Daily Punch 2-11-14 Lay on Hands in Witch Hunter

Witch Hunter is a hard game to heal in.  Thats not bad, but I think the game needs a bit more.  How about a healing prayer?


Lay on Hands

Mastery: 4

True Faith: 1

Time: Special

Duration: Instantaneously

Description:  This Rite channels the power of god directly into the target to mend their wounds.  When a character casts a spell, the time the spells takes is equal to one hour divided by their True Faith score.  At the end of the time, the caster makes a Prayer check with the difficulty equal to their damnation score.  If the caster succeeds, the target of the spell heals one wound with one additional wound for every success.

Boost: Increase the Mastery by 3 to heal one additional wound.

Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Mage Wars

Product- Mage Wars

Producer- Arcane Wonders

Price- $60

Set-up/Play/Clean-up- 30 minutes

tl;dr-  This is my competitive card game! 100%


Basics-Enter the arena!  Mage Wars is a hybrid of a collectible card game and a miniatures skirmish game.  Players choose a mage and build a spell book using a point buy system based on the type of wizard chosen.  Each wizard has different costs associated with different spells.  Spells range from quick spells that do damage/move things/heal, summoning creatures, summoning walls, and enchantments that are reveled off turn to surprise your enemy.  Players take turns activating creatures on the battle field or casting spells.  Last man/women standing is the winner!

Mechanics- The mechanics of Mages Wars is as complicated as they need to be without being over complicated.  Each turn you gain mana to cast spells, deal with attachments (good or bad), draw spells, and then take turns playing your spells and declaring your other actions.  Actions range from moving, casting spells, or attacking.  Play moves fast and is really fun.  What really drew me to this game is the concept of a spell book.  Instead of drawing random cards like Magic: the Gathering, players build a character specific spell book.  As long as all players have the same number of points worth of spells, a character is legal for a tournament making spell book/deck building pretty easy.  The spell book mechanic is really revolutionary, and it really makes this game stand out.  The combination of the card game, the skirmish game, and the deck building CCG really make this fun and novel. 5/5


Theme-  You’re a mage.  You could be a cleric, wizards, beast master, or a demon summoner with the base set.  This really isn’t “new,” as magic the gathering had similar themes.  And others have had this theme before that.  However, the mechanics of the game really reinforce this theme of being a wizard.  You build the spells book full of spells you will walk into the arena with.  That right there wouldn’t be new except you get to choose rather than just draw.  Spending that minute before your turn agonizing over which spell to prepare that turn really makes the game that much more tense!  Also, this game launched with a “living game” like prize support and storyline.  Like any other well thought out game, Mage Wars has store support, but this one also has a story.  And depending on what Mages do WHAT and to WHO, the story will change.  Since the back story of Mage Wars is mages fighting in an arena instead of fighting in battles, the story/store support really bring the story back to the game.  It “almost” feels like an RPG.  And that makes me feel like a wizard with something on the line! 5/5

Art/Execution-  Art-beautiful so full points there.  Execution of the game is well done also.  You get LOTS of components in the box and lots of tokens to help you play the game.  Also you get two spell books so one box will cover two players.  And that right there is amazing!  I’ve bought other games that were meant for more than one player and I needed two intro sets.  The way this is set up lets me know that the makers of this game lover their players. 5/5


Instruction- Unlike an RPG where things can have a lot of leeway, Mage Wars has step by step instructions on how to perform every action.  Since this game is direct player vs. player combat, the well explained rules really help keep fights to a minimum.  The rules help move this game at a decent pace.  There are a lot of rules, but if you want a quick game there are rules to help you teach/learn the game as a lower powered wizard with basic intro spell lists for your first game.  From there the rules give you the advanced stuff and tell you how to make a good starting mage spell book.  That’s good dedication to making sure your players get off on the right foot. 5/5


