A photorealistic child
Original SA post
I've lost count of how many times I've started this, only to get trampled by the unending incompetence of Harris and his trained monkeys. Or maybe he's the trained monkey. It's hard to tell. As you can see, it claims to be the First issue, and thankfully, it's also the last.
You're reading that right. They wanted eleven dollars for this 40 page 'magazine'. I can't say it isn't a cute way of doing it. But I've seen better. Cheaper too. Almost feel bad for whoever that is on the cover. Ten years from now, fifteen, someone's going to link her to this abomination against all that think and feel, and all she'll be able to say is "I was a kid, alright?" At least, I hope that's what she'll say.
Cripes, I'm getting depressing. Sorry folks. First thing we see when we flip the page and crack this thing open is a note from Pandora Spocks. The magazine is mostly in-universe material, and so, this note is too. She proceeds to awkward penguin all over the place.
Pandora Spocks posted:
Welcome to 13 Magazine. The first magazine for Witch-Girls. Now, I know your asking what does a 300 year old witch like me know about being a Witch-Girl? Most people who know me will tell you I'm on my third if not fourth childhood. That that any of you are children. You are all young-ladies gifted with powers and abilities mortals could never wrap their little heads around.
You are quicksilver. You live in the twinkle in the star and the tide the wind and all the world is your playground.... or will be.
It goes on like that for two more paragraphs in the worst italic script font I've seen in a while, and I'm a typography geek.
Over on the other side is a Please read from Malcolm, stating yes, this is a fictional magazine, and also that all information contained in this is cannon and official errata. Oh good, I like errata. There really isn't much that can be considered Errata in this issue though.
The Table of contents is rather thorough skipping only the ads, both fake and real.
I'm actually going to talk about these ads. Gertrude Xapp, Alien Witch sounds like a game I'd rather be playing. In one page it gives the character a backstory, a motivation, and a task. She comes from beyond the stars to save the universe from the Cosmic Troll Sarbross. Now if only the art wasn't of an obvious Hero Machine like. Her clothes are painted on, her wand looks like some sort of laser buzzsaw and... well, It's barely acceptable as an amateur layout project. Also, yes, it name checks two of the shows mentioned in the core-book My Pet Mortal and Goblins Ate My Dad.
The next page has the thing we were talking about, Forumla No. 86. It turns people into mice. Even witches. You have to make a Hard magic roll or be instantly turned into a mouse forever. Only, not really. If you're magical in anyway, you can spend a Zap point to reduce the duration to an hour, or two to just out right negate it. 12 allowance points, or if you remember the last book, $551-$600 gets you three doses.
It is of course made by Hex-o. While Abby Sotto said she wanted to know about the janitorial staff at the local bank, I want to know what Hex-o actually does. Are they a novelty company, like this ad would imply? Do they make Educational products, like the poster would imply? Or do they just make everything because they never thought they'd need more than one company?
Page three brings us the first real article, a tell all Expose on the Argus Society. It's also the first page to run afoul of the awful watermark they've got going on. Remember how certain White Wolf books were printed in a way to be impossible to read? Yeah. The lower left hand side of every page suffers from this burnt, aged texture they're using.
The history is well thought out, oddly enough. Basically, a 700 years ago guy is born to a Witch, keeps a diary of the weird stuff and lives and dies in Belgium. Then 425 years later, Emile LeClair finds the book, copies it and starts selling it. Following the hints laid out in the diary, he finds a local witch and starts stalking her. She was being the sort of asshole you expect, hypnotizing the locals into giving her free stuff. LeClair's buddy, who has no name, exposes her and gets her run out of town... and later killed.
So, he set up five rules so that he'd never meet the same fate.
1. Observation is the goal not exposure or fame.
2. Do not reveal to anyone what you observe.
3. Be clandestine in your observation.
4. Keep precise notes of your observation for your own records
5. Never let the one you observe know you observe them.
Then, he died, his daughter got his books, and traveled the world observing witches and other weird stuff, forming the Argus Society. Which continues to this day. With their own website, EyesofArgus.org they're pretty much annoying Instagram users that try not to get killed by using high tech bs. Their updated code reflects this.
