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The Viking Irishman's Witch Guide


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moon glum wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Actually no they don't. Only pure Orcs qualify for this archetype.

(they clarified the racial archetypes today and ruled that half-orcs are only considered Orcs for EFFECTS not archetypes.)
Can you point us towards that ruling? I looked around a bit but couldn't find it.

Well here is James affirming that half orcs are subtype Orc. I can't find any semi-official statements that half or s would not count as or s for feats, or archetypes.

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz20ea?Whats-the-halforcs-subtype#0

He said "today". That's from over 2 years ago. IE not "today". Of course you won't find it there.


Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

Yeah, that's the link. Scroll down to the entry from Mark Moreland (Dev) that states:

Mark Moreland wrote:


Quote:

Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Note that qualifying for a feat or learning a spell is not an effect. The elf blood racial trait applies to things like the bane special weapon property or a ranger's favored enemy class feature.

If a feat or other character option has a prerequisite of "elf subtype", then a half-elf would qualify, as half-elves have both the human and elf subtypes. If, however, something requires a character to be of the elf race, then only elves need apply, as half-elves aren't elves, rather half-elves.

(Bolding is mine)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

moon glum wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Actually no they don't. Only pure Orcs qualify for this archetype.

(they clarified the racial archetypes today and ruled that half-orcs are only considered Orcs for EFFECTS not archetypes.)
Can you point us towards that ruling? I looked around a bit but couldn't find it.

Well here is James affirming that half orcs are subtype Orc. I can't find any semi-official statements that half or s would not count as or s for feats, or archetypes.

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz20ea?Whats-the-halforcs-subtype#0

James Jacobs wrote:


Their racial traits spell it out in their "Elf blood" or "Orc blood" traits. Since none of the core races have monster style writups, and since we generally don't bother listing racial subtypes in stat blocks for these core races, it's not something that sees print often. But the Elf Blood and Orc Blood abilities pretty much mean the exact same thing as having "Elf and Human" or "Elf and Orc" humanoid subtypes. Since there's nothing in the race chapter of the core rulebook that talks about creature types, that's why we handled it that way.

This seems like a pretty concrete answer to me. If you take that sentence along with this one from the ARG:

"If a humanoid has a racial subtype,
it is considered a member of that race in the case of race
prerequisites. "
I think the only logical conclusion is that half-orcs can take anything orcs can, and half-elves can take anything elves can. I SUPPOSE this doesn't clear it up completely for Racial Heritage, but since that feat actually does MORE (according to the text) than Elf Blood or Orc Blood racial traits do, I'd say anyone who can take Racial Heritage gains the racial subtype too.

Sidenote: Another group that can take orc feats, archetypes, etc: Orc-blooded Sorcerers. They gain the orc subtype.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

Yeah, that's the link. Scroll down to the entry from Mark Moreland (Dev) that states:

Mark Moreland wrote:


Quote:

Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Note that qualifying for a feat or learning a spell is not an effect. The elf blood racial trait applies to things like the bane special weapon property or a ranger's favored enemy class feature.

If a feat or other character option has a prerequisite of "elf subtype", then a half-elf would qualify, as half-elves have both the human and elf subtypes. If, however, something requires a character to be of the elf race, then only elves need apply, as half-elves aren't elves, rather half-elves.

(Bolding is mine)

So we essentially have two devs saying conflicting stuff again. Sigh.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

Yeah, that's the link. Scroll down to the entry from Mark Moreland (Dev) that states:

Mark Moreland wrote:


Quote:

Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Note that qualifying for a feat or learning a spell is not an effect. The elf blood racial trait applies to things like the bane special weapon property or a ranger's favored enemy class feature.

If a feat or other character option has a prerequisite of "elf subtype", then a half-elf would qualify, as half-elves have both the human and elf subtypes. If, however, something requires a character to be of the elf race, then only elves need apply, as half-elves aren't elves, rather half-elves.

(Bolding is mine)
So we essentially have two devs saying conflicting stuff again. Sigh.

No, you have a campaign coordinator saying one thing 2 years ago and an actual Developer stating a ruling NOW.

Remember, as JJ has said DOZENS of time he is NOT a developer and his comments are only how HE would handle things in HIS game. He has always stated the Developers have final say when it comes to Pathfinder rules, he just works on the campaign story.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

Yeah, that's the link. Scroll down to the entry from Mark Moreland (Dev) that states:

Mark Moreland wrote:


Quote:

Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Note that qualifying for a feat or learning a spell is not an effect. The elf blood racial trait applies to things like the bane special weapon property or a ranger's favored enemy class feature.

