Showing posts with label character. Show all posts
Showing posts with label character. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Converting D&D 5 to Pathfinder 2: Character Conversion

This isn't going to be about a full conversion. Mostly because I feel the best conversions are done in situ by the GM. 

Today I want to talk about converting one of my D&D 5e campaigns, "Into the Nentir Vale."

D&D 5e to Pathfinder 2e

A bit of background.  Into the Nentir Vale began as, obviously enough, a D&D 4e game.  I ran the intro adventures for it with a group, and the reactions were mixed. I tried again with some Pathfinder, a one-shot, but it never quite jelled the way I wanted it to.  Fast forward a few years, and D&D 5 was released. I did a series of posts on sunk cost analysis/bias and conversions leading up to it:

Once these were all done, the adventures went on under 5e.  Well...we know how this will turn out.

Somehow it seems fitting that I am converting it again to Pathfinder, this time 2e.

The adventures themselves are the HPE adventures from D&D 4e. Essentially I am removing about 1/3 of the content to make it play a bit faster.  I am scaling the monsters and encounters to fit a 20th level maximum (vs. a 30th-level one), but in many ways, the conversion between 4e and Pathfinder 2e is easier than converting between D&D 4e and D&D 5e.

The Character: Rowan McGowan

Rowan is my test character here. She is a reoccurring NPC and one I used as my internal tests of various combat situations.

Rowan McGowan, Witch Knight

Like the campaign itself, Rowan has seen some history and conversions. She began life as a witch for D&D 3.5. Her concept is a "Witch Knight" or "Witch Guardian."  This is a witch that takes up the sword to protect others, typically of their faith and/or other witches. Rowan is a protector of the "Old Faith." Some of her exploits found a home in my Pagan Witch book, for example. 

In D&D 5, Rowan was a multi-classed Warlock (Hexblade)/Paladin. Her background was an acolyte to cover her growing up in a religious order of witches. She picked up the blade when she saw others of her kind being killed.  Her devotion is like a Paladin, just to a different cause. Multi-classing her was pretty easy to do since Charisma is the prime ability of both Warlocks and Paladins.

When converting her to Pathfinder there were a number of key differences.

First, while warlock was a compromise in D&D 5 (I wanted a core book class) I can do a proper witch in Pathfinder.  But witch's main ability is Intelligence in Pathfinder (though I will argue with some authority that it should be Charisma). Also Pathfinder 2e does multiclassing VERY differently than what D&D 3.x/Pathfinder and D&D 5e do it. Interestingly enough, it is more similar to how D&D 4 did it.

In 5e Rowan's first level was Warlock (Witch) and then she took a level in Paladin. I have been leapfroging the classes. She is level 4 now with 2 levels in both Warlock and Paladin.

In Pathfinder Her class is Witch. I had her take Weapon Proficiency at level 1 so she could use simple weapons.  At level 2 she is still a witch but I had her take the Champion Dedication feat. This "multi-classes" her into Champion, the Pathfinder version of a Paladin. This is similar to the Multi-class feats of 4e.

Here she continues to 4th level.

The progression is more straightforward in Pathfinder with fewer options in the beginning.  The progression in 5e is less straightforward with lots of options. 5e Rowan has more spells for example, but her maximum casting choices will be limited at higher levels. Pathfinder Rowan will have access to much more powerful witch spells, even if she has fewer right now.

Rowan McGowanWitch 4


Chaotic Good
Medium
Human
Versatile Heritage
Humanoid

Perception +7;
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven
Skills Acrobatics +1, Arcana +9, Athletics +4, Diplomacy +10, Intimidation +10, Lore: Scribing +7, Occultism +7, Religion +7, Society +7, Survival +7
Str +4, Dex +1, Con +0, Int +1, Wis +1, Cha +4
Items Half Plate


