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I find it very strange that Wizards don’t have Lore as a signature skill. Aren’t they supposed to be good at knowing things?


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What feels most like 4e is the multiclassing system. Otherwise it’s convergent evolution and formatting.

At this point many games have used a level-based bonus to everything rather than individual progressions increasing at different rates. The latter is a big part of what made 3.X so broken at higher levels, so it’s hardly surprising that games designed after 3.X ditched it.


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I completely agree.

I would want bounded accuracy as extreme as 5e’s - we have 5e for that - but +1 per 2 levels would feel much less absurd, while still giving meaningful differences between higher and lower levels.


Now more than ever, a Shaman that casts spontaneously like an Oracle, but with the Shaman's spell list.

Similarly, a Witch that casts its spells spontaneously like a Sorcerer (or Arcanist), and a Magus who casts using the Arcanist's method (and spells prepared equal to the Bard's spells known).


Joyd wrote:
- An "old guy with a stick" archetype that gives you some tricks with a quarterstaff. Old guy status optional. (This might make more sense as a monk thing.) Just spitballing, but maybe dump flurry for these benefits.

This would sure fit the stories about Little John! No need to dump flurry, just let flurry work with the staff and give some other benefits.


I'm happy that Shamans are getting Druid spells, but I hope some additional spells are added to their spells available. There are many highly Shamanic spells that aren't on the Druid spell list, including:

Planar Binding/Ally
Commune
Divination
Contact Other Plane
See Invisibility (to be able to see spirits)
Protection/Magic Circle
Banishment
Dismissal

etc.


the Queen's Raven wrote:
Magus: any archtype that gives it the same spell casting ability of the arcanist. A magus with that ability would be amazing and fit my idea of what a magus should be capable of.

Yes, definitely. I'd like to see one for the Witch which gives it the spell casting ability of the arcanist (or sorcerer), or, alternately, an arcanist archetype that uses the Witch spell list.

Brawler: One about fighting with improvised weapons and scenery, maybe allowing him to do his unarmed damage with them. Another that's a bodyguard.

Shaman: One that casts spontaneously like an Oracle.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:


Do you mean a version of the arcanist with the witch's limited spell list?

I think that could be a lot of fun if they got some combination of hexes, a familiar, or more of these coming Arcanist talents in return.

I would LOVE to see a witch archetype that uses the arcanist's (or sorcerer's) spell casting method. I like the witch a lot, but am fed up with vVncian spell preparation.


I love this concept.

Is the name of the class still on the table? I find "arcanist" way too generic, and doesn't especially fit the new concept. In the Class Names thread, someone suggested renaming the class Thaumaturge, which I love.


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RJGrady wrote:


First, let me say that the Arcanist appears to be fairly well balanced by the numbers, that the spell preparation mechanic is a nice compromise between the sorcerer and wizard styles, and Intelligence seems like the correct ability score to use. Now, on to some questions and criticisms.

Mechanical issues: Blood focus is an interesting, but it applies to a lot of class features that weren't written with it in mind.

I completely agree with this. I like the class overall, but wish it had more unique features than its spell preparation method. Blood Focus is used either for a bland minor power-up, or to make the character into sorcerer-light, the diet coke of sorcerers.

While the Arcanist feels a needed mechanical niche, one I've been wanting for D&D/Pathfinder since the Magister in Arcana Evolved, they need more flavor to stand on their own as a class. Replacing Blood Focus with its own thing specific to the arcanist, rather than just making it a watered-down sorcerer bloodline, would help a lot like this.

Even if the bloodline types are kept, making their abilities different for an Arcanist would be helpful, much like the Shaman uses "Spirits" with the same types as Oracle Mysteries, but grants shaman-specific abilities for each of those spirits/mysteries.


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The spell Share Memory doesn't say who gets to choose which of the target's memories you show to him or view yourself. Does the caster choose which of the target's memories, or does

More to the point, can this spell be used only for sharing information, or for interrogation too?


First of all, well done! The revised Magus sounds like tons of fun, and fixes almost all the problems I had with the first playtest version.

However, it occurs to me that there is never any reason to use Spellstrike with Spell Combat. Using spell combat alone gives the extra free touch attack. Since spellstrike doesn't give an additional attack, it only makes that touch attack carried by one of the normal attacks. That it, it gives it a much lower chance to it, with no discernable benefit.

IMO it would be better if spellstrike gave an additional attack, at a -2 penalty, when combined with spell combat. The lowered chance to hit with the spell attack is worth the potential for extra damage, IMO.


