Showing posts with label classes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classes. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: OSR Alternative Classes

OSR Alternative Classes
Getting into some more OSR today with a book of classes, the witch is just one 13.

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

OSR Alternative Classes

PDF. 48 pages. 1 table of contents page, 3 pages of OGL (which could have be brought down to 2 with better formatting), rest content.

Ok the PWYW suggestion is 50 cents. That puts this book at 1 cent per page practically. Easily the best page-to-cost ratio here.  

The layout is basic to point of non-existence really.  Not to be to judgemental but it looks like a PDF save of an MS Word document. There is very little art. 

The 13 classes are Cleric, Fighter, Magic-User, Thief, Assassin, Scout, Dervish, Berserker, Cerves Brave, Witch, Ironskin (Siderenos), Sorcerer, and Bard.  All the classes are presented in B/X style; levels to 14th limited spells.  The classes have some connection to an existing campaign setting that is not explained well here. Moreover they are also compared to other people's IP/Copyrights that really you can't do with the OGL.   Each class also has a set of alternate rules that are interesting and would likely work well in Old-School Essentials or B/X game. The company behind this document has gone on to do other OSE-compatible products.

All of the new classes have quite a bit of detail which is good. A few notes. The Assassin and Scout get arcane dabbling which I like.  The Cerves are Deer-folk and has one of the few examples of art. Though I would not use the word "Brave" to describe a warrior type. The Ironskin is a neat idea.  The Sorcerer here follows the 3.x mold and that is a good thing in my mind. The Bard looks like it would play well, to be honest, but there are so many out now you can usually find one that does exactly what you want. 

The Witch

Let's get why I bought this. These witches are divine casters, so wisdom is a prime along with Charisma. XP values are similar to clerics as is spell progression, though they do get spells at 1st level.  This witch has various powers.  They can use animals to see at 2nd level, brew potions at 3rd, craft fetishes at 5th level, dominate animals at 7th, scribe scrolls at 9th level, and at 11th create magic items.  They form covens at 9th level and can curse or bless others. 

This witch has a spell list, drawn from Labyrinth Lord, but no new spells. There are also a fair number of optional powers.

Ok. So there are a lot of good ideas here that are almost lost due to the sub-par layout and formatting.  I am betting that newer books from the same publisher/author are much better.  This one could go for an upgrade to be honest.  There is a designation of Open Content, but it also seems to be from another book. So I am not sure whether or not it is for this book or not. 

For the price though it is good. Even if you only ever use one class here, or even just the additional ideas for the basic 4 classes it is totally worth it. 

The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween

Saturday, July 30, 2022

100 Days of Halloween: Strange Magic

Strange Magic
I am always hesitant when I review someone else's witch classes. For starters I don't expect anyone else has put the time and frankly the ink (digital and otherwise) that I have done. I know there are others that have obsessed over their own things just a much, but I am not sure there are many that have talked about witches as much as I have.  Vince Garcia comes to mind. Malcolm Harris is another. 

This is the reason I try to follow my own rules for these reviews.  I want to be fair and I want judge on the product in front of me, not what I think should be in front of me.

This is harder when the witch class in question is designed for my favorite system B/X D&D.  But I also always hope to find something new and exciting.

Strange Magic: Character Classes

Written and art by Stuart Robertson, PDF. 6 pages, $1.  This does not included a front a cover and a back cover so it is 6 pages of content or 8 pages total.

Designed explicitly for B/X D&D and not a clone this book is designed to be printed at home.  The six classes include, Bard, Monk/Assassin, Order of Stellar Reason, Paladin/Anti-Paladin, Reverend Sisterhood, and the Witch.

Each class gets one page. The classes presented here are called "sub-classes" so the Witch is a Cleric sub-class. She would use all the same tables as the cleric does in B/X. She adds her Charisma mod to to her armor class and saving throws (so I would say an aura of protection) and can brew potions.  The other classes are similar and could be fun.

For a buck I was not expecting a lot and that is fine. There are certainly some fun ideas here and I am sure I could use them somewhere.  It certainly fits into the feel of B/X's simplicity and is similar enough to how BECMI handles "sub-classes."

No OGL, but the execution is simple enough to adapt ideas.


The Other Side - 100 Days of Halloween

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Class Struggles: Castles & Crusades - Core and Player Archive

It has been a while since my last Class Struggles post.  Since I featuring D&D this month and focusing on Castles & Crusades, in particular, this week I thought a look into the Castles & Crusades classes was in order. I am going to focus my attention on the Castles & Crusades Player Archive, but I will talk about more than just that.

Castles & Crusades, Players Handbook

One can't really talk about classes and not first look to the core, the Players Handbook.  This book serves the same purposes as the D&D Players Handbooks; it introduces the rules and the classes.  In this case, the comparison to AD&D 1st edition is most appropriate. 

Players Handbooks

I have repeatedly made the claim that Castles & Crusades is the spiritual successor to AD&D 1st Ed. No slight against 5e or other versions of D&D, but if you want modern rules and a 1st ed feel, your game is Castles & Crusades.  Obviously, the publisher, Troll Lords, feels the same way given the new cover art for the 8th Printing of the C&C PH.  

The classes in the C&C PH are: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Illusionist, Knight, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Wizard, and the Assassin (a special class).  Compare this to the ones from the AD&D 1st Ed Players Handook: Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, Assassin, Magic-user, Illusionist, Monk, and a special class for the Bard.  Add in the Unearthed Arcana we get the Barbarian and Cavalier along with the Thief-Acrobat.  So all in all a very, very similar list of options.

In Castles & Crusades, each class has a Prime Attribute which really helps define the class. This is a bit more "hard coded" into the class than say it is in AD&D.

The classes, even with the same name, do have some differences. For starters, all the spell casters can cast spells up to 9th level in C&C.   