If a feat or other character option has a prerequisite of "elf subtype", then a half-elf would qualify, as half-elves have both the human and elf subtypes. If, however, something requires a character to be of the elf race, then only elves need apply, as half-elves aren't elves, rather half-elves.

(Bolding is mine)
So we essentially have two devs saying conflicting stuff again. Sigh.

No, you have a campaign coordinator saying one thing 2 years ago and an actual Developer stating a ruling NOW.

Remember, as JJ has said DOZENS of time he is NOT a developer and his comments are only how HE would handle things in HIS game. He has always stated the Developers have final say when it comes to Pathfinder rules, he just works on the campaign story.

Damn. It seems, then, that my arguments have all been for naught. That sucks. I really wanted to make a half-orc Scarred Witch Doctor.

Racial Heritage still has hope though. It specifically states that you qualify for feats and "so-on". So, maybe a HUMAN scarred witch doctor?? So apparently this means that the racial heritage feat is actually BETTER than being a half-race. That's... dumb.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

Yeah, that's the link. Scroll down to the entry from Mark Moreland (Dev) that states:

Mark Moreland wrote:


Quote:

Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.

Note that qualifying for a feat or learning a spell is not an effect. The elf blood racial trait applies to things like the bane special weapon property or a ranger's favored enemy class feature.

If a feat or other character option has a prerequisite of "elf subtype", then a half-elf would qualify, as half-elves have both the human and elf subtypes. If, however, something requires a character to be of the elf race, then only elves need apply, as half-elves aren't elves, rather half-elves.

(Bolding is mine)
So we essentially have two devs saying conflicting stuff again. Sigh.

No, you have a campaign coordinator saying one thing 2 years ago and an actual Developer stating a ruling NOW.

Remember, as JJ has said DOZENS of time he is NOT a developer and his comments are only how HE would handle things in HIS game. He has always stated the Developers have final say when it comes to Pathfinder rules, he just works on the campaign story.

Damn. It seems, then, that my arguments have all been for naught. That sucks. I really wanted to make a half-orc Scarred Witch Doctor.

Racial Heritage still has hope though. It specifically states that you qualify for feats and "so-on". So, maybe a HUMAN scarred witch doctor?? So apparently this means that the racial heritage feat is actually BETTER than being a half-race. That's... dumb.

Nope, still doesn't work.

Racial Heritage feat wrote:

The blood of a non-human ancestor flows in your veins.

Prerequisite: Human.

Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on.

This also has the EFFECTS line in it too so it also doesn't allow you to take the class either. On the plus side though you can officially take the feats and traits now.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Feats and traits are not effects. The feat implies it does more.
The Racial Heritage rules discussion is here.
Feel free to contribute. Do not forget to hit the FAQ button while there.


Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.

That's nice. PFS has a lot of extremely strict, limiting rulings on things that go well beyond what the actual rules allow. Quoting how it works in PFS means nothing for what the RAW is in non-PFS games.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.
That's nice. PFS has a lot of extremely strict, limiting rulings on things that go well beyond what the actual rules allow. Quoting how it works in PFS means nothing for what the RAW is in non-PFS games.

+1 to that. There are a fair number of PFS specific rules and even banned character types that are completely seperate from actual PF RAW.

Heck, there have been PFS ruling that completely contradict RAW, but are meant to better facilitate the unique circumstances of official organized play.

Not to mention.... James Jacobs is the Paizo Creative Director and Mark Moreland.... I've never even heard of before or seen post on these boards.
No offense to him, but I'm willing to bet JJ is his boss, for all intents and purposes.

Also, JJ has answered and created FAQ and official errata before.
While I don't always agree with his answers, the only other developer I've seen actually over-rule him has been Sean K Reynolds.

Add to all this... that there is NOTHING in the ARG that *specifically* denies the new archetypes to other races.
In fact, there is language that uses words like 'typically' to describe the new content, but also says that the majority of it was designed to work completely independently of mechanics connected to the associated race.

There are only a few exceptions, like a Drow archetype and others that depend on racial abilities.


BTW, thanks Viking Irishman for the great Witch Guide!
I've never really been interesting in playing a Witch before, but this guide totally got me itching to try one out!


Ravennus wrote:

Not to mention.... James Jacobs is the Paizo Creative Director and Mark Moreland.... I've never even heard of before or seen post on these boards.

No offense to him, but I'm willing to bet JJ is his boss, for all intents and purposes.

Mark is listed inside ARG as "Editorial Assistance".


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Benly wrote:
Here's a PFS ruling on the subject. For Society play, the subtype does not qualify you as the relevant race for feat, class, and archetype prereqs.
That's nice. PFS has a lot of extremely strict, limiting rulings on things that go well beyond what the actual rules allow. Quoting how it works in PFS means nothing for what the RAW is in non-PFS games.

