Clerics, Witches, Paladins and Druids

 “There are a number of other character types which are detailed in ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. There are sub-classes of the four basic classes. They are: paladins and rangers (fighting men), illusionists and witches (magic-users), monks and druids (clerics), and assassins (thieves).”

page 7 – Dungeons & Dragons, by Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson – Edited by Eric Holmes

3rd edition, 1979

world of weirth mapFor the World of Weirth (TM) campaign setting I am going to look at re-imagining the role of the Cleric Class to fit into a global, polytheistic worldview, as well as the sub-classes of paladin, witch, monk and druid. We have plenty of examples of these classes and character roles in literature, especially Appendix N. The goal is to eliminate the Class of Cleric and turn in into a vocation, like Knight or Cat-burglar, and subsume the spellcasting abilities into the Magic-User Class. All magic will be derived from the same source, with no distinction between “Arcane” magic and “Divine” magic. That source is the crystal shard originally used to create the world by the Elder Gods.

For the purposes of this article and those that follow, we will be taking a very Old-School approach to character-class and campaign-setting design. The first assumption is that the implied setting of AD&D is that of a Post- Post-apocalyptic world. People have been writing about this for years, some of the best resources are (Rabbit-hole-warning: I am going to link several other blog posts that reference still more great blog posts. Get a cup of coffee and settle in):

There are more, I’ll probably link them in my Appendix N page (WIP). NOTE: Vital reading: Empire of the East, Fred Saberhagen

Having established the nature and status of the setting, I’ve written a Creation Story that encompasses the First Age of the world, with magic and wonders, that ends with a mighty war. The war lasts for generations, while the Elves destroy themselves and the world they built. The Humans (and some other demi-humans/humanoids, a very limited list) struggle to survive in the ruins, building a new civilization upon the wreckage of the old.

Gods are born in this Post-Apocalyptic world as an accretion of the hopes and fears of the survivors. The psychic power of faith and the natural infusion of magic in the world gave the gods power in the absence of the Elves. The gods grew in influence and control, and they warred with each other. The gods don’t know they haven’t always been there. The gods believe the destruction of the Old World was the beginning of all things. They do not understand the diminished state of magic in the world, or that their own activities serve to deplete it further.

Much that was known has been forgotten, and it is in this forgetting that magic is further diminished.

I am inspired by a couple of quotes from recent blog posts:

  • The Chromatic CauldronVancian Magic and World Building – “…maybe forgetting things is built into different aspect of the fabric of the world. Maybe dungeons are forgotten places that fester or are badly remembered. Maybe that magical weapons erase from their wielder memory who they have slain. Maybe forgetting the dead turn them into undead, so you have to honor the memory of the people you kill if you don’t want them to come back. Wars mean building colossal monuments to honor the dead to avoid returning undead armies. Fabricating fake memories or preserving false histories could have interesting consequences too
  • Against the Wicked CityOSR Aesthetics of Ruin – “Rather than a perfectly healthy tribe of orcs practicing perfectly functional evil magic, their ruin-settings are more likely to be inhabited by clans of mad and degenerate morlocks practicing weird semi-functional cargo-cult sorcery based on badly-misunderstood fragments of ancient knowledge that they found scratched onto the dungeon walls. They don’t just live in ruins: they have ruined bodies, ruined minds, ruined societies, and sometimes even ruined souls, as well.

The next-to-last bit of inspiration comes from Dan at Delta’s D&D Hotspot. (And I really need to make a page like that…) He got rid of Clerics as a distinct class years ago, and lists a bunch of reasons. I think many of those reasons are very good. Dan has another post here (Trouble with Clerics), where he lays out some of his thinking, but it’s the Comments where the gold is. In particular, there is this from Frankie:

In a world where the gods have direct involvement with men, you can be certain that *any* religion could rise to epic proportions. After all, every following could not only prove their god exists, but demonstrate that he grants miracles at the behest of his holy men! That’s some recruiting call…

The one that REALLY gets me, though, is this one, from TPmanW:

the Coins and Scrolls and Goblin Punch solutions:
C&S: Cleric is a job, not a class. It comes with social benefits and obligations, but no magical powers. Mix and match with whatever class you want.

