dedicated to the Goddess Brigit. They started in my old AD&D 2nd Ed Witch netbook and were modernized for WitchCraft.

Well, when Eden opted not to produce more Unisystem books, I took those notes and let them stew on my hard drives.

The Daughters of the Flame were brought back as part of a new Tradition, the Aiséiligh. You can still be a member of the Daughters coven, but now there were other covens too.

The same notes would later go on become NIGHT SHIFT and my two Night Worlds, "Generation HEX" and "Ordinary World."

There was a quote I scribbled down in my notes back then.  It was for the Daughters, but it now applies to the Aiséiligh and explains what they do well. 

"The world is in peril.  The forces of evil in the guise of law and weal threaten all lands.
The people of good conscience scream out for champions.
The Witches of the Aiséiligh Tradition hear those cries and are charged by the Goddess to be Her hands and Her mortal representatives on this plane.

And the Goddess is angry."

In NIGHT SHIFT these are your activist witches. They are part of the movements for social justice. They are the ones volunteering at the Sanctuary houses to help others. These are the ones fighting for more LGBTQI+ representation. They are the ones making noise. That is not everyone's cup of tea, but for some it is exactly what they want. 

Arcane Powers from Occult Powers

The Aiséiligh are somewhat unique among my witches since they do not receive familiars by default. Instead, they are said to hear the voice of their Goddess directly. In the case of the Daughters of the Flame they look into the flames to get their insight and learn spells.  This has given them the somewhat joking nickname of "Campfire Girls."

Level 1: Healing Touch. The Aiséiligh witch can heal by touch. Once per day she can heal a 1d4+Level+Cha mod in HP.  She can parse this out to multiple uses, but not exceed that maximum. 

Level 4: Protection. Once per day, the witch can invoke Protection from Evil, 10'. This lasts for rounds equal to half her level.  

Level 7: Immune to Fear. The Aiséiligh witch is so focused in purpose she becomes immune to the effects of fear, either mundane or magical.

Level 10: Psychic Power. The witch can choose a psychic power.

Level 13: Mantle of the Goddess. Greater protection as described in the Aiséiligh tradition book.

--

Katherine "Kat" Montblanc
Katherine "Kat" Montblanc
10th Level Aiséiligh Witch

Strength: 14 (+1)
Dexterity: 13 (+1)
Constitution: 13 (+1) 
Intelligence: 16 (+1) S
Wisdom: 14 (+1) S
Charisma: 17 (+2) P

HP: 38
Alignment: Light
AC: 9
Attack: +

Fate Points: 1d10

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +5/+3/+2
Melee bonus: +1 Ranged bonus: +1
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Healing Touch, Protection, Immune to Fear, Psychic Power (Bio-Feedback)

Skills
Knowledge (medicine), Insight

Background
Trust-fund rebel

Spells
First Level(4): Burning Hands, Feel My Pain, Sanctuary, Sleep
Second Level(4): Augury, Calm Emotions, Evil Eye, Mind Obscure 
Third Level(3): Clairvoyance, Remove Disease, Witch Wail
Fourth Level(3): Discern Lies, Instant Karma, Remove Curse 
Fifth Level(2): Dispel Evil, Primal Scream

Katherine "Kat" Montblanc is one of the more notorious rebels in the Montblanc family. She wants nothing to do with her family at all except for when she can rub their nose in her defiance. An aspect of her personality she admits is a character flaw. She works as a social worker in her family's hospital but only accepts the salary paid to her by The Sanctuary, where she also does volunteer work.  She specializes in trauma inflicted by other supernatural types, though she will go on to say that some of the worst monsters out there are humans.

Kat does not get along with, nor trust, Katia Crane. The feelings are mutual. 


You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get my Aiséiligh Witch book pdf here.

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Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Erika Lenard for NIGHT SHIFT

Today I want to discuss Warlocks in NIGHT SHIFT.

Warlocks in NIGHT SHIFT

Warlocks are a different class from witches in my Old-School games. Warlocks get more powers but far fewer spells to cast. Witches and warlocks cast spells from the same group, Occult Spells, and there are even a few power overlaps.  Both have patrons, but these patrons demand more of the warlock than the witch.

In NIGHT SHIFT, they are interchangeable in terms of mechanics. The differences largely lie in roleplaying.

