Friday, August 5, 2016

Witchfinder (Swords & Wizardry)

I don't know why I'm hung up on witch hunters, but I am. I've mentioned it before, but a great way to include them, but a fantastic way to include them in your Swords & Wizardry/OSR game is to use Monkey Blood Design's free Witchfinder class. The product itself is quite simple. The pdf is two pages. The first is the class, while the second is the OGL. There are two versions of the pdf too (printer friendly and standard).

The class itself is very interesting. It attacks as a fighter and can use any weapon or piece of armor. It has d6 hit dice. Only lawful humans can be witchfinders. The start with a bonus on saving throws versus magic from chaotic casters.

What really makes the class interesting to me is its gritty inquisitor abilities. All witchfinders have a higher than average chance of extracting useful information through a day's torture. This starts at 60% and increases 2% per class level.

The other starting ability they get is quite unique. It is spread anxiety. There are no hard and fast, concrete rules for this. Essentially it's a tool for the GM'. Commoners will treat the witchfinder with fear and paranoia. They will avoid the witchfinder and placate him to avoid suspicion.

As they level up they gain the ability to cast the following spells as a cleric: detect magic, detect evil, protection from evil, bless, protection from evil (10 foot radius), and holy word.

In addition, at 9th level they can establish a malefizhaus. This is a witch-house that attracts low level witch hunters that will vow to protect the surrounding area. Historically, a malfiz haus was essentially a church torture buildings.

I really, really like this class. While it doesn't have a place in light-hearted games, it could lead to some really interesting games with a darker tone.

The Masks of Satan are fitting tools for aspiring witchfinders. Looking for an encounter centered around witchfinders? You should check out One Small Cut.




4 comments:

  1. Looks like a cool, flavorful class. By the way, what's that art at the top from? I like it a lot and can't figure out if I should recognize it...

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    1. I just did a Google image search for witch hunter and found it. It's from this article:
      http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2013/01/exclusive-preview-robbie-burns-witch-hunter/

      It looks like Mignola a bit and that's why I love it.

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    2. Yes, definite Mignola vibe!

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    3. Oh, and thanks for the link!

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