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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber. 52 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

IMO the best way to do 'neutral' causes is to not actually have a Neutral-alignment-locked cause but rather an alignment-agnostic cause that follows general themes. Pharasma and plenty of other gods hate undead? Undead-smiting cause; alignment-agnostic, as Evil characters can be disgusted by undead, too.
I'm drawing a blank on coming up with more off the top of my head since Champions aren't my class of choice, but that seems like the easiest way to bring neutral Champions into play.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll admit I've been pleasantly surprised and pleased by the sheer breadth of ancestries we have at our disposal - there really is something for almost every kind of campaign at this point, especially when you add versatile heritages into the mix.
I do agree it would be nice to get some more support for non-core ancestries, or at least have them come out with some more options at the start to account for how specific or niche they are, since that means that they're less likely to get stuff. I mean, unless we get another AP/Lost Omens book set in Mwangi or other nearby places, we likely aren't gonna get much more for Gnolls or Grippli or Anadi for a bit. But I'm also aware that the current "give options only when they're fitting for the book" is a fine way of doing things for the Lost Omens line. I'm not parched for new Kitsune feats or anything, especially when there's plenty of quality Infinite content I could use for home games.

As for new ancestries? Some proper merfolk would be awesome for an underwater adventure line, especially if there's more than just the typical fish-tails (scylla are cool, yo). Maybe even a versatile heritage for aboleths/aberration type? They seem to like being in the briny deep dark.

More creatures with non bipedal forms would be neat. Snake-leggeds or centaurs or such. Always interesting to see the kinds of tradeoffs you might get for non-standard movement.

Thriae are neat, especially since you could argue for both a Thriae that is still linked to the hive or one that is entirely independent. I think some of them have that four-arm problem, but if we're assuming they're tackling gameplay challenges like this as they come, then I wouldn't be too worried about that.

There is one big group of PC possibilities I would be interested in. We have outsider heritages for the aligned planes, the elemental planes, but what about native outsiders (remember that typing)? Like Kami, for example. It'd be cool if there were heritages or ancestries based upon those spirit-like entities of the Material Plane.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I'm not really a fan of lumping the books into expectations for primarily one tradition or not (Dark Archive was pretty unique for being primarily occult-themed, and Rage of Elements seems to be more 'Elemental Planes and Elemental Planes accessories' than full Primal), I will say if we get a book whose design ethos is primarily divine-adjacent, it would be absolutely hilarious if it was written as though the bookkeepers of different faiths were vying for space on the page in various levels of tones. Similar to the forewords between the tradition masters in Secrets of Magic.

As for options and contents within the book? Obviously, a couple more Cleric doctrines would be interesting. Maybe an option for an (ironically) godless Champion?
It's hard to talk about specific gods, since that starts to tread the line of Lost Omens line products rather than rulebook products. But perhaps some kind of suggested variant system for creating custom Boons and Curses for players in campaigns where the gods of Golarion aren't present, or perhaps are following splinter sects of gods, or similar situations.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, all of the base casters (the ones from CRB and APG) get 3 slots for every spell level 9th and below except for Sorcerers, who get 4. Wizard gets a 4th on a technicality because of its Arcane School giving an extra slot for spells of that school specifically, or because Universalist gives you Drain Bonded Item 1/day for every spell level, basically equal to a 4th slot.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I also agree that the Psychic doesn't *invalidate* the Occult Witch so much as it makes me as an Occult Witch a little jealous. Like, gee Psychic, your mom lets you have TWO Focus Points at level 1? AND automatic Focus Point progression? AND feat-free Focus Point spending choices??? AND A LEGENDARY SAVE? All I got was Wizard progression with forced Improved Familiar Attunement for 1 less spell slot per level.

But in reality the spontaneity of Psychics (and their crippling half-slots) does set them apart enough for Occult Witches to still shine, even if those moments are more niche than most would probably think in a vacuum. Not to mention their focus (heh) on blasting for a good portion of their identity with utility being mostly relegated to the 2-slots a day.

Witches are much closer compared to Wizards since they literally have the exact same progression in everything including slots (before school slots). This is why the "Arcane Witch is just diet Familiar Thesis Wizard" comes up a lot, though those arguments tend to forget the feat lists for the classes being meaningfully different enough to matter.