Cleric is a job, not a class.

Anyone can be an evangelist for a god. In a world where gods are real, and sometimes take a personal interest in the goings-on of mortals, everyone is “religious”. There are no “atheists”. In a polytheistic society, the typical person will commonly call upon more than one deity for various day-to-day needs and blessings. There are assuredly “churches”, buildings or places where one or more gods are worshipped (or spirits, demons, elemental forces, ancestors, etc), according to their various spheres of influence. In the Weirth setting, magic is seemingly everywhere, and nowhere. The supernatural forces are burning it up with their squabbles. Without the Elves and the Voorsteh to cultivate and grow sources and flows of magic, it dissipates. Magic is being forgotten, and in the forgetting it dissipates.

Every year there are fewer and fewer people born with the Gift of being able to grasp the power of magic to manipulate reality. Most of the inhabitants of Weirth can’t sense the flows of magic at all. Some have Knacks, a bit of a “special power” that would seem magical if we didn’t all know how dangerous magic is.  Besides, a Knack isn’t something one can control, it just happens, like when your grandmother’s biscuits always turn out so light and tasty. Or how your cousin can tie a knot that never slips, or untangle a skein of yarn by just pulling on it. The master cabinet maker who is able to cut boards around the knots in a piece of wood, then make them look like they belong in the finished piece. It’s not really magic.

Magic is an accepted and expected practice on Weirth. In fact, anything unexpected or unfortunate that happens is generally attributed to magical interference from a supernatural being. Everyone knows, and uses constantly, small charms and hexes they believe will affect the outcome of their activities, or protect them from those same supernatural beings.

There are many forms of Blessings – for food, for shelter, before beginning tasks or journeys, at night for protection from the dark, monsters, or deadly dreams. Hedge witches, midwives, prophets and zealots abound. Very low-grade, commonplace magic, sleight-of-hand and chicanery are taken for granted as supernatural power derived from gods or demons. Alchemy and the creation of protective trinkets is a booming business. Though based on chemistry or natural effects, the efficacy of these products is ascribed to that same god-blessed or demonic magic.

Priests, Prophets, Zealots and others in the hierarchy of a ‘church’ or ‘cult’ (a congregation of people that gather to worship a particular spirit, elemental force, god or group of gods) often have no magical ability at all. What they do have is the weight and force of history and tradition behind them, political power, charisma, and often a magic item that serves as “proof” of their chosen status. Even without actual magical ability, these Clerics are a very important part of everyday life as they are believed to speak directly to and with the gods (or spirits, demons, elemental forces, ancestors, etc). As such, they will have an outsized social influence. A shouted command of “Seize the heretics!” becomes a much different thing when superstition is the rule. The townsfolk will do it. No questions asked. Religious rules, restrictions and obligations are extremely important to the peoples of Weirth.

A Magic-User is just a Magic-User

The old woman who helps with child-birth, helps set broken bones, and leads the village in the Harvest Festival every year has some magic, but she’s not a Wizard. Wizards are the old, shriveled elders in the courts of the Lords. They’ve been to the Tower of Silence for training in the mysteries of magic. They’ve completed the Grand Trial and learned the secrets of the universe!

In the Weirth setting, the Cleric and the Druid are sub-classes of Magic-User, like an Illusionist (and a Witch). At low levels, the AD&D PHB class description states that Clerics gain spells just like any other MU, through study and memorization. It is only at mid- and higher-levels do they need to communicate with a supernatural source for spells and power. Well, I’d like ‘regular’ magic to work like that, too. Every mid- and high-level Magic-User needs to contact a supernatural being, whether it is a god, a demon, the spirit of a place (such as a forest or river) or a departed ancestor.