A few details.  Bards do not get spellcasting ability here but a number of spell-like powers. Clerics are limited to wielding the weapon their deity favors. So a cleric of Thor naturally gets a hammer, but one of Odin might take the spear. Druids get a lot of abilities and spells. Fighters actually get a few abilities as well, especially involving weapon specialization. As mentioned Illusionists get spells to the 9th level.  The Knight fills the roles of the Cavalier.  Monks are fairly similar to their AD&D counterparts.  Both Paladins and Rangers are similar enough to their AD&D counterparts.  They both have a number of special powers but neither has actually spell casting powers.  At first, I did not like this particular change, but I did not miss it as much as I thought I might with the paladin.  I did in the Ranger, but I tended not to spend a lot of time on spells for my AD&D rangers to even begin with, save for spells that helped their normal ranger powers/skills.  Rogues are very close to their Thief ancestors.  Wizards get a nice boost at the 13th level when they start to get some new powers/abilities. It reminds me, rules-wise, of the BECMI magic users from the D&D Companion set.   The Assassin is a special class that is designed to be added to another class with the C&C Dual- or Multi-Classing and Class-and-half rules. 

Just looking at the classes, C&C can provide an interesting twist on the AD&D experience while retaining the essential feel of these archetypes.

Castles & Crusades Player Archive
Castles & Crusades Player Archive

The logical extension of the Castles & Crusades class discussion is to go through the Castles & Crusades Player Archive.  

I will give a brief review of this book so people will know what I am talking about.  For this review, I am only considering the PDF from DriveThruRPG. I thought I had the hardcover version of this as well, but I guess I don't.  Will need to remedy this.

PDF, 128 pages. Hyperlinked and bookmarked. Color cover art and black & white interior art.

This book collects most of the classes published in various Castles & Crusades books including the core and the Adventure's Backpack.  What is not here are some of the classes from the various Brian Young Codex books. There are some here, but I would have to go through all the books to know how many are here and how many are not.  I do not see this a miss. Many of the Codex classes are very specific to their time and place and to remove them from that context they would loose something special.

This book covers the basic (levels 1 to 12/13) and advanced (expanded) information (levels 13 to 24) for all the classes.  The classes are:

Arcane Thief, Archer, Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Chromatic Mage, Cleric, Divine Knight, Druid, Duelist, Dwarf (Heisen Fodt), Elf, High (Oraalau), Ethereal Knight, Fighter, Foresworn, Gnome (Hugrin Dun), Goblin, Eldritch (Ieragon), Halfling (Felon Noch), Illusionist, Knight, Luminary, Magic-User, Monk, Oathsworn, Pacer, Paladin, Pirate, Primal Druid, Ranger, Rogue, Rune Mark, Seeker, Skald, Thief, Warrior Priest, and Wizard.

There is a split between the classes "Basic" entry which covers levels 1 to 12 or 13, and the Expanded entry later in the book for levels up to 24.  This has some immediate consequences. While I am not a fan of my class information getting split up like this, many games only go to about levels 12-14 anyway.  So this would cover the majority of all games played.  It does give us a nice split today port these classes over to any OSR game based on B/X D&D (max level 14) or something Hyborea (max level 12). Then you can pull in the expanded information as it is needed if it is ever needed.

The Core/Players Handbook classes are here as are some classes that only appeared in limited-run products. It is really nice to have them all in one place. Great for anyone playing a C&C game, you just need to make sure that your Castle Keeper agrees on them.

Old School Games based on D&D usually do not handle multi- and dual-classes as well as say more modern versions of D&D. Castles & Crusades makes some vast improvements here with rules on this.  They also add options of "Class Plus" or add some features from another class, Dual classing and Reclassing.  What is missing here is the Class and Half from the Core Players Handbook. While anyone with this book will have the Players Handbook, it might have been nice to see here.

I mentioned in my coverage of the Adventurers Spellbook that the spells can be ported over to other D&D and D&D-like RPGs. In particular, I mentioned the Chromatic Mage being used in the OSR clone Chromatic Dungeons. The class is presented here in the Player's Archive. Yes, this class can be moved over rather easily, maybe even easier than moving it over to AD&D.  Likewise nearly any class here can be used in AD&D or OSR clone.  Want to play a Primal Druid in Old-School Essentials? No problem, they can be added with ease.

Note: Speaking of which the layout here aims to give each class a two- or four-page spread to keep referencing the classes easy to read and view at the table.  The PDF then allows for ease printing of these classes.  Playing a Warrior Priest and don't want to cart your hardcover around? Print pages 90 and 91 back to back and staple them to your character sheet.  Everything you need. This does mean there is some unused white space after each class, but for me, this is well worth it.

With this book and the option within I could spend an entire month creating and posting characters and no two would even be remotely the same.  A must-have for any Castles & Crusades fan.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Review: Pathfinder 2nd ed Advanced Player's Guide

Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide
Continuing my exploration of the Pathfinder Second Edition I am going to examine the book you all knew I was going to get to sooner or later. 

Like the previous edition of Pathfinder the Advanced Player's Guide introduces some new classes to the Pathfinder game, and like the previous edition, one of those classes introduced is the Witch.

Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide 

As before I am considering the hardcover Special Edition version of this book. The book is 272 pages and has full-color interior art.

This book is Player focused and shares a lot in common with its predecessor. It also follows the format of the Second Edition Core rules.

Introduction

This introduces us to the book and gives us an overview of what we can expect.

Ancestries & Backgrounds

Now here are some neat ideas. We get five new Ancestries here. They are Catfolk, Kobolds, Orcs, Ratfolk, and Tengus.  