While I don't wanna go on another of my monthly Witch rants (I already used it up in a Reddit thread this month!) the Psychic's plethora of in-built features did make me look a little jealous, even though I immediately knew why it was the case once I saw those slots per level. I just want Basic Lesson to be a 1st level class feature, man. When the wheat-bread poster boy *Wizard* gets more choices for uniqueness than you at 1st level then it feels a little bad (no offense Wizards, y'all are cool).

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To maybe stir the conversation to a less comparative one - after all, we all can kinda see that Bards can have pretty big di...geridoos. And honestly continuing to stroke that thing is probably not very productive (it is a wind instrument, after all!). Bards have big buffs and debuffs that can work damn well if the battle can be positioned around them enough, and Occult Witch is able to single out targets from most any position and do similar things with slightly less impact-per-turn but also more choice in what they can do in-between. It also varies heavily table-by-table which can work in more scenarios. That much is clear and repeating it with a bunch of stats in a vacuum doesn't do more but reaffirm the latter fact.

Backpedaling a bit, I kinda want to explore the idea of unique familiar and master abilities for the Witch. I think it would be cool if all Witches got access to a small-to-medium list of odd-themed general choices while each patron theme would then grant them a small list of abilities unique to them.

I'd like to hear what ideas others have for either this general list or maybe some for specific patrons. Exact balance doesn't necessarily have to matter (to a sensical point, of course), it's likely best (or at least, for me, more fun) to design these things top-down, as it were.

For reference, the list of current Patron themes are Curse (Occ), Fate (Occ), Fervor (Div), Night (Occ), Rune (Arc), Wild (Pri), Winter (Pri), and of course good ol' Baba Yaga (Occ).

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

From the "People of the Mwangi" section, under Rarity:


To reflect the cultural makeup of the Mwangi Expanse, GMs might consider adjusting the rarity of various applicable ancestries.

● Kobolds, lizardfolk, and orcs are considered common ancestries.
● Gnomes and goblins are considered uncommon.
● Certain uncommon ancestries with strong ties to Garund, such as catfolk, gnolls (page 110), and gripplis (page 118), can be considered common if the group and GM so choose.

So the notion that an ancestry's rarity changing based on location does in fact lie with the GM. This makes sense, since your party might be something like a Pathfinder Society messenger group from the Inner Sea and so it wouldn't make much sense to change the list of common ancestries for them. Unless, of course, the GM allowed one of the characters to play as a guide for them, in which case that player could be allowed a different set of common ancestries to pick for that feat.

Unfortunately, if a GM wishes to play a campaign of their own design, it is ultimately on them to decide what ancestries their players will be allowed and whether or not a discussion can be made therein. There's no real avoiding that unless you're playing an AP which specifically restricts ancestries or something.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think it depends on the types of players at your tables (as does... well, a lot of considerations for 2e in general).

If you all don't want the game to possibly become too easy and/or like to optimize things a lot, Free Archetype is likely not your cup of tea.

Characters don't tend to be *super* powerful with FA unless they take the Goldilocks combo of feats, which depends entirely on the campaign and the context of the other PCs. But if you do find that Goldilocks combo then things might start to feel too easy.

Most of the time with FA variant the biggest thing to worry about is making sure that there's nobody stepping on each other's toes.

I like the rule personally, and I've built characters with and without it. It really does feel like you have to *search* for ways to break it, and it allows you to mechanically express some deeper character concepts that might otherwise feel too claustrophobic. But I can see where it can possibly become 'Too flexible', especially in APs where the party isn't meant to have it.

Double Class Feats is an interesting rule that you could possibly use alongside FA - basically people who want to spread their interests wide would use FA and someone who wants to play a character that wants to specialize uses DCF.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, I doubt they will *never* print feats for newer ancestries - they seem to be on top of supporting everything they make pretty well so far - it's just most likely that when writing these books, after they slotted all the feats they created for those ancestries into levels, that none of them seemed to fit the power of a 17th level slot.