And this is where it gets interesting. There's behind the scenes stuff for the Director,detailing the ways to use them in their game. I'll go over the types of specialists in brief. Debunkers can summon up so much "Yeah, Right" that they can force spells to simply fizzle out. Detectives can figure stuff out about you. Hunters stalk you. Infiltrators are... actors so good they can make you think they're a witch, vampire or whatever. Yes, even if you are what they're pretending to be. Soldiers have lazy mohawks and smug grins. Also they can give themselves +1 to athletics rolls, fighting rolls, or ignore a point of damage. Techies are Velma, and they can jury rig things.
The Equipment is... interesting. The Alpha Wave Detector detects
... Including those left on objects or locations? Somehow? Because Magic leaves your alpha waves on things. Apparently. They cost 5 allowance points.
Argus Goggles let mundanes see magical stuff and avoid Mortal-Avoidance charms, also gives you a +3 to rolls to see invisible things. They only cost 2 Allowance points.
The Cloaker explains how the the Infultrator can pretend to be a witch. By emitting an... alpha wave pulse. And it also lets you turn sorts invisible by acting as an alpha wave scrambler... I guess that works. I mean, if you destroy conscious thought around you, it's pretty hard to see you. The first setting gives a -5 penalty to any rolls to detect if you're magical or not, and the second gives you a plus three to hide. It costs 7 Allowance points.
Communication Pieces are just ear mounted cellphones with walkie talkie functionality. 2 AP.
The Float-Camera, given the more interesting name of The Eyes of Argus further down in the blurb, are remote controlled cameras that can fly at 100MPH. They send a live feed back to you, and cost 10 AP.
Sticky bombs, or Bad Apples, are apple sized red grenades that cover people in sticky goo that traps you. Score one for the fetishists. No, you can't get out unless you can make a hard body roll or get help. You're stuck for an hour. Each one cost 3 AP.
The Stunner is a gun that fires electricity and
I don't know. Anyway, the green lightning it shoots forces a hard body roll, which will knock your ass out for d6 minutes if you fail. Or they can use up twice as much ammo and do ten points of damage a shot. Range is thirty feet, and it costs 10 AP. That's right, choose a gun or a camera.
Tags are just what they sound like. You knock out a witch, and put a tag under her ear. tags are dime sized and let you monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and 'increased alpha waves', as well as hear everything she's hearing and saying. They last two weeks, have a range of 25 miles, and give you extra creeper points. I mean, cost 3 AP.
Okay. Okay, I get it. They're not scientists. That's why they're writing a book about Lolita murder dominatrices fighting bondage Puritans, not sci-fi. But really? Knocking someone out with a burst of beta waves? Alpha Wave Scramblers? What is this, Star Trek Voyager?
Anyway. We now get to Doctor Hyperion. A 200 year old superhero from another dimension that has a d10 in everything but magic. He runs the Argus Society. He wants to find a way home. This is why he sends people to creep on little girls. He's super skilled at everything mundane. So...
Yeah, he's pretty much a plot device with no brain that's created a bit of a plot hole. He's from another dimension. He's a superhero. He's probably from the Superhero Dimension. Which means the most logical thing for him to do is to show up at Witch HQ, which he knows about either from his Argus Minions or from the fact that he can just roll a hard mind check to know anything, ever. then he waves around a twenty and demands to be taken to Raven. Boom, character solved.
Anyway, the Argus Hooks are "Babysit Doctor Hyperion after Professor Xavier mind wipes him", "Protect mortal friend from being dissected by Mystery Inc", and "There is a cute boy who wants to watch you
I thought I was going to get further than this tonight. Looks like my dreams are unrealistic. I can't handle the Magical Roofies chapter right now. Instead, have an Art Round-up.
Huh. That's... rather restrained for Lucinda. I guess she turns him into cake off screen.
Errata on the writeup
Original SA post
You're reading that right. They wanted eleven dollars for this 40 page 'magazine'. I can't say it isn't a cute way of doing it. But I've seen better. Cheaper too.
When I was doing research, I read somewhere that
was meant to be a
quarterly supplement. But Harris is bad at running a business so they scrapped that and started charging for it.
For those who are curious, they also finished the covers for what would have been the next two issues.
