Showing posts sorted by relevance for query tarot witch. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query tarot witch. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2020

Kickstart Your Weekend: Tarot Witch of the Black Rose: Origins TPB

Stuck inside What we all need are comics and games, so here is a Kickstarter from my friends Jim and Holly.

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose: Origins TPB

I can't sell this any better than Jim himself, so here are his words.
Hello and Welcome to the Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose ORIGINS trade paperback Kickstarter!  20 years ago, Holly and I  had this idea to start a Comic Company (BROADSWORD COMICS)and to publish an ongoing series. I always loved sword and sorcery comics as well as the superhero comics. I combined the two and created Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose.

            I based the Art and Stories on myself, people I knew and my Imagination.
            I was told, by the so called experts, that Tarot wouldn’t last past 3 issues . As of the writing of this letter Tarot#121 is being published.

            So to celebrate that first year of Tarot , we have gathered the first 5  sold out issues that launch this adventure series!  In these issues you will find the FIRST APPEARANCE of Tarot, Raven Hex, Jon Webb the Skeleton Man , Crypt Chick, and Mor Meb Dred the Dragon Witch! For those of you just discovering Tarot, welcome to the adventures of this voluptuous Redheaded Witch who is the Swordmaiden to the Goddess and charged with keeping the balance between man and Magick! This is where it all started!

               Holly and I started BROADSWORD COMICS 20 years ago, so come and join the celebration and with your help we can make this Magickal tome happen.

Jim Balent 
There you go.  There are a ton of great stretch goals full of some great Jim and Holly art. I hope you check it out!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Villains & Vigilantes

We have two great comic-related Kickstarters going on right now, one just getting going and the other about to end.
We have the update to the classic super-hero RPG Villains & Vigilantes from +Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, The Mighty Protectors RPG. It is doing great and still a few more weeks.
Also, we have issue #100 of Jim Balent's and +HOlly Golightly's comic Tarot Witch of the Black Rose.

So to celebrate both I thought some V&V stats for Tarot might be in order.  I have not played V&V in years, so I am a little rusty on character creation.

Notice:  Neither of these Kickstarters or their respective properties have anything to do with each other or their respective creators. Except of course that I am a fan and wish them all the best of luck!

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose
Identity: Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose
Name: Rowan

Side: Good
Sex: Female
Age: Late 20s/Early 30s
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 135 lbs 

Training: Coven Witch, Swordmaiden

Level: 13
Experience: 100,000 xp

Strength: 13
Endurance: 15
Agility: 35
Intelligence: 18
Charisma: 30

React. Mod.: 5
Basic Hits: 3
Agility Mod: 0

Hit Mod. (1.2) (1.8) (3.4) (1.3)=9.5472

Hit Points: 29
Power: 81

Healing Rate: 1.2
Accuracy Modfier: +6
Damage Modifier: +5
Detect Hidden: 14%
Detect Danger: 18%
Reaction from Good: +5
Reaction from Evil: -5

Movement rate: 63

Skills: Swordsmanship, Witchcraft

Power: Precognition
- Tarot Reading/Tarot Magic - Can use tarot cards as divination devices.

Power: Magick (Spell casting)
- Dazzle
- Eye bite (Blast, does not require hands)
- Flight
- Magickal Senses
- Teleport
- Telekinesis

Magic Items
- Magic Armor (resistance to magical attacks,  enhanced agility)
- Magic Sword, Sword of the Black Rose (heightened attack, magical attack)

Legal status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record.
Security clearance: 0

Other Tarot Character Builds
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Group Affiliation: The Black Rose Coven
Base of Operation: Witches' Hollow, Salem, MA

Notes: I have posted about Tarot before.  She has some magic, some skills and combat ability.  She has a winged cat familiar named Pooka as well as a two lovers, Skeleton Man (Jon Webb) and Boo Cat (a werecat).  She does some really cool comic things, but then ends up loosing her clothes while sledding due to some faeries (ok to be fair the whole vacationing lot, Jon, Mother and Raven, did too).

All in all not a bad fit.  I like her at 13th level which lines up nicely with her other builds.  Tarot really amounts to what is a Witch Guardian in my games.  A little magic, some combat ability, and a desire to protect others.  Everything else aside that is what Tarot (the character) is all about; protecting others.
Kinda makes her perfect for a game called "Mighty Protectors".
Other Characters for Villains & Vigilantes

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Unisystem

In celebration of Holly G.'s birthday today here is a Tarot post!

I'll admit it.  I like Tarot. Yes, yes there are some gratuitous images that puts most fan-service to shame, there is also a story here that I like.  That battle between the mundane and magical worlds and those that try to protect both sides.    In a way, Tarot is a bit like Tamara Swift or Buffy Summers, except that while Tamara and Buffy are more explicitly protecting humans and the mundane world, Tarot has the more difficult job of protecting mundanes and magicals from each other.

The exploits of Tarot are also the perfect kind of story you could tell with any Cinematic Unisystem game.  Though the attention paid to real world pagan beliefs and world view make it closer in tone really to WitchCraft RPG, a game I still love.

It is easy to see Tarot (Rowan) as a Buffy-style witch (using Magic) or even a WitchCraft Gifted.  My general rule of thumb is WitchCraft for books and some movies and Cinematic Unisystem for everything else.

Given some of the comic book action, I think Cinematic Unisystem (Buffy and Ghosts of Albion) is the way to go.

Again, Tarot really amounts to what is a Witch Guardian in my games.  A little magic, some combat ability and a desire to protect others.  Everything else aside that is what Tarot (the character) is all about.

So here is the Tarot for Unisystem. And happy birthday Holly!

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose (Rowan)
Str: 3 Dex: 3 Con: 3 Int: 4 Per: 4 Wil: 5

Life Points: 46 Drama Points: 10

Attractive 3, Contacts 3 (supernatural), Fast Reaction Time, Hard to Kill 4, Heightened Senses 1, Magic 4, Magical Philosophy (Witchcraft), Natural Toughness, Nerves of Steel, Occult Library 4, Witch Guardian, Visions

Adversary 3 (her sister, dragon witches,other evil supernaturals), Honorable 2, Love 4 (Jon "Skeleton Man" Webb (romantic), Boo Cat (romantic), Mother (platonic)), Obligation 3 (her coven), Reputation 3, Tradition Bound

Acrobatics 4, Computer 1, Crime 1, Doctor 4, Driving 1, Engineering 1, Getting Medieval 6, Gun Fu 2, Influence 4, Knowledge 4, Kung Fu 4, Languages 2 (English, Latin), Notice 4, Occultism 6, Science 1, Sports 2

Maneuver Bonus Base Damage Notes
Sword of the Goddess* +11 16/20 (two handed) Slash/stab
Punch +8 Bash
Dodge +10 Defense action
Parry +10 Defense action

Spell +15, special
 - Deflect +15
 - Hold +14
 - Dispel +12
 - Lesser Sensing +12

The Sword of the Goddess is a unique weapon, but not an uncommon concept. Using Tarot's own magic the weapon gains a +1 bonus in combat and adds to her strength by +1.