AC 22; Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +9
HP 32


Speed 20 feet
Melee Greatsword +10 (Versatile P), Damage 1d12+4 S
Devoted Guardian Requirements Your last action was to Raise a Shield. You adopt a wide stance, ready to defend both yourself and your chosen ward. Select one adjacent creature. As long as your shield is raised and the creature remains adjacent to you, the creature gains a +1 circumstance bonus to their AC, or a +2 circumstance bonus if the shield you raised was a tower shield.
Occult Prepared Spells DC 17, attack +7; 2nd ; 1st CommandMage ArmorCantrips Chill TouchDazeMage HandRead AuraProtect Companion
Arcane Innate Spells DC 20, attack +10; Cantrips Detect Magic
Arcane Innate Spells DC 20, attack +10; Cantrips Shield
Focus Spells (1 points) Pact Broker Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature Saving Throw Will; Duration sustained up to 1 minute You offer to broker a pact of peace. If the target accepts and doesn't take hostile actions against you and your allies, you take a –1 status penalty to Deception checks to Lie to them. If they refuse and take a hostile action against you or an ally, they must attempt a Will save. If they accepted the offer and then take a hostile action against you or an ally, they must attempt a Will save and treat the result as one category worse. Regardless of the outcome, the target is then temporarily immune for 1 minute. Success The target is unaffected. Failure The target takes a –1 status penalty to attack and damage rolls against you and your allies. Critical Failure The target takes a –2 status penalty to attack and damage rolls against you and your allies.
Phase Familiar Range 60 feet; Targets your familiar You draw upon your patron's power to momentarily shift your familiar from its solid, physical form into an ephemeral version of itself shaped of mist. Your familiar gains resistance 5 to all damage and is immune to precision damage. These apply only against the triggering damage. Heightened (+1) Increase the resistance by 2.
Additional Feats Arcane SenseArcane TattoosChampion DedicationRoot MagicStudent of the Canon
Additional Specials Arcane Tattoo (Shield)Champion Archetype Cause (Liberator Cause)FamiliarHexesPatron (Pacts)Tenets of GoodWitch Spellcasting

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Rowan's Character Sheets

Thankfully I still had her PDF from D&D Beyond. 

There are subtle differences to be sure. Pathfinder Rowan has better AC and HP compared to her D&D 5 counterpart on paper. I am not sure if those will make much of a difference though in play. 

I knew 5e (and 3.5s) Rowan had a tattoo on her shoulder blade but I was not certain of what yet. In Pathfinder I figure it is the symbol of her Goddess Desna.

While putting these sheets in her folder I noticed I had also started AD&D 2nd Ed, Castles & Crusades, and DragonAGE versions of her started as well!

The conversion was pretty fast, to be honest. These systems still share DNA. In many ways, the Pathfinder version is much closer to my original concept of her so I am pretty happy about that. I will need to see how I can convert the other characters now.

Converting monsters will just be a one-for-one swap out. 

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.

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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


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Jassic Winterhaven

“Some sages say we are related to dwarves because of our tendency to live underground.  Might as well say we are related to purple worms with that logic!  Others say we are akin to earth elementals. So we must be related to rocks. But I say we are really related to birds. Give me long distances to travel. Give me a song to play. Give me women to impress.  That’s what it means to be a gnome to me.”

- Jassic Winterhaven, Gnome adventurer.

Jassic Winterhaven

I wanted to start off this year's Character Creation Challenge with one of my "scholar" characters I am using in my Monstrous Maleficarum; Jassic Winterhaven. Gnome adventurer, bard and witch (or warlock). He is charming, curious, and always in trouble.  Great for a witch that runs into a lot of monsters. 

He got his start in during my 3.0 days as an NPC. He then moved on to 4th Edition and then to 5th Edition

Jassic Winterhaven
Jassic Winterhaven

We will see more Jassic this year and more Monstrous Maleficarum scholars this month.

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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, December 6, 2022

The Acrobatic Flea for Amazing Adventures

I had so much fun doing the write-up for Tim Knight's Acrobatic Flea a couple of weeks ago for NIGHT SHIFT I thought, why not give it a try for Amazing Adventures too!

NIGHT SHIFT's Flea (dubbed Earth-NS) is a non-powered gritty street-level hero fighting the forces of darkness while working for Weirdly World News.  The Flea of Amazing Adventures is a powered hero with more emphasis on two-fisted action as behooves Amazing Adventures' own origin as a Pulp game and now itself a multiversal game.

The Amazing Adventures of the Acrobatic Flea

The Amazing Adventures of the Acrobatic Flea

Sean Edward Ridire grew up reading comics about his favorite pulp action heroes; Tennessee O'Malley, Mackie Gleeson, Marie Laveau, the adventures only known as "The Fox" and Brotherhood of William St. John. Then to his surprise and joy, at age 14, his own mutant powers developed. He became superhumanly strong, could leap several meters into the air and land safely, and could climb any surface.  At 21 he moved to Knight's End to take a job as a reporter at a local TV News network. During the day he covers the news, reporting on traffic, human interest stories, and other bottom-tier assignments. But he also patrols the city as the Acrobatic Flea stopping what crime he can.

In his short time he has teamed up with other heroes such as the demon hunter known as The Paladin and the mysterious Witch Queen to fight spider mutants and defeat the evil Refrigerator. But the strangest encounter of all was meeting his own counterpart from another, darker Earth!

What adventures will the Flea have next? Only time will tell, but they will be Amazing!

