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White Haired Witch


Rules Questions


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

The RaW for the White-Haired Witch archetype definitely raise more questions than they answer:

--Does the hair attack receive the Intelligence bonus to hit as well as damage? This only seems to make sense. Also, the wording "plus the witch’s Intelligence modifier" seems rather open-ended...is this in addition to a Strength modifier to damage? If so, since it is the only primary natural attack, would that be 1 1/2 times Str mod to damage (or for that matter, 1 1/2 times the Int mod)?

--Since it is a Free action to grapple an opponent on a hit with the hair, can the Witch then use a Full Attack action to attack the grappled opponent with a weapon in that same (first) round? (Obviously she could not do so in subsequent rounds, because at that point maintaining the grapple would require a Standard action.) If she can do this, is the weapon considered a secondary attack?

--Since the Witch is not considered to have the grappled condition when grappling a foe with her hair, if her hair had reach, would she still receive attacks of opportunity with her hair against other foes provoking with movement? If so, could she grab/grapple them as well? Or is the hair considered to be completely occupied when grappling one foe?

--If the Witch hair-grapples a foe at reach (10', 15' or further away), does the foe remain in the square they were grappled at that distance, or are they automatically pulled to a square adjacent to the Witch, as per usual grapple rules? (Since the RaW explicitly state the Witch is NOT considered grappled, and since there is a special "Pull" hair attack available at 6th level WHW, it seemed to me that said grappled victim would simply be stuck in the square in which he was grappled...unless perhaps he won a grapple check and used the option to "move yourself and your target up to half speed", thus allowing him to move closer).

--What kind of damage does hair do: B, P, S, or some combination?


'Tis a strange archetype, indeed, but one of my favorite classes to play. Goofy wording aside, I play it so:

1) Intelligence will not contribute to attack, only to damage and CMB for grapple. At high levels it is sometimes better to straight-up grapple an opponent because the bonus will be increments higher that your to-hit bonus. And you only get 1x Int to damage, because that's what it specifies.

Preface the following: when you make a successful grapple check, move the creature adjacent to you if it wasn't already before.

2) In theory, yes, you could attack with your hair, free action grapple the opponent, and then take an attack with a weapon. However, because of the rules of how natural attacks and manufactured weapons work together, it is your hair that is the secondary attack...so some planning may be required in your rolls.
2a) A strong alternative would be to have a touch spell active. Since you will not gain the grappled condition, you grapple, pull adjacent, and then make a touch attack (a natural attack).

3) Pathfinder generally assigns "limbs" to attacks. I'd say your hair is "one limb", especially if you are grappling with it, so you wouldn't be able to make AoO's with the hair.

4) Yeah, see the grappled rules. If you successfully grapple, the creature is pulled adjacent to you. The only reason you would use "Pull" is if you chose to not grapple. And considering the goofy wording in that you don't get to add intelligence to your CMB to Pull, I'd stick with grappling, it's boss anyway.

5) Hair does Bludgeoning damage unless you have the feat Weapon Versatility. Not a rule, per se, but it's most like a Slam, so that's the analogue I'm going with.

Hope that helps a bit!


Flaming Duck wrote:

'Tis a strange archetype, indeed, but one of my favorite classes to play. Goofy wording aside, I play it so:

1) Intelligence will not contribute to attack, only to damage and CMB for grapple. At high levels it is sometimes better to straight-up grapple an opponent because the bonus will be increments higher that your to-hit bonus. And you only get 1x Int to damage, because that's what it specifies.

Preface the following: when you make a successful grapple check, move the creature adjacent to you if it wasn't already before.

2) In theory, yes, you could attack with your hair, free action grapple the opponent, and then take an attack with a weapon. However, because of the rules of how natural attacks and manufactured weapons work together, it is your hair that is the secondary attack...so some planning may be required in your rolls.
2a) A strong alternative would be to have a touch spell active. Since you will not gain the grappled condition, you grapple, pull adjacent, and then make a touch attack (a natural attack).

3) Pathfinder generally assigns "limbs" to attacks. I'd say your hair is "one limb", especially if you are grappling with it, so you wouldn't be able to make AoO's with the hair.

4) Yeah, see the grappled rules. If you successfully grapple, the creature is pulled adjacent to you. The only reason you would use "Pull" is if you chose to not grapple. And considering the goofy wording in that you don't get to add intelligence to your CMB to Pull, I'd stick with grappling, it's boss anyway.

5) Hair does Bludgeoning damage unless you have the feat Weapon Versatility. Not a rule, per se, but it's most like a Slam, so that's the analogue I'm going with.

Hope that helps a bit!

Interesting take on it...I had also asked James Jacobs (PF Creative Director) and here's what he had to say:

>>>"Here's how I'd answer them in my game:

--I would let the witch modify her hair's attack and damage with Int. Str wouldn't enter the picture.

--She has to hit a foe with her hair, but when she does, she gets to try to grapple them as part of that attack. It should work like the grab universal monster ability.

--As with ALL primary attacks, if you attack with a weapon and the limb you use to make that attack isn't the one you use to make the primary attack, yes, can then opt to make that normally primary attack as an additional secondary attack. Creatures with the grab ability generally are better advised to not spend the time maintaining a grapple but just take advantage of the grab ability each round (unless, of course, they want to do something like pin a foe).

--Once her hair is grappling a foe, she can't use it to also attack another. She only has one hair attack.

--I'd suggest the foe remains in the square, since the witch doesn't have the pull ability."<<<

From other forums, it seemed the general consensus on using touch spells with the hair is that the hair attack itself triggers the touch spell to discharge...As per the Combat rules: "Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge...If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge."


Yeah, those rules are something I'd be comfortable with - my character was for PFS, so there was an ongoing discussion with local GM's to find an agreeable ruleset. For a home game, I would do a few edits to the archetype!

About the touch spells - I don't argue that you can discharge a touch spell with a natural attack. My example was in reference to spells like Frostbite and Chill Touch, which offer multiple touches per caster level. If you have the spell active you would attack with the hair, damage and discharge, grapple, and then make another touch attack for your iterative attacks. Grappling with Frostbite active would not automatically discharge multiple touches simultaneously, if only for the sake of game balance!


Interesting take on it...I had also asked James Jacobs (PF Creative Director) and here's what he had to say:

>>>"Here's how I'd answer them in my game:

--I would let the witch modify her hair's attack and damage with Int. Str wouldn't enter the picture.... [/QUOTE

would you happen to have proof James Jacob said this??? my TABLE is very raw and likes to under power some stuff if it isn't clear. But have stated if a person of paizo said it and proof he said it then that is how it goes. So any proof?

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