I have two different warlock books, each covering a different OSR system (Swords & Wizardry and OSE) and different types of warlocks.  I have discussed the differences between the two books before, but for today I want to talk about what each offers NIGHT SHIFT.

The Warlock

In the case of both books, if you choose to play a warlock in NIGHT SHIFT use the Witch class from the Core. Could you use the S&W or OSE Warlocks as is? Sure, but I have to point out I have never play-tested the warlock under the NIGHT SHIFT rules. It *should* work, but I can't promise that there isn't some odd little system things that might come up.

With the warlock, it is much less about one-to-one conversions as it is a role-playing one.  

Start with the NIGHT SHIFT witch class and add invocations and spells as appropriate to whichever warlock pact and/or lodge you want to play.

Pacts

Warlocks have pacts. This is pretty much a given in FRPGs today, but it bears repeating. These pacts are almost like subclasses, in a sense.

The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry has: Cthonic, Demonic, Diabolic, and Fey pacts.

The Warlock for Old-School Essentials has: Chaos, Cosmic, Death, and Dragon pacts.

Each of these gives us a slightly different warlock. Sure to the outsider Chaos and Demon pact warlocks act the same and the differences between Demonic and Diabolic might be purely academic, but to the warlocks in question they are all the differences they need.

Lodges

Witches have covens, and warlocks have Lodges. These are groups of like-minded warlocks (and sometimes others) to achieve a specific Earthly goal. Often they have members of the same pacts, but not always so.  Characters will typically not deal with "Demon Pact Warlocks" but more often "The Lodge of a Particular Demon Lord."

Like the pacts, each book offers different lodges.

The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry has: Ascension Lodges, The Dark School of the Scholomance, Goetic Lodges, The Grand Coven, The Hermetic Lodge, the Lodge of Pure Thought, and the Masters of the Invisible College.

The Warlock for Old-School Essentials has: The Academy of Noble Stargazers, Chaos Cults, The Dragon Cult, and The Lords of the Undying.

All of these would be right at home in a NIGHT SHIFT game.  The Scholomance would be a great rival school in Generation HEX. Most, if not all, these lodges would find a home in Jason's "Veterans of the Supernatural Wars" Night World setting. Indeed many of the groups would work with my Hermetic Lodges. In his "Nocturumverse" his Esoteric Order of Gnostics would follow my lodge rules, as would his Rosicrucians.

My "Ordinary World" setting also has a lot of room for warlocks. Angels and demons battle each other and seek mortal aid in their wars. Fey lords and ladies plot and scheme, and who knows what else is out there hiding and waiting. 

Erika Lenard
Erika Lenard
3rd Level Witch (Warlock)

Strength: 10 (0)
Dexterity: 17 (+2) S
Constitution: 14 (+1)
Intelligence: 15 (+1) S
Wisdom: 12 (+0) 
Charisma: 16 (+2) P

HP: 13
Alignment: Light
AC: 9
Attack: +0

Fate Points: 1d6

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +3/+1/+0
Melee bonus: 0 Ranged bonus: +2
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Familiar, Talk to Animals

Skills
Knowledge (Egyptian History)

Gear
Cellphone, Cat-ear Bluetooth headphones.

Spells
First Level(2): Detect Magic, Sleep
Second Level(1): Animal Summoning

Erika Lenard always knew she was different. Very different. Even at a very young age, she could understand animals, particularly cats. It was a school field trip to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago that she heard the voice of Sekhmet. She passed out and the next thing she knew, she was surrounded by her classmates, and she could see the Goddess Sekhmet.

Sekhmet has given her the spells she knows and has instructed her via her cat-familiar Isis.  

She has so far, used her ability to summon cats as a means to help find a missing child and even attack a would-be burglar.  Though Sekhmet has mentioned that she has greater plans for Erika.

Erika is currently being watched by several groups, including the OTO, the Rosicrucians, and the One True Way. Each with their own plans for her.

SekhmetSekhmet

You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get The Warlock for Old-School Essentials and The Warlock for Swords & Wizardry in print and pdf.

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Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Katia Crane for NIGHT SHIFT

Continuing my series here on using my OSR Witch books with NIGHT SHIFT I am providing more detail and background to a character that only got a paragraph in the NIGHT SHIFT core rules.

