Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2020/10/5e-witch-project-witchcraft-magic-of.html
Witchcraft: Magic of Hereva (5e)
This one caught my eye with its very striking art. Downloaded and the art continues throughout the book and the layout and design are top-notch. I do want to get into detail about the art, more so than other products I have reviewed, but first I want to talk about the 5e content.
The PDF is 121 pages for $13.00. That might sound like a lot, but given my guidelines of 10 cents per page that is only a buck more. So that is fine. You also get a mobile version for your phone or tablet.
This looks like the first OGL book for this author, prior to this they have had some DMsGuild Titles.
This witch appears to be based on the Web Comic "Pepper & Carrot" which helps explain the art. Again, more details on that in a bit. But for playing purposes this is part class and part world guide. The world of Hereva to be precise.
The Witch Class
The witch class presented in this PDF is a full 20 level caster. They do get spells up the the 9th level, but they do not have the normal spell progression as say Wizards or Clerics. They have known Cantrips (max 4) and known spells (max 15). It is the same as the warlock, without the Invocations. They do get Spell Research starting at 11th level and something called Rea ("Reality") Points starting at 1st. Rea points to power your spells. Doing some quick mental calculations this means that there are many spells that will tap out your Res points quickly. This makes this spellcaster a bit underpowered compared to others. They do have some other powers though.
I supposed here it should be noted that this is not a generic Witch class, but rather a Witch of Hereva.
This witch gets 1d8 hp per level and is a Charisma-based spellcaster. You do get familiars, and they have a mechanical benefit to the characters.
Witches of Hereva's archetypes or subclasses are known as Houses. A nice change from the others I have reviewed all month. You get your House at 2nd level.
These witches also can brew potions (3rd level) and get Broom riding at 5th level.
There are six Witchcraft Houses. Each provides an additional list of spells and powers. Each also has its own special niche to cover in the world.
There is a chapter on Player's Options. This includes a number of backgrounds. Most are specific to this world, but all can be altered as needed and easily done. There are some Feats as well that fit both the world and the witch in general.
The magic chapter has the witches' spell lists as well as 43 new spells. It also 74 new magic items for witches. Making this chapter a step above many of the other witch classes I have reviewed all month long.
There are also two Appendices. The first covers Familiars. The second monsters. Both feature creatures that are unique to this world.
We end with some art credits and the OGL.
The Art and Artist
I grabbed this product because of the art. It has a cool "Kiki's Delivery Service" vibe about it and that is something I have been wanting to play lately. I thought this might be the product to do that, but I was prepared to like it anyway if it wasn't.
Since this is based on a webcomic I thought I should check it out. After all, the art here is fantastic. The webcomic is "Pepper & Carrot", Pepper is the witch and Carrot is her cat familiar. It is created by David Revoy. You can find him at davidrevoy.com and the comic at peppercarrot.com.
It was here I discovered that Revoy releases his comic into the public free as Open Source! I mean wow. The comic is supported by his Patreon who charges per comic released. That is seriously cool. The comic looks fantastic and I am going to have to start reading it. I went to his story to see if there was a paper/dead tree version of his comics, there are, and to see if there was a paper or even PDF version of this D&D 5 supplement. There wasn't. Ok, no big. Did some digging.
So according to this post the Witchcraft: Magic of Hereva (5e) was a Kickstarter project (again, no big deal) BUT the comic creator didn't know anything about it. He was not consulted or asked. Now that all seems to be fine with Revoy, he released the comic as Open Source after all, so it fits with his overall philosophy. There is a bit about how any new art created will be released back into the public domain via Creative Commons. That sounds nice and Revoy seems to take that as good enough. The author of this game supplement Xacur did in fact do that. But it was only two pieces of new art; a broom and a wand. The Kickstarter for this PDF raised a little over $3,100.00. You would think that most of that money would go for art, as typical for a Kickstarter, but all of the art was free/open source.
I can't help but think that this PDF adheres to the letter of Revoy's Open source philosophy while violating the spirit of it. No mistake, the class is fun and the spells and magic items are very nice, but I was drawn to this product based on the art and style. That all belongs to someone else's vision. Strip away what started with David Revoy and what is left? Well. Mostly an underpowered warlock with some powers I have seen in various "Hedge Witch" products. I mean the author didn't even have the decency to list Revoy as the artist on the DriveThruRPG page. Note: He is listed on the supplements for this class.
Is this a playable class? Yes. Is this a fun playable class? Absolutely.
Could have Xancur created this class without the influence of the webcomic? I don't think so.
But there is something here that I feel is a bit distasteful. I know that David Revoy is likely ok with all of this. But it feels a little off to me.
Here are the links to David Revoy's sites.
In the end, you have to decide if this product is the one for you.