“Saint Joan’s Magical Reformatory”, according to the
Witch Girls wiki
(which looks to be entirely written by one person, possibly Harris), is a school for “young witches gone bad”. I find the idea a little odd, and am really interested in seeing the write up for it, if it exists. It’s been established that Harris and Co do not like consequences and that it is anathema to their idea of fun and how roleplaying works. A reform school is all about the consequences of one’s bad behavior (or shitty parents, in some cases). So based on what I know about this setting, I imagine Saint Joan’s has an “inmates running the asylum” type of deal going on.
The fact that Reinhexxen, an entire school that has an entire curriculum centered around learning how to be the biggest asshole you can be, is accredited by the Witches' World Council, makes its existence interesting and kind of contradictory too.
Basically, a 700 years ago guy is born to a Witch, keeps a diary of the weird stuff and lives and dies in Belgium.
The book also mentions that Charles Victus is an "Enchanted". What's an Enchanted? Well, you need to buy and read
Pirates of Buccaneer Hill
to find out, because everything about that book hints that there might be important setting and rules in i-Oh wait...
Pirates of Buccaneer Hill, page 32, tucked in the back with a character sheet posted:
Enchanted are the non-Witch offspring or relations (brother and sisters) of Witches. They are ever so slightly magical and can see and perceive the world like a magical person. They are also immune to Mortal Avoidance charms. Enchanted usually have special talents that are also slightly magical. (see Moon Shadow Circle Supplement for more information)
Yes, consult the supplement book that was never released.
Also, Pandora Spocks, the "editor" of the magazine, is the name Elizabeth Montgomery was credited as when she played Samantha's crazy cousin on
, because Harris can't go two pages in this game without making a reference to that show.
Potions & Beasties
Original SA post
Adnachiel, you know far more about WGA than is sane.
I'm not surprised on a lot of that. I just didn't have the energy to go and do research about this abomination, and... Yeah, about the Enchanted thing, not going to lie, I glossed over that because it was term that never got defined to my knowledge and honestly? Charles Victus is the least important part of the whole Argus Society thing unless you're running around with a female version of the Master.
Regarding the Reformatory, from what I can gather from talking to the guy that knows them and so on, it probably exists either for background drama and for epic prison break stuff. I say this because of Lucinda's tendency to kill cops while 'fighting crime'. That, and the whole assumption of "it's whatever you think would be fun this time." Sometimes you just want to be an oppressed little angst muffin. He figures it involves Mind Control, probably to be used on Goody Goodies and anyone who doesn't toe the party line.
Today on Witch Girls Adventures, we'll be covering Love Potions! With step by step directions on how to make your own love potions!
Hosted by Dr. Aimee St. John, Aimee the Alchemist is here to help young witches with their first potions, and what better thing to give a young child than the ability to control who is and isn't friends with them? But this goes further than simply friendship, you too can catch your own Hunky Humbert!
Yeah, okay. That's getting a little too creepy for me to continue. Love Stock is an easy roll to make, and is necessary for all the other potions in this list. You need three inches of Unicorn tail, three cups distilled water, one cup of distilled Care, and the petals from a dozen red roses. Simmer for four hours and there you go!
Friendship potions make people your friends! All it needs is some of your hair, a pink rose, and some distilled sunshine added to the above stock, and you'll be the belle of the ball! It's also an easy roll and can be delivered either in liquid, powder, or candy form, so be sure to put it on all of your friend's meals.
Is there just a friendship that should not be? Someone little skank steal the love of your life? Feel like recreating The Death Of Family? Grade "A" Hate is here to help! Simply let your Love Stock go bad to create Hate Stock, cook it down into a charred black mass, rehydrate with swamp water and red cap spit, make a Hard Roll, and you've ready to ruin lives, you little homewrecker you! Anything they like, they'll dislike, anything they love, they'll hate! The more they loved it, the more they'll hate it. While you should be careful with this potion, you just add some hair that's been soaked in love stock and the hate will never come around to you!
Love Potion #1 is just Love Stock, so you've already made it! Yay! You can then dry it out or turn it into a candy like Friendship Potions. It just increases the imbiber's ability to feel love, period. If they like something, they love it. If they love it, they adore it.
Love Potion #9 is a great movie about the dangers of mi- Oh, wait. Love Potion #9 makes they imbiber fall madly in love with the first person or animal they see. Which can be both funny and horrifying, and occasionally involves making out with squids and mules. Simply add a finger length of whole ginger, a cup of crushed verbena(not crushed
, you don't want to know what happens then) and 2 ounces distilled infatuation. Simmer for two hours, strain, and make your Hard roll, and you'll have your love potion.
