Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Northwind - Men and Magic

Northwind – Men and Magic.

I don't particularly consider my campaign to be an innovated original setting. I use what feels right in my game, and that means there are many references to gaming magazine articles and even books published for other editions of the game. Good resources are where you find them. I've been running a modified Judge's Guild based Campaign (or perhaps, Campaigns) as the world of Northwind since early 2009. What I present here is not necessarily the JG interpretation of things, though some things will be familiar to Wilderness fans, such as locations on the map and such.

The City State of Northwind gets its name from the Church of Northwind, a faux-Catholic church to which the Overlord of the City State has converted to and proclaimed the official faith of the state. There are however several other temples in Northwind, as the City is a cultural hub in the Wilderness, trading with many peoples of many faiths.

Though I shall detail various places, cultures, monsters, religions - both pious and pagan, and tales of adventure and ruin in the coming pages; it all begins with characters.

Players begin by either rolling 3d6 for each attribute or rolling 4d6 – drop the low die, it really doesn't matter to me. I permit attribute bonus from the Greyhawk supplement with the modifications that fighting men and thieves may utilize dexterity bonuses from Greyhawk and all other classes must defer to Men and Magic for their bonus. Dexterity bonuses affect both armor class and missile weapon usage.

Picking a class to play may determine more about a character than his profession, as certain classes are defined by the culture or race that spawns them. Rather than come up with alien sounding names that tend to sound rather pretentious, I have kept things simple by using as many familiar names for things such as races/cultures. Players tend to break things down like this anyways. The following is not nearly as complicated as it looks typed up like this. Much inspiration came from the Historical Reference series TSR supplements for 2nd edition AD&D, particularly two that were quite good; HR1 Vikings and HR3 Celts. HR 5 & 6, Age of Heroes and The Glory of Rome, deserve honorable mention as well.

Races of Men and the Character Classes they employ:

It may not be die hard old school, but I have found custom made classes to be enriching to the game, especially among players who are used to latter day editions of D&D. As such, I allow a lot of options for my players, and retain for myself a considerable amount of leeway for NPCs. And besides, my 11 year old son loves to play as many different kinds of characters as I'll allow him … (gotta keep that kid on a leash or he'll be playing a dragon …)

All Hit Dice are as in Men and Magic, which is to say, D6 (+/-1) depending on which subclass one belongs to.

Fighting Men Subclasses

  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Samurai (Dragon 3)
  • Barbarians (White Dwarf 4)
  • Berzerkers (Dragon 3)
  • Neanderthals (Dragon 118)

Magic-Users Subclasses

  • Illusionists (Strategic Review Vol1, No4)
  • Houri (White Dwarf 13)
  • Circeans (Dungeoneer 5)
  • Witch (Dragon 20)
  • Alchemist (Dragon 2)
  • Warlock (Dungeoneer 16)
  • Pyrologist (Liaisons Dangereuses 74)
  • Elementalists (White Dwarf 23)
  • Wu Jen (Oriental Adventures)
  • Psychic (See Below)
  • Vitiki (Rune caster from Supplement VI, The Majestic Wilderness)
  • Spae-Wife (See Below)

Cleric Subclasses

  • Druids
  • Friars (of Northwind , See Below)
  • Flagellants (Cleric/Berzerker of Northwind, See Below)
  • Healers (Dragon 3)
  • Godar (White Box Heroes)
  • Monks

Thief Subclasses

  • Assassins
  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Ninja (Dragon 16)
  • Detectives (White Dwarf 24)
  • Rat-Catcher (by waysoftheearth)

Common Men – Greco-Roman, though some do honor Egyptian and Mesopotamian pantheons as well as the Greek and or Roman pantheons, if they are not members of the Church of Northwind. As they are common in the Northwind setting, they have the most character classes open to them. They may become:
  • Fighting Men
  • Magic-Users
  • Clerics (of Northwind)
  • Friars (of Northwind , See Below)
  • Flagellants (Cleric/Berzerker of Northwind, See Below)
  • Thieves
  • Assassins
  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Illusionists (Strategic Review Vol1, No4)
  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Healers (Dragon 3)
  • Houri (White Dwarf 13)
  • Circeans (Dungeoneer 5)
  • Witch (Dragon 20) Chaotic Witches are usually aligned with the dark forces of Glazya.
  • Alchemist (Dragon 2)
  • Warlock (Dungeoneer 16) Chaotic Warlocks are most commonly aligned with the dark forces of Glazya.
  • Pyrologist (Liaisons Dangereuses 74)
  • Elementalists (White Dwarf 23)
  • Detectives (White Dwarf 24)
  • Psychic (See Below)
  • Rat-Catcher (by waysoftheearth)

Norsemen – Obviously, they worship the Norse Pantheon. The Norse are generally from East of Northwind along the coast that they have settled. They may become:
  • Fighting Men
  • Thieves
  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Bards /Skalds (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Berzerkers (Dragon 3)
  • Godar (White Box Heroes)
  • Vitiki (Rune caster from Supplement VI, The Majestic Wilderness)
  • Spae-Wife (See Below)

