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Powwower, AKA Pow-wow Man, Medicine-man, braucher, brujo/bruja (masculine/feminine, "witch" in Latin-American Santeria and sometimes African-American Hoodoo), Wizard, Wise-man/Wise-woman, Cunning Folk, Pellar, etc.

Origin: American Folklore


The Powwower is essentially a human practitioner of folk magic (part natural healer, part faith-healer, part fire-and-brimstone preacher, part exorcist, part conjuror, part veterinarian and part doctor) constituting a Folk Mythos occupation for investigators.

Powwow, also called brauche or braucherei, is a vernacular system of North American traditional medicine and folk magic originating in the culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Blending aspects of folk religion with healing charms, "powwowing" includes a wide range of healing rituals used primarily for treating ailments in humans and livestock, as well as securing physical and spiritual protection, and good luck in everyday affairs. Although the word "powwow" is Native American, these ritual traditions are of European origin and were brought to colonial Pennsylvania in the transatlantic migrations of German-speaking people from Central Europe in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. A practitioner is sometimes referred to as a "Pow-wow Man", "powwower" or braucher, but terminology varies by region. The folk traditions continues in the present day in both rural and urban settings, and has spread across North America.

Keeper Notes

  • 7th Edition Occuptation, Powwower:
    • Occupation Skill Points: EDU × 2 + (DEX × 2 or APP × 2)
    • Credit Rating: 9–30
    • Suggested Contacts: Local residents and native folk; other powwowers; preachers and faith-healers; midwives and natural healers; rustic alchemists, dowsers, and witches.
    • Skills: First Aid, Natural World, one Art/Craft skill (Farming, Faith Healing, Natural Medicine, Preaching, Musical Instrument, Art, etc.), one interpersonal skill (Charm, Fast Talk, Intimidate, or Persuade), Spot Hidden, Occult, any one other skill as a personal or era specialty.
      • Some suggested personal/era specialties: Drive Auto, Ride, Science, History, Psychology, Language (other), Law, an additional Art/Craft (Farming, Faith Healing, Natural Medicine, Preaching, Musical Instrument, Art, etc.)
      • With the Keeper's agreement, the personal/era specialty may include Cthulhu Mythos (with an advised starting maximum of 10%).
      • Some examples of arts and crafts from the literature include painting/constructing hex-signs and charms; making detailed or life-like line drawings and sketches; crafting scarecrows; crafting clay jugs and figurines; playing musical instruments such as banjos, guitars, fiddles; oratory and preaching
      • Some powwowers in the literature are well-read/educated in topics like Law, Greek and Roman classics and mythology, Native American languages/religion/mysticism, religion and demonology, etc.
    • Ideology/Beliefs might include:
      • There is a higher power that you worship and pray to (e.g. Jesus Christ and/or God; though some Powwowers - privately or, more rarely, publicly - acknowledge or embrace other options: Perhaps the archangels, or even Odin, Thor, Nodens, Bast, etc.)
      • The power of Powwow magic and occultism.
      • A belief in predestination or Fate.
      • The well-being of the community.
      • There is evil in society that should be rooted out (perhaps a secret society of evil Powwowers or Witches?)
      • "Money is power, and I'm going to get all I can" (e.g. greedy, enterprising, ruthless).
      • Powwow occultism is all show for gullible marks.
      • Member of a secret society of Powwowers.
    • Significant People, in addition/alternative to those suggested in the Investigator Handbook:
      • A mentor or master in the art of Powwow medicine/occult.
    • Meaningful Locations might include:
      • Hometown
      • A place connected to Powwow occultism (a local place of power, mystery, terror, healing, protection, etc.)
      • Your workplace (a sort of combination home, consulting room, small church, and laboratory/workshop)
    • Treasured Possessions might include:
      • An essential item for your occupation (in the literature, pocket grimoires such as The Long Lost Friend are often handed down generation by generation from a trusted mentor, and the tomes' authors claim in the text that the presence of these books on the Powwower's person serve as protection against evil, gunshots, snake bites, etc.)
  • Typical Descriptions:
    • Powwowers of different communities might range from fairly important and well-respected members of the community, to roguish vagabonds who might not be trusted by the community, until someone falls ill, crops fail, or evidence of evil witchcraft turns up, at which time the community might be forced to deal with the Powwower on more or less equal terms.
    • Due to persecution and skepticism from the outside world, it is desirable for the Powwowman and his neighbors to keep Powwow to themselves, and for the Powwower to blend in with the community. Your typical rustic Powwower will look almost indistinguishable from the common folk he/she works among; some suggested comparisons include farmer, wanderer/hobo, country doctor, fire-and-brimstone preacher, etc.
    • Rarely, some eccentric Powwow-men might choose a more eccentric mode of dress, more in line with that expected of a rustic wizard, shaman, or madman, though outsiders might not notice much of a difference aside from extraordinarily outdated or garish clothing; eccentric pendants or charms worn as necklaces or stitched or tooled into clothing, boots, etc; odd-looking hats, and so on.

The Powwower as NPC (villain)

The evil Powwower is, effectively, a Witch or lone Human Cultist.

Associated Mythos Elements