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The Viking Irishman's Witch Guide


Advice

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Andoran

8 people marked this as a favorite.

There was a strange lack of Witch guides here on the boards, so I took it upon myself to write my own.

Keep in mind this is my first guide, so any feedback here would be greatly appreciated. Also, I will eventually add pictures and do the Spells/Builds section, but right now my brain is mush.

THE VIKING IRISHMAN'S WITCH GUIDE

Andoran

And of course as soon as I post my guide up I actually find one...

I still think my guide has a lot to offer.


First, thanks for the guide. I'm enjoying it.

.

Now, let me pick on a few parts and see why we disagree! I'm looking forward to getting convinced that I'm wrong about a couple of these.

  • Why do you rate Agony higher than Ice Tomb?
    You say that Ice Tomb is only rated lower because it's limited to once/day/target, but Agony has the same restriction.

  • I rate the Charm hex lower, because Witches can cast the spell Charm Person. Why spend a limited and valuable resource like a hex choice, when you can just cast the spell?

  • Ditto for Tongues. Why buy the hex when you can cast the spell for free?

  • Ward. Yuck! You take a hex that gives a party member bonuses comparable to what they should be getting from their own gear. On top of duplicating a benefit that your party member ought to already have - the benefit goes away just about when they need it most, that is, the first time it fails.

  • I give the Elements patron a high rating because, instead of adding more will saves to the Witch's repertoire, it adds direct damage and reflex saves that the class can't do without this patron.

  • By the same argument, I rate Insanity patron lower. If you can already win a fight on a single mind-affecting will save, why do you need these extra mind-affecting spells?


I like how you mentioned that patrons only change a SMALL part of your class. Can't wait to see you builds and spell ratings!

Osirion

Blueluck wrote:


  • I rate the Charm hex lower, because Witches can cast the spell Charm Person. Why spend a limited and valuable resource like a hex choice, when you can just cast the spell?

  • Ditto for Tongues. Why buy the hex when you can cast the spell for free?
  • I feel the opposite than you in the sense that I don't want to waste a spell slot with a hex that does the same thing. And Charm hexes can be cast multiple times per day, albeit on different targets. The Charm Person spell is only good once per day. Also, since hexes are supernatural abilities and not spells, they disregard some of the negative ramifications of spells, like provoking attacks of opportunities and any spell resistances.

    Blueluck wrote:


  • Ward. Yuck! You take a hex that gives a party member bonuses comparable to what they should be getting from their own gear. On top of duplicating a benefit that your party member ought to already have - the benefit goes away just about when they need it most, that is, the first time it fails.

  • How does the benefit go away when they need it most? The Ward hex is used up when an ally gets hit. That's exactly when a ward hex (and the corresponding AC bonus) should be activated. Also, Ward hexes are also convenient as there is no limit to how many times they can be cast. Therefore, you can buff a single ally before any combat and then cast other hexes while in that combat. Your party members will love you for that extra little buff that costs your witch nothing.

    Osirion

    VikingIrishman wrote:

    And of course as soon as I post my guide up I actually find one...

    I still think my guide has a lot to offer.

    No worries, it is actually good that there are multiple guides. It is always interesting to see other people's take on a class. Thank you very much for doing this.


    It is decent and I like the extra opinion its very valuable for first timers and veterans alike. Some problems I have with the guide:

    1) where are the skill ratings?

    2) Gear suggestions?

    3) you did not rate over half of the patrons or any of the spells in these said patrons (though you did highlight the premier spells in said patrons). Its a guide, guides are typically geared towards optimization and opinions, so I feel that your opinion needs to be expressed pretty regularly and strongly, not left out.

    4) back to patrons for a second. Most of the highlights include one of the last spells, most campaigns (and 0 PFS games) ever get that high so I feel that the lower spells should get much more weight attached to them than the higher ones. For example the shadow patron (not rated) gets silent image as a first level spell. The creative will find endless uses for it and it will be getting casted pretty regularly over 20 levels. In contrast you have time stop, yes its powerful but you have to wait until 18th level to get it. The higher level spells just do not get the same mileage as the lower level ones.

    Other than that the guide is fine and I look forward to reading more in the future, keep up the good work.


    so what is about ability focus for a hex? is it allowed or not? gm decision? sometimes i read yes sometimes no.


    Typo issue: Accursed Hex is listed twice in the feat section. You meant Accursed Critical the second time.

    I have some minor quibbles and a few significant disagreements. Minor quibble: you didn't call out Shadow as being a particularly good patron, despite having (at higher levels) the most versatile spells in the game. If I can prep 2 spells and pretend to have 2 entire schools of magic at my behest (ok, there are some limitations, but still), that's pretty awesome. Another quibble: Combat Expertise actually does require you to use your standard action to make an attack. WORTHLESS. If you can't use it while casting, it's not worth having.

    Significant disagreements:
    Ice Tomb vs Agony - Yes, Nauseated is a harsh status. Ice Tomb is much, MUCH more horrendous and has the same limitations.

    Scar - Much has been made by a certain poster of the synergy between Scar and Split Hex with the use of pet turtles on your melee. As it turns out, Scar works really well with Ward (which you rated highly) and Fortune, as well as everyone's favorite Hex, Cackle.

    Combat Casting/Uncanny Concentration - As I've said elsewhere, you should virtually never be making defensive casting checks as a Witch. If you can be hit by someone, why aren't you using a Hex on them? Typically speaking, most spells should be cast at greater range than your Hexes.


    thanks for making a guide to witches (even tough it's not the first I see on this board, I can't remember where the others were).