Altanians – A tribal warrior race native to the Judges Guild Wilderness setting. Altanians are copper skinned barbarians from Altanis. The barbarian Altanians occupy the portion of the Pazidan Peninsula south of the City State of Northwind known as Barbarian Altanis. Families are organized into animal totem clans within each tribe. Some clans remain completely nomadic in nature, while most have settled into a semi-nomadic way of life, settling in small ramshackle villages. Clans include Grizzly Bear (the largest tribe), Mountain Lion, Forest Ape, Tusked Boar, Gray Wolf, and Spotted Wolverine. Altanians are among the most renowned trackers in the world. Altaninians maintain their youth and vigor through old age, and then continue with a mature physique until the day that they die—though few ever live to reach the natural end of their life. Altanian society (non-nomadic tribes) is dominated by the women, who own all chattel and property, save the weapons wielded by the warrior men. The men follow the Way of the Sword, which is a quasi-religious cult led by Sword Knights— Altanians that have earned the right to carry Ancestral Swords (mostly Greatswords). Warriors that are not Knights are members of one of several Warrior Lodges, including the Red Lion, Amber Serpent, Blue Bear, Gray Stallion, Black Eagle, White Wolf, and Green Drake Lodges. Warrior women have a single lodge, the Ivory Swan. Most women stay at home, tending to small gardens with their druidic abilities, while the men go hunting and raiding, or form mercenary bands and adventure in other regions.
They may become:
  • Fighting Men
  • Druids
  • Thieves
  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Barbarians (White Dwarf 4)

Orientals – Originally from the East, across the Wine Dark Sea from the Kingdom of Karak, South of Tarantis. They may become:
  • Fighting Men
  • Thieves
  • Paladins
  • Monks
  • Wu Jen (Oriental Adventures)
  • Samurai (Dragon 3)
  • Ninja (Dragon 16)

Celts – Are found to the West of the City State of Northwind. Naturally enough, they venerate the Celtic Pantheon. They may become:
  • Fighting Men
  • Druids
  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Thieves
  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Witch (Dragon 20) Generally aligned with The Green Man and/or Silvanus.

Amazons - Known by the Norse as “Shield-Maidens” due to their disdain for armor other than shields, the Amazons are a race of humanoids dominated by the female. They are said to have originated in the
Ament Lands, far to the south. They may become:
  • Fighting Men (or in this case, Fighting Women …)
  • Clerics (of Athena; May use Spears and Broadswords, Do not Turn Undead, Generally do not heal men)
  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Psychics (See Below)

Woses – (Wildmen of the Forest.) In appearance, the Woses are short, stumpy-bodied men. They have disproportionate bodies and small, sunken eyes that glow red when they were angry or suspicious. They are primitive but are woodcrafty and stone workers, but also have mysterious powers of clairvoyance and healing (Psionic), and magic related to the control of stone (Elementalists). For weapons, the Woses use poison-darts and arrows. They may become:

  • Fighting Men
  • Druids
  • Elementalists (White Dwarf 23)
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Thieves
  • Psychics (See Below)

Neanderthals – (Cavemen) Neanderthals are hairy and thickly built, with long arms and barrel chests. Their heads are a bit larger than a humans, with a sloping brow and a prodigious jaw filled with large strong teeth capable of cracking bones. They often adorn their skin with crude tattoos and war paint, either to afford themselves camouflage in natural environments or to strike fear into their enemies. Scars are often held to be marks of honor and esteemed in Neanderthal society, and are openly displayed both to honor the fallen enemy and to increase that person’s prestige in the eyes of his kin. Neanderthals are towering figures, often standing between 7 and 7-1/2 feet tall and weighing about 350 pounds. They reach adulthood at the age of 14, and live about 65 years.

  • Neanderthals have their own Race as Class (Dragon 118)

Demihumans, Playable Creatures, and the Character Classes they employ:


There's little sense in reinventing the wheel. Tolkien did Elves best, IMHO. The Elves of Northwind are the same as Tolkien's Elves and divided into 3 sub-races: Silvan, Sindar, Noldor Elves, as detailed in The Three Kindreds Of The Eldar (Dragon 1.) Aside from this definition, Elves receive all the same abilities as per D&D.

Fighting Men and their Subclasses – limited up to 6th Level.

  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)

Magic-Users and their Subclasses – limited up to 9th Level.

  • Illusionists (Strategic Review Vol1, No4)
  • Houri (White Dwarf 13)
  • Circeans (Dungeoneer 5)
  • Witch (Dragon 20)
  • Alchemist (Dragon 2)
  • Warlock (Dungeoneer 16)
  • Pyrologist (Liaisons Dangereuses 74)
  • Elementalists (White Dwarf 23)
  • Psychic (See Below)

Cleric and their Subclasses - Elves may not be Clerics, but the following Subclasses are permitted, limited up to 6th Level:

  • Druids
  • Healers (Dragon 3)

Thieves and their Subclasses

  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Detectives (White Dwarf 24)


As are the Elves, the Dwarves of Northwind are essentially Tolkienian, including the article  - A New View of Dwarves (Dragon 3)

Fighting Men and their Subclasses, Limited up to 9th Level.

  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)
  • Berzerkers (Dragon 3)

Clerics and their Subclasses, limited up to 8th Level.

  • Healers (Dragon 3)
  • Craftsmen (Liasisons Dangereuses 76) limited to 10th Level.

Thieves and their Subclasses

  • Bards/Skalds (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Detectives (White Dwarf 24)


Gnomes have infravision out to 60', but even a candle's worth of light spoils this ability.