The Catfolk are fun and comparable to the D&D Tabaxi and Rakasta (not Rakasha).  Likewise, the Tengus are like the D&D Kenku.  Orcs are orcs, but I like what they are doing with them. Orcs has always been the "Klingons" of D&D. Someone to fight in the TOS ("The Original Series" or "The Old School") but that changed later on. We have Klingons in Starfleet in TNG and beyond and now we can have Orcs as a player race.  Orcs are still described as being mostly chaotic (which I like) and even, maybe just a little bit evil. Player Character Orcs don't have to be.  Also like Klingons, these Orcs seem to see their gods as something they should strive to kill. A little John Wick influence here? (The game designer, not the character).  These orcs would be interesting to play.  We also get Ratfolk (anthropomorphic rats) and Kobolds.  Now I will admit, I really don't like Pathfinder's ultra-reptilian Kobolds.  I am certain they have their fans, but if I am going to play a small annoying creature why would I choose anything but a goblin? 

Each ancestry gets a set of ancestry feats to choose at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels.  

There are new heritages as well including the new versatile heritage which gives you lineage feats as well. I know the "feat haters" are already screaming. Yeah, that might be justified. The lineages are Changeling, Dhampir, and Planar Scions which include Aasimar, Duskwalker, and Tiefling.  These feats are also taken at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels.  

More feats are given for the Core Rules ancestries as well. I think the next goblin I play is going to need the "Extra Squishy" feat.

There are more backgrounds as well including Common and Rare backgrounds. 

Classes

Ah. The real reason I bought this book!

In addition to the four new classes, Investigator, Oracle, Swashbuckler, and Witch, there are new features for the twelve Core Rules classes.

The Investigator is an interesting class and one I can see working well in an FRPG.  Basically is Sherlock Holme could fit into your game then this class has a place too.  The Oracle is a staple of classic mythology and is a divine-powered class. A nice alternative to the cleric.  The Swashbuckler is neat and all but I didn't "get it" until I started thinking of them as a DEX-based fighter as opposed to the normal STR-based one. That leaves just one more class.

The Witch

The Witch has been a great addition to Pathfinder since 1st Edition and I rather like this one too.  This witch is an Intelligence-based spellcaster. Like many interpretations of the witch she gets a Patron and Familiar.  This is how she learns her spells. Now for me this points more to Charisma, but there are a lot of Charisma-based casters in Pathfinder. Wisdom would have also been a good choice.  These witches also get Hexes which are powers they can use that are not spells but spell-like. 

While clerics are clearly divine spellcasters and wizards are arcane, witches as a class can move about these distinctions. So depending on their Patron Theme, they can be Arcane, Divine, Occult, or Primal.  A Rune Witch is arcane, but a Winter Witch is primal. This time also grants a skill, a cantrip and a spell.

In addition to spells, hexes, patrons, and loads of feats, witches also get Lessons, each lesson gives the witch a hex and their familiar a spell. Witches don't use spell books here, just their familiars.  There is so much customization I could make 1000s of witches and no two would be the same. 

Witches in Pathfinder fill the same ecological niche that Warlocks do in D&D 5.

Following the witch we get new feats for the twelve core rules classes. Typically a two- or four-page spread continues with PF2e's design aesthetic. Sorcerers, I should note get new bloodlines as well. 

There is also a section on animal companions (largely stats) and familiars. 

Archetypes
Archetypes

Like the Core Rules of PF2e this has several archetypes that can be applied to classes via the applications of various feats and skills. I do see where some of the 3.x Prestige Classes are now living on here as archetypes. There are also the multi-class archetypes for all the new classes. One of these new archetypes is the Cavalier. I can complete my "Dragon 114" duo with a human witch and an elven cavalier!  Some of these archetypes can be be taken as early as 2nd level, others (typically the former Prestige Classes) need more requirements and have to be taken at higher levels.  I would need to compare and contrast the archetypes to the old Prestige Classes to see how they work out.  I can see where you can build your own Batman now with the monk class, the investigator multi-class feat, and vigilante archetype. 

One thing though. I can see these archetype being adapted to D&D5 or even OSR D&D with some care and attention. 

Feats

Feats are either the boon or bane of Pathfinder. This chapter has more of them.

Spells

New spell casting classes mean a need for new spells. 

Items

New magic items.

All in all this book is a lot of fun. The art is great, and the layout and design is fantastic. There are a lot of great ideas here and I would love to try them out.  Hell. I would be content in making a different PF2e witch a day just to see how many I could do.  But don't worry, I am not going to that except maybe for myself.

There is a lot here I would love to see find a home in some way for D&D, maybe for D&D6.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Review: Xanathar's Guide to Everything (D&D 5e)

Xanathar's Guide to Everything (D&D 5e)
Less of a full review but more along the lines of reveiw/my thoughts on what was essentially the Unearthed Arcana of D&D 5th Edition.

Why this particular book now?  There are a few of the classes that I am considering back-porting over to B/X era D&D that my kids have expressed an interest in playing.  I may or may not post those.  They are not OGC and I have no plans to even "file the serial numbers off" to try an post them.  Sometime I do things just for me or for fun.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything

2017, Hardcover. 192 pages. Full-color covers and interior art. 

I called this book the "Unearthed Arcana" of D&D 5 and that is more or less on point. Much of the material here appeared in the pages of the online version of Unearthed Arcana.

The book has a wide variety of tools for Players and the DM and all are listed as being optional. This was published in 2017 so there is no hint here of anything that might be "5.5" or "5r" related.

The book is divided into an introduction, three chapters and two appendices.

Introduction

This covers what the book is about, and its origins from the online Unearthed Arcana. Wizards of the Coast has worked to get the layout of their D&D 5th ed books to be one of clean efficiency.  Maybe not as much as say Necrotic Gnome has with OSE, but still really nice.  For example their Table of Contents fits on a single page.

We get a (tiny) bit of background on who Xanathar is. Not being a huge FR fan I did not know but figured it had to be the same beholder from the 1st Edition AD&D Waterdeep and the North.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything pages


There is a page on "The Core Rules" which is really nice to have. There are ten rules that cover most situations.  These are all from the PHB and DMG, but nice to have them repeated here.

