Sunday, July 18, 2021

He Who Greets the Sun with a Hymn Does Not Notice the Small Spots (Class: Paladin)

The final "base class" for the Mountain, just in timeat least a week and a half too late for me to run a game. These owe, obviously, a great debt to the masked clerics of G_d.

Three of Wands.

Class: Paladin

Every paladin has a Revelation; a vision which causes them to break with the dogma of the Church and leads them to the Mountain on a divine mission. Every paladin is a prophet, an apostate, and a heretic, blessed with divine self-righteousness and strength of faith; it is they who have heard the word of G_d, they who speak holy truth, and they who decide what is divine necessity and what is false ceremony.

There's a big Church back in the Civilized Lands, with complex theology and dogma and all of that nonsense. You're not connected to it and don't have to worry about any of that. You may end up with one or two strictures by virtue of your Revelation and Miracles, but that's it. The things you do are holy by definition; feel free to associate with witches and thiefs and by your presence they shall be redeemed. 

Every template of Paladin you have gives you +1 to resisting coercion and withstanding hardship. Your second and fourth templates also each give you +1 to-hit. My system doesn't actually have proficiency so I don't know why I keep listing them off like it does and I'm not going to anymore.

Skills: 1. Farming 2. Rhetoric 3. Prophecy

Starting Equipment: A holy symbol, a short stavepractical clothing and a rucksack, a wool blanket, waterskin, 3 torches, 3 iron rations, 50' of stout hempen rope, a book of hymns and folk songs, and one relic from the list at the end.

A Orisons, First Revelation
B Miracles, +1 MD
C Fury, Second Revelation
D Coronation, +1 MD

A: Orisons
At will, you may do any of the following:

  • Conjure a torch-sized flame into your cupped palm.
  • Consecrate a man-made flame of bonfire size or smaller, causing it to produce no ash nor smoke.
  • Refuse to be burned by any fire of not-specifically-malicious intent.
  • Know the position of the sun, the approximate time and exact date, and which cardinal direction you are facing.

A: Revelation
As a paladin, you have received a revelation; a prophetic vision with more weight and detail to it than the nightmarish dreams suffered by most who are called to the Mountain, shewing them a potential End of the World as well as a means by which it may be averted. Each paladin's revelation is unique, but four broad themes seem to be present:

  1. Revelation of the Hearth (Choirs)
    Throngs of the faithful gather around great bonfires to repel the assault of infernal forces, vast armies of black glass and iridescent chitin. We're strongest together; our bonds are our might.
    Those who have received the revelation of the hearth know that there is nothing greater than what people can achieve in companionship. Their most important duty is to find allies against the darkness.

    Hearth paladins shave and tattoo their heads and bodies, and are sometimes called Choirs. Their primary restriction is that they may not cause harm to one who has not acted violently in their presence, and their secondary restriction is that they must not consume the flesh nor eggs of anything with or without a face.

    1. Castigation
      Upon receiving your first revelation, your voice cannot be ignored, muffled, or muted. When you spend an action to deliver curses and invective with appropriate gravity, your target must check morale. If they succeed, they must primarily target you for the remainder of the encounter—failure means they break, flee, etc as normal.

    2. God Throat
      Upon receiving your second revelation you gain the service of the angel known as WORD, so styled because she answers to many names. Her dossier can be found at the end of the list of angels far below.

  2. Revelation of Gunpowder (Judges)
    Steel-eyed inquisitors plumb the depths of the world, unearthing great fiends in their lairs and striking them down. Victory can be won only by discovering and destroying the greatest evils before they can destroy us.
    Those who have received the revelation of gunpowder know that they are soldiers in an unending war. Their most important duty is to slay the enemies of righteousness before they are able to act.

    Gunpowder paladins weave wooden tokens into their hair, wear muted colors, wield hammers and pistols, and are sometimes called Judges or Inquisitors. Their primary restriction is that they must not turn their back on an opportunity to destroy or prevent evil, and their secondary restriction is that they may not carry nor wield bladed instruments.

    1. Bloodhound
      Upon receiving your first revelation your senses are finely attuned to signs beyond the purely physical, allowing you to smell the distinctive reek of secrecy. This won't tell you anything about secrets except their existence, but is of great help in discovering traps, secret doors and compartments, people who are trying to hide, et cetera.

    2. Veritas Dei
      Upon receiving your second revelation your very soul revolts against falsehood, causing you 1 damage for each consciously spoken untruth you utter and allowing you to see lies and instinctively judge the weight of souls.

  3. Revelation of the Torch (Contemplatives)
    A lone hero scales an infinite incline, torch held high, tested mentally, physically, and in spirit. The only one who can be counted on, in the end, is oneself; so each must individually become the best, strongest self possible if we are to survive as a whole.
    Those who have received the revelation of the torch know that relentless self-improvement is the highest virtue. Their most important duty is to better themselves in every fashion—become stronger, healthier, more virtuous, better educatedand to help others do the same.

    Torch paladins oil their bodies and bare their hands and feet, and are sometimes called Apotheosites, Templar, and Contemplatives. Their primary restriction is that they must test themselves against the strong and vice versa, and their secondary restriction is that they may not tell to others what they have not witnessed themselves.

    1. Sacred Martial Arts
      Upon receiving your first revelation your fists, knees, elbows, forehead, and any other part of your body you could conceivably strike someone with are are light weapons, and you are a skilled wrestler. When you hit someone with a melee attack, you can attempt a free combat maneuver against them if you name and describe your action as a special move (or use one previously named and described that makes sense in context). You can't use the same special move twice in the same combat.

    2. Force Projection
      Upon receiving your second revelation you master techniques of hand-to-hand combat far beyond the normal limits of human achievement. Your unarmed melee attacks have a 30' reach and you can run on walls, spikes, or water as long as you end your turn on solid footing. Additional secret techniques may become available to you in your travels.

  4. Revelation of the Mirror (Scriveners)
    Scholars delve deep in libraries and laboratories, their frenetic study essential despite the calamity outside, until finally, finally, the Secret which justifies any consequence is uncovered, the Work complete. Something terrible is Coming, and we'd be foolish indeed to discard any weapon which might be raised against it.
    Those who have received the revelation of the mirror know that all the evils of the world pale in comparison to the great enemy that comes against it, and that the right or wrong of a sword or rifle lie in the hands that wield it. Their most important duty is to seek out power and knowledge that is lost, disdained, forgotten or forbidden.

    Mirrored paladins cover their faces—with blank-featured or silvered masks when possible, or simple cloth when not—and are sometimes called Lenses, Silverfish, Warminds, and Scriveners. Their primary restriction is that they may not consciously allow knowledge to be lost, and their secondary restriction is that they must share knowledge with any who, in their estimation, should make use of it.

    1. Holy Seals
      Upon receiving your first revelation, each time you command an angel you may cause up to [templates] blessed seals in your possession to spontaneously combust: For each that does, you may add or replace one MD. You can produce new seals out of 10 sp in wax, art supplies, and precious metals, at a rate of one per day as a part of your normal rest, and they each take up 1/3 of a slot.

      You also gain the ability to perceive and communicate with the spirit world slightly earlier than your fellows, and the services of one angel rolled on the list from the end with 1d6 rather than 1d12.

    2. Coronal Mass Ejection
      Upon receiving your second revelation you are able to resurrect a technique from the holy books long thought apocryphal: The ability to project an exploding laser beam directly out of your forehead at one billion miles per hour. Once per combat round, you may deal 1d6 holy fire damage to anything you can see.

Breaking your secondary restriction causes an immediate mishap. Breaking your primary restriction causes an immediate doom.

B: Miracles
The world of spirits and spells reveals itself to you, and you gain the service of an angel (roll 1d12) whom you are able to command through the use of Miracle Dice in exactly the same way someone else might cast a spell with Magic Dice

The saints of the Church are numerous, and each day of the year is the feast day of one or more, with collisions being the source of fierce dogmatic arguments. Your MD are replenished at dawn at a rate of 1 MD per each of the following saintly attributes you are able to declare—up to your maximum MD—regardless of whether you rested or not:

  • Name and/or title
  • Portfolio
  • Saintly deeds
  • Method of martyrdom
  • Ritual observances
For example you might declare, "Today is the day of Giuseppe the Maligned, patron saint of psychiatry and comedy, who restored the grand mural of the Holy City, and was cast from a high cliff, and on whose day we must turn every handshake into an arm-wrestle," and have declared all five attributes, and regain up to 5 MD if you somehow have that many which should be impossible.

Upon gaining template D, you receive the services of a second angel of your choice.

C: Fury
When engaged in melee combat, you may make one extra attack each round for free. The extra attack doesn't, technically, have to be a melee one.

D: Coronation
You develop a blessed halo, the surest sign of your divine significance. This takes the form of either a diffuse radiance projected around your body or a hard-edged circlet of light hovering over your head. Regardless of its form, it casts light as a torch and protects you from harm, granting +1 AC. It is also very impressive.


As a spellcaster, you are able to perceive and communicate with the spirits known commonly as spells. As a paladin, those available to you to command (by means of your MD) are termed angels, the handmaidens of G_d.

