This is the fourth part of my Castlevania/D&D series. To read part one, click here. To read part two, click here. To read part three, click here.
Admittedly, I've been at kind of a loss as to how to wrap this part of the series up. Sypha Belnades is the final character to round out our Castlevania adventuring party. And while the most obvious choice is to stat her out as a Magic User, part of me wants to stat her out as a Cleric instead. Being honest, this is probably just my personal bias against parties without a healer in them rearing its head.
In my defense, though, Raggi's close-to-damn-perfect balance between character classes all but cries out for it. As I mentioned back in my first post on the subject, Lamentations of the Flame Princess is notoriously unforgiving, even by B/X retro-clone standards. With only Trevor getting any better at hitting things as he levels up, the hypothetical group is likely to take a beating in combat encounters. And with Alucard handling offensive spellcasting, it strikes me that they'd need a somewhat resilient healer a lot more than they'd need a glass cannon.
On the other hand, not much in the games really justifies it. Sypha's power-ups in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse are spellbooks. Her only three spells are elemental attacks. Even her later (zombie) appearance in Symphony of the Night, the only thing she's really shown adding to that is a wind attack (and flight). In other words, she's pretty explicitly a magic user, despite the "Holy" moniker on her spell names.
That said, the OSR has plenty of available house rules that could conceivably give me the best of both worlds here. A fascinating one can be found on the blog Akratic Wizardry. The gist of it is that the Cleric and Magic-User spell lists are combined, and the Cleric class is removed. Spells are then designated as either White, Black, or Grey, with appropriate costs for each category (loss of hit points/possible loss of Wisdom).
Some modification would be necessary, of course. The Akratic Wizardry post assumes several other house rules are already in play, like hit points being equivalent to non-lethal damage, and Constitution being used as hit points. But it's a good example of how many different ways there are to crack the problem in the OSR community.
Granted, if I wanted to run a truly authentic Castlevania game, all healing would come from magically preserved wall meat. So in that spirit, here's Sypha, statted as a standard LotFP Magic User.
Of all mortals who oppose Dracula, none are at more risk than Magic-Users. Warriors and Specialists merely risk life and limb. Magic-Users risk the same, with the added danger of losing their very souls.
Some are solitary hedge witches, healer women who have dabbled in the arcane to supplement their knowledge of herbs and natural remedies. Others are members of secretive cults or covens, pooling their resources to unlock untold power over the supernatural world. Still others were once dedicated members of the Church, hunters and enemies of the supernatural who fell to its siren song.
Whatever their background, Magic Users are those who have have pierced the Veil of the world, touching the primordial Chaos to draw on its power. As such, they are marked in ways they cannot fully comprehend.
Hated and shunned by the world around them, Magic-Users must practice in secret, or risk death at the hands of a frightened mob. Many an innocent man or woman has burned at the stake in Wallachia, and the Magic-User is always just an unfortunate turn of fate from being next.
Reflecting their marked nature, Magic-Users are always Chaotically aligned. In order to cast a spell they must have both hands free, be able to freely recite the incantation, and be no more than lightly encumbered. Carrying a staff or a wand in one hand is permitted.
At first level, Magic-Users roll a 1d6 for Hit Points, and they begin the game with a minimum of 3 (roll 1d6, add Constitution modifier, and ignore any result lower than 3). For every level beyond first, they roll 1d4.
Magic User / Level 5 / Chaotic
Hit Points: 12 (d4 Hit Die) Melee Attack Bonus: +0 Ranged Attack Bonus: +1
Base Armor Class: 12 (Robes 12, +DEX bonus)
Parry: +2 to AC
Charisma 11 ( +0 to Retainer Recruitment, Loyalty)
Constitution 7 ( -1 to Hit Points, Daily Travel Distance)
Dexterity 10 ( +0 to Armor Class, Ranged Attack Bonus, Initiative)
Intelligence 16 ( +2 to Saves vs Magic Effects, Languages)
Strength 6 ( -1 to Melee Attack Bonus, Open Doors)
Wisdom 15 ( +1 to Saves vs Non-magical Effects)
Spells Per Level:
1st Level / 2nd Level / 3rd Level
3 2 1
Architecture 1 in 6
Bushcraft 1 in 6
Climbing 1 in 6
Languages 3 in 6 (Base 1 in 6, plus INT bonus)
Open Doors 0 in 6 (Base 1 in 6, minus STR penalty)
Search 1 in 6
Sleight of Hand 1 in 6
Sneak Attack damage x1
Stealth 1 in 6
Tinkering 1 in 6
Saving Throws: Paralyze Poison Breath Weapon Magical Device Magic
Base: 12 9 14 10 12
With bonuses: 11 8 13 9 11
1st Level Spell
This short-range, but powerful, spell produces a large jet of flame directly in front of the caster. Targets must save vs. Breath Weapon or take 1d8 damage per level of the caster. Creatures that successfully save take half damage.
2nd Level Spell
Duration: 2 rounds, +1 round/Level
Range: 100' + 10'/Level
This spell creates a semi-sentient orb of concentrated electricity, which then flies out to strike an enemy within the caster's range. If more than one enemy is present, the caster cannot designate a specific target, beyond imbuing the orbs with a vague sense of the difference between "friend" and "foe." Once released, the orb will fly straight towards its chosen target at a rate of 60' per round, maneuvering around obstacles and adjusting course as necessary. If the orb travels out of the spell's range, or if it does not make contact with its target before the spell's duration is up, it dissipates harmlessly. If it makes contact with the target, the orb expels all of its energy, delivering 1d6 damage per caster level.
2nd Level Spell
Duration: 3 rounds/Level
This spell creates a cushion of whirling air, enabling the caster to levitate herself, another creature, or an object at a rate of 20' per round. Unwilling targets may save vs. Spell to avoid its effects. The caster can mentally direct the Holy Wind to move either up, down, horizontally, or diagonally. Any creature caught in the Holy Wind will be unstable, and will suffer a cumulative -1 penalty to attack on each round, to a maximum of -5. A full round spent attempting to stabilize will enable the creature to begin the process again at -1.
3rd Level Spell
Range: 100' + 10'/Level
This spell creates three large, spear-shaped ice crystals around the caster, which then fly out to attack a chosen enemy within range. The caster may choose to direct all three crystals at the same enemy, or she may choose to target up to three enemies individually. Each ice crystal causes 1d6 damage per caster level. Additionally, the target must save vs. Spell for each crystal, or be be frozen in place for 1d3 rounds. When frozen, the creature is considered helpless and prone.
When activated, this artifact stops time around the user, freezing all living and non-living things in a 100' radius. Creatures with 2 HD or less are affected immediately, with no save possible. Creatures with 3HD or more must save vs. Magical Device at a -4 penalty. The effect lasts for 1d10 rounds, during which time the holder of the Stopwatch can move and attack freely. Enemies attacked are considered prone and helpless. When discovered, the Stopwatch will contain 1d6 charges, with each activation expending one charge. Once all charges are depleted, the Stopwatch becomes an ordinary watch, with a value of 1d4 silver pieces. It cannot be re-charged.
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