Chapter 1: Character Options

We start with a listing of the 31 new subclasses for the twelve base character classes.  Now before someone start screaming "rules bloat" these are not subclasses in the way that AD&D 1st Ed meant them.  These are archetypes of the main twelve classes. So for example the Cleric has the Life and War domains (among others) in the PHB now gains the Forge and Grave domains here.  Each subclass is tailored to the main class. So with Clerics they are "Domains" for Bards they are "Colleges" and Warlocks have "Pacts."   So they are more like the AD&D 2nd Edition Kits.  Both in good and bad ways. There is not much power creep yet. 

This chapter covers about 65 or so pages, so a third of the book. Each main class gets some details that worked for any subclass of that class (Bards get more instruments, clerics have more details on their temples for example). There are a lot of classes in this book. I am not going to get into every subclass here. But I would like to point out a few.

The Bard College of Swords is the spiritual descendent of the AD&D 2nd Bard kit known as the Blade; aka the moment I knew 2nd Ed Power Creep was happening.  The Blade Kit sucked. The fiction for it sucked and the NPC they used as their iconic Blade REALLY sucked. The College of Swords Bards are also called Blades. Their AD&D 2nd ed origins are very plain, BUT there is none of the power creep and thankfully the edgy NPC "Dark" is also gone.

Grave Domain Clerics are the other side of the coin of the Life Domain Clerics.  Where the Life Cleric (PHB) tries to preserve life, the Grave Domain Clerics make sure the dead stay at rest. They are the "good" option of the Death Domain Clerics (DMG).  Cleric Domains have their origin in 2nd Ed and were expanded greatly in 3rd Ed.

Fighters now have an Arcane Archer subclass (known as a Martial Archetype here). This is the 5e update of the 3rd Edition Prestige Class.   Monks (Monastic Traditions) get a Way of the Drunken Master and a Way of the Kensei. Paladins get new Oaths. Rangers get new Archetypes including the Gloom Stalker, a Ranger adept at working in dark places but my favorite is the Monster Slayer.  Rogues get the Mastermind and Scout Archetypes.

The Sorcerers are next.  Their subclasses are known as Arcane Origins, or essentially how you became a sorcerer. In addition to these are some tables on various supernatural marks (think witch mark) and other weirdness due to your bloodline. The one I wanted to convert is the Divine Soul. You have a bit of divinity in your blood.  I would convert these as a B/X Magic-user and allow them to have some free cleric spells based on their divine blood. Cure Light Wounds and Bless for Lawful for example.  Their Charisma would need to be high, like 14 and that would be their Prime Requisite ability too.  While they get the spell for free, they can only still cast it once per day. At the 14th level, they gain their Otherworldly Wings.  There is also the Shadow Magic Sorcerer. This feel like it is from the Shadowfell Player's book from 4e. 

Xanathar's Guide to Everything pages


Warlocks also get new marks and new invocations. There is a Celestial Pact for people that want to play "good" warlocks.  Before anyone dismisses this idea remember that Aleister Crowley had a pact with an angel he called Aiwass and believed was his personal guardian angel to who he made invocations to every day. 

Wizards have Arcane Traditions that more or less equated to "Schools of Magic."

The next section of this chapter covers a variety of character background ideas such as origins and life events with lots of random tables. Like an Old-School collection of random tables.  ALL of them are also perfectly adaptable for use in ANY version of D&D.  They remind me a lot of the tables from the 1st Ed AD&D Unearthed Arcana.  

There are some new racial feats, but unlike 3e or even 4e, 5e is not feat centric. You can even have a character that never takes a feat at all.  These are largely mechanical rule manifestations of possible background ideas.  Have weird eyes? Ok, you have weird eyes, jot it down on your sheet. Do these weird eyes do something special? Well, you might need to take a feat for that then.

Honestly, I did not see anything in this chapter that I could not easily convert to an earlier edition of and D&D. 

Chapter 2: Dungeon Master's Tools

This chapter covers a wide variety of topics but mostly expands on material already in the DMG. Topics like Falling, Sleep, Tying Knots, Adamantine Weapons, and Tool Proficiencies are all discussed. Lots of tools. 

Spellcasting gets a bit of special treatment here. The area of effects on a grid is detailed. d6s are used as visual aids to show how to set up on a grid. 

Some more detail on building monster encounters is also discussed, including single and multiple different types of monsters. There is an eye towards balance, but there is no requirement to do so. The only real advice is "avoid monsters that can drop a character in a single hit."  I have seen more than a few TPKs in D&D 5e. 

Again we are treated to what I can only describe as pages of old-school-style random encounter tables. 

Xanathar's Guide to Everything pages

There is also a section on Traps that while not quite as gleeful as a Grimtooth product, will still make that Chaotic Evil DM smile. How much?  One trap has a save DC of 20 and does 24d10 damage.

There is a discussion on downtime and the reason why my youngest bought this book, magic item creation rules. More magic items are also detailed.

Chapter 3: Spells

This last full chapter covers new spells. About 30 pages worth. The spell economy of 5e is different. There are no Cure Light Wounds, Cure Moderate Wounds, and Cure Serious Wounds spells for example. There is only Cure Wounds and it is a low-level spell for Bards, Clerics, Druids, Paladins, and Rangers.  IF you want a more powerful version you cast it at a higher spell level. So instead of a 1st level spell, it is treated as a 5th level spell for example. This means less print space is needed for spells. 

Xanathar's Guide to Everything pages

Appendix A: Shared Campaign

This covers working on interlinked campaigns and working details out.  Not everything you need to know is here, some more could have been written, but it is a great start.