Core ancestries, of course, will always just have more options because the core rulebook ancestries not only came out first (so new non-lore rulebooks will almost always have at least a couple things for them just by association), but are meant to be "peoples that are common and permeate throughout most of Golarion". Thusly, even lore books have a small chance of containing things for them - since it's likely that there's a unique culture of them pesky humans even in, like, the Darklands.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wizards definitely need, like, something too. Their whole shtick seems to be "default caster that other casters bounce off of to feel unique" which does kinda blow.

Maybe if the Arcane Schools did each something unique? Universalists obviously get an extra feat and *any* first level spell choice, as well as the neat Drain Bonded Item-per-spell-level thing. Why don't the other schools do more than give you extra slots and a fixed spell of 1st level (plus the school spell). I guess you could argue the School Spell *is* the unique thing but like... eh?

Also the Arcane Theses could stand to be more than they are. Staff Nexus seems the most out-there of them (which, considering it came from APG rather than CRB, makes sense and at least shows that more interesting things may be on the way).

Wizards' theme should probably be "THE most flexible Arcane caster" as a theme, but, yeah, even one more spell slot doesn't really help that all too much.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think having a hybrid caster chassis is fine if there's a reason to take a little less defense and spell versatility.

...Which, for the Witch, again, is supposed to be their Hexes. Thus, why I think it would be fine if they got two free lessons, if we got literally nothing else.

I don't think it's fair to say 'The witch is built unlike the other casters' and then in the same breath say 'Well the other classes have to pay for their Focus Spells so why shouldn't Witch'. And the answer is because the whole class is themed around giving up a spell slot per spell level to gain a wide array of Focus Hexes to toy with and a Familiar that is more versatile than all others.

Also agree that the getting rid of the hex cooldown (or at least not making them the length of a whole damn encounter) would really improve things. One hex per round is... unnecessary, but I'm not sure if it's really harmful. At the very least it would stop people from saying "well Witch's first turn is almost always just casting two Hexes and then sitting on them lol".

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You could also argue because "positive damage" is the essence of life and living, that positive damage to living things (that can receive it) could be somewhat like a cancer - it spreads throughout the body, creating masses of tumors as cells refuse to decay and die, becoming faster and more efficient at mitosis, while its genetic material never decays. And eventually ends in the body overheating from all the chemical reactions, or (in the case of that one monster in Bestiary 3 that heals you too much) you literally explode.

Positive damage to undead, though, is probably something more akin to, say, 'restarting' chemical reactions that the necromantic magic halted, causing cell functions to resume - which, since there's no more blood flowing through the body, causes it to decay.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, you can't really fairly compare the two - Pathfinder 1st edition had *ten years'* worth of content added to it, even more if you want to count things that could port over from 3.5e.

Pathfinder 2e has been out for a year and some time now, and the designers are doing their best to get 'caught-up' so-to-speak on the most wanted carry-overs while still maintaining quality.

And I'll say that 2e has a *lot* less "trap" feats than 1st edition, even relatively. This is due to the game being designed around 'vertical' growth (that is, your character getting 'better' at something numerically) being mostly automatic, and the feats you pick are designed more towards 'horizontal' progression (as in, the amount of options your character has at any given point in time). Sure, not every feat in every class is perfect (else we wouldn't have this thread, of course) but the main theme of the character-building part of the game seems to be in the direction of "flavor by feats, get better with time". There are still some feat "trees" of course, which allow you to get better at a theme you picked before, but they usually don't give you hard numerical advantage, rather giving you things like Extra Focus Spells or augmenting an action you have.

For an example pertaining explicitly to Witch characters, the new Ruby Pheonix adventure path's hair feats are a great point to look at. You take the Living Hair feat because you like the idea of a witch whose hair can beat the crap outta people and just generally be a threat. The later feats don't increase that damage (that can be augmented with just Handwraps, as somebody confirmed above), but they augment the hair with extra traits, like reach and the ability to channel certain Hexes through them. And yes, while they aren't the 'optimal' choice per se, and I think they could be better, that's not relevant to the argument - that being Pathfinder 2e's design is made such that "trap" feats typically only come about due to balancing, rather than the ideas of the feats. In an ideal world, you aren't missing core character progression when you pick any feat in the class.

