The material below is designated as Open Game Content.
The witch is more than just a simple class, it is a way of thinking, a measure of how knowledge may be used and learned. This section re-examines several core skills to provide more options for player character witches. Through these skills, and the new options presented herein, players will be able to further individualise the witch from the other core classes.
Alchemy is a vital skill for witches who desire to find an edge against their opponents. While most characters rely upon a complex laboratory overflowing with beakers, chemicals and a host of other undesirable items that are too cumbersome for easy transport, the witch can function without that particular burden. Witches who devote their time and learning to the practice of alchemy may work without alchemical equipment, but they find that the process is slower and is significantly more difficult. To work without this equipment, the witch must spend double the time and pay twice the cost. The value of this practice is that witches are oftentimes on the run, and do not have the ability to transport the necessary equipment easily or quickly. Thus they are forced to do without. Difficulty Classes are increased by 5 and gold piece cost is replaced by experience points. Certain tasks are just not possible without a lab and are thus not included on the table below.
|Identify a substance or potion||30||Costs 10 exp per attempt or 200 exp to take 20|
|Identify poison (after casting detect poison)||25||No cost|
|Identify poison without aid of a spell||35||Costs 10 exp per attempt or 200 xp to take 20.|
|Brew simple||25||Requires a cauldron, but no lab (described in Tools of the Trade)|
Traditionally witches are self-sufficient, able to manufacture the needed goods to survive, such as producing their own clothing, shoes, pottery and so on. Beyond these simple necessities, witches have need of other goods that are not regularly manufactured. Witches have need of brooms to cleanse their hearths and homes of evil spirits, knives and swords for rituals as well as cauldrons and sundry other odds and ends. Unfortunately, the art of manufacturing these goods is not common knowledge, as there is a certain process by which the artificer constructs the objects and imbues them with good fortune. For the Craft skill to be untrained in this case is insufficient for the manufacture of these goods, just as the Craft skill is insufficient alone to construct a magic wand or staff. On the other hand, a separate feat to build these relatively harmless objects is unnecessary and a poor and limiting choice for witches. Therefore, Craft (heirloom) is a skill in itself and trained, but falls under aegis of the general Craft skill. To craft an heirloom, one must merely consult the item cost (found in the Tools of the Trade section) and follow the normal rules for construction defined in the SRD. Difficulty Classes for these items follows.
|Item||Difficulty Class (DC)|
The creation of these items does not make them inherently magical. These items are simply average quality goods not suitable for a magical enhancement. To make goods that are of a value to be magicked, the witch must pay to make them masterwork (an additional 1OOgp) and pass a separate Craft (heirlooms) check where the Difficulty Class is 20.
The SRD lists the Knowledge skills as encompassing many individual skills all relating to a different subject matter. These groupings are general, ranging from the sum of all religion to a general knowledge of nobility and royalty. So, with the witch core class comes a collection of new categories of knowledge.
Rites: The fundamental understanding of the rites and rituals employed by members of the witch class covering simple rites like marriage and divorce to more complex practices such as initiation binding, and ceremonial magic. A successful use of the Knowledge (rites) skill against a DC equal to 10 + the lead witch’s Charisma modifier + the number of witches involved will identify the type of rite being performed and the desired effects of the rite.
Chiromancy: This type of divinatory magic can unveil the secrets of a willing individual. It provides the capacity to understand the significance of the lines and topography of a subject’s hand. While this ability does not reveal motives it can provide some interesting facts about the subject.
|10 + subject’s level||Subject’s class and levels|
|15 + subject’s level||Subject’s moral alignment axis|
|20 + subject’s level||One significant event in the subject’s life.|
Numerology: This knowledge holds the belief that the world is nothing more than a numeric equation. Numerology can have many practical uses for a character, although only the most skilled can truly benefit from its power. This skill can identify the character of a subject if vital information can be gathered prior to the attempt. The subject’s birth date, the number of letters in his or her true name, or even the lineage of the character will yield all sorts of interesting facts. Such information can reveal how long a subject is supposed to live, the subject’s predispositions, and so on. Below are just a few samples of what numerology can do for a character. Games Masters should never let this skill uncover vital aspects of a campaign through its use lest it spoil the game.
|Determine if a course of action is good or bad||25|
|Determine natural lifespan||30|
|Determine class, alignment, vital attributes||35 each|
Astrology: Knowledge of astrology can accomplish many things, although the most practical use is identifying the exact moment of a season to maximise casting of witch spells that are directly impacted by the alignment of the planets and seasons. Astrology can accomplish everything that chiromancy and numerology can determine, but at a higher DC (add 5). To determine the exact date, and the significance of the night sky, a character need only roll against a difficulty 20. Success indicates that he may benefit from the placement of the stars in his spellcasting. Also, as a free action, the witch may roll against a DC 10 and determine the exact time provided that she has a clear view of the stars.
