Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Katia Crane for NIGHT SHIFT

Continuing my series here on using my OSR Witch books with NIGHT SHIFT I am providing more detail and background to a character that only got a paragraph in the NIGHT SHIFT core rules.

Green Witch for NIGHT SHIFT

The Green Witch

I will admit, the Green Witch is one of my favorites. It has a witch concept I really love and introduces both the Huntsman and Green Knight classes to use.  

While it works fantastic for Swords & Wizardry, it really gets to shine as part of NIGHT SHIFT.

I have discussed the idea of a Ban Drui or druid-witch in the past. The Green Witch comes closest to that idea.  In NIGHT SHIFT this can get even closer to my concept.  

Again, you can use all the spells from the Green Witch in NIGHT SHIFT. Some might need to be altered to fit your game or gaming style, but the idea is to give the Green Witch something more special about here above and beyond that of the average witch.  

Here is how I would redo her occult powers into arcane powers.

Level 1: Familiar. The Green Witch gets a familiar. This is a spirit in the form of a naturally occurring animal.  Use the familiar rules in the Green Witch book for the bonuses to the witch.

Level 4: Herbal Healing. Just like the Herbal Healing power in the Green Witch book.

Level 7: Speak to Plants and Animals. Again, just like the Occult Power the Green Witch gets at level 7.

Level 10: Green Walking. Just like the Shadow Walking power in NIGHT SHIFT, but the witch uses her natural surroundings to move.

Level 13: Pass Without A Trace. Same as the level 13 Occult Power for the Green Witch.

I have to admit, this works rather well. 

Katia Crane
Katia Crane
8th Level Green Witch

Strength: 12 (0)
Dexterity: 13 (+1)
Constitution: 14 (+1) S
Intelligence: 13 (+1) S
Wisdom: 14 (+1) 
Charisma: 17 (+2) P

HP: 30
Alignment: Light (for now), Neutrality
AC: 9
Attack: +1

Fate Points: 1d8

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +4/+3/+1
Melee bonus: 0 Ranged bonus: +1
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Familiar, Herbal Healing, Speak to Plants and Animals

Knowledge (botany and plants), Knowledge (chemistry), Insight

First Level(4): Bless Growth, Detect Magic, Sanctuary, Sleep
Second Level(3): Bewitch II, Binding Earth, Command
Third Level(3): Bestow Curse, Fear (Greater), Remove Disease
Fourth Level(2): Call Lightning, Confusion

Katia Crane is an attractive witch in her early 30s. She has a young son, Henry, who she dotes over. She runs the local apothecary and herbal shop in the town of West Haven.  By all accounts, she is a pleasant person and no one, witch, supernatural, or mortal, seems to have a bad thing to say about her.  This is largely due to the fact that she plays her cards very close to her chest.

Katia is of the belief that witches should rule the world. She has no idea exactly how to make that happen, but she keeps tabs on all the witches in the area, particularly the Montblanc and Winters clans.  If she had a preference, she would side with the Winters; odd given her focus on plants and their focus on the cold, but she feels they are an older family more in touch with the "old ways."  She thinks the Montblancs are too used to their modern comforts. 

She never speaks about Henry's father, not even to say if they were married or not. This has led to some gossip that she had poisoned him. She did not, but she did have him killed. 

You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get my Green Witch book in print and pdf here.


Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 1, Room 3

Level 1, Room 3: The Grand Hall

At the foot of the stairs is a wide (30') hall that extends an unknown distance off into the darkness.  There are doorways on either side.  A slight, foul-smelling breeze hits you in the face.

Level 1, Room 3: The Grand Hall

The PCs will have no way of knowing this but this was the grand hall for the training of young dwarven mages. The rooms off to either sides were workshops.  The area is permitted with strange magics. From the time of the ancient wizards, to the larger dwarves and then to the rogues and bandits that explored here before the arrival of the Vampire Queen.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Tanith Winters for NIGHT SHIFT

One of the questions I have been asked is, can I use my various witch books/traditions with NIGHT SHIFT witches?

The short answer is YES!

The longer answer is still yes, but there are ways to do it. 

Winter Witch & NIGHT SHIFT

There are a few things to consider. My various witch books will not go up to the spell levels that NIGHT SHIFT does.  Even at the highest, my OSR witch books are capped spell level 8. NIGHT SHIFT goes to 9.  NIGHT SHIFT witches get to choose their powers at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th levels (and every three levels after). My OSR witches get assigned an occult power at various levels, usually 1st, 7th, 13th, and more. 

So with this character creation challenge, I want to take on some particular examples. 

Since this is winter, let's start with the Winter Witch book.

The Winter Witch

The Winters family is mentioned (but not detailed) in the NIGHT SHIFT core. They are a rival family of the Montblanc family in my "Ordinary World" setting/Night World.

The Winters are Winter Witches, and the Montblancs are Family Witches. They are bitter rivals but keep their hostilities out of the open. 

When adapting the Swords & Wizardry-based Winter Witch book, you can substitute the powers the NIGHT SHIFT witches can choose with the Occult Powers of the Winter Witches.

Winter Witches gain the following powers in NIGHT SHIFT.

1st Level: Immunity to Cold.  The cold never bothered them anyway.

4th Level: Cool Demeanor. The winter witch adds +1 to all her cold-based attacks and spell rolls.

