You Put a Spell on Me
A preview for The Witch's Song, an adventure for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
The Witch's Song will be on store shelves very soon. To prepare, we're pleased to present a short designer diary. Enjoy!
Previewing Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay adventures is a tricky business. Give too little information and no one gets terribly excited. Preview too much and you can spoil the adventure for any prospective players. After all, a big chunk of the fun is the mystery and the surprise!
Fortunately, The Witch’s Song is not your average adventure. Sure, it’s full of mystery, excitement, intrigue, corruption, and the cloying, deadly mists of the Cursed Marshes…but we can’t tell you about any of that or it will spoil the surprise like a witch spoils milk. Fortunately, we can tell you about witchcraft, because in addition to the adventure content, The Witch’s Song details rules for Witchcraft, with two careers, a delightfully wicked new talent, and a host of new Hedge Magic spells.
Witches, Witchcraft, & “Hedge Magic” The only officially sanctioned practitioners of magic in the Empire are the wizards of the Colleges of Magic. As far as the powers that be in the Empire are concerned, any spellcaster not trained and sanctioned by the Colleges is a witch, no matter how pure the intentions of that witch might be. The so-called “Hedge Magic” practiced by some untrained wizards in rural regions of the Empire is witchcraft, plain and simple.
As the High Elf Archmage Teclis explained when he founded the Colleges of Magic, the human mind is only capable of channeling and controlling one of the eight winds of magic. Even that is a dangerous undertaking, requiring rigorous training and discipline to avoid corruption, madness, and death. Humans with magical talent who aren’t instructed in the Teclisian technique inevitably blend the winds together in a haphazard and deadly fashion.
The Dangers of Witchcraft Untrained witches don’t have the control of their Collegiate brethren. They struggle to marshall and contain the powers of the Winds of Magic and risk injury or death to fuel their more potent spells. Witches may find that using symbols and practices associated with the Chaos gods make it easier to invoke their magic, hastening their unwitting slide towards Chaos and corruption. With all this working against them, it’s no wonder that witches are hated and feared by the common folk of the Empire and hunted by the Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar. If their magic doesn’t misfire and kill them, witches are likely to meet their end at the stake as the flames leap higher around them. Witches who want to have any hope of making to a ripe old age are circumspect with their magic, keeping it (and themselves) hidden away from civilized Empire folk.
Advantages of Witchcraft Still, the path of witchcraft has rewards to those with the strength to walk it and not be consumed. A witch can learn to cast spells from any of the eight winds of magic, giving him a versatility and flexibility unheard of by Collegiate wizards. In fact, witches can learn and use the Order talents available to wizard characters, gaining access to a variety of special abilities. More advanced witches (often known as warlocks) can use multiple winds simultaneously and can achieve spectacular results through their dangerously unpredictable techniques. Witches also have access to Hedge Magic spells, a versatile group of effects that might be less powerful than the magics wielded by proper wizards, but are no less useful for that.
The Witch and Warlock careers present a host of new options for players craving to dabble in the black arts. Can you wield the winds of magic and stave off corruption? Will you evade the Witch Hunters and grow in power? Soon you’ll be able to find out! The Witch’s Song is shipping now and will soon be available at a friendly local game store near you.