    Serisan has very good points, I agree with all of them.

    For the Charm hex, it's probably not an in-combat spell, but if you like to charm every second NPC you see, it's defnitly blue. As others mentioned, you may get a little more personal when you rate things, but explain how you like to play it. Same for Scar hex, as off-combat it can be great.
    Time Stop is a very good spell, but it's lvl 9, I wouldn't rate the patron much higher because of it.

    For the archtypes, beast-bonded takes a lot away, but is very good defense-wise.
    Hedge-Witch, well you made your point. But it can really replace the cleric as healer.
    Winter Witch seems quite good to me, I would enter a little bit more into detail.

    Anyhow, great guide, thanks for making one.


    I don't know what book you're reading from but mine let's me take Accursed Hex at level 1, which I did, with the only prerequisite being the hex class feature.

    From PRD:

    Accursed Hex
    You can make a second attempt at failed hexes.
    Prerequisite: Hex class feature.
    Benefit: When you target a creature with a hex that cannot target the same creature more than once per day, and that creature succeeds at its saving throw against the hex's effect, you can target the creature with the same hex a second time before the end of your next turn. If the second attempt fails, you can make no further attempts to target that creature with the same hex for 1 day.
    Normal: You can only target a creature with these hexes once per day.

    (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateMagic/ultimateMagicFeats.html#a ccursed-hex)

    Otherwise, it appears to be a decent guide.


    I quite agree on Accursed Hex, not sure what you were reading that gave you Critical Focus as a prerequisite for it. Did you perhaps mean Accursed Critical?


    Nice guide, it's very helpful. :)


    Trinam wrote:
    I quite agree on Accursed Hex, not sure what you were reading that gave you Critical Focus as a prerequisite for it. Did you perhaps mean Accursed Critical?

    It would seem so, as he listed it twice. The last feat in the list should be Accursed Critical.

    Andoran

    Blueluck wrote:

    First, thanks for the guide. I'm enjoying it.

    .

    Now, let me pick on a few parts and see why we disagree! I'm looking forward to getting convinced that I'm wrong about a couple of these.

    Thanks! I hope my thought process can come through a little bit here for you.

    Quote:
  • Why do you rate Agony higher than Ice Tomb?
    You say that Ice Tomb is only rated lower because it's limited to once/day/target, but Agony has the same restriction.
  • Largely because Cackle can keep Agony up. Ice Tomb doesn't have that interactivity.

    Quote:
  • I rate the Charm hex lower, because Witches can cast the spell Charm Person. Why spend a limited and valuable resource like a hex choice, when you can just cast the spell?

  • Ditto for Tongues. Why buy the hex when you can cast the spell for free?
  • Because Hex is an unlimited resource, whereas your spells are limited to a number of times per day. In all reality, the chances of you casting enough Charm Person or Tongues spells for this to really be an issue are pretty low, but it still gives you more spell slots for other, more useful options.

    Quote:
  • Ward. Yuck! You take a hex that gives a party member bonuses comparable to what they should be getting from their own gear. On top of duplicating a benefit that your party member ought to already have - the benefit goes away just about when they need it most, that is, the first time it fails.
  • Because not everyone is guaranteed to have a Ring of Protection +4 AND a Cloak of Resistance +4. Moreover, you DO have a familiar that you might want to use to deliver touch attacks for you.

    Quote:
  • I give the Elements patron a high rating because, instead of adding more will saves to the Witch's repertoire, it adds direct damage and reflex saves that the class can't do without this patron.

  • By the same argument, I rate Insanity patron lower. If you can already win a fight on a single mind-affecting will save, why do you need these extra mind-affecting spells?
  • Because, in general, direct damage spells have less to do with winning a fight than debuffs. But like I said in my guide, spell selection is a very personal thing, which is why I didn't rate anything Orange or Red.

    pipedreamsam wrote:

    It is decent and I like the extra opinion its very valuable for first timers and veterans alike. Some problems I have with the guide:

    1) where are the skill ratings?

    2) Gear suggestions?

    3) you did not rate over half of the patrons or any of the spells in these said patrons (though you did highlight the premier spells in said patrons). Its a guide, guides are typically geared towards optimization and opinions, so I feel that your opinion needs to be expressed pretty regularly and strongly, not left out.

    4) back to patrons for a second. Most of the highlights include one of the last spells, most campaigns (and 0 PFS games) ever get that high so I feel that the lower spells should get much more weight attached to them than the higher ones. For example the shadow patron (not rated) gets silent image as a first level spell. The creative will find endless uses for it and it will be getting casted pretty regularly over 20 levels. In contrast you have time stop, yes its powerful but you have to wait until 18th level to get it. The higher level spells just do not get the same mileage as the lower level ones.

    Other than that the guide is fine and I look forward to reading more in the future, keep up the good work.

    As before, I honestly feel that spell selection should be mostly up to you. Everybody is different and has different experiences and preferences. Not only that, but being a prepared caster means that which spells you learn is fairly irrelevant.

    As far as skills and gear, I feel like they are more related to the game in genereal and not just Witches. You don't really need a guide for a specific class to tell you that Perception is one of the most important skills in the game and that Craft (underwater basket weaving) will rarely, if ever, come up. The same with gear. It's pretty standardizes across casters.

    serisan wrote:

    Typo issue: Accursed Hex is listed twice in the feat section. You meant Accursed Critical the second time.

    I have some minor quibbles and a few significant disagreements. Minor quibble: you didn't call out Shadow as being a particularly good patron, despite having (at higher levels) the most versatile spells in the game. If I can prep 2 spells and pretend to have 2 entire schools of magic at my behest (ok, there are some limitations, but still), that's pretty awesome. Another quibble: Combat Expertise actually does require you to use your standard action to make an attack. WORTHLESS. If you can't use it while casting, it's not worth having.