Other spells may exist, and you may be able to bribe, coerce, or otherwise convince them to join you. By the same token, experienced paladins and such met in the wild may travel with spells outside this list.
  1. Missile
    She is clad in a sleekly articulated plate harness, and wields a brace of darts which become visible when she casts them at a target. She is blunt in her manner and could be seen as arrogant, were her aim any less true.
    Throws [dice] darts, each of which unerringly strikes a target of your choice within sight for 4 damage. The darts of your Missile are formed from hard-edged white light and resemble...
    1. Dueling swords
    2. Arrows
    3. Spears
    4. Needles
    5. Birds of prey
    6. Longswords
    7. Throwing knives
    8. Circles or discs
    9. Shuriken
    10. Sidewinders

  2. Burning Hands
    She is four-armed and muscular, bare from the waist up. Her fists are ever-clenched, each wreathed in flames too hot to fully consider.
    Heats the palms of your hands to a significant fraction of the temperature of the sun for [dice] minutes, while protecting you from the effects thereof. This is probably sufficient to melt through at least [sum] inches of stone or steel, set flammable objects on fire, fuse sand into brittle glass, and so on, and you may reroll all invested MD as damage dice when open-palm slapping someone with them. Alternatively, holding your hands up palm-outward is probably sufficient to ward away most potential threats without actual violence.

  3. Scorching Ray
    Her bare head floats in the midst of a conflagration and heat haze, her body—if she has one—fully concealed. Her eyes burn a blank and angry red. She is colorblind.
    Projects up to [dice] rays of burning energy towards a target or targets of your choice within bowshot. Make a ranged attack roll against AC 10 for each; any that hit deal [best] damage.

  4. Fireball
    She is ineffably majestic, impossibly beautiful, a Queen among angels crowned by a third eye upon her brow and framed by nine wings behind her. She wears a fractally ornate gown and does not speak so much as command.
    Streaks to the designated area within bowshot and explodes, dealing [sum] + [dice] damage to everything within a 20' radius with a DEX roll for half.

  5. Lightning
    She is tense, almost nervous, filled with energy, a slightly sinister cast to her expressions. She is eager to create her effect, and has been known to—under very specific circumstances—disobey orders.
    Swoops through an area 10' wide and [dice]*10' long, dealing [sum] + [dice] damage to anyone and anything in her path with a STR roll for half.

  6. Supernova
    She is serene, radiant, beatific in both bearing and conduct. She dresses for mourning, and her eyes are sad.
    Causes the targeted corpse to crumple inward and then explode in a flare of brilliant energy, dealing [sum] * 2 damage to everything within a 20' radius with a DEX roll for half. If targeted on an undead that you do not personally control, they may roll CHA to avoid exploding. Requires a minimum investment of MD proportionate to the size of corpse she is to detonate:
    • 1 MD - A hobgoblin, orc, or smaller 
    • 2 MD - A bugbear, horse, minotaur, or smaller
    • 3 MD - An elephant, ogre, or smaller
    • 4 MD - A whale, giant, or smaller
    • 5 MD - A dragon, kraken, or smaller

  7. Wall of Fire
    She wears a general officer's uniform in an unfamiliar pattern, resplendent with medals and ribbons and braid. She has excellent tactical instincts, but a poor grasp of modern technology.
    Conjures up to [dice] 10' × 10' × 5' sheets of searing flame, within a stone's throw, in whatever contiguous formation you desire and lasting for [sum] minutes. Any who enter or begin their turn within the area take [dice]d6 damage, and catch fire for an additional 1d6 damage per round until extinguished. If placed over a creature, they may roll DEX in order to escape the area before the sheets manifest. If cast with 3 or more MD, her conjured wall instead lasts for [sum] hours. If cast with 4 or more MD, it is permanent.

  8. Radiate
    She is slender and completely hairless, clad in a loose, gauzy shift. Her skeleton is starkly visible through her skin and garment. She perceives the world in wavelengths impossible to us, and does not understand the fragility of humans.
    Causes the targeted object within a stone's throw to radiate energy for up to [sum] hours, of a type dependent on how many MD were invested in her:
    • 1 MD - Casts bright illumination out to 60', warms like a hearth.
    • 2 MD - Casts bright illumination within sight range, counts as sunlight, warms like a pyre.
    • 3 MD - Casts invisible rays of blinding heat, deals [dice] damage per round within 60', any who look at it within that range roll STR or are permanently blinded. Blocked by anything sufficiently opaque.
    • 4 MD - Casts intangible rays of poison fire, deals [dice] STR damage per round within 30' to all targets, including other angels and spells, et cetera. Only blocked by lead or stone.

  9. Glory
    She is thick-wristed and -ankled, her face hidden behind a golden caricature mask with a giant, spiked halo affixed to its edges. She bears two massive golden swords which she wields in elaborate flourishes, and is fond of elaborate posing to punctuate her words.
    Increases your STR and CHA by [dice] each and grants you immunity to poison, fear, and other maladies for up to [sum] minutes. The additional HP you gain from increased STR are lost, in this case, before your "real" HP.

  10. Shield
    She appears metal-fleshed, her limbs delicate armatures of piston and ball-joint beneath ornamented silver plating. She speaks only to narrate threat coefficients, with flat affect. Her appellative Shield is starkly utilitarian in contrast, a round-cornered rectangle of undecorated polished steel. 
    Uses her Shield to defend you or a target of your choice within arm's reach, granting +[dice] AC for up to [sum] hours against any attack she is aware of and completely negating Missiles and Rays.

  11. Heal
    Wears a linen robe, clinical, detached, omits names and pronouns when speaking. Seen it all before, twice.
    Heals the touched target for [sum] + [dice] HP. Alternatively, can be directed to solve specific problems depending on the MD invested in her:
    • 1 MD - No alternatives.
    • 2 MD - Mend broken bones or other long-term wounds.
    • 3 MD - Cure a malady such as disease or poison.
    • 4 MD - Reattach recently severed limbs.
    • 5 MD - Regrow missing limbs or organs.

  12. Hold
    She is a sinister figure in white, blindfolded, bound in chains and one of those funny jackets that won't let you check your wristwatch. She speaks in a piercing, imperious voice.
    Closes and locks (if applicable; doors slam shut, drawbridges slam up, half-drawn swords slam back in their scabbards) a target within a stone's throw, then Holds it in place for up to [sum] rounds. If the target is secured, attended, or sapient, Hold is [dice] level with +[best] STR, and skilled at wrestling.

  • WORD
    She is dressed unassumingly in simple linen and scripture—the latter crawling over every inch of her skin. Her features are regal, more imposing than they are appealing.
    Delivers a divine pronouncement of up to [dice] words, using her WORD as the main verb. Targets may not be specified except as a part of the pronouncement—speak carefully. Those with souls or personalities may roll CHA to avoid or reduce direct effects. If used to harm something with an HP value, she will usually deal [sum] damage as well as any incidental effects of the WORD used.

    Roll two WORDs from the following list by which you may call your WORD:
    1. Blind
    2. Burn
    3. Boil
    4. Desiccate
    5. Heat
    6. Illuminate
    7. Imprison
    8. Melt
    9. Reveal
    10. Rise
    11. Sequester
    12. Ward

G_dly Mishaps

  1. You attract a crow or raven which will forevermore follow and spy on you when you are under open sky. If trapped or killed, the corvid is replaced within 1d6 days.
  2. Your eyes turn smoky black, blinding you for [dice] rounds. They do not clear fully, leaving you with at least one permanent sunspot in your vision.
  3. Your wounds and scars open and [sum] fat, three-inch-long maggots plop sickeningly out at a rate of one per round. Each maggot that drops deals you 1 damage. The maggots taste like motor oil, and anyone eating one heals 1 HP.
  4. Your head is transformed into that of a dog for [sum] minutes, granting you the ability to speak and understand Arqot but unable to converse in any other language for the duration.
  5. Dogs, horses, and other domesticated animals will see you as a hated enemy until the next dawn, and either attack you viciously or flee in terror depending on temperament.
  6. Your reflection fades by about  of its original opacity. This effect is permanent, and stacks—after 10 fadings, you no longer have a reflection. Further results cause a different reflection to fade back in at the same rate; one with no visible resemblance to you, and that doesn't match up to your movements. Once your reflection has faded 10 times out and 10 times back in, its negative is as real as its positive once was. 10 more and it's as real as you are yourself.

Doom of the Sun

  1. You become able to hear the voice of the Sun. It is sonorous, commanding, quintuply resonant. The loudest voice speaks in an obtuse language which bears resemblances to both angelfire and the old tongue, and can be understood if you speak either of those languages. It is very distracting, causing a -2 penalty to all d20 rolls when exposed to natural sunlight, reduced to -1 if only partially exposed such as while indoors or under an overcast sky.
  2. Sunlight pours forth from your eyes and mouth whenever they are open, casting bright illumination in a 60' cone. The penalty is no longer escapable, even with your eyes and mouth held shut.
  3. You emit sunlight from your entire body, casting bright illumination in an unlimited radius and blinding any who look directly at you. The voice of the Sun is now audible to others in your presence and inflicts the same penalty on them, and for you personally the penalty is doubled and sufficient to prevent you from commanding any spells.
The Doom of the Sun can be escaped by seeing the Sun destroyed, or by journeying to its surface and consuming a piece of whatever rules there.

