Table of Contents

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%.
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