Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Coven (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 11 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Coven (PFRPG)
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Are You a Good Witch? Or a Bad Witch?

Wizards may wield studied spells and clerics pray to the gods themselves, but witchcraft—wild, untamed, perilous—is the magic of the common folk, with all the desperation and danger that implies. Embodied by hags and their half-blood daughters, changelings, witchcraft has always been one of the broadest, most potent, and most misunderstood forces of magic... until now. Learn the dark rituals and curses witchcraft empowers, and the good it stands to do in the world as well.

Inside this book you'll find:

  • An examination of the changeling race, including changeling covens, enhanced hag heritage, and specific rules for the 10 subraces of changelings, depending on their hag mothers.
  • New hag- and witchcraft-focused archetypes for a variety of classes, including bloodragers, clerics, investigators, and witches.
  • New curse spells and magic rituals employed by witches, as well as curse-related feats to help adventurers get the most out of a bad day.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-982-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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****½ (based on 11 ratings)

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Amok, Amok, Amok!


Rather enjoyed this product. The specific changeling heritages are both descriptive and varied, much like the “Blood of Angels/Fiends” books were, with an addition to unlock more of your hag-heritage!

Also, of note was an expansion on patrons, called ‘agendas’ – you can now have a patron that perhaps pays more attention to you than other witches, and include both boons and banes.

There is some material about hags and covens, but it doesn’t make the mistake Blood of the Night’s mistake with dedicating player options for vampires. Informative, but short.

Of the archetypes, the malice binder was very cool and interesting: a witch hunter that uses a specific magic to aid in battling their prey. It is an archetype that I would like to see have more options released in future products regarding one of its selectable class abilities (similar to new discoveries).


One of the best

*****

Strong archetypes, great changeling material, cool new spells and rituals. Even the magic items section is creative, useful, and even pretty funny.


Mama always said not to wander too deep into the woods

****( )

Blood of the Coven is a well-worth addition to the Pathfinder Library of both players and game masters.

This Player Companion begins by expanding on the Changelings, both in terms of rules mechanics and lore. It starts off by expanding on the lore presented in the Advanced Race Guide and Inner Sea Races, and moves on to a guideline for Changelings based on non humans, and a note that the Hags with the Outsider type can also create Changelings.

Changelings get some good options in this book. They received the treatment given to Aasimar, Tieflings and Skinwalkers, being given ten(!) optional varieties tied closely to the Changeling’s hag mother. Each lists a typical alignment (which is one variety of Neutral or another, except for Waker May, born from Dreamthief hag’s coven-mates, into whom the Dreamthief pours their fiendish soul). These variants also alter the racial ability modifiers of the changeling, though most have at least one or two modifiers in common with the non-speciality Changeling. Finally, the variants are each given a Hag Racial Trait, usefully collected from the various Bestiary entries of Hags, expanding the options from the Advanced Class Guide.

This section is excellent, and my only real disappointment is that Slag May, Annis-born Changelings retain a constitution penalty, the only mar on them making absolutely perfect Bloodragers. Why bloodragers? I’ll get to that, but it's by no means a deal breaker.

The next section covers Covens. Once more, Blood of the Covens does some very useful leg-work in collating information on hags, in this place, the specific spells which a given hag contributes to their coven spellcasting. Additionally, there are a few feats in this section: The shiner here to me is Enhanced Coven. Each changeling with the feat gains an additional 3 coven ‘slots’ per day.

Next up is a fairly long section on Witchcraft. Patrons receive a set of archetypes which left you graft some spells onto your patron spell list, and at the cost of a drawback, you get a bonus hex. The drawbacks by and large are either minor or quite flavourful: the Celestial Agenda wants you to not deceive or threaten people, the Green Whispers patron forbids metal armor and inflicts minor damage in contact with metal and those whose patron is Touched By The Outer Gods are easily confused.