    Significant disagreements:
    Ice Tomb vs Agony - Yes, Nauseated is a harsh status. Ice Tomb is much, MUCH more horrendous and has the same limitations.

    Scar - Much has been made by a certain poster of the synergy between Scar and Split Hex with the use of pet turtles on your melee. As it turns out, Scar works really well with Ward (which you rated highly) and Fortune, as well as everyone's favorite Hex, Cackle.

    Combat Casting/Uncanny Concentration - As I've said elsewhere, you should virtually never be making defensive casting checks as a Witch. If you can be hit by someone, why aren't you using a Hex on them? Typically speaking, most spells should be cast at greater range than your Hexes.

    Ah, you are correct sir. edited to Accursed Critical.

    And I do love the Shadow X spells. maybe i glossed over patrons too quickly...

    As far as Combat Expertise... I'll be damned. I can't believe I never noticed that. And I've been playing 3rd ed since 2000.

    Agony/Ice Tomb is addressed up there.

    Scar is fantastic. The only reason I rated as I did is that realistically in a typical game, the need to hex something a mile away is almost never going to come up.

    Lastly, regarding Combat Casting/etc. crazy things can happen. Maybe you absolutely need to toss off a Cure Serious Wounds mid combat to make sure a party member doesn't die from bleed damage. This kind of situation came come up fairly frequently.

    I really appreciate the feedback, guys. Please keep it coming.


    How about a section on familiars, and some kind of way of rating them? Or atleast for improved familiars (as I assume most witches actually goes that route. Sucks so bad to lose it). A favourite of mine is the Nosoi out of Carrion Crown 5, invisibility at will is quite handy when you don't want your familiar to die! Plus the flavour is kinda awesome.

    Other than that I'd like to chip in on the spell listing/rating topic: I feel as though there's so many spells and the generic player (or the new to casters) won't really know where to start. How about covering the "must-haves" and "good" spells at the different spell levels? That way you don't need to waste time with the less handy spells.


    VikingIrishman
    after reading your last post I don't get why you need to cackle with ice tomb, I mean, it's forever until liberated, no need to even waste a move action.

    Again, thanks for the guide, but a guide should include a brief look over skills and equipment. I mean is knowledge arcane or spellcraft necessary, how about use magic device for your familiar?
    You don't need to go into detail, but a witch shouldn't be skilled as a fighter I guess, nor should she wear the equipment of a rogue.

    For spells, maybe include one setup you usually use. So a complete newby could have a point to start.
    Scar will never be underestimated by my group again, in a castle everyone had a burnmark, only later did they discover that there was a bunch of witches enslaved in the cellar that fortuned them and cackled their buttox off 16 hours a day.

    Ward, well I believe those equipment are part of the big 5 of D&D/PF and are assumed to be worn when CR are calculated. I'm not saying that everyone should always have them, but it's quite common, perhaps so common you don't need that hex. It's your guide, but I would put in a note that it should only be taken if some of your group don't have that equipment for whatever reason.


    Quote:
    Largely because Cackle can keep Agony up. Ice Tomb doesn't have that interactivity.

    Ice Tomb does not have a duration other than "Until someone bothers to break the ice." Why would it need to interact with Cackle?

    Quote:
    Scar is fantastic. The only reason I rated as I did is that realistically in a typical game, the need to hex something a mile away is almost never going to come up.

    However, the need to Hex outside of 30 ft comes up quite frequently.

    Quote:
    Lastly, regarding Combat Casting/etc. crazy things can happen. Maybe you absolutely need to toss off a Cure Serious Wounds mid combat to make sure a party member doesn't die from bleed damage. This kind of situation came come up fairly frequently.

    I had enough crazy come up with this to merit taking Healing Hex. I probably won't want Major Healing, but my actual play experience has taught me that prepping a Cure spell is a waste of a slot, but grabbing the Hex was worth quite a bit (even more once I get Scar and can do it at any range).

    Andoran

    Serisan wrote:
    Ice Tomb does not have a duration other than "Until someone bothers to break the ice." Why would it need to interact with Cackle?

    I would agree with you wholeheartedly if it weren't for the fact that I have played for GMs that would have put a timer on this because the ice would melt is temperatures over freezing. If your GM isn't a total douche then yeah, Ice Tomb is better than I rated it. Now that I think about it, most GMs probably lean less toward that side.

    Quote:

    However, the need to Hex outside of 30 ft comes up quite frequently.[/qiote]

    Fair enough.

    Made some edits to the guide, as well as section markers for my future work on Familiars, Skills, and Equipment, as suggested.


    I've never played grand hexes but in theory I can't really agree with you:

    Death Curse: 2 saves and you die ... that probability is quite low, got plenty of spells that do better stuff, and at that level you can't afford to waste a round.

    Eternal Slumber: You've got slumber hex, that's about as good, you'll coup de graçe them anyway as soon as possible, and monsters immune to sleep (elfs) won't be affected by either of those

    Forced Reincarnation is a will save or "die", well not exactly dying but the process to form a new body takes 1 hour, you can prepare, the ennemy comes without buff, without gear and no spells prepared! Also all the fun you can have with NPCs...

    Witchs Hut, okay that's a personal preference of mine, but I think it's just a cool thing, because nobody says it has to be your hut. Also a free animated huge object, that's quite the handy companion. It's really all you need.