Summary-  I don’t play Magic, I have house payments.  At this point in my life, I like living card games (collectible card games that do not have random makeups of cards, you buy a set you get all the cards for the set).  If I want to play a game with someone, it’s going to be the Lord of the Rings card game.  If I want some direct competition, it’s Mage Wars.  Tight rules, good cards and art, lots of options, a fairly cheap skirmish/CCG game, and a continuing story all draw me to this game.  I tried it at GenCon and Origins and now I’ve bought all the expansions.  I may not be good, but I always have fun.  If you’re in Jackson and you want to battle hit me up on twitter! 100%

How I spent my Winter Fantasy 2014

Winter Fantasy is my Con.  It’s the first real RPG Con I ever went to.  This con was the first taste I had of Living Games.  It’s the first Con I went to with a girl (my Girlfriend at the time).  When that girl became my wife, it’s the first Con we went to and is our annual honeymoon.  It’s the Con I get to play game with my wife since I’m usually GM/DM by default.  Basically, Winter Fantasy is a really big deal to me for a lot of reason.

This year, my wife and I went to Winter Fantasy, and we had a blast.  It might have been different than I expected.  But, I had a ton of fun.  I met with all my friend who run games through Baldman Games.  I played a TON of RPGs.  I even got to play some new board games!  Let’s do a day-by-day run down, then I’ll do a summary of what each event meant to me.


I got to play in the 8AM Witch Hunter RPG game.  I love the new Witch Hunter RPG.  Heck, after a weekend of this game, I posted my RPG review here.  (Spoiler, I liked it.)  At Noon, I was off running Witch Hunter for close to my first time.  That went really well.  The day ended with King Gyro and more Witch Hunter at 7PM.  All and all a good day of RPGs.



Saturday kicked off with my wife and I playing Witch Hunter at 8AM.  A good way to start the day!  Lunch was more, tasty King Gyro (WHY DID I NOT DISCOVER THIS TILL NOW!).  I took a break from games as to much Gyro makes you sleepy.  I woke up, and my wife and I tried J. K. O’Donnelld’s.  This place is AMAZING!  I like beer and whiskey, but I’ve never know what’s good.  This place has flights of Irish beer and whiskey.  That is great, and combined with authentic Irish food full on amazing.  Full of beer and good liquor, we returned to the Con and tried the GenCon board game library.  We found a copy of the Firefly board game.  We had a blast playing it although we didn’t finish. A review is coming next week.


Sunday I was scheduled to run more Witch Hunter, but we didn’t have players.  However, I was needed for Pathfinder Society.  My wife joined in, and we had a good time.  After, we tried the Carnival dice/card game from Dice Hate Me games.  We had fun, but needed two play throughs to really get the game play.  The Con ended with me saying good bye to all my friends at the Con the getting more King Gyro ( GOD HELP ME, I HAVE A PROBLEM!).


That was fun, now the high points.

Witch Hunter

I kickstarted the Witch Hunter RPG.  I like the company that ran the kickstarter, and I’m a kickstarter addict, so I gave them money.  I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.  Now, that I ‘ve played a bunch of games, I’m really glad I did.  I got to play in two and run two.  I’m really looking forward to playing some more of this game.  I want to know what else happens in the living game from these guys.


The End of LFR

LFR is why I went to DDXP/Winter Fantasy.  Long ago when I was but a graduate student, I went to a Con with NO IDEA WHATSOEVER to expect and in one day went from having played no LFR to going through the special and the battle interactive.  Losing LFR is sad, but I’m optimist of the future.  Also, the campaign staff did an awesome job according to all the people I spoke too.  It’s good to see an old friend get the send off it deserves.


Pathfinder Society

Not sure where these guys were.  It might have been the time as several local Cons were happening like Marmalade Dog in Kalamazoo, MI.  However, I got to run a game so that made me happy.  Some of the blame falls to guys like me who don’t check the Paizo or MichiganPFS forums enough.  I didn’t respond to their call for GMs so without the GMs no games can happen.  I like Pathfinder Society, and I hope they get more of a presence at this Con next year.  When your company doesn’t make time for me, it’s harder for me to feel like you care.