I have not detailed the Witchcraft magical philosophy yet, though i have a good intuitive idea of what I want and need for it.  Witches get a +1 to their Doctor/Physician skills for herbal healing,  and +1 to their Occult Library.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A to Z of Witches. T

T is for Tarot

Maybe it is when I grew up and was thinking about all this stuff (the late 70s early 80s) I associate witches and tarot cards.

There is no really overt connection, but they seem to go well together if you ask me.
I have used Tarot cards in my games and even made a suggestion on how to use them instead of dice while playing Ghosts of Albion.  Tarot decks work rather well for Unisystem since the dice mechanic is a straight d10 (1 to 10 roll).

I have a couple of tarot decks laying around and even a book or two, but I never really use them anymore.  Maybe I should.   I used to use them all the time when playing Ravenloft.

Do any of you use tarot in your games or books?

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose
Tarot Pinup by pziomek 
Another Tarot associated with witches is the famous, or infamous, Tarot Witch of the Black Rose.  Yeah I have talked about her a few times here and I won't lie, I find the comic to be a guilty pleasure.
Tarot is actually a good example of what I would call a Witch Guardian. She is a witch, yes, but has taken up the sword in order to protect her coven.

Typically though they wear more armor than this.

I know some people complain about Tarot's proportions. And yes they are ridiculous.
But they are also based on the artist's own wife, so maybe this is how he see's her.  Since she is one doing the coloring in the comic maybe she does as well.

Supernatural AtoZ

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition

As many of you know I have been in "research mode" on Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose for some time. And you may also know I just picked up Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition. Well I felt it was time to give them both a spin and see what I can come up with.

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose

Real name: Rowan Gender: F Age: mid-20s Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lbs Hair: Red Eyes: Green
Group Affiliation: The Black Rose Coven. Base of Operation: Witches' Hollow, Salem, MA

Power Level: 9

STR: 2AGL: 3FGT: 4AWE: 4
STA: 3DEX: 2INT: 3PRE: 5

Dodge: 6
Parry: 6
Fortitude: 5
Toughness: 6/3
Will: 5
Armor +3

All out attack, Artificer, Attractive 2, Benefit (Witch of the Black Rose), Connected, Contacts, Diehard, Equipment (Sword and Armor), Extraordinary Effort, Languages (English, Latin), Minion 3 ("Pooka" her flying Goblin Cat), Power Attack, Precise Attack (all), Prone Fighting


Acrobatics +7, Athletics +6, Close combat (sword) +12, Deception +7, Expertise (Magic) +11, Insight +6, Intimidation +5, Investigation +5, Perception +6, Persuasion +7, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5, Treatment +5

Healing 2
Magic 5 (Dynamic)
 Eye bite (Blast, does not require hands) 2
 Dazzle 2
 Flight 5
 Forcefield 5
 Impervious Toughness 3
 Teleport 5
Magickal Senses (Awarness: Magic, Precognition (limited to Tarot's loved ones and to tarot card images)) 3
Telekinesis (Move Object) 5

Rival: Raven Hex (sister)
Enemy: Dragon Witches
Prejudice: Wiccan
Relationships: Jon "Skeleton Man" Webb (lover), Boo Cat (lover), Mother (mother)

Power Points
Abilities: 52 Powers: 34 Advantages: 21 Skills: 20 Defenses: 8 = 135 pp

This version of Tarot focuses on her fighting ability. She admits herself that she is not the most powerful witch, magic wise, around, but she has had quite a bit of training with the sword and in combat as a Swordmaiden of the Goddess. I also wanted to focus on the magical nature of her armor. Sure she goes to the same armorsmith as Red Sonja, but there is a magical aura about it that protects her all the same.

I opted for PL 9 here. She could not stand toe to toe with the likes of Zatanna or even Willow and Tara magic wise, but still has some room to grow her abilities.

ETA: I am also posting this on The Atomic Think Tank.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kickstarters of the Week

Y post up a little later today.  But here are some Kickstarters that caught my eye over the last week.

The Victorian Academy of Magick Book
Paul Voodini is running this one and it looks really cool.  I spoke with him a bit and it would make for a great background book in any magic-based Victorian era RPG.

To get an idea of what the book will be like, check out the Facebook page, The Victorian Academy of Magick,

The Way of Tree, Shadow & Flame for The Secret Fire RPG

reviewed the Secret Fire a while back and Tenkar brought this one up.  It looks pretty cool and I was pleasantly surprised with the Secret Fire.

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose: Eleventh Collected Trade
Finally the 11th collected Tarot Witch of the Black Rose trade-paperback is up.
It already met it's funding so now it about the stretch goals.
I have stated up Tarot in the past and I like the character to be honest.

Dark Dungeons: The Movie
I am not even sure what to say about this one.  You all know the Chick tract.
There was even an animated movie made of it once.

I of course like my own MST3k treatment (two sites of many)

I might just have to throw some money at this one.


The World's Worst Dungeon Crawl!

No idea yet. But it looks fantastic.  Though I do enjoy the line "Killing characters is easy, entertaining players is hard."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for True20

So I have been doing some Tarot posts of late and playing around again with True20 so this should really be a no brainer.  Plus Tarot #66 is now out, so why not.

Now one would expect that her True20 stats should be somewhat similar to her M&M 2nd Ed stats.  But if I build her by the book she ends up a touch weaker.  These are her "by the book stats".  In comparison to her M&M counterpart, this Tarot lives in a more darkly supernatural world, say like that of most modern supernatural novels like The Dresden Files or even the urban fantasy of Kim Harrison.
As typical I am using the Adept's Handbook and the guide to Horror Role-Playing from the True20 Revised book.

I would see her as something like a member of an Occult Guard or a Witch Knight.  Her armor then would be more traditional and ornate, but I would not change the character one bit.

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose

Adept 6 / Warrior 3

STR: 0 INT: +1
DEX: +2 WIS: +1
CON: +1 CHA: +3

Initiative: +2
Defense: +8
Base Attack bonus: +6  (Melee +8, Ranged +8)

Saving Throws
Toughness: +4
Fortitude: +3
Reflex: +5
Will: +8

Virtue: Compassionate
Vice: Impulsive
Calling (Blue Rose): Justice
Reputation: +3

Bluff +5, Climb -3 (armor), Concentration +8, Craft (Blacksmith) +3, Diplomacy +4, Disguise +3, Handle Animal +4, Intimidate +4, Jump -2, Knowledge (history) +5, Knowledge (Occult/Supernatural) +10,  Knowledge (theology and philosophy) +10,  Medicine +5, Notice +6, Perform (Ritual) +6, Research +6,  Search +6, Sense Motive +5, Sleight of Hand +3, Survival +5

The Talent, Imbue Item, Connected, Weapon Training (Sword), Armor Training (light), Attack Focus (Sword), Iron Will

Object Reading, Wind Walk, Heart Reading,  Elemental Blast, Elemental Resistance, Plane Shift, Ward

Languages: Latin, English
Equipment: Sword of the Goddess, Armor

Conviction: 7

Starts out as an Adept and then picks up some levels in Warrior to cover her training.
Adept powers are based on Charisma.
Philosophy: Witchcraft.