...Which, of course, is why the Witch feels so out-of-place for me, and for a few others that agree with that consensus.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
When you successfully cast a hex focus spell that requires 2 or more actions to cast and that doesn't require a spell attack roll, if your target is within your reach, as part of the spellcasting activity you can make a hair Strike against the foe before applying any effects of the hex. If this Strike misses, the hex has no effect.


Hexes that cost two actions: Malicious Shadow, Curse of Death, Restorative Momemnt, Glacial Heart (Rare).

Three of them are Major Lessons, and Malicious Shadow you literally save one action get a Shadow that still increase your MAP.

That's the thing that bugs me. Like Elemental Betrayal would be awesome. Get yourself some Flaming Handwraps, and you've got Grapple Flaming Reach hair with Elemental Betrayal hex cast through your hair.

But Elemental Betrayal is only 1 action and thus doesn't qualify.

Yeah, that was kinda my problem with it, too. Like I get it - getting a spell for the equivalent of a whole action less is pretty powerful - if not for numbers, then for sheer economy and versatility.

But, like, did it *really* have to be restricted to two-action hexes? You already have to make an attack roll to hit someone or else the hex is completely lost regardless, and all the hex cantrips have a per-target cooldown anyways! And even if you *do* hit they still have to, you know, roll their regular saves anyways? It's basically just a feat that says "When you cast a two-action hex on an enemy that's within your hair's reach, you may perform a Strike against them as a free action."

Actually, that would be better - you don't waste the spell if you miss!

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

At the *very* least it was seen and changed a little bit. I personally would argue for more leniency, but the GM clause is there so hopefully that allows for tables to better use this ancestry.

It's surprising how much a single line that basically just reaffirms Rule 0 can change the dynamic of a rule. Like, sure, a GM can technically do whatever they and the players are okay with - but if even the book says it then it feels a lot less like a jury-rig and more like a 'we decided this.'

If it were my table I'd probably rule that:
- Spider form Anadi could wield a shield in a spider leg in exchange for a -5 penalty to all of their speeds (Having an odd balance and needing more careful movement than normal).
- Still no conventional weapons, but they can wield held items of Light or Negligible Bulk in their pedipalps - but while they do so they cannot use their fang attack, as obviously the object is in the way.
- A material component pouch or spellcasting focus can be tied around the Anadi's... neck-equivalent area and used by the pedipalps for material (or focus) components of spells if and only if the pedipalps aren't holding anything (which... I think would just count as 'not having a free hand' but since Anadi are ambiguous that way, probably best to be specific). If another table were to use this and think that's too powerful then you can maybe make the pouch/focus require investment, like a magic item.
- There's so many actions with the 'manipulate' trait that it'd take forever to go through all of them, but let's just say a lot of these are imaginable when you remember that pedipalps on spiders are often times sensory organs/manipulators (among... other functions) and that having 8 stick legs can still be sorta dexterous as long as you're standing still.

This way there's still 'restrictions' on doing things that the body was not naturally and biologically designed for that you can then take Hybrid Shape to be rid of when you want to, but they don't lock the player out of doing these things entirely - remember; they're still intelligent and sapient spider folk. Humans do things that their bodies aren't made for all the time, after all - we just call it ingenuity!

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think many people agree with you on that one Deriven - I think the most important aspect, as others have stated in better detail above, though, is making sure that when representing another culture and their mythos - even by proxy of reference - that you do so in a way that is not reductive or, even worse, slighting to the culture in question. Obviously the aim is to make a nod to a culture in a way that fully embraces the context in which it came from. I've seen quite the praise for Mwangi Expanse on that front, for instance.

It's a difficult thing for writers to do sometimes if you're trying to represent a culture that isn't yours. Even if you're trying your best not to color things in an unintended way, if you aren't working with people of that culture or who know that culture more intimately than you then inevitably some cultural biases might sneak through unbeknownst even to you.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Never forget about your cantrips, either! Sometimes I've seen people devalue cantrips because of their low immediate damage (leading to low damage-per-round), but if you really need to save slots, they've still got by definition the best bang-for-buck, especially since they're auto-heightened to the highest spell level you can cast. Electric Arc is, of course, always a good meme, but Ray of Frost and Produce Flame aren't strictly bad, either. They're like your Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder compared to the spell slots being Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga.