The nature of herbs is of vital importance to witches as they may empower specific types of herbs with a small amount of magical energy. The rules for augmenting these herbs are discussed in the Tools of the Trade section but it does take a skilled herbalist to identify these herbs and the potential of each. Before one can fully be aware of a latent plant ability, the character must have the Nature sense ability. To identify an herb, root, or other plant type that has the potential to be augmented is difficulty check of 20. Likewise, to identify a potentially poisonous bit of flora, the herbalist must succeed a difficulty check of 22.
Profession (fortune teller)
Any witch may try to divine the future through the use of cards, dice, sticks or some other divinatory means. Given the randomness of the draw it is extremely difficult to anticipate what the cards might suggest. In this section are some details as to how a player might make use of reading cards to determine the pathways of the future. Included are rules governing three techniques for the use of cards in your campaign, placement of the cards and significance of that placement, and lastly a presentation of the individual meanings of each card.
Games Masters who desire to include fortune telling in their campaigns must make some hard decisions about how to implement the rules. Allowing players the possibility of looking into the future of the campaign can be dangerous, as it can oftentimes spoil surprises that may lie in wait for the players. Also, if the cards give a false reading, they can have little practical value to the player. Therefore, a balance must be struck to provide game balance and a practical reward to players who appreciate the drama that this facet of witchcraft can offer.
The first technique that can be used, is to simply relegate the cards as flavour for the campaign. The games master determines the information without the use of any real cards, and therefore has complete control over the amount of information that a player will receive. This method can become tedious to players, especially when they do not garner any information, nor do they feel as though they are in effect doing anything at all.
Another method is for the games master to stack a deck of cards, so that the player will draw the cards, and draw his own conclusions about what is there. This can be an enjoyable opportunity, as it provides a spotlight for a player who is genuinely roleplaying and also serves a utilitarian need for the games master, who might desire to reveal choice titbits of knowledge and hints about what is to come in the campaign. On the other hand, games masters who do not wish to reveal anything can allow the players to simply deal their own hands and determine from a random draw.
The final method is a combination of the two other options. The player is allowed to ready the cards, but the games master makes all determinations of what the cards imply. This method gives the player some control over what the cards might read, but ultimately lets fate determine what it is that they say. Games masters can then control the amount of information that a player might earn, perhaps even placing a Difficulty Class against a Knowledge check for the player to read the cards correctly. In any event, regardless of which method of fortune telling is used, this aspect of the Quintessential Witch will add flavour and dimension beyond expectations.
Placement of the cards
Whenever reading Tarot cards, the placement of the cards forms the map for the journey to knowledge. Many different styles and traditions determine where the cards are placed and the significance of them, but overall it comes down to personal preference. The diagram below is modelled after the Celtic Spread, but Games Masters ought to feel free to adjust this table to their individual campaign settings.
Placement 1: This card is called the ‘Significator’ and represents the subject of the reading. This card is always placed face up. This is usually how the subject wishes to be perceived and the general atmosphere of the situation.
Placement 2: This card is placed across the significator and is called ‘Obstacles’, for it represents the concealing factors that hide the true nature of the subject. This card always represents the forces working against the subject.
Placement 3: This is called the crowning card; it represents the values of the subject. It also stands for the goals, ideals and hopes of the subject.
Placement 4: As the basic self, this card represents that which is beneath the subject. Also, this represents the fundamental self, or core of the situation.
Placement 5: This card represents the story thus far, the past as it relates to the significator.
Placement 6: As the fifth card represents the past, the sixth represents what is to come in the immediate.
Placement 7: This card reveals more about the identity of the situation. This card should reflect the fourth card.
Placement 8: This card relates to those around the situation, whether allies and friends, surrounding circumstances or any other significant feature that is associated with, but not exactly the central issue at hand.
Placement 9: Defines what is at stake, the hopes and fears, a possibility of what could result.
Placement 10: This card represents resolution, the final outcome, what will come to pass.
All of the cards should direct towards the tenth placement as this is the card of information. Also, there should be certain associations between two and nine, four and seven. These should mirror one another to provide a greater understanding of the situation. If most of the cards are from the ‘major arcana,’ or face cards, then significant magical powers are at work in the subject.