Appendix B: Character Names

This section is just tables and tables of names. Various cultures (English, French, Egyptian, and more) as well as other nonhuman ones ( Elf, Dwarf, Dragonborn, and more).  The nonhuman includes a personal name and a family or clan name as well.  I did notice that two Tieflings from "Brimstone Angels," Farideh and Havilar, are listed under the Dragonborn names.  Why? Well their adoptive father Mehen (51-52 on a d100) was a Dragonborn so he gave them Dragonborn names. 

So. I picked up this book for the various subclasses, but found a wealth here for many of my other D&D games.

I would say that most of this book is easily adaptable to any version of D&D you choose to try it with.  The exception might be 4e. There are some seriously interlinked mechanics there.

Xanathar's did quite well for a splat book and was even listed as one of Publisher's Weekly best-selling books for December of 2017

Despite his name and picture on the cover there is not a lot of material on Xanathar himself outside of the sidebars.  Wizards would later do a much better job with Tasha in her book.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything covers

The art is amazing as to be expected.  The layout is a step up from the Core Rules and shows what the design team has learned in the last few years.

You can see bits and pieces of D&D's DNA from all editions here, though this is largely true for 5th edition in general. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Review: Comes Chaos

Comes Chaos
I am a complete sucker for anything B/X.  While I have many games I love, it is B/X era D&D that really gets my nostalgia going.  So anything made for it gets my attention.  While the products, both official and fan-made, can vary in quality, I am rarely disappointed.  

One publisher that has delivered well on the nostalgia factor is Jonathan Becker of Running Beagle Games.  Becker, known for his B/X Blackrazor blog, "gets" B/X D&D.  He has demonstrated time and again that he gets how B/X is different that AD&D and indeed other Basic-era clones.  His B/X Companion remains one of my top 10 favorite books of the published OSR books.  So when he came out with a new book I jumped on it!

And...promptly forgot about it!  Ok, in my defense October is like my high holy month and I had a lot going on.   So now it is February and I figure I should come back to this one.

Comes Chaos

by Jonathan Becker.  64 pages, black & white art by Kelvin Green.  

Comes Chaos is a combination rules addition/setting for use with B/X era D&D.  It can be used with other versions of Basic D&D and the various clones, but there is a focus here.  That is appropriate for a few reasons I will touch on in a bit.

Like the Basic and Expert books of old, and his own Companion book, this is a 64 page book.  Printed with it's black and red cover it would look rather nice sitting next to the other books.  At this point Becker has enough material (CompanionComplete B/X Adventurer, and this one) for a reasonable boxed set.  Maybe one with a "3" in the corner.

ARJADEM
PART 1: INTRODUCTION

Comes Chaos deals, naturally, with the forces of Chaos (capital C) and how to use them in your game.  There is an implied setting that can be used as-is or elements can be used in any game. 

The book is formated like that of the Basic and Expert (and Companion) books, so following the flow of information is straightforward.  The difference here is that these are alternate and additional rules. 

This section also introduces the "Four Great Powers" the Demon Lords ArjaDem, MorSolahn, SeiAhsk, and TeeGal.

PART 2: RUINED PLAYER CHARACTERS

Here we get alterations to the seven player characters classes. Clerics of gods of Law, for example, cannot use reversed versions of their spells. But their "Turning Undead" chart is not extended to include the demons of this game.  There is a new Magic-User "sub-class" (that word is not used) in the Chaos Sorcerer.  This class works a bit like the Sorcerer or Warlock of other D&D games. It uses Intelligence as a Prime, but I am going to change it to Charisma. 

The next part of this section deals with Corrupted characters and Chaos Champions.  Corrupted characters are ones that started out "good" and then fell into chaos.  Chaos Champions start out chaotic. These characters also gain the favor of one of the four powers. 

The four powers and their gifts are covered last. The four masters are unique to this book but remind a bit of the sort of creatures one might find in the writings of Moorcock. Not quite demons, not quite Lovecraftian horrors, but a little bit of both.  There is also a desire, and this might just be me, to link them up with the old AD&D Elemental Princes.  Maybe because there are four.

PART 3: TAINTED MAGIC

Magic gets some changes in Comes Chaos.  Both Clerics and Magic-users now have some restrictions on what spells they can normally cast.  We also get some new Dark Sorcery spells used by Chaos Sorcerers, Demons, and Chaos Champions.  Additionally, some spells are "patron" spells for three of the four Chaos Masters.  The other Master, ArjaDem, forbids their followers from using magic. 

The spells are in B/X format and there are eight per level for levels 1 to 6.  Some are repeats of other B/X spells. There are enough new spells to keep players on their toes when dealing with a minion of chaos. 

Chaos at work
PART 4: EXPLORING THE WASTES

The Wastelands are areas that are corrupted by Chaos.  Spending time in these lands also leads to corruption and mutations in the living creatures here.  This section also has other hazards such as how long food and water will last, how much movement and time is changed, and what sorts of strange occurrences and creatures that can be encountered.   The section has a whole Colour out of Space feel to it. 

PART 5: BLOOD AND SOULS

This section deals with encounters and combat. Alterations are given for Champions of Chaos and demons as well as others dealing with these threats.

PART 6: BEASTS AND DEMONS

This is our monster section and it has 37 new monsters.  As expected 19 of them are demons and 4 are undead.  There are also corrupted versions of other monster types (elves, dwarves, etc) that can be used as guidelines for other corrupted monsters not listed.  

The demons depicted here are not the Demons of the AD&D monster manual. Nor are they the demons of Earth myth and legends.  These are new creatures unique to this book.  There are some interesting ones here and again the feeling is not quite demons and not quite Lovecraftian horrors, but a combination of the two.

PART 7: UNHOLY TREASURES

This section covers the treasures you can find with these creatures or in the wastelands.

PART 8: DEMON MASTER INFORMATION

The person running these games is called the "Demon Masters" which is just a way really to use "DM."  This section covers how to deal with corruption, magical research and chaos magic, and how to design a wasteland.