The Magic-User needs to prepare and perform rituals of summoning that carry more than a little risk, to bring forth the entities to teach the higher-level spells (third level spells and above). The power to remember and cast these spells is transmitted due to prayer, cajoling, bargaining or even taken by force through compelling or binding the summoned supernatural entity.  The higher the level, the greater the danger. To make a proper low-magic, low-fantasy setting the greater magics need to be rare, difficult and dangerous. Therefore:

  • There will be a Sanity mechanic.
  • There will be Spell Failure tables.
  • Turning Undead will be eliminated as an ability (& transformed into a spell).
  • Magic Items have charges (the magic is dissipating), or are powered by bound entities. These entities may or may not have the ability to contact/influence the wielder of the item. Dispel Magic can break this binding, results are unpredictable.

All Magic-User sub-classes need to undergo a ritual Great Trial in order to pass from ninth to tenth level. This involves a Vigil and a ritual poisoning with Mother’s Milk (a magical substance secreted by certain monsters, very rare and extremely dangerous). Only about 25% of those that attempt the Great Trial survive. Those that do become part of an elite leadership cadre, with limited membership, as per the Druid Class description in the AD&D PHB. Each sub-class will have its own leadership cadre. Many Magic-Users do not undergo the Great Trial, preferring instead to retire to a tower, fortress or monastery in order to continue with their research, train new Magic-Users, or simply enjoy their twilight years.

The Exalted Warrior Sub-class

The roles of the Cleric and Paladin Classes will effectively be merged, into the Exalted Warrior sub-class of Magic-User. The Paladin Class is too specifically tailored to be a “Holy Fighting Man” of the generic Christian template, with ‘anti-Evil’ powers and  ‘Lawful Good’ restrictions to be useful in a polytheistic setting. Since the Alignment System of Weirth is simply Order vs Entropy, this will easily allow each god/godling/demon/spirit to have their own chosen champions. Warrior first, evangelist second, these champions generally participate in more formal, military activities. There are those called by their Patron, or ordered by the leader of their guild/cult,  to go forth into the wilderness and perform a task or mission. Often this goal or task is one an army can’t accomplish, but a small group of fighting men, thieves and spellcasters can complete.

Exalted Warrior to replace Cleric and PaladinExalted Warriors will be members of secretive guilds or orders, with their own rules for behavior and personal conduct. These groups of men and/or women would be something like a knightly order crossed with a Mystery Cult. The leaders of these orders would wield great political power in- and outside the realms where they operate. Each guild or order will have its own set of holy books with the “scriptures”, “prayers” and first/second level spells available to their members. Each will have its own Summoning method for those entities it calls upon to deliver their magical knowledge.

The Exalted Warrior depends on both Wisdom and Strength for effectiveness, and thus must have a minimum score of 12 in each Ability. If WIS or STR are greater than 15, the character adds 10% to experience awarded.

The Exalted Warrior utilizes a d8 for determining HP.

Exalted Warriors may use any of the magical items available to Fighting Men, plus Clerical and Protection scrolls. They use the Cleric Melee, Spellcasting and Saving Throw tables.

They have the ability to “lay on hands”, either for others or for their own person to cure wounds; this heals 2 HP of damage per experience level. In addition, an Exalted Warrior may perform the ritual Dissipation of Memory upon another character to remove psychic trauma and restore up to three points of Sanity. This ritual can only be performed by the Exalted Warrior once for any individual. These benefits of being the Chosen of a god are each only usable once per day.

At 4th level, or at any time thereafter, the Exalted Warrior may call for their warhorse (or other suitable mount); this creature is an intelligent, heavy mount with 5+5 HD, AC 5, Movement 18″; it will magically appear, but only one such animal is available every ten years. If the first is lost the Exalted Warrior must wait until the end of the period for another.

Upon gaining 5th level the Exalted Warrior will need to perform the Summoning Ritual, in order to gain access to spells of third level or higher.

