Parent Pages: Factions : Witches

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Witches

There are witches and warlocks in the Archipelago. Calling them a faction is misleading, however, since overall they are hardly an organized force. In point of fact, many of them have contradictory goals, often fighting amongst themselves.

They all have certain things in common:

  • They practice their magic in secret.
  • To better hide their nature, they take up a profession of one sort or another. Many take up thievery or the warrior's trade.
  • They have extremely long-term goals and tend to make generational plans.
  • They have the ability to sense the presence of other witches and warlocks. This is Detect (Witches/Warlocks, Rare; Cosmic, No Die Roll Required, +100%; Vague, -50%; Range Limit: 10 yards, -30%; Magical, -10%) [6]. This is a genetic trait that is passed on to all clan members, regardless of their ability to use magic. This trait alone is enough to be considered a witch or warlock for purposes of being detected by it.
  • Common folk generally believe that they're in league with demons, leading to a variety of disadvantages, such as Secret (p. B152), Secret Identity (p. B153) or Social Stigma (Excommunicated/Monster/Second Class Citizen) (p. B155). Some very few actually are working with demons. This makes life difficult for the rest. In most areas publicly known witches will be shunned. In others, they'll be mobbed and killed.
  • They can band together in covens to gain special powers.
  • Any race that can interbreed with humans can be a witch or warlock, as the original group of them was human. This indicates some small amount of human in the character's blood, even if they use the template of another race entirely. This has led to Medusa witches in the past, due to the unusual way that they reproduce. This is rumored to be the case with the original inhabitants of Medusa Island.

Magic

The witches of the Archipelago shape their spells in a very unique fashion.

First off, they use Threshold-Limited Magery. Entirely self-taught witches use Threshold-Limited Sorcery.

Second, their Magery/Sorcery is modified with No Spell Components. The lack of components in their spells has gotten them confused with users of psionic powers on occasion. Usually, they explain their powers as coincidence, luck, or magic items.

Third, their Magery/Sorcery has the Requires Talisman limitation. Either form is acceptable.

Finally, the plane they draw energy from varies by witch/warlock clan, but the most common source is the Plane of Shadow. Air, Earth, Fire and Water are the other choices available to PCs.

It should be noted that this form of magic cannot be taught. It's a genetic trait.

Young witches sometimes end up with magical powers they can't entirely control. The Unconscious Only, Uncontrollable and Unreliable Limitations on Magery/Sorcery are quite appropriate for such Witches! With Uncontrollable, this can manifest as spells that cast themselves! Some sorcerous witches never gain control of their powers and live in isolation to prevent their powers from harming others.

One last note: their spell books, if you could call them that, bear no resemblance to normal spell notation. No traditional wizard has yet been able to decipher one of them. They appear to be books filled with colored patterns or perhaps a form of abstract art. These books may simply exist to confuse those that would seek to understand. On the other hand, witches cannot read a normal spell book. This amounts to the Unusual Methods (Witchcraft) modifier on their Magery.

The Weave

Ancient witches and warlocks, before their introduction to the Archipelago, manipulated a semi-sentient force known as The Weave to create magical effects. However, the The Weave does not reach this land, so the witches and warlocks have adapted to use new sources of power for their magic. Put more plainly, they're channeling energy from other planes of existence and transforming it, along with local mana, into the effects they desire. In their hands, this energy still behaves in a semi-sentient manner.

If you wish to use these rules for witches and warlocks outside the Archipelago, then their source of power isn't extra-planar in origin. It is simply the power of creation inherent in all matter. This manifests itself in both a lawful and chaotic manner. Witches draw on the more lawful half of the Weave, while warlocks draw on the more chaotic side. Together, they form a complete whole, much like a Ying-Yang symbol is composed of equal parts light and dark.

Covens

Covens are composed of at least three members. Coven members must all be the same sex, so either witches or warlocks. Not both. Membership in a coven unlocks some of the latent abilities that all witches and warlocks possess. It will also serve as either an Ally Group or a Patron.

The powers granted by membership in a coven vary from individual to individual, but are usually based on the source of energy that fuels their spells. For example, those that tap the Plane of Shadow tend to get shadow-based powers.

Powers gained are based on the number of members in the coven, with new abilities gained at three, seven and thirteen members. The maximum number of members in a coven is thirteen. Points may be paid for these at any time, but are not usable until they're paid for. Coven members that lack these abilities can represent individuals that's haven't mastered their powers yet. The Uncontrollable Limitation can also be useful to represent this.

All of the powers granted by coven membership have similar limitations:

Limitation Value Meaning
Magical -10% Coven abilities cannot function in a no mana area.
Granted by Coven of Three -35% You cannot use this ability without membership in a coven of three or more members.
Granted by Coven of Seven -40% You cannot use this ability without membership in a coven of seven or more members.
Granted by Coven of Thirteen -45% You cannot use this ability without membership in a coven of thirteen members.
Only with assistance from X member(s) of the coven Varies Your ability requires assistance from members of your Coven to work. The value of this is determined by using half the base point value of the same number of people for the Maintenance Disadvantage (p. B143). For example, if your ability required six members to assist you, this would be -20%.

