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Scarred witch doctor / beast-bonded


Rules Questions

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
so scarred witch doctor (ARG) Fetish Mask wrote:
This ability otherwise functions like and replaces the standard witch familiar.

and beast-bonded (UM) contains nothing saying that it alters the standard witch familiar ability.

unless i am missing something, RAW these two archetypes are compatible, which leads to some very interesting interactions at level 10 when you get Twin Soul from Beast-Bonded. the most basic of which is that you can have your character die and then be inside a mask, and then have your familiar go magic jar some person and then you are the mask and your mask is now a person wearing you. this becomes even weirder if you have enchanted your mask with any sort of face slot enchantment, as you now have a person (possessed by your familiar) with say, an innate Hat of Disguise.

i think some clarification of what fetish mask actually is would be nice. if it is actually treated as a familiar it should be getting an intelligence score and improved evasion and speak with others of its kind (a mask that talks to other peoples masks? awesome!). otherwise it really should just say it replaces the standard familiar. Beast-Bonded should probably also have a requirement that you have a standard witch familiar, to avoid this kind of cheesiness.


Sounds like Karla from Record of Lodoss War.

Spoiler:
Karla The Grey Witch (so named because of her obsessive neutrality) is the enigmatic sole survivor of the ancient kingdom Kastuul, "Kingdom of Sorcery." As barbarian tribes laid siege to the city, Karla, a member of the nobility at the time, foresaw the destruction and sealed her consciousness into a circlet she wore on her forehead. Though her original body was inevitably killed in the battle, her consciousness (and power) lives on in an endless series of host bodies, utterly possessed by her so long as they wear the circlet in which she resides.

Due to the horrible fate of Kastuul, Karla swore never to allow such destruction to occur again. Karla has maintained a secret, shadowy influence on the major events of Lodoss for more than 500 years. Her long life and incredible power has warped her perception of herself. Her sworn duty "for the good of Lodoss" is to endlessly shift the balance of power between the various nations of Lodoss, preventing the annihilation of any one power, at the cost of preventing its rise. All of the major wars in Lodoss since the fall of Kastuul have been carefully manipulated (and some directly participated in) by her, though by nature of her neutrality, she is not always an antagonist. She was even one of the "Six Heroes" - a group of adventurers who fought and defeated the Demon God King 30 years prior to the events of the series.

Throughout the anime series, she is shown possessing three bodies: Leylia, priestess of Marfa and daughter of Neese (From the OVA, not from the TV series), Woodchuck, whom she used to escape at the battle where Karla's circlet was forcefully removed from Leylia (subsequently freeing her,) and an unnamed woman who somewhat resembles her original body. After Karla helped Wagnard to resurrect Naneel, avatar of Kardis the Destroyer, Leylia takes Karla's circlet, believing that she can control the witch so long as she is consciously aware of Karla's presence within the circlet, thus ending 500 years of conflict in Lodoss due to her machinations.

Great character.


RAW, it does sound like they would stack. However, there is nothing saying that the mask is at all sentient. The Scarred Witch Doctor doesn't even communicate with the mask, she hangs it on a wall to prepare spells.

Honestly, I wouldn't allow it not for "cheese" (I hate the word, should burned in a fire), but simply for the fact the mask from my point of view is simply a mask or item.

(Of course, I'd probably ban the scarred witch doctor on the premise she can get a HUGE amount of HP. Makes me think: I can summon allies, buff, debuff, heal, and harm. Why do I need a party when I have upwards of 400-500 HP? I even made the Barbarian weep at this. Of course, that's just me. Also got great AC.)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Hangman Henry IX wrote:
so scarred witch doctor (ARG) Fetish Mask wrote:
This ability otherwise functions like and replaces the standard witch familiar.

and beast-bonded (UM) contains nothing saying that it alters the standard witch familiar ability.

unless i am missing something, RAW these two archetypes are compatible, which leads to some very interesting interactions at level 10 when you get Twin Soul from Beast-Bonded. the most basic of which is that you can have your character die and then be inside a mask, and then have your familiar go magic jar some person and then you are the mask and your mask is now a person wearing you. this becomes even weirder if you have enchanted your mask with any sort of face slot enchantment, as you now have a person (possessed by your familiar) with say, an innate Hat of Disguise.

i think some clarification of what fetish mask actually is would be nice. if it is actually treated as a familiar it should be getting an intelligence score and improved evasion and speak with others of its kind (a mask that talks to other peoples masks? awesome!). otherwise it really should just say it replaces the standard familiar. Beast-Bonded should probably also have a requirement that you have a standard witch familiar, to avoid this kind of cheesiness.

It actually does state that it changes the familiar ability that beast bonded is built on.

Quote:
Her fetish mask acts in all ways like a witch's familiar for the purpose of preparing and gaining spells.

It only acts like a familiar for the purpose of prepping and gaining spells. Everything else about the mask is different then the normal familiar ability so no, these two archetypes are not compatible.

edit: @marthian how are you planning on getting that many HP's and more to the point so what?