When an Exalted Warrior achieves 8th level he or she automatically attracts followers if they establish a place of worship – a building of at least 2,000 square feet in area with an altar, shrine, chapel, etc. These followers are fanatically loyal and serve without pay so long as the Exalted Warrior does not change deity/denomination or alignment. These followers number 2d10x10. In addition to these Lay followers there will be men-at-arms (your DM will relay the types and numbers as appropriate). It is possible for these followers to become a full-blown Cult in the service of, and adoration of, the Exalted Warrior and/or their god(s) (or spirits, demons, elemental forces, ancestors, etc).

At 9th level the Exalted Warrior has the option of establishing a religious stronghold. Domain Play rules remain TBD.

The Nurdiyan (Druid) Sub-Class

Nurdiyan DruidDruids” or Nurdiyans (pronounced: new-whirr-die-enn) are the successors of a professional class of Human and Centaur servants of the Elves. The Nurdiyans worked with the Elves in mighty gardens, groves and farms. Transmitted MU-to-MU after the Cataclysm, the magical arts of caring for plants and nature are among the oldest magic remaining on Weirth. The methods and techniques of this sub-class are very Shaman-like, with a great deal of emphasis on ancestor-guidance and Mother-Weirth spirit patronage. Low-level spells and rituals have spread throughout the peoples of the world in a definite cargo-cult style. Ritual phrases, symbols, bodily motions and dances intended to manipulate nature are the kinds of magic that most people encounter or utilize in their daily lives. These practices are a mixture of superstition, chicanery and poorly understood ritualism, designed to harness the power of magic for the safety of children, the fertility of crops and fecundity of flocks.

Many of the practices exhibited by everyday people are based on remnants of actual magical procedures left over from the previous age, yet they rely on a type of “placebo effect” for their efficacy. These practices have been handed down from parents to children, from prophets and zealots to their congregations, over generations:

  • Gestures to ward off evil/harm/trouble/illness
  • “Magic” words and phrases (such as a chant of “Heave-Ho!” makes a group stronger than the sum of its members, likewise “One-Two-Three-Push”; “open sesame” is thought to release a stuck door, etc)
  • Making Dream-catchers (actually very powerful tools in the right hands)
  • Drawing hexes as semi-permanent spells of protection or blessing
  • Engraving runes (masonry and woodworking are considered very valuable, high-status positions)
  • Creating tattoos
  • Chemistry tricks for alchemy (boiling Willow bark makes a tea that relieves pain and reduces swelling) or other potions, salves or spirits (fermentation and brewing are considered a form of alchemy)
  • Smelting metals from ores and metalsmithing are considered magical practices (smithing is also high-status)

NOTE: One of the strongest taboos in the world is that against harming or enslaving a smith, a mason, or a woodworker (male or female). These professions form the cornerstone of civilization. If even one of them were to be forgotten, all of the magic in the world couldn’t save the world from destruction and Entropy.

After the Cataclysm, Nurdiyans began to teach and ordain followers to spread the word. Their goal was to foster the hope that if more people remembered the old ways, then civilization would not fade away. Low level spells don’t need any input or guidance from gods (or spirits, demons, elemental forces, ancestors, etc). People could just keep passing them on, orally or, eventually, in a written form. These became the Zealots, Prophets, fakirs and priests and so on. Of course, some were simply charlatans with a magical robe.

The Nurdiyan is a sub-class of Magic-User.

The Nurdiyan utilizes a d4 for determining HP.

Nurdiyans may use any of the magical items available for all classes. They use the Magic-User Melee, Spellcasting and Saving Throw tables.

They are generally Neutral in alignment, though they will tend toward Order in the macro-sense of civilization. In their dealings with natural forces they must have a minimum WIS of 12 and CHA of 15. If both ability scores exceed 15 they will earn a 10% bonus to earned experience.

Metal in general, and iron in particular, is inimical to the entities the Nurdiyan class depends upon for magical power. They must eschew any metal armor and/or shield. Items of leather, bone, wood and the like are acceptable.

Nurdiyans have a structural obligation to protect natural spaces, creatures, crops and livestock. Conscientious harvesting, of course, is the goal of farming and animal husbandry.

