Friday, May 27, 2011

The B/X Witch

So those of you who actually listened to my recent interview with Save or Die have already heard the name of my new supplement, which I wasn’t really quite ready to divulge (they backed me into a corner). For those who haven’t listened to the podcast, here it is:

The Complete B/X Adventurer

Ambitious, right?

The book will compile a few of the goodies I’ve posted to my blog over the last couple years (streamlined and edited, of course), as well as several new classes in the style of the old Bard Games supplements The Compleat Adventurer and The Compleat Spell-Caster. Of course, my classes will be specific to B/X and I’ve decided to spell “Complete” with the usual American spelling.

The witch is one of the new spell-casting classes presented in the book, the others being the gnome, mystic, and summoner. My recent poll of “which one do you want to read about broke down like this:

Gnome 14%
Mystic 12%
Summoner 24%
Witch 40%
None of the above 8%

…with 107 people total voting.

So with an overwhelming majority choosing “witch,” well…here it is:

The first download is a 1 page .pdf with the witch class itself, the second is a 2 page .pdf from the “spells” chapter of the book. I haven’t included the spell descriptions themselves (sorry), but the complete list of spells is presented to get you salivating over the possibilities.
; )

Hopefully, Matthew S. will be getting me his excellent illustration in the near future (*hint*hint*) but for now you’ll have to be satisfied with plain old text. Let me know what you think.

Oh, yeah, By The Way: as with all the spell-casters in The Complete B/X Adventurer, you will find that witch magic works fairly different from magic-users and clerics…I don’t believe all “arcane magic” has to function one way and all “divine magic” another; I prefer each spell-casting class have their own unique way of learning/casting spells. Witch magic is based on a combination of popular witch fiction and known folklore, not to mention some of my own thoughts on the Craft. Hope I don’t piss off too many Wiccans!

Blessed be!
: )


  1. Intriguing and different. But you always knew I was going to buy.

    Shouldn't it be 21 levels 10+11 to cast 7th level spells not 6th?
    Happy for you to delete this comment if I am right or wrong.

  2. @ JP: Whoops! You're absolutely right! Corrected in the document, and in my book...thanks for the proofing!
    : )

  3. Pretty cool!

    Can't wait to read it over in depth.

  4. @ Tim: I will certainly be interested in your opinion as the resident witch expert of the blog-o-sphere.
    ; )

  5. Interesting. Do you use any specific method for creating your B/X classes? Eyeball it?

    For my last B/X campaign, I generated a few 'new' classes using a tweaked-version of the Perfect Class pdf off of the site. (Tweaked because it's intended for Rules Cyclopedia D&D). It was helpful - I generated a Paladin, Gnome, (Wood) Elf and monastic Priest class fairly easily.

  6. Very intriguing! I've used ritual-style time+money=bonus systems in skill-based designs, but I don't think I've ever used it in something like D&D before, especially a game with a strong focus on dungeoneering. Very much looking forward to the final product.

  7. @ KP: I'm not familiar with Breeyark, though I have seen other "class-building formulas" for the RC (there are one or two at Vault of Pandius). I don't use either.

    For the most part I am "eye-balling" things, though some is changed through play-testing and most involve a bit of math to maintain a semblance of balance. For the most part, my starting point is the basic seven classes of B/X D&D. I feel they are very balanced against each other and I make sure my classes are fairly balanced against them.

    @ Trollsmyth: Thanks! I'll let you know when it's ready!
    : )

  8. The new supplement sound cool! It'll be a must have Companion to the B/X Rules. Umm... wait a minute... make that Addition. :)

  9. I do like this class. My wife's a bit of a witch nut, and I'm sure she'll be elated with the final version (she hates it when games just make the witch n M-U with a different spell list.)

    Just a quick question though: why not base the components gathered by harvesting off of special abilities entirely rather then HD plus abilities? It might be a bit difficult for low level characters, but it could resolve arguments at the table, plus it makes a strange sort of sense.

    On a related note the wording might need some clearing up the harvesting section " For every special ability * a creature has, the cost is multiplied by an additional factor" but it is never explained what this factor is. From the example it seems like it doubles it?

  10. @ Blue:

    One thing I wanted to avoid was defining exactly what a "magical monster" is. In B/X, an * by a monster's HD indicates an XP bonus due to having a special COMBAT ability, not necessarily a special ability. For example neither a pegasus nor an owlbear have an *, though clearly both are magical (or mythological) creatures. Most campaigns will probably want to consider "pegasus feathers" or "owlbear beak" valuable spell components for a witch's brew. Having the "value" of the components be determined by hit dice seems to be the fairest method possible.

    At the same time, creatures that do have special combat abilities (and thus *s) are more dangerous game from which to gather materials. One could leave off the bonus, but I think it's valuable to give something extra for "dragon heart" (for example). The "additional factor" is just a multiple of original value. For example, a 10HD monster would be worth 10,000 in components...but a 10** HD red dragon would be worth 30,000 (10,000 + 10,000 + 10,000). I'll check the wording and see if I can make it a little more clear for the book...but as far as I'm concerned, this IS the "final version" of the class.

    : )

  11. Finally getting a chance to comment.

    First thought was the XP per level was a bit low, but compared to the cleric and given her power (healing, spells) I am no inclined to think it might be right.

    Your witch is certainly more into the "Witch Priestess" side of the spectrum rather than "witchy wizard" side.

    Your method of spell acquisition is interesting and I like it. It is certainly one that works with a "new game".

    I think your spells are good too. I would not give witches "Raise Dead" myself, since that is something I see as the realm of the cleric, but "Reincarnate" is find.

    Now since I have my own witch that I use I would use yours as more of the "Priestess" archetype or even reskin it as a B/X druid.

    Looking forward to more.

  12. @ Tim: thanks for getting back to me...really appreciate your comments.

    RE: Raise Dead...I hear what you're saying, but I consider this kind of the Miracle Max version of the spell (c.f. The Princess Bride). You'll notice it's quite a bit higher level for the witch than for a cleric. Reincarnation is definitely easier.

    To me, you can't really take the "priestess" out of the witch. What less enlightened folks might have called sorcery, the witch would simply call craftwork...young witches are "lesser priestesses" of the Goddess (an embodiment of the mystic-feminine principle) but they are still priestesses in my eyes. That being said, you'll note there's nothing of the religion in the character class...each DM/player can decide how much of that (and the mechanics of the coven) they wish to include in their campaign.
    : )

  13. Tardy illustration in progress! We've had a ton of family stuff going on of late -- which is great -- but also keeps me from spending much alone time in the nerd nook. I'm looking forward to rejoining the weekly game at some not-too-far-off point, too.

  14. @ Matthew: Hey, man, I totally understand the "family thang;" don't sweat it (yet). I'll let you know when the hammer's a-coming.

    And we look forward to having you back, BTW.
    : )

  15. @JB~ I like your take on the witch class. I'm really glad you didn't just go with an alternate spell list!

    I also enjoyed the podcast. It's nice to know that you don't actually hate BECMI/RC D&D!