Now that we're done with the potions, it's time to cover the basics! This issue, Aimee covers bottling emotions. All you need is the emotions you want to bottle, and Mercurial. What's Mercurial? Why, it's distilled, clarified form of Ectoplasm. So just go get some ghosts to donate some... willingly or otherwise... or buy it at your local potion supply store for one to two Allowance points($1-$100).
Aimee notes that you can make good money farming the terror of your loved ones and friends by slipping a quart of this stuff under their bed and summoning a Closet Monster every night to scare the crap right out of them. It takes about twenty hours of exposure to imprint a quart of the stuff with an emotion, and bottle emotions sell for 3-4($101-$200) a quart, so you can make decent money starting up your own terror farm. Or simply projecting your own emotions into it, if you'd rather have a part time job that doesn't pay as well.
I'm... not sure exactly what happened there. I think writing up Pretty Poisoner Penelope, my Alchemist witch who's solution to everything is more chemicals may have made it impossible to not read this whole section with bizarre, sadistic optimism. Have an Image.
Twenty Spells every Witch Should Know just goes over some spells from the core book, but with added history and fluff. I really don't see any reason to cover this section, because, well... It's redundant. I comment, however, that Unlucky 13 makes a reference to Gypsies, and Lucky charms says that the Lucky Charms commercials are racist and silly. "We all know leprechauns prefer a more... liquid breakfast." Oh, and Zap-Finger includes a fat joke about a 200 lb ancient Japanese man getting blasted the length of a football field and landing on a 400 lb. ancient Japanese woman.
So have a picture of someone being turned into a toad.
Alien Rope Burn, were you the one that hated demonic children stories? Because it's time for the section on Babysitting!
It's a pretty standard take on baby-sitting for the first couple paragraphs. And then, just to remind you that it's Witch Girls Adventures, it warns you that if you piss off the wrong rival baby-sitter, she might eat you.
I don't know if any of you know anyone who ran a baby sitting service, but my mother did when I was a kid. A twenty four hour service that was notable for getting even the worst behaved kids to behave. If this chart were realistic(and remember, one allowance point is roughly fifty dollars), she never would have quit.
Baby-Sitting Payment Chart posted:
1 Allowance Points a night (about 2-3 Hours)
Bad Mortal Child:
2 Allowance points. (About 2-3 hours)
2 Allowance points
Bad Magical Child
: add +2
Baby sitter comes comes highly recommended:
Baby sitter has no references:
Bay sitter has a negative reputation:
Parts are in a rush for a sitter:
Part is well of (rich):
I transcribed that directly, all mistakes are from the book. So, for my "little sisters" the three kids with ADD who were over all night every weekend, and almost always dropped off when their mother was working would be getting my mother 3(Bad Mortal Children, good reputation) allowance points each for every three hours... Yeah, I don't think mom would have quit an become a baker if she was making a thousand dollars a night.
The next page is dedicated to all the ways the kids are going to make your life a living hell. Rigging your wand to explode, simply being stronger than you, getting kidnapped by Jareth, eating people, and so on. It breaks it down by species. After a quick bit about how the parents might react to how you treat the kids, highlighting that the usual witch girl strategy of turning them into pillows and watching TV using them as a cushion until their parents pull up might be a bad idea, it gives you a way to strike back. SassySitter.wtch gives you a way to talk smack about problem clients, and avoid them.
And then it has an interesting and useful idea that's tainted by being in this damn setting. There are Hex Scout merit badges, for doing various things related to baby-sitting, and if you manage to get all six, you get a special power. Okay, so it's just +1 on resistance rolls for all spells cast by Witchlings and +1 to all social rolls dealing with kids.
Two new Cliques, Creepy Kid and Witchling. Creepy kids get a +2 to being scary and creepy, and can spend a point of zap to give you a -1 penalty to resist their spells as well as all rolls. Witchlings can spend a point of Zap to give the innocent eyes and... something. Aside from getting more allowance, it leaves it up to the GM. They get a +2 to being mischievous or doing things they think would be funny.
Two new mundane skills, Charlatan and Sitter. Charlatan lets you pass off magic as tricks. Sitter is what it says on the tin. Given the way the skill system works, if these are introduced mid-campaign you'll probably never pick them up.