Holy Relics

  1. Holy Symbol. An eight rayed sun-disk, traditionally copper but sometimes wood or gold. Yours is bigger than most, but it still doesn't take up any slots as long as you're wearing it.
  2. Short Staff. A sturdy inch-thick dowel of somewhat less than your height, making it a medium weapon while retaining some effectiveness as a walking stick. 1 slot.
  3. Practical Clothing. Sturdy wool and linen, unassuming, humble. 0 slots worn.
  4. Wool Blanket. Large enough to wrap oneself in fully, or double up and wear as a cloak. 1 slot.
  5. Waterskin. Essential. 1 slot when full.
  6. 3 Torches. Simple sticks wrapped in hessian and soaked in pitch or wax. Burn for an hour each, cast bright light out to 30' and dim light twice that distance. 1 slot total.
  7. 3 Iron Rations. Thick cakes of preserved meat, parched grain, and chocolate. Won't go bad for months as long as you keep them dry. 1 slot total.
  8. 50' Hempen Rope. Coarse, thick, and unpleasant to the hand. 1 slot.
  9. Book of Hymns and Folk Songs. Lyrics and rough melodies; not detailed scores. Heavily annotated in at least three hands, before including yours. 1/3 slot.
  10. Bottle of Holy Water. Spiritually active, powerfully caustic to devils and some forms of undead. Drinking it cures demon-caused maladies. 1/3 slot.
  11. Reactive Sledge. A sacred tool of gunpowder paladins. A heavy weapon which explodes when struck hard against something to deal an additional 2d6 damage in a 5' radius (including to the wielder), DEX half. 2 slots, one use only.
  12. 3 Blessed Seals. Heavily decorated discs of stamped, gilded wax. A mirrored paladin may be able to make use of them. 1 slot total.
  13. Book of Church Secrets. An unpleasant accounting. Could be used as blackmail, or to get someone in a lot of trouble. Someone who might be you. 1/3 slot.
  14. Prayer Beads. Very soothing to fiddle with, grants advantage on saves against fear and the like when wielded. No slots, I think.
  15. Censer. Silver, ornate, suspended on three feet of fine chain. Angels and other spells are attracted to the scent of incense burned in it. 1 slot.
  16. Cursed Incense. Reminds any who smell it of their own mortality, and puts them in a foul mood. Not actually cursed, just universally culturally significant. 10 doses, no slots.
  17. Pistol and shot and powder. A light firearm which deals 1d8 damage, takes 4 full rounds to reload, and can be safely fired in melee combat. 1/3 slot for the pistol itself, 1 slot each for 10 rounds and a horn with 10 doses of powder.
  18. A Dog. Man's best friend. Happy, friendly, 1 HD, good at searching things out and eating garbage and not at all good at fighting. 3 slots if you have to carry it around for some reason.
  19. A Horse. Would ordinarily be man's other best friend, but this one is ill-tempered, cloven-hooved, long-tongued, fond of eating carrion, and refuses to be ridden. 3 HD, much too big to carry.
  20. Something weird. Roll 1d6:
    1. Golden wedding band. Powerfully cursed, has some weird writing inside it, attracts ghosts when worn. You're supposed to throw this into a pit at the heart of the Mountain, I think. No slots.
    2. The true Tao. You're not supposed to be able to write this down, but someone did on a scroll about 1' wide and 3' long and now nobody knows what to do with it. Solid (and inviolable) to ghosts and spells. 1/3 slot.
    3. Jeweler's loupe. Displays a number above the head of each person observed through it commensurate to the quality of their kung fu.
    4. Socks woven from the hair of a saint. Refuse to touch impure things, allowing you to (with practice) hover above the surface of seawater, uncut grass, &c. No slots.
    5. An endpaper torn from the first holy book. Completely blank, blackens in the presence of elfs and giants. Do not burn it. No slots.
    6. NOT A SWORD, name scratched crudely into scabbard. He is a +0 heavy sword (2d6) of make indeterminate due to being completely rusted into his scabbard. Believes he has been fighting an bitter war against completely imagined enemies for the past millennia. Doesn't count as bearing an edge, in case you're a gunpowder paladin

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Do You Not Realize from What I Say to You Who I Am? (Class: False Witch)

A continuation of the Work of preparing PC classes for the Mountain. These in particular are archetypes for my Ultimate Thief and Fighter.

False Witches. They're called Witches because they use magic. They're called False because they aren't actually magical at all themselves. They are, basically, specialists or thieves or rogues or what have you. Scientists. People who have figured out how to manipulate the world in specific ways, without ever performing something that we'd call magic directly.

They're a lot easier to run out of town or burn at the stake, etc, than real witches are.

Five of Swords.

Archetype: Sword Witch

The sword is the ultimate tool—you can hunt with them, eat with them, use them to start a fire or cut down a tree, and they’re the primary symbol of skill at arms across the world. 
This is a Thief archetype, properly speaking, but I suppose I can't really stop you from jamming it on something else.

Starting Equipment: A MAGIC SWORD, a normal sword, dark clothing, a waterskin and 3 days trail rations, a bullseye lantern and flint and oil, soft boots, and a cloak
Benefit: You can carry any number of swords tied into a bundle in the space of the largest single one you possess, and draw blades from it unerringly without spending an action. You can identify all properties of a blade by fucking around with it for an hour. If you didn't speak swordsong already, you do now.
Drawback: Your opportunism only works on sword attacks. Sword-wielders will be naturally jealous of you.

1d12 Starting Magic Swords (or 1d8 if you're Small)

  1. THERE I CARRIED, name engraved on guard. He is a +0 light baselard (1d6) of phosphoric steel, with oxhide-bound hilt, catseye pommel, and double guard. Smells very pleasant.
  2. GONE TOO FAR, sings name when drawn. He is a +0 medium langmesser (1d8) of silvered bone, with horsehide-bound hilt and double blade. Can sever and reattach hands without causing damage. The formerly handed retain control over them while severed.
  3. CANNIBAL MEAT EATER, name engraved on blade. They are a +0 medium shamshir (1d8) of leaden copper, wolfshead pommel, and square guard. Devours sharpness of other blades when pressed against them.
  4. TAKEN AND LOST, name known by all. It is a +0 medium takouba (1d8) of mercurial black iron, with leechglass guard. Grants wielder 60' echolocation when speaking name.
  5. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, name engraved in fuller. She is a +0 medium tulwar (1d8) of arsenical bronze, with ring pommel and small spinels in guard. Those slain by the blade will grant haruspecious insight through examination of their entrails.
  6. PROBLEMS YET UNSOLVED, spells name in spilled blood. He is a +1 medium bastard sword (1d8) of steel, with sheepskin-bound hilt. Those slain by the blade will trade faces permanently with the wielder.
  7. WINNING A FIGHT, name known by all. She is a +0 medium falchion (1d8) of iridian steel, with ring pommel and triangle pattern of dark-and-light along blade. Knows what the face of G_d looks like, and loudly announces match percentage of anything she is pointed at.
  8. TWO FACED BITCH, name engraved on blade. He is a +2 medium dadao (1d8) of mithril, with round pommel. Refuses to be drawn against anyone with better kung fu than yours.
  9. SHAME IN DEFEAT, name engraved in fuller. She is a +0 heavy greatsword (2d6) of thorian black iron, with missing pommel. Her destruction will cause a natural disaster.
  10. SEVEN STARS SHINE, whispers name when drawn. She is a +0 heavy longsword (2d6) of ironwood, with yew hilt. Can harm angels, demons, and other spells.
  11. WALK BENEATH WAVES, name engraved in fuller. He is a +1 heavy bohrschwert (1d10, treat all AC as 10) of mithril, with snakeskin-bound hilt, square guard, and filigreed blade. Grounds out lightning within 60', which can be hazardous to the wielder.
  12. MISSING MY POMMEL, name etched into haft. She is a +0 heavy glaive (1d10, 10' reach) of brazen copper, with oversized guard and large turquoise at base of blade. Cutting power reaches beyond blade; 30' range when slashing.

1d6 Normal Swords (or 1d3 if you're Small)

  1. Short sword (light weapon, 1d6 damage)
  2. Single-edged sword (medium weapon, 1d8 damage)
  3. Double-edged sword (medium weapon, 1d8 damage)
  4. Two-handed sword (heavy weapon, 2d6 damage)
  5. Pole-sword (heavy weapon, 1d10 damage, 10' reach)
  6. Edgeless sword (heavy weapon, 1d10 damage, treat all AC as 10)

Seven of Cups.

Archetype: Bottle Witch

The drunk who waves his bottle, saying, it’s mine, I bought it with the money from my wages (paid by private or State institutions), while he is a victim of the Capital form, is also a usufructuary traitor to the health of the species. And so is the idiot who smokes cigarettes! Such “property” will be eliminated from the higher organization of society.
This, also, is intended as a Thief archetype.