7th Level: Wild Form. Assume the shape of any winter animal.

10th Level: Pass Without a Trace/Free movement. The winter witch can move freely in ice or snow on foot. Never slipping, never falling, never leaving a trace of movement. Treated as having stealth skills in the ice and snow of a Survivor of equal level. 

There are other powers like "Hyperborean Apotheosis" that the Winter Witch can use, but that should be only granted at the 19th level. 

Photo by Darya Sannikova from Pexels
Photo by Darya Sannikova from Pexels
Tanith Winters 
4th level Winter Witch

Strength: 10 (0)
Dexterity: 12 (0)
Constitution: 14 (+1) S
Intelligence: 13 (+1)
Wisdom: 14 (+1) S
Charisma: 16 (+2) P

HP: 15
Alignment: Light (for now)
AC: 9
Attack: +0

Fate Points: 1d6

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +3/+2/0
Melee bonus: 0 Ranged bonus: +0
Saves: +3 against spells and magical effects

Witch Abilities

Arcana, Supernatural Senses, Spells, Arcane Powers

Arcane (Occult) Powers
Immunity to Cold, Cool Demeanor

Research, Insight, 

First Level: Detect Magic, Protection from Evil, Sleep
Second Level: Knock, Suggestion

Tanith Winters is a young witch already making a name for herself among the Winters family. She has even attracted the attention of the family matriarch, Grandmother Winters.  This can be a good or bad thing.

Tanith lives in West Haven, where she has already encountered the members of the rival Montblanc family. While the Montblancs have more money and Earthly power, the Winters are an older family with more powerful magic. So at the moment, they are avoiding direct confrontation with each other. 

Other versions of Tanith can be found here, here, and here

You can get NIGHT SHIFT in print and pdf.  You can get my Winter Witch book in print and pdf here.


Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge

Monstrous Mondays: Monstrous Maleficarum, Issue #1

The first official issue of Monstrous Maleficarum is now out for 2023 to start my "Year of the Monster."

Monstrous Maleficarum #1

Monstrous Maleficarum #1

This is the first issue of my Year of Monsters, and continuing some winter and snow-themed creatures.

It is likely, given my typical thought process, that each issue will have a theme. You can be certain that there will be plenty of undead, of which this issue gives only a taste.

This issue covers the Barbegazi (Ice gnome), the Bysen (Arctic Halflings), and the Dweorgs (Ice Dwarves) and their relationships to each other. Also featured are the ancient and powerful undead, the Draugen.

All of these have been creatures I have used in the past. I have come back to them after spending some time rereading the myths of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In particular, the tales of the Norse gods and the Kalevala. To me, these are some of the foundational tales of our hobby, and I wanted to go back to them.

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 1, Room 2

Let's keep going.

Level 1, Room 2: The Stairs

The only structure left standing here is the opening to a set of stone stairs going down.

Photo by Ravi Kant from Pexels
Photo by Ravi Kant from Pexels

There are 21 steps leading down.  

The 13th stairstep is trapped. If any one heavier than a small dog steps on it the stairs fold down into a ramp and everyone on the stair slides down to the first level taking 1d4 damage.

It can be located and disabled by a thief. (25 xp)

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Character Creation Challenge: Jassic Winterhaven

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

- Jassic Winterhaven, Gnome adventurer.

Jassic Winterhaven

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

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

Jassic Winterhaven
Jassic Winterhaven

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


Want to see more of the #CharacterCreationChallenge? Stop by Tardis Captain's Blog and the #CharacterCreationChallenge on Twitter for more! 

Character Creation Challenge

#Dungeon23 Tomb of the Vampire Queen, Level 1, Room 1

Her Dark Mistress, Darlessa, Vampire Queen
Her Dark Mistress, Darlessa, Vampire Queen
Ok. Let's do this.

For 2023 I have a lot going on. So what is one more thing?  I am going to be participating in the #Dungeon23 challenge.  

It is my homage to the dungeons of old and to some of my favorite monsters.

Tomb of the Vampire Queen

I will be providing more details as this goes on.  But here are the important parts for today.

This megadungeon was designed as the stronghold for Darlessa the Vampire Queen and her hordes.  After her death, her acolytes placed her body in the lowest part of her stronghold to protect her.

The tomb has the following features.

  1. It was built under the ruins of a great citadel of wizards. Magical energies still flow through it.
  2. Darlessa's clan of enslaved dwarves dug deep into already occurring natural caverns and dungeons to expand her base.
  3. The site sits on the confluence of many ley lines and "witch ways."  So monsters wander in from different dimensions, worlds and planes, but can not as easily get out.
I will do this for B/X era (circa 1981-82) D&D. So OSE and Labyrinth Lord will also work. I will fill in more details and even try to put my meager map-making skills to the test.

Level 1, Room 1

The ground floor of the ancient Citadel of Wizards.  This golden archway still stands though the walls around it are long since gone. The runes are unreadable due to fire and age. Passing through the archway gives the characters a sense of unease.  The Morale of hirelings and henchmen is reduced by 2 points.

Before you are remains of the ancient keep of the Citadel. It's basalt walls still stand. Visible in the open doorway (10' wide, 20' tall) is a staircase leading down.


Let's see where this takes us!