    Life Giver: it has no material component, it depens on the group but a near immortal beastbonded witch would do good to invest in it if near total party kills are to be expected. Also nice to demonstrate your god-like powers to simple peasontfolk.

    in short: peasant doesn't like you, make his house run away from him, he insults you, turn him into a goblin, he likes you, bring his son back from the dead after he was killed in an accident. All for free!

    Andoran

    Richard Leonhart wrote:

    I've never played grand hexes but in theory I can't really agree with you:

    Death Curse: 2 saves and you die ... that probability is quite low, got plenty of spells that do better stuff, and at that level you can't afford to waste a round.

    Don't underestimate how truly debilitating Fatigue and Exhaustion are. I'd rate this Blue even if it didn't have the potential to kill things.

    Quote:
    Eternal Slumber: You've got slumber hex, that's about as good, you'll coup de graçe them anyway as soon as possible, and monsters immune to sleep (elfs) won't be affected by either of those

    That's true, but Eternal Slumber makes transporting unruly captives a hell of a lot easier.

    Quote:
    Forced Reincarnation is a will save or "die", well not exactly dying but the process to form a new body takes 1 hour, you can prepare, the ennemy comes without buff, without gear and no spells prepared! Also all the fun you can have with NPCs...

    You may be misreading here (or hell, maybe I am) but the Forced Reincarnation Hex says "The witch causes a creature within 30 feet to die and be immediately reincarnated into a new body." That sounds like the hour it would normally taken isn't factored in.

    Quote:
    Witchs Hut, okay that's a personal preference of mine, but I think it's just a cool thing, because nobody says it has to be your hut. Also a free animated huge object, that's quite the handy companion. It's really all you need.

    O.o It DOESN'T say it has to be your hut! You could steal an entire shop! As funny as that is, I still think that it's a Magenta? option.

    Quote:
    Life Giver: it has no material component, it depens on the group but a near immortal beastbonded witch would do good to invest in it if near total party kills are to be expected. Also nice to demonstrate your god-like powers to simple peasontfolk.

    Like I said in the guide, you'll only ever get three Grand Hexes. Unless you're building a Witch as a healer, there are probably better options.

    Also, I updated the guide and got most of the way through Familiars. Taking a break.


    You've got me thinking about a couple of hexes differently. Upon close examination, I've changed my mind entirely about Charm. I think it's actually quite good.

    From a combat perspective, it's inferior to Slumber, since Slumber has the same save and duration, yet incapacitates any enemy who can sleep. For non-combat and a few combat applications, Charm provides much more flexibility.

    Charm Hex:
    Charm (Su): A witch can charm an animal or humanoid creature within 30 feet by beckoning and speaking soothing words. This improves the attitude of an animal or humanoid creature by 1 step, as if the witch had successfully used the Diplomacy skill. The effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the Witch’s Intelligence modifier. A Will save negates this effect. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day. At 8th level, this effect improves the attitude of the target creature by 2 steps. This is a mind-affecting charm effect.

    Charm Person Spell:

    Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Target one humanoid creature
    Duration 1 hour/level
    Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

    This charm makes a humanoid creature regard you as its trusted friend and ally (treat the target's attitude as friendly). If the creature is currently being threatened or attacked by you or your allies, however, it receives a +5 bonus on its saving throw.

    The spell does not enable you to control the charmed person as if it were an automaton, but it perceives your words and actions in the most favorable way. You can try to give the subject orders, but you must win an opposed Charisma check to convince it to do anything it wouldn't ordinarily do. (Retries are not allowed.) An affected creature never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, but it might be convinced that something very dangerous is worth doing. Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the charmed person breaks the spell. You must speak the person's language to communicate your commands, or else be good at pantomiming.

    Diplomacy Skill

    A few Comparisons:

    • The hex does not suffer a save bonus for being used in combat.
    • The hex does not allow SR.
    • The hex works on animals and, since animals don't have high will saves, would frequently cause a hostile or unfriendly animal to simply wander off rather than attacking.
    • The spell lasts hours while the hex lasts rounds.
    • The hex works "by beckoning and speaking soothing words", which implies that it's not obvious that any magic is being used. This makes the hex much more socially acceptable than the spell in many situations, although GMs vary widely in how they treat the Charm Person spell in social situations.


    I am glad you have reconsidered including skills and gear into your guide, its an important part of every character and at least deserves a general mention.

    I especially dig the part about familiars and even though the existence of the "magenta" rating annoys me a bit it is your guide and the original familiars provide such little bonuses that they can be glossed over as well.

    It is probably worth throwing in someplace that prestige classes and multi-classing are generally not good for the witch. The DC's to resist hexes stop progressing and you even said yourself that they are the primary ability of the witch.

    Like what I see so far, keep up the good work


    VikingIrishman wrote:


    I would agree with you wholeheartedly if it weren't for the fact that I have played for GMs that would have put a timer on this because the ice would melt is temperatures over freezing.

    MagicIce™ is Magic. That's my argument, at least.


    You've got me thinking about a couple of hexes differently. I'm starting to question the value of Cackle. I know, I know, it's half the reason people choose to play a Witch! But don't throw stones until you read farther.

    Cackle (Su): A witch can cackle madly as a move action. Any creature that is within 30 feet that is under the effects of an agony hex, charm hex, evil eye hex, fortune hex, or misfortune hex caused by the witch has the duration of that hex extended by 1 round.

    Cackle effects only five hexes:

    • Agony - Because you can't get Agony until level ten, it always last at least ten rounds. If you haven't finished off a nauseated enemy after ten rounds, you're not trying.

