Friday, April 18, 2014

A to Z of Witches. P

P is for Prue, Piper, Phoebe and Page

I don't hide it.  I loved Charmed. One of my wishes is to write the official Charmed RPG.

Not a real game, but I wish it were.
I have talked about Charmed a few times here including the first A to Z Challenge I ever participated in; C is for Charmed.  I also wrote a Buffy/Charmed crossover for the Buffy RPG, "Semi-Charmed Life".

What I liked the most really was the interaction between the sisters.  It was a show about family that also happened to be witches and kill demons.  Supernatural covers similar ground and I like it for similar reasons.

I also picked up the Charmed comic that continued the story of Piper, Phoebe, Paige and yes, Prue.
That was the other thing, Prue was killed at the end of Season 3. They were still mourning her in one way or the other by Season 8.  Star Trek The Next Generation did that with Tasha, but most other genre shows forget after an episode or two (looking at you Buffy).

A couple of Gen Con's back I got a chance to play a Buffy-based Buffy/Supernatural/Charmed crossover. I got to play Piper. It was a blast.

Buffy is an obvious choice for a Charmed game, but I have also been playing around with Fate a little.
My ideas are only in the genesis phase at the moment, but I have some.  I also have a Fate Week coming up so hopefully I will get them altogether for that.



Supernatural AtoZ

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A to Z of Witches. O

O is for Occult Panic and Obeah

I picked Obeah for a very snarky reason.  It goes back to this terrible Christian video "Turmoil in the Toybox" based on the book of the same name.  It was your typical 80s Satanic Panic nonsense that talked about how evil Dungeons & Dragons and cartoons are for kids.
The host, Gary Greenwald,  and his guest, Phil Philips, think the devil is hiding in every toybox.

You can watch it and have a laugh like I did.  The jumps in logic are insane.

Turmoil in the Toybox
Part 1 - Introduction.  With Scooby Doo and the 13 Ghosts.
Part 2 - He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. "He-Man is more powerful than Jesus!"
Part 3 - They talk about evil vs. evil...or so they think.  Again, everything they mention is wrong.
Part 4 - Commercials. I seriously doubt either of these guys have even had a class in Child Psychology.
Part 5 - ThunderCats. Evil or gateway drug to Furries?
Part 6 - Next Episode.  Ken and Barbie. But at 3:30 we get Dungeons & Dragons!
Part 7 - Insectars are featured in the Book of Revelations! Vader looks like Odin! Obi witchcraft!
Part 8 - Violence and the Occult influence of G.I. Joe and Smurfs. Though they won't say they are evil.
Part 9 - Care Bears. Littles and My Little Pony. Rainbow Brite is also evil. Voltoron and Transformers.
Part 10 - More Voltron and Transformers. Buy Gary's stuff!

I love how they pretty much get every detail wrong.

Of course in the 80s I loved all this stuff and if it looked evil I wanted it in my games.  Coming off of the 70s Occult Revival I always felt Witches needed to be a part of the game.  Was there some snarkiness on my part? Of course there was.  If you read my Atheism blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief, you know that this was the same time I was "coming out" as an Atheist.  So if I got to piss off some uptight Christians, all the better!

Of course what does this have to do with "O"?
Well Part 7 discusses, briefly, "Obi Witchcraft". Where witches chant Obi-Obi-Obi all the time.
Pure nonsense and like everything else in this they are as so far off base that they are not even in the same ballpark.

But there is Obeah.
Obeah is a folk tradition that is similar in origin to voodoo.
In my 3rd Edition book, Liber Mysterium, I described it as a form of the voodoo tradition.

I will talk abit more about this when I discuss Voodoo later one, but representing Obeah in a game is not as easy as first seems.  Though if the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies are any indication, then I could combine bits of Obeah with the archetype of the Sea Witch to create something that could be rather fun.

I have a witch, Sycorax, that is a prototype of this sort of witchcraft.  She is something of a witch, a little bit of a hag and lives on an island.  Yes, she does have a monstrous son named Caliban.  You can do worse than imitating the Bard.

There is something here I think. Something that could be cool.  So I supposed in a way I should thank those two idiots for putting me on the path to getting my Sea Witch figured out.



Supernatural AtoZ

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back to the Dungeon! Again, again...

Wizards of the Coast is going to re-release their classic board-game, this time with some new cover art.
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/28383.html




You can pre-order on Amazon.

I am huge fan of Dungeon and have multiple copies, but I am not sure if I'll pick this one up or not yet.
But I am sure I will check it out.

A to Z of Witches. N

N is for Nox 

So almost a year ago exactly I submitted my "Petty God" to the Petty Gods project.
I am not sure where that project is at the moment, but I am sure it will be out eventually.  In the meantime I wanted to share the god I cam up with; Nox.

Nox is an interesting creation.  Back in the day when we all got together to play we would not get started till it was dark outside.  Why? It seemed cooler and it was the 80s after all.  Nox represent that time when it was still light enough to see, but dusk was gone.