Best case a scarred witch starts the game with a 20 Con, devotes every level advancement to it (+5), buys a Con belt (+6) and gets her hands on a tome (+6) for a grand total of 37 Con for +280 HP's at 20th level. She's a d6 HD class (avg 4HP's per level) so +82 for 362 hp's (382 if you get the favored class bonus). Yeahh!!
Results of all of this, she can live into the second round of combat with the average Magus, Barbarian or Non-Archer Fighter (A ranged Fighter or Ranger will still kill her in the first round of combat)


Well, Beast-Bonded doesn't actually alter the familiar class feature. So even if Beast-Bonded class features can only apply to a familiar and not the fetish mask, Scarred Witch Doctor / Beast-Bonded Witch w/ Eldritch Heritage (arcane) for a familiar should still work. Shouldn't it?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

@Streamofsky; Nope, still doesn't work. You take the archetypes before you get to spend feats and since these two archetypes don't stack you don't get to take them together.

Even if you could then you have to deal with the familiar rules which state, You can only have a familiar from one source and all the rest stack on top of it. The eldritch heritage would stack with existing familiar ability you get from either the mask or the beast bond and just reinforce the existing conflict.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


edit: @marthian how are you planning on getting that many HP's and more to the point so what?

Best case a scarred witch starts the game with a 20 Con, devotes every level advancement to it (+5), buys a Con belt (+6) and gets her hands on a tome (+6) for a grand total of 37...

It's 36. There isn't a tome of +6. But at any rate, she casts a spell to increase her size, be it Hideous Shape II or Giant Shape II (or III?). Multiclass into Alchemist to get a mutagen for +4 CON. And then for hexes, multiclass into barbarian and take the feat giving +2 con during rage. I was able to get to 52 con, 46 without rage (which is still +18). Nothing says you can't cast spells while under the effects of a mutagen, and still nothing against using hexes while raging.

She will definitely be in the air for one. Scouring Winds causes a Windstorm, will shut down most (if not all) types of arrows. Plus if she gets the items, she can have great AC (the mask alone is a +9 to Natural armor.)

So yes, it would require some buffs. But it still doesn't change the fact she has a LOT more HP than most casters, and also: She's a caster.


Umm... again, nothing actually conflicts between the 2 archetypes, does it?

B-B lets you give your familiar feats. That has nothing to do with the familiar ability itself, and there isn't even a line about it modifying the familiar class feature.

And how the heck does that reasoning work? Witch never gets the arcane bond class feature, archetype or not. It gets the witch's familiar. There was never an option for a bonded item. Just because it "works like" the wizard's feature doesn't make it the same feature.

"You can only have a familiar from one source and all the rest stack on top of it."

Where is this stated?

I see this:

Quote:

By forging strange bonds with unnameable beings, witches gain the service of a mystical adviser, a familiar to both serve her and reveal to her secrets unknown to most mortals. A familiar is an animal chosen by a witch to aid her in her spellcasting and grant her special powers. This uses the same rules as the wizard’s arcane bond class feature, except as noted below. A witch uses her level as her effective wizard level when determining the abilities of her familiar. A witch can choose any of the familiars available to a wizard in addition to the new familiars presented here.

Levels of different classes that are entitled to familiars stack for the purpose of determining any familiar abilities that depend on the witch’s level. If a witch possesses such levels, her familiar always uses the witch rules for familiars, not those provided by other classes, such as wizards or sorcerers with the arcane bloodline. A witch’s familiar only stores witch spells. All other spells are stored normally, as noted in their class features. If a familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 day later through a special ritual that costs 500 gp per witch level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete. A new familiar begins knowing all of the 0-level spells plus two spells of every level the witch is able to cast. These are in addition to any bonus spells known by the familiar based on the witch’s level and her patron (see patron spells).

So, she uses Witch rules for familiars, not the sorc/wiz ones. And she stacks levels. Ok. Where is this only 1 familiar thing coming from? And why does a witch that has no familiar at all due to archetype still count as having it and thus cannot get one?

Fetish Mask: "This ability otherwise functions like and replaces the standard witch familiar."

It replaces the familiar.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Yes it replaces the familiar but still functions as the familiar for learning and storing spells.

You can only EVER have one arcane bond (the witches entry specifically states to use the arcane bond class feature with the listed changes) and you can only ever have one familiar. Since the mask functions as and replaces your familiar anything that would affect the familiar affects the mask instead. Anything you do to increase your familiar's abilities is instead applied to the mask instead.

The archetypes don't stack.

Shadow Lodge

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Yes it replaces the familiar but still functions as the familiar for learning and storing spells.

You can only EVER have one arcane bond (the witches entry specifically states to use the arcane bond class feature with the listed changes) and you can only ever have one familiar. Since the mask functions as and replaces your familiar anything that would affect the familiar affects the mask instead. Anything you do to increase your familiar's abilities is instead applied to the mask instead.

The archetypes don't stack.

again, Beast-Bonded does not state it requires a familiar in order to operate, the two archetypes definitely stack, RAW.

nothing in the Beast-Bonded archetype modifies the base familiar ability in any way, as it is written. it prolly should, so that this sort of thing isn't possible, which is why i brought it up.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can a Scarred Witch Doctor gain a Familiar another way?

Maybe multiclassing, or the Eldritch Heritage feat?


I had the same question sorta it seems like the mask should become intelligent as you lvl but I'm not sure.


Twin Soul requires the familiar to have a body in which to inhabit. A wooden mask isn't a body. So the two archetypes aren't incompatible, but the Twin Soul ability of B-B cannot function with the type of familiar that SWD has. It'd be the same problem as taking a rogue arch that bumps up sneak attack coupled with another that trades out sneak attack. The two archs may be compatible as far as what they swap out, but the ability of one affects an ability that is swapped/changed by another.


Could you get Improved Familiar to change the Mask into, say, an Oni Mask and thus use Twin Soul?

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