Starting Equipment: A ghost in ghost-bottle, an empty ghost-bottle, priming reagents for ghost-bottles, a shovel, a prybar, dark clothing, a waterskin and 3 days trail rations, a bullseye lantern and flint and oilsoft boots, and a cloak
Benefits: You can prepare ghost-bottles, and use them with less risk than anyone else.
Drawbacks: Those who care about the final fate of their souls will be naturally wary of you.


Priming a ghost-bottle for use requires an empty ghost-bottle and one hour of focused work with access to open flame and simple reagents (lead, antimony, rock salt, water, bitter nightshade, and a bit of blood).

Ghost-bottles take up 1/3 inventory slot each. The priming reagents take up 1 slot in total.

Once primed, a ghost-bottle may be used to capture dying souls, ghosts, demons, spells, elementals, or angels if opened toward them at exactly the right moment. For most people this would take some combination of a DEX check (to get the timing right) and an opposed CHA roll (to overpower the ghost), but the first isn't a problem for bottle witches as long as they're prepared and the second isn't a problem as long as they're not trying to catch an emperor or an archdemon etc.

Once captured, a bottle-ghost may be used in one of several ways:
  • You can drink it. This kills the bottle-ghost, heals you, will probably have other effects, and is rightly seen by all intelligent creatures as an incredibly evil act.
  • You can let it go for good. This empties the ghost-bottle, so you can prime it to capture another ghost.
  • You can send it to scout a nearby area. This takes 10 minutes, after which the ghost will return to its bottle with 1d6 pieces of information. Ghosts are best at sensing spellcasters, powerful magic, and other spiritual beings, and very bad at sensing architecture and mundane items—and will return information in approximately this order. This is usually safe, unless something that can both see and affect ghosts is in the area to be scouted.
  • You can send it to haunt a creature. The ghost and its target roll opposed CHA—if the ghost wins, it imposes a penalty equal to its HD on all actions the target takes. Should the target die while being haunted, the ghost will attempt to possess it (as below)—if the ghost fails, it dissipates permanently.
  • You can attempt to have it possess something. The ghost and its target roll opposed CHA—if the ghost wins, it now controls the target's actions. If the target is of equal HD to the ghost or better, the target may try again each round until successful—at which point the ghost dissipates permanently. Ghosts possessing a body are under no obligation to their bottle-witch and may be hostile, particularly if recently captured. Inanimate or unconscious targets don't get to save.
  • Maybe it can do something else, depending on who it is. These additional abilities—active ones—are only usable once per 'scene' or so; a ghost needs time to rest.
All of these are technically possible for non-bottle-witches to accomplish, but much riskier and likely to result in the ghost dissipating permanently regardless of outcome.

1d20 Starting Bottle-Ghosts

  1. Skilled Sailor, 1 HD—Has a little ship in the bottle with him.
  2. Really Good Dog, 1 HD—Eager to please, not very bright.
  3. Optimistic Beheading Victim, 1 HD—Very positive.
  4. A Flat Miner, 1 HD—Passively warns of pitfalls and crush hazards.
  5. Unlucky Thief, 1 HD—Gives 2d6 pieces of information when scouting.
  6. Your Great-Grandparent, 1 HD—Knows your family history. +1 INT.
  7. Really Annoying Bard, 1 HD—Counts as 2 HD for haunting.
  8. Hungry Poacher, 1 HD—Also notes all animals when scouting.
  9. Cheating Gambler, 1 HD—Can rig games of chance in your favor.
  10. Opium Scholar, 1 HD—Spins elaborate false histories. +2 INT.
  11. Obsessed Locksmith, 1 HD—Can pick locks for you.
  12. Paranoid Apprentice, 1 HD—Passively senses the presence or absence of wizards.
  13. Aggressive Goat, 1 HD—Can shove man-sized or smaller creatures 5' at a time.
  14. Anchorite Scribe, 1 HD—Is literate, can read to you. +3 INT.
  15. Primitive "Botanist", 1 HD—Knows which mushrooms and berries will make you shit blood.
  16. Mountain Lion, 2 HD—Makes incredibly realistic mountain lion noises.
  17. Old Soldier, 2 HD—Also notes arms and armor when scouting.
  18. Loyal Ox, 2 HD—Can move unattended ox-portable object up to 60'.
  19. Spooky Horse, 2 HD—Can carry you 30' in a massive leap.
  20. Ancient Sword Master, 4 HD—Refuses to haunt or scout, it's beneath her.

Eight of Cups.

Archetype: Mask Witch

Some students do not realize the true man in a mask
Because they recognize ego-soul.
Ego-soul is the seed of birth and death,
And foolish people call it the true man.
This, also also, is intended as a Thief archetype.

Starting Equipment: A corpse-mask, a regular mask, three very sharp knives in various sizes, a formidable sewing kit, a bottle of formaldehydedark clothing, a waterskin and 3 days trail rations, a bullseye lantern and flint and oilsoft boots, and a cloak
Benefits: You can prepare corpse-masks, and wear them to gain strange powers.
Drawbacks: Those who care about the final fate of their bodies will be naturally wary of you.


Someone who knows how (that's you) can make a death mask out of someone's face with the aid of a good sewing kit and a wood or bone frame in, I don't know, about an hour, maybe longer if they've got a significantly different sized head. Someone who knows how (also you) can gain certain powers or abilities from wearing said mask. These two skills do not ordinarily coreside in the same person. That makes you special.

The bare minimum effect for a corpse-mask is +1 to the highest stat of the corpse it was made from, while you wear it. More often, they'll give you a weird little passive ability instead. Exceptionally powerful corpse-masks may even have some effect when worn by a non-mask-witch.

Masks take up 1/3 slot each, and the sewing kit is another 1/3. Switching between masks takes at least an action, even if you've got them all handy.

1d10 Starting Corpse-Masks

  1. Ass—Gain +1 STR.
  2. Dancer—Gain +1 DEX.
  3. Giant Raven—Gain +1 INT.
  4. Beautiful Child—Gain +1 CHA.
  5. Crone—Gain skill at divining and botany and midwifery.
  6. Giant Owl—Can do the spooky head thing, and see just fine in starlight.
  7. Wolf—Gain a bite attack for 1d6 damage, double that against creatures that speak a civilized tongue or Arqot.
  8. Bear—Gain +2 STR.
  9. Giant Buzzard—Can eat carrion with no risk or displeasure.
  10. GIANT SPIDER AAAAAA—Gain one adaptation rolled from the list.

1d10 Completely Normal Masks With No Mystical Powers

  1. Monkey
  2. Woman
  3. Elder
  4. Dog
  5. Strange Animal
  6. Infant
  7. Skull
  8. Snake
  9. Blank
  10. Devil
Knight of Disks.

Archetype: Gutter Knight

The ancient kings secured good government of their kingdoms through learning of honor, of humility, of virtue, and by acting charitably to those lesser than they. It is the duty of every great knight, to find a quest in life, and brave the demons of the age. 
This is not a thief archetype. It's not even really a false witch. Certainly nobody is calling gutter knights witches and running them out of town. Quite the opposite, in fact. This is intended as an archetype of Ultimate Fighter

Gutter knights are a part of the noble caste of the civilized world, scions of great houses of the River Kingdoms and Charter Nations. They journey and commit acts of conspicuous heroism as a coming-of-age ritual, before eventually hanging up their cloak and returning to take their place in the gentry; theoretically humbled and made wiser by their experience. In practice few venture far from home, but some—more dedicated or naive than most, or attempting to distinguish themselves from their siblings—do wind up on the shores of the Mountain

There is no moth elf nobility, but some individuals have taken up the tradition nonetheless—their blades rusted and crudely made, their armor unpolished, their quilted favor-cloaks bedraggled, tattered and nearly bare, and their actions unbound by the centuries of tradition that weigh heavily on other gutter knights.

Starting Equipment: signet ring and sealing wax, a heavy steel longsword, odachi, or zhanmadao, a masterfully crafted plate cuirass, an ostentatious formal outfit, a set of well-crafted traveling clothes, a fine tabard, silk pyjamas, your quilted favor-cloak and a single patch-favor, jewelry worth 300 sp, an astrolabe, a sextant, spyglass, compass, and map each in their own carrying case, and no food or water. Moth elf "gutter knights" have regular equipment instead, besides the favor-cloak.
Benefits: You can carry and use patch-favors, tokens of magical appreciation for your errantry. Unless you are a moth elf, you may rely on your family name to secure respect, food, lodging, and knightly quests in any settlement large enough to have a mayor.
Drawbacks: You are not permitted to carry any currency nor possess any items not carried by you personally with the exception of a mount, saddle, and riding tack. Unless you are a moth elf, you may not strike a surprised, surrendered, or helpless humanoid foe.


A patch-favor is a little scrap of canvas, linen, or burlap, painted or embroidered with a token. They are traditionally granted to gutter knights for the completion of knightly quests, but if there's nobody around capable or willing of creating one the gutter knight is permitted to make their own to commemorate a particularly noble deed.