One new Magical skill, Animator, which lets you animate plushies and other objects. The more Zap you put into it, the longer they last. They can be recharged for only one Zap at any time, but it only adds the original duration back on. If you animated it for a day, you just give it an extra day of life. You can't add past that. Supposedly, they cover the different types of animated things in the cast section but... no, they don't.
Three new talents, Big Stster which gives you a +2 to all social rolls involving kids that are four or more years younger than them, but doesn't effect teens.
Brat give you a +1 to any roll(including spell casting) to make things go your way. Mundane gives a +2 to any roll to convince, trick or coerce someone into believing you're not a witch.
Animator gives you the ability to animate at range(10 FT. without a wand, 20 with) a +?(It doesn't say...) to the Animate skill, and all the lifespan of animated things is doubled.
Twin gives you a identical twin. Twins can pool Zap, and read each other's minds for free. They, however, also share damage. If your twin gets hurt, you take half damage. It's also next to impossible for them to have secrets, which in this case means a Hard Will Roll.
There are a couple variation, Good Twin Evil Twin lets one take Goody Goody and the other Wicked. If you go with this, you don't get the ability to pool zap, but you still read each other's minds. These bonus talents don't count against the starting maximum of two.
Identical Cousin takes away the mind reading, but lets you keep the zap pooling.
New equipment! Oh boy! Things to spend my hard earned money on, so I can earn more money! So I can buy more things! How realistic!
The Nanny Trinket costs two Allowance points for the nanny charm and one charm for a kid, and five points for every kid after the first. It lets you eavesdrop on them, and glows if they're in danger. Practical.
The Big Box of Games holds every mundane game ever, so long as it's not dangerous, you just need to spend a zap to change games. 5 AP.
The Diaper Djinn is, thankfully, a Djinn that changes diapers, not a Djinn whose diaper needs changing. 10 AP
Ever Lasting Bottle or Sippy Cup will hold milk or formula, and infinitely reproduces it. At least until you empty it. It's kept at the perfect temperature. 2 AP.
Jelly Meals are Jelly Beans that act as a full meal. 4 AP gets you a bag of 24.
Perfect Picture is a pentacle that holds 12 holograms. 3 AP.
Who's The Witch game is a board game that uses either moving pictures or holograms, not sure which, to show the kids someone getting burned at the stake. It plays like Hangman, in a way. There are questions on how best to hide your magic, and for each one you get wrong, the mob grows and eventually the person is burnt alive. 8 AP and a life time of therapy bills.
There's an invisible Pet for 10 AP. It's an invisible pet. If you're around it, you can spend zap to become invisible.
Remote Control Brooms are... well, exactly what they say on the tin. 15 AP.
And now we get to the thing that made me go... WHAT?! Have an image.
I just didn't want you thinking that I was making up the child seat designed to smear your kid all over the nearest building... and instead of fixing the design problem, they just slapped invincibility on it.
My First wand is a want that prevents you from taking damage from your own spells, makes all spells cheaper, and has a safe word your parents can use to turn it off. 10 AP
And now we get to monsters! There's Boogie Men, who change shape, can hurt you by scaring you(And banish you into the world of nightmares forever), can teleport through shadows, penalize all rolls(-1 to all rolls because you're creeped out) and take half damage. Luckily, they're banished by sunlight and magical sunlight.
Booger Men, however, are made of snot. They're sticky, they shoot sticky blobs, and give you the sniffles.
Changelings are four foot tall fat little... things with no motivation beyond capturing people and copying them to have a purpose in life. They cocoon people and copy their attributes, abilities, and skills. The cocoon individual falls into a deep sleep and don't need to eat, drink or age. Which causes the amusing and terrifying mental image a kid getting kidnapped, and the changeling living to a ripe old age, "dying" and finding someone else to copy, letting out this six year old some seventy, eighty years later in a world they don't understand, where everyone the know is dead.
The closet monster makes me head hurt. The proof-reading is non-existent, resulting in this sentence: "
The Closet mortal can instantly enter a clioset and appear in another closet anywhere in the world" The Closet Monster is immune to Alteration, Mentalism, and Time And Space magic. Also has a +2 to damage. Description. "There is only one Closet monster. It is all closet monsters. The Creature resembles a Hairless Wolf man with blue green skin and oversized maw with metal blade teeth and Over sized hands with metal blade Claws. The Closet monster is a notorious coward it will run if at tacked or if someone shows its not afraid of him"
Can't make this up folks. It then provides a spell to lock out the closet monster. It's a Time and Space spell, which the Closet Monster is immune to. But I guess as it's cast on the closet, it doesn't count.
