Posts Tagged ‘Witch Hunter’

[Witch Hunter] Game Aid: Money in the Grave New World

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

CoinsAs part of the shelved project I mentioned in my “Convictions” Witch Hunter post, my colleague and co-writer, Walt Ciechanowski, wrote this short but helpful article to help Witch Hunter GMs deal with the various disparate currencies that are available in the New World of the game’s setting.

Realistic as it may be to have the characters converting pounds into guilders, or francs into doubloons, etc, it is a tedious task that simply detracts from the main part of the game, playing a great story. Walt’s article solves that easily and brilliantly, and I’m sure any and all Witch Hunter GMs will get good use of this.

The rules have been posted to the Witch Hunter forum in the Paradigm Concepts website, and on Scribd, where it can be read online or downloaded on PDF (or use the widget below).

I hope you enjoy these rules. Please let me know how they work for you, either here or at the PCI Witch Hunter forum thread.

[RAW]Money in the Grave New World [/RAW]


[Witch Hunter] New Order: The Spear of Phinehas

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Even earlier than the project I alluded to in my last Witch Hunter post, I wrote and submitted a new Order of Witch Hunters for a then-upcoming sourcebook (the now-in-stores The Blessed and The Damned). I decided to write up a Jewish Order because it’s an aspect of the setting I was (and still am) very much interested in exploring and that was barely touched upon in the Core Book. I also knew that another writer had also submitted a Jewish Order, as well as the rules for a Kabbalah Sorcerous Tradition.

The other writer turned out to be Walt Ciechanowski, whom I know thanks to his work in the Imperial Age line for Adamant Entertainment. Walt and I have been chatting over email for a while and looking for a way to work together in some project. Walt’s submissions was chosen over mine for the book, and thus The Blessed and The Damned includes The Seekers of Emet, as well as the rules for Kabbalah. Though there are some minor details I would quibble over, I was pleased as punch with the first Jewish Witch Hunter Order released for the game.

Which isn’t to say I wasn’t sad mine wasn’t chosen. The editorial comment I got back said (paraphrasing) that it was basically an Order for Jewish Witch Hunters to be in just because they are Jews; stung a bit at the moment, but a few months later when I looked at it again I could see the feedback was right on target. I set is aside for the time being.

The Spear of Phinehas presents a Jewish Order purportedly founded by King Solomon himself as a band of warrior-scholars that take on the Invisible World with zealous alacrity. They complement The Seekers of Emet acting as scouts and bodyguards for the relic hunters, and have the ability to see into the Invisible World at-will and deliver holy smites upon demons and Accursed.

This Order was not going to be included in the alluded project, but I figured I would put it out there as well for whoever wants to add some more Jewish Orders to their Witch Hunter game. This isn’t precisely the way this Order was submitted (it was called The Guardians of the Tabernacle then); I changed the name and tightened the focus. Hopefully you will like the end result (I do).

The rules have been posted to the Witch Hunter forum in the Paradigm Concepts website, and on Scribd, where it can be read online or downloaded on PDF (or use the widget below).

I hope you enjoy these rules. Please let me know how they work for you, either here or at the PCI Witch Hunter forum thread.

[RAW]The Spear of Phinehas (Witch Hunter RPG) [/RAW]

[Witch Hunter] New Rules: A Matter of Conviction

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

Late last year I began to work on a project for the Witch Hunter: The Invisible World roleplaying game, a game which, anyone that knows me can attest, I love to little tiny bits. Because of the events of this year, that project kept getting pushed back and back; even though my co-writer and I were committed to the work due to the enthusiasm we share for the game, it just never worked out and never had a chance to take off. I recently officially canceled the project until further notice (I won’t reveal the exact nature of the project just in case it ever can be restarted). Rather than leave the material I wrote gathering virtual dust in a folder, I’d like to share it for free with everyone.

A Matter of Conviction presents rules for bringing in narrative flags into the game. Anyone who’s played Spirit of the Century, Burning Wheel or Primetime Adventures (among many) will recognize these as Aspects/Beliefs & Instincts/Edges – descriptive bits of information that serve as flags about what is important to the characters and what they want narrative conflict to be about. Witch Hunter already has some element of this via Virtues & Vices, but Convictions brings a laser focus to the idea.

The rules have been posted to the Witch Hunter forum in the Paradigm Concepts website, and on Scribd, where it can be read online or downloaded on PDF (or use the widget below).

I hope you enjoy these rules. Please let me know how they work for you, either here or at the PCI Witch Hunter forum thread.