Green Witch for NIGHT SHIFT

The Green Witch

I will admit, the Green Witch is one of my favorites. It has a witch concept I really love and introduces both the Huntsman and Green Knight classes to use.  

While it works fantastic for Swords & Wizardry, it really gets to shine as part of NIGHT SHIFT.

I have discussed the idea of a Ban Drui or druid-witch in the past. The Green Witch comes closest to that idea.  In NIGHT SHIFT this can get even closer to my concept.  

Again, you can use all the spells from the Green Witch in NIGHT SHIFT. Some might need to be altered to fit your game or gaming style, but the idea is to give the Green Witch something more special about here above and beyond that of the average witch.  

Here is how I would redo her occult powers into arcane powers.

Level 1: Familiar. The Green Witch gets a familiar. This is a spirit in the form of a naturally occurring animal.  Use the familiar rules in the Green Witch book for the bonuses to the witch.

Level 4: Herbal Healing. Just like the Herbal Healing power in the Green Witch book.

Level 7: Speak to Plants and Animals. Again, just like the Occult Power the Green Witch gets at level 7.

Level 10: Green Walking. Just like the Shadow Walking power in NIGHT SHIFT, but the witch uses her natural surroundings to move.

Level 13: Pass Without A Trace. Same as the level 13 Occult Power for the Green Witch.

I have to admit, this works rather well. 

Katia Crane
Katia Crane
8th Level Green Witch

Strength: 12 (0)
Dexterity: 13 (+1)
Constitution: 14 (+1) S
Intelligence: 13 (+1) S
Wisdom: 14 (+1) 
Charisma: 17 (+2) P

HP: 30
Alignment: Light (for now), Neutrality
AC: 9
Attack: +1

Fate Points: 1d8

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +4/+3/+1
Melee bonus: 0 Ranged bonus: +1
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Familiar, Herbal Healing, Speak to Plants and Animals

Skills
Knowledge (botany and plants), Knowledge (chemistry), Insight

Spells
First Level(4): Bless Growth, Detect Magic, Sanctuary, Sleep
Second Level(3): Bewitch II, Binding Earth, Command
Third Level(3): Bestow Curse, Fear (Greater), Remove Disease
Fourth Level(2): Call Lightning, Confusion

Katia Crane is an attractive witch in her early 30s. She has a young son, Henry, who she dotes over. She runs the local apothecary and herbal shop in the town of West Haven.  By all accounts, she is a pleasant person and no one, witch, supernatural, or mortal, seems to have a bad thing to say about her.  This is largely due to the fact that she plays her cards very close to her chest.

Katia is of the belief that witches should rule the world. She has no idea exactly how to make that happen, but she keeps tabs on all the witches in the area, particularly the Montblanc and Winters clans.  If she had a preference, she would side with the Winters; odd given her focus on plants and their focus on the cold, but she feels they are an older family more in touch with the "old ways."  She thinks the Montblancs are too used to their modern comforts. 

She never speaks about Henry's father, not even to say if they were married or not. This has led to some gossip that she had poisoned him. She did not, but she did have him killed. 


You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get my Green Witch book in print and pdf here.

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Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge


Monday, January 2, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Tanith Winters for NIGHT SHIFT

One of the questions I have been asked is, can I use my various witch books/traditions with NIGHT SHIFT witches?

The short answer is YES!

The longer answer is still yes, but there are ways to do it. 

Winter Witch & NIGHT SHIFT

There are a few things to consider. My various witch books will not go up to the spell levels that NIGHT SHIFT does.  Even at the highest, my OSR witch books are capped spell level 8. NIGHT SHIFT goes to 9.  NIGHT SHIFT witches get to choose their powers at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th levels (and every three levels after). My OSR witches get assigned an occult power at various levels, usually 1st, 7th, 13th, and more. 

So with this character creation challenge, I want to take on some particular examples. 

Since this is winter, let's start with the Winter Witch book.

The Winter Witch

The Winters family is mentioned (but not detailed) in the NIGHT SHIFT core. They are a rival family of the Montblanc family in my "Ordinary World" setting/Night World.

The Winters are Winter Witches, and the Montblancs are Family Witches. They are bitter rivals but keep their hostilities out of the open. 

When adapting the Swords & Wizardry-based Winter Witch book, you can substitute the powers the NIGHT SHIFT witches can choose with the Occult Powers of the Winter Witches.