Nox later appeared in the first drafts of some of Buffy/Ghosts of Albion games. I later changed the part and it was switched over to Lilith.  I choose to do a witchy goddess because that is what people would expect me to do and I really wanted to do it.

Here she is, in Petty Gods format to be used with Labyrinth Lord or Adventurer Conquer King.

NOX
Goddess of Near Night
Also known as: Goddess of Twilight, Mistress of Near Dark, Keeper of Secrets, Trick of the 
Light, Mistress of Illusions
Symbol: A sunset with a crescent moon and a star above.
Alignment: Chaotic (Neutral)
Movement: 120' (40')

Armor Class: 2
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 80 hp (19 HD)
Attacks: Special, see below
Damage: Special, see below
Save: M19 (or Witch 19)
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XV
XP: 6,400
--
Armor Class: 2
Hit Points (HD): 80 (19 HD)
Save: M19 (or Witch 19)
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: Q
XP: 4,400

Nox is the mysterious Goddess of the Twilight, Near Night and the space between sunset and full night. She is the daughter of Night (Nyx) and sister to the God of Vampires (Camazotz). She is not a widely worshiped Goddess, but her name is often invoked by those that welcome the night; typically thieves, vampires, prostitutes, witches and lovers, especially clandestine lovers that seek the cover of night.

She will only manifest in a humanoid form in the hour after sunset but before full darkness.

Nox grants no spells to her followers, but she have been known to render people invisible or at least unnoticed at the times of twilight to hide their activities. This boon is not extended to all who invoke her name, but her name is still whispered by those who wish her aid.

Nox never speaks. It is not that she can’t, she just has nothing to say to mortals. She speaks through her minions though. Not that she is in telepathic communication with them, they just know. Because of this she is also known as the Keeper of Secrets. Lovers whisper their secrets to her, witches tell her where their sabbats are, thieves plot their crimes to her, vampires speak the names of their victims, all knowing that their secrets are safe. A saying has even taken root among those who know her; “Only Nox knows” meaning no one else knows.

She prefers not to attack anyone as she is not a Goddess of violence. Any who attack her, or even annoy her, she can cast any Charm or Illusion spell of her choice as a 19th level Magic-User/Witch to deflect others. Failing that she can cast Sleep that can affect up to 20 people.

She is honored by some vampires since it is believed she created vampires with her brother and they are all their children. She is mostly honored by the reluctant vampire, new to their condition since it is believed that her participation in the creation of vampires was not through her own choice.

Nox appears as a stunning woman of young adulthood. She has two forms that often chooses. She appears with pale skin, flowing gold-red hair (like a sunset) and bright blue eyes. She also appears as fiercely beautiful woman with dark, ebony skin and silver-white hair (like moonlight), but with the same blue eyes. Alternately she has appeared as a large white owl. With her powers of illusion she can appear as anything she wishes, but those forms are subject to the same rules that govern all illusions.

She is on good terms with the Goddess of Night and the Goddess(es) of the Moon. She is neutral to the God of Vampires and the God/Goddess of the Sun. She is on reasonable terms with the various Gods and Goddesses of the Occult and Secrets provided that they do not share said secrets.

Minions

Nox is a Goddess of in-betweens; neither light nor dark, day or night, so she served and honored by a number of faeries. In the times of her reign; after sunset but before full night, she is served by the Fyre Fae. These creatures are like pixies in all respects except that they also glow in various colors. At a distance they appear as Will-o-wisps or even Faerie Fire.

Nox’s current chief minion, voice and lover is a witch named Syla. Syla will speak for her lover and will be with her most twilights. Syla is a vaguely elfin woman, who maybe half-elf, half-nymph or a human with elven parentage. She has short platinum-blonde hair and piercing green eyes. She is also a witch (magic-user) of 9th level. Her spells are mostly charm and illusion, but unlike her mistress she is more than willing to attack those who anger her or Nox.

Reaction Table (2d6 Modified by Charisma and below)
2: Sleep. Nox is so insulted by your presence that she puts you to sleep for 8 hours
3-5: Illusion. She casts an illusion of herself while she teleports from the area
6-8: Fyre Fae: She remains, but so many Fire Fye are summoned that approaching her is difficult.
9-11: Boon. She grants you a boon, you can remain undetected (as per a thief hide in shadows at your Charisma x 5%)
12: Boon. She grants you the ability to turn invisible once at any time after sunset but before full night (1 hour after sunset).

Modifiers
+1 if you are present with a lover
+1 if you are thief, witch, prostitute, vampire. (Can’t combine, vampire thief is still only +1)
+2 if you share a personal secret with her.
-2 if you have divulged the secret of another in the last 24 hours
-1 if you are a cleric of the sun.

And something new.