Clans

Clan Clan Leader Energy Source Goals and Notes
Rayna Guild Master Ellora Rayna of the Shadowed Eyes Plane of Shadow Destruction of the Black Crown
Patras Marcelle Bercier Plane of Air Learning what force brought the witches to the Archipelago
Restoring The Weave
Strobel Evia Strobel Plane of Earth
Bel Ellen Bel Plane of Fire Destruction of the Behne Clan
Behne Alex Behne Plane of Water Destruction of the Bel Clan
This clan is a Wayfarer tribe

The Rayna Clan

Due to unusual events in their own family history, the Rayna clan knows much of the truth about the Black Crown. Three members of the clan were members of the Crusaders of Light, while they were still around. One of the Crusaders, Sora, has been reborn into this family once each generation since she was killed.

Unconsciously, she seeks out and battles minions of the Black Crown of the Black Kingdom, eventually coming face to face with one of her old companions, Melthus the Black-Heart, the current Black Hand. At this point, her memories return in a flood and she regains her full complement of powers. Unfortunately, she hasn't yet defeated him. Every showdown so far has ended in her death.

Still, she has managed to pass on some useful information to her family. She knows she's been fighting the Black Crown and his minions for a very long time. Her family knows that she was a member of the Crusaders. She knows that Melthus betrayed them and is involved somehow.

The current leader of the clan is Guild Master Ellora Rayna of the Shadowed Eyes. She created the Shadowed Eyes as the means to gain a vast information gathering network. So far, this has been very successful; she now gets daily reports of unusual phenomenon from the entire Archipelago. This information has aided her in her clan's quest to destroy the Black Crown. She's gotten a few leads here and there, but has yet to determine exactly where the Black Crown operates from. She does not believe that Necropolis is the correct location and has assumed it to be a clever diversion.

Calamity Tables

These tables are used with the Threshold-Limited Magery rules from GURPS Thaumatology. There are also table for Weave Witches and Warlocks, in case you're doing something historic, before the witches were pulled into the Archipelago.

Any reference to standard refers to the suggested calamity table in Thaumatology on p. 77-78.

Air Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but use Agoraphobia with a self-control number of 15 instead.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the Disadvantage(s) should take the form of the witch becoming more like air. The following Disadvantages are appropriate: Absent-Mindedness, Confused, Fragile (Combustible), Oblivious and Vulnerability (Vacuum and Wind Attacks). The GM should feel free to upgrade these conditions when this comes up again.
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the witch's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but this always lowers ST.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that channel air energy for their spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but is based on air. This will take the form of a hurricane, a series of tornadoes, or the like.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that channel air energy for their spells. Killing the witch responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard, only the witch turns into a compressed volume of air before exploding. This does Will dice of crushing damage. See notes for 30-39, as well.

Earth Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but use Claustrophobia with a self-control number of 15 instead.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the Disadvantage(s) should take the form of the witch's body parts turning into immovable stone. The following Disadvantages are appropriate: Blindness, Cannot Speak, Cannot Speak (Mute), Disturbing Voice, Ham-Fisted, Lame (Crippled Legs), Lame (Paraplegic), No Fine Manipulators, No Manipulators, One Arm, One Eye, One Hand and Quadriplegic. The GM should feel free to upgrade these conditions when this comes up again. To get smaller Disadvantage values, the GM may give the affected body part a DR of up to 5 or discount a stone arm by turning it into a crushing Striker (without this, the arm is stone starting at the shoulder).
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the witch's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but the traits affected should be those that can be explained by the witch's body parts being turned to stone, such as Basic Speed, Move, DX, Flight (Winged), etc.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that channel earth energy for their spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but the plague is based on elements of the earth. This can be fertile ground turning inhospitable to plants. For something more dramatic, it can be a disease spreading through the populace that slowly turns them to stone.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that channel earth energy for their spells. Killing the witch responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard, only the witch turns to stone. Shattering the resulting statue will end the far-reaching effects, but results in an explosion of stone shards for the witch's Will dice of cutting damage. See notes for 30-39, as well.

Fire Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but use Pyromania with a self-control number of 9 instead.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the Disadvantage(s) should take the form of permanent injures that could be caused by fire. Nearly any kind of Disadvantage that disables a part of the body in some fashion is possible and they will always appear to have been caused by fire. At the lowest level (-5 points in Disadvantages), this often manifests as Unattractive Appearance and a quirk, Scars on Face. The GM should feel free to upgrade these conditions when this comes up again.
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the witch's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but the traits affected should be those that can be explained by the witch's body parts having been burned by fire, such as ST, DX, HT, above average appearance, etc.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that channel fire energy for their spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but is based on fire. This could be a forest fire that cannot be put out by normal means, a fiery meteor shower that sets fire to everything in the area, fire animental insects from the plane of fire that fly around consuming anything flammable, etc.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that channel fire energy for their spells. Killing the witch responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard, except it does Will dice of burning damage. See notes for 30-39, as well.