Not my problem, I'm just linking to the relevant ruling. I'm not going to hold my breath on another ruling coming down from a higher source contradicting it, so this is the best we get.

In my home games, I'll probably allow half-whatevers to take the relevant archetypes, but I do a lot of things in my home games that Paizo doesn't approve of.


So I was putting together a witch for an upcoming game and I have a couple of thoughts about witches and winter. This seemed like the place to put them.

First: the Winter Witch archetype's Ice Magic sounds good on paper, but there are only about half a dozen spells it affects even if you take the Winter patron. Most of them are "save for half" blasts, although Falling Frost is not bad and Wall of Ice is nice to have the bonus on. Frozen Caress lets you expand its utility, but there aren't a whole lot of touch-range spells that benefit from the save boost and are especially awesome on the witch list (Bestow Curse is a good one, and it's possible I'm forgetting others.) That said, it almost doesn't matter that Ice Magic is underwhelming because Winter Witch gives up so little.

Second: This guide and the other guide both lowball Winter on the basis of being a blasting patron - which, admittedly, it kind of is. That said, it gives two really good bonuses in the mid levels. First, it has Wall of Ice; walls are very handy, the vanilla witch list doesn't have any, and Ice is a pretty good one. The other, which is bigger and nobody mentions, is that it grants Ice storm as a level 3 spell. Ice Storm is already a great spell, and since it doesn't have a save getting it a level earlier than everyone else is even better. My plan is to take Magical Lineage: Ice Storm and Rime Spell to throw around level 3 no-save damage, entanglement and difficult terrain. A lot of the highly-rated patrons give you impressive options at high levels, but I do think that it's worth noting what Winter brings to the table in the mid levels. (Its high level, sadly, does not hold up - Polar Ray? Seriously, guys?)


So the Winter witch gives up all her fire spells, early options in familiars, 1 hex and some options for patrong and what she gains is +1dc for very very few spells and 2 mediocre hexes and resistances (Which is nice).

As a normal witch can also get the winter patron, no real comparison is necessary to judge the archetype as in my opinion the archetype doesn't enhance (except for +1 dc) the patron.

So Winter Witch is still not that great in my book. You loose some , to gain some resistances to cold. However you get a capstone ability, which is new for witches.

The ice patron isn't that bad, but the problem is that others are simply better, like shadow, you get the shadow evocation and conjurations, which means you basicly have almost all evocations and conjurations there are.

So if you want to take the winter patron anyway AND you're sure you never want to cast any fire spells, then the winter witch is nice, and in that case you win more than you loose.

Edit: also ice storm is mainly just difficult terrain, black tentacles are better, and you have that spell on your spelllist anyway. You could have haste instead which you'll never get if not through your patron.


Richard Leonhart wrote:

So the Winter witch gives up all her fire spells, early options in familiars, 1 hex and some options for patrong and what she gains is +1dc for very very few spells and 2 mediocre hexes and resistances (Which is nice).

As a normal witch can also get the winter patron, no real comparison is necessary to judge the archetype as in my opinion the archetype doesn't enhance (except for +1 dc) the patron.

So Winter Witch is still not that great in my book. You loose some , to gain some resistances to cold. However you get a capstone ability, which is new for witches.

The ice patron isn't that bad, but the problem is that others are simply better, like shadow, you get the shadow evocation and conjurations, which means you basicly have almost all evocations and conjurations there are.

So if you want to take the winter patron anyway AND you're sure you never want to cast any fire spells, then the winter witch is nice, and in that case you win more than you loose.

Edit: also ice storm is mainly just difficult terrain, black tentacles are better, and you have that spell on your spelllist anyway. You could have haste instead which you'll never get if not through your patron.

I say Winter Witch doesn't lose much because most of its list is restricted to things that are pretty good options to pick anyway. Owl and raven are two of the most popular basic familiars, and ancestors, endurance, trickery and occult are all good patrons. I didn't say it doesn't remove good options, but rather it leaves as many good options as it removes. If you had your heart set on Haste, obviously it's not worth a pick. White Witch, I agree, is not a great archetype to build around. Rather, it's something worth considering if you're already planning on picking the (rather solid) options it allows.

(And seriously, losing fire spells is even less of a penalty to the witch list than gaining +1 DC on ice spells is a benefit. There's Burning Hands, Burning Gaze, Boiling Blood, and Volcanic Storm. Volcanic Storm is a good spell because it's a clone of Ice Storm, which is a good spell; the others are mediocre low-level blasts that you use because you're expecting to face something immune to your mind-affecting hexes. Oh, and you can't summon fire elementals.)