It's all about that mana (slot) management! Just make sure your Fighter is keeping things at arms-length.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's a fun thing to note that, while TTRPG and JRPG games tend to be fairly different, specifically Final Fantasy has a lot of Western archetypal influence and vice versa, or at the very least came to similar ends through different means, even when looking back all the way to FF1. Nowadays it'd be hard to look at a game like FF14 and then at a modern fantasy TTRPG and not be like "huh, there's a lot of overlap here, huh?"

Speaking of cool Final Fantasy stuff in 2e, yoshisman8 on the 2e Homebrew Reddit made a cool Red Mage Archetype and even a whole Astrologian class based on those in FF14. Very neat. Relatedly, PF2Tools' creation tools are some of the best things to happen to 2e homebrew.

But as for BLM in 2e specifically? As others have mentioned, the classic fire/ice/lightning combo exists within Arcane list alongside other things BLMs have done in the series, such as Haste (for more actions) and Fly, and Lulu in FFX even has a Bonded Item as her familiar! ...Or a Poppet, if that's more your thing.

WHM is definitely either a Divine or Primal caster, considering their access to Water/Stone/Aero in some games (though those three things sometimes overlap into BLM too), as well as sometimes having access to Summons (though sometimes that's split into its own class).

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Even if you did manage to nail every single RK check, I'm pretty sure even the heckin' Dark Tapestry doesn't have 45 checks' worth of Knowledge - even if you went from the wiki and improvised!

At that point I'd probably ask the player to keep it to, like, once a session at *least* just so it doesn't get annoying, and it'd be played out like a scene from Limitless or something where the character has a divine clarity moment and just remembers everything they've ever heard about the thing - (basically just giving them the whole statblock and saying "you know everything but exact numbers")

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree with Midnightoker as well - and personally I think the biggest problem lay in the fact that the Witch, like Oracle, had expectations of a theme going into it. Yet, unlike Oracle, the major themes that bind the chassis of the class together can be skipped altogether by someone, completely unbeknownst to them.

Wizards, Clerics, Druids, and Bards all either don't have a pervasive defining theme to their class (Like Wizard, the generic smarty boy) or their defining themes are given to them naturally with *extras* they can decide to lean into later. (This, of course, brings back the topic of Wizard probably needing a look-over to actually gain a theme of their own but that's a topic for another thread).

Sorcerers have a similar style of the Witch, being super flexible background-based caster, but while they can skip their bloodline Focus Spells, they can't skip the extra spells known through bloodline nor the signature spells that come with being a spontaneous caster, which still helps them feel unique.

If you look at martials, it's a similar story - everyone that isn't Fighter gets special baked-in feats that help progress the idea of the class without having to spend extra feats for it - you still *can*, you just aren't forced to. Fighter makes up for this lack of 'progression' by just kinda being able to do whatever they want since they always get Attack of Opportunity and Combat Flexibility, letting them just kinda vibe with whatever hodgepodge you pick.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't necessarily think the Witch is weak - especially when you take the fact that party dynamics allow for one Witch to be able to fill almost any non-martial hole imaginable, its versatility is great and as I said, I do *like* the current iteration.

I do think, however, that we have to invest a lot more than other classes to get to what the class advertises.

From the APG Witch blurb: "Through a special familiar, your patron grants you versatile spells and powerful hexes to use as you see fit..."

We do get an inherently better familiar numbers-wise (though I just wish we got more interesting unique abilities to pick for those familiars, which in the current system is possible and might come in the future, but for now it's lackluster). And we do partially get the 'versatile spells' in the pick-a-list dynamic.

However, the other part of the 'versatile spells' and the 'powerful hexes to use as you see fit' are locked behind Lesson feats - meaning in reality not every Witch does in fact have versatile spells or enough hexes to use as they please.

I was curious how much two baked-in Lessons would change my Witch's build, so I hopped into Pathbuilder and gave her a free feat at 4th and 8th level, which had to be spent on a Basic and a Greater Lesson. And I gotta say I felt much more happy even considering the other feat options without the burden of losing out on the feeling of 'being a Witch' during encounters. Sure, I still took Major Lesson I and II - but that was because I felt like they fit the character's theme, not because I didn't feel like I had enough hexes. I was even allowed to push a couple feats earlier and even took Conceal Spell (which I couldn't fit in the build before because Basic Lesson was in the way, even though I knew my character would want to do that real bad).