There is another class presented here, the Witch Hunter, from the Complete B/X Adventurer. Despite the success and dare I say universal approval of his own Companion Rules, this class only goes to level 14.  Though it is mentioned that levels 15-36 can be found in the Adventurer book. 

In fact the next section covers using this book with the Complete B/X Adventurer and the B/X Companion. 

PART 9: SLAVE-LORDS OF CHAOS

This section covers how to run an "evil" game including unique experience point rewards.

Comes Chaos is a great extension to any B/X style game.  Especially ones where "Chaos" is more of a factor than say "Evil."

Chaos in Comes Chaos follows the implicit guidelines originally set up in Moldvay Basic.  Chaos is not just a philosophy or moral outlook, it is a force and "thing" that must be dealt with. I feel this book does a good job in trying to expand on this notion and make it something to use in your games.

The ideas presented here are not all unique; Lamentations of the Flame Princess and Dungeon Crawl Classics cover similar ground in terms of Chaos as a Force to Fight and Realms of Crawling Chaos for the Lovecraftian Chaos is a Force.  Comes Chaos though combines these ideas into something that is uniquely B/X.  Yes both LotFP and Realms of Crawling Chaos have strong B/X roots, but this is explicitly B/X.  

Given this, Comes Chaos should work well with Old School Essentials as well.  Though one gets the feeling that OSE is more like "The Hobbit" than it is "Colour Out of Space."  Though I am not sure it would feel the same for Advanced versions of the Old-School games since there is a focus on Good vs. Evil there as well. 

The art by Kelvin Green is great and having one artist to do all the work gives the book a united vision. 

It is available at DriveThruRPG where it is currently just under $14.  The rule of thumb I have adopted over the years is 10¢ per page, which would place this at $6.40.  The price is twice that, but I still feel it is worthwhile.  Again this is a rule of thumb, not a hard and fast rule. 

There is no print-on-demand option on DriveThru for this.  Though none of Running Beagle's books have this.  You can though get print copies of this and all their other books from their website.  Print copies of Comes Chaos are $27.99 and handled via PayPal.

Comes Chaos also is not released through the Open Gaming License.  Not an issue to be honest, but I look at it as a way the creator/publisher "gives back" to the community.  Generally speaking, OGL products sell better than their non-OGL contemporaries/counterparts. 

Comes Chaos is a fun supplement.  I used similar ideas when running my B/X games in the past I will adopt some of these ideas to use in my current OSE game.  I am not likely to use the four demonic princes, my game has a solid cosmology, but I might adopt them for a 5e game I am running that could use Chaotic Evil figures like these.  

Who should get this?  DMs that want to add a little chaos effects to their games but do not want to go the full Dungeon Crawl Classics route.  DMs that play/run B/X and/or OSE in particular. 

This is also for DMs that enjoy the classical roots of the game but whose interests lean more towards Moorcock rather than Lovecraft.

For me, the price and the lack of the OGL keep it from being a perfect addition to my games.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Kickstart Your Weekend: Monsters, Classes and Raven Hex!

 Ok. The day job is really busy this week so this is going to be a complete drive by.  But here are three new Kickstarters I am excited about.

Tome of Beasts 3: Full Throttle 5th Edition Monster Mayhem

Tome of Beasts 3: Full Throttle 5th Edition Monster Mayhem

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/deepmagic/tome-of-beasts-3-full-throttle-5th-edition-monster-mayhem?ref=theotherside

I make no secret of my love of monsters!  Kobold Press' Tome of Beasts are among my favorite 5e books and monster books.   This one should also be great!

SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons Class Compendium

SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons Class Compendium

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ericfrombloatgames/survive-this-dark-places-and-demogorgons-class-compendium?ref=theotherside

I mentioned this one a couple of weeks ago, but it bares repeating.  The Class Compendium is a great collection for DP&D game.  I highly recommend it.

And finally one from my good friend Jim Balent and Broadsword Studio.

Jim Balent's Raven Hex Saga

Jim Balent's Raven Hex Saga

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jimbalent/jim-balents-raven-hex-saga?ref=theotherside

Raven Hex is the older sister of Tarot.  She is evil...sorta.  She really just wants a world where witches are not feared or mistreated.  The first Raven Hex book I picked up was a fun romp with Raven sick and feverish from a virus while Tarot read her bed time stories.  The comic was her fever dreams.  It was a lot of fun and very tongue and cheek and a lot of insight to two (Jim and Holly) super fans of Disney. 

There you have it!  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

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

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything covers

The Book

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

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

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

One of the new ideas is Group Patrons.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it Tasha?

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


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




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

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

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


Old School Content

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

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

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

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

Things it Didn't Cover that I Wish it Had

Or. I just have not found them yet. 

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

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


Definitely, a lot to use in this book.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review & Class Struggles: BX Options: Class Builder

Over the Summer Erin D. Smale released his BX Options: Class Builder book as a guide to how to build custom classes for the B/X, Basic-era, style games.  Of course, I had to grab it. I love making new classes and anything that involves a little number crunching is great in my opinion.  

Though I will admit I was at the same time worried that this would just be a rehash of the formulas used in Dragon Magazine #109.  Well, I am happy to report it is not, and there is more to this book than just that.  In fact, the author even points out in the book the original system.   My back-of-the-napkin calculations tell me that for levels 1-14 they both should give you the same numbers.  But more on that in a bit.

I am going to break this up into a normal review and then follow with a Class Struggles.

Review BX Options: Class Builder

The BX Options: Class Builder was released originally has a special edition print version via The Welsh Piper's website over the early part of Summer 2020.  The book later came to DriveThruRPG in a 2nd Editon mid Summer 2020. I will be covering the DriveThruRPG version only today.

The PDF is 82 pages, full-color art covers, with black, white, and blue color inside.  The interior art is all b/w from various stock art publishers from DriveThruRPG.  The advantage of this is the style of the book is very likely to fit into all the other books you might have in your collection.