Winter Witches gain the following powers in NIGHT SHIFT.

1st Level: Immunity to Cold.  The cold never bothered them anyway.

4th Level: Cool Demeanor. The winter witch adds +1 to all her cold-based attacks and spell rolls.

7th Level: Wild Form. Assume the shape of any winter animal.

10th Level: Pass Without a Trace/Free movement. The winter witch can move freely in ice or snow on foot. Never slipping, never falling, never leaving a trace of movement. Treated as having stealth skills in the ice and snow of a Survivor of equal level. 

There are other powers like "Hyperborean Apotheosis" that the Winter Witch can use, but that should be only granted at the 19th level. 

Photo by Darya Sannikova from Pexels
Photo by Darya Sannikova from Pexels
Tanith Winters 
4th level Winter Witch

Strength: 10 (0)
Dexterity: 12 (0)
Constitution: 14 (+1) S
Intelligence: 13 (+1)
Wisdom: 14 (+1) S
Charisma: 16 (+2) P

HP: 15
Alignment: Light (for now)
AC: 9
Attack: +0

Fate Points: 1d6

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +3/+2/0
Melee bonus: 0 Ranged bonus: +0
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Immunity to Cold, Cool Demeanor

Skills
Research, Insight, 

Spells
First Level: Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Sleep
Second Level: Knock, Suggestion

Tanith Winters is a young witch already making a name for herself among the Winters family. She has even attracted the attention of the family matriarch, Grandmother Winters.  This can be a good or bad thing.

Tanith lives in West Haven, where she has already encountered the members of the rival Montblanc family. While the Montblancs have more money and Earthly power, the Winters are an older family with more powerful magic. So at the moment, they are avoiding direct confrontation with each other. 

Other versions of Tanith can be found here, here, and here

You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get my Winter Witch book in print and pdf here.

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Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Acrobatic Flea for NIGHT SHIFT

One of the first blogs I encountered was Tim Knight's Hero Press. He had a lot of the same interests I did and he writes about a lot of cool stuff.  I like to joke that Hero Press is "The Other Side" of England.

Like my Johan, he has a character that has gone with him from game to game, but in particular Villians & Vigilantes.  His character, the Acrobatic Flea, is something of a mascot of Hero Press.  He has built the Flea for many universes, much like I do for my Larina.  

So it stands to reason there is a Flea in NIGHT SHIFT.

The Acrobatic Flea for NIGHT SHIFT

The Acrobatic Flea for NIGHT SHIFT

Aspiring reporter Sean Edward Ridire got his dream job at Weirdly World News. Figuring out he would get the big scoop on the truth about UFOs and aliens. But a chance encounter with a vampire and helping a victim out introduced the vigilante known only as the Acrobatic Flea to the world of the supernatural. 

In the worlds of NIGHT SHIFT this Acrobatic Flea patrols the dark streets of Knight City protecting the innocents of the world from the creatures of the night. Donning a protective suit and special night vision goggles he keeps his identity secret. Using his contacts at WWN he hunts down the stories AND the monsters.  

Here he is for Night Shift. NIGHT SHIFT is available from the Elf Lair Games website (hardcover) and from DriveThruRPG (PDF).

The Acrobatic Flea
3rd level Survivor (Human)
Archetype: Correspondent

Strength: 12 (0) 
Dexterity: 14 (+1) S
Constitution: 15 (+1) 
Intelligence: 13 (+1) P
Wisdom: 14 (+1)  
Charisma: 15 (+1) S

HP: 16
Alignment: Light
AC: 5 (tactical suit)
Attack: +1

Fate Points: 1d6

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +3/+1/0
Melee bonus: 0 Ranged bonus: +1
Saves: +4 to death saves. +2 to all others.

Survivor Abilities
Stealth skills; Climbing; Danger Sense (1-4); Sneak Attack +4, x2; Read Languages 80%

Survivor Skills

  • Open Locks: 35%
  • Bypass Traps: 30%
  • Sleight of Hand: 40%
  • Move Silently: 40%
  • Hide in Shadows: 30%
  • Climbing 75%
  • Perception: 50%

Skills
Research, Insight, Notice (x2)

Gear
Tactical suit, night vision goggles, climbing gear.