Mage Wars

If I have to play a competitive, collectable card game, this is my card game.  I haven’t been able to get as many games of this in as I want to.  The Mage Wars crew had some demo agents out in the field at Winter Fantasy.  I spent a long time talking to those guys, and that really fired me up to play some more.  Any time a head honcho from a game company makes an effort to come to a Con I’m at, it makes me want to buy whatever they are selling and tell my friends about it.  I can’t wait to get some games going in Jackson!


The GenCon Board Game Library

While I love RPG a lot, this place was my favorite part of this con.  I love the Game Library.  It’s like having an awesome friend who lets you try any game they have.  When my wife and I had some downtime, we would play some games.  I really need to donate some games or money to these guys because they do a lot of work for a labor of love.


Wizards of the Coast

WotC had a presence at this Con as Chris Tulach attended the Con.  I was able to talk to him for a few minutes, and I asked him about Wizards of the Coast and product production.  Like I said before, any time your company can send big wigs out to a Con and you’ll talk with me about whatever’s on my mind (this case was the size of WotC vs. Paizo and the use of freelancers vs. in house production for product design) you win major points in my book.  I’ve bought my copy of the next DnD encounters events, but now that I feel WotC cares more about what I care about, I feel more energized than ever to bring this game to the masses in Jackson.



So, Throat Punch Games started off as my little blog I did as a hobby a little over a year ago right around Winter Fantasy.  My way to destress and make my voice heard, because as we all know, people listen to whatever you have to say on the internet!  And, strange as it turns out, I have readers!  A few people approached me and asked if I was the writer of this blog!  I’m internet famous!  Thanks Readers!


And that was my Winter Fantasy.  I love this place.  I love these people. And I can’t wait till next year!  See you there.

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Witch Hunter: The Invisible World 2nd Ed.

Product- Witch Hunter: The Invisible World

Producer- Paradigm Concepts

Price- ~$30 (via Kickstarter Prerelease)

TL;DR- Not perfect, but it combines all the things I love. 85%


Basics- Enter a world just behind the one you know.   In this RPG, players take the role of Witch Hunters, a shadowy group of people collected from all walks of life called by higher powers to battle the forces of the Adversary.  The Adversary is the games main antagonist.  He is Satan and all other evils combined.  Players walk a thin line fighting the cracks in the invisible world, the monsters the seep through, and the humans who join the cause of evil, all while trying to keep their vary souls.


Mechanics- While you can roll play with any set of mechanics (look at Fiasco and Dread), the basics of what you roll and when are big to most gamers.  In general, I would call this game a mix between 4e DnD, Shadowrun, and Arcanis.  Let’s do a run down to focus on a few things in particular.

Dice Pools- This game use a dice pool mechanic much like Shadowrun except game uses d10’s.  To assemble the dice you roll for a check, you use a statistic and add the dice from skill ranks.  Some situations may give you advantage/disadvantage so you add/subtract dice.  Successful dice are dice that roll a seven or above.  If you are using a skill and have focused in a particular sub-skill, then you succeed on a six or better.  If you roll a 10, then you count a success and reroll the die as it “explodes.”  Dice can explode as many times as you roll tens leading to situations where a player will have one die, but roll over 4 successes!  I LOVE exploding dice.  Don’t worry evil GMs out there, monster dice explode too….  You then compare to a target number to determine if the attempt succeeded.  This is the base mechanic for attacks, skills, or anything else the GM deems that players need to roll.