Black Tentacles is better than Ice Storm, but it's actually not necessarily better than Rime Spell Ice Storm, which is what it's competing with for your fourth-level slot. (Unless you take Magical Lineage: Ice Storm in which case it's hanging out in your third-level slots, and fourth-level is free for whatever other high-level spells you want.) Shadow gets you "all evocations" as you say... in a fifth-level slot, with an added saving throw.

Haste is good, and nobody will say taking Time or Agility patron isn't a good option, but please actually read my post. I didn't say "OMG WINTER IS THE BEST PATRON BETTER THAN TIME", because it's not. What I said is that it's underestimated and discarded as "the other blasting option" when actually it gives you a couple of powerful battlefield control options in the mid-levels that the witch isn't getting otherwise. Seriously, do not underestimate how valuable a bonus getting a good spell in a lower-level slot than usual can be.


I read your post, and I still think that getting (good) spells that are not on your spell list at all is generally better than getting a spell a lvl earlier.
For the rime spell ice storm, difficult terrain, and entangled for 3 rounds, and a DC of 13+int (+1 for winter witches), is solid, but you need the metamagic feat and the patron, and hope the ennemy doesn't have resistances 12+ cold, or you don't entangle as you don't deal cold damage.
Black tentacles grapples your enemy each round, which seems better to me, even if it is a 4th lvl spell, but you don't need a feat nore a specific patron.

If you're entangled by the spell, you can still move, and probably cast spell (with concentration checks).
Grappled means you can't move and takes more severe penalties, can't use bows for example and casting become really difficult.
To be fair Black tentacles needs a check to grapple and entangled doesn't.

I agree that "the other blasting option" is perhaps too narrow, but I disagree that the winter witch or the winter patron or both together are the way to go for optimizing your witch.
If it fits the flavour you want, sure go for it, black tentacles will never look frosty.


Richard Leonhart wrote:

Grappled means you can't move and takes more severe penalties, can't use bows for example and casting become really difficult.

To be fair Black tentacles needs a check to grapple and entangled doesn't.

The check is nontrivial. When you get Black Tentacles (CL 7) its CMB is only +12. I found all of three published CR7 monsters that it has a better than 50% chance of affecting, and this is from a higher-level slot. Black Tentacles is really nice when it works, but it is unreliable. (Of course, it works better if you have some other spell that's guaranteed to work and makes it hard for enemies to move out of the area of effect. Maybe one that's in a lower-level slot, so they don't compete. If only there were such a spell.)

Quote:
I agree that "the other blasting option" is perhaps too narrow, but I disagree that the winter witch or the winter patron or both together are the way to go for optimizing your witch.

There are two separate things to address here, which are the winter witch and the winter patron. You can take either without the other.

Patronwise, winter is not the absolute top option, but it reinforces two areas where the witch is relatively weak compared to other casters: direct damage and non-save-based battlefield control. Direct damage is not too exciting, but the addition of reduced-level Ice Storm and Wall of Ice actually serve as a considerable extension to the witch's control options and make it a credible contender for an optimized witch who does not expect to spend most of her game with 8th and 9th level spells (such as those playing Adventure Paths or PFS).

I realize that the last point is probably going to be a sticking point in coming to an agreement between us - between your focus on Shadow (which is a very late-strong patron) and your discounting of the significance of a lower-level slot, it seems like you're focused on higher levels where the difference between using a third-level slot and a fourth- or fifth-level slot is trivial. Winter is completely not a late-game patron, and I never claimed it was; its last few spells are, to put it kindly, a pile of butts. It's a strong mid-level contender, however, and if you're not playing to the levels where sexy, sexy Time Stop makes its debut it picks up a lot of ground.

Haste access is a much better point of contention with regard to mid-levels, but when you get right down to it they're aimed at different design goals - one is if you want to buff, one is if you want BFC. As long as we're looking at different directions you can go in, I would also say Ancestor and Trickery are strong mid-level options, but neither makes Winter less of a good option.

Now, the separate issue of the Winter Witch: if you don't like the patrons on the list, don't take it. If you were planning on taking one of the patrons on the list (as I said, Ancestor and Trickery are generally considered good options to consider in general anyway, Deception is good over a wide level range, and Endurance is popular although I consider it overrated), consider whether you might like to replace your level 4 hex with scaling cold resistance. If so, take it. If not, don't take it. None of the other tradeoffs it takes are meaningful. That's basically all I have to say about the archetype: "it has a lot of tradeoffs but almost none of them are meaningful costs".