Shadow Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but this takes the form of sinister night-time visions of shadowy figures flitting through the witch's sight, just at the edge of their peripheral vision. It usually involves running scared through a forest or other bewildering location. The GM may wish to incorporate the witch's phobias, if any are appropriate.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the disadvantage(s) should take the form of transforming the witch into a living shadow, in some way or another. The following Disadvantages are appropriate for this: Dread (Sunlit Surfaces), Shadow Form and Supernatural Feature (No Body Heat). The GM should feel free to upgrade these conditions when this comes up again.
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the witch's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but the traits affected should be purely physical in nature; the shadow energy has drained some of the witch's physical essence away.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that channel shadow energy for their spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but the plague is shadowy in nature. This usually takes the form of shadow locusts that drain the life from crops. Shadow mosquitoes are just just as likely; they travel in swarms and their attacks drain ST. It can also take the form of a contagious disease that slowly causes the victim's skin to turn black like coal as they lose ST (this disease is resisted by ST). Anyone drained to zero ST dies and becomes an animated shadow whose only goals are death and destruction.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that channel shadow energy for their spells. Killing the witch responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard, only the witch doesn't explode and the roll is vs. ST-6. Failure indicates the witch is transformed into a malevolent shadow entity with their full spell-casting powers restored, with one slight change; they now draw on FP to cast spells instead of using the Threshold-Limited Magery rules (those able to do both instead get a point-equivalent Energy Reserve. The GM takes control of the character. Restoring the witch to normal might be possible, but this would be an adventure in and of itself. See also note for 30-39.

Water Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but use a Phobia of all water (base -15 point Disadvantage) with a self-control number of 15 instead.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the Disadvantage(s) should take the form of the witch becoming more like water or having their body parts become more fluid. The following Disadvantages are appropriate: Cold-Blooded, Ham-Fisted, Invertebrate, Increased Consumption (Water Only,-50%), Vulnerability (Heat/Fire) and Vulnerability (Dehydration). The GM should feel free to upgrade these conditions when this comes up again.
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the witch's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but the traits affected should be those that can be explained by the witch's body parts becoming more fluid, such as ST, DX, etc. The loss of Advantages related to having a rigid body, such as DR, can also be appropriate.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that channel water energy for their spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but is based on water. This is most commonly represented by torrential rain that washes away good soil, causes floods, etc. It can also cause mysterious rising water levels from lakes and rivers. This should never be a good thing. In a desert, the rain might initially be helpful, but after a few days, the whole area might wash away as the ground turns to silt.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that channel water energy for their spells. Killing the witch responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard, only the witch turns into water before exploding. This does Willx2 dice of crushing damage with the Double Knockback and No Wounding modifiers. See notes for 30-39, as well.

Weave-Warlock Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but use Demophobia with a self-control number of 15 instead.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the Disadvantage(s) should take the form of the warlock becoming more chaotic and/or creative in their way of thinking, as well as more individualistic. The following Disadvantages are appropriate: Berserk, Callous, Curious, Impulsiveness, Jealousy, Loner, Paranoia, Selfish, Short Attention Span, Stubbornness and Trickster.
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the warlock's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but the traits affected should be those that can be explained by raw chaos ravaging the warlock's body, such as DX or Basic Speed. Advantages of a lawful or ordered nature of any kind are fair game, as well. For example, Combat Reflexes, Trained by a Master and Weapon Master all often involve a strict ways of doing things.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that use The Weave to cast spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but is based on an overly chaotic influence, such as a disease that causes people to have a Short Attention Span.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that use The Weave to cast spells. Killing the warlock responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard. This does Will dice of crushing damage. See notes for 30-39, as well.

Weave-Witch Calamity Table

3-10 – As standard.
11, 12 – As standard, but use Autophobia with a self-control number of 15 instead.
13-15 – As standard.
16-18 – As standard, but the Disadvantage(s) should take the form of the witch becoming more ordered and/or rigid in their way of thinking, as well as more group-oriented. The following Disadvantages are appropriate: Cannot Learn, Chummy, Fanaticism, Hidebound, Honesty, Incurious, Killjoy, No Sense of Humor, Selfless, Slave Mentality and Truthfulness.
19 – As standard.
20 – As standard, see notes for 16-18.
21 – As standard.
22 – As standard, except that this affects the witch's coven, regardless of distance or dimensional separation.
23 – As standard, but the traits affected should be those that can be explained by a loss of self in a group, such as Will or possibly IQ. Advantages related to creativity are fair game, as well.
24 – As standard, but this only affects those that use The Weave to cast spells.
25-27 – As standard.
28 – As standard, but is based on an overly lawful influence, such as a disease that destroys the ability to think creativity.
29 – As standard.
30-39 – As standard, but the far-reaching effects only affect those that use The Weave to cast spells. Killing the witch responsible will always reverse the effects.
40+ – As standard. This does Will dice of crushing damage. See notes for 30-39, as well.

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