Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sword & Sorcery & Cinema: The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)

The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)
Time for a rather notorious Sword & Sorcery & Cinema choice.  Another Roger Corman flick and it stars David Carradine as Kain, a holy warrior.  Not to be confused with Kwai Chang Caine, a monk.  But you know, it works here so let's go with it. 

The Warrior and the Sorceress (1984)

Well. We have two suns, so that is a cool thing.  I wonder what else we are getting double of? 

Caine, er rather, Kain comes to a village with one well and two warlords protecting it.  Each keeps the other from controlling it.   Kain kills the guards.  Not 10 mins in and we have both gratuitous violence and nudity.  Right on time Corman.

The movie is a retelling of Yojimbo or A Fistful of Dollars or Red Harvest.  This doesn't make it less enjoyable mind you, the story is pretty classic.  Kain plays the two warlords, Zeg (Luke Askew) and Bal Caz (Guillermo Marín) off of each other well.  

María Socas plays Naja the Sorceress (not the one on the poster) and spends most of her time topless.  Yeah, we are not dealing with a top-tier studio here.   Anthony De Longis is also in this as Zeg's captain Kief.  He was a familiar face in a lot of 80s movies. 

The two fools, Blather and Gabble, make fairly decent enough goblins.  Burgo, the Slaver, appears to be some sort of lizard man.  There is even a little bullywug looking creature that Bal Caz has.

Kain goes back and forth between the camps killing as he likes and is getting paid by everyone.  He is the most self-actualized mercenary adventurer on film. 

I'd like to know what the writer was thinking with the dancer at 55 mins in.  No, the dancer, Cecilia Narova does not look like the poster girl either.  She is a brunette.  I'd also like to know about the stinger that came out of her...navel, was that it?  I'd love to blame Corman for this one, but I don't think I can.

If you have seen any movie, ever, you know how this ends really. 

Maybe all these Sword & Sorcery movies all take place on the same world. 

Gaming Content

Sacred Sword of Ura

This looks like a sword of sharpness or a vorpal blade.  The blade is much lighter than one would expect from steel.  Only the Sorceress of Ura knows the secret of how it was forged. It is a +3 sword and can cut through an anvil, but not leather armor apparently. 


Tim Knight of Hero Press and Pun Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim along with myself are getting together at the Facebook Group I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters to discuss these movies.  Follow along with the hashtag #IdRatherBeWatchingMonsters.

Zatannurday: Zack Synder's Justice League

I took some time today to revisit the 2017 "Justice League" movie in preparation for Zack Synder's Justice League.  I have to admit, I am glad I did.

So I watched four hours of this movie and I have this to say.

I freaking loved it.  It 100% totally lived up to the hype.

For now, I am going to avoid spoilers but this version of the movie totally fixes nearly all the mistakes for the 2017 version.  I'll have more to say later, but right now consider me pleased!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Download Page is Working

Quick one today.  Lots going on at the day job to keep me busy! 

I had not noticed it, but with the moving around of my various cloud accounts, I had killed my Downloads Page.

Well I spent some time on it yesterday and now I have it working with Google Drive.  And because I am never satisfied with just a link, there are Grid View and List View windows to see all the files.


I figure since I spent so much time on the code for this I should add a few things.

So I included the PDF previews of all my witch books on DriveThruRPG. There are few files that Eden studios have given me permission to host/share and I figured, what the hell, there are a few of my AD&D 2nd Ed "Netbooks" there.  You can find my original "Complete Netbook of Witches & Warlocks" as well as the AD&D 2nd Ed Priest Kit, the Sun Priest here. 

The Sun Priest shares DNA with the witch as one of the classes I created back in my earliest days of gaming.  The Healer and Necromance complete the quad.  One day I really should finish up that healer class.

I also included the free "Basic" and "S&W" witch character sheets here and a copy of the AD&D Tournament scorecard I have used in the past.

I will be adding to this as I can.  If there are enough files then I'll start a nested folder structure, but right now there are only 30 odd files here.

One thing I *will* add are the Google Sheets of the witch spells I have made.  This help people figure out which witch book they want to buy and if anyone needs an OGC spell they now know where to look.

Let me know if there is anything you would like to see added to this.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

One Man's God: Celtic Myths, Part 2

Irish Witchcraft & Demonology
Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!

Been a LONG time coming for this part 2.  I wanted to read some more myths of Ireland and Wales in particular before moving on.  One book, in particular, I wanted to make sure I read was Irish Witchcraft & Demonology by St. John D. Seymour. It is such a fun book that I could not pass up owning a copy, especially when I could buy it from the personal collection of Wednesday Mourning!

One of the things we must keep in mind when reading any Celtic myth or story is that the ones we have now were handed down to us from oral traditions and then recorded by Irish Christian monks.  While I am sure they did their best to preserve what they could they undoubtedly recorded them from the point of view of a Christian.  Even the later King Cycle of Irish myths included Christian themes. 

