Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Hobbit Day and Halfling Witches

Today is the opening of the new Hobbit movie.  I can't wait.  Only 12 hours to go for me!
The Hobbit and D&D, like many my age, are all rolled up into each other.  I remember one Christmas years ago when I got a copy of the boxed set of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings along with some D&D books.  I will admit I had a Halfling named Bilbo and Dwarf whose family name was Oakenshield.  My son has a Wizard named Gandalf and I remember a guy back in Jr. High who had a character named Frodo.

I say you are allowed to have one character in your life named after a Tolkien character.

Lots of people will be talking Hobbits and Hobbity things.
Today I wanted to talk about Halfling Witches.

Back in 98 or 99 I was at a Journal Club meeting back when I taught stats at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  I didn't have my head in my work at the time, I was thinking about demi-human Witches.  To get me in the mood I was re-reading the Hobbit and Lord of Rings again.

While sitting there I came up with a scene of three halfling women baking bread in a kitchen, gossiping about all the neighbors and who was doing what and who was secretly in love with who in the village.  Their were children playing and running around.     A typical domestic scene.  Except that these women were Halfling Kitchen Witches or Herb Women. I went back to my office later that day and wrote up what would become one of my first demi-human witch traditions, The Halfling Herb Woman.

Note the follow is considered open under the OGL.  It appears in my latest book, The Witch now available in print and pdf format.


Halfling Herb Woman (Witch)

Adventuring halflings are known to be full of wanderlust and a desire to see the world.  Non-adventuring ones prefer the simple comforts of home, hearth and family.  The halfling witch then is the self styled guardian of both halves of the halfling heart.  The halfling witch is rarely an adventurer, but some have been know to have accompanied adventurers in the past.

Halfling witches see themselves as the hands of their Mother Goddess.  Allow the clerics to be Her eyes and voice; the halfling witch has work to do!  This does cause some friction between the two set’s worshippers, but rarely among the populace.  Halfling witches are most like their human cousins.  More females pick up witchcraft, which they just call “the Craft,” than do males, but there has not been the history of persecution among the halfling witches as with the humans.

Halfling witches tend to be open and honest not only about their Craft, but many of their other opinions as well.  While this makes them appear to be crass at times, it has also given rise to a popular saying among halfling youth, “If you want an Answer, ask a cleric.  If you want the Truth, ask a witch!”.

Halflings tend to have loose knit covens that may extend across miles of halfling territory.  When the need arises, the coven may gather, as if by magic, to a predetermined spot.

The adaptability of the halfling race has allowed their witches to exist along side their clerics for untold years.

Herb Women: Halfling Herb Women fill many roles in the halfling community.  First, she is a center of wisdom and understanding of folkways.  In some respects, she acts as an informal teacher outside of the halfling home.  She is a healer and often a seller of herbs, remedies and minor magic.  She may perform marriages (handfastings) and, most importantly, she is also the community’s mid-wife.  Few, except the most knowledgeable clerics, can match her wisdom in the ways of bringing the young into the world.

Halfling witches are very similar to human ones, except there is no history of prosecution for the Herb Women.  So nearly all Herb Women display the sign of their trade openly for all to see - a broom propped outside of their door.  Each morning the herb woman will rise and sweep her back stoop or porch to signify that she is open.  She will then place the broom outside of the door and leave the door open.  This is a welcome invitation for the community who may stop by to buy her wares or even to gossip.  It is believed that if the broom falls as someone walks in then that person is either special or under a curse.  Since the herb woman’s shop is often her kitchen, she can very well be fixing dinner all day while chatting with customers.  When the witch closes her store, she places the broom across the door as a lock.  The ritual tool for the halfling witch is of course the Besom, or witch’s broom.

Herb women get along very well with most human witches of all sorts, Kuruni (elf) and of course Good Walkers (gnomes).  They are typically any non-evil alignment, but individuals have their own choices.


HERB WOMAN (Halfling) WITCH EXPERIENCE TABLE
Level
Title
XP
HD
1
2
3
4
5
1
Halfling Initiate
0
1d6
1
2
Halfling Neophyte
3,000
2d6
2
3
Halfling Apprentice
6,000
3d6
2
1
4
Halfling Sybil
12,000
4d6
2
2
5
Halfling Adept
25,000
5d6
3
2
1
6
Halfling Mystic
50,000
6d6
3
2
2
7
Halfling Enchantress
110,000
7d6
3
3
2
1
8
Halfling Sorceress
220,000
8d6
4
3
2
2
9
Herb Woman
400,000
9d6
4
3
3
2
1
10
Herb Woman
600,000
9d6+1
4
4
3
2
2
11
Herb Woman
800,000
9d6+2
4
4
4
3
2
12
Herb Woman
1,000,000
9d6+3
4
4
4
4
3
13
Herb Woman
1,200,000
9d6+4
4
4
4
4
4


HERB WOMAN (Halfling) SAVING THROWS


Level
1-3
4-6
7-9
10-12
13
Death Ray or Poison
12
10
8
6
4
Magic Wands
13
11
9
7
4
Paralysis or Turn to Stone
13
11
9
7
5
Dragon Breath
15
12
10
8
6
Rods, Staffs and Spells
15
12
10
8
5

CHARACTER HIT ROLLS (on 1d20)
Level
Target's Armor Class
Halfling
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
-1
-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7
-8
-9
1-3
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
20
20
20
21
22
23
24
4-6
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
20
20
20
21
22
7-9
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
20
20
20
10-12
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
20
13
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20


Section 15.
The Witch Copyright 2012 Timothy S. Brannan
"Halfling Herb Women" Copyright 2012 Timothy S. Brannan

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