Gnomes instinctively spot unusual or new stonework and slanting passages. They can also determine approximate depth underground, as do Dwarves. When actively searching for stonework or mechanical traps, they may find them on a roll of 1-2 on a d6.

Gnomes may hear faint sounds on a roll of 1-2 on a d6. They also have a keen sense of smell that may allow them them to identify potions on a roll of 1-3 on a d6.

When in melee with Giant type creatures, they take half damage from successful hits.

Gnomes add a +2 to all Saving Throws and an additional +2 to Saves against Spells, as they are a hardy and cunning people.

Gnomes speak Common, Dwarvish, and their alignment language, generally Lawful. They also speak several dialects of Kobolds, Goblins, and Hobgoblins.

Gnomes are unable to use Longbows or particularly large weapons due to their size.

Fighting Men and their Subclasses, limited up to 4th Level.

  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)

Magic-Users and their Subclasses limited up to 5th Level.

  • Illusionists (Strategic Review Vol1, No4) Limited up to 7th Level.
  • Psychic (See Below)

Clerics and their Subclasses - Gnomes may not be Clerics, but the following Subclasses are permitted, limited up to 4th Level:

  • Druids
  • Healers (Dragon 3)

Thieves and their Subclasses

  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Detectives (White Dwarf 24)


Hobbits are divided into three sub-races, according to Professor Tolkien's descriptions; Harfoots, Stoors, and Fallohides.

Fighting Men and their Subclasses, limited up to 4th Level:

  • Paladins
  • Rangers (Strategic Review Vol1, No2)

Magic-Users and their Subclasses - Hobbits may not be Magic-Users, but the following Subclass is permitted, limited up to 5th level:

  • Psychic (See Below)

Clerics and their Subclasses - Hobbits may not be Clerics, but the following Subclasses are permitted, limited up to 4th Level:

  • Druids
  • Healers (Dragon 3)

Thieves and their Subclasses

  • Bards (Strategic Review Vol2, No1)
  • Detectives (White Dwarf 24)

Mushroom Men

Mushroom men are commonly found in wet, dark places deep in enchanted forests or deep beneath the surface world in underground caverns. Most Myconids are peace loving creatures of Lawful alignments that never venture far from their native lands, but there are a significant few who venture into the light in search of adventure. Myconids have superior night vision, able to see clearly in total darkness, however they are at a -2 disadvantage in full daylight. They vary in size from 2 to 12 feet tall, depending on their state of development, which shall be measured by their limited levels. They are also quite intelligent, though unable to verbally communicate, relying on telepathic communication achieved at 3rd level. Mushroom men are asexual, reproducing through spores upon their deaths.

Mushroom men may become Fighting Men, Thieves, Psychics, and Sporcerers of no more than 6th level. They may use weapons appropriate to their class, but cannot wear any standard armor due to their unusual physiology.

The following abilities are gained by all Myconids as they advance in levels:

1st level ability - Distress - Warns all nearby Myconids of imminent danger and/or calls for help.

2nd level ability - Reproduction - Seeds the ground with spores that eventually grow into a new Myconid(s). These are automatically released if a Myconid dies.

3rd level ability - Rapport - Allows telepathic communication between two or more Myconids (they don't speak), or any other intelligent organism, regardless of what, if any, language it normally speaks/understands.

4th level ability - Pacification - Causes any sentient creature to become, failing a save vs poison, completely docile for a short period of time (1-6 rounds + current HD of Myconid.)

5th level ability - Hallucination - These are normally used for mind-melding with other Myconids, but they can also be employed against aggressors to confuse/distract them while the Myconids escape or otherwise deal with the threat. There is, unfortunately, an element of risk in this, as an opponent(s) sometimes become even more violent under the influence of these spores. Save vs poison, those that save become enraged for 1-6 rounds.

6th level ability - Animation -Used to temporarily animate the corpse of a non-Myconid for several weeks by coating it with Purple Fungus. Myconids never kill other living things for this purpose; they simply bring back any dead bodies that they happen to find while out exploring nearby tunnels, caves, etc. These "zombies" serve as bodyguards/servants for the Myconid community--only the Myconids of 6th level can create these entities and they are not classified as Undead, because it's living fungus that animates them, not necromancy.


Sporcerers are a rare and magical mutation of the common Myconid, and as such, they accumulate levels at a reduced rate compared to the other classes available to Mushroom Men. They Attack and Save as Magic Users.

1 – 0 2ft tall
2 – 4000 4ft tall
3 – 9000 6ft tall
4 – 20000 8ft tall
5 - 42000 10ft tall
6 - 84000 12ft tall

These unusual Magic Users generate spores that emulate and tap into existing magical energies. They gain Spore Effects as follows:

Level Number of Effects per day
1st circle 2nd circle 3rd circle
1 - 1
2 - 2 1
3 - 3 2
4 - 3 3 1
5 - 4 3 2
6 - 5 4 3

Spore Effects – Resisting Sporcery is made as a Save vs Poison. Due to the physical nature of Sporcery, most spell effects have a radius of 10' and are to be considered Area Effect Spells, unless otherwise stated.