So this Tarot is physically weaker than her M&M counterpart, but still rather powerful for the world she would be in.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Superbabes

I have posted about Tarot before.  Unlike the characters of Superbabes and Femforce, Tarot is often considered to be part of the "Bad Girl Art" type.  Not that she is the opposite of the Good Girl Art, but rather the situations she gets herself in never would have happen to Nightveil or Miss Victory.

I am not going to lie. I like Tarot. Its a guilty pleasure to be sure, but my enjoyment of it is honest.  Plus +HOlly Golightly and creator Jim Balent are both really cool.

Tarot in Superbabes is actually a good fit.  She has some magic, some skills and combat ability and certainly the chance to earn Bimbo Points.  If you read the comic then yeah. She does some really cool comic things, but then ends up loosing her clothes while sledding due to some faeries (ok to be fair the whole vacationing lot, Jon, Mother and Raven, did too).

Character: Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose
Secret ID / AKA: Rowan
Age: she isn't saying   Apparent Age: mid 20s
Origin: Supernatural Pupil (50cp)
50 CPs

Primary Stats
Muscles: 14  Max Press: 700
Health: 17 ("Buxom" seems right)  Regen, Combat: - Regen, At rest: 1pp/3rds  HTK/Day: 2d10
Moves: 19 ("Fast")  Bonus to hit: +3 Movement: 8" Hittability: 8 Initiative Bonus: 1
Brains: 16  Mental Attack Bonus: +1 Mental Hittability: 5
Will: 19  Regen Rate: 1pp/2rds HTK Regen/Day: 1d6+3
Personality: 18 ("Sparkling")
Looks: 51 ("So gorgeous she is hard to look at")
308 CPs

Secondary Stats
PP: 154
HTK: 50
Fame: 5/15 (normal/supernatural world)
Bimbo Points: 1 (there will be more)
XP: 15,002 ("Big Leaguer")
Level: 9 ("Junior Heroine")
CPs: 4 more to spend

Magic Spells (Tarot admits she is still a student here)
- Blast 4d6 (48cp)
- Flight 10 (80cp)
- Force Field 10 (60cp)
- Go Places (teleport) (200cp)
Healing II 100cp
Visions of Elsewhere 40cp
Visions of the Past 30cp
588 CPs

Armor (Invulnerability 4)
Sword of the Goddess (free gizmo)
20 CPs

Occultist 50 cp (gained for free at 1st level)
First Aid 20cp
Melee Weapon (Sword) 10cp
Persuasion 20cp
Blind Fighting 25cp
Contacts (Supernatural) 20cp
Survival 20cp
Weaponsmith 25cp
140 CPs

Character Description
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 140 lbs
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Skin: Caucasian
Unique Characteristics: She has a black rose tattoo/birthmark on her left shoulder.

All in all not a bad fit.  I like her at 9th level which lines up nicely with her other builds.
She has a winged cat familiar named Pooka as well as a two lovers, Skeleton Man (Jon Webb) and Boo Cat (a werecat).  Given how often they are endangered or get Tarot into trouble they should be worth a couple of Bimbo incident-free Bimbo Points.

Links to other Tarot stats
And Tarot's home on the Internet 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Kickstart Your Weekend: Elizabeth Chaipraditkul Interview

I want to spend some more time talking about WITCH today with the developer Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, +Liz C. 
WITCH is getting a lot more attention and I wanted learn more about the game.

To say I am looking forward to this is an understatement.

Tim Brannan/The Other Side:  Let’s start at the beginning,  who are you and what is Angry Hamster Publishing?
Elizabeth Chaipraditkul/Angry Hamster: My name is Liz and I am the co-founder of Angry Hamster publishing. I’ve written WITCH and it is our flagship game for Angry Hamster Publishing. I’ve written for the Living Forgotten realms before and I am currently working on a project for Onyx Path Publishing.

TB: How did you get into gaming?
Liz: I was a very solitary kid, the kind of girl who spent all her time in her room playing with her Barbies and making up stories, so the moment I found out about gaming I jumped on it. I thought it was fantastic that there were other people out there that wanted to make-pretend as much as I did. I started out with form rpgs when I was in middle school and then in highschool I was introduced to D&D 3.5 and it took off from there.

TB: What are some of your favorite games? Why?
Liz: TTRPG-wise I would have to say Vampire the Masquerade. I love how gritty it is, the romance and the tragedy of an immortal existence. I blame Anne Rice and Joss Whedon for this. I also love Numenera and Monster Hearts. Numenera because it is unique and wonderful, I love adventure and this game is pure adventure. Monster Hearts holds a special place in my heart, because it is a game that perfectly encapsulates all the angsty supernatural/teen TV shows I love.

TB: Now the good stuff.  What is “WITCH”?
Liz: WITCH is a dark, modern fantasy role play game where you play a member of the Fated a witch or warlock who has sold their soul to a demon for power. The game is set in our world, but then if we had all the cool stuff like magic and monsters. The game deals heavily with how characters will find a way to survive and triumph over their personal storylines and demons. This rather dark theme is set in a world that is utterly fantastical. The world of WITCH, unlike the lives of the Fated, is not dark at all. In fact is it wondrous, magical, and begging to be explored.

TB: What is here in WITCH to set it off from other Modern Supernatural games?
Liz: We place a large importance on character’s stories and their interactions with their personal demons. When I created this game I wanted the character’s lives to be as much a part of the main plot as whatever cool story the GM had cooked up. With the Fated constantly having to deal with their demons the game does that just that. In order for the Fated to gain more power they must summon their demon and make a new deal with them, demons are real characters who have wants and needs, and they will (probably) as the Fated to do something they are not comfortable with. How the Fated deal with their demons and how they still survive in their own lives is a unique feature in our game.

TB: Tell me more about the magic system in WITCH
Liz: Mechanics wise, our magic system is very unique. We don’t put a limit on how much magic players can use, they are able to use as much magic a day as they want, however, it comes at a price. Players can also do things such as Magic Alteration, changing the look and feel of their Spell, at will. This means that players can customise their characters without a penalty and each character’s magic will be unique.

TB:  What sort of games/stories do you expect that people will use this for?
Liz: I’d like to say the two themes I love most in games and that is - adventure and drama. There is nothing like your coven recovering an ancient artefact just for one of you to give it to your demon for power power is there? I love exploring places that beg to be explored and interacting with a world completely foreign to you. However, as a player I am also very selfish. I want a personal story and I want drama. I always hope my GM is going to pick apart my backstory and find something crazy to run with. I believe that is what WITCH allows GMs to do.

TB: Going on the drama bit for a second.  Would it be possible to do a Monster Hearts-like (a game I love) game with WITCH?
Liz: For sure! The setting isn’t limited to adventure, horror, etc. Often, in the WITCH games I run the player’s lives end up taking center stage, their relationships etc. The story I have in mind is always second and woven deeply into who the characters are. I also think that the Fated and their demons could have interesting relationships together. We have a story in the book of a woman named Mary, she was a Pagan and actually ended up married to her devil. I would not call their relationship love… actually the exact opposite, but how fantastic would that type of drama be in a story?

