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Thread: The White Witch

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    I have read the entry for the White Witch in "Blood Enemies" several times, and I fail to understand why she is considered awnshagh. It seems as though any special power she possesses (other than standard blood abilities) come from her rings, and not from any bloodform. If she has no monstrous traits, why then is she considered awnshegh and not just a powerful blooded priestess, with a special connection to her goddess (as demonstrated by the ring she got as a present from Kriesha)? If she is indeed awnshegh, what is her blood-induced Form?

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    They don't do a very good job of describing her, I think.

    I think her form is simply that she is severely and totally ugly. She though really doesn't have particularly many powers, and I tend to not really think of her 'full-blown' Awnshegh, but rather as an emerging one (though she is quite powerful).

    As a note of Bloodform/Bloodtrait...I tend to think that these two powers and the forms they they produce are really simply mirror images of the creature transforming. The White Witch is a vile woman, who is as vain as she is evil. Her bloodform corresponds to her thus making her outside as her inside (and giving her some power in return).

    If you pay attention to the themes within the Awnshegh within the Blood Enemies, you will generally note this type of relationship between form and personality.

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 01:09 PM 6/14/2004 +0200, anacreon wrote:



    >I have read the entry for the White Witch in "Blood Enemies"

    >several times, and I fail to understand why she is considered awnshagh. It

    >seems as though any special power she possesses (other than standard blood

    >abilities) come from her rings, and not from any bloodform. If she has no

    >monstrous traits, why then is she considered awnshegh and not just a

    >powerful blooded priestess, with a special connection to her goddess (as

    >demonstrated by the ring she got as a present from Kriesha)? If she is

    >indeed awnshegh, what is her blood-induced Form?



    Her awnshegh transformation becomes a bit more obvious if one realizes that

    she`s really a thirteen-year-old Khinasi boy. Her bloodform theme might

    then be described as "old lady transsexual" and she is probably more

    transformed than even the Gorgon....



    Seriously, though, the WW is one of the more troublingly classified

    awnsheghlien, not just because of her own status as a "major awnshegh" but

    because of the implications of the character. She is, in fact, not just

    considered an awnshegh, but she is lumped into the category of "Major

    Awnsheghlien" (the chapter title of the BE section in which she appears)

    where the Swordhawk, who would appear to be more transformed and a more

    obvious candidate for that classification, is in the "Lesser Awnsheghlien"

    chapter. Several others in the "Lesser Awnshegh" chapter would seem more

    transformed than the WW.



    Not only that, but she has blood abilities beyond the capacity of her

    bloodline in the original BR system. Two minor, two major and a great

    blood ability with a minor, 20 bloodline. If we assume the best possible

    rolls on the old Table 12: Blood Ability Acquisition, at that bloodline

    strength/score she could not have had more than a minor, one major and one

    great--and that would be pretty unlikely; 10,000 to 1. It`s got to happen

    sometime but still....



    When it comes to the theme of her transformation, I would suggest that it

    is based on her being the stereotypical "old witch." She is "a hag" (lower

    case "h") in the BR sense of a monstrous creature of mythic proportion--not

    necessarily similar to the one in the MM. There already is a Hag (upper

    case "H") in the BR pantheon of awnsheghlien, so I`m hesitant to use that

    term (especially since The Hag would appear to be more like one of the

    Gorgon sisters in the Greek mythology) but that`s pretty close to the

    character`s theme in the more common mythology/folktales.



    When it comes to the minor/major classification issue of awnsheghlien, I

    don`t think anyone is really concerned about that but me.... I did,

    however, find a solution that I think works surprisingly well, and it aptly

    describes the situation with the WW, so I`ll reiterate it. I`ve mentioned

    a couple of times on the boards/list that I use a system of portraying

    blood abilities using points (called BP) which allows for a lot of

    customization of blood abilities and the effects of awn-/ersheghlien

    transformation. In that system, there is a feat called "Major

    Transformation" that gives the character another BP. It costs the

    character since s/he then has more difficulty resisting the change into an

    awnshegh (a Will save when levelling up) if they have the blood of Azrai,

    but since many of them embrace that change its not such a problem for

    them. Taking this feat is a voluntary act and represents the character

    embracing his/er transformation. The WW is then lumped into the "Major

    Awnsheghlien" category for no other reason than because she has taken this

    feat, while lesser awnshegh (and ershegh) appear in their own chapter with

    nothing more than a blurb because they have not.