1st Circle

  • Spores of Sneezing – As effect of Dust of Sneezing and Choking.
  • Spores of Blindness – All those within 10' radius become blinded for 1-6+Sporcerers level rounds.
  • Spores of Itching – Cause a -4 to hit due to excessive and unbearable itchiness.
  • Spores of Burning – Spores ignite upon contact with opponent for 1d6 damage that smolders and burns for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Spores of Poison – Save vs Poison at -2.
  • Spores of Paralysis – Save vs Poison at -2, or become immobilized for 1-6 rounds.
  • Spores of Charm – As Magic User Spell.
  • Spores of Darkness - As Magic User Spell.
  • Phosphorescent Glow – Creates a dim otherworldly glow on whatever it is cast upon.
  • Detect Spores – Ability to detect spore usage within the last 24 hours.
  • Speak with Fungi – Ability to communicate with Fungus for as many turns as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Slime of Slipperiness – As effect of Oil of Slipperiness.

2nd Circle

  • Spores of Stinging – Causes recipients to attack at a -2 /defend at a -2AC for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Spongeskin – Reduces armor class by 1 and absorbs 1-6 damage for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Phantasmal Cloud – As the Magic User/Illusionist Spell Phantasmal Force.
  • Second Sight – Enables the caster to see Invisible Creatures/Objects for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Neutralize Sporcery – Acts as a specified Dispell Magic against other Sporcerers.
  • Neutralize Poison – As the Cleric/Druid Spell.
  • Caps of Healing – Causes 1-6 healing mushrooms to rapidly grow. Heals 1-6+1 damage per cap devoured.
  • Fungus Growth – Cause existing fungus to grow to giant proportions.
  • Slime of Stickiness – As the Magic User Spell Web.

3rd Circle

  • Control Fungus – The ability to control as many fungi as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Fungal Parasite – Creates a malevolent growth that drains 1 level per round as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Broth of Wisdom – This potion takes 1-6 turns to create, but drinking it grants 10%-60% Magic Resistance for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Broth of Regeneration - This potion takes 1-6 turns to create, but drinking it grants Ring of Regeneration ability for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Broth of Mind Expansion - This potion takes 1-6 turns to create, but drinking it grants Random Psionic ability for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Corrosive Slime – An acidic slime that damages for 1d6 and degrade armor by 1 point per round for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Flame Jelly – A stream of Flammible Jelly coats the target. When ignited it burns for 2-12 damage on the first round and 1-6 for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Summon Amorphite – Randomly Summons on 1d4 1-Green Slime, 2-Gelatinous Cube, 3-Grey Ooze, 4-Black Pudding
  • Telekinetic Slime – This thick coating will grant the recipient TK abilities for as many rounds as the Sporcerer has levels.
  • Spawn Fungus – Creates enough living Fungi to encompass the Area of Effect
  • Animate Non-Living – causes 1-6 non living materials to grow animating fungi. Each animated object may be considered as a Veteran Fighting Man with a 7-5AC, depending on the material animated.

Werebears, Ratlings, Yeti, and Lion Men

These Character Races have popped up over the years, but they have been infrequent, like one session wonders, so to speak … more of my son's ideas than mine

New Character Classes Defined:


Psionic-using mystics, or Chaos Magic mutated beings of The Wilderlands. Though I have long given thought to importing Traveller's psionic rules wholesale to D&D (and I'm still SORELY tempted to do just that ...), this is the best system I could come up with that still uses aspects of Eldritch Wizardry.

Psionics, particularly for the new Psychic Character Class, are handled by generating 3 new ability scores based on a character's physical ability scores; Psionic Bonus, Psionic Combat, and Psionic Armor Class. Other classes may qualify for psionic abilities, however they are refereed to here as Non-Psychics.

Determining Psionics For Non-Psychic Character Classes: Non-Psychic Characters have a 5% base chance to be potentially gifted with psionics. This may be modified by the following:

Human +3%
Elf +2%
Magic User +2%
Cleric +1%

Psionic Bonus Calculation: Non-Psychic character classes default to no Psionic powers; their number of powers being completely dependent upon totaled exceptional ability score bonuses. Round halves down for the final number of powers the character is endowed with.

Exceptional Wis/Int/Cha Score Bonuses

The totaled Psionic Bonus (Psi+) derived from the chart above also reflects the base combat strength of a given psionic character. This bonus determines the initial number of powers a character may purchase and is also applied to Psionic Armor Class (PAC), to mentally hit and to do damage (see Psionic Combat.)

In the event a Non-Psychic character is within the 10% but has no exceptional ability scores to qualify for a power, the character is ultimately not psionic.

Psychics are automatically psionic (no percentage roll required) and default to one psionic power at 1st Level, to which his Psi+ is applied. Psychics determine Psi+ as Non-Psychic characters, however Psychics can accumulate more powers as they advance in levels.

Daily Use of Power: Non-Psychics can never use any more than one of their powers more than once a day, nor can they accumulate additional powers as they advance in levels.

Psychic Characters have the benefit of formal training and practice from an early age and therefore may develop their number of daily powers and uses, as represented on the advancement table below.