The Bane Company wrote:

I agree with you on Disguise and bluff.

I think it's a bit odd that they have Kn: history. I wouldn't think that witches would be big on knowing about wars, colonies, migrations or the founding of city.

I think they should have kn: geography. Lands, terrain, climate and people all seem like things that a witch would know for anything for growing poisonous plants to scavenging for them.

I would think that Kn: Local would fit too. Legends, laws, traditions, and customs seem paramount for any witch worth her salt.

Survival seems odd not added to me. Too many witches that I can think of have at one point lived in a forest or knew the land well enough to live off of it. At some point, a witch has to eat in that hut of hers out in the middle of the forest when there are no kids around.

I definitely agree about Disguise, Bluff, Knowledge: Local, and Survival. All of those seem like quintessential witch skills to me.


Skizzy wrote:

Heroism has either been used as a self buff spell for melee oriented wizards/sorcerers, or it is replaced by the Bard Song which is far better than the spell in many instances.

While it is an Enchantment spell, and witches are mainly seen as Enchanters, it has very little combat utility.

I can see Heroism fitting the witch's spell list, as an enchantment for buffing allies. But Good Hope might be a better choice.

I like that the witch has lightning and cold-based evocations. They should have a small number of direct damage-dealing spells. Black Tentacles is also particularly apt: I can easily see evil witches summoning writing black tentacles from the ground to incapacitate their enemies. But I agree that burning hands is out of place.

I don't think witches need raise dead or resurrection, but reincarnation makes sense for them. I didn't think of Harm for my first list, but it certainly fits the witch's ethos.

Mark of Justice is a great spell for witches. Only the name is odd. Mechanically, it's basically an old-fashioned geasa (conditional curse) from Irish folklore.


Selgard wrote:

Making spells lower level is a tricky issue because it can lead to the alteration of some market prices for items and scrolls and such.

Making Baleful Polymorph 3rd level would allow it to be stuck on a wand, for example.

True, but the saving throw DCs for wands stink, so that's much more of a concern for utility spells and spells that don't require saving throws or spell penetration.


I like the idea of a Secrets focus for the oracle, but you're right that it's kind of wimpy. :)

They only have one combat-related ability, and it's only usable a couple times a day.


I wrote some of the following in another thread, but it's a different enough idea that I think it deserves its own thread.

There seem to be three basic archetypes of witch that people think of, and this can be most clearly seen in the threads about whether they should use intelligence, wisdom, or charisma as their casting stat.

In his thread describing an alternate witch class, SmiloDan wrote this:

SmiloDan wrote:

Coven Role. At 1st level, the Witch selects her Coven Role from one of the following: Charisma-based Maiden, Wisdom-based Mother, or Intelligence-based Crone.

Maidens add Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Perform to their list of Class Skills.

Mothers add Heal, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival to their list of Class Skills.

Crones add Appraise, Knowledge (all), and Linguistics to their list of Class Skills.

I really like having different "builds" for witches, since the witch encompasses many different archetypes. I would probably change the titles though, to be more gender-neutral: Enchanting Witch, Wise Witch, and Cunning Witch. Also, cunning witches really should have Bluff and Disguise as class skills, and enchanting witches shouldn't have disguise. The quintessential western cunning witch is the sleeping beauty queen, who uses disguises and trickery. The witch in Stardust is also a manipulative, disguise-wearing crone.

Each witch role could be tied to a different casting attribute. Enchanting Witches could base their spells and hexes off of Charisma, Wise Witches could base their spells and hexes off of Wisdom, and Cunning Witches could base their spells and hexes off of Intelligence. (If going this route, I would recommend raising the witch's skill points to 4/level, so enchanting and wise witches have enough points for their archetypal skills.)

Each witch role could also have additional bonuses to certain spell types. Perhaps enchanting witches could add +1 to the save DCs of their enchantment spells, and cunning witches could gain the same for their necromancy and transmutation spells (the curses, basically). Wise witches could be better at healing and divination.

I really like this approach to making witches more interesting and flexible. It goes a long way to making the witch feel like its own unique class.

SmiloDan also wrote the following:

SmiloDan wrote:
Hag Apotheosis (Ex). At 20th level, the Witch gains some of the qualities of the Night Hag. She becomes an Outsider (native, augmented humanoid (or whatever type she was before)). She is immune to Charm, Fear, and Sleep Effects, has Cold Resistance 20, Fire Resistance 20, and gains DR 10/cold iron and magic.