TB: Your Kickstarter is doing great.  You are funded and heading into stretch goals.  What what you like to do this with these funds?  (the Cape Town and Athens additions)
Liz: Well, our most recent stretch goal is one of my most beloved and that is the Devil’s Deck. The Devil’s Deck is an altered Major Arcana of a tarot deck that the fated use to divine the future. It features heavily in our game and if we get 100 more euros in our campaign we unlock it for our players! Each one of our backers will get the digital PNP files for the Devil’s Deck. The next stretch goal after that is getting all our backers (who have pledges for a physical copy of the book) a hard copy of the deck. I really hope we get there!

TB: Cool so a Tarot set to go along with the Witch board!  Any other goodies you would like to do?
Liz: Oh yeah! The next rewards is for sure going to be a GM screen or what I like to call - 4 page cardboard excuse to showcase the amazing art we have! I never use my GM screens as actual screens, but I love handy quick references and the art is always so amazing! Also, if the last two days go crazy I have also sourced custom dice, but we’ll see if we get there :D.

TB: What are your future plans for this game?
Liz: I have a companion that is half on paper and half in my mind. It will give players more options for higher Spell Levels and also introduce two new Fates. It will basically contain a lot of content that didn’t make it into the CRB. I am also working on a few adventures and I would love to get to write more about the Fates.

TB: Ok last question and this is for my own benefit. Who is your favorite wizard, witch or magic-user?
Liz: Argh! Just one? Okay, I am going to pick two - Tara (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Halaster . I love Tara, because she is perfect and wonderful in every way. I love Halaster, because he is crazy. Haha, I actually can’t describe him more than that.
TB: I absolutely LOVE Tara!  Would it be possible to play Willow and Tara in WITCH?
Liz: YES! Well, I want to say no, because we know where the relationship ends up - but yes! Also, dark Willow would make such a cool higher Spell Level witch. In our game when you get to higher Spell levels you get to focus your magic into either redemption or utter damnation (and more, but see my answer above about wanting to write more books ^^). I totally see a tragic dark Willow and redeemed Tara story. Ahhhhh!
TB: Well Tara is alive and well in my games, so I will have to try stating them up!
Liz: I want to see that ^^.

TB: And finally where can we find you on the internet?
Liz: You can find more about WITCH at and follow us on Twitter @angryhamsterrpg. I also have a personal blog, which is


In the process of talking to Liz I decided EXACTLY what my first WITCH game is going to be.
I am going to abandon the Fate version of my American Horror Story: Coven game I was playing around with and do it all under WITCH instead.

AND of course I need to stat up Willow and Tara as soon as I can.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

October Horror Movie Challenge: Season of the Witch (All)

ITS HALLOWEEN!  It's a Saturday. We get an extra hour after midnight and the moon is full.  

Again, today I am going to end with some movies around the same theme; or more accurately movies with the same title.

Oh no, must be the season of the witch!

Season of the Witch (1972 or 1973)

Ok, this is a repeat from 2012, but the topic and time period was just too perfect to ignore. While this month has largely been about European Horror prior to The Exorcist, this one from Horror Master George Romero could not be ignored.  

Besides, bored housewife turns to witchcraft? Yeah, that is great stuff, to be honest.  There is still a lot of fun in this movie. A nice slice of Occult Americana. Neat little bits on Rosemary's Baby, Voodoo, ritual tools, and Tarot Cards. Even an honest to Goddess coven and ritual initiation.  If anything this movie is better with another watch. The movie even has enough sense to know when to take itself seriously and when to not.  

The new special edition Blu-Ray art makes Joan look a little scarier than she is but hey, that is fine really. 

A wonderful example of the Swinging 70s and horror prior to The Exorcist. 

New View: No
Witches: Yes
Features the Donovan Song: Yes

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Now I remember seeing this one in the theaters. I loved the poster and thought it was really cool.  But for the life of me when rewatching it I could remember any of it.  This movie is best watched as disconnected from the rest of the Halloween/Michael Meyers franchise.  It fits in with the original vision of the franchise as separate, unrelated movies in an anthology.  Much like "Creepshow" and "American Horror Story."

The story is. Well it's dreadful, to be honest. It wasn't well liked then and it has not aged well either.  I do like the idea of the masks being haunted/possessed/curse or whatever it was they were.  Though seriously, trying to get a chip from the megaliths at Stonehenge? Yeah, not likely.  Though I would totally use a bunch of cursed masks in a game.

I think I remember why I don't recall this one as well. It's kinda dull and I might have spaced out a lot while it was on.  

New View: I am going to say No, even though I can't remember much of it.
Witches: None, but it does have Dick Warlock in it. So that is something.
Features the Donovan Song: No

Season of the Witch (2009, 2014)

Did Halloween III leave such a bad taste in everyone's mouth that this title had to wait nearly 30 years to be reused? I guess. 

My first "first time view" today and one of my last (!) new movies of the season.  Make no mistake, this one is not good. It is a little indie film from England. The actors are mostly unknowns.  Mary Blackwell travels back to her hometown of Maiden Hollow to clear out her recently deceased father's house. There is a priest who becomes obsessed with Alice (Beth Kingston) who looks like his dead wife.

Or that's what I think. There are times when the music soundtrack overwhelms the voice track. Calling this a "slow burn" is charitable. Calling it boring might be closer. 

Which is too bad, because I had hoped for some English folk horror.  The "village justice" scene at the end is the closest we ever get to that.  Actually, I felt the whole scene was overdone to be honest. 

The movie was finished in 2009 but not released till 2014.

The tag line is "Don't look behind" which makes no sense. Given how times the question is asked the tag line should be "Did You Have Breakfast?"

New View: Yes
Witches: Not really
Features the Donovan Song: No

Season of the Witch (2011)

This one is pure horror-action cheese.  I saw it when it came out but I am a little surprised in never made it into my Horror Movie Challenge till now. 

So this one has a lot of good going for it on paper. Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman star as Teutonic Knights.  There is a girl, Anna, played by Claire Foy in her first movie role, being accused of witchcraft and they need to take her to a monastery. 

It goes about as you would suspect. Knights take the witch in a cage. She protests she isn't a witch. Crazy shit happens on the way.

It's a fun romp and Cage never fails to amuse and Ron Perlman is always fun.  The demon effects are also really good. After spend so much time in the 1970's horror it is nice to see a really scary looking monster.

In some ways this movie could be considered part of a series along with Vin Diesel's "The Last Witchhunter." There is a similar vibe to them both.

New View: No
Witches: Yes
Features the Donovan Song: Sort of. It's on the soundtrack, but it is a symphonic instrumental. 

Judgment: If your "Season of the Witch" movie does not feature the song by Donovan, then your movie is going to suck.

I started early while waiting for Trick or Treaters.  I might be able to get in one more tonight!  The new Craft movie is out now!

NIGHT SHIFT and Old-school Content:  The "Season of the Witch" is a potent concept for me. 

I used it for the name of my Willow & Tara series (essentially "Buffy, Season 8") and it is coming around again in relation to my War of the Witch Queens

Watched: 59
New: 40

Friday, December 4, 2015

Conceptual Continuity: The World that Frank Zappa Built

Today is sad day. 22 years ago one of the greatest performers in music died.  Frank Zappa.
ETA: We also just learned that form leader singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland has also died today.

