OSR: Class: Weather Witch

For a low-magic piratical game (without wizards, sorcerers, paladins, etc.). This is the only "caster" class in my upcoming piratical game. It doesn't use the standard GLOG magic system because it's too reliable and sensible.
Tianhua Xu

Weather Witch

You might have a leather case with barometers and charts. You might have sticks in your hair and hallucinogenic plants in a pouch. You might  have a white collar and a black book. . You might be a wise woman from the wind-swept heath, a radical doctor from a grand city, or the inheritor of an ancient tradition. Whatever you do, you do it well, but you're not a reliable wizard.

Starting Equipment: Ritual Implements (1 inventory slot), dagger.

A: Magic, 2 Workings
B: +1 Working
C: +1 Working, Sense Strangeness
D: +1 Working, Limited Immunity

Morgan Yon
A comprehensive name for all of the pretended arts which claim to produce effects by the assistance of supernatural beings, or departed spirits, or by a mastery of secret forces in nature attained by a study of occult science, including enchantment, conjuration, witchcraft, sorcery, necromancy, incantation, etc. 
-Webster's Dictionary, 1913

Your powers can change the world in supernatural ways. The effects are not explicable. They are not reproducible. They cannot easily be taught. They cannot easily be proven. They are subtle. They could be coincidence, slight of hand, book learning, trickery, or luck. Some people will refuse to accept you have any power at all. Some people will believe in you without hesitation. 

Your "spells" are called Workings. With each Weather Witch template, you will gain more Workings and some previously known Workings will gain power. Workings take a certain amount of time and may require special tools, resources, or sacrifices. Any costs apply whether or not the Working succeeds. You don't technically need your Ritual Tools to do these things but they help.
You can't tell people about the restrictions of your abilities in a manner-of-fact way.

Sense Strangeness
You can detect magic, supernatural effects, and general weirdness. 100' range for minor enchantments, charms,and
sorceries. 1 mile range for seriously worrying magical trouble. It might be a premonition, a vision, a cold shudder, a glowing aura, or just a sense that something is "wrong". You can see ghosts and spirits, and they will know and respect you. Any structure you enter is warded against casual attack.

Limited Immunity

Choose one source of damage from the following list: 1. steel and iron melee weapons, 2. lead and iron ranged shot, 3. arrows, 4. fire, 5. drowning and cold water, 6. cold weather, 7. hot weather, 8. teeth, claws, and venom of mammals, 9. teeth, claws, and venom of fish, 10. magic and sorcery (other than your own).  You are completely immune to it.

Mechanical Notes on the Weather Witch
First, multiclassing is definitely an option. The other available classes for this game are listed here. You're far weaker and far less reliable than a wizard. You've got a huge list of possible Workings and you'll only ever get 5 of them. Some workings cost 1d6 HP - dangerous in a system where HP is capped at 20.

The Weather Witch is probably the go-to person for "weird" issues and items, which puts them in a unique position of power. Be cautious. They still burn witches in some places. Your crew should be sufficiently in awe of you to respect your powers, but awe can easily become fear and hatred.

Yuri Hill

List of Workings

Roll randomly. Reroll duplicates.

1. Rapid Heal

Chance to Work: 20% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round

Cost: none
Effect: touched target heals 1d6+1x[Weather Witch templates] HP. Cannot be used multiple times on the same target in the same day.

2. Dreamless Sleep

Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: lose 1 HP

Effect: touched target must Save or fall asleep. If the target is not alert and nobody but you can see them, they don't get a Save. Only works on living creatures that naturally sleep. If the creature dies by your hand, or the hand of an ally, while it is still sleeping, you lose an additional 1d6 HP.

3. Call Weather

Chance to Work: 20% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 10 minutes

Cost: lose 1d6 HP
Effect: reroll the weather. You must accept the new result, even if it's identical to the old result. The weather changes in 1d6 hours. You can only attempt to change the weather once per day.

4. The Ague
Chance to Work: 50% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round

Cost: lose 1d6 HP
Effect: Target creature or person gains inflamed joints, a runny nose, a bad cough, and a headache until the next sunrise. They move at half speed. Physical attacks against them that deal at least 1 damage deal 1 additional damage. If a target survives the Ague, or if you failed to cast the Working, they are forever immune.

5. Step Out

Chance to Work: 20% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: instant

Cost: lose 1 HP
Effect: you disappear. You can only do this if no one is paying attention to you and you have both feet on the ground. People can be looking near you, but they can't be watching you. You must reappear within 1 minute in any place you could have plausibly walked or run to. You can't fit through the bars of a jail cell, but you could walk through the open cell door, under the eyes of the guards, even if someone is blocking the way. You can use this ability any number of times per day.
Adrien Amilhat
6. Blight
Chance to Work: 60% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: lose 1 HP
Effect: target domesticated animal, target field, or target deliberately gardened plant will die in 1d20 hours. You can only use this ability once per day. If you fail to use it on a target, the target is immune until the next new moon.

7. Smite With Lightning

Chance to Work: 10% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: you are reduced to 0 HP. If you were at or below 0 HP,  you gain a Fatal Wound.
Effect: only works in a storm where lightning is visible. Target creature or object you can see is struck with a bolt of lightning. 10d6 damage.