I love the idea of a witch becoming an Outsider at 20th level, with the qualities of a hag. It's especially good if it makes the witch count as a hag for the purpose of forming a Coven. I don't think the energy resistances are necessary though. You should also add the following, cribbed from the Monk's Perfect Self capstone: "Unlike other outsiders, the witch can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type."


I like the witch as it is, but you have some wonderful ideas in here that could be added to the playtest witch.

I especially like this one as a capstone:

SmiloDan wrote:
Hag Apotheosis (Ex). At 20th level, the Witch gains some of the qualities of the Night Hag. She becomes an Outsider (native, augmented humanoid (or whatever type she was before)). She is immune to Charm, Fear, and Sleep Effects, has Cold Resistance 20, Fire Resistance 20, and gains DR 10/cold iron and magic.

I love the idea of a witch becoming an Outsider at 20th level, with the qualities of a hag. It's especially good if it makes the witch count as a hag for the purpose of forming a Coven. I don't think the energy resistances are necessary though. You should also add the following, cribbed from the Monk's Perfect Self capstone: "Unlike other outsiders, the witch can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type."

Quote:

Coven Role. At 1st level, the Witch selects her Coven Role from one of the following: Charisma-based Maiden, Wisdom-based Mother, or Intelligence-based Crone.

Maidens add Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Perform to their list of Class Skills.

Mothers add Heal, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival to their list of Class Skills.

Crones add Appraise, Knowledge (all), and Linguistics to their list of Class Skills.

I really like having different "builds" for witches, since the witch encompasses many different archetypes. Crones really should have Bluff and Disguise as class skills though, and maidens shouldn't have disguise. The quintessential western crone is the sleeping beauty witch, who uses disguises and trickery. The witch in Stardust is also a manipulative, disguise-wearing crone.

I would probably also change the titles, to be more gender-neutral. Enchanting Witch, Wise Witch, and Cunning Witch would be better terms IMO.

You could also give them additional bonuses to certain spell types. Enchanting witches could add +1 to the save DCs of their enchantment spells, and cunning witches could gain the same for their necromancy and transmutation spells. Wise Witches could be better at healing and divination.


I've seen several suggestions, scattered among various threads, that some "witchy" spells are missing from the witch's spell list, and should be added. I thought it would be helpful to consolidate them.

I avoided adding the spells from the Familar-specific spell lists, since the designers' intent was obviously to keep those restricted to certain kinds of witches.

Spells to Add
- More abjuration spells
- More illusion spells, like dream, nightmare, magic mouth and permanent/programmed image
- Faerie Fire
- Circle of Death
- Telekinesis
- Prestidigitation
- Protection from evil/good/etc. & magic circle vs evil/good/etc.
- Hideous Laughter
- Irresistable Dance
- Ghoul Touch
- Charm/Dominate Animal
- Slow
- Wall of Thorns
- Commune with Nature
- Dimensional Anchor
- Invisibility (and greater invisibility)
- Contagion (and mass contagion)
- Sending
- Dismissal / Banishment / Binding
- Planar Binding (and the lesser & greater versions)
- Magic Jar
- Word of Recall (6th level, since it's basically a limited version of greater teleport)
- Seeming
- Symbol of Sleep
- Symbol of Persuasion
- Command Plants
- Limited Wish and Wish
- Gate
- Polymorph Any Object (it's basically a greater version of Baleful Polymorph, with added flexibility)

Spells to Make Lower Level
- Baleful Polymorph is a signature spell for witches, and should be lower than 5th level. Even lowering it to level 3 would be appropriate IMO.
- Charm Monster & Mass Charm (Charm person is also a signature spell, but it's already 1st level)
- Poison should be 3rd level, like on the Druid spell list. Did you know that the biblical phrase King James translated as "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" actually means "thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" in Hebrew?
- Contact Other Plane
- Eyebite

New Spells that should be invented and added
- Mass Baleful Polymorph (as a 7th level spell, I'd say)
- Fast-healing spells, like the Spell Compendium's Vigor and Mass Vigor line of spells.
- Mass Charm Person (as a 5th level spell, 4 levels higher than charm person, just like mass charm monster is 4 levels higher than charm monster. Or maybe 4th level, since it's very much a signature spell for witches.)

Edited: to remove augury and speak with dead from the list, because those are the functions of a Coven.


I completely agree. It would also fit for pseudo-Arabian witches.


Shadewest wrote:
Many of the witch's familiars give polymorphing spells as bonus spells, especially the toad. Buhlman's got ya covered mate!

Huh. I should have taken a closer look at the familiar spell lists.