This whole thing leads to some weird mental images.
Kid: "There's a monster in the closet!"
Witch 1:"What color was it?"
Kid: "It was orange and bumpy!"
Witch 2:"OH THANK GOD. Little shit's making it up."
Witch 1:"That or… a non-closet monster somehow got inside the closet."
Witch 2:"Wouldn't such a monster become The Closet Monster?"
Witch 1: "Marissa, I don't fucking know. Wipe the kid's memory, we don't want the parents knowing I said fuck."
Witch 2: "On it."
Cooties are small invisible beetle like creatures that live under your skin. They eat 1 life point and d10 zap points a day until cured or they move on. The spread by touch. Luckily, the spell for curing them and granting immunity is only a level two healing spell, and we all know it. Say it with me "Circle Circle Dot Dot, Now You've Got Your Cootie Shot".
Jennie Green Teeth is a class of creature. Hags that eat kids while living in swamps. They're ugly, aquatic, and have a paralytic bite.
Mortal kids are mortal kids, and I'm giving them about as much as they did.
Red-Caps are super fast kids that live under buildings. They run at 60 MPH and have two actions a turn. Their boots are made of cold iron, making their feet and only their feet immune to magic. The boots give them a +1 to damage when kicking and allow them to run up walls. If you take their hat, they die after a minute, and while they're dying they get a -2 to all rolls and can't use magic. They tend to run in gangs of three to six.
Sock Monsters are monsters made out of socks who sneak into houses to replace lost
sock-mass. They are not aggressive and just want your socks. Electrical damage heals them.Their sock-fu knocks you over if you fail a body roll... We're walking.
The Tooth Fairy! The Tooth Fairies in this are monstrous little shits. If your resist magic is under 13, you're unconscious. They cause tooth decay, and can mind control you twice per tooth they get. And they can eat Witch Teeth for zap. They're trying to take over the world by building houses out of teeth.
And now, I'm going to do the adventure hooks, before closing this file for the night...
A changeling will do you no good is a about a "croup" of changelings replacing local kids and adults, ruining the star's babysitting business. Interesting. The planned resolution is the stars find a way to detect changelings and find the cocoons before the changelings take over the town.
Alice's Adventure is Alice in Wonderland, with the stars having to play dodge ball with armadillos to rescue the kid they're babysitting.
Cootie Outbreak! Spell resistant cooties pop up, and the only cure is eggshell from a freshly hatched dragon egg. So your players are off to kidnap dragons!
Painfully Perfect has your players getting baby sat by a good-natured and swee magic nanny. "The Nanny a powerful goody-goody witch and over protective prevents the character from having any fun." But secretly she's an evil witch who kidnaps kids and brainwashes them into being socially responsible! I mean, Goody-Goodies.
Seeing Red: A gang of redcaps extort kids. You're free to kill them, they're only fae, after all.
Sitter war. A rival group of Mortal Baby Sitters set their sights on your turf.
You're free to kill them, they're only mortals, after all.
The pre-programmed resolution is that the groups learn to co-exist. And that's it. I'm free! For tonight. Still got ten pages to go. All the magic hats. Hat magic hat...
Original SA post
Hey Syrg, can you mark my Armageddon review as on hiatus? Even dedicating all my waking hours to course work still doesn't leave me enough time for course work. And whoever was interested in doing a ConX review, have at it.
And since we're on Wick, have some o'
Oh hey. I have that. Got it when it was on sale. Not my best purchase, but considering I'm sitting on both Shatterzone and @ctiv8, not nearly my most disappointing. Obviously, the ones I knew were going to be bad when I bought them aren't very disappointing.
This should be the last of this... and then I can do something happier. Like play a Chris Fields adventure or read the entirety of The Void. You know, that Cthulthuian Stars with it's own system. It's still written by the Wildfire guys. At least they have editors. Or... something that passes for it, in Chris's case.