Entangled will perhaps be a reliable condition, but it is less effective, and the only good thing (concentration checks for casting spells) is still not a guaranteed success. But it is entirely possible rime spell ice storm has all in all a higher probability of disrupting spellcasting. (don't wanna do the math, sorry)

For low lvl adventures, of course you're right, a lvl difference is a lot. But invisibility from deception seems like a much better option to me as see invisbility is very rare at low lvls. Or silence and haste from time, if noone else has got the spells in your party.
Also the feat for rime spell is more precious at lower levels.

And silent image from shadow patron is in my opinion a great spell to start with, image a silent of an ice wall. Personal preferences of course.
And just for the recond, if the game is supposed to be very high lvl I would choose a patron with time stop over shadow.

So all I want to say is that I think it's possible to have something about as useful as your Winterwitch Rime spell Frost Storm with less investment, same for ice wall.


@Viking Irishman's Witch Guide - you are da man! I've studied all the witch guides and yours is the best (and most up to date). So thanks a bunch.

The Orc Scarred Witch Doctor is all kinds of awesome and I've evaluated Endurance as its best Patron.

Gah the man hours! Hear ye, hear ye, naysayers. Gather round. Just when you thought is was safe to go adventuring, that Rapunzel was the pretty lass in Tangled, that nobody would ever take Prehensile Hair hex (and certainly not before Slumber, Evil Eye, Misfortune and the rest)...think again! A burst of Orc flavour has arrived and his name is <drumroll> "Da Doctor Nazog of the Third Eye"!

Heheh, check the background…a lot of effort right there.
Nazog - Scarred Witch Doctor L2 (Male Orc Witch).pdf

If folks like the background I'll post up the L2 and L20 character stats in a few days.

Spoiler: An Orc witch riding around on Ebony Fly to gain massive fly-by movement while hexing and conserving his own Move Actions is both thematic and metagame win!


Silke wrote:
The Orc Scarred Witch Doctor is all kinds of awesome and I've evaluated Endurance as its best Patron.

The reasons being? I can't see why it would be best for anything. Apart from Miracle (which is a good spell to have, but it's 18th level meaning you'll probably never get it anyway unless you start at around that level) and perhaps Spell Immunity, there's nothing you want really.

Bear's Endurance to buff your con for better spellcasting and hex DCs only last minutes, and you'll have atleast Belt of Mighty Consitution +2 as highest priority around the time you get that spell anyway, and +4 as soon as possible after that - which is more reliable than a minutes/level duration spell.


That’s a good question. At 18th level Endurance may be the best patron due to Miracle and the sheer versatility of spell casting it provides not to mention it’s cheaper than books for inherent bonus to ability scores. Of course most PCs starting at 1st level never get played through to 18th (and beyond) to enjoy the superiority of this spell.

At lower levels, spell resistance and protection from energy are worth memorising each day. Endure elements is handy depending on how harsh environments PCs find themselves in (in recent years I’ve seen it needed quite often). While most Scarred Witch Doctors are likely to have a Belt of Con +2 or +4 by low to mid-levels, I guess bear’s endurance is handy if you don’t have one.

What makes a good patron?
- Clearly one that doesn’t include spells already on the witch’s spell list - check.
- One that is thematically pleasing for the character concept – check. It doesn’t always have to be about min/max; flavour can be important too. But yeah, choose for flavour? Who am I kidding :)
- Ideally it would have AoE Reflex effects that can be combined with Dazing Spell – fail; need something like Elements patron to be best at that.
- Ideally it has spells that can’t readily be gained from magic items such as Boots for haste and a Ring for freedom of movement.
- Ideally it has spells that you want to prepare each day and just not have on scrolls (such as a witch of healing patron might do).

Soo… after all that I’m reconsidering what is the best patron to take. Particularly at low levels (say L1-7). I originally had Trickery: 2nd—animate rope, 4th—mirror image, 6th—major image, because mirror image is such a life saver and a witch could really benefit from this spell.

Anyone got any suggestions for best Witch patron for levels 1-10?


best sub lvl 10 patron in my opinion: time
you gain silence a spell that wizards dream about
you gain haste a spell that clerics will envy you for

however threefold aspect at lvl 8 sucks.

as Benly mentioned above, winter is quite nice too to get some spells earlier.

Edit:
just a comment on your checklist, as flavour is not something derived from the archetypes but from the character itself, it can hardly be argued here, and boots of speed aren't cheap for sub lvl 10, a better weapon would be more useful if you got the witch buffing the group.

Andoran

You have Scorpion, greensting as a +2 to initiative. They are now a +4

See here

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Silke wrote:

That’s a good question. At 18th level Endurance may be the best patron due to Miracle and the sheer versatility of spell casting it provides not to mention it’s cheaper than books for inherent bonus to ability scores. Of course most PCs starting at 1st level never get played through to 18th (and beyond) to enjoy the superiority of this spell.