    • Evil Eye - Lasts INT modifier +3 rounds, so the whole fight. Cackle may be useful if the enemy's will save succeeds, allowing you to extend the one-round duration. Of course, the best use of Evil Eye is to reduce an enemy's saves then hit them with a SOL (Save or Lose) effect.

    • Charm - First of all, I'm not convinced that Charm is the best use of a hex, but it's not terrible. Charm lasts rounds equal to your INT modifier, so probably 4-8 rounds. While extending that by "cackling madly" would work, I'm not sure it's entirely appropriate. I guess my objections here are mainly aesthetic.

    • Misfortune - Lasts 1-3 rounds. This is where I actually think Cackle becomes useful. Misfortune is the best debuff against enemies resistant to mind-effecting hexes until you reach level 10. If I only had Evil Eye, Charm, and Agony, I wouldn't learn Cackle, but with Misfortune I would consider it.

    • Fortune - Like Misfortune, a powerful hex that lasts only 1-3 rounds. Cackle is even better here, for a few reasons. First, since your allies won't be resisting Fortune with a save, so cackle will always have an effect. Second, on the occasion that you have a few rounds to set up the whole party with a Fortune/Cackle combo before a fight, you're a superhero!

    So, why am I rethinking Cackle if I was just praising it? Because I think it's only marginally useful with two hexes (Evil Eye and Charm), decent with one hex (Misfortune) starting at the level when you have both Misfortune and Cackle until you reach level 10, and only outstanding with one hex (Fortune).

    Personally, I love the Fortune/Cackle combo, but without Fortune on my list, I wouldn't bother with Cackle.


    Serisan wrote:
    VikingIrishman wrote:


    I would agree with you wholeheartedly if it weren't for the fact that I have played for GMs that would have put a timer on this because the ice would melt is temperatures over freezing.
    MagicIce™ is Magic. That's my argument, at least.

    Since the ice has 20 HP, and ice has 3 HP per inch of thickness, it's reasonable to extrapolate that Ice Tomb covers the target in ice about 7 inches thick. Also, since the target is "paralyzed and unconscious but does not need to eat or breathe", they probably don't have any body-heat to accelerate melting ice.

    How fast does a slab of 7" thick ice melt? I don't know, but not fast enough to end during combat, that's for sure!

    Andoran

    pipedreamsam wrote:
    ...even though the existence of the "magenta" rating annoys me a bit...

    I wanted to implement another level of rating, mainly because I'm honestly trying my best to avoid labeling something as Red (Just a flat-out no). I try my best to see the possible situational uses of stuff, so I was going to use yellow to follow a proper color progression. Yellow is hella difficult to see on a white background though.


    Thanks Viking, I'm thinking of playing a witch so this helps.

    Andoran

    Black_Lantern wrote:
    Thanks Viking, I'm thinking of playing a witch so this helps.

    I'm glad to hear it! If I've helped at least one person, then I'm doing my job.

    Finished Familiars and Skills, and started on Equipment. Wondrous Items are a daunting task. O.o


    thanks for continuing your work
    to come back to the grand hexes very briefly,
    death curse - first round, can't charge, second round gets physically weaker, third round, maybe death.
    forced reincarnation - at the very least he looses all his spells, his equipment falls to the floor and he gets 2 negative levels.
    Easy transportation: forced reincarnation a few times till he has effectivly 1 level. You can even do it further till he has but 1 con, but his soul will probably refuse to come back.
    Anyhow, to everyone his opinion.

    The toad familiar seems very fine for first level, but as his hp bonus doesn't scale with lvl, it's not as good as a feat while most others are just as good.
    In my opinion you don't have to name every single familiar, however I would mention the bat as flying and with blindsense, a good low level invisibility detector.
    Improved familiar: Cacodaemon don't have 5 fingers and thus can't use wands, an ability most arcane users like in their little helpers.
    I love the homunculus too, and it would be my first choice for a beast-bonded witch because of construct traits and no con score that can be messed with. Think of non-stop use of x-ray ring.

    skills: use magic device so your familiar can use a wand ...

    anyhow, nice guide, I'm really looking forward to the builds.

    Cheliax

    Blueluck wrote:

    You've got me thinking about a couple of hexes differently. Upon close examination, I've changed my mind entirely about Charm. I think it's actually quite good.

    From a combat perspective, it's inferior to Slumber, since Slumber has the same save and duration, yet incapacitates any enemy who can sleep. For non-combat and a few combat applications, Charm provides much more flexibility.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    Yeah I'm going to completely disagree with you on this, here's why.

    *The hex does not suffer a save bonus for being used in combat.
    True, but the first hostile action you or your party does to the target or their party removes the bonus, same as actually using the diplomacy skill on them.

    *The hex works on animals and, since animals don't have high will saves, would frequently cause a hostile or unfriendly animal to simply wander off rather than attacking.
    False, diplomacy checks cannot be used on animals and since this functions exactly like a successful diplomacy check it doesn't work either. Make a handle animal check.

    This hex CAN be useful if you are planning to be the party face since the effect actually stacks with Diplomacy but since that's a non-class skill and charisma is usually a dump stat for Witches this is a niche trick.
    Remember Diplomacy requires you to actually succeed on additional diplomacy checks to get the target to actually DO anything you ask, this hex doesn't help with that at all. Literally all this hex does is decrease your target DC by 5 points for a few rounds. Not worth the hex slot.

    Charm person is universally better and one I actually use for spell hex. Skip this hex, wait till 10th and then burn a feat to get the superior charm person spell as a hex and save your spell slots that way.


    Viking will you be adding more items in soon?