So, the first thing we've got here is a Cryptid Database Entry. Basically, it's an Ecology of article, hosted by Artemis Olympia. Today we've got the Bandersnatch. As in the beast from Jabberwocky. We're told that "The Bandersantch family line descends from Echidna as are most so called monstrous beasts." Apparently, they're related to Dragons, but aren't as creative or civil. They're solitary predators that live for the hunt. They're native to Asia and the Middle East, though rarely found there these days.
"Bandersnatch children are after being trained in basic hunt by the parents sent off to establish their own hunting area." Said area starts at thirty kilometers and increases as they age.
"Bandersnatches snatches don't nest but rather used their camouflaging ability (picked up from their dragon ancestors) to lie low disguises ad a small rise in the land scape a large log or something harmless during the day leaving their hunting to early evenings." This is your majestic desert ambush predator...
Their psychology is simple. Eat things, don't get killed. Something tries to kill it, it tries to eat it. They can't be reasoned with.
They are apparently warm blooded, and strict carnivores. Thankfully, for the poor miscolored desert creature, it chameleonic, and able to puff itself up into various shapes. It uses it's third set of legs for climbing and gripping, and can stretch itself thin to get through tight spaces. It's a rank four creature and... actually slightly less dangerous than the rank 3 Boogieman. But that's neither here nor there. They provide four spells for dealing with the Bandersnatch.
Bad Taste is either a level one illusion or alteration spell that makes the subject taste bad, and cause nausea if swallowed.
Dragon Ward is a Level 2 Protection spell that lets whoever it's cast on ignore three points of damage from any draconic source, including dragon-kin like the Bandersnatch. It's protection goes up with the protection ranks of the caster, but it doesn't say how much.
Ignore Camouflage lets you ignore camouflage. It's a level one Illusion spell, or a level 2 Divination spell.
Screech of the Jabberwocky let's you give off Jabberwocky noises, which are the only thing Bandersnatches are afraid of. Level one Illusion, seems somewhat specialized, but then, a lot of things are afraid of Jabberwocks.
Desdemona's Dating Advice Collumn is written by Desdemona. From Othello. She just wants you to know that she's not dead, and hates Shakespeare for writing her death into the story. For two paragraphs. Then it turns to regular da---, ha. no. This is WGA.
And we're covering vampires. Not that you should feel obligated to date vampires, as "Being a witch no matter how you look, how you talk or how cool you are or are not you should have no problems getting a boyfriend if one is wanted. You are a bright,. sparkling unique star ."
Vampires are exactly what you imagine them to be. They're undead blood suckers who are so in touch with their emotions that they'll spend days chattering on about how they're so cursed.... and then it promptly shifts into talking about how it's a good thing, because then you can use their empathic nature and their need for a "muse" to control them... And then it shifts again to talking about how "our blood is like a Vanilla soy latte with extra cinnamon and spiked with redbull."
I'm actually kinda torn with this. On one hand, it's a nice article on the difficulties of interspecies relationships. On the other, it's a piece of racist claptrap(being in universe, after all) that talks out of both sides of it's mouth. Long story short, vampires and witches don't trust each other, and you will be considered your boyfriends pet. But that's okay, because you can kill him with a thought and can just as easily save his life. You may be the only thing keeping him alive, and he's emotionally vulnerable and co-dependent. So there's that.
Toss in a bunch of stuff about what each blood tastes like and does for them, the various snuggly groups that want to kill them, and you've got a decent ecology of Foo article, presented as a racist manipulative Dating Advice column.
There's a new talent: Emo where you have to make an easy Will Save or... get a truckload of bonuses. +1 to Reflex, +1 to Art, and +1 to social rolls when dealing with other Emos(Ie: Vampires and the Gothique).
Three new spells: Cryptkeeper (Necromancy 2) lets you restore 3 LP per MTR to an undead creature. Rosy Cheeks(Healing 2) makes undead things appear alive, even to medical equipment. Sunscreen (Elementalism 2) lets vampires walk in sunlight.
White Wolf style opinions on various groups follows, and frankly, they're too boring to comment on, aside from the fact that despite the fact that it says above that Vampires don't trust anyone and as a rule don't really like witches, because witches have been oppressing them, here they call Witches their "almost equals" and "give them the respect that a new equal deserves".