This section also contacts three archetypes for witches, of which my favourite has to be the Hagbound. Hagbound Witches have to take the archetype as their first level, and must continue to take levels in hagbound witch until they can free themselves from the hold a hag has on their souls, slowly transforming them into a Hag, becoming an evil monstrous humanoid with several immunities and hefty spell resistance, unless she can remove the archetype with a miracle before you hit 20th level. The putrefactor gains an honorable mention for being ...thoroughly disgusting, but also an interesting take on a witch with a swarm familiar. The section tops off with three additional patrons, Jynx, Mercy and Rot.

The Witch Religions section provides an overview of the common deities that Witches worship, , and provides the Triadic Priest Cleric archetype, which forms a Triadic bond with exactly two allies, and gains bonuses for working cooperatively with them (I’m strongly considering this archetype if I ever get into a 3 player+GM game in the future)

Next up is a section on curses.slightly over a bag of spells all with the curse descriptor (surprise surprise) and a few feats. The standout feat is the Latent Curse metamagic feat. For a +1 spell level adjustment, you change the target line on a spell to object touched, but the object does not suffer the effect of the spell, oh no, the next creature to touch the object does. I think that this is a legitimately amazing feat with some creative, devious uses.

Hags and the Occult touches on Hagtouched implements and Hag or curse themed archetypes for the Kineticist and Spiritualist as well as a psychic discipline and hag-themed implements for Mediums, and the Arakineticist Archetype. I’m not as familiar as i should be with the occult classes, so I can’t really comment on these.

And then Ritual Magic. I love Ritual magic, and I love these Rituals! Five-Generation Curse is how you get lycanthropic families. Grand Coven lets a coven gain additional members, and gain powerful effects for more members,including wail of the banshee and greater create undead. Invoke the Nemesis is an amazingly thematic spell, I believe it’s a bit let down by being a seventh level ritual that summons a creature with a CR under 4.

Those who hunt is the penultimate section, and probably my favourite in the game, but then I favor martial characters. The Covenbane slayer could easily have been much too niche for consideration in many campaigns, but instead is, in my opinion a viable, strong archetype! The Covenbane slayer gains a supernatural ability to sense spellcasters, hags and creatures with SLAs, as well as recognise creatures disguised magically (“By the prickling of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes...”), Studied target expands to give bonuses against the entire coven after studying a single member, and later expands to include those bound by hive-minds or telepathic bond, an excellent extrapolation of the theme.

The Hagriven Bloodrager is also amazing, gain claws, the ability to sacrifice spell slots for enhancement bonuses to both claws that stack with other enhancement bonuses, and natural armor bonus, and a free floating critical feat, changeable each day. And the art supplied for it on the previous page is excellent. Despite the con penalty on Slag-May/Annis-born Changelings, they’ve risen high on my “Play this concept” list.

The Malice Binder Investigator is perhaps a step down from the un-archetyped Investigator, but contains a slew of interesting abilities, but is perhaps better suited to an NPC than a PC. (But would serve excellently in that role: Wrack is especially cool, and a fantastic way to create tension.

Blood of the Coven closes up with an item section. There’s nothing essential here, but the Pactseeker’s blade is very cool, dealing bonus damage to each of a struck creature’s allies that the creature shares an active spell effect with, and the Battlepot Cauldron, which is a giant spiky pot you can use as a magical heavy mace. Beyond that, you can put up to five potions into the battlepot as a standard action each. When you hit an enemy with the Battlepot, you can free action effect that creature with one of the potions (of your choice) in the pot, very fun, I think! Also, ‘battlepot’ is just a plain fun word.

This wasn’t a book I had any particular excitement for when I first saw it on the release schedule, but I thought I’d take a look, and I was very pleased with what I found. Some very cool archetypes, interesting rituals, a delightfully tricksome metamagic feat. In addition, Paizo has taken an opportunity to enshrine that while hag’s magical nature causes them to bear only female children, these children can express masculine identities or lack clearly defined sexual traits.

Development leads for this book were Crystal Frasier and Jessica Price. John Compton, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, Lissa Guillet, Elisa Mader, Adrian Ng, Mark Seifter and Linda Zayas-Palmer are credited as authors. The cover art is by Setiawan Lie, and interior art is by Kent Hamilton, Alyssa McCarthy and Benjamin Widdowson.


Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

*****

As an enthusiast of all things hag-related, I waited with baited breath to acquire this gem.

The new options give a lot of customization to witches, changelings, and coven casters. Pleased to see changeling options for the outsider hags and finally (if not a little brief) new information on hag goddesses.

Interesting to see how different casters and psionics can touch upon the feats, spells, and items. Also pleased to see more classic hag homages, Curse of Dragonflies screams Spirited Away.

All of the Blood supplements have been useful, and Blood of the Coven especially so!


Worth the Wait!

*****

I've been looking forward to this book for months, as our current campaign has a changeling character in it, and we were hoping for more material to work with. Now that it's here I'm blown away by it; I think I can safely say this is my favorite book in the Player Companion line.

This book has great options and information for changelings, hags, and witches in Pathfinder, all in about equal measure. The contributions here go beyond the rule additions however; the book really expands on what we know about hag ecology, the lives of changelings, and the role a patron plays in a witch's spellcasting career. In the case of the patrons, I finally feel like a witch's patron is as active a participant in her character as a cleric's god, which is saying something!

Our game group is going to get a lot out of this book now and in the future. I'd recommend it as a steller expansion on both character options and in-game lore.


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Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Calling a rules option "hot garbage" is not "impossible," it's simply very impolite. If devs feel like they are wandering into hostile territory populated with people looking for a fight, it stands to reason they're going to avoid those people, and those conversations.

Please try to be a bit more considerate. If you're looking for a fun debate on the merits of a class feature, and you're interested in having the people who made, developed, or edited that class feature take part in that debate, you're better off taking a more respectful tact, even if the rules element in question is something you dislike or disagree with.

Pretty simple.


QuidEst wrote:
Pounce wrote:
Is it the intent that the patron themes are making hexes available to archetypes that do away with hexes entirely, such as the White-Haired Witch or the Havocker? It seems to read that way, based on the fact that you get access to it through the patron class feature, which none of those two archetypes alter..
If you've traded the feature away entirely, I definitely recommend checking with your GM.

Seems like that tends to be the answer to a lot of my questions, haha :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm pretty happy with most of the book. It answers a couple of burning questions I've had about changelings, like what exactly it means when it says that changelings are "always female" (and cool to see the mention of masculine-identifying changelings). I could see myself playing or recommending most of the archetypes (the Putrefactor is really cool!), though not sure about the Malice Binder yet.

While flavorful, my main concern is that it seems like it would be hard to keep Fetter DCs high enough to matter without sacrificing the multiple non-Charisma stats I need as an Investigator. Also not sure how exactly the traps are supposed to work (how often can I use them? Are they also charisma based, or wisdom based like for a Ranger?). Would appreciate some clarification or insight there.

I could probably be sold on the archetype though, if anyone has some tips for building one or sees something I don't. After all, I wasn't sure about the entire Hunter class until a month ago when someone brought an amazing one to my table.


Are Cruel Child and Switched at Birth intended to be Race Traits? They are labeled as Racial Traits.


Enjoying a lot of the flavor elements and very happy to have the different heritages....also some very nice feats....

I'm disappointed in the Bloodrager Bloodline and the Hag Riven....and still digesting the others Archetypes....


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just started reading and the slag may's (annis hag changeling) is... weird?
It contains this "Their frames encourage give them an advantage
when performing..." and it talks about their healthy physique, hard day's work in the sun and physical work, when they have a penalty to constitution.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

They have a bonus to Strength. And the full text is “athletic displays and physical labor”, which Strength helps with.


This book is full of awesome lore. I love reading these books!

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Removed some more posts and replies. Get the thread back on subject please. If you need to discuss moderation of this thread, take it to website feedback or email community@paizo.com.


Huh. I thought my shout out to Crystal was well thought out...but I do like the expanded Patron stuff.

Like I said previously, this book is a great mix of a racial book (Changelings) and classes (Witch)

So thank you Crystal and the rest of the contributors!