    When it comes to the unusual number and the power of the WW`s blood

    abilities there is some text in the original BR rules for such creatures

    that indicated that number and power of an awn-/ershegh`s blood abilities

    are increased by their transformation. The WW`s unusual (impossible)

    number of blood abilities for her bloodline score would appear to exemplify

    this process. Unfortunately, there wasn`t much in the way of actual game

    mechanical description for how that might work. It was, essentially, an ad

    hoc process left entirely up to the discretion of the DM without any

    guidelines whatsoever other than the other awnsheghlien character descriptions.



    In a 3e/D20 update of the setting, however, we can use an "Awnshegh"

    character class that handles the character`s development. If such a class

    grants a Bonus BP and transformations (or some other method of increasing

    blood abilities and reflecting the physical change) there is a game

    mechanical way of articulating both the transformation that have taken

    place and increasing the character`s blood abilities in a steady,

    incremental way. Characters who take levels in the class in the BP System

    get a Bonus BP every level, which can be used to improve existing blood

    abilities, add new blood abilities, or it can be spent on getting an

    additional Transformation effect. In that context, the transformation of

    the White Witch is mostly a character whose Bonus BP from awnshegh levels

    are dedicated to improving her existing blood abilities. If using such a

    system to portray awnsheghlien, given the number and power of her blood

    abilities she would seem to deserve the "major awnsheghlien" appellation.



    I should also note that in the BP system there is some information on how a

    scion of Azrai must actively resist the transformation into an awnshegh by

    making a Will save when levelling up. It`s interesting (to me, at least)

    to note that the WW has levels in a cleric character class that has the

    fastest Will save progression, meaning that she could be "less transformed"

    than other awnsheghlien because she has made the appropriate Will saves and

    taken levels as a priest rather than being forced to take levels in the

    awnshegh class. Since there is a feat to define what is meant by "major

    awnsheghlien" one need not connect up that concept to the actual character

    levels in the Awnshegh class.



    A version of the awnshegh character class can be found in the birthright-l

    archives at:



    http://oracle.wizards.com/scripts/wa...ight-l&P=R5083



    or, if you prefer, in the birthright.net boards under the "Rhoubhe

    Manslayer" thread at:



    http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...=ST&f=2&t=2528



    Laters,

    Gary

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    So will anyone take a stab at posting her 3.5 stats?

    Every time I hear White Witch, I can only think of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. There is an indelible imprint in my mind, I suppose that's what comes of reading books over and over and over... :blink:

    Osprey

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 03:22 AM 6/15/2004 +0200, Osprey wrote:



    >So will anyone take a stab at posting her 3.5 stats?

    >

    >Every time I hear White Witch, I can only think of The Lion, The Witch,

    >and the Wardrobe.
    :D There is an indelible imprint in my mind, I

    >suppose that`s what comes of reading books over and over and over... :blink:



    I`m in the "Imprinted by C.S. Lewis at an Early Age" club too, not that

    that`s such a bad thing....



    Anyway, give me a while and I`ll take stab at her stats, using the Awnshegh

    character class. I`ve avoided posting any of the existing awnsheghlien

    using that system, but maybe it`s time to do so.



    Gary

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    OK, folks, I`m going to start in on the White Witch conversion to 3e/D20,

    but first I want to raise a couple of issues/get a few suggestions from the

    good folks in the BR community.