Fyre Fae
Armor Class: 1 [19]
Hit Dice: 1d8 (5 hp)*
No. of Attacks: 1, special
Damage: -
Special Attacks: Dancing Lights 1 per day
Movement: 10’, fly 60’ (perfect)
No. Appearing: Gang (2-4) or tribe (20-80)
Saves As: Fighter 1
Morale: 9
Treasure: None
- Tribe: 3d6 SP, 2d4 GP, Gems: 5% 1d4
Alignment: Neutral
XP: 70

Fyre Fae are often confused with Willow-o-the-wisps or even fireflies.  They are tiny fae resembling smaller pixies.  In the hours of dusk the Fyre fae come out to play where they will flash a multitude of different colors from their wings.
They are harmless and prefer to flee if attacked. Though if needed they will cast a dancing lights spell to confuse attackers of their whereabouts.
1 Fire Fae out of 100 also has the abilities of a first level witch and can cast Light into the eyes of attackers.





Supernatural AtoZ

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Heroes & Witchery is back

Dominque Crouzet's massive retro clone Heroes & Witchery is back in print and free PDF formats.
http://www.dcrouzet.net/heroes-witchery/


The book is massive and attempts to work in as many of the ideas seen in other Retro-clones it can.
I am partial to it since I have worked with Dom in the past and he is a great guy.

I also like how it uses my own Witch book as an example on how to integrate other products into this game.

Go and grab it. It might not replace what you are using now, but it will certainly give you some great ideas.

A to Z of Witches. M

M is for Morgan Le Fey (and other Morgans)

Morgan le Fay by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys
Morgan Le Fey is one of the first witches from literature I ever encountered.  I remember reading tales of King Arthur, Merlin and Morgan.  She seemed like such an interesting and complex character to me.  Not exactly 100% evil but certainly not good either.  She has a very complicated relationship with her half-brother and their son Mordred.

Of course there is also the Morgan le Fey of Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon.  She is a different character to be sure.  Her "evil" is only how the Christian invaders see her paganism.  Yeah there is a lot in this mix and may or may not belong in an Arthurian legend, but I don't care. It's a great tale.

There are other Morgans too. There is Morgause, the older sister of Morgan. The two often get merged into one character.

There is The Morrígan the Crone of War from Celtic myths. There have been some attempts to connect this older figure to the Arthur myths.

She even shares a lot in common with the Game of Thrones character Cersei Lannister. Both desire their sons to be king. Both conceived their sons via incest. Both wish to control behind the scenes. Where Morgan uses magic Cersei uses guile and sometimes poison.  

Morgan le Fey (and I do prefer that spelling over "fay") is certainly a character with some depth and history.  Like all good myths her powers, abilities and motivations change with the telling. While she might be more famous than Circe, she has less characteristic powers.  We know she drugged Arthur to a sleep to seduce him. We know that she has some sort of precognitive powers, but they are not great.  But she is powerful, or at least powerful enough to concern Arthur.  She may have also learned magic from Merlin and he knows a trick or two.

For my use Morgan le Fey is a member of the Faerie Tradition.  Seems logical. It also fits since the morality of the fey can seem to be good or evil depending on the point of view.  There is also a regalness to the fey that I also see in Morgan and the Faerie Tradition.  It also fits in nice with the Mists of Avalon version of her.

Morgan le Fey
The Witch stats for Basic Era Games
13th level Witch, Faerie Tradition

Strength: 9
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 13
Intelligence: 17
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 18

Saves
Death Ray or Poison:  9/7
Magic wand or devices: 10
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 9
Dragon Breath: 12
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 11

To hit AC 0: 16

Hit Points: 66
Alignment: Neutral (maybe a little Chaotic)
AC: 5 (talisman of protection)

Occult Powers
Familiar:  Raven (+2 to Death related saves)
7th level:  Speak to Plants and Animals
13th level: Fey Shape

Spells 
Cantrips: Analyze Fertility, Chill, Daze, Detect Curse, Object Reading, Open, Sound
First: Bewitch I, Cause Fear, Sleep, Silver Tongue
Second: Calm Emotions, Enthrall, Evil Eye, Phantasmal Spirit, Mind Obscure
Third: Fly, Scry, Twisting the Heartstrings III
Fourth: Bewitch IV, Dance Macabre, Divination
Fifth: Endless Sleep, Greater Command
Sixth: Bewitch VI, Projected Image
Seventh:  Foresight

Pretty good build really.





Supernatural AtoZ

Monday, April 14, 2014

Souvenir/Soutane Fonts

Gotta question for you all.

I am reading over a new book right for a review and I noticed it uses the Souvenir font.
You all know this font. It was used in the Moldvay version of Basic, in Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy and both of my witch books.


Personally I like the font, but I have had some emails that it is hard to read when printed out.

I am always thinking about new books to work one and even free ones to send out I was curious about your thoughts.

The thing I have always been told is Serif fonts are easier to read, but no one has shown any real (measurable) difference.  Souvenir seems like a nice comprise of a lightly-serifed font.

Let me know what you all think.
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