Combat-Combat starts with initiative just like vary other game.  Initiative is handed with agility + reflexes roll.  Most successes determine the order of play.  During combat each character gets to perform two quick actions or one complex, again harkening to Shadowrun.  Quick actions are basic movement, or basic attacks.  Complex actions are longer spells, running across the battle field, or complex attacks.  When someone attacks they roll a dice poll as above, and compare to one of three defenses that are basically physical, mental, or agility.  When you hit, you count the number of successes over the target number, subtract the targets armor, and finally add the weapons damage number.  The target of the attack my give up quick actions of their next turn to reduce the damage via Agility + reflexes roll.  Successes in this roll reduce the dice total of the damage dice pool.  Agility + reflexes tend to be a very powerful combination of skill/ability, demonstrating some balance issues that crop up in this game.  After determining the final damage dice pool, the pool is rolled and sevens or better are damage to the target.  Again, 10s explode and can do significant damage even when with a small pool.  The overall feel is Shadowrun with a dice pool, 4e/Arcanis for a target number of an attack, Arcanis armor for damage reduction, and fluid damage pools reminiscent of Shadowrun. I like this combination.  While the above is a bit of a mouth full, since this a mostly a tutorial, the speed of which this goes is amazing!  You can have a character launch into a crazy, spinning whirlwind of knives that will hit several character, but the game handles this quickly and efficiently.  Turns that would take forever in 4e are done in under a minute.


Magic-This game has character from all faiths and magical backgrounds ranging from Native American Shamans to Hermetic Alchemist.  Each tradition has its own statistics it uses for magic.  Also, each tradition has its own focus.  These focuses are different types of spells ranging from a Shaman’s discussion with spirits, Hermetic wizards circles, and priests prayers.  Some of these are much more combat effective.  This mechanics is the same above with dice pool formation, but much like Arcanis, each spell called a rite can be augmented by increasing the mastery and strain of the spell.  Mastery is the minimum dice pool you need to cast the spell, while strain is the amount of turns my must wait to cast a spell again.  You can cast a spell under strain, but you will take the amount of strain in damage.  Again, I love this.  I like cast till you pass out magic systems.  I also love any magic system that allows you to augment your spells quickly to make new types of magic.


Health-This game is brutal!  Each character has a number of hit boxes like Shadowrun with a few important differences.  When you fill up your first group of hit boxes you move to nicked.  While nicked you take a penalty to all dice pools.  When you lose your nicked hit boxes, you then moved to wounded.  You gain MORE penalties and you must make checks to stay awake!  Lose your wounded hit points and then you’re dying!  More penalties and you must spend hero points or gain DAMNATION to stay awake!  To heal you must make a heal check each day.  Others can help you as you receive care.  If you succeed, you get a little better with more successes over a target number mean more hit points.  If you fail….you get worse!  Honestly, this is VERY brutal….but I like it.  The game takes place in 1600’s.  Medical care isn’t great and a scratch could kill you if it gets infected.  Healing magic is little to none.  This ISN’T DnD!  And that’s ok!


The balance of vice and virtue-All characters have a virtue and a sin.  Theses are built in role-playing hooks for your character.  When you act your virtue, you might get hero points.  Hero points are chips to indicate rerolls, extra dice, skill training/specialization, or other rule breaking effects.  OR when you get one, you can bank it.  When you bank 10 hero points, you increase your True Faith.  True Faith is used for some spells, AND it’s the number of hero points you start each day with.  When you want to break the rules you can also get DAMNATION!  Damnation is you giving into temptation and using dark powers to get the job done.  Your True Faith and Damnation together can never be more then 10.  When you earn hero points, instead of banking them, you can roll your true faith score and if you succeed with a target equal to your damnation, you remove one damnation.  If your damnation gets to 10…..you turn to the dark side.  DON’T DO THAT!  This is a fun mechanic to represent faith, give an in game benefit benefit, and a indicator of how morally grey a character is.  Are you willing to get a little damnation to get the job done?  GMs can also trigger your sins to give you hear points to complicate the story by offering your hero points.  If you want more, you can give into your sin wholesale, earn damnation, and get more hero points.  Again, this is awesome.  I love giving my players all the rope they need to hang themselves…and they almost always do…..MHWAAAHHAAA ( cue evil laugh).


Movement-Like all the recent RPGs I’ve been playing, less is more.  This game is designed to be played without a map.  The theater of the mind style needs to continue in RPG design going forward.  That makes me happy.