I love Zappa's music after being introduced to it by both a friend and my older brother Mike.  Zappa was a genius and I could spend the next dozen posts talking about him, his music and his contributions.  But instead in a move that might amuse Frank himself I am going for the cheap (but well thought out) gag.

Here are some Zappa inspired items, people, places and things for your game.

Oh I can't explain Conceptual Continuity. It is something that has to be experienced.

Barking Pumpkin
This looks like a normal jack-o-lantern, but once lit it acts an alarm ward. Anyone approaching withing 10' of this pumpkin will cause it to starting barking like a large dog.   Only the command "Sit, Fido, sit." followed by "good dog" will stop it from barking.

Python Boot (magic item)
These boots look like they are made of a skin of a large python.  They give the wearer a +2 on any roll that might involve Charisma (though not magical rolls).  It is assumed that anyone wearing such a boot must be interesting to talk to.

Python Boot, Stinkfoot (cursed)
This cursed version of the Python Boot gives the same powers as a regular python boot.  Though the wearer will not be able to remove them.  Once they try the boot will begin to emit an order like a Stinking Cloud spell.  All Charisma based rolls are now at a -4.

St. Alphonzo (and his Pancake Breakfast)
Saint Alphonzo was one a kindly friar that believed that breakfast was the most important meal of the day.   Special pancakes blessed by the saint keep adventures full and warm till nightfall when consumed in the morning.
St. Alphonzo's is currently run by portly cleric by name of Father O'Blivion, who may or may not be plagued by leprechauns.

Camarillo Brillo by farlo
The Witch of The Short Forest
13th level Witch, Aquarian Tradition, Female (Neutral)

Strength: 10
Dexterity: 14
Constitution: 12
Intelligence: 13
Wisdom: 10
Charisma: 18

Death Ray or Poison:  9
Magic wand or devices: 10
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 9
Dragon Breath: 12
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 11

Hit Points: 41
Alignment: Neutral
AC: 5 (Ponch [equal to Leather Armor], Amulet of Protection +2 )

Occult Powers
Familiar:  Snake
Herb use
Lesser: Astromancy
Minor: Moon Blessing

Cantrips: Chill, Daze, Detect Curse, Object Reading, Open, Sound
First: Cause Fear, Charm Person, Chill Touch, Sickly
Second: Agony, Evil Eye, Levitate, Rose Garden
Third: Bestow Curse, Bewitch III, Dispel Magic
Fourth: Animal Growth, Emotion, Withering Touch
Fifth: Baleful Polymorph, Bull of Heaven
Sixth: Eye Bite, True Seeing
Seventh: Wave of Mutilation

The witch of The Short Forest is notable for many reasons. First are her looks. Her hair is bright red and curled. Her skin is gray-green and all she seems to wear is an old poncho and an amulet.  She is also sometimes seen with her snake.  She will attempt to read your fortune with a deck of old tarot cards.  Or she will try to seduce any male, particularly adventurers but especially Bards (she loves the guys in the band).  If asked she will play a pair of castanets.
She lives in a small two story hut in the valley in the middle of the Short Forest. She will tell you she was born there and that makes her a valley girl.
She had a sister that drowned and doesn't want to talk about it. She will mention many times that she doesn't want to talk about it. (Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch).

She created the Barking Pumpkin and has a many of them outside her home.  She also has a cat (not a familiar) that speaks fluent Chinese (a language she does not know).

The witch's real name is Dinah, but she never answers to that.

Goblin Girl
Armor Class: 14 (5)
Hit Dice: 1 (6 hp)
No. of Attacks: 1 weapon (dagger)
Damage: 1d6
Movement: 20' Unarmored 30'
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Fighter: 1
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: R
XP: 12

Goblin Girl is a short, kind of pretty little goblin lass. She isn't evil, per se, but she does tend to get into a lot of mischief.  She is very fond of ale, and for a sip she will help out adventurers.  She is also overly amorous and will adopt a "boyfriend" in the party very early.  She will get upset and even suicidal if affection is not returned.  She won't actually kill herself, but she loves the attention.
She wears a green dress and a black witch hat.  She isn't really a witch, she just likes the hat.  It also covers up her head, which is flat on top.

She is friends with the Witch but has been kicked out of St. Alphonzo's many times for stealing margarine.  She has a boyfriend that is a hobgoblin, but she will claim they "are not serious".

Discorporate (Absolutely Free) (spell)
Level: Witch 5, Wizard 5
Duration: 1 hour + 10 mins per level
Range: Touch

By means of this spell the witch can leave her body and project herself anywhere on the current plane she is inhabiting.  She can not affect objects or people unless they are also astral, ethereal or in spirit form.  She can pass through walls and travel great distances, but she must return to her own body before the duration ends or be lost.
The witchcan bring the astral forms of five other willing creatures, provided all subjects are linked in a circle at the time of the casting. These fellow travelers are dependent upon the caster and must accompany her at all times. If something happens to the caster during the journey, her companions are stranded.
Like the Astral Spell, a physical body is left behind attached by a silver cord.
Material Component: A bit of velvet.

Zomby Woof
Armor Class: 15 (4)
Hit Dice: 4+1 (20 hp)
No. of Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 2d6
Movement: 20'
No. Appearing: 1d6
Save As: Fighter: 4
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None
XP: 270

This is a large werewolf zombie stuck in mid-transformation. It is very ungainly and moves slow. It's right foot is larger than the left one and only one paw has claws.
It is a mindless monster that attacks anything in The Short Forest.
A Zomby Woof is turned as a ghoul.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Huge Kickstarter Round up.

Lots to share today! So let's get into it.

Prince Valiant® Storytelling Game by Greg Stafford

The comic gets updated in a new game from Greg Stafford.  I remember reading this as a kid and it could make for a great game.  Just a couple of hours left!

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose: Issue#100 Extended Edition

I make no apologies of my enjoyment of Tarot and Jim and Holly have put together a cool package here.  It's issue 100 and Tarot and Skeleton Man are getting married.  I am sure things are going to ger crazy before the official handfasting.

Battle of the Bands: The Deluxe Edition Card Game

I do enjoy a crazy card game and this one had me at Elvis impersonator.

Worldographer: Hexographer 2 - Easy Map/World Creator

I also love mapping software.

Invisible Sun

Monte Cook's massive new RPG. Or RPG as art or lifestyle.  I am not sure what it is to be honest.  But I am sure you all have $200 to find out?  Well so far a lot of others have so there is obviously a market for this.

Last, but not at all least.

Villains and Vigilantes™ 3.0: The Mighty Protectors™ RPG

Jeff Dee has the rights to Villains and Vigilantes back and now is working on the 3.0 version of one of the world's first super-hero games.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Go out there and bring your credit card! ;)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose for Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition

Continuing on my Tarot builds, I wanted to take a step back and see how the character would shape up as a PL9 using M&M 2nd ed.  I am hoping it will be similar enough to the 3rd Ed build I did last week.  Plus I got some feedback on the build, so I'd like to give her a go.

Here is Tarot for M&M 2nd Ed.