At lower levels, spell resistance and protection from energy are worth memorising each day. Endure elements is handy depending on how harsh environments PCs find themselves in (in recent years I’ve seen it needed quite often). While most Scarred Witch Doctors are likely to have a Belt of Con +2 or +4 by low to mid-levels, I guess bear’s endurance is handy if you don’t have one.

What makes a good patron?
- Clearly one that doesn’t include spells already on the witch’s spell list - check.
- One that is thematically pleasing for the character concept – check. It doesn’t always have to be about min/max; flavour can be important too. But yeah, choose for flavour? Who am I kidding :)
- Ideally it would have AoE Reflex effects that can be combined with Dazing Spell – fail; need something like Elements patron to be best at that.
- Ideally it has spells that can’t readily be gained from magic items such as Boots for haste and a Ring for freedom of movement.
- Ideally it has spells that you want to prepare each day and just not have on scrolls (such as a witch of healing patron might do).

Soo… after all that I’m reconsidering what is the best patron to take. Particularly at low levels (say L1-7). I originally had Trickery: 2nd—animate rope, 4th—mirror image, 6th—major image, because mirror image is such a life saver and a witch could really benefit from this spell.

Anyone got any suggestions for best Witch patron for levels 1-10?

Well I'm going to disagree with your checklist here.

First, If the patron offers spells that are on your list or not doesn't matter. IF they are spells you want getting them for free is a great deal. Take the Teleport spell for instance, to add that to your familiar would cost on of your EXTREMELY limited free spells per level (at 10th level you have a max of 2 free 5th level spells) or you'd have to buy a scroll of it. That's 1125 gold, PER 5th level spell providing of course you can actually FIND a scroll of it (giving the DM control over when you learn a specific spell is never a good thing).

Thematically pleasing is a point I'll agree with you on, RP flavor is important.

Second, To use dazing it will have to be an AoE DAMAGE spell and witches really aren't blasters and lack the spells to really make dazing a go to metamagic.

Third, why does it matter whether the there is an item that gives similar effects? Your 2 examples don't help your party and really are a waste of cash for your witch. There is a big difference in usefulness of a witch who can make herself go faster or one who can make the whole PARTY go faster.

Now with all that said, the order of priority for Patrons is pretty easy.

#1, Time, probably the best patron choice of all at all levels. Nearly all of it's spells are ones you want to use everyday (admittedly ventriloquism and expend are kinda useless but the rest are awesome)
@Richard Leonhart You need to look at threefold aspect again, it is an awesomely powerful spell. Alter self + most of the Stat bonus spells + Duration out the wazoo. Add to that how perfectly appropriate it fits for the Witch class.

#2. Shadow, this one gives you the shadow conjuration/evocation lines which is the ultimate in flexibility. Any sorc/wiz conjuration or evocation spell in the game is available without ever having to prep it. This patron is only limited by your creativity.

#3, Weirdly enough is Ancestors. It contains a list of buff spells and unique control spells that can really change how encounters go. (This one is less effective if you actually have a cleric in your party but still useful)


I also like patrons that allow you something useful to do when you're dealing with enemies that can be difficult otherwise.

For example, if you are figthing undead or contructs, a lower to mid level witch might have little to add to the fight. However, if you have time or plague as a patron, you can use haste or command undead to still be useful in the fight.

You really don't need to be a Gravewalker to do well against undead.

Andoran

@ForgottenRider: Thanks for the catch on that. With a guide this size, it's hard to keep up with all the relevant errata.

In regards to people discussing the best blasting options for Witch, I have one question; Why?

There are classes that blast better on a bad day than a Witch at her best. If you want to blow stuff up, Sorcerer or Wizard will serve you far better in the long run.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I want to share my fortune/cackle combo

"Cast" fortune in all your party members, even companions and familiars and yourself

Cackle X hours (every turn you have 2 cackles)

So your party has fortune 2x hours XD

Just before this effect ends repeat... (search a calm place)

Note 1: Cackle is a supermatural ability. In my opinion witches can cackle hours and hours

Note 2: This strategy allows your 'rogue' to have a calm exploration XD


I've forgot you only can use Fortune every 24 h...

Whatever, it's still a nice trick, you can use it every two days...

or you can cackle 4 hours before going to sleep, then continue cackling next morning, but this is too munchking XD


I'd really think about upgrading the "Ratfolk" to Blue status.
Int and Dex bonus, negative modification to an absolute drop stat.