What does that mean to us, or more to the point, me and One Man's God?  Often it is not easy to tell if a "demon" from a Celtic Myth is a demon in their own world view OR a demon from the Christian world view.  Don't claim they all have to be Christian, we don't know and the experts are also split. But that honestly should not matter to us.  I don't care if they are a "Celtic demon" or "Christian demon,"  are they a "Monster Manual Demon?"

Thankfully we have some candidates. But first let's go back to our primary source, the AD&D Deities & Demigods

I mentioned in my Part 1 that there are not a lot of great candidates for demons in the text of the D&DG. I even disagree with the idea that Arawn is Lawful Evil. After rereading the First Branch of the Mabinogi I see the Lawful, but not the Evil.  Lawful Neutral is a better fit really. His abode, Annwn, is described as beautiful, unchanging, and without pain or suffering.  Hardly the MO of an evil god.

There are creatures though that could be described as demons.

Irish Witchcraft & Demonology and Celtic Myths

Air Demon

I did a write-up a bit ago about the Swan Maidens and the Children of Lir.  In the tale Aoifé, step-mother of the Children of Lir, turned the children into swans. As punishment, she was changed into a Demon of the Air.  We know from the tale that demons of the air are immortal.  

Air Demon
MOVE:  0" Fly 24"
HIT DICE:  4+4 (22 hp)
%  IN  LAIR:  0%
DAMAGE/ATTACK:  Wind Blast 1d6 (60')
SPECIAL  ATTACKS:  Chill (2d4) x3, Invisible
SPECIAL  DEFENSES:  +1  or  better weapon to hit
ALIGNMENT:  Chaotic  Evil
SIZE:  M  (5')

Wind Demons are among the weakest of demons.  They lack physical bodies and are functionally invisible.  Detect magic, detect evil, or detect invisible will reveal the location of the demon, which will appear as a faint outline of a humanoid creature.  The creature's evil intent is dampened only by their inability to interact with physical items including people. 

They try to cause havoc as much as they can in their own limited way.  They can attack with blasts of wind that whip up items to cause damage.  Additionally, three times per day the Air Demon can cause a blast of chill wind for 2d4 hp of damage to anyone within 15' of the location of the demon.

Air Demons are pitied more often than feared.  Their blasts of wind are ineffective from a distance and their howls of rage are sounds of a gale. They are immortal but lacking substance they can never interact with anything.  Even other air demons are as mist to them.

Demon Boar

The importance of the wild boar and the boar hunt in Celtic myth and even life can't be understated. The Welsh prince Twrch Trwyth was transformed into a boar.  Diarmuid the Irish warrior and member of the Fianna goes on a boar hunt but is killed by the Great Boar of Ben Bulben who had been his transformed half-brother. There are plenty of other examples of boars as monsters in Irish my including one with Cú Chulainn about a giant boar with tusks of gold and a hide as thick as armor. 

Demon Boar
MOVE:  18"
HIT DICE:  9+9 (50 hp)
%  IN  LAIR:  25%
NO.  OF  ATTACKS:  1 gore (slashing)
SPECIAL  DEFENSES:  Magic weapon to hit
ALIGNMENT:  Chaotic  Evil
SIZE:  L  (8')

The demon boar is a demonic spirit that inhabits the body of a boar and creates a true monster. 

The boar grows large and fierce. Its tusks become gold and razor-sharp.  Its hooves become iron and cause flames to erupt as it runs.   Its natural hide is thick as armor. It is immune to all but magical weapons.

The Demon Boar is intelligent enough to plan and scheme.  Some can even speak.  Its normal tactic is to encounter a group of hunters and use its Cause Fear to scatter them into smaller groups.   It then will pick off the hunters one by one.  It relishes in the death and fear it causes.    It lives only to kill great heroes.

Only great weapons such as the Gáe Bulg of Cú Chulainn or the Claíomh Solais of Nuada Airgeadlámh have any chance of bringing this fiend down.

Irish Ways and Irish Laws

I love Celtic myth and history. It is all just so fantastic and fascinates me a in way that Greek and Norse myths never did, though the Norse myths come close.

Since I mentioned the book Irish Witchcraft & Demonology I should link out to the write-up I did on Ireland's most notorious witch, Alice Kyteler.

One of my favorite bits of Irish and Celtic mythology for a game is Brian Young's Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum.  Brian has a Ph.D. in Bythronic languages and has been a gamer even longer.  He is exactly the sort of person I'd want to write a book like this.  Sure, you don't need a Ph.D. to write game materials, but it sure helps! 

And finally here is one I just found today, but it has been up for a bit.  FilmRise has the entire 1987, 6-part BBC Studios documentary, The Celts, on YouTube.  This fantastic documentary educated many on the history and archeology of the Celts as well as introducing the world to the music of Enya.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!

Monday, March 15, 2021

Monstrous Mondays: Drude

Today is an interesting monster from German folklore.  The Drude is a type of malevolent nocturnal spirit.  Depending on who is doing the classification it could be a spirit, an elf, a kobold, a demon, a hag, or even a witch.  Like many creatures of folklore, they do not conform to the notions of RPG creatures.

The question is what sort of thing a Drude (pl. Druden) is.   Even when one considers it a kobold, there is a lot of debate about what THAT is as well.  