Does this really prove anything? Not really - nothing other than "If you give someone free feats they get more freedom to choose more feats". But honestly, considering most of the other Witch class feats (at the moment, anyhow) are either Metamagic, alternate playstyles, or 'get familiar more better', it didn't feel like I was becoming more 'vertically' powerful, if that makes sense. If anyone would be willing to try this in a game and say if it felt 'too versatile' or not that'd be great, but obviously that's easier said than done, and it doesn't fix the flavor disconnects that some people still have that aren't me.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean all Hybrid Form needs to be is just that - just a way to access the best of both worlds. It doesn't "need a reason to exist" because it already does, just as the Kitsune's does. All a Kitsune loses by changing into their human form is their Kitsune unarmed strikes, and all they gain is counting as having created a disguise when Impersonating. Hybrid Form lets them "speak in a fox form, use kitsune unarmed attacks in a tailless form, or gain a tail in your tailless form to use abilities that require one."

If you changed the limitation on spider form to only be on wielding weapons, then you would still have a great reason to pick up Hybrid Form mechanically - you would gain your unarmed strike (and possibly venom) and not be flat-footed when Climbing, *and* you would get access to weapons!

That sounds completely fine to me. As it is now, Anadi spellcasters who want to be in spider form are feat taxed into taking Hybrid Form, and even then it's still not *really* spider form. And we know how much feat taxing is antithetical to 2e.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Heyyy, looks like the Ruby Phoenix APs gave Witches a full Living Hair path to go down, so that's pretty cool. Don't know how good it is since it only goes up to 1d6 - seems mostly useful for attempting combat maneuvers and delivering hexes with reach... even though all the enemy-targeting hexes of 2 actions have 30 feet range. The Capstone is cool, too, making you quickened for one free hair Strike a round.
But, uh, that doesn't mean you can cast a spell and then deliver a 2 action hex each round because delivering the hex makes the Strike a part of the Cast a Spell action, not its own action... so you don't get to use the quickened action for it.
I mean you could cast a spell, sustain one, and then clobber someone for 1d6, but meh.

I mean I guess if you've got enough Dex hitting with finesse hair wouldn't be too bad, and damage is damage, but it's certainly no Int to hit like in PF1.

Honestly, could they not make delivering the hex part of the Strike and not the other way around? It just feels awkward. You can't even like upgrade the hair damage farther than 1d6, not even a clause for Handwraps like Kitsune's Foxfire gets.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Except, once again, look in the stat block for the Anadi Hunter, Elder, and Sage from Hellknight Hill. Their Change Shape block is worded similarly, and likely meant to be the exact same ability, usage-wise.

"Change Shape [Single Action] (arcane, concentrate, polymorph, transmutation) The anadi changes into their hybrid form, spider form, or human form. The above statistics assume the anadi is in their hybrid form. While in their human form, the anadi hunter can't use their fangs attack and loses their climb Speed. When in spider form, they can't use weapons."

I wonder if at some point they were toying with all PC Anadi having an innate Climb Speed and so had those restrictions in place so that you weren't just blasting spells from places melees could never hope to hit you from, but right before finalizing and printing somebody axed the Climb Speed but forgot to undo the extra restrictions, too.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The reason Witch's familiars are warranted so much Focus is because, in many cases, they're the primary modus of interaction between the Witch and their patron. There are lots of more reasons why a patron may not want to talk to their witch directly - they don't have all the time in the world, after all, and may be patron to more than one Witch, or cleric, or what have you - Hell, some patrons might not even be physically present, but are abstract concepts or coalescences of powerful energy like Ley Lines or something. For (the eventual) Outer God or Dark Tapestry witches out there, there's even the argument that the patron doesn't acknowledge the Witch at all.

Thusly, the Familiar is, for most intents and purposes, either a communication/teaching tool, or the direct teacher. That is why they are not only your spellbook, but also supposed to be 'better' and one of the primary foci of the class.