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose

Real name: Rowan
Gender: Female
Age: mid-20s
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 140 lbs
Hair: Red
Eyes: Green
Group Affiliation: The Black Rose Coven.
Base of Operation: Witches' Hollow, Salem, MA

PL: 9 (135 pp)

STR: 14 (+2) DEX: 14 (+2) CON: 16 (+3)
 INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 14 (+2) CHA: 18 (+4)

Acrobatics 4 (+6), Bluff 4 (+8), Climb 2 (+4), Concentration (+2), Diplomacy 4 (+8), Disguise (+4), Escape Artist (+2), Gather Info 4 (+8), Handle Animal 4 (+8), Intimidate (+4), Investigate 2 (+5), History 8 (+11), Arcane Lore 10 (+13), Theology and Philosophy 8 (+11), Medicine 3 (+5), Notice (+2), Search 2 (+5), Sense Motive 4 (+6), Sleight of Hand 6 (+8), Stealth 2 (+4), Survival 6 (+8), Swim (+2)

All-out Attack, Power Attack, Prone Fighting, Weapon Bind, Benefit (1), Attractive (2), Artificer, Equipment (2), Diehard, Minions (3), Ritualist, Connected, Contacts

*Magic [5], (Eye bite (Blast, does not require hands) [2], Dazzle [2], Flight [5], Impervious Toughness [3], Teleport [5]),
Magickal Senses [3],
Telekinesis [5],
Device [3] (Sword)

Attack 9 [Sword 3 (Lethal), Magic Blast 5 (Bruise)]
Defense 10 (10 flat-footed) Init 2

Toughness 6 (6 flat-footed) Fortitude 5 Reflex 6 Will 5

Rival: Raven Hex (sister), Enemy: Dragon Witches, Prejudice: Wiccan, Relationships: Jon "Skeleton Man" Webb (lover), Boo Cat (lover), Mother (mother)

Abilities 32 + Skills 19 (75 ranks) + Feats 17 + Powers 41 + Combat 18 + Saves 9 – Drawbacks -1 = 135 / 135

I noticed that I had more points to play with in this version, so some skills are higher than her 3rd Ed counterpart.   All in all, this was an easier build for me, since I have more experience with 2nd ed obviously, but it was very, very similar to building her in 3rd Ed.

As before I am also posting this on The Atomic Think Tank.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: Spellfire

"If it's Lady Spellfire they want then it is Lady Spellfire they shall have!" - Shandril Shessair

Shandril is just small town girl, living in a lonely world...a wait. Well, she is lonely and living in a small town. She is an orphan girl working for ex-adventurer Gorstag in his inn.  She dreams of going on an adventure of her own.  So seeing a potential group who are short a thief, she steals their weapons and lets them know that if they want them back they need to take her on.
Soon she is swept up in the glory of adventure...which mean eating bad food being cold and afraid most of the time.
But Shan is special, and she finds herself in the ruins of Myth Dranor, pursued by an evil sorceress and devils. Rescued by the infamous Knights of Myth Dranor and none other than Elminster himself.  It seems Shandril has a power she is only now learning about. She is a spellfire wielder. She can absorb magic and turn it into blasts of flame so hot that with out training she destroys first one, then two and finally three draco-liches (great undead dragons of terrible power).  Keeping mind that most people never even meet one, let alone survive it!
Now she is being chased by the Cult of the Dragon, another group of evil Mages and who knows all else and they all want her secret. or her dead.

This is the first Forgotten Realms novel I have ever read.  There is a vast library of knowledge in and around the Realms and I have been pretty much blind to it for various reasons.  I picked this book a local library book sale.  I was always a fan of the Clyde Caldwell cover art and even have it hanging in my game room.
The book is enjoyable. It is clearly gamer fiction, but it has it's moments.  The author has a lot of affection for these characters, that is obvious, and you can tell there is much more goign on in his head than what is down on paper.  My issues as a newbie here was there were too many characters to keep track of.  Shandril and Narm are likable enough and Gorstag was the most relatable to me.
It did however, make me want to read some more Realms books.  Rather looking forward to it.

2017 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
2017 Witch & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
Books Read so far: 7
Level: Maiden
Witches in this book: Certainly The Simbul, The Shadowsil and maybe, just maybe, Shandril too.
Are they Good Witches or Bad Witches: All the above
Best RPG to Emulate it: This book screams 2nd edition AD&D even if was published at the end of 1st edition AD&D.  Either would work out well.
Use in WotWQ: Hell yes! I have started on a quest of my own to read about the Seven Sisters (which The Simbul is part of) and use them in my games.

The Witches of the Realms

Let's have look at Symgharyl Maruel also known as the Shadowsil.  She certainly "feels" like a witch. An evil witch to be sure, but recognizable.

According to the Forgotten Realms Villian's Lorebook, The Shadowsil is:

The Shadowsil (Symgharyl Maruel)
human female 18th-level mage
AC 6; MV 12; hp 36; THAC0 15; #AT 1; Dmg by spell; MR Nil; SZ M; ML 18; AL NE; XP 12,000.
S 9, D 16, C 14, I 18, W 15, Ch 15.
Spells: 5/5/5/5/5/3/3/2/1.

Special Equipment: Ring of dragons, ring of protection +2, rope of entanglement, wand of fire.
Description: Tall, slim, and cruel, The Shadowsil was likely a Cult enforcer or high-level operative of some kind. She wore purple robes and was a former apprentice and paramour of Elminster before she turned to cruelty and evil. She died in his arms, proclaiming her love for him and her regret over their lost love.

If I were to turn her into a witch I'd use my Basic Witch rules with the Advanced options and make her 18th level. She would loose a 9th level spell, but gain powers.

This is also a good time to try out a Draconic Tradition.  My son and I have talked about Dragon Witches before, what they might be and how they work.  There are also the Dragon Witches from the Tarot comic and some others.

Symgharyl Maruel, The Shadowsil
18th level Witch (Draconic Tradition)
Female, Chaotic

Strength 9
Intelligence 15
Wisdom 15
Dexterity 16
Constitution 14
Charisma 18

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

Hit Points: 63
AC: 1
(leather armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Dex 16 -2)

THAC0: 14
(I know, THAC0 was not used in Basic D&D. You know what this means)

Occult Powers*  (have not worked these all out yet)
Familiar: pseudo dragon
Lesser: Access Draconic Bloodline (allows the witch to cast MU spells as Ritual Spells)
Minor: Draconic resistence (avoid fear effects and add Cha bonus to saves)

Cantrips (6): Alarm Ward, Chill, Daze, Ghost Sound, Inflict Minor Wounds, Spark
1st (6+2): Black Fire, Cause Fear, Charm Person, Endure Elements, Ghostly Slashing, Glamour, Light/Darkness, Minor Fighting Prowess
2nd (5+2): Discord, Enthrall, Ghost Touch, Hold Person, Invisibility, Phantasmal Spirit, Spell Missile
3rd (5+2):  Bestow Curse, Dispel Magic, Feral Spirit, Lifeblood, Toad Mind, Witch Wail, Fireball (bloodline spell)
4th (4+1): Analyze Magic, Elemental Armor (Fire), Intangible Cloak of Shadows, Phantom Lacerations, Withering Touch
5th (3): Blade Dance, Dreadful Bloodletting, Waves of Fatigue
6th (3): Death Blade, Mass Agony, True Seeing
7th (3): Death Aura, Greater Arcane Eye, Wave of Mutilation
8th (2): Destroy Life, Mystic Barrier,

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mighty Protectors: Converting* Villains & Vigilantes

Mighty Protectors is billed as Villains & Vigilantes 3.0. For the most part, I am completely fine with that.  The game feels the same and mostly plays the same.  There are differences though.  The differences feel about the same as those say between AD&D 1st Ed and D&D 3.0.
The numbers don't always line up in terms of CPs or BCs, but close enough that you can do what I call "concept-driven conversion".

