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Advanced Feats: The Witch's Brew (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 6 ratings)

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The Witch’s Brew mixes together a cauldron full of feats and builds to create a witch character for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game that evokes the awe and dread of medieval folklore.

    Created by Sigfried Trent, this 14-page book includes:
  • A breakdown of the Witch class
  • 30 new feats for witches including Craft Magic Tattoo, Usurp Spell and Familiar Reincarnation
  • Witch character builds: arch-witch, white witch and wicked witch!

Teach your enemies not to trifle with powers beyond their comprehension: get your copy of Advanced Feats: The Witch’s Brew today!

Includes a HeroLab data file for almost all the feats in the PDF. (Because Hero Lab doesn't currently support multiple spellbooks or familiars (it can handle familiar & companion, but not two of the same), this data file does not cover Serve Two Masters and Extra Familiar.)

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Product Reviews (6)
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****½ (based on 6 ratings)

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Dissapointing

**( )( )( )

Looking through the feats presented here, sadly most fall into the trap of "cool idea, impractical for actual gameplay".

For example the very first feat is one that reduces ability damage taken. Hmm. How often is ability damage a problem? Certaintly not enough to have the party healer run around with restoration memorized 100% of the time, except possibly for an undead focused campaign.

There are a LOT of feats dedicated to counterspelling and dispelling...again, counterspelling is not a viable option, and spending feats to make it partially viable doesn't make sense when the witch is a feat intensive class (all those extra hexes you need, not to mention metamagic options).

Perhaps most puzzling is a craft magic tattoo feat...when there is an existing inscribe magical tattoo feat, that doesn't reduce con score. The authors seem to be under the assumption that giving any character a magic item that can duplicate a spell is a big deal...when existing magic items already exist for that very purpose (boots of haste anyone?) and there are already existing magic item creation rules to make items that can duplicate spell effects, again, without the con score penalty, or needing CL 9 before being able to take the feat and start crafting.

Expert healing at first glance looks like a great idea, although the heal skill has a rather underpowered option to do something similar (treat deadly wounds). The main problem with expert healing is that the DC check is extremly high...most witches would only be able to take 10 on this skill at level 5, at which point healing 1d4 damage is essentially pointless. One use of a healer's kit costs 5 gp, and a wand of infernal healing is 15 gp for 10 hp in the same amount of time...except no checks are needed.

There are also a large number of familiar related feats that are mostly for niche uses. For example, you could take a feat that lets you use your character instead of class level for witch familiars. Any character that is dipping into witch for a hex or two is not going to care about having a high level familiar anyway.

Linked Resistance is just not useful...by the time your familiar does have spell resistance, having it out in the open is essentially suicide, and the SR would only block an equal level caster 25% of the time or so, and you are taking a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity to get it for 1d4 rounds. Instead of doing that, you could shut the enemy caster down with a save or lose spell or do anything else that would not endanger your familiar and yourself.

Despite all that, there are some very nice feats here. Opportunity counterspell allows more counterspells to potentially happen...assuming your campaign does reach level 15+. Potent hex is a nice way to increase your hex DCs, but might make your DM pause...especially if used in conjunction with Ability Focus. Rememorize gives the witch more versatility spell wise...although the 1 hour timer does seriously limit it's uses (no switching out utility spells unless you have plenty of time to spare, which isn't often).

Unfortunately even many of the feats which have good rules suffer from far too many restrictions. Seduction is potentially great for both roleplaying and for having the witch contribute to social encounters...but the cha 13 requirement essentially limits it to players who roll exceedingly well for stats, and honestly could be done much better with the typical kitsune sorcerer. The requirements for being able to take a second patron is also far too high...pay a feat to get some more utility spells? Sure! Needing to take a pre-requisite feat just to take a feat for more utility spells? Na.

Several pages are also devoted to sample builds which are unfortunately, poorly done. For example the Arch Witch is built around counterspelling...which is a really terrible idea unless your DM throws mostly spellcasters at you (which the rest of the party is unlikely to appreciate, given the number of save or lose spells which they would be facing). Not only that, but she is nearly defenceless until level 4 where she gets the slumber hex (casting burning hands is unlikely to help much. Does anyone even take burning hands these days when you can take sleep?).

At $4, i honestly expected a lot more practical rules that would fit a wide variety of campaigns. It's unfortunate that too much of the stuff in it is simply based on the rule of cool or underpowered because the authors were too cautious.


awesome book

*****

A very awesome book, that is simple and elegant in what it offers.

The feats are all pretty solid and I like how a fair amount are more flavorful, roleplay oriented as opposed to straight power boosts.

I *highly* recommend this book for anybody looking to build a Witch, or any caster for that mater.


