1. What is Kill All Witches?
Kill All Witches is a genre fantasy setting where the focus of the game is using mundane and non-magical characters to seek out and destroy witches. This is an arduous and dangerous task as the heroes of KAW are not magic users themselves, and what magic items they have are few and far between, and their foes are incredibly powerful and dangerous. A high player body count is to be expected, games are graphic and gritty with things like hexes and curses sharing table space with disease, critical hit charts, and facing foes that can make heroes lose their resolve and flee. Even killing a witch doesnt ensure success because many have contingency spells in place, or immortality gambits, or their deaths trigger further events that will trap, curse, or otherwise maim and kill would be heroes.
2. Who are the Witches?
The Witches of KAW are specifically female magic users who have gained their power by making soul pacts with infernal or outsider forces, aka demons and eldritch beings. These forces are hostile to creation, and are be default evil. To this end, the Witches who deal with them and gain power from them become inescapably evil themselves, and have as their objective the destruction of humanity, and scourging the world for their dark masters. The heroes are justified in their actions, and questioning the morality of a witch or entertaining the notion of redemption is hesitation enough for a witch to strike and slay the questioning heroes. These witches are EVIL.
3. Sexism as a Theme
Women in KAW face a massive amount of discrimination, abuse, and misogyny. Much like the Salem Witch Hunt, in KAW a witch hunt can be a bloody and terrifying affair as fear of a witch and what she can do will lead even reasonable and level headed people to support gross and terrible things out of fear and a need for security. Women are not just second class citizens in KAW, they are often seen as a lurking and potential evil, something to be feared, oppressed, and otherwise kept 'in their place'. Society accepts this, including many women, because of the threat that witches can potentially represent. Thus, there is a status quo kept.
4. Radicalization as a Theme
To the outsider forces, the devils and starspawn, there is no difference between men and women, and they are not more disposed to one gender or the other. The sexism and misogyny that women in KAW are subjected to makes them more willing to embrace the radical idea of striking soul pacts with extradimensional monsters because it offers them a path to power, and self actualization. This creates the self generating paradox, society is misogynistic because of the depredations of witches, and this brutality leads more women to embrace witchcraft and seeking revenge, which comes around to justify the original misogyny.
5. Anime Style Theocracy
Following the vein of supernatural anime and established franchises such as Castlevania, the dominant power in the setting of KAW is a monolithic patriarchal theocracy. This neo-Papal power is above all of the other kingdoms around it, and it has its own armies, own arsenals, and weapons to fight the witches and their outsider patrons. This theocracy extends and usurps all the local and ethnic cultures of the regions it covers, and enforces its own values, regardless of what was there first. This is usually done in a blunt and heavy handed fashion, usually with papal armies and the miter and crozier bearing papal magi leading the various religious witch hunting orders. This theocracy is militant, misogynistic, arrogant, and incredibly wealthy.
6. Monster of the Week
The formal structure of Kill All Witches is a monster of the week pattern, where the band of heroes encounter, fight, and ultimately destroy a witch. They will follow a chain of witches,with the ultimate goal being finding the Witch Queen, slaying her, and burning down her witch fortress. This basic structure is going to overlay with the players discovering that each of the witches they slew had a defined history for why they made the soul pact and why they were so willing to exterminate humanity. This will bring to light the truth behind the sexism, radicalization, and the nature of magic and society in the setting of Kill All Witches.
7. No Clear Answers, No Heroes
At the end of the story, there is no clear answer, no clear winners, no moral of how things go forward and are better. The cycle must continue, because if the Orders are not vigilant, there will be more witches and warlocks than they can handle. The witches and rare warlocks being fought are those who are angry and desperate enough to resist the faith and the orders. Without this iron fist those with casual interest in magic, or actual spiritual vulnerability, or people who think that dealing with devils might be keen and fun. The eldritch gods will still seek a way in. There are still many hidden witches, who are still willing to attack, kill, and destroy.
The only way to end it is to destroy all magic, kill all witches, and burn away everything of the orders and their great archives. To end the threat of witches, the world must end, which is ironically what the witches themselves ultimately want.
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? Responses (5)
Very interesting. Is it a board game?
This is pretty similar to Warhammer 40K in its outlook and general feel (except it's fantasy, of course).
I was leaning more towards a horror anime feel, and not a tactical tabletop war game. There is a normal fantasy Warhammer. Less crapsack kill everyone for the Emperor and more Blair Witch Project with swords and terror
I see bits of Blue Exorcist, Seven Deadly Sins and Vatican Miracle Examiner here. This would be an interesting game!
I find it interesting how much the Vatican plays in a lot of Anime. The writers seem fascinated by the organization.
I can definitely see the anime horror aspects of it, but it's ultimately a setting about counter-insurgency. The witches are fantasy ISIS.
In that vein, I think I would prefer to make the sexism more... subtle or developing rather than have a massive theocracy with all of that already in place.