8. Kindle Flame
Chance to Work: 60% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: lose 1 HP

Effect: target fire leaps to a nearby flammable object. It must have been able to reach it if a stiff breeze was blowing.This could be a torch igniting a coat sleeve, a candle igniting a tablecloth, or a campfire igniting a tent. The fire does not deal any damage in the round it leaps, but deals normal damage afterwards.

9. Diagnose

Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1hr
Cost: lose 1d6 HP

Effect: You know a way to cure a disease, a curse, a spiritual affliction, or a poison.
Roll 1d10.
1. Cure is impossible (decapitation).
2-4. Cure is difficult but possible (the blood of an albino donkey, the tears of a virtuous raven, a stone from a lost temple).
5-6. Cure is possible to achieve shortly (a rare local plant, a 1hr ritual with multiple participants).
7-8. Cure is trivial (a common plant, a 10 minute ritual chant).
9. Cure is instant (a pressure point, a single word).
10. Cure is instant but the target will die in 1d6 days. You can choose to offer the target a choice.

10. Coincidence
Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: varies depending on the coincidence
Cost: you are reduced to 0 HP. If you were at or below 0 HP,  you gain a Fatal Wound.
Effect: you work a miracle of fate. You can only do this once, ever. Example coincidences: stop someone from dying when there is no hope of their survival, dissipate a hurricane just before it strikes, have someone a thousand miles away experience a fatal accident, have an entire firing line of soldiers miss every shot. It must be possible for the event to occur purely by chance, even if the chance is a billion to one. Witnesses will usually find some way to explain it to fit their worldview.
Dried and varnished skate, known as a "Jenny Haniver" for some reason.
11. Pariah
Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1 hr
Cost: lose 1 HP
Effect: you have to dislike the target and you can only target a person without significant rank, responsibility, or ego. One crewman, not the Captain or Quartermaster. One farmer, not the Baron. Target person must Save or become blameworthy. Things go slightly wrong for them. Their friendships start to sour. They might be exiled, murdered, shunned, accused or some crime, or cleansed in a superstitious ritual. On board ships of Wexland they are called "Johan" and may be blamed for bad weather, bad fishing, broken ropes, piracy, and scurvy.

12. Fascinate
Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: lose 1 HP
Effect: you perform fascinating actions with your hands: card tricks, strange gestures, mysterious movements, the revelation of trinkets, the reading of palms. Whatever it is, you can keep a non-hostile crowd fascinated for 1 hour per Weather Witch template you possess. This ability also works on one type of animal chosen from the following list: birds, mammals, cats (cats are always separate), murderous fish, small fish, snakes and lizards.

13. Mancy
Chance to Work: 100%, see below
Time to Cast: 1hr
Cost: lose HP equal to Divination Dice roll + bonuses.
Effect: Stolen from here. You can divine the future. Choose one method from the following list. Roll randomly to gain a new one each time you gain a Weather Witch template. The methods convey specific types of information. Most people won't believe you if you tell them the answers you've divined.

1. Anthropomancy, or divination by entrails. Produces strange visions, encoded in shadowed symbols, that show a possible future or past for a question asked.
2. Asterimancy, or divination through stars. The sky, star maps, globes and pools that reflect the heavens. Reveals what sort of dire events - weather, war, murder, curses, and ghosts - are quickly approaching.
3. Geomancy, or divination by earth. Break rocks, listen to how soil slides through the hand, hear the vibrations of trees, and then you will know what has happened recently in your area.
4. Necromancy, or divination through the dead. Take a skull, paint it, lavish it with oils, and then place it on a table in a dark room. Ask it three questions, and it will answer truthfully with the knowledge of the dead, though the answers will often bring you suffering.
5. Oionomancy, or divination by symbol. Watch the flights of birds, see what strange colors appear on someone's back, study how many crosses sit atop buildings around you. These will tell you when something dangerous, supernatural, or determined is nearby.
6. Pyromancy, or divination through flame. Light a flame, stare in it, use bones or aromatic wood instead of coal. In the fires you will see a series of images that tell you of dangers to come before the next sunrise.

You have a d6. This is your Divination Die. Roll it when you go to perform your mancy.

Gain +1 to your roll if you are under no pressure.
Gain +1 to your roll if you are unharmed and under no curses or other supernatural effects.
Gain +1 to your roll if you have copious amounts of your chosen divination medium.

The following chart shows how exact of an answer should be given by the Referee.
1-2: Vague answers, cryptic, lots of symbols, nothing direct.
3-4: An answer requiring less interpretation, some explanation, familiar things and obvious clues.
5-6: Clear answer, obvious people or creatures, no real trickery, still somewhat encoded.
7+: Exact answer, no room for interpretation.

Every time you perform your mancy, the maximum X-in-6 chance you have goes down. On your second try, any roll of 6 becomes 5. On your third try, any roll of 6 or 5 becomes 4, etc. The chance resets each morning.