Patch-favors take an action to pull from one's quilted favor-cloak and slap on something within arm's reach. They require contact with both the gutter knight and their intended target to activate, so you can't put them on sticks or arrows and using them on unwilling targets is an attack made against AC 10. Each patch-favor can be used once per day.

This power allegedly comes from deals struck between noble bloodlines and fey courts in ages long-past, and patch-favors do not function in the hands of anyone but a gutter knight.

1d12 Starting Patch-Favors

  1. Torch—For rescuing a peasant boy from a cave. Sets something on fire.
  2. Paper Soldier—For defending a library from book-burners. Grapples with +5 STR.
  3. Mighty Oak—For saving a dryad's grove from loggers. Makes a very large tree very fast.
  4. Trick Rope—For rescuing a street performer from the gallows. Creates 50' of animate rope that obeys your commands.
  5. Scarf—For seeking out a magical yarn for a tailor. Allows the target to ignore inclement weather for 24 hours.
  6. Windmill—For putting out a village fire. Blows away anything not securely anchored to the ground.
  7. Bathtub—For running a pervert out of a brothel. Cleans target and gives it a delicate scent of flowers.
  8. Bandage—For binding the wounds of a wartime casualty. Heals 2d8 HP.
  9. Dragon Scale—For driving a pack of kobold raiders away from a monastery. Renders the target immune to fire for 1 hour.
  10. Rose—For chasing off the unwanted suitor of a handmaiden. Creates a thorned thicket covering five contiguous 10' squares.
  11. Lance—For slaying an ogre. Deals 4d8 damage.
  12. Conch—For cutting a nymph free of a fishing net. Summons 1d20 friendly sealions.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Class: Witch)

Alright, buckle the fuck up, this is a long one. This isn't a simplified classis, like the Fighter or the Thief. This is a whole-ass Witch.

A real one, in case you were wondering.

Five of Cups.

Class: Witch (True)

Witches are dark creatures born to followers of the Old Ways who have consorted with spirits, monsters, or beasts. More monster than man, they are an object of both fear and awe. Witches across the old world are regularly abandoned or exiled, so naturally many of them find their way to the Mountain.

There are at least four kinds of witch—categorized by the form which their familiar takes—but all share certain traits and abilities. Most important among these is the ability to perceive, communicate with, and command demons through the use of Maleficent Dice, a process that functions exactly identical to that for casting spells with Magic Dice. If you're playing in a system with proficiency, you have it in staves, knives, scythes, and sickles. If you're a gun witch, you're also proficient with all types of firearm.

Skills: 1. Herbalism 2. Divining 3. Theatrics

Starting Equipment: Peasant clothing, a satchel, a skin of water, a skin of wine, a flint fire-striker, 10 candles, 3 rations of jerky, your choice of a golden sickle or jeweled kris (each a light weapon), one witching tool from the list at the end. 

If you're a gun witch, you also start with 10 witch-bullets and a powderhorn containing 10 doses of witch-powder. They're actually normal bullets and powder, but you're a witch. 1 slot each.

A Flawed, Familiar, Black Magic, 1 MD
B Trophy Casting, +1 MD
C Improved Familiar, +1 MD
D Witch's Curse, +1 MD

A: Flawed 
While directly exposed to the object of your supernatural weakness, you experience extreme pain and revulsion and suffer -2 to all rolls or 1 damage per round as your form visibly rots, burns, or melts away (whichever effects your GM feels are appropriate). You can take measures to protect yourself; for example a weakness to sunlight can be minimized with voluminous clothing and a parasol.

Good weaknesses include but are not limited to: 

  1. Sunlight and depictions of the sun
  2. Precious metals
  3. Ferrous metals
  4. Melodies
  5. Your own reflection
  6. Expressions of strong emotion
  7. Dogs, horses, and whales
  8. Running water
  9. Oil
  10. Prepared food and cut stone

A: Familiar
As a witch, you have the ability to separate and externalize a piece of yourself in the form of a familiar. This takes 10 minutes of concentration and 1d6 HP each time you do it. If destroyed or separated from you, your familiars melt into a mess of blood and keratin over the next 4 days.

What form your familiar takes determines what sort of witch you are, or perhaps the other way around. You have four options:

  1. Gun Witch
    As a gun witch, your familiars are witch-guns, up to [templates] * 2 firearms. They can be created as any firearm weapon, but require ammunition and powder as normal; deal 1d8 damage regardless of form; and will not fire when wielded by anyone other than you. You are fluent in a dialect of Artifice spoken only by firearms.

    At template C when you gain Improved Familiar, your witch-guns deal 2d8 damage and gain the ability to move and manipulate themselves while remaining within your arms' reach. Gun witches who have attained this power are surrounded in combat by a whirling maelstrom of guns and ammo, plucking them from the air in a dance of death before releasing them, empty, to be reloaded by the cross-currents; while stylish, this is a horrifically inefficient way of reloading a firearm and takes twice as long as normal.

  2. Bug Witch
    As a bug witch, your familiars are witch-hives, up to [templates] * 2 swarms of vermin that move at your command. They can be whatever type or types of bug you want, and you can fit them all inside yourself and/or your clothes if you want, which is just horrid. You are fluent in Skittering, a language common to all arthropods.

     1 HP 4 Size 5' square Immune non-area-of-effect damage
    Special Deals 1d6 damage per round to everything other than you within its area that is vulnerable to being eaten by bugs (most things), without an attack roll or save or any of that nonsense. This doesn't stack because, uh, there's only enough room for so many bugs to eat something at once.

    At template C when you gain Improved Familiar, your witch-hives are imbued with preternatural strength, allowing them to carry you (or anything else, though they'll still be eating it while they do so) up any surface that a bug could climb; or buoy you slowly aloft on thousands of diaphanous wings at a rate of 10' per round. They can only do this for a few minutes at most—you can't fly overland on bugwings. Unwilling bugluggage may make a STR save to avoid being bugnapped.

  3. Friend Witch
    As a friend witch, your familiar is a witch-tulpa, also known as a friend. Unlike most familiars, this isn't so much a piece of your soul externalized into a physical form as it is merely separated from the rest of your selfhood and sequestered within. While carrying a friend, you gain their visible traits, restriction, and first boon.

    Having friends is a bit complicated, so there's a section downbelow (under the spells and mishaps and dooms and such) that details how that works.

    At template C when you gain Improved Familiar, you achieve complete (dis)unity with your friends, gaining the second boon of any friend that you carry as well.

  4. Cancer Witch
    As a cancer witch, your familiar is a witch-tumor which (ha, a-ha) quarantines within itself and protects you from the effects of any diseases or other maladies that you contract. You may choose to pass or fail saves against such maladies when you encounter them, and are able to secrete diseased blood from your palms which causes any who contact it to save against transmission of any maladies thus contained.

    If you are ever subject to an effect that cures diseases, your witch-tumor dies along with any maladies contained within it and you must create a new one.

    At template C when you gain Improved Familiar, you gain the ability to spray a torrent of diseased blood from your palms like a really gross firehose. This costs you 1 HP each time you do it, and reaches, I don't know, at least 30' straight up or up to 60' in a horizontal arc.
A: Black Magic
You are familiar with two spells from the list way downbelow. One is the demon known as Evil Eye, and the other is determined by rolling 1d20. Each time you gain another template of Witch, roll once to attract a new spell—if you roll a result you already possess, choose the next spell above or below it that you don't already have.

B: Trophy Casting
You have developed methods of enhancing your power and protecting yourself from the hazards of spellcasting, using your blood and trophies with significance to the Old Ways as fuel. You can voluntarily change any number of MD to show a 6 after rolling them, allowing you to avoid chaos or doom, at the cost of consuming a trophy and taking damage equal to the original die result for each MD to be changed.

Examples of trophies include: snake skeletons, wolf hearts, shark jawbones, and jars of ash from the corpses of sentient creatures that burned to death. Only one trophy may be produced from each corpse, and a corpse must be at least of small size to produce a trophy. A trophy takes up 1/3 of an inventory slot.

D: Witch's Curse
When a powerful witch such as yourself pronounces a curse, the universe takes notice. In order for this to work properly you must have been legitimately (in your eyes, and those of the DM) wronged by your victim-to-be, otherwise you can just curse them with Evil Eye like a lesser witch.

In addition, tales of your exploits and magical potency have by now reached the Civilized Lands and caused folk there to Take Notice. Expect an apprentice warlock and 1d6 furious witch-hunters to arrive on the next ship—if they aren't here already.

Witch Magic

As a spellcaster, you are able to perceive and communicate with the spirits known commonly as spells. As a witch, those available to you to command (by means of your MD) are technically termed demons, also known as elementals, though this system of classification is somewhat tautological. Alas.

Other spells may exist, and you may be able to bribe, coerce, or otherwise convince them to join you. By the same token, experienced witches and such met in the wild may travel with spells outside this list.
  1. Evil Eye
    A hunched form with a single large eye and pointed ears; or are they horns? Their material appearance varies significantly between instances—plant matter, stone, raw flesh...
    The first demon any witch becomes familiar (ha, aha) with. He may be ordered to harass a target, tweaking their ears and tying their shoelaces together and generally being a nuisance until given a new order. If it matters, he can exert up to [sum] pounds of force at a time during this duration. Owing to his simple-minded and generally servile nature, he is easy to bribe or goad (using MD) into performing tasks outside his usual repertoire—nearly all of which he is wildly incompetent at.