Baleful polymorph should definitely be a lower level spell for witches, though! Each class gets a few spells that are one or two spell levels lower for it than for other classes. Flamestrike for druids, and hold person for clerics immediately come to mind, and there are many more. Baleful polymorph is a signature spell for witches, so it should at the very least be 4th level, and IMO it wouldn't be out of place at 3rd level.

There should also be a Mass Baleful Polymorph spell. Circe turned Odysseus' entire crew into pigs with one spell, and there are similar stories of mass-transformation in folklore.


I agree that there's lots of disagreement on what's a "witchy" spell. However, your idea of taking 9 spels from the druid, wizard, and cleric spell lists would be hugely imbalanced. By cherry picking the best spells of each list, you'd end up with the best spellcaster of all time, not a witch.

One part of the solution would be to expand the spell list that the playtest version has, to include some more archetypal spells.

I also think that witches should have an ability like the "Advanced learning" that beguilers, true necromancers, and warmages had. Something that lets them take a limited number of additional spells known from the wizard/sorcerer spell list, probably limited to certain schools (not evocations, for example). Maybe one new spell learned in that way per spell level, or one learned every 4 class levels.


I was just reading through the Witch's spell list, in preparation for converting my wizard into one, and was very surprised to see that Witches don't get any shapeshifting spells at all, aside from alter self. This seemed very strange to me, because I see shapeshifting as one of the archetypal witch abilities. Cursing, healing, flying on brooms, enchantment, and shapeshifting are the archetypal witch abilities.

Even stranger, some of the familiars give access to beast shape, animal shapes, and shapechange, even though none of those spells are on the witch's spell list.

Was this an intentional design decision, or an oversight?


Stebehil wrote:
Well, perhaps take away any level requirement, but require the witch to start with a focus that is anointed with a fly potion or salve. Then, at later levels, the focus is no longer needed (say, at level 10), and the duration increases dramatically. EDIT: The duration could increase from 1 minute/level to 10 minutes/level or even 1 hour/level. The latter might be a bit much, so this might call for a later point. This "tiered" flight has the additional charm of remaining useful at higher levels.

Overland flight has a duration of 1 hour/level, so that duration shouldn't be too much. Overland flight is slower than regular flight, 40' instead of 60', but I have no problem with witches-on-broomsticks being the fastest magical flyers in the game.

I really like the idea of allowing a witch to fly with a broomstick or other bonded object at lower levels, and increase the duration dramatically at higher levels. I'm less sold on completely dispensing with the focus at higher levels, but perhaps speed could be dropped down to 40' speed when flying without the broom, to give high-level witches an incentive to keep using the iconic witch's broom/cauldron/etc.


Dissinger wrote:

Jason has said there will be guidelines for what is acceptable to add to the witch's spell list so when spells pop up later you can freely add them. However, as always GM discretion is the rule we play by.

Rule 0, keeping GM's sane since the dawn of time.

That's a good start. I hope that future Pathfinder sourcebooks also include spells for the APG classes. Even if they don't have unique spells, it would be a great boon to just add "Witch 2" or "Summoner 2" to the spell level line, along with the bard/cleric/druid/ranger/paladin/wizard spell levels.

Obviously, that won't help with existing 3e spells, like in the 3.5 spell compendium, but it'll help make future Pathfinder books more compatible with the APG classes.


dm4hire wrote:
The thing is a wizard doesn’t lose his spells if his familiar or arcane bond bites it, just the benefits that they provide. The witch loses everything they provide plus their spells. It’s not even a fair comparison. Wizards get to make backups of their spells by having more than one spellbook and can also, if necessary, use their spellbook as a scroll by reading the spell straight out of the book. Witches don’t get that luxury or I should say desperate gambit. Besides only a fool wizard would take every spellbook they own into combat with them so them losing all their spells is almost not even an issue except at low level. No matter what level the witch is they will lose all their spells if their familiar dies and can’t be brought back.

Right, and in addition, a familiar is much more vulnerable to damage than a spellbook. To target a wizard's spellbook, the wizard basically has to already be unconscious, while a

I dislike the rules as they currently are primarily because they make the witch's familar more boring than a Wizard's. Because a witch's loss of familiar is so devastating, most witches will just keep their familiar in their pocket to keep it out of harm's way. The familar becomes little more than a talking spellbook, not the independent creature that it should be.

Quote:
I just think that if familiars are going to play such a key role for witches then it would make sense to have them be a little better built than the standard familiar or at least give the witch better means to protect them. It's not like enhancing the familiar for the witch will over power the class if it's done only to protect the animal.

