Saturday, February 6, 2010

Witch notes

The following will make sense only to those people who play Pathfinder and are conversant with the final playtest version of the Witch from the Advanced Player's Guide. But what the heck, it's my blog, and the best place for me to keep notes I can find later is to publish them.

So if you don't know what I'm talking about, lie back and think of England.

Class Skills
Replace Intimidate with Handle Animal
Replace Knowledge (History) with Knowledge (Local)
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Class Features
Coven Role
: At 1st level, the Witch selects her Coven Role from one of the following: Charisma-based Maiden, Wisdom-based Mother, or Intelligence-based Crone.
  • Maidens add Bluff, Diplomacy, and Disguise to their list of Class Skills.
  • Mothers add Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival to their list of Class Skills.
  • Crones add Knowledge (all) and Linguistics to their list of Class Skills.
If a group of witches contains at least 1 of each of these roles, any witch with the Coven Hex may use the best Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom modifier of any other Coven member as long as they are within 30 feet of each other. (Special thanks to SmiloDan over on the Paizo boards for this idea, which I modified somewhat.)

Hexes: Any time a Hex requires an Intelligence modifier to determine duration or difficulty number, use the attribute of that Witch's Coven Role instead.

Spellcasting: The requirements on learning and casting spells now depend upon which Coven Role the Witch has chosen. Everything else remains the same. A Witch must still choose and prepare her spells ahead of time, even if she is a Charisma-based caster.

Witch's Familiar: To quote the beginning of the Witch entry,
Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities...
A Witch's familiar no longer acts as a spellbook. It is instead a conduit of extraplanar information with which she communes daily, much like a cleric, to regain her spells. This means the following:
  • There are no more familiar bonus spells.
  • However, all spells of castable level are now open to the Witch, just like Clerics and Druids.
  • Loss of a familiar is now a large inconvenience instead of a disastrous, unrecoverable loss of spells.

Spells: Add all stat buff spells (Owl's Wisdom, Fox's Cunning, etc) and the Mass versions thereof to the Witch spell list.

I realize this version still isn't perfect but I think it goes a long way towards addressing some of the inadequacies and WTF?ness of the class as it currently exists. I look forward to your critiques of my changes (Mxyzplk especially).


  1. I really like the three choices of role. The witch's coven ability as it stands is ultra lame.

    You know, one of the other campaigns that our extended gaming group was running had a coven of this sort - they were a variety of clerics/sorceresses but they formed a maiden/matron/crone trio. So definite cool points.

    Although it is a little odd in that you can have a sixteen year old crone etc. But fair enough.

    I also agree with adding the buff spells. Although note that many of them get onto the witch's list via the familiars.

    I don't really see the need for the familiar change, though. Getting spells via the familiar is pretty cool and different, and you're not any more screwed by losing the familiar than a wizard is by losing his spellbook. You can get them back in a day, albeit not with all the spells in 'em. Maybe let Speak with Dead channel spells from old familiar to new at a rate of one a day, that way real high level witches don't get totally jacked.

  2. By the way, I posted on Paizo about our inquisitor playtest - you can see the post here and the character here!

    I was planning on perhaps doing up a witch myself. It's sad to admit, but I'm gonna base her on the voodoo lady from "The Princess & The Frog" when my PCs head out to Viperwall.

  3. I don't really see the need for the familiar change, though. Getting spells via the familiar is pretty cool and different, and you're not any more screwed by losing the familiar than a wizard is by losing his spellbook.

    I think you're missing one crucial component: the Wizard's spellbook isn't made of tasty, tasty meat.

    Also, Wizards can have backup spellbooks, but there's no such thing as a backup familiar for a Witch.

    Thirdly, and I admit this is pure opinion on my part, I want the Witch to be halfway between Wizard and Cleric or Druid. Doing it my way accomplishes that. :)

  4. Do you see the Witch as primarily a female class or do you think it should be gender neutral?

  5. I have no problems with male Witches. I just use the female pronoun because the stereotypical Witch of folklore is female, much like the stereotypical Fighter is male.


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