The Acrobatic Flea

3rd Level Powered / 1 level Hard to Kill
Race: Human (Mutant)

Strength: 22 (+4) P
Dexterity: 20 (+4) P
Constitution: 14 (+1) 
Intelligence: 14 (+1) 
Wisdom: 16 (+2) P
Charisma: 16 (+2)

Hit Points: 25
Alignment: Lawful Good
AC: 16
BtH: +2
Power Points: 12

Sanity (SAN): 80 (Max), 80 (Current)

Fate Points: 6
Fate Die: 1d6

Languages: English (native language), French
Background: Reporter
Skills: Knowledge (Popular Culture)
Traits: Quick (Move +10, +1 to initiative)

Powers

True Strike, Jump, Spider Climb (2), Enhanced Strength +8, Enhanced Dexterity +4, cell phone (burner) 

Gear

Night vision goggles (gift from the Flea of Earth NS), costume (AC 6).

Remember, these are the final hours of the Amazing Adventures Multi-Genre RPG crowdsourcing campaign.

Amazing Adventures Multi-Genre RPG

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amazing-adventures-multi-genre-rpg#/

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!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Larina Nichols for Amazing Adventures

I have some projects going on right now that I am trying to get organized for my big Christmas break this year.  I am planning on burying myself in writing. So I am finding bits of text here, and some ideas there, and I have not even gone through my bookmarks* yet.

(*I scribble ideas on bookmarks while I read. Habit from my undergrad days.)

A couple came to me more or less at the same time.  The first was more details on what I am doing with the various incarnations of my iconic witch Larina. The other was some notes about an Amazing Adventures street-level supers game I keep batting around in my notes.  Since the new printing of Amazing Adventures (well, new printing and reorganized material) is now up on Indiegogo I thought, let's clean up one stack of notes with a post. 

The Game: Amazing Adventures

I have always been rather fond of Amazing Adventures. It is a modern version of Castles & Crusades and with the 2nd printing, the rules cleave much closer to the C&C SIEGE Engine rules. My understanding is that this new printing (a bit like a 2.5) is even closer. So close that the three books of Castles & Crusades are called "The Three Sisters" and the new three books for Amazing Adventures are called "The Three Brothers." Three brothers and three sisters? That sounds like my family. 

If you like modern games then this is a great time to get into Amazing Adventures. Especially if you are a fan of Castles & Crusades.

The Character: Larina Nichols

Larina Nichols, witch

One thing that I do with my Larina is to have different versions of her in different games. These are truly different versions of the same character in the multiverse but connected a bit like the Eternal Champion.  These are my worlds, I get to do these things. The GREAT thing about Amazing Adventures is that it IS so much like Castles & Crusades I can make moving between a modern world and a fantasy world much easier. If I can do that with her, you can do it with any character.

Also for me, there is this notion of adventures connected by places or people and displaced in time. This would be my trilogy of adventures "All Souls Night," "Blight," and "The Dark Druid" dealing with D&D-like fantasy, Victorian-age Gothic horror, and modern supernatural respectively. Larina, or someone like her, would be there in all three, reincarnated each time to deal with the threat of the Dark Druid.

But before I can do that right, I have to make sure I can move characters, or their other incarnations, to each time.  Here is my Drosophila melanogaster for these experiments.

Larina photo
Larina Nichols

19th Level Witch (Arcanist)
Race: Human

Strength: 10 (0)
Dexterity: 11 (0)
Constitution: 13 (+1) P
Intelligence: 17 (+2) 
Wisdom: 17 (+2) P
Charisma: 18 (+3) P

Hit Points: 79
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
AC: 10 
BtH: +4
MEP: 226
Primary Spellcasting Attribute: Charisma

Sanity (SAN): 90 (Max), 75 (Current)

Fate Points: 6
Fate Die: 1d12

Languages: English, Latin, Gaelic, Greek, Russian (native language is English)
Background: Scholar (Librarian)
Skills: Mythology (Celtic, Norse)
Traits: Spellgifted (Enchantments/Charms)

Powers
Familiar: Cotton Ball
Spellcasting

Spells
Cantrips: (9) Arcane Mark, Dancing Lights, Detect Illusion, Detect Magic, Light, Magical Aura, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Stun
First: (5+1) Color Spray, Command, Darkness, Identity, Shield, Sleep
Second: (5+1) Alter Self, Blur, Burning Hands, Hold Person, Pyrotechnics, Scare
Third: (4+1) Aid, Blink, Nondetection, Remove Curse, Tongues
Fourth: (4) Dispel Magic, Emotion, Phantasmal Killer, Seeming
Fifth: (4) Feeblemind, Mass Suggestion, Projection, True Seeing
Sixth: (3) Mislead, Veil, Wind Walk
Seventh: (3) Prismatic Spray, Teleport without Error, Word of Recall
Eighth: (3)  Antipathy, Prismatic Wall
Ninth: (2) Astral Projection

That went pretty fast really. Like creating an AD&D 1st Character.  In fact, that should really be the main reason to check this game out; how close it is to AD&D. 

In truth, that was a LOT of fun to do. Makes me realize how much I miss playing C&C and AD&D too.

So everyone get in on that Indiegogo campaign so others can see just how much fun this game really is. 

Amazing Adventures


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