    Love your guide, i noted that Paracletus (Aeon) -2 will is a dc 12 negated effect, so it might not deserve that blue.

    Cheliax

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Finally finished reading and thinking about your guide and have a few suggestions/clarifications I wanted to bring up.

    Cauldron – With the recent errata done to Brew Potion Faq requiring you to not only know the spell you wish to brew into a potion but needing to prepare and expend the spell for that potion it makes this item creation feat (and this hex also) less useful or flexible than simply picking up Craft Wondrous at 3rd level and substituting single use wondrous items for potions. I personally like making them candies of X (healing, mage armor, etc). Remember that wondrous items do NOT require you to prepare and expend the spell when you craft them only Brew Potion has that extra written on them.
    Charm – I addressed in the previous post the inherent problems with this hex and it all hinges around NEEDING the Diplomacy skill to actually get any benefit from this hex. Which you don't have as a class skill and probably don't have the charisma score to fuel

    Fortune - This a BAD hex, great idea but the implementation makes it near useless. There are 2 major issues with this hex.
    A. The target has to use the benefit before rolling the die so it can easily be wasted for no benefit.
    B. The bigger issue however is the final line of the hex (Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.) It doesn't say affected by the hex it specifies BENEFIT from it. And before anyone says anything, yes Cackle can extend the DURATION of this hex but there is nothing about Cackle that changes the “only BENEFIT once per day” issue. The cackle is only there to allow you to pre-buff the party and keep it going until they need it, once they use it once it’s gone for the day.

    Prehensile Hair – Surprisingly powerful hex, remember this allows you to use 2 metamagic rods at once, deliver touch spells at range (without needing to burn a spectral hand or reach metamagic), use your Int as your Strength for CMD (this lets you bullrush, trip, steal & grapple at range with your int bonus, which should be insanely high). A good low level use (before you pick up Flight) is to use your hair to lift yourself to the ceiling (out of range of all melee’ers) and cast your spells & hexes from there.

    Cook People - This is an AWESOME hex if you look at it correctly. The average stat boost spell lasts a few minutes at best and can easily be dispelled or suppressed not to mention how expensive in terms of cash/actions it takes to use. With this hex you can easily provide the entire party with hour long, non-dispellable buffs to every stat as well as poison immunity. Add to that you can have limitless homunculi servants to explore the dungeons, set off traps & wreck havoc on your opponents and do Aid another and provide flanking bonuses to your melee types. Remember it takes an hour to cook up the body into dough or stew but only a full round action to craft a homunculus (same as waxen image). As for the evil of cooking people, you are an adventurer and kill scores of evil humanoids at the request of the good aligned folks, use those bodies to fuel this run.

    Witch’s Hut – This is a 15’x15’ mobile artillery bunker that can be customized to do whatever you need it to. Remember it is a huge sized ANIMATED OBJECT and per the spell it gains 4 construction points to spend as you choose. Give it additional movement (Burrow, Flight), Faster & Trample and you have an all terrain mobile command post that can get you in and out of literally anywhere you want in style and comfort while knocking every target flat on it's butt letting your melee dispatch them with ease.

    Also I’ll echo the comments made by Pipedreamsam, since the average AP ends around 5th level, PFS ends at 12th and the average campaign between 8-16 the earlier spells on the patron list are far more valuable than the last 2 and any recommendations should really be based upon those.


    I haven't actually tested Force Reincarnation in gameplay, and maybe I'm missing some rule, but it seems more useful than you rate it because:

    A number of high level monsters rely on being something more naturally badass than one of the humanoids you might turn them into. Reincarnating a dragon could be a big deal in humbling it. Reincarnating something that's all geared up could remove it from its magic gear. (nless I missed some key text here).


    Important Note on Ice Tomb: unless its been errated, it works on constructs and undead. It works on objects (there is no reason it shouldn't), and those creature types are not immune to unconciousness.

    Agony does not work on them.


    Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
    Blueluck wrote:
    You've got me thinking about a couple of hexes differently. Upon close examination, I've changed my mind entirely about Charm. I think it's actually quite good. . .
    Yeah I'm going to completely disagree with you on this, here's why.

    Don't get me wrong, I still would never choose Charm as one of my hexes. I'm just upgrading my opinion from "terrible" to "meh".

    Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


    *The hex works on animals and, since animals don't have high will saves, would frequently cause a hostile or unfriendly animal to simply wander off rather than attacking.
    False, diplomacy checks cannot be used on animals and since this functions exactly like a successful diplomacy check it doesn't work either. Make a handle animal check.

    The hex explicitly states that it works on animals.


    Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

    Fortune - This a BAD hex, great idea but the implementation makes it near useless. There are 2 major issues with this hex.

    A. The target has to use the benefit before rolling the die so it can easily be wasted for no benefit.
    B. The bigger issue however is the final line of the hex (Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.) It doesn't say affected by the hex it specifies BENEFIT from it. And before anyone says anything, yes Cackle can extend the DURATION of this hex but there is nothing about Cackle that changes the “only BENEFIT once per day” issue. The cackle is only there to allow you to pre-buff the party and keep it going until they need it, once they use it once it’s gone for the day.

    The hex says, "The target can call upon this good luck once per round . . ." So, yes, you get more than one double-roll from Fortune. You just don't get more than one casting of Fortune per day.


    Mathwei ap Niall you argue that cook people can be done by adventurers, but do you really argue that it isn't evil?
    I agree that it is a very good hex, but I know of no GM that would allow a casual use without making the user evil, no matter what human you use.

    Edit: I don't want a big "what is evil?" kind of derail, just wanted to make sure what your opinion is.