14. Draw Out Soul

Base Chance to Work: 60% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: lose 1d6 HP, a dying person, and an item to bind the soul.
Effect: Touch a dying or extremely recently dead person. You bind their soul into a small item that belonged to them: a wooden eye, a bit of hair, a knotted shoelace. Creatures with strong wills get a Save. The souls don't do anything, but you never know. Having a whole stack of them to barter could come in handy.

15. Bewitch
Base Chance to Work: 60% + 10% per Weather Witch template
Time to Cast: 1 round
Cost: lose 1 HP
Effect: Stare into a person's eyes (or an animal smart enough to be trained to do tricks). They must Save. If they fail, they regard you as a good friend for 1d6 minutes and will, in a slow and dopey semi-aware state, obey any requests that do not directly harm them. When the effect ends, they will realized they've been bewitched (if superstitious) or shrug it off as a strange coincidence (if not). In either case, they might be very annoyed. If you made them do anything embarrassing or harmful, they are immune to future Bewitching.
You can maintain a number of charms equal to the number of Weather Witch templates you possess.

16. Lucky Root Charm
Base Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1hr
Cost: a rare root. You can find them in most forests or jungles, given 1 hr.
Effect: you prepare a dried root on a string. It smells strange. You can't use it, but anyone who wears it may "burn" its power to gain +4 to any one roll where gambling, luck, or seduction are the main factors.

If you want more root doctoring, Lawful Neutral has a full class here and it's excellent.

17. Eyemark Charm
Base Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1hr
Cost: you must carve a sign into a piece of wood or stone.
Effect: you can meditate for 10 minutes to see from an Eyemark Charm, no matter the distance. You can't hear. Colours are muted and distances are blurred. The charm fades in 1 week.

18. Wax Charm
Base Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1hr
Cost: a candle
Effect: you can set one of the following effects to occur when the candle burns out (up to 1hr,  you set the precise duration). The effect does not occur if the candle is extinguished.

Possible effects:
1. The candle flares as brightly as a torch for 1 round.
2. The candle sputters and fills a 10' cube with thick grey smoke.
3. The candle falls over. It can pull on a string or gently strike something.
4. The candle "speaks" one word.
5. The candle suddenly melts to cover a 2' square with warm wax.
6. The candle suddenly melts to spell out a single word of 10 letters or fewer in warm wax.

19. Deflection Charm
Base Chance to Work: 20% + 10% per Weather Witch template 
Time to Cast: 10 minutes
Cost: paint a mark on a person
Effect: For 24hrs, target person is immune to ranged weapons. Roll to see if the charm worked when the target is about to be struck by a ranged weapon. The charm is water soluble.

20. Second Skin Charm

Base Chance to Work: 100%
Time to Cast: 1hr
Cost: a knotted mass of hair and bone, the semblance of a disguise
Effect: you disguise one creature or object as another thing with a similar form: a ship for a ship, a person for a person, a bird for a bird. The disguise will pass at a glance, but breaks the moment it is closely inspected. The most notorious criminal could wander through a crowd provided no one got a good look at them. A pile of stones could be mistaken for a heap of treasure until someone squints at it.


  1. This *really* fits for a pirate campaign. Well done. .... buuut I kinda think it could fit in the glog too...

  2. Glad to see my Mancy system spawned some interest!

    Question: Why is there both a HP cost + a chance to work for most of these workings?

    1. Mostly to emphasize that the workings take effort and that they're slightly dangerous. Not quite the predictable dangerous of standard GLOG spells, but 1d6 damage to a level 1 character could be very painful. GLOG healing is fast, so I'm not worried about killing characters too often, but there are going to be situations where it's a risk.

    2. There's definitely something to be said for making spells unreliable, and/or costly, but it seems like many of these are highly unreliable, costly, and also restrictive. It seems like either the percent chance or the circumstantial usability of some Workings would be fine, but both combined with the cost kind of feels like it's crippling them, most notably the lightning strike. It can only work in a storm, which makes sense because that means you can't just call lightning whenever you want. It takes away literally all your HP, which is fine because it deals a huge amount of damage to the target. But then it will also fail most of the time, or at best half the time? That means you're spending all of your HP for something that will only happen 20-50% of the time, which is only even usable in storms. Maybe it's just my personal bias towards abilities being reliable, but it seems like all three of these major limitations go so far as to make certain Workings essentially useless.

    3. Sorry, that was a bit long but I just wanted to make my reasoning clear.

    4. No worries. Got to remember that this is the only supernatural character in the game. No wizards, no nothing. You can break the rules. Sure, you might not be able to do so reliably, but you're the only one who can.

      The "call lightning" thing ends an encounter if it works. In a storm, cripple an enemy ship or vaporize a guy. If it worked 100% of the time you'd use it 100% of the time. Every storm would become a possibility to fire a bolt.

      Also, the Weather Witch is at least as good in combat as the Artillerist, Philosopher, the Crew, or the Smooth Talker. GLOG stuff. You're not supposed to fight with your spells like a typical D&D witch or wizard. You're suppose to break out the big, dangerous powers for emergencies. If they were reliable you'd plan around them and they'd be just another tool in the toolkit. If they're unreliable, their use is a little more special. It gives people a reason not to believe in the supernatural.