At 3rd level a Nurdiyan gains the following abilities:

  1. Identification of plant type (by flower, root, bark, etc)
  2. Identification of animal type (an unseen animal by tracks, spoor, droppings and other conspicuous behavior that leaves a physical trace)
  3. Identification of pure water
  4. Power to pass through overgrown areas (undergrowth, tangled thorn bushes, briar patches, etc.) at normal movement rate without leaving a discernable trail.

At 7th level, the following powers are gained:

  1. Immunity from Charm spells cast by the Fey creatures of the woodland. This would include: Dryads, Fauns/Satyr, and Pixies. The aquatic Fey creatures are not included in this immunity.
  2. Ability to change form, up to three times per day, actually becoming in all respects save the mind, a reptile, bird, or mammal.
    1. Each type of creature form (reptile, bird, mammal) can be assumed but once per day.
    2. The size of the creature form assumed can vary from as small as 1/20th to twice the weight of the Nurdiyan.
    3. Each assumption of a new form removes 10-60% of HP damage, if any, the Nurdiyan has sustained prior to changing form.
    4. Each assumption of a new form results in the loss of 1 SAN. In order to transform into another form (including their original form) the Nurdiyan must pass a SAN check. Failure means the Nurdiyan has temporarily become “lost” in the senses of the altered form. The Nurdiyan so trapped in an altered form may attempt to transform again after 1 SAN has been regained, or at dawn of each successive day.

Nurdiyan have their own secret language, and all speak it in addition to their other tongues.

When an Nurdiyan achieves 8th level he or she automatically attracts followers if they establish a place of worship – a natural gathering place of at least 1,000 square feet in area with an altar, shrine, chapel, etc. These followers are fanatically loyal and serve as caretakers of the gathering place without pay so long as the Nurdiyan does not change deity/denomination or alignment. These followers, called Nurtharuri (new-whirr-tah-roo-ree) number 4d4 x5.  In addition, 3d6 wild beasts will magically appear to the Nurdiyan, and take up residence in the gathering place. These creatures are not ‘tame’, rather favorably inclined to the Nurdiyan and their followers. These beasts will be able to understand and follow basic verbal commands. Your DM will have additional information as to the types and quantities of these beasts.

The Witch Sub-Class

(Adapted from Dragon Magazine #43, article written by Bill Muhlhausen, Revised and edited by Kim Mohan and Tom Moldvay)

The class of Witches are an off-shoot of the Nurdiyan praxis. Cut off from other Nurdiyans, Human or Centaur, those who became Witches found themselves forgetting their spells and magical abilities. In the time of chaos after the Cataclysm, these Nurdiyans had enough magic left that they were able to contact and bind or bond with supernatural entities roaming Weirth. As magic continued to fade, binding became less functional as a method of transmitting magical power, and the concept of Pacts emerged. Most of these entities were unable to fully interact with the physical world, and the former Nurdiyans offered a way for them to do so. Calling themselves Witches, these magic-users developed a new set of magical spells and abilities to deal with the horrors of the post-Cataclysm world. The entities they engaged taught them many new things as well, and their magical repertoire grew.

witch and her cauldron blood magicThis new branch of magic, based in fragments of lore found here and there, became a more encompassing collection of works. As the disorder in the world decreased, the Witches created the disciplines of Blood Witchery (cauldron magic with large fires, sympathy, blood, Mother’s Milk and personal energy to power ritual magic) and the schools of  Elementalism.

As Humanity spread once more, witches were introduced to the lore of the low-level cultists, spreading the word of the new gods. Added what the Witches already knew of magical lore and what they learned from their patrons, the Witches set about to re-create magical academies and traditions. These academies were designed to be a place for Humans to get control of those able to wield magic, and have them do so safely. The now-traditional Schools of Magic grew from this need for standardization and safety. The academies gravitated toward cities and other population centers for protection, for patronage and access to the handcrafts and materials available due to large-scale trade.