  2. Hand
    She is a mass of red ribbons, stretched across every available space. She 'speaks' seldom, and softly when she does.
    While you concentrate, Hand can lift and move objects within a stone's throw gently at a rate of [dice] * 30' per round, or hurl them up to [dice] * 60' dealing [sum] damage to them and anything they impact with a DEX roll for half. If used to crush, tear, etc, she deals [sum] damage per round. She cannot affect targets that pass a CHA save (or have one passed by their holder/wielder/wearer/etc), and is limited to targets of approximate mass relative to the number of MD invested in her:
    • 1 MD - a handheld object or small animal
    • 2 MD - a person plus gear
    • 3 MD - a horse or monitor plus rider and saddlebags
    • 4 MD - a fully laden wagon
    • 5 MD - a small house plus inhabitants and furniture

  3. Mend
    He is grey-skinned and sullen, wearing something that looks like tradesman's leathers. Can be roused to enthusiasm by detailed engineering discussions.
     patches holes, welds breaks, and otherwise repairs the touched object instantly, healing up to [sum] + [dice] HP to it if it has HP or fixing any amount of damage short of complete destruction if it does not. If an object has been completely destroyed, Mend may still be able to reconstitute it depending on its complexity and the number of MD invested in him:
    • 1 MD - simple shapes, blocks of material
    • 2 MD - boats, wagons, bridges, most weapons and armor
    • 3 MD - artworks, siege engines, sailing vessels, complex architecture
    • 4 MD - clockworks, repeating firearms, steam engines
    • 5 MD - most corpses (though Mend cannot restore life), most electrical devices

  4. Shatter
    She is boldly colored and somewhat crudely formed, as if pieced together from scrap clay by an inexpert sculptor. Over-fond of complex plans and mechanisms. Thinks she's smarter than she is.
    In order to command Shatter, her name must be shouted; not merely spoken. She does exactly what her name suggests to any target within shouting distance, and is capable of wreaking an amount of destruction relative to the MD invested in her:
    • 1 MD - A few blows with a hammer (A handheld object, an artwork)
    • 2 MD - Two folks with tools (A door, a chest, a sarcophagus)
    • 3 MD - A half-dozen tradesfolk with block and tackle (A tunnel, a wooden building, an architectural feature)
    • 4 MD - A dozen tradesfolk with heavy equipment (A stone building or fortification, a large cavern)

  5. Enlarge
    She is blue-skinned, elephant-headed, enormous. Refuses to believe problems can be solved by any means other than physical force.
     doubles the size of the touched target [dice] times for up to [sum] minutes. If the target is a creature, it gets +2 STR and -2 DEX for each time it is doubled, and anything worn or carried by it likewise increases in size. For each time size is doubled, weight quadruples.

  6. Reduce
    He is red-skinned, bull-headed, enormous. Refuses to believe problems can be solved by any means other than physical force.
    Reduce halves the size of the touched target [dice] times for up to [sum] minutes. If the target is a creature, it gets -2 STR and +2 DEX for each time it is halved, and anything worn or carried by it likewise decreases in size. For each time size is halved, weight is quartered.

  7. Heal
    Wears a linen robe, clinical, detached, omits names and pronouns when speaking. Seen it all before, twice.
    Heals the touched target for [sum] + [dice] HP. Alternatively, can be directed to solve specific problems depending on the MD invested in her:
    • 1 MD - No alternatives.
    • 2 MD - Mend broken bones or other long-term wounds.
    • 3 MD - Cure a malady such as disease or poison.
    • 4 MD - Reattach recently severed limbs.
    • 5 MD - Regrow missing limbs or organs.

  8. Inflict
    He is a crying youth with six many-jointed arms. Two cover his face, two hug his body, and two wield straight razors in furious slashing arcs.
    Inflict cuts a given target within a stone's throw for [sum] + [dice] damage. He refuses to be directed against inanimate objects specifically, or ones which don't appear to bleed or feel pain.

  9. Illusion
    He is long-haired and vain and aristocratic, pouts if formed into something ugly and preens if formed into something beautiful. His aesthetic sensibilities are focused on bright, clashing colors.
    Illusion shapes himself into an object or creature up to [dice] * 5' in diameter, which appears completely real and moves however you desire but produces no sound, smell, touch, heat, etc. Shaping Illusion into a detailed copy of an existing object or creature requires either close familiarity or a reference to work from. Creatures inspecting Illusion closely may roll INT to determine his true nature.

  10. Darkness
    He is a three-meter-long grub, black and shiny and dimly transparent. Clumsy, sleeps more than he's awake.
     attaches himself to the touched target and radiates a cloud of absolute magical darkness in a [dice] * 10' radius. Non-magical sight within or through the radius is completely impossible. He can maintain this effect for up to [sum] hours when attached to an inanimate, unattended, or willing target, or [sum] rounds if attached to an unwilling one that succeeds a CHA save.

  11. Invisibility
    She is faceless, wearing a dark business suit. She chatters with the neurotic, anxious edge of an inferiority complex, especially when performing a task.
    Invisibility submerges the target partway into the ethereal plane for up to [dice] * [sum] minutes, rendering them completely invisible to normal sight and able to see other invisible creatures and objects. If cast with 4 MD, she hides the target from supernatural vision of non-invisible creatures as well.

  12. Scrying
    It has a boxy, geometrically shaped head and a large, hooded eye. Below the neck, it disappears into a mess of black-feathered wings and a single, large crow's foot.
     will allow you to perceive through its eye at will, and can be directed to seek out any target that you know the name of and could identify in a lineup of similar targets regardless of line-of-sight or range, which it will watch for up to [dice] [sum] hours. If it matters, it flies about as fast as a commercial airliner. For each MD invested in it beyond the first, you may have it perform one additional task from this list:
    • Relay sound to you.
    • Relay touch, taste, and smell to you.
    • Allow you to speak through it.
    • Alert you under specific conditions even if you're not paying attention (or sleeping).

  13. Open
    He wears a jumpsuit or coverall, and has four many-jointed arms tipped with jagged steel spines. He is a creep, a voyeur, a kleptomaniac, and argues vociferously for you to fulfill his desires.
     a target within a stone's throw. Doors are flung wide, shackles bent open, belts come undone. The occupants of armor, clothing, mecha, etc. are expelled. If the target is secured, attended, or sapient, Open is [dice] level with +[best] STR, and skilled at opening things. 

  14. Hold
    She is a sinister figure in white, blindfolded, bound in chains and one of those funny jackets that won't let you check your wristwatch. She speaks in a piercing, imperious voice.
    Closes and locks (if applicable; doors slam shut, drawbridges slam up, half-drawn swords slam back in their scabbards) a target within a stone's throw, then Holds it in place for up to [sum] rounds. If the target is secured, attended, or sapient, Hold is [dice] level with +[best] STR, and skilled at wrestling.

  15. Terror
    He is an emaciated figure, contorted into a fetal position with wild eyes and every muscle tensed. He is terrified of everything, for absolutely blisteringly incoherent and conspiratorial reasons. If asked to elaborate on a given phobia, he has a 1-in-6 chance of being (in some small part) correct in his fears.
    Emanates a burst of psychic Terror, causing up to [sum] targets of [dice] HD or less to roll CHA or flee your presence for [sum] rounds. If unable to flee, targets that fail their saves cower unresponsively for the duration. Targets that succeed their saves or remain in your presence beyond his duration are shaken, and suffer a -2 penalty to everything until they are able to escape you and take a minute to calm down.

  16. Sleep
    He is a twitching, aberrant wreck, paranoid shivers and sharp edges cast in polished steel and white glass. He abhors violence and will wake his targets by shrieking if you plot to execute them.
    Causes up to [sum] targets of [dice] HD or less to roll CHA or fall into a deep, coma-like sleep for [sum] hours, from which they can only be awoken by vigorous slapping/shaking (which takes an action from someone nearby) or damage, and during which they do not require any food or water. Surprised targets automatically fail their saves, and if cast on a single target with more than one MD his effects are permanent until awakened.

  17. Fog
    He is a pile of cyan-stained rags and linens that only vaguely resembles a humanoid form. A diffuse, pale glow emanates from where his face would be.
    A huge quantity of black Fog pours forth from your mouth and nose, spreading to cover a [dice] * 30' radius for up to [sum] hours, or [dice] minutes in bright sunlight or strong wind. The density and effects of the fog vary with the number of MD invested in him:
    • 1 MD - The fog is sufficient to obscure details (faces, etc) and apply disadvantage to ranged attacks made through it.
    • 2 MD - The fog is sufficient to obscure objects more than 5' away in their entirety.
    • 3 MD - The fog is thick enough to conceal an outstretched hand, and completely opaque to supernatural vision.
    • 4 MD - The fog deals [best] damage to creatures other than you with every breath, and they must roll STR each round or be struck permanently blind if it contacts their eyes directly. When commanded with this number of MD, Fog instead answers to the name Cloudkill.