Familiars as a concept may not be unique to the Witch, but the idea is supposed to be they have the best and most complex relationships with them.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Looking at it, when comparing Bard and Witch as others have, it would be nice if Witches didn't have the stupidly long lockouts on their cantrips. 1 minute is, like, *most* combats (which I think was kinda the point). At least that would make the one cantrip you *do* get a lot more meaningful. (And frankly Bard's composition cantrips should gain at least a small one but that's not only my opinion, but a whole other can of worms.) If we don't get the ability for more Hex Cantrips, then at least don't lock us out of the one if it fizzled the first time! Pathfinder 1 Evil Eye and most of the other hexes were good enough to justify having the cooldown because they were practically *all cantrips*.

Even if it were something like Evil Eye having a 1d4 round-per-target 'recharge' similar to a Breath Weapon, with the slight randomness allowing for a nice variation in turns. Some... probably shouldn't even have a cooldown at all (Looking at you, Discern Secrets and Wilding Word and Shroud of Night). It would be nice if we didn't have them at all, but sometimes part of me thinks that someone at Paizo is convinced that "the enemy wising up to your tricks" is also part of the core identity of Witch...

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think it's fair to say that pick-a-list isn't a big deal, at least in terms of what classes get what. They may be more generic, yes, but your spell list choice is still very important when playing a Sorcerer/Witch. There's a reason that the core casters (and Oracle) are built around having a single list, after all. It can be considered 'their defining style.'

Now, do I think it should be considered as part of a class's "power budget" when designing it? ...Not really. As you said, you only get one , and currently we don't have any sort of Serve Two Masters to get funky with mixing and matching and such things probably won't come for a while since it toys with the Four Lists system in a way the designers currently haven't seemed to be comfortable with yet.

But it *is* still an important way to define your Witch. After all, a Witch that chose the Primal list will almost definitely play different to one that chose the Occult list.

I think the only problem I see with a 'deeply mechanical' patron as the way I'm perceiving your summary of it is that it would take a *lot* of text for that. Oracles do have plenty of flavor and mechanics meshed together with their Mysteries, and to do that means that each mystery took up literally half a page of text. If you're wanting to go even more in-depth than that with bargains/restrictions/similar things it'll take even more than that.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, it is only one fork in the road, after all, though I'm not sure what it would 'take away', per se. The idea being that the Patrons would still be freeform in *idea* as they are now (Fate, Curse, etc.) but instead of having a list of *bonus spells* like in PF1 it gives (for the sake of argument) two unique hexes.

So, you can still choose from the list of hexes we already have if you decide to take Lessons. So, for example again, say I pick Fate as my patron's theme. I gain Nudge Fate as my hex cantrip and add True Strike to my familiar. Then, at level 2, I choose Basic Lesson as my feat, choosing Lesson of Life for the Life Boost hex (and adding Spirit Link to my familiar). Then, at level 4, my patron gives me the (unique) Roll the Bones hex. I can still choose a feat at level 4 because my class already had that lesson baked in.

It's a simple (and kind of balance-ignoring) solution which only seeks to add things to the Witch without taking anything away. Since, honestly, it seems a good portion of people here agree that the Witch feels like it needs *more*, not a readjustment of what we have. It also preserves the structure of the current class (which I have admitted I currently like).

Another change not to do with hexes could be related to those unique patron familiar abilities. Perhaps, instead of gaining new *slots* for familiar abilities every 6 levels, your familiar just gained a patron ability that doesn't count against its point total every day. For example, if you had a patron with the Dragon theme, at sixth level, your familiar gained a Breath Weapon ability (which had to be of a damage type fitting of your patron).

And Rex, I think the current system in place is probably the most freeform it can get *mechanically* while still having the choice matter for gameplay immediately. At the moment it's more like picking a Domain rather than picking a specific god.
Like two Witches of a Fate theme can have completely different sources for that theme, just as a domain can be split between tens of gods. There's still plenty of room for flavor. For example Reiki's (my Witch) conversion into 2e changed her from her old theme of Enchantment and into Fate, but the idea stayed the same - her familiar materialized in the Forest of Spirits from the concentrated emotions created by one of Daikitsu's trysts with Nalinivati. This was 'Enchantment' back in PF1 due to the spells being mind-affecting and heavily focused on the state-of-mind, all things easily manipulated when controlled by powerful emotions like love. That love theme turned into Fate in 2e, as love is sometimes viewed to be a fated thing, or even a fate-denying thing.
But that Fate theme could just as easily come to another witch through other means, like a splinter group coven of a luck god or something. You can really go nuts flavor-wise with what we have, and what we're suggesting.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm aware of what the PF1 Patron spells were like, I'm simply saying that the 2e pick-a-list is what that became. "Your Patron decides what magic you learn" and such. Considering the Witch had a good amount of spells in PF1 that ended up spread across all lists in PF2, (it's hard to ignore losing Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning as an occult witch feelsbadman) I think pick-a-list still has plenty reason to stay, both thematically and mechanically.