Excellent alternate class bonus (slinging "Evil Eye" at 90'... ouch ! Or Sleep... with Split Hex...), which really makes ranged debuffing monsterously easy.

Racial bonus to perception, use Magic deivce and Craft (alchemy) . Option for a tailblades, which leaves your hands free for rods and casting while still having you armed for AoOs

The alternate class boni are superior, too, especially "Scent" and "Cornered Fury", "Unnatural" is also nice, if you leave caring for the mounts to the druids.

Size bonus to AC and Hit

The Sharpclaw + Tunnel Rat + Burrowing Teeth option allows for fun burrowing access (or disappearance), too.

So why are they not "Blue" precisely ?

______

As for "blasting"... Sometimes, in a small group, a witch might be asked to blast and nuke, especially against stuff that is vulnerable only to blasts... like say... swarms ? Or stuff that is immune to mind-effects, aka Evil Eye ?


vikingson wrote:


As for "blasting"... Sometimes, in a small group, a witch might be asked to blast and nuke, especially against stuff that is vulnerable only to blasts... like say... swarms ? Or stuff that is immune to mind-effects, aka Evil Eye ?

Misfortune is the go to hex versus mindless foes. Picking spells that are effective versus mindless foes is also good, such as web or glitterdust.

If you think you may run into swarms, mem a blast or two. Otherwise witches have better things to do than spread a little damage around.


Furious Kender wrote:


If you think you may run into swarms, mem a blast or two. Otherwise witches have better things to do than spread a little damage around.

Said the very stupid looking dead witch. Looked at the APs lately ?

Single-use one-trick-ponies are precisely why too many chars die. Which often enough end both a good story and a pleasant evening. One moment everything is fine, next moment the GM pulls something surprising from the hat and everyone gives a peak performance as "burnt toast".

You don't "arm" for a specific encounter, you go prepared for anything likely. If you meet Cthulhu in a harbourside brothel... yes that is unexpected. but if I enter ruins, I prepare for scavengers, e.g. swarms.. which funnily can be summoned rather well, too.

Misfortune is "single use"/day and even beyond its highly limited 1, possibly 2 round performance....there is a plethora of effects out there, which do actually not require the assailant to roll any D20 at all to harm and hinder you while ripping you apart. Like... most spells. Cloud effects. Area attacks. Summoned swarms.
Plus,Evil Eye can be renewed. Misfortune can't.

Nevermind what actually happens, if the target simply removes itself from the area (30' radius) of Cackle for a round or two... omg...

IMHO, go prepared and carry a sizable blaster (or set of scrolls)


Um....misfortune is at will and can be used with cackle.

Andoran

Guide updated with stuff from Ultimate Equipment.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I'm loving the Ultimate Equipment list but have to make a comment regarding one of your ratings.

Bracers of armor are bad and not recommended. They give you less for your AC then simply wearing Silken Ceremonial armor and enchanting that, don't stack with anything else, max out at a +8 and just flat stop working if you get a better armor bonus. Silken will always give you at least 1 more point of armor then these bracers will, don't stop working if you get a better bonus elsewhere and leaves your wrist open for better gear.
I'd recommend either the Vambraces of defense (Deflection bonus and auto-negate a single ranged attack is better then a flat armor bonus) or the Arrow masters Bracers (DR 5 vs ranged weapons {all rays are considered ranged weapons}, +1 Deflection and a +20 bonus on your next ranged attack).

Still reading through it but this is the first thing that jumped out at me.

Andoran

I find that the versatility that can be gained through Bracers of Armor generally helps to compensate for their lack of actual defensive usefulness, especially with some of the new armor enhancements in UE.

The Arrow Master's Bracers are nice, but I like the Vambraces of Defense. Personal preference thing.

That said, I did make an effort to stress that equipment selection is a subjective thing, so take what you will from that.

EDIT: Scratch that first comment. I just now actually looked at the silken ceremonial armor and realized that it has no max Dex and no ACP. Guide will be amended.


Quote:
Quote:
Racial Heritage still has hope though. It specifically states that you qualify for feats and "so-on". So, maybe a HUMAN scarred witch doctor?? So apparently this means that the racial heritage feat is actually BETTER than being a half-race. That's... dumb.

Nope, still doesn't work.

Quote:

Racial Heritage feat wrote:

The blood of a non-human ancestor flows in your veins.

Prerequisite: Human.

Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on.

This also has the EFFECTS line in it too so it also doesn't allow you to take the class either. On the plus side though you can officially take the feats and traits now.

Note that the APG FAQ has since changed this:

Quote:

Can a human with the Racial Heritage feat take levels in an archetype that requires you to be of a specific race?

