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White Haired Witch and Prehensile Hair Hex errata?


Rules Questions


14 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, spawned from another thread, have they done any major changes to the White Haired Witch archetype other than the swift to activate most of it's abilities? My concern is that a 4th level witch with the Prehensile Hair Hex is actually better with the hair, and has other hexes, than the WHW who gives up all hexes to specialize in the hair only.

White Haired Witch Details:

White Hair (Su)
At 1st level, a white-haired witch gains the ability to use her hair as a weapon. This functions as a primary natural attack with a reach of 5 feet. The hair deals 1d4 points of damage (1d3 for a Small witch) plus the witch’s Intelligence modifier. In addition, whenever the hair strikes a foe, the witch can attempt to grapple that foe with her hair as a free action* without provoking an attack of opportunity, using her Intelligence modifier in place of her Strength modifier when making the combat maneuver check. When a white-haired witch grapples a foe in this way, she does not gain the grappled condition.

At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, a white-haired witch’s hair adds 5 feet to its reach, to a maximum of 30 feet at 20th level.

The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature.

In addition, a white-haired witch further improves her ability to control her hair as she progresses in level, gaining the following abilities:

Prehensile Hair Hex:

Prehensile Hair (Su): The witch can instantly cause her hair (or even her eyebrows) to grow up to 10 feet long or to shrink to its normal length, and can manipulate her hair as if it were a limb with a Strength score equal to her Intelligence score. Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a secondary natural attack that deals 1d3 points of damage (1d2 for a Small witch). Her hair can manipulate objects (but not weapons) as dexterously as a human hand. The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature. Pieces cut from the witch's elongated hair shrink away to nothing. Using her hair does not harm the witch's head or neck, even if she lifts something heavy with it. The witch can manipulate her hair a number of minutes each day equal to her level; these minutes do not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. A typical male witch with this hex can also manipulate his beard, moustache, or eyebrows.

The Witch with the Hex, uses Str for everything concerning the limb. This includes hit, damage, CMB, carrying capacity, whatever. It's only 1 minute/level/day, but for that time it does it all.

According to the wording on the WHW Archetype tho, you only use int for Damage with the hair, not to hit, and only for CMB for a grapple, not for anything else, even tho at 4th level you get to trip with it as well, it does not use int for that rather it still uses normal CMB. Again, at 6th you may use the drag maneuver (called pull in this case but still a CMB check) but does not specify int over str, so low BAB and mediocre Str vs a scaling CMD that is hard for a fighter to keep up with makes this a lackluster ability.

I have to ask, did the author intend for this? If so, pretty much nothing other than the reach for hair attacks and the grab/grapple ability have any real chance of working, and that's not worth giving up all hexes for.

I would think that it was intended to -at least- get the same level of bonuses as the basic hair hex, and then build from there.

Something along the lines of "the WHW uses her Int as if it is Str for all attack rolls and Combat Maneuver checks made with the hair." would make sure that at least they scaled with the abilities later given for the archetype as bonuses.

Please hit the FAQ, if you would be so kind.


In addition to the Str-to-hit thing, which I can only assume is an error, the White-Haired Witch actually has less reach than the Prehensile Hair hex until 4th level, which seems to be a deliberate design decision. The intent there was presumably to discourage dipping, but considering that you're losing out on the main reason to play a witch in the first place by taking White-Haired Witch, it makes the early levels really lame.


I would personally like to have the normal Hexes, and make the abilities the WHW gets at 2/4/6/8 instead be alternate Hexes that are available only to that archetype, with the level req that they were originally given at to keep people from grabbing strangle at 2.

And especially since at 10 it changes to rogue talents for some reason.

Please FAQ the original at least.


WHW is completely not worth it as-written.


Hence the need for a clarification on what was intended... as it stands its a pointless archetype, it gives up the main class feature for a non-working attack. If it was errata'd to use int for Str all the way across the board for the hair, it would be at least a 4/8 level viability.

Or perhaps changed like I described, where those 4 abilities are made independant hexes as options, and the main hex feature is retained, with the "gets the reach improving/and grab hair hex" that replaces the 1st level hex normally gained.

Andoran

White-Haired Witch is from a splat book, not a core book, so they don't actually have a way to do a FAQ on it. We might get a developer to weigh in or the archetype designer though, and that would be something, so I'll FAQ it for you.


Int to hit would be something, but it would still be a pretty lousy archetype, and it would just get worse as you got to higher levels of it.

Now, Int to hit and used in a Gestalt game with Lore Warden? That would actually be good.


The designer would go a long way, and they post on things a bit if they use the boards i've noticed.

I think it's pretty cool from a flavor standpoint, and being a fan of Hong Kong Fooey, and other 80s style movies... but giving up what you give up and the interaction with the rest of the PF mechanics hurts too much.


Until they actually update it to say WHW needs swift actions, that is not the rule.

And I hope it never is updated as such, because that is a HORRIBLE rule.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
beej67 wrote:
WHW is completely not worth it as-written.

Same could be said for a majority of the Witch class in general. It is a poorly designed class, despite the eyebrow-raising power of two or three of the Hexes.

Indeed, I think it is the Hex design and wording which gives this fact away.

Cheliax

Aunt Tony wrote:
beej67 wrote:
WHW is completely not worth it as-written.

Same could be said for a majority of the Witch class in general. It is a poorly designed class, despite the eyebrow-raising power of two or three of the Hexes.

Indeed, I think it is the Hex design and wording which gives this fact away.

The witch as written is an excellent class and well designed to do what it needs to do. The issue is a handful of the hexes granted to this class needed to be written more clearly (which can stated about every class in the game with un-clearly written class features).

Now with that said I will fully agree that the WHW is a bad archetype and would have done MUCH better if written as a monk archetype (swap out unarmed strike & improved unarmed damage for it while making it Wis-based) and you get exactly what this archetype was based on. A mystical melee character who uses their hair for combat and focuses on their Ki pool for flexibility.
Tying this archetype to the witch class was just a HUGE mistake.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe you have missed it but:

White Haired Witch:
At 1st level, a white-haired witch gains the ability to use her hair as a weapon. This functions as a primary natural attack with a reach of 5 feet.

Prehensile Hair Hex:
Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a [b]secondary natural attack[b] that deals 1d3 points of damage

That is a -5 to hit for the witch with the Prehensile Hair Hex in most situations.


Diego Rossi wrote:

Maybe you have missed it but:

White Haired Witch:
At 1st level, a white-haired witch gains the ability to use her hair as a weapon. This functions as a primary natural attack with a reach of 5 feet.

Prehensile Hair Hex:
Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a secondary natural attack that deals 1d3 points of damage

That is a -5 to hit for the witch with the Prehensile Hair Hex in most situations.

Natural Attacks

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature's full base attack bonus and add the creature's full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature's base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature's full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type. The natural attacks by size table lists some of the most common types of natural attacks and their classifications.

Unless your witch also has claws or something, the Prehensile Hair hex is effectively primary.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

@Roberta Yang:
Yeah, SKR noted the same thing, and agrees with your assessment.

Andoran

Some developer comment on this would really be appreciated. I'd like to use this archetype but it needs to be errated to an unborken state. Simply allowing the INT bonus to apply to attack as well as damage would help a lot. A witch/monk combo could more easily be made to work then.

Please Paizo, Im sure this has been asked often enough, can you comment/ammend?

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