PDA

View Full Version : C. J. Carella's Witchcraft



fmitchell
09-15-2008, 02:46 PM
After delving into All Flesh Must Be Eaten and Buffy, I started reading Witchcraft, the progenitor of both systems. The setup and fiction is definitely evocative -- and more my style than WoD -- but I haven't gotten to the magic system yet, which is always a sore point for me. (Reviews have been mixed on the ritual magic system, and I don't know if I'd run a game of channelers, psychics, or miracle workers.)

Does anyone have actual experience playing this game? How did it go? What are the best parts? What would you change?

darelf
09-16-2008, 12:19 PM
After delving into All Flesh Must Be Eaten and Buffy, I started reading Witchcraft, the progenitor of both systems. The setup and fiction is definitely evocative -- and more my style than WoD -- but I haven't gotten to the magic system yet, which is always a sore point for me. (Reviews have been mixed on the ritual magic system, and I don't know if I'd run a game of channelers, psychics, or miracle workers.)

Does anyone have actual experience playing this game? How did it go? What are the best parts? What would you change?

In order:
Yes
Fabulously
Everything
Nothing

Witchcraft makes me work. It makes my games better. It makes my players "play up a level".

Very possibly the only downside is that there is an experience point system for character improvement. I don't think it's needed. In fact, I'm pretty sure you could run a complete and satisfying campaign without ever giving out XPs. If changes to a character needed to occur, you would just make those changes and not worry about the XPs.

In fact, I am implementing that in my current campaign which is a Armageddon-meets-Shadowrun game. ( Armageddon being the successor to Witchcraft... the reason they are giving away the latter for free )

Witchcraft, in my opinion, works best with mixed. That is, a mage, an inspired, a mundane, a necromancer, etc... mix it all up. And the game benefits from two qualities: A) Being complete in itself, and B) being expandable with all of the supplements plus the AFMBE supplements.

I could go on, but you probably don't need to hear my evangelism of this game... ( the greatest game of all time, ever... )

fmitchell
09-18-2008, 11:20 AM
Witchcraft makes me work. It makes my games better. It makes my players "play up a level".

Could you or someone else expand on this statement? Why is it better suited to modern-day occult adventure than, say, Vampire, Mage, Call of Cthulhu, or any other game in the genre?

Webhead
09-18-2008, 01:42 PM
I don't have any experience running/playing Witchcraft, only Buffy/Angel. I like most of the Buffy/Angel magic system but it strikes me as a bit more streamlined and "interpretive" than Witchcraft's system (which is a good thing in my mind).

I used the Buffy/Angel magic system as a basis for my own set of rules to emulate the kind of magic present in the Dresden Files book series. I like it a lot, but I've not gotten any steady feedback/playtesting on it.

fmitchell
09-18-2008, 02:24 PM
I like most of the Buffy/Angel magic system but it strikes me as a bit more streamlined and "interpretive" than Witchcraft's system (which is a good thing in my mind).

Yeah, I was thinking of using that, adapting the "Occultism" system from A Magical Medley for Fudge, or recreating the "Spirit Magic" system from GURPS (Voodoo, Spirits, and the upcoming Thaumatology). Essentially, all the systems have a skill roll to determine how well you research and perform ritual magic, but require innate talent to actually make something happen.

I also wanted to include a form of vampirism inspired by Witchcraft, but closer to AFMBE, Buffy, and WoD: vampires use blood as a conduit to drain life energy, but some learn to drain life force through other forms of intimate contact. (No draining at a distance, though; the vampire has to grab his or her victim.) Also, my vampires would need "essence" to regenerate damage, in addition to daily drain and magic use. One review on RPGnet mentioned that Witchcraft "vampyres" won't go down without some sort of essence draining magic; requiring them to spend essence when damaged makes Mundanes more useful, and allows a hierarchy of vampires from snitches and mooks to the thousand-year-old Big Scary.

darelf
09-19-2008, 08:10 AM
Could you or someone else expand on this statement? Why is it better suited to modern-day occult adventure than, say, Vampire, Mage, Call of Cthulhu, or any other game in the genre?

Here's what I mean when I say "It makes me work". I don't mean that the rules are hard. They are extremely simple ( esp. if you use the Cinematic stuff from Buffy/Angel ). You think for a moment they are too simple, until you get in and play and realize they are "just right".

As compared to White Wolf games, the dice are straightforward and make sense. Often, the rules are constantly tripping you up in White Wolf, and they are tied very specifically to the way the setting works. In Unisystem, the rules can very easily simulate anything you want, without thought.

BRP ( CoC ) has an interesting flair, but is a real drag for me.

Bottom line, when you are running a modern-day supernatural horror game, the system supports you no matter what you want to do. I often invent creatures or situations or magic or whatever, and no matter how wild my imagination, the application of the rules to the situation are always obvious and straightforward.

That's where "it makes me work" comes in. Once you take that plunge into just letting your imagination wild, you are raising the bar. Suddenly, just another zombie isn't good enough. A spell that's in the book, isn't good enough. It becomes an expectation that you ( and your players ) are going to "up the ante" on creativity. And you do it without fear because the system is so intuitive that it Just Works.

So, when your player meets some kind of zombie/witch in a small town in the middle of nowhere, and spells and bullets and nothing seem to penetrate some kind of blobby substance that surrounds her, he rips a telephone pole out of ground and uses it to beat the living daylights out of her. And you just kind of eyeball it.