Concept Driven conversion (for me) is a matter of reading over the character (monster, spell, adventure) and re-casting it in the new rules.  This is different than what I call Numerical Conversion where I can lump the numbers into an Excel sheet and get the proper conversion.

I tried both ways on characters I had been using for Villains & Vigilantes 2.x; Justice and Tarot.
I do want to point out that neither of these characters can be considered "mine".
Justice is derived directly from Superman and Wonder Woman, both owned by DC comics.
Tarot is owned by Jim Balent and Holly Golightly and she is very near and dear to them.

Justice (aka "Justice is Blind Issue 8: Mighty Protectors")
In the case of Justice I went with concept driven conversion since I knew I wanted to recraft her from the ground up as a 200 CP character.
To recap, Justice is also known as Astra Kal'El or Astra Kent.  She is the daughter of Superman and Wonder Woman in the future.  I have toyed with the idea of having her go back in time to stop the death of Lois Lane but that would also erase her problems there, but none that I can't solve really.  I like the idea of a young Kryptonian/Amazon.  True, I get a lot of my Justice fill lately from the Supergirl TV series, but this is still a fun character.

This Mighty Protectors version of her is not as powerful as the Villains & Vigilantes version I made a few years back, but I am much happier with it. She is powerful but still just starting out.

Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose
For Tarot, I wanted to do a more numerical conversion.  She was one of the last characters I stated up for V&V 2.1 and thought she would make a good first character for Mighty Protectors.
Trouble is I didn't like the conversion I came up with.  So I smoothed out some of the edges with some concept-driven ideas and good old-fashioned number juggling.  Comparatively the MP and V&V 2.1 versions are much closer aligned. truth the paper sheet I have is much closer. The Excel sheet shows more of the "smoothing".

From a 13th level character to a 200 point build.  Again I am pretty satisfied with this one but the 2.1 version is just as good to me.  Besides.  Tarot is way too fun NOT to have in a game.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Kickstart Your Weekend: Jim Balent & Holly G's Crossover: When Magick Meets Manga !

I will freely and happily admit I am a fan of the Tarot Comics from Jim Balent.
I am also a big fan of Holly Golightly's "School Bites" webcomic.

In fact I have featured their characters here a number of times over the years for a variety of systems.

Tarot Witch of the Black Rose
Cherri Creeper, Witch Girls Adventures.

But I have never brought them together.

Well Jim and Holly are going to do that now in a new crossover comic book.

The art is going to come in a variety styles.
So we will see Tarot, Raven and Boo in "School Bites" quasi-Manga style and the girls of School Bites drawn in Jim Balent's hyper-realism style.

Of course it could be fun just to see Tarot and Cherri on the same page since both characters seem to be modeled on Jim's wife Holly.

But honestly I am most excited to see "Annie Mia" the vampire turned Dark Angel from School Bites.

I know Jim and Holly are not everyone's tastes, but the comics are fun and they are both great people and this comic promises to be a blast.  So check it out!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Kickstart Your Weekend: Heretical Fates Tarot Deck

A different KYW for the Other Side today.  Hope you enjoy it!


A NSFW Tarot deck and art book with 78 photographs by Allan Amato, descriptions by Danika XIX and art by JAW Cooper + Lauren Panepinto.

I am not "into" Tarot, but I do love the iconography of it all.   And this would be a cool tarot deck to have to use with some games like WITCH: Fated Souls or Mage

I also think I like the idea of Vivid Vivka as the Devil in this.

Looks really fantastic.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

School Bites as a Witch Girls setting

I have been a long time fan of Eerie Cuties a web comic featuring high school age vampires, witches, a succubus and other fantasy/horror creatures.  I have mentioned Eerie Cuties in the past and in particular Chole the Succubus. At the time I thought EC would make for a great alternate setting for Witch Girls Adventures.  I still think that in fact and will try to stat up a few of the characters this week.

One of the comics that is advertised on the EC page is School Bites.  I have read it a few times and enjoyed it.  Well I have been doing my research on Tarot Witch of the Black Rose and it dawned on me then that the Holly G of Tarot was the same as the Holly G of School Bites.  I suppose all the Tarot ads should have been a giveaway.  

So School Bites is about Cherri Creeper a new vampire and the vampire school she now attends. There is a lot going on in the comic that make it great material for a game.  New powers, a rival gang coven of vampires and of course plenty of teen angst issues.  It's funny, witty and certainly PG-13 with some of the drawings and innuendo. Of course that is also a great description of Witch Girls Adventures, except swap out witches for vampires.

While I did read through all the comics, there are not a lot of powers demonstrated yet.  Which is kind of the point, they have some powers they just don't know how they all work yet and don't have the rest.

But I can make some guesses.

Cherri Creeper (former name Charlotte Webb)
Body: d6
Mind: d6
Senses: d6
Will: d4
Social: d6
Magic: d6

Life Points: 12   Reflex: 9
Resist magic: 9  Zap Points: 12
Skills:  Acrobatics 1, Art 2, Basics 2, Fib 2, Hear 2, Plucky 2, Streetwise 2, Urchin 2
Cryptozoology 2, Mysticism 1

Traits: Friendly,  Urban, Vampire

18 year old Charlotte Webb was living on her own in New York attending art school.  That is till one night (Halloween to be exact) that she was attacked by vampire Dante Le Bon.  Now a new vampire and loving her unlife Cherri (as she is now known) is learning what it is to be a vampire.
She has some new good friends, a fuzzy bat, some cool new teachers and wings (that she doest quite know how to use yet).  Of course there are problems.  There is this guy she likes, but he is human, and Le Bon now knows of her and wants her back for his coven.

There are more characters including a vampire cat girl, a vampire cheerleader, a nosfeatu prince and a vegan wicca vampire.  It's like chibi-animie World of Darkness.

It's fun stuff and I am looking forward to seeing some more.  I'd like to see some of the world myths explored some more and how exactly a cat-girl vampire came to be.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Well, that's odd.

It occurred to me this morning while I was running (what, I can run!) that I have never done a post on Tarot the Witch of the Black Rose.  I mean it seems to have everything that ends up in my games; red headed witch, lots of supernatural and fantasy creatures, scantily clad women and at least lip service to real practitioners.

Maybe because I haven't actually read any of the comics.

Reading synopsis and overviews online though, "Tarot" or Rowan sounds like what is typically called in my games a "Witch Guardian".  Sorta like a Warden of the Dresden Files, but more focused on protecting the coven than being the Wicce secret police.  I like that she has a winged cat, that is something I have used in my games too.

I am a fan of Holly Holly Golightly's webcomic "School Bites" and she is one half (or two/thirds even) of the Tarot creative team.