Right. Even something simple like giving a witch's familar the same HP as the witch, instead of 1/2, would help immensely.

Quote:
Another option might be to have their familiar be a bound spirit that resides in the animal of choice. Then the ritual to recover the familiar is actually a rebinding that could require expenditures of gifts and promises, along with entreating the spirit to accept the new body in addition to the waiting time.

I like this idea a lot. Not only does it solve the mechanical problem, but it also provides new roleplaying opportunities, and fits the witch's flavor even better than the original "magical animal" definition of the familiar.


Velderan wrote:
Giving them this ability majorly steps on the toes of the Conjurer, by making them better at the Conjurer's schtick than they are (I know conjurers also get the other wizard spells, but nobody should get to be better at your thing than you are).

Summoning monsters isn't the schtick of conjurers. They aren't aren't much better at it than Clerics, Oracles, or non-specialist wizards. Conjurors are decent at it, but conjurors also benefit greatly from the vast array of non-summoning Conjuration spells.


MaverickWolf wrote:
IMO, I don't think any focus should be required. A good portion of players will likely end up with one of some sort, sure, but I don't think it should be a requirement.

True enough. Maybe give the option to use a broom, which increases the speed but lowers the maneuverability of the overland flight.


Estragon wrote:

I agree, as of now no costly component seems the best option.

Or just require the summoner to pay any costly material components that the spell normally requires.


Zurai wrote:
Honestly, it wouldn't bother me one whit if the Summoner lost all the summon monster spells and SLAs completely. I said as much in the speculation thread. I'd change the SLA to be "you may only have one active use of this ability at any given time" or similar language, so it can't be front-loaded as the original poster describes.

I see the need for a restriction, but only one at a time could be too few. Maybe make it one at a time at 1st level, but increase the number of instances allowable at higher levels. Or make it something like "at a given time, a summoner cannot have more monsters summoned than his Charisma modifier". This is still a lot, but it's not so bad if the eidolon counts against this limit.


I was surprised to see that the majority of the witch's hexes are touch range. Witches have poor hit points and BAB, so should avoid melee range at all costs, but their hexes force them to get into the middle of the fight. It also doesn't suit the flavor IMO. In stories, witches hex their opponents by speaking to them, or by gazing at them with the evil eye. A 30' range would be more appropriate. This is arguably stronger, since it doesn't require a touch attack, but almost all the touch-range hex attacks also give a saving throw anyway.

By the rules as written, a witch also can't use his familar to deliver hexes, only to deliver spells. Of course, it's downright stupid for a witch to put his familiar (i.e. living spellbook) anywhere even close to harm's way, but that's a topic for another thread.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Ok, looking through the skill section, I was surprised to see a few skills I considered "witchy" to be missing. I realize that witches aren't charisma based, but just on folklore I would have expected at least ONE of the conversation skills in there (bluff, diplomacy, or intimidate). Disguise, handle animal, sense motive, and survival all seemed like great choices but are missing.

I agree. Disguise, intimidate, sense motive, and survival all should be class skills for witches, IMO. These skills are too iconic to the witch archetype to not have as class skills.

Ben Iglauer wrote:

Because witches use a specialized spell list, all of the 3e/3.5e supplements you have are incompatible unless you bargain with your DM to let a spell into the witches list. Witches do not get a great spell list. Their hexes can make up for that a bit, but still.

I don't really like the specialized spell lists because they make it harder to use 3rd party spells with the class. The ability to make use of all of my 3.5 stuff is one of the reasons I use pathfinder over 3.5.

I agree. I hope that the classes with custom spell lists all get instructions on what spells from other supplements to add. Even if it's just a few guidelines like "healing spells a druid gets" "wizard/sorcerer charm spells" and the like.

Quote:
And the familiar feels like a major liability. Your familiar's a lot more likely to die than your spellbook, and the imbue power is unbelievably weak and too late into the class. It needs a better imbue, potentially 3/4 of your hp, and the ability to deliver your touch attack hexes.

I completely agree. The risk of losing all the spells you have spent time, effort, and gold to learn is way too high. It's even more penalizing than the old xp penalty. IMO, when a new familiar is summoned, the spells the witch's familar learned should be regained. At the very least, they should have the same HP as the witch, not 1/2.


I agree with Velderan, though I wouldn't just restrict it to brooms. Brooms are iconic, but IMO there should be other options. Maybe also allow other foci, like flying carpets or kettles. Or maybe just make the speed faster when on a broom.