    Richard Leonhart wrote:

    Mathwei ap Niall you argue that cook people can be done by adventurers, but do you really argue that it isn't evil?

    I agree that it is a very good hex, but I know of no GM that would allow a casual use without making the user evil, no matter what human you use.

    Edit: I don't want a big "what is evil?" kind of derail, just wanted to make sure what your opinion is.

    Can't speak for him but I have some opinions of my own.

    Generally it depends entirely upon the circumstances and cultures involved.

    For example:

    Certain tribes of peoples practice cannibalism as a means of celebrating the cycle of life ingesting the flesh of their dead relatives or their enemies to gain their power. Basically trying to inherit the wisdom of the ancestors. This is not evil.

    You may come form a culture like say, the Fremen, who do not see the body of a dead comrade but a lot of wasted water and food. They still mourn, but they do so pragmatically as they drain as much fluid out of the body as possible for drinking. This is not evil.

    You may beleive that the consumption adn digestion of "fresh" evil prevents it from rotting and spreading into the world via decay and scavengers. By ingesting it and putting it through the process of digestion they effectively rid it of evil.

    There's lots of ways to not consider it evil. It jsut depends on the character and the way its gone about it. A paladin might balk at it but the good aligned witch would be wondering why the paladin insists on shoving 200lbs. of fresh meat deep underground. Do you know how many people that can feed? >=D


    Richard Leonhart wrote:

    Mathwei ap Niall you argue that cook people can be done by adventurers, but do you really argue that it isn't evil?

    I agree that it is a very good hex, but I know of no GM that would allow a casual use without making the user evil, no matter what human you use.

    Edit: I don't want a big "what is evil?" kind of derail, just wanted to make sure what your opinion is.

    PRD wrote:
    Cook People (Su): The witch can create fabulous spells by cooking an intelligent humanoid creature in her cauldron, either alive or dead. Using this hex creates one meal or serving of food of the witch's choice, typically a delicious stew or a dough suitable for cookies, pastries, or other desserts. Cooking the victim takes 1 hour. Eating the food provides one of the following benefits for 1 hour: age resistance, bear's endurance, bull's strength, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, neutralize poison (instantaneous) owl's wisdom, remove disease (instantaneous). Alternatively, the witch can shape the dough into a Small, humanlike creature, animating it as a homunculus for 1 hour. The witch must have the cauldron hex to select this hex. Using this hex or knowingly eating its food is an evil act.

    There is no question that it's evil. There is, however, question as to whether you or your party cares about having an evil character around and whether they themselves want to be evil or will tolerate this Hex.

    Cheliax

    @blueluck,
    First, the Hex was created before the new errata on animals was issued which changed how they work. What that means is yes you can use the hex on the animal but since animals are now unaffected by Diplomacy checks you get nothing out of it. ANY interaction with something of type=Animal requires a handle animal check, making this hex useless on them.

    Second, the once per round line is referencing the fact that you can only re-roll ONE of the rolls you make that round. It's a clarifying statement.
    Example, say a target under this hex in one round makes an attack roll, a reflex saving throw, a knowledge nature check and a Strength check. Without that qualifying statement he COULD use the fortune benefit to re-roll ALL of those checks that round.
    The statement was added to make sure you only picked ONE of those checks to re-roll each round.

    @Serisan, +1. That is exactly what I meant. Just because it is an evil act to do it doesn't actually make a difference to the game play (unless you have a Paladin giving you the stink eye every 5 minutes).
    The Hex as written is amazing and dealing with the alignment issue has no real relevance in game play. The only classes that could be affected by the alignment shift are Paladins & Clerics and for them just Don't tell them what they are eating. If they don't knowingly eat it there is no alignment penalty and it's a null question.

    I wrote what I did in case you want/need to justify it to your GM for whatever reason to avoid the alignment change. I personally enjoy being on the deeper end of the alignment pool, I just hate the chaotic end.

    edit: Oh and I also don't want this to turn into a "what is evil thread", but as the last one showed us a psychotic serial killer who collects body parts as trophies (Dexter Morgan) is officially a Lawful Good Paladin. This makes me doubt the functionality of the alignment system here.


    Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

    The only classes that could be affected by the alignment shift are Paladins & Clerics and for them just Don't tell them what they are eating. If they don't knowingly eat it there is no alignment penalty and it's a null question.

    Having them eat it, knowing they wouldn't do so if they knew what was in it, is like an extra evil act. I mean, thats really nasty :P

    And at a certain point too, they'd pretty much have to be willfully ignorant of what you were doing with all those corpses. And when they put two and two together, and realise what those delcious statboosting cookies you've been feeding them were made of?

    Gah.

    Cheliax

    KrispyXIV wrote:
    Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

    The only classes that could be affected by the alignment shift are Paladins & Clerics and for them just Don't tell them what they are eating. If they don't knowingly eat it there is no alignment penalty and it's a null question.

    Having them eat it, knowing they wouldn't do so if they knew what was in it, is like an extra evil act. I mean, thats really nasty :P

    And at a certain point too, they'd pretty much have to be willfully ignorant of what you were doing with all those corpses. And when they put two and two together, and realise what those delcious statboosting cookies you've been feeding them were made of?

    Gah.

    Bah you just need to lie better. Take the bodies and put em in a bag of holding, say you are going to give them a proper burial when you get home, then dig em back up and cook em in private.

    There is no time limit on WHEN the food needs to be eaten so bake a bunch BEFORE you adventure and pass those out. Easy Peasy.