Level /XP Required/ Power Slots /Powers usable per Day/ Daily Uses of Power
1 /0 /+1/ 1 /x1
2 /2800/ +1/ 1/ x1
3 /5600/ +1/ 2/ x1
4 /11800/ +1/ 2/ x1
5 /23600/ +1/ 3/ x2
6 /47200/ +2/ 3/ x2
7 /94400 /+2 /4/ x2
8 /188000/ +2/ 4/ x2
9 /376000/ +2/ 5/ x3
10 /752000/ +3/ 5/ x3
11 /1504000/ +3/ 6/ x3
12 /3008000/ +3/ 6/ x3

Power slots are used to purchase permanent powers which cannot be changed through level advancement. Psi+ may be applied per level of advancement. Psychic characters may save points in reserve by not purchasing powers, so that they can purchase more costly powers at a later time when they have advanced. All powers work like spell-like abilities, usable (x) amount of time per day, depending on what level the character is.

A Psychic may only use the powers he has meditated upon. Meditation is done daily, and the psychic then determines which powers from his list of accumulated powers that he will have prepared in his mind for instant use that day. At advanced levels, he may use those same powers multiple times per day

Psychics attack as Clerics, both physically and mentally, and make saving throws as Fighting Men. Psychics may not wear metal armor or use shields, however they are unrestricted in weapon usage.

Psionic Combat

Psionic Combat Modes are separate and different from powers, in that they are more keenly focused expressions of mental prowess. A Psionic character may determine what attack/defense modes are available to him by taking the actual sum of his Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma scores (Int+Wis+Cha) and add his current experience level (Int+Wis+Cha+Lvl).

This new total is his Psionic Combat (PsiCmbt), from which he may purchase Modes as needed, so long as there are points in his PsiCmbt. PsiCmbt replenishes during daily meditation.

Attack Modes
Psionic damage all does 1D6 physical damage plus Psi+.

(A) Psionic Blast: (20 point cost per individual use.) The air ripples with the force of your mental attack, which blasts the minds of all creatures in range. Psionic blast stuns all affected creatures for 1 (plus Psi+) rounds.

(B) Mind Thrust: (10 point cost per individual use.) You instantly deliver a massive assault on the thought pathways of any one creature, dealing 1d6 (plus Psi+) points of damage to it.

(C) Ego Whip: (15 point cost per individual use.) Your rapid mental lashings assault the ego of your enemy, debilitating its confidence. The target takes 1d4 (plus Psi+) points of Charisma damage, or half that amount (minimum 1 point) on a successful save. A target that fails its save is also dazed for 1 round.

(D) Id Insinuation: (10 point cost per individual use.) Swift tendrils of thought disrupt the unconscious mind of any one creature, sapping its might. The subject is confused, making it unable to independently determine what it will do. Roll on the following table to see what the subject does in that round.

d% Behavior

01–10 .... Attack psionic attacker with melee or ranged weapons (or move toward the psionic attacker if attack is not possible).
11–20 .... Act normally.
21–50 .... Do nothing but babble incoherently.
51–70 .... Flee from the psionic attacker at top possible speed.
71–100 .... Attack nearest creature.

(E) Psychic Crush: (25 point cost per individual use.) Your will abruptly and brutally crushes the mental essence of any one creature, debilitating its acumen. The target must save vs. Death with a +4 bonus or collapse unconscious and dying at –1 hit points. If the target succeeds on the save, it takes 3d6 (plus Psi+) points of damage.

Defense Modes
Every character's Psionic Armor Class (PAC) is considered AC7, which can be modified by various Defense Modes and the character's totaled Psi+.

A Psi+ of +2 reduces PAC from 7 to 5.

(F) Mind Blank: (1 point cost per individual use.) The subject is protected from all devices, powers, and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. This power protects against powers with the mind-affecting or scrying descriptors (Clairaudience and Clairvoyance included) for as many 10 minutes as you have as your current Charisma score.

Mind blank even foils wish spells when they are used in such a way as to affect the subject’s mind or to gain information about it. In cases of scrying that scans an area the creature is in, the effect works but the creature simply isn’t detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all.

(G) Thought Shield
: (2 point cost per individual use.) You fortify your mind against intrusions against all mind-affecting powers, spells or devices. -2 to PAC and +2 to all relevant saving throws for as many rounds as you have as your current Intelligence score.

(H) Mental Barriers: (4 point cost per individual use.) You project a field of improbability around yourself, creating a fleeting protective shell. You gain a -4 to your PAC and your actual Armor Class for as many rounds as you have as your current Wisdom score.

(I) Intellect Fortress: (7 point cost per individual use.) You encase yourself and your allies within 10' r in a shimmering fortress of telekinetic force. All damage from powers and psi-like abilities taken by subjects inside the area of the intellect fortress, including ability damage, is halved for half as many rounds as you have as your current Intelligence score -- rounding decimals down.

(J) Tower of Iron Will: (10 point cost per individual use.) You generate a bastion of thought so strong that it offers protection to you and everyone around you within a 3' r, improving the self-control of all against all mind-affecting powers, spells or devices. Affords a +4 to save for all for half as many rounds as you have your current Wisdom score -- rounding decimals down.

Psionic Combat Sequence

Psionic combat is handled much like melee combat, with appropriate substitutions made.

1.Intentions are declared.
2.Initiative is rolled.
3.The winner rolls a D20 to hit and consults the Cleric's Attack Matrix -- cross referencing the defender's PAC rating. The psionic attacker may add his Psi+ to the 'to hit' roll.
4.If the attacker hits, his power affects the defender. Again, Psi+ may be added to any damage done. Some powers may be saved against, while others may not.
5.Now the Defender may counter attack.
6.Rinse and repeat.