The description talks about how witchcraft is 'the magic of the common folk'. Is there anything in the book that works with this? Like, say, how more academic spellcasters like wizards, magi, and alchemists react to witches?

The Exchange

According to page.29 "Take a Bit More (Ex): At 8th level, .......He gains Quick StealAPG as a bonus feat......"

But Quick Steal is a feat appear to UC.
Does this just a writing mistake? Or not give Quick Steal as a bonus feat but another one?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber

Am I to understand all the patrons in this book are new? If that's correct, then an archetype like Winter Witch, w/ already defined patron limitations, wouldn't be able to use any of them. Is that right?

Edited to replace PrC w/ archetype.


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That is not correct. You can have specific winter patrons. Maybe Jack Frost (or whomever) gave you some of his magic.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Ixos wrote:
That is not correct. You can have specific winter patrons. Maybe Jack Frost (or whomever) gave you some of his magic.

Either I'm not understanding you, or the Witch class is so new to me, I'm not understanding the patron system. When I look up the archetype of the winter witch, I find 14 acceptable patrons:

ancestors, deception, enchantment, endurance, moon, occult, portents, stars, transformation, trickery, water, winter, or wisdom (vengeance sh/b excluded b/c of spells w/ the fire descriptor, according to d20PFSRD).

I realize winter is 1 of the acceptable (and obvious) patrons for this archetype. Are you saying this book presents specific individuals as patrons (like your example of Jack Frost), which thus differs from the "concept", generic patrons prior to this book? And thus there are to be found patrons from the list above??


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Ah.

So there are a couple of new patrons in the book. Rot, for example, would not be appropriate for a Winter Witch.

There are also new specific patrons, like Fey Gifts, which represent potent fey creatures that bargain with people for witchcraft. These specific patrons modify the spell lists of a sub-set of Patrons like "ancestors, deception, enchantment, endurance, moon, occult, portents, stars, transformation, trickery, water, winter, or wisdom" to better represent the nature of magical bargains with powerful fey. They also grant a particular hex and a corresponding bane.

In my example of Fey Gifts, Winter is one of the Patrons you can choose. So if you chose it you get the spells granted by Winter modified by its fey origins. You also sign up for the fey f#%*ing with you for its own amusement because that is how they roll.

So while you could be a Winter Witch and use the new specific patron system as long as the base Patron was appropriate, the new Patrons, like Rot, are not added to the list of acceptable Winter Witch options.

Does that clarify things?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixos wrote:


There are also new specific patrons, like Fey Gifts, which represent potent fey creatures that bargain with people for witchcraft. These specific patrons modify the spell lists of a sub-set of Patrons like "ancestors, deception, enchantment, endurance, moon, occult, portents, stars, transformation, trickery, water, winter, or wisdom" to better represent the nature of magical bargains with powerful fey. They also grant a particular hex and a corresponding bane.

My read is that those hexes are in addition to the normal hex gained at level one, balancing out the bane.


Yep. I definitely was not saying otherwise.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
dragon singer wrote:

According to page.29 "Take a Bit More (Ex): At 8th level, .......He gains Quick StealAPG as a bonus feat......"

But Quick Steal is a feat appear to UC.
Does this just a writing mistake? Or not give Quick Steal as a bonus feat but another one?

Just a typo, the archetype gives other steal based abilities. They get Quick Steal.


I got the book and I totally love it!

But, I have a non native speaker question about changeling names.

I have googled "may" as all the changelings breeds are called: "hearth may", etc.

The most satisfying meaning I could find was one type of flower. Is there any additional meaning to this word, colloquial or something that escapes me or are just named as flowers?

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I believe (this was mentioned somewhere else on the thread but I don’t feel like digging for it cause I’m lazy :3) that “may” is an archaic word for “maiden”, for example the Swan May.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My only bummer so far is that my Blood of the Coven physical copy has to wait until order ships with Ultimate Wilderness because budget and I'm not on the Companion subscription path also because budget.