The book is broken down into two larger sections. First is the class builder itself and the calculations for it. Second is a collection of Classes and Sub-classes for B/X D&D and clones, with the math worked out.  There are also a few Appendicies.

The layout of the book is very, very clean, and easy to read.  The PDF is bookmarked and the table of contents is hyperlinked.

After the Introduction, we get right into the builder itself.  There is a single page of explanatory notes (that is all that is needed) and then a worksheet (a plus for the PDFs!).  


After this, there are descriptions of basic abilities (armor, weapons, prime requisites), special abilities (thief abilities, spells, powers), restrictions and "Locked" abilities.  All with associated XP costs.

These numbers are then added up.  The Base XP is then plugged into one of the four base classes (Cleric, Fighter, Magic-user, Theif) for experience levels 1 to 14 (B/X standard).

Simple really.  And that is only the first dozen pages.

The rest of the book is dedicated to "rebuilding" each of the four base human classes and the three demi-human classes.  All seven also include various sub-classes.    For example, the Cleric is built first and the numbers match those found in most clones and the original sources.  Class variants cover new variant classes that add, change and/or remove abilities from the Base class.  In the case of the cleric different types of Gods they can worship are covered.  These are designed not to differ too wildly from the base class.  

After the Base class and Variant classes the Sub-classes, with calculations and full XP tables, are covered.  Again in the case of the cleric there is a Crusader (more combat, less spells) and a Shaman.

This is repeated for the Dwarf (Elder), Elf (Archon), Fighter (Barbarian, Beast-talker, Beserker) , Halfling (Warden), Magic-User (Necromancer, Sorcerer), and Thief (Assassin, Bard, Scout) classes. 

This covers the bulk of the book (some 50 or more pages) and really is a value-add in my opinion.  Some of those classes we have seen in other sources, but others are new or have new ideas.  The Necromancer for example can create golems.  Great if you think that the golems have the spirits of the dead in them or created Frankenstein-style.

Since this system is aimed at B/X level play, the obvious clone to support it is Old-School Essentials.  It is not an "Old-School Essentials Compatible" product as in with a logo, but acknowledgments to OSE are made.  So it would be fair really to compare the overlap of classes between this and OSE-Advanced.

The overlap is where you expect it to be, what I call the common Advanced classes (minus a couple); the Assassin, the Barbarian, and the Bard. There are some "near" overlaps as well. 

The OSE Assassin compares well to the BXO-CB Assassin.  Their XP values do differ, but not significantly so. BXO-CB Assassins have more HP. Both classes have the same skills. 
The Barbarians compare well enough with the BXO-CB Barbarian having more HP again.
Bards have the most differences.  BXO-CB Bards have more XP per level, less HP, and fewer overall spells.   I don't consider any of this to be "game-breaking" or even "game-stretching", just different flavors of the class.  Rename one "Bard" a "Skald" and there you go. 

Shamans are a little bit like Druids and Crusaders are bit like Paladins, but different enough to provide some nice flavor to the game.

The Appendicies cover a number of topics like adding various thief abilities, a break down of the core seven B/X classes, skills, equipment, spell failure, home terrain, animal special abilities and abilities for higher-level characters.

The book is very high quality and has a lot of utility for all sorts of B/X uses.  Working through the numbers it works great for levels 1-14.  If you extend it to level 20 this would affect the numbers for spell casters.  For example, Magic-users in BX/OSE gain spells to level 6, for a 2,400 XP addition.  If you take this to level 20 Magic-users gain up to 9th level spells, this would be 3,600 XP added to the base.  GRANTED this book does not claim to support above level 14, or more to the point, spell levels beyond level 6.

Class Struggles

How does this work in the real world? Or more to the point can it work with classes I have worked on.


Printing out the sheet, which is great thanks to the PDF, I worked out what my own Witch Classes would end up.  Now please keep in mind I am going to do some things beyond the scope of this book so any issues I might encounter are not due to the Class Builder but more likely my use of it.

I already mentioned there are differences in the Bard class. The author even points out that these differences are really expected and that is OK because it will vary on how each group decides to use a particular class.  So with that now as a given, going deeper into this and expecting some variation is fine.

I went through the math on this for my witch class.  I will not go into the details here because I created a Google Sheet you can see for yourself.  Note you will need the Class Builder book to know what these numbers actually mean.  I am going to talk about the cases that vary.




Long time readers might recall I did something similar using the Dragon #109 system a while back.  In fact the spreadsheet is the same with the Dragon #109/Thoul's Paradise test on the first tab and the BXO:CB test on the second tab.

If the Thoul's Test tab is displayed, click on the next tab arrow to go to the Class Builder Test tab.


The "Thoul's Test" goes back to a couple of posts made by Thoul's Paradise that I discussed: 
So a couple issues right away.  Witches cast arcane spells, but they are not quite the same as those a Magic-user can use, there are more divine spells really.  Especially for the Pagan Witch.  
What I opted to do was make the "Witchcraft" spells worth 200xp to 300xp per level. A nice split between what the Divine (100xp) and Arcane (400xp) spellcasters have.

The witch also has Occult Powers. These are spell-like abilities. Since they can be used more often I gave them a cost of 250xp each.  Though 300xp per would have been fine too.

In the end I came up with something pretty close to the numbers I have been using forever and published for close to 20 years.   The differences are so trivial as to be considered error or even "noise."

These are also very, very close to the numbers I got using the Dragon #109 system.   I have not compared it to the system used in ACKS Player's Companion, but my memory of the system and playing with it when it first came out tells me that I should also expect similar numbers.  Especially since the ACKs system and the Class Builder System both use the same BX base and assumptions of 1-14 (or so) levels of play.

Going back to a source the author and I both have used, Breeyark: Building the Perfect Class, I realized that the author of that resource IS the author of this book. The systems are different but are built on similar premises. Also, they should grant the same or very similar results.