    And if they do find out well that's why we like this end of the pool, we have so many amazing options for dealing with the righteous types. ;D


    let's just say it's a great hex for evil people, if you are the only evil person in your group, you might want to lie about it (you are evil after all).

    Still looking forward on an update to the guide :)


    Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


    Bah you just need to lie better. Take the bodies and put em in a bag of holding, say you are going to give them a proper burial when you get home, then dig em back up and cook em in private.
    There is no time limit on WHEN the food needs to be eaten so bake a bunch BEFORE you adventure and pass those out. Easy Peasy.

    And if they do find out well that's why we like this end of the pool, we have so many amazing options for dealing with the righteous types. ;D

    There's always a better option.

    After all, then you don't even need to draw suspicion by having new bodies. While Restore Corpse does say that the flesh is not fit for eating, you can argue that the magic of the Hex makes it good enough for the same reason that the lack of time limit on the Hex works on corpses.

    Andoran

    O.o Whoa...17 new posts. I've been away too long. Let's see what i can get into here.

    @Richard Leonheart:

    (also @ Petty Alchemy here)Forced Reincarnation can only hit a target once per day. Also, the Reincarnate spell specifically says to create a new table to randomly roll on for nonhumanoids. hence, a Dragon would be reincarnated into another dragon (logically. If your GM has no logic or prefers the absurdity of reincarnating dragons into sheep, this Hex deserves a rating far above Blue) and not one of the humanoids presented there.

    As far as the Cacodaemons, I hate to do this, but please tell me where in the description it says that you need hands to use a wand? Or UMD? Cacodaemons have a mouth. Mouths can hold stuff. Granted this, is a stretch of physics and arcane theory, but the rules don't forbid it. More importantly, Cacodaemons have Change Shape as a SLA.

    @Mathwei ap Niall:

    I think you may have misread the Charm Hex. it doesn't require a Diplomacy check. (A witch can charm an animal or humanoid creature within 30 feet by beckoning and speaking soothing words. This improves the attitude of an animal or humanoid creature by 1 step, as if the witch had successfully used the Diplomacy skill.) It doesn't say anything about actually needing a check. As far as current errata, this is obviously a zone of RAI. Whether your GM decides to interpret it that way is subject.

    An interesting point about potions. It brings up the question of why anyone would take Brew Potion over CWI anyway. The costs involved are identical and CWI stays useful for much longer.

    The Fortune Hex bears additional examination.

    For Cook People, I wholeheartedly agree that the benefits are fantastic. However, consuming the flesh of sentient creatures is viewed as an evil act by a large majority of those playing the game. I'll put a note in the guide about the benefits of this Hex in a nonstandard moral situation.

    @Black Lantern:

    Working on it. there are A LOT of Wondrous Items for me to go through.

    Andoran

    VikingIrishman wrote:
    As far as the Cacodaemons, I hate to do this, but please tell me where in the description it says that you need hands to use a wand? Or UMD? Cacodaemons have a mouth. Mouths can hold stuff. Granted this, is a stretch of physics and arcane theory, but the rules don't forbid it. More importantly, Cacodaemons have Change Shape as a SLA.

    Hands are required to manipulate objects. Furthermore, wands generally need a command word to be spoken, hard to do if you're holding the wand in your mouth.

    Putting something that unreasonable in your guide taints the whole thing, "RAW" or not.


    For fortune hex, my thoughts are this:

    You can only benefit from the hex once per day. That is true. But the benefit is not 'you get a reroll.'

    The benefit is 'Once per round you get a reroll.'

    Once the effect ends you can't reuse it for 24 hours, but until then you are entitled to the one reroll per round.

    Cheliax

    VikingIrishman wrote:

    O.o Whoa...17 new posts. I've been away too long. Let's see what i can get into here.

    @Mathwei ap Niall:

    I think you may have misread the Charm Hex. it doesn't require a Diplomacy check. (A witch can charm an animal or humanoid creature within 30 feet by beckoning and speaking soothing words. This improves the attitude of an animal or humanoid creature by 1 step, as if the witch had successfully used the Diplomacy skill.) It doesn't say anything about actually needing a check. As far as current errata, this is obviously a zone of RAI. Whether your GM decides to interpret it that way is subject.

    An interesting point about potions. It brings up the question of why anyone would take Brew Potion over CWI anyway. The costs involved are identical and CWI stays useful for much longer.

    The Fortune Hex bears additional examination.

    For Cook People, I wholeheartedly agree that the benefits are fantastic. However, consuming the flesh of sentient creatures is viewed as an evil act by a large majority of those playing the game. I'll put a note in the guide about the benefits of this Hex in a nonstandard moral situation.

    The issue with Charm Hex and Diplomacy is pretty straightforward. Charm Hex doesn't give you any control over your target it just improves their attitude by 1 step and that's it.

    Best case scenario you use it to improve a targets attitude to Helpful and want it to find it's master, or attack the troll or even just roll over or do ANYTHING. How do you get it to do any of that? Well if it's of any type besides animal you make a Diplomacy check, DC based on it's attitude towards you + the modifier assigned to that action on the Diplomacy Chart.
    (Little used Fact, trying to get it to fight for you is considered Serious Peril and they can refuse, no matter their attitude level)

    If it's of type=Animal however you MUST make a Handle Animal check (no matter it's Intelligence) DC 25 (if it knows the specific handle animal TRICK you want it to do it's lower but still requires a Handle Animal Check). It's attitude towards you is irrelevant, it only responds to the Handle Animal check.

    What all this means is this hex is USELESS for controlling anything and the best you can use it for is to stop something from hitting you (unless you max out your Diplomacy skill but that only helps with sentient creatures).

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