Saving Throws for Non-Psionic Characters

Defender's INT Short Medium Long Effect
3-4 19 18 17 Death
5-7 17 16 15 Coma 1-4 Days
8-10 15 14 13 Unconsciousness 1-20 Minutes
11-12 13 12 11 Stun 1-4 Rounds
13-14 11 10 9 Confuse 1-6 Rounds
15-16 9 8 7 Feeblemind
17 7 6 5 Insanity
18 5 4 3 Insanity 1-4 Weeks
18+ 3 2 1 Insanity 2-12 days

Insanity is defined as the affected creature suffering from a continuous confusion effect, as the spell.

Remove curse does not remove insanity. Heal, limited wish, miracles, or a wish can restore the creature.

Range goes up by a short range base of 1" (and the other ranges go up accordingly in proportion) with each level of mastery of an attack ability.

Attacks at medium range do only 80% of stated damage. Attacks at long range score only 50% of stated damage.

Magic-user +1
Cleric +2
Elf +2
Dwarf +4
Hobbit +4
Helm of Telepathy +4

Attacker is wearing an ESP Medallion -5
Psionic Related Spell* -4
Stunned -3
Confused -2
Enraged -1

Feebleminded **
Insane ***

*See Psionic Ability list hereafter for comparisons
**Treat feebleminded persons as intelligence 3-4
***Insane individuals can be psionically attacked only with "Id Insinuation" (see PSIONIC ABILITIES section).

A helm of telepathy raises psionic strength by 40 and, when worn by the defender, will stun the attacker for three turns if the defender makes his saving throw.

The use of psionic powers will alert any psionically endowed creature within range of the power being used that somewhere, something involving psionic abilities is taking place. If continued
usage of the power then takes place there is an increasing likelihood of the direction and psionic ability being identified. Base chance is 10% for each, and this increases by 10% for each turn of continued usage of the same ability. Usage of a differing ability will make identification impossible, but not direction. When direction is found then relative strength can also be determined on the following turn.

Superior abilities alert other psionics at twice the range of the ability.

Psionic combat (attack modes) alerts psionics within three times the ability range (exception: Mind Thrust and Id Insinuation - detection is ability range, maximum, only).

Note that spells which duplicate or are similar to psionic powers will likewise attract the attention of the psionically endowed creature. This also includes magical items which fall within the category.


Animal Telepathy (2)
Astral Projection (1)
Aura Alteration (4)
Body Control (5)
Body Equilibrium (1
Body Weaponry (1)
Cell Adjustment (4)
Clairaudience (2)
Clairvoyance (2)
Detection of Evil/Good (1)
Detection of Magic (1)
Dimension Door (10)
Dimension Walking (8)
Domination (10)
Empathy (1)
Energy Control (5)
Etherealness (5)
Expansion (4)
Hypnosis (5)
Invisibility (4)
Levitation (1)
Mind over Body (1)
Mass Domination (15)
Mind Bar (1)
Molecular Agitation (2)
Molecular Manipulation (50)
Molecular Rearrangement (10)
Probability Travel (10)
Reduction (1)
Shape Alteration (5)
Suspend Animation (1)
Telekinesis (3)
Telempathic Projection (3)
Telepathic Projection (3)
Teleportation (20)

Rather than post a large section of Eldritch Wizardry, assume that the basic descriptions of the functioning of Psionic Powers/Abilities are the same and Psionic Monster have approximately half their listed Psionic Attack Strength (Which is their PsiCombat in my revision below.) All other monster abilities (i.g. a mind flayer's psionic blast or the D, G, I modes of a Succubus) function as listed.


A Norse version of the Witch or Wise Woman.

Commune with Spirits

Through force of will, Spae-wives have developed a method to call upon the spirits.: As Speak with Dead that may be cast as many times a day as the Spae-wife has levels.

Herbal Lore

Nearly all of the Magic Using Abilities of the Spae-wife find their roots in Herbalism. A Spae-wife may create Elixirs, which are lesser strength potions, she knows of in 15 minutes of uninterrupted time either in a laboratory or in the field, providing she has the ingredients, water, and a vial, bowl or cup.

Spae-wives can restore 1d4 points of damage to a wounded creature if they can reach it within four rounds after being wounded. This is accomplished through the use of bandages and herbal knowledge. Under the Spae-wife's ministrations, the creature will recover twice as fast than it normally would.

3rd level: The Spae-wife can tell how healthy any plant or animal is. She does this by sensing the strength of its spirit and determining its physical health from its appearance. To use this ability the Spae-wife must concentrate on the target for one round. The target must be visible and within 10 yards, and the Spae-wife must make a successful Intelligence check.

5th level: A Spae-wife can identify plants and pure water without error. This makes the Spae-wife's task much easier and means that there is little chance of inadvertently poisoning a friend. The Spae-wife becomes immediately aware of the overall health of all plants and animals within 5 yards, without having to concentrate or make any other special effort. DMs may still require Intelligence checks to discern the health of specific plants or animals.

7th level: With a successful Wisdom check, the character can sense the general level of spiritual activity around her, on the prime material plane. She can estimate roughly how many spirits are present within 20 yards and can distinguish between nature spirits–like telling tree spirits from air spirits, and whether or not the spirit present are even nature spirits.

