Witch Hunt is a classic roleplaying game that few gamers know about. I remember it from the early days only because Witch Hunt was the one and only RPG that I won at a game convention. Never did play it, and I sold my personal copy long ago. I have so few of my “original” games these days that it saddens me.

OK, enough with the nostalgia. Witch Hunt is well-written and laid out, which cannot be said of all early small-press RPGs.

A historical/horror RPG set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. Player characters are either witches with actual magic, or lawful magistrates trying to hunt them down and prosecute them. It includes detailed notes on the setting: including daily lives of the Puritan Colonists, maps of typical buildings, accusation process, and magistrate duties and procedures. It uses a simple percentile system. Character creation includes percentile random-roll of ten attributes (five physical and five mental), followed by 30 points to distribute among them, and then rolls for Age, Marital Status, Children, Height, Weight, Social Status, Home Town, and Occupation. Advancement is by level and consist of adds to attributes, depending on whether the character is a Witch or a Magistrate. Witches get most of their experience for remaining free and casting spells, while Magistrates get experience mainly from disrupting magic rituals, making accusations, and executing witches. There is a detailed accusation and trial process, as well as a magic system for witches.

Darkshire.net is an encyclopedic RPG reference. The site goes waaaay back, might be older than my own RPG reference site (2003). Still one of the best sources for info on the most obscure of classic RPGs.

Witch Hunt: Roleplaying Salem 1692

1983 … P. Baader & R. Buckelew & Dennis B. Meehan (interior art) … Statcom Simulations Inc. (SCS 1600)

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Promo text and Contents from box bottom

Witch Hunt Rulebook

Character Sheet, Map, and Dice

Tiny Dice! (D20, numbered 0-9 twice as percentile dice)

See Also:

Precis Intermedia: Forgotten Games Part 10 (Starts off with observations about Witch Hunt gameplay)

Man, Myth, & Magic: A Role Playing Game of Man’s Greatest Adventures (1982)

HEROES: A Role Playing Game Set In The Dark Ages (1979)