    Regarding Ability Scores: We don`t know from the original BR materials

    what her 2e stats were other than that her intelligence which is given as

    20 and her charisma is given as 9 (or 19 with her Ring of Beauty in

    effect.) Strength, dexterity, constitution and wisdom are pretty much

    unknown. As much as possible I like to start with the Standard Array for

    ability scores, or scores that are close to those values when it comes to

    the point buy method of character generation. Here are, however, a few

    notes regarding how I plan to set her stats:



    Strength. She avoids combat and wields only a dagger, so this will be her

    lowest score. I`ll start it at 8 and possibly even give her a disadvantage

    (from the awnshegh character class) to lower it a bit more. Since her

    transformation theme is "haggish old witch" such a disadvantage is

    thematically sensible.



    Constitution. The WW has 45hp in BE. That`s very low for a character with

    14 priest levels. The average hp for a 14th level priest would be 63 (2e

    characters did not normally start with max hp at 1st level.) That would

    imply a penalty in her constitution score. In addition to the information

    in the character description that indicates the WW avoids physical

    confrontation there`s plenty of evidence to indicate that this is one of

    her lower stats, so again I`m thinking I should start it off at 8 and maybe

    even give her a disadvantage to lower it to 6 if it makes sense.



    Dexterity. This one is weird because in BE her AC changes with her

    transformation between crone (AC 3) and beauty (AC 6) but there`s no

    indication that her dexterity is changed by the magic item that changes her

    physical appearance and Cha stat. When the character uses that magic item,

    however, it appears to be the only change. She might be donning and

    doffing some sort of armor, but why would she, and why wouldn`t that be

    described in some way? Because this transformation is not due to her

    bloodline/awnshegh status, however, I`m thinking it might make sense to

    assign that effect to the Ring of Beauty description instead. It would

    help balance the power of that magic item if it were "cursed" in some way

    in addition to the lawful good/nicey-nicey way it forces the wearer to

    behave. Comments?



    Intelligence. As noted, this stat is at 20 in the BE entry. In 2e, of

    course, ability scores only had bonuses at either ends of the scale

    (starting at 15) so in 3e we can let this slide a bit. It is one of her

    higher stats, and her "financial genius" is featured pretty prominently in

    the character description, so it will be high in this version as well. The

    WW does, however, have the Heightened Ability blood ability, and we don`t

    know if that affects her intelligence or charisma since it could affect

    either in the original 2e version of BR. I`m probably going to put her

    intelligence at 14 using the standard array/point buy method of character

    generation, give her a point or two bump for levelling up, and assume her

    blood ability is pushing it up the rest of the way.



    Wisdom. The only way I can see to gauge the WW`s wisdom score is by the

    number of bonus spells she is granted amongst her list of spells in

    BE. Unfortunately, the list of spells would seem be impossible for a 14th

    level 2e priest with any wisdom score. Among those in that character

    description are ten 1st, eight 2nd, eight 3rd, eight 4th, five 5th, three

    6th and two 7th level spells or 10, 8, 8, 8, 5, 3, 2. The spells for a

    14th level priest in 2e were 6, 6, 6, 5, 3, 2, 1, so she`s got 4, 2, 2, 3,

    2, 1, 1 bonus spells. There is no 2e wisdom score that grants that number

    of bonus spells. It`s off on at least a couple of those levels. In order

    to get ten 1st level spells she`d have to have a wisdom score of at least

    23, but to get that second 7th level spell it`d have to be at least 25. At

    25 wisdom, however, she`d get three 6th level bonus spells. There`s no

    real rhyme or reason to it that I can discern.



    Nonetheless, the WW is a priest, so her wisdom score should be high. Since

    she gets scads of bonus spells for a 2e priest it would appear to be higher

    than her intelligence score, so that will be her highest starting ability

    score, and raising it will be the focus of her transformation effects.



    Charisma. This stat is given as 9 with a magic item that grants what would

    probably be called a +10 "inherit" bonus in 3e/D20. Is there any

    particular reason to change that?



    Regarding Character Levels: As I mentioned I`m going to portray her using

    an Awnshegh character class. I`m hoping not to push her over 20 character

    levels, however. She is a 14th level priest in 2e BR, and that was the

    "magic number" for 2e priests since the major characteristic of that class

    that it gets her access to 7th level spells--the 2e maximum divine spell

    level. In 3e clerics get access to 7th level spells at 13th level,

    however, so it might make sense to shift her down a notch.