Yes, the Racial Heritage feat allows you to qualify for archetypes that have the chosen race as a requirement, assuming you still meet all of the other requirements to take levels in the archetype.

—Jason Bulmahn, 07/27/12

Seems to me a Human is a better choice for a Scarred Witch Doctor than an Orc; better Con and the skill bonus helps make up for the loss of skills when you swap out Int for Con.

Andoran

Will this guide be updated to include a reference to the Winter Witch prestige class, for which the Winter Witch archetype is a prerequisite?

Andoran

StrangePackage wrote:
Will this guide be updated to include a reference to the Winter Witch prestige class, for which the Winter Witch archetype is a prerequisite?

Prestige classes are generally outside the scope of something like this, but I'll take a look at it.


Also, for a Scarred Witch Doctor, the Endurance patron looks a bit better. It lets you use a Bear's Endurance wand and lets you craft a Mask of Mighty Constitution yourself.

Andoran

Put in a quick blurb about the Winter Witch PrC. Pretty cool stuff.


Stone familiar didn't make your equipment list? Seriously?!?

Andoran

pad300 wrote:
Stone familiar didn't make your equipment list? Seriously?!?

Simple, yet inexplicable, over sight. Thanks for pointing it out.


First off, thanks so much for this guide, I've been using it a ton to help a friend out with her witch character, it's been all sorts of useful. Couple clarifications:

Not sure if anybody else commented this already, and completely honestly it's pretty unimportant, but coven is actually a bit worse than you stated.

Your statement was "If you have another Witch in the party (or, I guess, a Hag) this one can be kind of useful, but largely a waste of a Hex."

Now, some of those spell-like abilities seem pretty awesome to me, but I'm not very good about that so I'll trust your judgment on that.

But more importantly, covens actually require 3 hags, not just too. And the witch's coven specifically states that it needs to have at least 1 actual hag per coven. So really the statement is closer to "If you have another Witch and a hag in the party (or, I guess, 2 Hags)..." not a big thing at all, but the scenarios in which one could utilize the coven hex are ultra specific.

Also, question: how does scar interact with cackling? If I am correct and it increases the range to up to a mile, I could see this having a more than decent use for those witches with the fortune hex, for instance.

Andoran

Sirokko wrote:
First off, thanks so much for this guide, I've been using it a ton to help a friend out with her witch character, it's been all sorts of useful.
Hey, no problem. I did it as much for me as anyone else. ^_^
Quote:

Couple clarifications:

Not sure if anybody else commented this already, and completely honestly it's pretty unimportant, but coven is actually a bit worse than you stated.

Your statement was "If you have another Witch in the party (or, I guess, a Hag) this one can be kind of useful, but largely a waste of a Hex."

Now, some of those spell-like abilities seem pretty awesome to me, but I'm not very good about that so I'll trust your judgment on that.

But more importantly, covens actually require 3 hags, not just too. And the witch's coven specifically states that it needs to have at least 1 actual hag per coven. So really the statement is closer to "If you have another Witch and a hag in the party (or, I guess, 2 Hags)..." not a big thing at all, but the scenarios in which one could utilize the coven hex are ultra specific.

Yeah, Coven is one of those nebulous things that's almost entirely dependent on how cool your GM is. When I'm running a game, I'll let two witches take it and have fun, but I know many out there play it by the book.
Quote:
Also, question: how does scar interact with cackling? If I am correct and it increases the range to up to a mile, I could see this having a more than decent use for those witches with the fortune hex, for instance.

As far as I know, they don't interact at all. The Scar hex states that "The witch can use her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile", but the Cackle hex isn't a targeted hex so, in my mind, you can't use it on something. You just use it and affect things within range. That said, the concept of hearing some crazy person giggling madly from a mile away is awesome witchy territory. I think this decision would be something that lies more in the hands of the GM, since it isn't clearly delineated in the book.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

New Witch hexes in the Champions Of Purity book!

Andoran

Askanipsion wrote:
New Witch hexes in the Champions Of Purity book!

Exciting! I'll have to see to that if/when they get put up on d20pfsrd.com. Thanks for the heads up. ^_^

Andoran

Alright! The guide's been updated with the stuff from Champions of Purity. Maybe it won't be another six months before witches get some more love.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

VikingIrishman wrote:
Alright! The guide's been updated with the stuff from Champions of Purity. Maybe it won't be another six months before witches get some more love.

Witches have gotten some serious love with a new item from the Dragonslayer's Handbook. Here's the link:

Hexing Runes

It may not seem like much, but for 10,000gp you can get +1 to the save DCs of your favorite hex every day, and you get a free ward hex cast on yourself once per day. It's a great item for any Witch!

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