Still eagerly awaiting this item, because I think it has the missing pieces I need for not one, but TWO characters I'm trying to put together, now that I think about it!

Kileanna: Might it have something to do with swanmay and swanmaidens, perhaps tied into the First World?

No idea, just stabbing in the dark?


Rysky wrote:
I believe (this was mentioned somewhere else on the thread but I don’t feel like digging for it cause I’m lazy :3) that “may” is an archaic word for “maiden”, for example the Swan May.

Correct, it means Maid or Maiden ;)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Ixos wrote:
stuff

That was a perfect explanation, thank you very much. I'm even more excited about this book now.


nighttree wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I believe (this was mentioned somewhere else on the thread but I don’t feel like digging for it cause I’m lazy :3) that “may” is an archaic word for “maiden”, for example the Swan May.
Correct, it means Maid or Maiden ;)

Thanks for answering my super stupid question! These are the kind of obvious things that a non native speaker finds confusing.

Somehow being a callow may perfectly suits Kileanna xD

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Kileanna wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I believe (this was mentioned somewhere else on the thread but I don’t feel like digging for it cause I’m lazy :3) that “may” is an archaic word for “maiden”, for example the Swan May.
Correct, it means Maid or Maiden ;)

Thanks for answering my super stupid question! These are the kind of obvious things that a non native speaker finds confusing.

Somehow being a callow may perfectly suits Kileanna xD

Don’t beat yourself up, it wasn’t a stupid question at all. I didn’t get the connection either till it was mentioned in this thread.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

No question is dumb as long as it's presented in a reasonable fashion.

Also I didn't realize about May until someone pointed it out too. I just didn't think much of it until then.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kileanna wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I believe (this was mentioned somewhere else on the thread but I don’t feel like digging for it cause I’m lazy :3) that “may” is an archaic word for “maiden”, for example the Swan May.
Correct, it means Maid or Maiden ;)
Thanks for answering my super stupid question! These are the kind of obvious things that a non native speaker finds confusing.

I suspect that most native English speakers wouldn't know that usage. My head is just filled with all sorts of random bits of information that occasionally turn out to be useful.

Dark Archive

What happens to a male witch who takes the Hagbound archetype when they reach 20th level?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not sure what the wording is(going to be waiting a little while), but perhaps an apotheosis of some sort?

Dark Archive

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Not sure what the wording is(going to be waiting a little while), but perhaps an apotheosis of some sort?

Hagbound:

Hag Transformation: at 20th level the hagbound transforms into a true hag, purging all goodness and light from her in exchange for dark power. Her alignment becomes evil if it isn't already. Her type changes to monstrous humanoid, and she gains darkvision 60ft; immunity to charm, fear, and spell effects; and the ability to join a coven. She gains spell resistance 31, and she grants this benefit to her other coven members.

The archetype does not list being female or a changeling as a requirement.

Dark Archive

I acquired my copy yesterday.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Given that 20 is end-game for most campaigns, I suspect that's the point where they truly eschew any connection to their former mortal life, then?

I find it very fascinating.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

My guess is they turn into a hag regardless of gender.


Rysky wrote:
Kileanna wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I believe (this was mentioned somewhere else on the thread but I don’t feel like digging for it cause I’m lazy :3) that “may” is an archaic word for “maiden”, for example the Swan May.
Correct, it means Maid or Maiden ;)

Thanks for answering my super stupid question! These are the kind of obvious things that a non native speaker finds confusing.

Somehow being a callow may perfectly suits Kileanna xD

Don’t beat yourself up, it wasn’t a stupid question at all. I didn’t get the connection either till it was mentioned in this thread.

If it matters....even most Americans wouldn't know this. It's very much a Gaelic/UK thing ;)


DragonBlood472 wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Not sure what the wording is(going to be waiting a little while), but perhaps an apotheosis of some sort?

** spoiler omitted **

The archetype does not list being female or a changeling as a requirement.

Well it does repeatedly use the female pronoun....so it's a valid question ;)


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I think it's safe to read he or she as the default gender without presuming it genders anyone in particular.

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