  18. Animate Dead
    She is an old woman, black-shrouded and mourning. Her voice carries the weight of centuries, and she teases at ancient secrets.
     a touched corpse of [dice] * 2 HD or fewer, raising it as undead. If cast with 2 or less MD the undead raised are unintelligent and will serve you unquestioningly. If cast with 3 or more MD the undead raised are intelligent, created free, and may roll CHA to resist being brought back into the world if they desire. The specific type of undead raised depends on the number of MD invested in her, and the ritual preparations undergone as a part of the casting:
    • 1 MD - Skeleton. Requires black gemstones worth at least 25 sp, which are placed in the eye sockets of the corpse. Removing the flesh of a corpse that is not already skeletonized takes at least one hour of solid work.
    • 2 MD - Zombie. Requires embalming and preservative agents worth at least 50 sp and one hour to properly apply them, or a corpse which has already been preserved through similar methods. Alternately, zombies can be created with no preparation or materials from a fresh corpse, but will be paralyzed by rigor mortis within [sum] hours.
    • 3 MD - Ghoul. Requires a piece of dead flesh and gnawed bone both from the corpse of a sapient creature, a pot of grave earth, a fragment of crypt or tombstone, and ten minutes to force all of the above down the target's throat and into its stomach.
    • 4 MD - Revenant. Requires black gemstones worth at least 1,000 sp, the bottled soul of a sapient creature, and one minute to lure the target's soul back to their body using the above as sacrifices.
    • 5 MD - Haunting. Requires an item of the target's that had great personal value to them when they were alive, and six hours to carry out the necessary rituals to summon and re-bind them to their corpse.
    • 6 MD - Lich. Requires uniquely powerful reagents that are definitely not for sale, and twenty four hours to conduct an elaborate ritual extracting and processing the target's soul. Animate Dead resents answering to this name, and protests its inaccuracy.

  19. Abjure
    He is a small child formed from blue-tinged iron, nervous and fretting with bracelets. He is lonely, friendly, and craves the company of other demons.
     magical effects, elementals, devils, other spells, the animating spirits of undead or constructs, curses, &c back to wherever they came from. He reduces his target's [dice] and [sum] each by his own, completely banishing them if either is reduced to 0; use HP and HD in their place if it's a target that doesn't have those values. If commanded as a readied actionAbjure can affect others spells as they're cast and before they take effect. 

  20. Summon
    She is a devilress clad in black businesswear, her proportions slightly off when viewed from the corner of your eye. Her fingers taper to red-stained razor points, and her ever-so-slightly-too-wide grin hides a forest of needlelike teeth. She is quick to inform about the dangers of commanding her, and has release forms and waivers to be signed if you do.
     a devil of [dice] HD and [sum] HP for [sum] rounds. The devil is not in any way compelled to do your bidding unless you know its true name, in which case it is unable to harm you and you may dismiss it at will. Commanding Summon with more preparation (and signing more of her contracts and forms) allows a longer duration and more control over the devil to be summoned:
    • With one round of preparation (a hasty signature, a quick sigil on the ground) the summoning persists for [sum] minutes and you may make one opposed CHA roll to banish the devil per round (for example, if it's trying to kill you).
    • With one hour of preparation (a lengthy perusal of contracts, a well-formed summoning circle) the summoning persists for [sum] hours and the devil is unable to leave the summoning circle until you allow it (traditionally, after it's agreed not to kill you).

Witching Mishaps

  1. You contract Snoos, a sort of exposure-induced allergy to magical irradiation which causes any further magical effects to stun you into a watery-eyed sneezing fit for 1 round each. In addition, your skin gives off a faint blue glow until next dawn.
  2. Your veins turn jet black beneath your skin, stiff and painful. You gain no benefit (aside from your blood returning to normal) the next time you rest, and take 1 damage per minute exposed to sunlight until you do.
  3. Shards of black glass explode into being around you, pelting everything within 20' (including you) for [sum] damage, DEX half. Until the next dawn, any wounds you directly inflict on others are mirrored onto your own flesh.
  4. A torrent of winged insects issues from your mouth for [dice] rounds, preventing you from doing anything other than stagger around. Anyone within 20' must roll CHA or be likewise incapacitated as they flail and swat at the choking swarm.
  5. Your mouth seals itself into a smooth expanse, preventing you from speaking or casting spells for [sum] minutes. Stubby mushrooms sprout from all inanimate surfaces in a [dice] * 5' radius ring.
  6. Up to [sum] nearby corpses rise from the grave and attack you with single-minded intensity, moaning and whispering your name. Plants within a [dice] * 5' radius wither away and will never grow there again.

Witching Dooms

Witch (ha, aha) doom do you get? I guess it depends.

Doom of Fish

  1. Your eyes grow huge and milky, your flesh grey and slick. You can see in the dark.
  2. Your skin hardens to glimmering scales, webs grow between your extremities and your body. +4 AC; double speed in the water, half speed on land.
  3. Your lungs reshape and extrude themselves onto the surface of your skin as gills, and your limbs wither away into sleek-spined fins. You're a fish now, can't speak any language other than Hadeal, and drown in open air.
The Doom of Fish can be escaped by capturing the teeth of a sea monster and burying them in dry land.

Doom of Blood

  1. Blood crusts slowly around your eyes, nostrils, other orifices. You heal 1 HP per pint of blood you drink.
  2. Your wounds no longer close, and blood beads slowly through your skin. You no longer heal naturally from food or rest.
  3. Your skin sloughs off entirely, and a torrent of blood issues perpetually from any uncovered openings in your body. You can't speak any language other than Serumic, and lose 1 HP per hour.
The Doom of Blood can be escaped by removing all of your blood—which becomes progressively more difficult as you advance in this Doom, since it gives you more blood or you'd bleed out even faster than it already makes you.

Doom of Ashes

  1. Your flesh turns black; your blood thick, syrupy, and magnetic. No wound can kill you, though you still risk death—and dismemberment—by other means.
  2. Your entire body aches, and your eyes are as black as void. Absolute darkness is daylight to you, but even dim light blinds. Any spells you cast that would create light—even incidental—create magical darkness instead.
  3. You fade into a charred and insubstantial shadow, rendering you unable to interact with physical objects or speak any language other than Ember. Bright illumination destroys any part of you that it touches.
The Doom of Ashes can be escaped by giving up an archdemon as a burnt offering, in a ritual presided over by a priest of appropriate power.

Doom of Bones

  1. Bones rattle angrily about and against each other in your presence, causing you and anything adjacent to you that possesses bones to suffer disadvantage on any tasks requiring dexterity or quiet.
  2. Corpses which possess skeletons animate in your presence and attack you, and even loose bones gain some level of locomotion and will do their best to harm you.
  3. Your own bones rebel against you, escaping your flesh as an animate skeleton and rendering you unable to speak or understand Clatter if you could before, or—perhaps more importantly—move in anything approaching a useful fashion. On the upside, I guess you don't personally suffer from your first Doom anymore.
The Doom of Bones can be escaped by replacing your (traitorous, scheming) skeleton with bones cut from a suitably impressive snake. Some crushing and sintering may be necessary.

Witch-Tulpas (also known as Friends)

Summoning a friend works the same way as it does with other familiars (10 minutes, 1d6 HP, et al) but once summoned they are carried within your soul, rather than physically. If you break a breakable restriction of the friend you are carrying, you immediately stop carrying that friend and take 1d6 damage due to psychic shock.

Each time you gain a template of friend witch—including the first—roll once on the list below to determine which friend you are able to summon. If you eat the heart of another friend witch, you gain the ability to summon any friend they were carrying at the time of their death.

As with the spell list, this is just a list of those possible to start the game with as a friend witch and more may exist:
  1. Nuul Ux, the Ashen Waste
     Pallid; emaciated; charred skin flakes away to reveal pink scar tissue.
    First Boon: Spoil food and evaporate water with a glance at up to 60' range.
    Second Boon: Weapons wreathed in smoke and cinders, treat all AC as 10 and deal fire damage.
    Restriction: Food and drink turn to ash at a touch, granting no nourishment.

  2. Um-Yanith, the Carrion Feast
    Stinking; plagued with lice and fleas; hair falling out in clumps; skin gleams sickly.
    First Boon: Can eat and gain nourishment from any dead flesh, immune to effects of rotten meat.
    Second Boon: Gain immunity to one spell or magical ability of any creature you eat, as long as Um-Yanith is carried.
    Restriction: Must eat a piece of every corpse you see and have access to.

  3. Um-Sharan, the Chronicle Worm
    Corpulent; veins and organs show faintly through translucent skin.
    First Boon: Able to read (not speak) any language, living or dead.
    Second Boon: Recover one memory from anything you consume.
    Restriction: Must stop to read any text you encounter in its entirety, and never interrupt a story.

  4. Hexochre, the Conqueror King
    Visible: Smoldering embers for eyes; clothing turns to soot-black, cruelly spiked armor.
    First Boon: Clothes harden and transform to black steel plate (17 AC) while Hexochre is carried.
    Second Boon: Body gains mass and scars of a warrior hero, count as having +4 STR.
    Restriction: Must respond to insults with immediate violence.