9th level: The Spae-wife has such an affinity with the natural world that it protects and respects her. Animals are universally friendly to her– even the most timid are unafraid, even the fiercest are harmless. The Spae-wife may pass without trace through any natural area without leaving tracks or scent nor making any sound, and may automatically hide in natural cover as if possessing a 65% Hide in Shadows ability.

Second Sight

Second sight gives people the ability to see things beyond the ken of normal folk. It manifests in two ways. The first, and simpler, power of second sight is to see those things that are hidden by supernatural means. A person gifted with second sight can see invisible things without difficulty.
This primarily means the character can see spirits and hidden creatures.

The second power is the ability to see things that are to be. This prophetic ability of second sight mostly involves people. With second sight the seer can see a person‘s luck, and omens of the future.

Second sight can also be used to see events that will occur. For example, in Iceland there was an old wise woman with the sight who regularly foretold when the merchant ships would be arriving for the season. What is seen by second sight will happen, no matter what measures are taken to avoid it. While most things seen by second sight come to pass relatively quickly, it is not unknown for the prediction to be fulfilled years later.

Second sight does have its limitations. Attempts to use second sight may not reveal anything interesting or extraordinary. Most importantly, this ability cannot be used to predict the outcome of actions. A character with second sight cannot look at a chest and say that opening it would be bad, since this requires an action that may or may not happen (Upon hearing the prediction, nobody opens the chest and thus makes the prediction untrue). Characters cannot use it to foretell the outcome of a fight or a battle, although the seer could say whether one fighter or commander’s luck was good or bad. An event that depends on the specific actions of people, particularly player characters, cannot be determined through second sight. As a last caution, the DM must remember that he is in charge whenever a character has a vision through second sight. If the DM has no idea what vision would be appropriate, then none need occur.

Some DMs may object to the gifted character’s ability to constantly see invisible objects. Most of the invisible things seen are creatures from the other world-dwarves, huldre, tomke, nisse, and an assorted collection of sprites and fairies. Seeing such invisible creatures is no great blessing since they take a greater interest in those who can see them. The attentions of spirits are seldom desirable; those with second sight are often mad or touched in the brain by their own power.

Elixirs that may be known and made:

  • Amnesia – Absinthe; Causes temporary memory loss.
  • Aphrodisiac – Caraway, Dill, Ginsing, and Jasmine. Save or victim falls in love with the first person in sight. Duration: 1-4 hours.
  • Aphrodisiac Antidote – Hellebore. 75% effective.
  • Charisma – Cinquefoil. Temporarily increases charisma by 1-4 points.
  • Cure Blindness – Anemone. 75% effective.
  • Cure Disease Type A – Angelica. Cures Lung Disorders. 75% effective.
  • Cure Disease Type B – Agrimony. Cures Blood Diseases. 75% effective.
  • Cure Disease Type C – Coriander and Thyme. Cures Nervous Disorders. 75% effective.
  • Cure Insanity – Peony. 75% effective.
  • Cure Paralysis – Asparagus. 75% effective.
  • Detect Illusions – Purslane. Range 20 ft.
  • Flying – Belladonna and Hemlock.
  • Friendship – Chicory and Celladine. All creatures within 20 ft. must Save or behave only in a friendly manner toward the drinker of this Elixir.
  • Heroism – Euphorbia and Vervain. Temporarily doubles the combat abilities of the imbiber, i.e. to hit, but not damage.
  • Invisibility – Fern.
  • Lock-Picking – Mistletoe. Adds 20-50% (1d4+1x10) lock-picking ability to any character, even those with no previous ability.
  • Luck – Saffron and Lotus. Adds +1 to all saves.
  • Minor Healing – Amaranth, Daffodil, and Bindweed. Heals 1d4+1 points of damage.
  • Poison Antidote – Basil. 75% effective vs. all types of poison.
  • Premonition – Mugwort. When in 100 ft. proximity to danger, the drinker will know of its presence and general direction, however the specific type of danger will be unknown.
  • Protection from Evil – Nettle. Keeps all summoned evil beings away from the imbiber only. Acts as a 1 ft. Circle of Protection.
  • Protection from Lightning – Laural. As above, but for lightning.
  • Protection from Lycanthropes – Wolvesbane. Works as above, but for all were-creatures.
  • Protection from Spirits – Fennel. As above, but works against non-corporeal undead.
  • Protection from Vampires – Garlic. As above, but for Vampires.
  • Magic Resistance – Ash Buds. Confers +1 to save vs. all magical effects.
  • Necromancy Resistance – Rowan Buds. As above, but for necromancy and evil Clerics.
  • Witchcraft Resistance – Elderberries. As above, but for Witchcraft.
  • Strength – Betony. Temporarily increases Strength by 1-4 points.
  • Truth – Sunflower. Acts as a truth Serum for any who drink it. The drinker does get a Save vs. Magic.
  • Augury – Prophet Tree Fruit. The drinker of this Elixir will be able to divine the answer to any single yes or no question.
  • Dreams – K'Tallah Leaves. The Imbiber will see visions of the near future. The visions are not usually specific, but are always truthful.
  • Climbing – Spider Plant. The drinker will have 85% climb any surface as a thief.
  • E.S.P. - Black Lotus. As the spell, range 100 ft.
  • Diminution – Shrinking Violet. Drinker will shrink to 5% of his or her normal size.
  • Growth – Shrinking Violet and Contrary Vine. The drinker will grow 5x his or her normal height.
  • Poison Antidote 2 – Cleric's Cowl. 95% effective vs. any poison.
  • Protection from Sprites – Sprite Bane. Keeps any type of Sprite away from the drinker, as per the other Protection Elixirs.
  • Cold Resistance – Snow Lilly. Cold based attacks will only do ½ damage to the drinker – ¼ damage if he saves.
  • Fire Resistance – Fire Lilly. As above, but for fire based attacks.