Mechanics Summary-  I like what I see here. I love Arcanis, Shadowrun, and 4e DnD.  This takes a lot of the things that makes me happy and puts them together well.  Think of this like blue cheese, chicken, and deep fried mushrooms and not like sushi, ice cream, and Ritz Crackers crumbs.  It’s easy to take several good things that don’t go together and make a mess, but Paradigm really made an excellent mechanic product here with only a few things that stick out as slightly broken. 4.5/5


Theme- Witch Hunter takes place in the world of the 1600’s right after the great London Fire.  It’s close to our world, but not quite.  One major difference is the Spanish lost America to Mayans who unknowingly worship the Adversary.  Combining this world of enlightenment with an undercurrent of suspicions not only between religions but the different Witch Hunters, the Witch Hunters are fractured and while they work together, they often do not agree on how to get the job done.  This lead to an undercurrent of suspicion not only between the world, but also the people who have to fix it.  This game has to walk a VERY tight line.  1600’s was a very racist, sexist, religiously intolerant time.  It makes it amazingly fun to play in if you can separate yourself from yourself.  The game has themes of horror, hope, and damnation. It’s fun, but it might not be for the group that wants to kick open the door, kill the dragon, and go to the inn with little consequences or thoughts about the various intolerances of the people serving them beer.  But, I like what I see.  It will be a fun place to play.  5/5


Art-  You need some good art to make any game pop.  This one is no exception.  I like the art in this book, but it might not be for some people.  It’s style similar to the art style in Arcanis, but Arcanis also has many of the same themes.  5/5


Execution- Here the book suffers a bit.  The book as a few errors spread throughout.  Some are minor such as terms being misused with the obviously right term known not slowing down the game.  These are easy errors that crop up from editing edition to edition.  Other errors are major problems that I do not know how to properly run some aspects of the game.  These are errors like do you need some talents for others?  I’ve talked with some people who have played the game, and they also had these problems.  It doesn’t render the game unplayable, but it does diminish the experience.  The layout itself is nice and the flow makes the book fun to read.  This book also doesn’t suffer from the common sin of jumping too much into numbers before explaining what the heck is going on.  3.5/5


Summary- This system is an interesting combination of many of my favorite things.  I love the mechanics, and they way the theme interactions with it.  The theme itself is controversial, but fun.  There is nothing like playing a Catholic Priest and being spit on in London as you a player are a Catholic.  The execution of the book does hurt it slightly, but it doesn’t make the game any less fun or playable.  This might not be the game of the year, but I liked what I saw.  More importantly, this game was planned to début with a living game.  And that makes me even more excited by this game.  I’ve played the first four living games from this system and will start running these games as them come out for my friends in Jackson. 85%

Daily Punch 2-6-14 Attack Superiority for Witch Hunter

I’m catching up on my webpage, and this is something I’ve been thinking about the whole con….


Attack Superiority (Heroic)

Requirement: Attack Specialist

Description: You are death incarnate when it comes to fighting.  When you deal damage with one weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you achieve successes on a 6+ instead of a 7+.  You may a select this talent multiple times.  Each time, the benefit apply to a new weapon.



Daily Punch 2-5-14 Quick Caster Feat for DnD Next

I read something in the New DnD Next Document…How about something to fix it….


Quick Caster

Unlike most caster, when one spell if off your lips, the next one is already in your mind and moving through your hands.

  • Gain a +1 bonus to your spell casting statistic, up to a maximum of 20.
  • When you cast a spell either as a reaction and/or a swift action, you may cast another spell during your regular action the same turn.


Daily PUnch 2-4-14 Winter Witch Feat in Pathfinder

How about the same feat for Pathfinder?


Winter Witch (Metamagic)

You ARE the cold of winter when in your element.

Benefit: When you cast a spell with the cold descriptor and are standing in snow, you increase all level dependent effects by one up to one higher then you level.  You may do this a number of times per day equal to your spell casting statistic bonus.

Level Increase: +1 (a rime spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level.)