Showing posts with label witch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label witch. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Larina Nix and Malcear for Quest of the Ancients

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

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

Quest of the Ancients

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

Larina Nix
Larina Nix
13th level Human Witch

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

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

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

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

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


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

1st level Human (demonic) Assassin

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

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

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

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

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

Larina and Malcear in Islay


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

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

Thursday, June 13, 2024

"It's me. I'm witches." Taylor Quick, Pumpkin Spice Witch

Taylor Quick, Pumpkin Spice Witch
Witch by T Leish with minor edits

 I swear. People are losing their damn minds.

I mentioned this all briefly in my Satanic Panic post back in April about how there are a bunch of Right Wing Evangelicals making the claim that Taylor Swift is a witch, or satanic, or both. Some have even gone as far as to "conclude" she must be a clone of Zeena Schreck, daughter of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey.  Ignoring the fact that cloning tech is nowhere near this good now, let alone when Taylor was born.  I think they watched the movie "The Boys from Brazil" and thought it was a documentary. No. I don't give them the benefit of the doubt for having read the book instead.

I mean, I could go on and on; there is so much stupid shit out there. Just Google "Taylor Swift Witch" and read in horror how gullible (and stupid) some people are. 

Honestly, it boils down to three things.

  • She is a successful woman.
  • She says what she wants, when, and how she wants.
  • They can't control her, and they find that galling.
Plus, she is smart (as evidenced by her taking control of her own record deals) and knows how to have fun with her public persona (see "No, Its Becky").

It's Me. I'm Witches.

So what do they do? They take a page from their favorite playbook, and I honestly think this is Page 1, and they try to demonize her—somewhat literally. 

Parents, know what your kids are listening to!! Here are a few samples of the lyrics from Taylor Swift's new...

Posted by Caring Love Foundation Uganda - CLFUG on Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Though some do have fun with it. 

And of course, if someone mentions witches online, it has my attention.

It has been decided. 

She is a witch in my games, specifically a Pumpkin Spice Witch. But since no PSL is complete without a dash of cinnamon, she has a dash of Mara Witch in her, too. Why? Because she thinks it is funny. 

Sailor Taylor by Delaney Shultz
Sailor Taylor by Delaney Shultz
Taylor Quick
Human Female, Chaotic Good
19th Level Witch, Pumpkin Spice Witch Tradition.

Strength 10
Intelligence 17
Wisdom 15
Dexterity 14
Constitution 12
Charisma 19

Saving Throws (Base)
Death Ray/Poison 7
Magic Wands 8
Paralysis, Polymorph 7
Dragon Breath 10
Rods, Staffs, Spells 9 

Hit Points: 34
AC: 1 (Bracers of Defence) 
Base THAC0: 14
(I know, THAC0 was not used in Basic D&D. You know what this means)

Occult Powers

1st level: Familiar, three cats
6th level: Things Man Was Not Meant To Know Are Fine for Women
13th level: Resting Witch Face
19th level: I Want to See Your Boss

Spells (new spells in italics)

1st Level: Allure, Bad Luck, Call Out, Delicate, Glamour, Greenery Light, Oh My God Becky!, Veritas (Truth Spell), BFFs (Ritual)

2nd Level: Bad Blood, Change Appearance, Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board, Invisible Strings, Sister to the Dark Ones, Witch Slap, You Can't Sit With Us

3rd Level: Bewitch III, Enchanted, Live Laugh Love, Love Attraction Candle, Lover’s Vengeance, Witch Fire, Shake it Off

4th Level: Dream Shield, Ethereal Projection, Intangible Cloak of Shadows, Rain of Spite, Starlight, Bring on the Night (Ritual) 

5th Level: Better than Revenge, Cardigan of Comfort, Overlook, Tripping the Light Fantastic (Ritual)

6th Level: Banshee Blast, Cloak of Dreams, True Seeing

7th Level: Breath of the Goddess, Peace Aura, Hell Hath No Fury (Ritual)

8th Level: Bewitch VIII, Frightful Aspect

Taylor the White Witch
New Spells

Like any witch worth her cauldron, Taylor has written many spells herself. She also altered versions of classic witch spells, which she refers to as "Taylor's Versions."