The BX Options Class Builder is a very fun book with some great class choices as an added bonus of some worked out classes.   There are no spells offered for the new spell casting classes, but that would have been way beyond the scope of the book anyway.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Wizards of the Coast just announced their next book for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and I could not more excited.

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is set for release on November 17, 2020.  I already pre-ordered the standard and alternate cover from my FLGS so I should be getting it on Nov. 7.

What is this book about?  Well, that is Tasha, aka Natasha the Dark, aka Iggwilv the Witch Queen on the cover.  Honestly, that is all I need to know.

But...I can see why others might want to know more. 


It is going to be set up similar to Xanathar's Guide to Everything with new rules.  What do I know is in it so far?

  • New subclasses for every class.
  • The Artificer class.
  • Some psionic classes such as the Aberrant Mind.
  • A new lineage system that adds on to and supplants the D&D racial system. Rather looking forward to that.
  • Group Patrons and sidekicks. Add a little more organization to your adventuring group. 
  • New spells, artifacts and magical tattoos.  That chicken foot tattoo on Tasha's face is a huge clue as to what you are likely to get. (more on that later)
  • Puzzles and more puzzles!
So yeah a lot to offer.  And a lot of it looks like it would translate well into other versions of D&D; which was one of the early design goals of D&D5e/Next.  

I am sure I will find out more, but that chicken foot tattoo on Tasha/Iggwilv gives me a LOT of ideas.  It also might help me figure out some details of my own Pact of Baba Yaga that I talked about a bit ago.  Though now I might call it "The Mark of Baba Yaga" and it is how the Daughters of Baba Yaga can recognize each other.  I can expand on the magical tattoos I presented in The Craft of the Wise: The Pagan Witch Tradition

The art for this also looks fantastic as to be expected.


There is nothing I don't love about that picture.   The color palette, moon, and satyr remind me of the cover of Dragon #114.
And that is Graz'zt on the Alternate limited edition cover too.


Wizards is hosting a D&D Celebration on September 18-20 and will be revealing more.  I am going to try to make it.

Too bad it won't be out for Halloween!

Of course let's not forget the art Jacob Blackmon created for me of the Witch Queens, Larina, Feiya, and Iggwilv!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Classes

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all!

Been sick as a dog the last week.  I was planning on getting some new material out to you all, but that didn't happen.  Day-job was also insane.

BUT I did find something that is filled with Holiday Cheer.

Over at the DMsGuild there is a collection of holiday-themed classes.
Now I have dealt with a very mixed bag at the DMsGuild. There is some good stuff, but also a lot of bad stuff too.  Plus most of it it seems has a lot of art ripped off of the net without regard to ownership and you all know I can't abide by that.

Those issues aside I opted to pick up The Season's Subclasses - Player Options for Winter Cheer by Levi Pressnell.

This is a fun product.
For a buck (or more) you get new class options for all the core D&D 5 classes.

Here are my favorites.
Barbarian: Dancing Lights - The power of the Aurora Borealis is at your finger-tips.  The is a seriously cool concept and one that should be ported over to other settings/games like Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

Bard: College of Caroling - with a bit of a tweak you can get a Mummers Dance out of this, and that would be a lot of fun.

Cleric: Domain of Cheer - Love this concept!

Druid: Circle of the Evergreen - I like this one too, not what I thought it would have been, but still really cool.  Remove it from it's Christmas origins and now you have Eco-Protective Druids.  Think Swamp-Thing with spells.

Monk: Way of the Sugar-plum Fairy is far more awesome than a PWYW product should have.  A monk tradition. Based on the Fae?  Ah..yeah! Sign me the heck up!

Paladin: Oath of Winter - "Winter is Coming". That's all you need to say.  Gotta get a blank sheet and get my Ned Stark on.

Rogue: Chimney Lurk - major props for the name alone.  This one is really cool too.

Sorcerer: Frozen Soul - If you get the desire to sing "Let it Go" while playing this character no one will laugh at you.  They can't because you froze them in a block of ice!  Maybe one of my most favorite ones here.

The Wizard, Warlock and Fighter options are also fun, but I liked the others the best.

It's Christmas, pay more than a buck for this. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

New Releases: Hedge Witches and Prestige Witches

Today is the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, also known as Ostara.
To celebrate this time I have not just one, but two new releases today.

First up:

The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG


Presenting the Hedgewitch for The Hero's Journey Fantasy Roleplaying game. Can be used with HJ or Swords & Wizardry Whitebox or Complete.

Included in these 66 pages are:

  • New Race: The Gnome
  • New Professions
  • The Witch class and Hedge Witch tradition
  • 80 spells new to The Hero's Journey
  • 15 new monsters

Fully compatible with The Witch, Eldritch WitcheryThe Witch for Swords & Wizardry Light and The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry.  In fact, all are designed to work together as a complete whole.  Getting these various witches to work together in your is another matter entirely.

A softcover print version is in the process of heading to the printer.  I am just waiting on OneBookShelf on this, they are taking longer than expected.

Also released is the next book in the Strange Brew series for Pathfinder.

Strange Brew: Mystical Paths & Prestige Classes


From the book:

Witches and warlocks come in all shapes, sizes, genders, philosophies, alignments, and focuses. Many of these concepts are expressed through archetypes, but some concepts require a bit ... more ... to fully be expressed.

Here are 23 Prestige Classes for your witch or warlock, allowing them to focus on specific aspects of being a witch or warlock, or a specific type of witch or warlock with more control than an archetype gives you. With them, your witch isn’t "just" a witch, she’s a Tempestarii Storm Raiser, or he isn’t "merely" a witch, but an Occult Scholar.

Help find the true destiny of your witch or warlock!

Also included are some of my favorites, the Imbolc Mage and the Queen of Witches.

Regardless of what game you prefer, I have a class for you.  Time to make some magic!