A nice bunch of options for Witches

****( )

This pdf is 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving 11 pages of content.

The pdf, as all advanced feat books, opens with a introduction and discussion of the class.
After this short discussion, we get the meat of the book, 30 new feats for Witches.

The feats are:

Ability Damage Resistance: Reduce all ability damage by 2 points

Counterspell Feedback: Damage casters when countering their spells
Craft Magic Tattoo: Tattoo yourself and others with spell effects

Delay Spell: Delay the effect of a spell

Discriminating Spell: Alter a spell to affect or not affect a chosen race or creature type

Dispel Mastery: +3 bonus to dispel checks

Expert Healing: Heal 1d4 damage using a healer’s kit

Extra Familiar: Summon an additional familiar

Familiar Concentration: Familiar can maintain spell concentration

Familiar Development: Familiar gains abilities as if 2 levels higher

Familiar Feat: Familiar learns a feat

Familiar Focus: Familiar’s abilities are based on your character level

Familiar Range Extension: Familiar’s range extends to 100 miles

Familiar Reincarnation: New familiars know the spells of former familiars

Familiar Training: Familiar can utilize your feats

Guarded Casting: Fight defensively while casting spells and activating magic items

Hexing Familiar: Familiar performs hexes

Improved Caster Level: Increase CL by 4, up to character level

Infer Spell: Learn spells from spell trigger or spell completion magic items

Linked Resistance: Gain your familiars spell resistance for 1d4 rounds

Mass Effect Spell: Single target spells affect multiple targets

Opportunity Counterspell: Counterspell without a readied action

Potent Hex: +1 to hex DC

Rememorize: Change a prepared spell in 1 hour

Robust Health: +4 to saves against poison and disease

Seduction: Gain bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Charm spells

Serve Two Masters: Gain a second set of patron spells

Signature Focus: Create an expensive item that replaces costly spell components

Soul Mate: Sense when your soul mate is in danger and gain a bonus to skill checks used on them

Touch Mastery: Use spellcasting ability score on touch attacks

Usurp Spell: Gain benefits of spell countered

Comments on select feats:

Ability Damage Resistance: Ok, why does this not have a prerequisite? 2 points ability damage less? That's a godsend at lower levels! Why doesn't it explain how this resistance comes about? A little fluff-blurb would have gone a long way to make this feat feel less metagamey.

Counterspell Feedback: Cool idea, neat balancing. I would take it.

Delay Spell: Another very good and strategic idea I like. Players will LOVE this.

Discriminating Spell: Another feat I like, as I use the mechanic already in my rather dark and grim home-campaign, where I've substituted alignment-based attacks with character belief-based ones. Neat.

Expert Healing: A godsend for low-magic campaigns that don't feature your med-kit cleric/druid at every corner.

Familiar Development feats: I liked them, as they make the witch feel more unique and her familiar different from e.g. the Wizard's one. It also forces hard choices on the PC: Use the familiar and risk it being hurt? Etc.
Infer Spell: While I like the idea, I somewhat have a mild disdain for the execution - learning spells from any items with one check seems wrong to me, but that is just my personal preference.

Mass-Effect Spell: Gold for buff/debuff casters and a nice alternative to all the mass X spells.
Opportunity Counterspell: Steep requirements, cool payoff. Never build your high-level caster without it.

Rememorize: Nice feat if you don't use the alternative rules of replacing spells in 15 minutes.

Robust Health: Great idea to help against poisons etc without conferring immunity.

Seduction: Just up my alley, this is a roleplaying feat as in opposed to roll-playing. Plus: I like some potentially adult themes in my games. Nice.

Serve Two Masters: This feat screams "character backstory"-development. I like it.

Usurp Spell: Complimentary to "Parry Spell", this feat is a good idea.

The pdf also has three sample builds, the Arch Witch, the White Witch and the Wicked Witch.

Conclusion:
Editing and layout are top-notch, gone is the parchment-like printer-unfriendly layout of "Secrets of the Alchemist". I didn't notice any typos. The cover artwork is the only one in the file and nice, although it didn't impress me either. All in all, I felt that this installment of Advanced Feats is superior to the one on the alchemist, mainly because I didn't find any feats I considered unsalvageable/broken. While "Rememorize" collides with the alternative rules I use and while "Ability Damage Reduction" still feels plain wrong to me, my overall impression is that this book focuses more on the Witch and making the class more unique, make her stand out more etc - i.e., it is more focused. Due to this focus and the overall improvement of both content and layout, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars. While not perfect or as good as "Cavalier's Creed", this is a worthy addition to any Witches arsenal.


*****


30 New feats for witch's

*****

As often is the case my review wouldn't fit. See forum post for full review.


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