Level/ XP/ HD/ Second Sight/ Elixirs
1/ 0 / 1
/30%/ 4
2/ 2,
500 /2 /35%/ 5
5,000 /3 /40% / 6
10,000 / 4/ 45%/ 7
5 /
20,000/ 5/ 50%/ 8
6 /36,000/ 6 /
55%/ 9
7/ 70,000 /7/
60%/ 10
8 /110,000 / 8
/65%/ 11
9/ 160,000/ 9/
70%/ 12
10/ 230,000 /+1 hp/
75%/ 13
11 / 320,000 /+2 hp/
80% /14
12 /420,000/ +3 hp/
85%/ 15
13 /535,000/ +4 hp/
90%/ 16
14 /650,000/ +5 hp/
95%/ 17
15 /765,000 / +6 hp/
99%/ 18


Mendicant Priests of The Church of Northwind.

Friars are Holy Men not quite suited for the cloistered lifestyle, yet not as gifted with the arts of war as the Cleric. They almost invariably come from rural areas and are of commoner stock. While there is no penalty or taboo against the use of edged weapons, their preferred weapon would be the quaterstaff, which can double as a walking stick. They cannot wear armor heavier than chainmail. Friars attack as Magic-Users and save as Clerics. While they may cast spells as a cleric does, they cannot turn Undead until 5th level, and then do so as a 1st level cleric. Due to the formal education of these priests, they may Legend Lore at a base chance of 15% at first level, gaining +5% each level thereafter.

Level XP Required
1 0
2 1250
3 2500
4 5000
5 10000
6 20000
7 40000
8 80000
9 16000
10 32000


Fanatic Warrior Priests of The Church of Northwind. They are treated as Clerics that do not cast spells, retaining their Turn Undead ability and gaining the Beserker ability (See Berserker, Dragon 3) Their preferred weapons are Whips and Flails, but may use Maces and Hammers or any non edged weapon. Flagellants differ from the Berzerker Character Class in that they do not turn into lycanthropes. Contracting the disease/curse is grounds for excommunication from The Church and the loss of all Class abilities.

Starting Funds, Currency, and Equipment:

In Northwind, we use the Silver Standard as the rule. Gold is the currency of Kings, which is why you get experience for finding it.

200 cp=1 sp, 20 sp=1 gp.

Converting currency does not garner one experience, but is encouraged for the ease of buying equipment.

All Characters roll 3d6 to determine their starting gold. This represents their life savings, last hiest, or whatever. Yes, characters in Northwind start with more money in other games, however, there is an explanation for this. These funds support the low level adventurer with food, lodging, and superior equipment choices to properly fund lavish expeditions into the Wild.
Yes, as a DM, I charge player characters for the feed of horses on their forays into the Underworld.

Our equipment list has been greatly improved by the book OrbisMundi which details a wide variety of stuff, priced in silver, that would have been available to Medieval people. Perhaps the most vital of equipment has been the Bandage Box, which can treat wounds for 1-4hp 3 times before it is used up. We generally use small character sheets, either a note card or an A5 sheet of paper, which limits how much equipment you can write down, which covers our encumbrance rule pretty naturally.


As I'm sure you could tell from all the custom character classes available to play, there are all sorts of uses for magic in the game. All Magic-Users and subclasses are considered to have Read Magic as a class ability rather than a spell. A straight Magic-User is considered a generalist and may attempt to learn any spell he finds, even those of Subclasses – however he does so at a penalty of -40%. Subclasses may only learn spells related to their class, but do so at a bonus of+20%, due to the innate familiarity of the material.

The Dangers of Chaos Magic

Sometimes shit happens.

The universe is Chaos energy affected by Lawful forces to make materials and substances. Magic is Chaos energy given form and function by the mind of the user. Clerics filter this energy through the intervention of higher powers/deities. Magic-Users don't have anything to tame the effects of Chaos but their own will, and as such become burned by the power on some occasions. This becomes more a danger as one wields the greater forces of higher level spells.

4th Level Spell – 5% Base Chance of Chaos
5th Level Spell – 10% Base Chance of Chaos
6th Level Spell – 15% Base Chance of Chaos
7th Level Spell – 20% Base Chance of Chaos
8th Level Spell – 25% Base Chance of Chaos
9th Level Spell – 30% Base Chance of Chaos

Intelligence bonus against Chaos Effects

15 -5%
16 -10%
17 -15%
18 -20%
18+ -25%

Chaos effects can damage or change the caster or cause spells to function … chaotically. I use a chaos effect table from Warhammer Fantasy RPG, but any random table will do … shoot wing it for whatever suits the situation … It's Chaos.