Other parts of it though look fairly cliche'd and even drifting into softcore (neither of which I mind, but everything in it's place after all).

I have seen that includes such notables in witch/wiccan community as Fiona Horne and Raven Grimassi.  Not that it matters that much to me, but I have to admire Balent's attention to detail.

The reviews I have seen are somewhat mixed.  There are lot of positive ones to be sure,  but there are others complaining about the cheese-cake factor, nudity and sex.

So have any of you read it? Is it any good?
Can you give me your thoughts, comments?
Anyone know where I can buy the collected editions?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: WITCH Fated Souls

I supported the WITCH: Fated Souls Kickstarter back when it was coming out and have been meaning to do a review for ages.  Given that Halloween is nigh and the PDF is on sale at DriveThruRPG this might be a great time.

+Elizabeth Chaipraditkul is a new name to the RPG biz, but one that is getting out there. In addition to being the lead hamster at +Angry Hamster Publishing she is also working with +Stacy Dellorfano on a new adventure for the upcoming Swords & Wizardry Complete 3rd Printing Kickstarter.  WITCH: Fated Souls though is her masterwork.

WFS is a modern supernatural game. It has elements of horror and universe destroying, or defining, magics.  Now lets be 100% fair here.  We all have several of these sorts of games.  I have more than I can count right now and I have written or worked on a few myself.  So any game in this field has some really steep competition.  For myself I am likely to compare this game to CJ Carrella's WitchCraft and to Mage: the Ascension.  I am also likely to compare this to Ron Edwards' Sorcerer.

Liz has an impressive RPG Playing career and you can see influences of D&D, Vampire, and Mage in her game.  So WFS can be judged as a setting and for her game mechanics.

As mentioned WFS is a Modern Supernatural game with elements of horror.  Not, "you fail a SAN check" sort of horror but more along the lines of "what are you willing to do, willing to give up, for power".  The characters of WFS are witches, also known as the Fated.  These characters have sold their soul to a "demon" for power.  In some cases, this is a fire and brimstone devil or it's a nebulous concept, the Horned Beast,  the Reynard, or it is something they don't even understand themselves.

For my review I am looking over my hardcover book and PDF from my Kickstarter package.  This included a GM screen and a deck of "Devil Deck Cards".  I also got a lot of images, character sheet package PDF and some desktop wallpapers.  The book is 208 pages, standard format with full-color covers and interiors, though the color palette is predominantly blacks, blues, and violets.

WITCH is divided up into nine chapters and an introduction.

Here we get some setting fiction and the typical "what are RPGs" section.  There is also a Chapter overview here.

CHAPTER 1: Character Creation
WFS is a character focused game.  One might even say it is a story-telling game, but it has more crunch than most storytelling games.  Regardless of what you might, or might not, call it, characters are the most important element.  What will your character do for power? What will they sacrifice and how much of their humanity is left when they are done?  In this respect, it has a lot in common with Vampire and Sorcerer.  You are expected to have a concept in mind when you begin your character creation.  To this end the various "Fate" or types of Witch you can become are presented. These include the Hecks, Druids, Djinn, Yokai, Sósyé, Liches, and Seers.  You can read about all of these and get details on who they are and what they do on AngryHamster's webiste,  Also detailed here are the types of demons associated with each Fate.
When creating a character the player needs to think about who this character is and what they are going to be doing in this world.  So there are prompts like "Before my Fating..." and "I was Fated because..." and "My relationship with my demon is..." Here, and throughout the book there are examples and story elements to help guide you.  There is also a step by step instruction guide.
Character creation, mechanically speaking, is a case of point-buy.  If you have played WoD, GURPS, Unisystem or other games then this will feel familiar.
Like WoD and WitchCraft we also get a couple pages, with character art, dedicated to each Fate.
The art in this game is really great.

CHAPTER 2: Vital Statistics
This deals with the stats of your character; attributes (nearly fixed qualities like Charisma, Dexterity, and Intelligence), skills (who good are you at driving, etiquette, social empathy), pursuits (things you own or are), and talents (akin to magical skills or qualities).
This is set up similar to many games so navigating what this is and how to use it are not difficult.  There is a LOT of room for customization so the number of potential characters is really great.  So there is no reason for every Sósyé or Djinn to be the same as the others.

CHAPTER 3: Magic
Now this is a fun chapter. An overview of the game mechanics of magic is given including the important "botch" roll.  Magic here has a bit of different feel than otehr games. The closest for me is WitchCraft, but with plenty of Mage added in.  Magic spells are grouped by Fate.  So the Djinn have different magic than the Hecks and so on.
All the fated also have access to Rituals, these are "longer" spells that take time and sometimes multiple casters.  Others are simple spells that are more rote.
In a similar cancept we are also given potions.  This is a true gem of these rules since it represents one of the best potion creation, use and mixing rules outside of the 1st Ed Dungeon Masters Guide.
It also has some of the most attractive art too.

The magic alteration section is great.

CHAPTER 4: Higher Spell Levels
This chapter is a treat since "higher level spells" are treated as something qualitatively different than the lower, more common magic.  The only thing I can compare this to is as if there was a new D&D book that covered 10th level spells.  This spells, known as Deireadh spells, can significanly alter the world and the character including, but not limited too, casting off their own demon.
Even if I never get a chance to use this chapter in a WFS game, it has given me plenty of ideas.

CHAPTER 5: Mechanics
The mechanics of WFS is pretty simple.  2d10 add the necessary mods and roll higher than a 13 (or 11 in some cases).  This makes many of the rule mechanics easy to abstract.  Sure if you roll higher (with mods) than a 25 then you get an Outstanding Success and a natural 20 is still good.  Botching is getting two "1"s.  So again, the feel here is very much like WitchCraft. Picking up these rules are a simple matter.  The rules have some special cases of course. Combat versus non-combat and using Talents. But nothing here will cause any experienced gamer any concerns.
There are plenty of weapons here too. Don't go into this looking for differences between various types of guns, the rules are simplified to "light revolver" and "heavy revolver".  But that is really all the game details you need.

CHAPTER 6: Expanded Mechanics
This chpater covers some specifics like wishes (we have Djinn afterall), Familiars, Artefacts, and using the Devil's Deck.  The Devil's Deck was part of the Kickstarter and it looks fantastic.  I think you can order one from AngryHamster, but a "Witches" Tarot deck would work out well too.

CHAPTER 7: Setting
This covers the setting and the history of the WFS world.  This is what helps set this apart from other games of it's genre. I say "world" but I also mean areas and places from beyond this world.

CHAPTER 8: Animals, Entities, and Foes
Pretty much what is says on the tin. Though there is a section up front on the various demons you can serve and what they are all about.
A lot of creatures are present here (and many more an be added).  There is also a good section of NPCs.

Covers running the game and how to set the tone for this game.

I have been picking at this book for months and maybe it because it is close to Halloween I now get what I want to do with it.  This is a great game and with the right group, it will be a ton of fun.
I'd love to try it at a con sometime, but this is a game of many sessions and developing plots and layers of story.  This is a game of investment.

I will be spending some more time with it.
Will it replace WitchCraft in my life?  No. But it will make a for a nice addition.

I really, really like this game and want it do well.  The potential here is great.