  5. Phoemordia, the Drowned Queen
    Blue-black eyes and lips; white skin; yellow sclera; perpetually dripping.
    First Boon: Point to a target within 10' of water; ghostly hands (+5 STR) drag them in.
    Second Boon: If you die underwater, immediately rise as a ghoul but must carry Phoemordia forever.
    Restriction: Halve maximum HP. Followers have a 5% chance of desertion per day.

  6. Zoshardan, the Earthen Sword
     Calloused, grey-brown skin; smell old, like cave dust and wet stone.
    First Boon: Create spiked formations from existing stone with a gesture; 3d6 damage, DEX half.
    Second Boon: Merge limbs with stone or earth to become immovable; works on walls and ceilings too.
    Restriction: Take 1 damage per round exposed to sunlight or running water.

  7. Vo Fanur, the Elder Dragon
     Ancient, weathered scales; burning eyes; wispy beard, like cobwebs.
    First Boon: Accurately appraise values (of treasure) and ambition (of creatures) with a glance.
    Second Boon: Breathe 60' cone of poison fire; 6d6 damage, DEX half, you take 2d6 yourself.
    Restriction: Roll CHA per creature encountered or be convinced they plot against you.

  8. Temeri, the Elemental Evil
    Colors shift across body—deep red, bright orange, yellow-white, green-blue-black.
    First Boon: Take 5 less damage from fish, blood, ash (including natural fire), or bone attacks.
    Second Boon: Speak Hadeal, Serumic, Ember, and Clatter with aristocratic airs.
    Restriction: Must be touching all four elements (fish, blood, ashes, bones) at all times.

  9. Hulk, the Hulk
     Muscles swollen and corded like steel cables; skin a quilt of stark white scars.
    First Boon: Focused rage grants immunity to mental attacks and fear. +1 STR.
    Second Boon: Violent fury allows additional melee attack per round. +1 STR.
    Restriction: Mustn't use ranged weapons or speak except battlecries and taunts.

  10. Gra Yan Eb, the Hand of Doom
    Dominant hand drips blood continually.
    First Boon: Held weapon drips blood and deals +1 damage per round of combat (+2 second round, etc.)
    Second Boon: Mark target as an action; one target at a time. Held weapon deals double damage to them.
    Restriction: Mustn't hold weapons—even two-handed weapons—or shields in any off-hand.

  11. Dracula, the Impaler
     Bone-white skin; prominent canine teeth; air of elegance.
    First Boon: Gain bite attack for 1d6 damage; heal self for damage dealt or 1d6 per pint of blood drank.
    Second Boon: Unless beheaded or burned, can't die and heal 1 HP / hour. Still unconscious below 0 HP.
    Restriction: Take damage per second in sunlight or running water. Mustn't enter homes without invitation.

  12. Cthfanut, the Dark Heart of the Wood
     Limbs like tree trunks, gnarled like knotted oak; hair like lichen.
    First Boon: Thick bark grants +4 AC. Impossible to understand your identity, even for your party.
    Second Boon: Take 5 less damage from any unnatural source, i.e. manmade fire, sword, knapped stone.
    Restriction: Can't use unnatural tools (sharp rocks or draped furs ok, whittled clubs or sewn hides not).

  13. Mordun, the Moonchild
     Shed dim moonlight (which counts as real moonlight) from pale, glowing skin.
    First Boon: Take no more than 10 damage from any single event.
    Second Boon: Whenever the DM rolls the maximum result on any die, they must treat it as a roll of 1.
    Restriction: Whenever you roll the maximum result on any die, treat it as a roll of 1.

  14. Firmatur, the Mountain Hearth
     Radiate warmth; eyes flicker like dim, distant campfires.
    First Boon: Food you prepare is preternaturally delicious and heals double normal value.
    Second Boon: Emotions are calmed within 20' of you, aggressive action requires CHA save.
    Restriction: Mustn't make attack rolls.

  15. Karereca, the Tombed Horror
     Bones visible through flesh and organs; eyes absorb light like holes in reality.
    First Boon: Anything with bones that you slay rises immediately as a skeleton, as Raise Dead.
    Second Boon: Can control up to [templates] * 4 undead (four times normal limit).
    Restriction: Undead you don't control attack you on sight. Automatically fail saves vs. disintegration.

  16. Grutulat, the Star Serpent
     Points of light shine out from body like holes in a paper lantern.
    First Boon: Conjure and control lifelike illusion of constellation as long as you concentrate.
    Second Boon: Put target unconscious mind into snake-filled coma as long as Grutulat is carried.
    Restriction: Must not enter areas of bright illumination.

  17. Aklonhu, the Silent Forest
     Predatory mien; long and red in tooth and claw.
    First Boon: Continually project zone of absolute silence in 5' radius.
    Second Boon: Your unarmed attacks cause targets to forget all language for 1 day per point of damage.
    Restrictions: Mustn't communicate beyond simple body language. Shrugs fine, pantomime not.

  18. Tia Tuneb, the Wayfinder
     Bright light shines between eyes; 30' cone of bright illumination and 30' of dim beyond that.
    First Boon: Always aware of distance and relative direction to peak of the Mountain. It is very high.
    Second Boon: Cover unlimited distance in one day of walking—not swimming, climbing, etc.
    Restrictions: Mustn't ride a mount or vehicle; must travel alone.

  19. Lolu Lar, the Leaping Dark
     Eerily still when not in motion, then unnaturally fast and twitching. At least four too many eyes.
    First Boon: Jump up to 30' without a roll, climb anything a spider could easily as walking.
    Second Boon: Sense movement within 60', no blindness penalties within that range.
    Restrictions: Mustn't wield firearms, nor cause injury to any of your traveling companions.

  20. Etun, the Stillborn Godsun
     Soft, deformed figure; oversized head; casts bright illumination with unlimited range.
    First Boon: Useful vision; useless vision; misleading vision; or no vision (1d4) each time you rest.
    Second Boon: Dwarves and angels will refuse to harm you, take no damage from consecrated fire.
    Restriction: Mustn't open eyes.

Witching Tools

  1. Peasant Clothing. A useful disguise. No slots when worn.
  2. A nice Satchel. Sturdy and utilitarian. This is your inventory.
  3. Skins of Water and Wine. The wine is strong, blackberry, and you likely made it yourself. 1 slot each.
  4. Fire-striker. A bit of flint, useful for making sparks if you've got any iron around. Negligible bulk.
  5. 10 Candles. Handmade, tallow. Cast 5' of bright light and 5' more of dim, burn for an hour each. 1 slot altogether.
  6. 3 rations of Jerky. Goat, crow, or villagefolk. 1 slot altogether.
  7. Golden Sickle. For harvesting herbs, technically, but don't let that stop you. 1/3 slot.
  8. Jeweled Kris. A classic weapon for spooky folk. Intimidating. 1/3 slot.
  9. Quill and 10 sheets of Vellum. Useful for taking notes and such. 1/3 slot altogether.
  10. Mortar and Pestle. Sort of a "travel cauldron", a real one's too big to haul around. 1/3 slot.
  11. Very Large Hat. Big enough to hide a small child under. No slots when worn.
  12. High Pointed Boots and Striped Socks. Very fashionable. No slots when worn.
  13. Trick Ring. Secret compartment. Good for poisonings and such. Negligible bulk.
  14. Collection of Odd Botanicals. Smell bizarre. 5-in-6 chance of containing exactly what you need, diminishing with use. 1/3 slot.
  15. Bottle of Scorpion Whiskey. Got a real candied scorpion in it; also quite good whiskey. 1 slot.
  16. "Black" Cat. Actually calico, under the mascara. Fairly well-trained, as far as cats go; enough to follow you around, anyway. 1 slot, but won't let you carry it around much.
  17. Poppet. A doll made with your hair. Might confuse very stupid demons or angels that accost you. 1/3 slot.
  18. Cursed Mirror. One side reflects things much smaller than they are, the other much larger. Not actually cursed. 1/3 slot.
  19. Cursed Taxidermy. So poorly done as to be unidentifiable. Could be a large cat, mid-sized raccoon, or very small child. Only "cursed" in the twitter meme sense. 2 slots.
  20. Something weird. Roll 1d6:
    1. A magic teaspoon. Dissolves in liquid, extremely poisonous, not actually magical. Negligible bulk.
    2. A cursed grimoire. Screams when opened, eats uncareful mice and beetles. 1/3 slot.
    3. An umbrella with a parrot's-head pommel. Provides off-color commentary and cusses. 1 slot.
    4. Cane with a wolf's-head pommel. Bites anyone other than you who grasps it. 1 slot.
    5. A solid gold femur. Looks human. 2 slots (heavy).
    6. A magic candle. Does something specific. Roll 1d6 again:
      1. Casts darkness instead of light.
      2. Hovers above your head when lit.
      3. Never runs out.
      4. Impossible to extinguish, burns underwater or in vacuum.
      5. Burns hot enough to cut steel.
      6. Summons a powerful devil. Does not allow the same sort of control Summon does.