The older types of Witches, having a magical tradition that was outside the norm of civilized society (like Blood Witchery), kept to the countryside, or even further afield. These Witches tend toward Chaos in their alignment. Their spellcasting is very heavy in material components and in highly ritualized casting practices. Witches are also somewhat less dependent on supernatural entities for powering some of their magic. They have developed techniques involving concentrating power by extracting it from material components in liquid form (Blood Magic/Cauldron Magic).

The Witch depends on both Wisdom and Intelligence for effectiveness, and thus must have a minimum score of 12 in each Ability. If WIS or INT are greater than 15, the character adds 10% to experience awarded.

The Witch utilizes a d4 for determining HP.

Witches may use any of the magical items available to Magic-Users. They may not use magic rings. Read Magic-User, Druid & Cleric scrolls: Druid scrolls can be read with no chance of failure. Magic-User and Illusionist scrolls can be read with a 10% chance of spell failure. Cleric scrolls can be read by a Witch, but only those spells which are both Cleric and Witch spells may be employed (see below).

They use the Magic-User Melee, Spellcasting and Saving Throw tables.

Witches with above-average Intelligence receive bonus spells, similar to the procedure for a Cleric with above-average Wisdom:

Intelligence Score Spell Bonus
13 One first-level spell
14 One first-level spell
15 One first-level spell
16 One second-level spell
17 One third-level spell
18 One fourth-level spell

The spell bonuses are cumulative; e.g., a Witch with 15 Intelligence receives three additional first-level spells. A Witch must have a minimum Intelligence of 16 to cast eighth-level spells. A Witch’s chance to know each listed spell and a Witch’s minimum/maximum number of spells is dependent on Intelligence, as for Magic-Users.

Witches may use any weapon type which can be used by Magic-Users, and have the same restrictions as Magic-Users on the wearing of armor.

Special Abilities:

At 3rd level a Nurdiyan gains the following abilities:

  1. Identification of plant type (by flower, root, bark, etc)
  2. Identification of animal type (an unseen animal by tracks, spoor, droppings and other conspicuous behavior that leaves a physical trace)
  3. Identification of pure water
  4. Power to pass through overgrown areas (undergrowth, tangled thorn bushes, briar patches, etc.) at normal movement rate without leaving a discernable trail.

At 6th level – Acquire Familiar: Similar to a Find Familiar spell, except that there is no chance of not acquiring a familiar. The familiar adds its hit points to the Witch’s, but if the familiar dies, the Witch only loses the hit points the familiar originally added, not an additional double the number of hit points added. A Witch can only obtain one familiar in a 10-year period, so if her familiar dies she must wait until the end of the period for another.

Blood Witchery/Cauldron Magic

Level 3: Brew poisons and narcotics: A Witch can brew one dose of either a poison or a narcotic each day, providing she possesses the necessary ingredients. The mixtures cannot be used to coat weapons, but must be ingested by the intended victims. A Witch learns how to brew Type A ingestive poison at level 3. She learns how to brew an additional type of ingestive poison for every two levels she progresses beyond third level. Thus, at 11th level a Witch can brew Type E poison. Poison types are as per the Dungeon Masters Guide. Saving throws are applicable. A narcotic has the effect of a Sleep spell on a victim with 8 or fewer hit points, if the saving throw is failed. A victim with from 9-16 hit points will be reduced to half Dexterity and half normal movement for 12 turns; a victim with 17-24 hit points will lose one-third Dexterity and one-third movement rate for the same 12-turn duration; a victim with 25 or more hit points will lose one-sixth of Dexterity and movement for the duration of the narcotic’s effect. A successful save will halve the effect and duration of a narcotic.

Level 4: Brew truth drug: A Witch may brew one dose of truth drug per week. A victim who ingests a dose of the drug will fall into a stupor, and is forced to answer from 1-4 questions truthfully. The truth drug can only affect an individual of the same or a lower experience level than the Witch who brewed the potion.

Level 5: Candle magic: A Witch may manufacture one candle per month. For each three days spent in making the candle, it will burn for one turn, up to a maximum of 10 turns (for a candle which took 30 days to make). The magic of a candle takes effect when the candle is snuffed out, or burns down to nothing at the end of its duration. A candle must be burned in the presence of the intended victim in order to work.