Vampire Specific Organizations... Great. Okay, first is The Clan Of The Peaceful night. They're basically the vegetarians of the vampire world, no humans! Anything else is okay. Okay, so they're somewhere between Vegetarians and AA, as you meet every week to talk about how to reach out, and how to promote their agenda.
The Legacy is the generic evil group. They follow Echidna. They'll find you if they think you're suitable for their club.
Helseing is... well... You know what Helseing is. Hunters. Mostly human, some witches and immortals. And possibly a crazy elder vampire locked in the basement. No, I'm adding that last sentence. They have a cover company of Harker shipping.
Sanguinistas are what other games would call Renfields. They're vampire groupies. A page break and a brain break causes any detail about their orginization to be lost. Not that it matters.
Plot hooks! Branded! Your boyfriend is being framed for being a member of the Legacy. My Bloody Valentine: There's a Valentines day dance going on. His folks don't want him to go. Stakes and Fires! Witch Hunters and Vampire Hunters have teamed up to kill you. Yep.
Apparently, Desdemona is supposed to be a stand up comic. Right then. Could have fooled me.
Denora Is Always Right.
Oh god. Right, this is why I put this down for a week. Denora Desade puts the agony back in agony aunt. You ever wanted an advice column on how to be a total and utter dick to everyone? of course you did. And I'm sure someone's already mentioned it, but Denora is one of their old characters. Dating back to the Poser 'art' on Geocities days.
So, a couple paragraphs of self congratulatory introduction later, we're catapulted into our first letter. A girl in India has been forbidden the use of magic, and isn't allowed to talk to other magical folk! What should she do? If you answered Bribery And Brainwashing, you're thinking like a wicked witch! And here's a spell just for doing jedi mind tricks on your parents. Parental Control (mentalism 2) manipulates the parents love for a child so they'll do just about anything.
Next up is a witch who has been trying to balance a mortal life and a witch life, and is tired of it. She wants her mortal and witchy friends to mingle at her birthday party, but isn't sure how to go about it. Denora gives the advice to hire a professional party planner... Or just ditch the mortals because they're so short lived and have stupid ideas of "fun". If you go through with it pull out some extra security handy spell: Instant Minions(Conjuration 3) makes 1d4 average minions with a d2 mind, 5 skill points, and a huge sense of loyalty. They'll fight were-sharks. But not real sharks as they're water soluble.
The third and final letter is from a bullied girl. Denora first suggests the entirely sane tactic of remembering that you're going to live longer than them, and waiting for them to drop dead and dancing on their grave. If you want something a little more immediate, just disintegrate them. It's clean, easy, and doesn't leave a body. If you're squeemish, you can do this instead.
Heckle Hex(curse 2) makes their teeth fall out whenever they insult you. And causes them to get zits. Petty, but still more mature than I expected from Denora.
And finally, we're to Abby Bruja's fashion column. After all "witches invented fashion!" Today, we're talking hats. Magic Hats.
The Grimm-Grin is your typical floppy witch hat, except this one talks and has up to four ranks in any non-magical skill. I think you can take multiple skills with it without paying more, because it says "skills it is programmed witH'...Anyway 5 Allowance Points for floppy purple witch hat that talks.
The Wychlerro never gets dirty, and prevents you from getting wet in the rain. 2 Allowance points.
The Sassy Sorcery Cone is a magic, retro "comical" hat. Yes, once again, spell check has made things more honest. Due to being an enchanted cone(which can grow up to two foot tall), you get a +1 to all Will and Mind rolls. Cheap, for only 5 allowance points.
The Arcane Aviator is a helmet that lets you see through clouds, gives you night vision, a +1 to all vision based senses rolls, lets you ignore 1 point of damage from falls and impact, or two if you fall from a broom. 8 allowance points.
The Top Hat, from Hoodoo Haberdashery, is exactly what you might imagine. A magical top hat that's so awesome it breaks their font and makes them shout at a higher pointage. No, I mean. It gives you a +1 to conjuring rolls, and anything you conjure with the hat lasts twice as long, and you can conjure twice as much. It's also a bigger on the inside purse, letting you store 100 pounds of miscellaneous items in it, so long as they'd fit into the hat.
And I'm free, as the other magazines that never were have been covered, and I don't have to talk about the dreadful Coming Soon page. The back cover, however, reminds me that the Princess Lucinda movie got funded. I hope we never see anything from that.