    Regarding Bloodline Score: The WW`s bloodline strength/score is very low,

    especially for a character with a realm as large as her`s. I`m not

    planning on changing her score drastically, but if I added a point or two

    would anybody mind?



    Any objections or comments regarding these other issues in translating the

    White Witch into D20?



    TIA for your input,

    Gary

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by geeman@Jun 15 2004, 07:40 AM

    Dexterity. This one is weird because in BE her AC changes with her transformation between crone (AC 3) and beauty (AC 6) but there`s no indication that her dexterity is changed by the magic item that changes her physical appearance and Cha stat. When the character uses that magic item, however, it appears to be the only change. She might be donning and doffing some sort of armor, but why would she, and why wouldn`t that be described in some way? Because this transformation is not due to her bloodline/awnshegh status, however, I`m thinking it might make sense to assign that effect to the Ring of Beauty description instead. It would help balance the power of that magic item if it were "cursed" in some way in addition to the lawful good/nicey-nicey way it forces the wearer to behave. Comments?
    I think it is more logical to assume that the White Witch possesses a ring of protection +3, that she has to take off whenever she dons her ring of charisma (remember that in 2nd ed AC, the lower the better).

    While we're on the subject of the ring, if the ring makes the wearer Lawful Good, how con a lawful good person give it up, knowing that doing so will make her evil? I mean, if you're lawful good, why on earth would you do something just for the sake of enabling you to lie cheat and steal?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Gary,

    It sounds to me like the Ring of Beauty affects a physical transformation similar to an Alter Self spell.

    For AC, I would assume that the WW's Natural Armor she gets from being a hag is lost while in the form of a soft, beautiful woman...however, her Dex might also be better when not old and withered, so perhaps these stats:
    Hag, AC 17: Dex 8, +6 Natural Amor, +2 Deflection
    Beauty, AC 14: Dex 14, +0 natural armor, +2 Deflection

    Then assume she wears a +2 Ring of Protection, or maybe has Protection from Good as a major blood ability of Azrai, which would give her +2 Deflection AC against good-aligned characters at least.

    Anyways, these would give her equivalent 3.x AC stats to the original.

    I think natural Armor being part of her true form makes sense - the price of beauty [from the ring] is the softness of that form, so vulnerable...


    Otherwise, I think the low Strength and Con make great sense, as does the low Charisma...although I think even ugly people can be charismatic when they wield great power. Which means the WW must be REALLY UGLY and repulsive as a crone. I would add some serious disadvatages, not just ugly: foul-smelling, ill-kempt, curled and haggard, always a cruel sneer to her lips, a strand of spittle hanging or flying from her protruding lip...[yummy]

    If you're gonna do ugly, take it all the way, baby! Full throttle to REPULSIVE!!!

    A straight conversion of 2e to 3e would give the WW an Int of 22 (+6 modifier). I would translate "financial genius" into the Master Administrator feat, along with a maxed Administrate skill.

    So what's the WW a Cleric of? Kreisha? Azrai? Erik? Laerme? The Cold Rider?

    Domains: Charm? Winter? ???

    Not sure what to tell you for what her Wisdom score should be.
    However, giving her a Periapt of Wisdom +4 or +6 might help explain a super-high Wisdom score for bonus spells, without it needing to be a permanent stat. Might be a good choice in this case. A natural Wisdom of 20, with +6 enhancement bonus [26], seems more reasonable and believable for this level character.

    Also, there's always the chance of inherent bonuses from finding a Tome of Understanding or similar work. [Though what 17th+ level spellcaster would blow the XP for making one of these puppies for someone else is beyond me...]

    I'd be opposed to her Wisdom being raised with blood abilities - this seems somewhat opposed to Azrai's bloodline, whereas Intelligence and Charisma are the favored traits.