[RAW]A Matter of Conviction – Final (Witch Hunter RPG) [/RAW]

[Witch Hunter] New Adventures for Witch Hunter

Four new adventures for Witch Hunter: The Invisible World are set to arrive in fans’ greedy hands in the next couple of months!

The first one is Gates of Flame, which pits the Witch Hunters against an ancient Nephilim! This one is a softcover adventure much like A Child’s Game and is already at the printers, so it should be showing up in retail stores in a month or two.

The other three are scenarios for Dark Providence, the Witch Hunter shared campaign, and are set to premiere at Origins 2009. PCI President, Henry Lopez, posted the blurbs for the scenarios on the Dark Providence list this week, and here they are:

P. Dennis Waltman is writing a trilogy of adventures that will take your Witch Hunter to what is now Northern Italy, known in 1690 as the Duchy of Savoy.

Aosta Valley Trilogy

Corruption (by P. Dennis Waltman)
Along the Italian Alps a poison spreads; a pact once sworn has been broken. The pact must be avenged before the oaths can be restored. (Proverbs 25:26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.)(Mathew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.) This is a tier 1-2 adventure.

Redemption (by P. Dennis Waltman)
War comes to the Valley, yet the oaths avenged must be restored. That which was stolen must be returned; that which is free must willingly return to captivity. (Proverbs 28:20; A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.)(Revelation 11:9; And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves). This is a tier 1-2 adventure.

Salvation (by P. Dennis Waltman)
Death walks the land. The hand that set the stone to roll may be forever severed if the memory of the hunt is keen. Yet without the last tokens of faith, rites and sacrifices might never be the same. (Proverbs 26:8; As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.)( (Job 14:4; Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.). This is a tier 1-2 adventure.

For those who won’t be at Origins (like me), it is highly likely these will also be available at Gen Con.

More Witch Hunter goodness makes me happy.

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[Witch Hunter] Witch Hunter Game Restarting

After finishing the first adventure, a modified version of Swans, one of the intro adventures from the Witch Hunter: Dark Providence campaign (available free at, the group disbanded and then Autumn and Winter were upon us. We tried to restart in late January, but then I had to fly to Puerto Rico all of a sudden, so the game was put on hold once more.

After checking with the players last Friday, yesterday I sent out the first post for the second adventure of our Witch Hunter PBeM game. On a boat heading to England are Will O’Malley, Irish adventurer with a conflicted spirit (Mick Bradley); Adam Dantley, British thief seeking redemption (Josh Hoade); and Esme Thatherton, a white woman adopted into the ways of the Ghost People (Chris Engler). We lost one of the players (Mark Gedak, playing Marie Emond) though I’m sure he’ll come back down the line once his work situation becomes manageable again.

Here’s hoping my first post doesn’t get lonely and we can actually get this game going!

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[Witch Hunter] Witch Hunter Threads

One of my favorite games, and one I am running now, Witch Hunter got 3 nominations for the ENnies. Yet, it seemed like a lot of people had not really heard about it. So I decided to start a thread at both EN World and to get some talk about the game going and hopefully build some awareness. Even cooler, new threads have emerged on their own, with more people talking about the game, what they’re doing and/or what they plan to do. Check these out and either learn about Witch Hunter, or join in and share your experiences.

EN World


And of course, check out the Witch Hunter forums at Paradigm Concepts’ website as well.

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[Witch Hunter] Witch Hunter PBeM Started

January 18, 2008 Leave a comment

This past Tuesday, Jan 15, we officially started the Witch Hunter play-by-email game I’ll be running. My players are Mick Bradley (of The House of the Harping Monkey fame), Chris Engler (once of Carpe GM Podcast, now just another bald Canadian), Mark Gedak (another Canadian [not bald], my DM in the D&D PBeM, and co-host on The Digital Front Podcast), and Josh Hoade (my best friend whom, though we both live in Miami, I rarely get to play with). I was originally going to have only three players (Mark, Josh and Mick), but Chris saw a post I made about Witch Hunter (click on the Witch Hunter tag on this post and you’ll find it) and asked if he could play; he had the book already, had read it and was psyched, so I said sure.

Right now we’re starting character generation. All but Mick have sent in to the group their character’s stats (Mick has sent them in partially, he’ll redo this weekend) and in some cases the background information. Even before everyone had sent in their history, we already were faced with our first mini speed bump, as Chris’s character (the way he had envisioned playing him) would clash severely with at least two of the other characters. Chris offered to roll up a new character, but we exchanged a few emails on the subject, and agreed that the conflict inherent in the characters’ backstory was one we wanted to explore in-game. I personally asked Chris to be mindful that his character was supposed to be part of a team, but I was clear that I did not want him pulling blows. If the character(s) need to be retired later on for story reasons, rock on.