But I think I have an interesting idea.

Small Humanoid

Frequency: Very Rare
Number Appearing: 1d2 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic [Chaotic Evil]
Movement: 90' (30') [9"]
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 3d8* (14 hp)
   Small: 3d6* (11 hp)
Attacks: dagger or witch spell
Damage: 1d4-1
Special: daylight sensitivity, infravision, witch magic. 
Save: Witch 3
Morale: 6 (8)
Treasure Hoard Class: None
XP: 50 (OSE) 65 (LL)

Kobolds can be found in the underground caverns of nearly any climate or environment.  Their ability to adapt and even thrive in areas where other creatures would perish is one of their greatest strengths is a world that only recognizes strength.

When a kobold group moves into an area near a hag the hag's corrupting influence will cause a Drude to be born among the Kobolds.  A drude, plural druden, is a type of kobold but is usually smarter and has the ability to use magic.  Often called "kobold witches" these creatures will seek out the hag, or hags, that caused them to spawn in an attempt to serve them.  The hag will often teach the kobold their magic instead of killing and eating them.  No one is exactly sure why this happens, save that it might grant the hags a bit of attention and even veneration they crave.

A drude can cast spells as a 3rd level witch and may advance to as high as the 7th level.  They are treated as if they are either part of the Faerie or Malefic Traditions. A drude typically favors spells that create fire or cause fire damage.  A drude will typically take a hag as their patron, usually the hag that is local to them.  The hag teaches the drude witchcraft and magic and in return, the kobold tribe serves the hag or hags.

In combat, the drude, despite their eldritch powers, are still weak in a battle.  They will avoid combat when they can and would rather strike an opponent from a distance.  A drude among a group of kobolds will raise their overall morale by 2 since the combination of both magic and normal kobold strike tactics mesh well. 

Druden are vulnerable to sunlight. They attack at -2 in any form of bright sunlight or at -1 for reduced sunlight or a Continual Light spell.  They have infravision to 90'.

The offspring of a drude and a kobold will be a drude.


Klash-Nak is a kobold witch of the 4th level. Her patron is an Annis hag she calls "Mother Nightmare." 

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Sword & Sorcery & Cinema: Hawk the Slayer (1980)

Hawk the Slayer
Ok. Confession time, and this might get me kicked out of "I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters."

I have never seen "Hawk the Slayer." 

Not even once. That is until today.

Hawk the Slayer

Well, it has Jack Palance chewing up scenes like he always does. A funky post-disco soundtrack that is so 1980 it makes me want to find a pair of roller skates.   But it also features the recently late William Morgan Sheppard as Ranulf. Patricia "Magenta" Quinn as a sorceress.  And Christopher Benjamin (Jago from Doctor Who). So certainly an interesting cast.  

The "Adventuring Party" is made up of Hawk  (a fighter or ranger), Ranulf an old fighter, Gort (a giant), Crow (an elf), Baldin (a dwarf), even a sorceress. I have to admit they are kind of fun.

With some of the music and scenes, there is a solid spaghetti western feel to this. 

Jack Palance must have had the time of his life with this.  Overacting. Running around like a Ren Faire Darth Vader.  The dynamic between Hawk, Voltan, and Eliane is not entirely unlike that of  Sergei, Strahd, and Tatyana. 

The movie is fun, if predictable. But not exactly a classic really.  Sorry, Tim

Though I can see why everyone wanted a sequel, but I think it works best as D&D inspiration.  The characters would make fun NPCs for anyone familiar with the movie.

Gaming Content

Elfin Mind Stone and Mind Sword - this sword has the ability to detect the thoughts and actions of anyone the wielder is fighting against. This translates to a +4 to hit and a +3 to AC and even allows the wielder to fight in conditions that would otherwise blind them.  It can cast light once per day.  The wielder of the mind sword can summon the sword to hand at will.


Tim Knight of Hero Press and Pun Isaac of Halls of the Nephilim along with myself are getting together at the Facebook Group I'd Rather Be Killing Monsters to discuss these movies.  Follow along with the hashtag #IdRatherBeWatchingMonsters that is if I can get my co-admins to agree this is the best hashtag for this!

Zatannurday: HeroForge Zatanna


I am really enjoying HeroForge.

Maybe, too much really. I have nearly a hundred characters I have made and I have bought a few as well that I love.

So really it was only a matter of time before I made my own HeroForge Zatanna.

Zatannan HeroForge

Zatannan HeroForge

I could not quite get her fishnets and her tux did not have tails, but otherwise, I think she is great.
You can get yours here,

I also used the lighting effects on her.  It works out well in the screenshots, but I still trying to find the proper "magic" for the printed minis.  For example here is another mistress of magic, The Simbul holding silver flame.

The Simbul

And here is how it looks printed.

The Simbul

Not bad, but I can certainly tweak it a bit more.

Z would be a welcome addition to my growing group of magical people.

magic minis

And while I was working on this we are NOW getting reports that an HBO Max series or movie for Zatanna is on the way!


Looks like we could be getting Batgirl, Batwoman, and more Shazam!  This could be great!