Definitions of Cards and equivalent cards
Tarot decks can be found and purchased in many locations for reasonable prices. But if you are unable to locate a deck, one can be made out of two decks of cards. Out of one deck, treat all clubs as staves, all diamonds as pentacles, all hearts as cups and all spades as swords. Kings equal kings, likewise for the queens, and knights equal jacks. Of the second deck, you must write in all of the major arcana and 1 page from every suit (preferable the jokers from both decks).
The Fool: Represents total liberation, complete trust. Sometimes it signifies a new journey.
The Magician: This card represents the higher self of man, recognition of one’s destiny, and the ability to focus on goals.
The Priestess: She is the protector of Truth and the spirit. She is enigmatic, dependable, and untainted by worldly vices. She is the higher being of woman.
The Empress: Stands for love and devotion. She is the mother epitomised, she represents fertility, the balance of logic and intuition, is the feminine figure in the life of a man.
The Emperor: The great ruler, he is domination personified. He is also known as the provider, patriarch, and primary masculine figure in the life of a woman.
The Priest: The transcendent authority of all intellectual endeavours. The priest is many things from an advisor to emotional ally.
The Lovers: Signifies the shared connection between the genders. Represents intimate communication, a balance of forces.
The Chariot: The card of the unseen forces that leads you to victory and triumph. Also reflects discipline and steadfastness.
Justice: The burden of decision. This card reflects the need for a careful analysis into the best course of action. This is a testing of moral fibre and conscious.
The Hermit: This card is the representation of the need for quiet contemplation. It urges awareness.
The Wheel: The nature of constant change, and fortune’s fickle favour. It represents fates interest in the matter at hand.
Strength: Through passivity comes power. Transcends notions of the physical strength and celebrates wisdom and right thinking.
The Hanged Man: This card represents sacrifice and oftentimes indecision. One must surrender.
Death: Total and complete transformation of a sudden and truly unexpected variety. Sometimes represents a loss at some level.
Temperance: Completeness of all intellectual faculties, the blending of opposite forces to create unity.
The Devil: This is the card of temptation and imprisonment. It represents the dark arts and evil.
The Tower: This card represents loss, abandonment, collapse of the extant structures.
The Star: Confidence in the higher powers, enlightenment and intellectual excellence.
The Moon: Symbol of the goddess, magic, awareness of the world around you and obscurity.
The Sun: Clarity, optimism and healing. Festivities are near. Celebrate your inner strength.
Judgement: Strengthen the mind, intellect to ensure success. Self-reliance is the highest virtue.
The World: Understanding of purpose, unify all things, the conclusions of the disparate elements into a complete whole.
There are four suits in the minor arcana: Staves, Cups, Pentacles and Swords. Each suit is numbered ace through 10. Beyond the ten basic cards, there are court cards that usually represent a person in the subject’s life, or a person involved in the situation. In this last section are the thematic ideas behind these cards, of which the Games Master and player may draw whatever inferences are applicable to the campaign.
Staves: Cards of this suit correspond to fire and the masculine. They represent energy, passion,innovation and vigour. Most times these cards areassociated with effort in labour or a task. Staves, as they develop, construct useful energy of passion.
Pentacles: Pentacles are tied to the chthonic forces of the earth and the feminine. They usually represent money, material things, and completeness. The path of this suit focuses towards physical fulfilment.
Cups: Like pentacles, cups are closely tied to the feminine. Cups are the domain of water. They hold the fluid emotions of love, friendship, and gut instinct. Cups are also symbols for the unseen, hidden and concealed. Cups focus on emotional fulfilment.
Swords: Swords are the brother suit to staves as it too is tied to the masculine. Usually swords represent reason, intellect and sometimes conflict. Swords reflect the element of air.
Considering that each card is a number ranging from ace to ten, each represents the journey towards fulfilment of the suit’s end goal. As the cards are revealed, they oftentimes reflect the journey towards realisation and the enlightenment espoused by the particular suit. Thus these cards clearly are intended to represent life’s passage and development. Below are some suggestions as to the meaning of the numbers.
|Seven:||Experimentation and spirituality|
|Nine:||Development and teaching|
Beyond the ten basic steps to the journey of enlightenment are the court cards, typically ranking as follows: Page, Knight, Queen and King. These cards are people or attitudes affecting the subject or the situation. The page represents youth, bravado and courage. The knight, on the other hand, is determination, focused, and intensity. The Queen is the figure of maturity and competence, while the King is completion and complete realisation. These cards are closely related to their suit, thus the Page of Swords might signify youthful bravado and cunning. However, the Page of Wands typically is associated with energy and because of his youth, he might suggest a beginning of some activity whether for good or ill.