So hopefully by this weekend everyone will send in their stats and background, and then I’m going to take a page out of Spirit of the Century, and have them do a “shared novel” phase of character creation, the idea being that they are not being drawn together by chance and that a couple of them will have met, perhaps even gone on a mission against an agent of the Adversary together, before the start of the campaign. Once this is done, I’ll have them all choose Convictions, a new rule I am adding based on Burning Wheel’s Beliefs & Instincts (which I’ll flesh out and post to the Unofficial Witch Hunter Wiki).

Witch Hunter has me excited in a way I have not been since D&D 3rd edition came out, where I find myself jotting notes down for new rules bits (some of which I will be fleshing out this weekend for something I cannot yet talk about). We’re just doing character creation, and I’m already excited; can’t wait till we get into the meat of things.

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[Witch Hunter] Witch Hunter: Surreptitious Story Gaming in a Traditional RPG Package

Witch Hunter

Originally posted at Story Games.

So I’d been very intrigued by Paradigm ConceptsWitch Hunter: The Invisible World ever since it was announced, and a couple months ago I got a copy, which made me very happy. One of the things that called my attention was that in the descriptions of the game, the concept of “story” were greatly highlighted, and in conversations with members of PCI (mostly Eric), it had been made very clear that WH had been designed from the start to be a game of cinematic action where story was given primary importance. Neat!

So I got the book and I skimmed over it, especially over the background section and the core rules, just to get an idea of what the game was about and how the rules worked. I went over the chargen section as well, but only lightly. When I was done, I remember I felt a bit dissapointed: for a game that touted story as its most important aspect, I did not find any rules mechanic that supported it. I’d been tainted by the story games concept and community, so I wanted to see some of that mentality and design in there. But alas, I didn’t. I put the book aside to read later and moved on.

Lately I’d been having the urge to run this game, so as part of my 2008 gamer resolutions, I decided to run a play-by-email game of WH. I immediately started reading the book cover-to-cover in preparation, and would you guess what I come to find within its pages?

WH actually does have quite a few elements of story gaming in its rules and I had totally missed them because they are perfectly enmeshed in the rules of the game. For example:

  1. WH comes with a built-in bang/kicker: you had this Catalyst, some sort of event (usually traumatic) by which you became aware of the Invisible (Spirit) World and the machinations of the Adversary, and it is because of this that you now are a Witch Hunter. The game offers Orders that function kinda like Clans in Vampire in the sense that they give you a place to belong and a way to further define your character, giving you also some more kickers in the process as you define how your character matches the tenets of that Order.
  2. Virtue and Vice/Sin – more kicker goodness, and these can be “compelled” kind of like in FATE in that the GM can call a player out to live up to her Virtue and/or Sin, even (and especially) to the detriment of the character, but always to the betterment of the story. This can earn you Hero Points (see below). And get this, giving in to your Sin actually brings mechanical benefits, tempting you all the time.
  3. Some Talents (think Feats) give players the ability to define the world as they play (the biggest example is the Contacts talent, with which you can define who your contact is during play). There is room for growth here, but it is a good step.
  4. Hero Points – a kind of Fate Point, HP allow you to do a few story gamey things like gaining one by playing a Virtue to the character’s detriment, by doing things that “drastically enhances the enjoyment of the Scene” (Fan Mail), or by adding a welcome complication to the plot by making a declaration; or you can spend one to negate a Vice/Sin compel, as well as to enjoy more mechanical benefits like an extra die or automatic stabilization when having suffered lots of damage.

So what do you know, there is stuff in there in the realm of story gaming!

The game sits squarely in the void between traditional and hippie games because, simplified as it is, there are still a number of rules to keep track of if you so choose, and task resolution is still king of the field. I would have liked to see more simplification of some of the crunchier parts of the book, ideally, though I like what I got.

I know I will be introducing a couple more story gamey elements to my game, such as Beliefs from Burning Wheel (IMO, a must for a game where the character’s religion is as important, if not more, as her name) and Conflict Resolution/Bringing Down the Pain from TSoY (especially because we’re playing by email and I don’t want to get into too many silly combats).

So check Witch Hunter out: it hides its story gaminess within its pages.

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