  • Red Candle: Victim affected as a love potion, duration 1 day for each turn of burning. There is no saving throw, and no chance of the love potion effects wearing off before the full duration.
  • Blue Candle: One turn of protection from evil/good (Witch’s choice) for each turn of burning.
  • Yellow Candle: One turn of telepathy (Witch able to read victim’s mind) for each turning of burning.
  • Purple Candle: Acts as a truth drug, allowing one question to be asked of a victim for each turn of burning — and all such questions are always answered truthfully.
  • Gold Candle: Cures 1-6 points of damage to the object of the magic for each turn of burning.
  • Black Candle (level 9): One curse can be placed on a victim for each turn of burning, up to a maximum of six turns of burning and six curses. The curses are:
    • Weakness (Strength reduced to 3),
    • Insanity (Intelligence and Wisdom both reduced to 3),
    • Clumsiness (Dexterity reduced to 3),
    • Poverty (all precious metals, gems and jewels on victim’s person turned to clay),
    • Loneliness (Charisma reduced to 3) and
    • Exhaustion (Constitution reduced to 3).
    • Saving throws can be attempted for each curse, and if successful negate that particular curse only. Casting Remove Curse negates one curse for each casting of that spell. Saving throws may be attempted, where applicable, for the effects of all candles except red candles. Any candle which does not burn continuously for at least one turn will have no effect. A candle which is extinguished midway through a turn is treated as though it had not burned at all during that turn, but that turn will be counted against the maximum amount of time a certain candle may be burned. Example, A candle with a maximum life of 5 turns is extinguished midway through its third turn of burning. Its effects will be as though it had only burned for two turns (not two and a fraction), but if it is re-ignited later it will have only two turns of burning left before it goes out automatically.

Level 6: Brew love potion: A Witch can brew one love potion per week. The potion will have the effect of charming an individual who drinks it and does not save successfully vs. spells. The potion has a chance of affecting a victim of the same number of levels as the Witch who brewed the potion. Thus, a 9th-level Witch could brew a potion to affect a 9th-level Fighter or lower, but not a 10th-level Fighter. Each potion has a maximum duration of one week, with a 15% chance each day (cumulative) that the potion will wear off at the end of the first through sixth days. Victims who make a successful save vs. spells are not affected.

Level 13: Brew flying ointment: The Witch may brew enough ointment per week for one human-sized individual to fly (as per the Fly spell). The flying duration is 1-4 turns plus a number of turns equal to the Witch’s level. The ointment must be smeared over the recipient’s naked body to work.

Level 15: Manufacture control doll: Once per week, a Witch can make one clay or wax doll which she can use to control one character or monster. Dolls are made to fit general categories, e.g. a man, woman, a troll, a dragon. To work, a part of the specific target (nail clippings, lock of hair, bit of outer skin or scales, etc.) must be made part of the doll. Once the specific material is added, the doll acquires a focus. The doll now must be shown to the intended victim. If the victim fails to save vs. spells, the victim is charmed (as per a Charm spell). The charm lasts as long as the doll is intact and in the Witch’s possession. If the Witch loses the doll or the doll is destroyed or damaged, the charm is broken.

Level 17: Fascinate: The power of fascination may be used once per day. A Witch merely has to concentrate to exercise the power. Any individual who looks at the Witch and fails to save vs. spells will faithfully serve the Witch as long as the fascination lasts. It lasts for a number of rounds equal to the level of the Witch. Service while fascinated will be nearly absolute, stopping just short of following suicidal orders.

When a Witch reaches 8th level she automatically attracts 2d6 x10 followers if she establishes a place of worship. Since Witches worship forbidden gods, such a place of worship must be in a wilderness area and kept secret besides being cleared of wandering monsters. The followers will remain secret to the outside world except under extreme circumstances. A Witch may also obtain the services of hirelings in the normal manner.


As always, Comments and thoughts are welcome.

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