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.

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