Bad Blood
Level: Witch 2
Duration: Permanent
Range: All targets within 60'

This spell is like a friendship spell, only in reverse. Once cast, humanoids and intelligent creatures (INT greater than 7) who had previously had good relations will begin to dislike each other and begin to fight amongst each other. 

A successful saving throw redirects these feelings of ill-will back to the witch who cast it. 

Better than Revenge
Level: Witch 5
Duration: Instantaneous 
Range: One target

This spell can only be targeted by someone who has personally hurt the witch. When triggered, usually by damage or some other hurt, the damage is returned back double. So, double damage or other effect.  How that damage or effect is delivered to the victim is up to the witch herself. 
There is no saving throw for this spell. 

Cardigan of Comfort
Level: Witch 3
Duration: One hour
Range: One willing creature

This spell weaves magic like the threads of a well-worn cardigan, granting a sense of security and comfort to the target. Choose a creature you touch. The target gains resistance to cold damage and fey charm effects for the duration. Additionally, if the target falls unconscious while the spell is active, they regain consciousness with 1d8 bonus hit point.

Material Components: Verbal (soothing whispers), Somatic (knitting needles and yarn that vanish at the end of the spell), Material (a small token imbued with a memory of comfort, worth at least 25 gp).

Level: Witch 1
Duration: 10 min
Range: Within 15 feet

The witch casts a subtle charm that makes the target more receptive to her words. The witch is treated as having as having a +4 to her Charisma score. This spell can't be used in combat.

Level: Witch 3
Duration: 1 hour
Range: 60 feet

With this spell the witch sings a haunting melody that enchants creatures of her choice within range. Each affected creature must succeed on a saving throw or be charmed by her for the duration. While charmed, the creature regards you as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected.

The witch can use this spell again on the same creature. Once enchanted any future use of this spell is at a -2 penalty for saves.

Invisible Strings
Level: Witch 2
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Range: Self

The witch can create invisible magical strings they can manipulate with her will. These strings can lift and manipulate objects weighing up to 10 pounds within 30 feet of of the witch. She can use these strings to perform simple tasks or remotely interact with objects.

Shake it Off
Level: Witch 3
Duration: Instantaneous 
Range: All within hearing range

This spell, once uttered, will remove any one condition affecting those listening. This can include a Bewitch, Charm, Hold, Paralyze, Petrified, or Poisoned. Those hearing can also choose to regain half of their lost hit points instead of losing some condition. The only thing that is not affected is Sleep.

Level: Witch 4
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Range: 120 feet

The witch calls down shimmering starlight in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point within range. Each creature in the area must make a saving throw, taking 4d8 holy or radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. In addition, any area affected by this spell is brightly lit as per the daylight spell for the duration.

Material Components: A small crystal or gemstone.


Taylor is a lover, not a fighter. But still, don't piss her off. Or break-up with her. 

Selected Links of Insanity

Other, more important links

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Witches in Space for Thirteen Parsecs

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." 

 - Clarke's Third Law

 Come on. You knew I was going to go here.

Before I start I will say this, there is no "witch" class in the core Thirteen Parsecs book. But that doesn't mean you can add one yourself. As I mentioned yesterday, Thirteen Parsecs is 100% compatible with NIGHT SHIFT and Wasted Lands, and those games have witches and sorcerers, respectively.  Rules-wise, there is nothing at all stopping you from adding either to your sci-fi game of Thirteen Parsecs

The only thing that remains is "How?"

Well. I have you covered. SPAAACE!!

While there are not a lot of witches in science fiction, they are there and they have made quite an impact. 