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This could be a lot of fun! I like this, I would love to use the Flea as an NPC one time. Hope you approve Tim!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Witch Babylon: Daughter of Eros, Mother of Harlots

So back at the end of September, I guess we had, and missed, another end of the world. Yup. I was reading that September 25, 2022, was supposed to be the Rapture. There were a bunch of videos on TikTok and YouTube that frankly I can't be bothered to link to it. Suffice it to say nothing happened.

But it does give me the excuse to post this picture from Spire Christian Comics

The GREAT SNATCH!!!

I know. I am a juvenile. 

BUT. In the process of looking for that image, I found this one from the same comic.

Babylon Mother of Harlots

Black magic? Witchcraft? Demon contact? Sorcery?

Someone has been reading my letters to Santa again! 

And she is such a groovy cool looking 70s witch too.  I learned that the artist, Al Hartley, had done "Betty and Veronica" comics and some softcore comics prior to being born again. 

This is supposed to be the Whore of Babylon, a character from Revelations. I get that she is supposed to be largely symbolic and not a real person, but sometimes it reads like she is. 

From Revelations Chapter 17.

  1. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
  2. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
  3. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

I don't pretend to know what all this is supposed to mean. But the imagery is fascinating like most of what is happening in Revelations. 

Of course, I am going to use her as a witch. Come on? 70s occult propaganda? That's my Appendix N!

Who is Babylon?

That art above is plenty to get me going. Given her role in Revelations, I am going to have to say she is a Witch Queen naturally.  But what kind? In my mind, each Witch Queen is head of a large coven and/or Tradition. She is not a Mara Witch, I have plenty of those. Nor is she a Pagan. And she is most certainly NOT a Pumpkin Spice Witch! No, she has a calling and it is not any of these. It could be close to the Classical Witch, but still not exactly right. No I think she is the Queen of a completely different tradition.

Daughters of Eros

Her tradition is something I have been mulling over for a couple of years now. In my recent reviews of the Love WitchThe Pantheon and Pagan Faiths, Sisters of RaptureJeremy Reaban's Beguiler and Enchanter, I have some more ideas of what a new tradition, The Daughters of Eros, could be.

Note I have nothing I am going to publish in a book yet OR even if there is any need/desire/want for such a book. 

Babylon, Mother of Harlots

Babylon
23rd Level Witch, Daughters of Eros Tradition 

Strength: 11 (0) Saving Throws (base)
Dexterity: 16 (+2) Death Ray, Poison 5
Constitution: 13 (+1) Magic Wands 6
Intelligence: 14 (+1) Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone 5
Wisdom: 17 (+2) Dragon Breath 5
Charisma: 19 (+3) Rods, Staffs, Spells 7


Hit Points: 55 (10d4+13)+10
Alignment: Chaotic (evil)
AC: 1 (Ring of Protection, Garter of Defence)
THAC0: 12

Occult Powers (Daughter of Eros Tradition)
Familiar: Familiar spirit (comes in the shape of a cupid cherub or an incubus)
7th level: 
13th level: Devil's Tongue
19th level: Curse

Spells
Cantrips (6): Analyze Fertility, Clean, Daze, Message, Object Reading, Warm
First (7+3): Bewitch I, Block the Seed, Burning Hands, Charm Person, Command, Drowsy, Increase Sex Appeal, Sleep, Soothe, Twisting the Heartstrings I
Second (6+2): Alter Self,  Bewitch II, Ecstasy, Enthrall, Fever, Hold Person, Rose Garden, Twisting the Heartstrings II
Third (6+2): Astral Sense, Bestow Curse, Betwitch III, Continual Fire, Fly, Mind Rash, Tongues, Witch Wail
Fourth (5+2): Bewitch IV, Elemental Armor, Emotion, Moonlit Way, Neutralize Poison, Spiritual Dagger, Drawing Down the Moon (Ritual)
Fifth (5): Anti-Magic Candle, Bewitch V, Bull of Heaven, Dream, Song of Discord
Sixth (4): Bewitch VI, Heroes' Feast, Mass Suggestion, Wall of Roses
Seventh (4):  Bewitch VII, Breath of the Goddess, Peace Aura, Serpent Garden
Eighth (4): Astral Projection, Bewitch VIII, Greater Mislead, Mind Blank

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The Witch Babylon
Named for the city she was born in (Βαβυλών), Babylon is a near-immortal witch. Some say she is the daughter of Lilith, some say she is the bastard child conceived when the demon Astaroth forced himself onto his mother Astarte, but the majority claim she is the youngest child of Eros and Psyche.  She is beautiful like her mother, grandmother (Venus), and older sister, Hedone* (also known as Volupta) but was jealous of all three. 