    Some other ideas:

    Give her [Greater] Spell Focus: Necromancy, not for the undead-raising aspects but rather to raise the DC's on her Bestow Curse spells, and secondarily on Inflict spells. (It's a pity we can't adopt the Ravenloft cursing system here). I see the "Curse of the White Witch" being an appropriate tool of fear and legend to deal with her rivals and those who displease her.

    Some ideas, anyways.

    Osprey

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:53 AM 6/15/2004 +0200, anacreon wrote:



    > I think it is more logical to assume that the White Witch possesses a

    > ring of protection +3, that she has to take off whenever she dons her

    > ring of charisma



    That is much better. Kudos.



    >While we`re on the subject of the ring, if the ring makes the wearer

    >Lawful Good, how con a lawful good person give it up, knowing that doing

    >so will make her evil? I mean, if you`re lawful good, why on earth would

    >you do something just for the sake of enabling you to lie cheat and steal?



    I don`t think the lawful good aspect is really an alignment change per se,

    but meant to reflect the ring`s magical effect. The description of the

    ring does say that the wearer is aware of the personality change, which is

    sometimes not the case with items that are "cursed" or otherwise affecting

    the alignment or personality of the character, and this is not that kind of

    effect. Rather, it just requires a certain type of behavior while

    functioning, the idea being that lies, deceit, etc. are not

    "beautiful." ("Truth is beauty, beauty is truth.") Thematically, if one

    is going to do something "ugly" then the ring has to be removed.



    Gary

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 09:16 AM 6/15/2004 +0200, Osprey wrote:



    > So what`s the WW a Cleric of? Kreisha? Azrai? Erik? Laerme? The Cold Rider?

    >

    > Domains: Charm? Winter? ???



    She`s a priestess of Karesha. For her domains charm sure sounds like it

    would make sense for the character....



    > Not sure what to tell you for what her Wisdom score should be.

    > However, giving her a Periapt of Wisdom +4 or +6 might help explain a

    > super-high Wisdom score for bonus spells, without it needing to be a

    > permanent stat. Might be a good choice in this case. A natural Wisdom

    > of 20, with +6 enhancement bonus [26], seems more reasonable and

    > believable for this level character.

    >

    > Also, there`s always the chance of inherent bonuses from finding a Tome

    > of Understanding or similar work. [Though what 17th+ level spellcaster

    > would blow the XP for making one of these puppies for someone else is

    > beyond me...]

    >

    > I`d be opposed to her Wisdom being raised with blood abilities - this

    > seems somewhat opposed to Azrai`s bloodline, whereas Intelligence and

    > Charisma are the favored traits.



    One of the things a character can do with the Awnshegh/Ershegh character

    class is raise any ability score regardless of derivation. Since the theme

    of the characters can be so broad I wrote it up to make for any possibility

    and, in fact, made even the regular Heightened Ability blood ability

    possibly effect any ability score at the DM`s discretion and/or after the

    ones suggested by the original BR materials had been addressed. On the

    whole ability scores are so general a thing that it seems like the blood of

    the gods should be able to influence just about any of them in some

    way. At least, for the purposes of the more general BR

    gods/derivations. One should remain "on theme" of course, but given that

    anything should be possible.



    I will definitely keep in mind that her wisdom score might be improved by

    magic items, however. That seems to be particularly apt given the

    character description that says specifically that she has something of a

    hoard of them. (That`s not unusual for some of the major awnshegh, though

    it is unusual for BR in general.)



    > Give her [Greater] Spell Focus: Necromancy, not for the undead-raising

    > aspects but rather to raise the DC`s on her Bestow Curse spells, and

    > secondarily on Inflict spells. (It`s a pity we can`t adopt the Ravenloft

    > cursing system here). I see the "Curse of the White Witch"

    > being an appropriate tool of fear and legend to deal with her rivals and

    > those who displease her.



    Interesting. I think you`re right, there definitely should be a curse

    function going on. Out of curiosity, does this seem like something that

    should be a function of her bloodline or of her character levels?



    Gary

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