Bene Gesserit

The easiest one to talk about, and the one we should really talk about first, is the Bene Gesserit Order from Frank Herbert's Dune Series.  This order of Sisters practice extreme mental control, have psychic abilities, and have secret, occult even ways. They often even play the role as witches when being set up against the "Holy Order" that Paul is trying to create. I don't pretend to be an expert on Dune at all, but it is my wife's favorite series, and she can go on and on about much in the same way I can about Dracula or Lord of the Rings. So, I trust her assessment of this. Note that we both ignore the Brian Herbert books. Me out of no desire to read them and her for "dancing on the corpse of his dead father to make a buck with high school English class level writing." 

The Nightsisters, the Witches of Dathomir

Ok. What is not to love about the force using, Dark Side, magic (or even magick) Nightsisters, aka the Witches of Dathomir? Nothing. That's what.  There is even a great meme out there for them. 


I learned about these witches, and really, that is what they are, via the Star Wars RPG. I don't recall if it was a later book in the d20 line or if it was from the Saga system. But my very first experience was getting a box of Star Wars minis from Wizards of the Coast and there was a "Dathomir Witch" in the pack. Well, you can imagine my surprise.

We finally saw some on screen in the Ahsoka series. We even got Claudia Black to play one! 


Ok...I am not really serious here, but hey, if I can have a Pumpkin Spice Witch, then certainly, space is large enough for the Bene Gesserit, the Dathomir Witches, and the Bellerians. BUT if we take the equally not-so-serious idea that Space Mutiny exists in the same universe as the original Battlestar Galactica, well, they already had Space Angels and Devils. Witches don't seem to be that much of a stretch. 

Plus Bellerian sounds enough like Raëlian for me to have some fun with. 

Occult Themes in Doctor Who

I talked at length about this in a full post. Based on a recent line dropped by the Head of U.N.I.T. Kate Lethbridge-Stewart in the recent "73 Yards," supernatural elements seem to be going to become more common. 

And these are only a few easily accessible ones. I have not even gotten into books, like the Morgaine Saga by C.J. Cherryh, that have witches or witch-like characters. While Trek is notoriously light on witches, there was mention of the Wiccan religion in Season 2 of Discovery. Even Babylon 5 had "techno-mages." So yes, there is room in a large universe for witches. 

Witches in Darker Stars

While I have had witch-like characters in my play-tests of Darker Stars, there are no witches. The two starships I have been using in my games, The Protector and The Imbolc Mage, have their roots in my Witchcraft/Buffy games. But even the "witch" characters only have psychic abilities, and none to any great extent. I like to play-test with normal characters to start with, to get a feel for the game.

I do acknowledge that my own Sisters of the Aquarian Order would fit right into my Darker Stars setting and maybe even other "Solar Frontiers."  While overtly designed for the White Star system, they do work with NIGHT SHIFT and Thirteen Parsecs. But my habit is to make a new Tradition for different games. If I had the inclination to update the Aquarian Order, I might instead come up with something new for Thirteen Parsecs.  

My idea at this point? Something like the Aquarian Order, but maybe not so "light." An order of witches that began in the Dreaming Age of the Wasted Lands, part of the supernatural underground of NIGHT SHIFT, and then to the stars in Thirteen Parsecs.  An ancient, primordial witch cult that spans æons and light years. 

I certainly have my work cut out for me. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Larina Nix for Alternity Dark•Matter

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

Alternity Dark Matter books

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

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

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

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

Larina "Nix" Nichols
Larina "Nix" Nichols

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

Level: 10

Profession: Diplomat
Career: Occultist

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

Allegiance: Independent

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

Stun 9
Wound 9
Fatigue 5
Mortal 5

Last Resorts 3

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

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

Armor: None

Special Abilities: Witchcraft (Faith) FX

Perks: Great Looks, Second Sight

Flaws: Obsessed (+2)

Social Class: Middle Class

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

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

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

Skill Points Spent: 91  Stored: 6


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

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


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

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


So I REALLY like this build. A few notes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I started working on her back in March of 2000.

Original Witchcraft FX

Larina's first Dark•Matter character sheet

It only took me 24 years to finish.