(*Followers of Hedone are known as Hedonists and are also part of the Daughters of Eros Tradition. Though they tend to be more good and neutral in alignment.)

Whatever her origin she is the patroness of whores and debauched witchcraft. She has allied herself with the forces of evil and will stand as their herald of the end times.  She also represents the corrupting nature of civilization.

Babylon is the quintessential "lover, not a fighter" though she also has no problem charming, compelling, or wiping someone's mind to be her lover. She has an entire cadre of former adventurers that had been on a quest to kill her that are now her mindless slaves.

She shares many attributes with Nocticula and the two try to avoid each other when possible. There is an ongoing rivalry between the two. If Babylon hears that Nocticula is having a Midsummer's Eve party with 1,000 guests, then she will try to increase her own party to 1,100 or more.

She will act as a witch priestess, but to what Patron she will not divulge. All witches are welcome in her court.

Babylon in War of the Witch Queens

Babylon is not likely to change what she is doing during the War of the Witch Queens. Indeed she will remark on how neutral she is and will try to avoid the whole thing. In truth, she is trying to figure out who has done the deed and will figure out if she needs to ally with them or betray them. 

The 1979 Campaign

Come on! You know she needs to be in this! She is too groovy not to be.

Babylon in NIGHT SHIFT

As a nearly immortal witch, Babylon will still be active in the worlds of NIGHT SHIFT. Now she would be living in LA, New York, Paris, or some other large metropolitan city.  She will be involved in all sort of illicit dealings but most especially drugs and human trafficking. On the surface, she runs an "Adult Entertainment Empire" called simply enough, Babylon.


RPG Blog Carnival

This is my entry to this month's RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Campaign Mastery.

This month's theme is "Art-spiration." This is my entry for the Al Hartley art of Babylon above.  I am likely to have more since this is such a fun topic.

RPG Blog Carnival

Thursday, October 20, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Sorceress (1995)

Sorceress (1995)
I should lose my horror street cred for this one. In my defense, it meets some good horror elements. It has Linda Blair. It has witches in it. There is mayhem, magic, and murder, and I am sure another "M" word will come up. Also, it does have a pentagram on the cover, so it makes this year's cut.

Sorceress (1995)

Where even to begin on this one? Well in the first few frames we treated to a full frontal of Julie Strain (as Erica) performing some sort of magic ritual. She stabs a picture of Howard Reynolds (Edward Albert). Howard is driving home talking to his wife Amelia (Linda Blair) on the phone. Amelia gets some sort of psychic warning and tells Howard to pull over now!  He gets out of the car before it crashes and explodes! Maybe she should have told him not to carry so many explosives in his car.

Anyway, Larry Barnes (Larry Poindexter), a partner in Howard's law firm comes home and his wife is Erica! He catches her casting the spell and next thing we know she is taking a dive off of the second story and is dead on the pavement below. Wow. We have not even rolled the credits yet and Julie Strain is dead. Oh and for *reasons* Toni Naples as Maria leaves with them. 

Later on Larry is getting over Erica's death. He talks about her as if she had cast some sort of spell on him. We get flashbacks of them having sex in the living room, them having sex in the bedroom, them having a threesome with Maria. Meanwhile Howard is at home still recovering and telling his boss John Geiger (played by none other than William "Blacula" Marshall!) he isn't going back to work and the promotion he got can go to someone else. Guess who gets it? Yup. Larry, who is probably remembering a time he and Eric had sex at a 7-Eleven. Ok that is not in the movie.

Larry does start dating fellow lawyer Carol (Rochelle Swanson). He tells her about the threesome, to which she immediately says she won't do that. They fall asleep and Amelia uses her evil altar to invade Carol's dreams. She has her in a threesome with Erica and Maria. 

Amelia is using magic to make Carol act more like Erica including dying her hair brunette. She tells her husband she doing this out of revenge for what Erica did to him. She just about has Carol killing everyone when Howard shoots and kills Amelia and frees Carol. 

THEN Larry sits up in bed in shock and sees Erica standing there asking if he had a bad dream!  Well, I guess they needed her for the sequel.

Ok. So. This is not a great movie, but entertaining in the same way a Russ Meyer film is. You don't go into looking for a plot. There is one here and I will get to that in a bit.

One of the things I noticed while I was looking people up for this is how many of the stars are now dead. Yeah, it is a 27-year-old movie, but still. Julie Strain, William Marshall, Edward Albert, Michael Parks, all gone.

For Use in NIGHT SHIFT and War of the Witch Queens

Oh. I'll make lemonade from this one. The basic plot here are two witches, Erica and Amelia, both fighting a magic war with each other using their men as proxies.  It becomes obvious really fast that while Larry and Howard are the ones bringing in the money, the real power lies with their wives.

For War of Witch Queens, I take this as the default approach. Once the High Witch Queen is dead then the gloves come off and the pointy hats go on. This is what has everyone so afraid. 

For NIGHT SHIFT, well it can kind of work as-is really. The threesomes are up to you and your group.  Elf Lair Games makes no guarantee that playing NIGHT SHIFT will increase the number of threesomes in your life.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 29
First Time Views: 22

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022

Saturday, October 15, 2022

I Got My NIGHT SHIFT Mead

Got a special delivery the other day!

NIGHT SHIFT Mead

NIGHT SHIFT Mead

NIGHT SHIFT Mead

Our NIGHT SHIFT Twilight's Queen mead from Apis mead and wine is in.

I have three bottles and I am saving them for Halloween night. Certainly a great night for it!

You can order yours from Vino Shipper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Witchcraft (1964)

Witchcraft (1964)
Not expecting much from this one, but it was such a late turn for Lon Chaney Jr. I just had to. Glad I did, I was treated to some nice British Folk Horror. 

The movie deals with the centuries-old rivalry between two British families, the Laniers and the Whitlocks.  The Laniers wanted the Whitlock's land so in the 17th century they accused Vanessa Whitlock (Yvette Rees) of witchcraft.

Fast forward to the 1960s Amy Whitlock (Diane Clare) and Todd Lanier (David Weston) fall in love. Much to the chagrin of Amy's stern (and oddly American) uncle Morgan Whitlock (Lon Chaney Jr.).

The Lanier's are developing parts of their land (modernizing) and accidentally stray onto what is left of the Whitlock's land. In the process uncovering the grave of Vanessa Whitlock.  Later that night Vanessa rises from the grave to exact her revenge! She really was a witch!

It drags a little but turns out the Whitlocks have been pagans since, well, forever and they and some of the locals participate in their rituals to seek revenge against the Laniers.

This all ends in a ritual to bring Vanessa back to true life, but instead the all get trapped in the mausoleum as it, the Whitlock estate, and all the Whitlocks (yes including poor Amy) die in the fire. 

Honestly, it was a great movie and had to be pretty scary for 1964. The practical special effects were quite good. Sure they can't compare to the one we have now 60 years later, but they were still great for the time. The actors all were great in their roles and everything had a great Folk Horror feel about it. The tale itself could be adapted to today without missing a beat really.

If there was any piece of this I felt it was off it was Lon Chaney Jr., he seemed so oddly mis-cast for this. He is just so...American...it is hard to believe his character would have ever not fought the Laniers more. I can't say it was because of lack of work before or after (aka a pity casting that happens to so many older horror icons) because Chaney worked solidly with a movie coming out every year from 1931 to 1971. Sure a year might be skipped, but for many years he had multiple movies in a single year. Plus he was, by all accounts, a great guy and easy to work with.

Regardless, this was a fun little movie and a treat.

Use for NIGHT SHIFT

I have spent a lot of time this month (and the summer) talking about witches and how they will all fit into my War of the Witch Queens.  In doing all of this I have also been thinking of an adventure that I am currently calling "Coda𝄌." The idea here is that one of the Witch Queens (or just witches) defeated by the PCs will come back to challenge the PCs of the modern era using NIGHT SHIFT.  This works best if the Players are all the same.

The premise is simple. One of the witches from back then is back and wants to claim her vengeance.  My witch would come back as something akin to a Zugarramurdi Bruja, and be the dark reflection of my Dark Druid adventure.  Who the witch will be is unknown right now. I want to choose the one the players have the most interaction. If she can be a witch from our world, all the better.


October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 16
First Time Views: 13

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022