I liked the idea of patron-unique familiar abilities, as above in the thread, yeah. Honestly I think those *and* baked-in lessons could both exist in the class together without it becoming 'overloaded' or anything.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Heck, I could even argue that 'no items' is a little harsh, if understandable by conventional bipedal logic. You wouldn't hold a candle with both feet while fighting after all.

You could just say that an anadi only 'effectively has two arms' while in their spider form and they 'they have to two-hand most conventional items'.

There's lots of interesting rules you could homebrew out of this - but I just hope it's looked at in an official capacity as well, since it's really dogging on these poor peaceful arachnids.

But in the meantime, what's everyone's ideas for homebrew on these guys? Balance-wise, armor ideas (since yes they can RAW wear armor haha), maybe even items that help overcome the weaknesses of the RAW?

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The question is what would said Patrons actually give?

If the class is sold around Focus Spells and familiars - which, I guess it doesn't *have* to be since we're speaking in hypotheticals anyways but in the case we're still trying to keep things close to the original mechanical sell - would the Patrons give unique Hexes based on their teachings? I mean the Focus Cantrips are great examples of how unique each Patron can already be at the start. Maybe the baked-in Lessons you get can be that Patron's 'signature hexes' and then you can take feats to gain more 'generic hexes' later on from the list?

So, like, taking the Fate patron gives you 'True Strike' cantrip for example, but at, i dunno, levels 5 and 10 (or 4 and 8 or what have you) they give you... Roll the Bones and Red String, two non-cantrip Hexes that also bring you up to 3 Focus Points. Then you can still take a Basic Lesson or whatever at level 6 to gain life boost.

Because I'll admit I do like having the choice of what hexes I want, but having some more cohesion between theme and mechanics is nice, too, so maybe that's a good even ground? Maybe the free Lessons can also give you a known spell, too, like the feat-costing ones, maybe they don't. I don't know why they wouldn't.

I think the pick-a-list satisfies the old PF1 Patron class feat's 'unique known spells' thing, and 'unique patron hexes' would be a nice natural progression that at least bring all Witches up to *par* on their advertised Hexing.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This definitely feels like one of those situations where the only *real* way to actually know if a model like this would work is to... just try it. Before then all you can do - at least, as a consumer - is speculate. Paizo almost definitely has enough data to come to a conclusion on the matter.

It would be nice if someone could make another official statement - even if it's just "We currently still don't have plans for similar reasons X, Y, and Z as nine years ago."

Like, Vic's statement is reasonable and nice to have, but it *is* nine years old and I'm sure more than a few people won't be satisfied with a nine-year old answer. Things do change, after all.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's... weirdly inconsistent, too.

Like, Kitsune don't get any egregious defects from being in their tailed form.
Tengu don't NEED to have big noses for big power.

So what gives? Why is it so debilitating for certain ancestries to be in what's perceived to be their *real form* when others are just allowed to use it like the tool that it is - mostly RP-focused with social/intrigue subfocus and okay combat tools sometimes?

EDIT - For those curious, according to this 2e spell database I found there are a grand total of TEN illusion or transmutation spells that do NOT have somatic components, including all Focus Spells. So I can at this moment in time say that somatic components are an important part of those spell schools at LEAST, and that it would take some very fast handwaving to try and justify this limitation from this perspective.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

How fitting that Watery Soup is here, haha~.

I do agree, though, finding that hot chocolate recipe while reading about Nantambu was adorable and honestly gave me quite the smile on my face. I thought it was just kinda a throw-in gag at first but reading through it, it seemed like it made sense - I'd totally drink hot choco made this way.

I think seeing the deep dives into certain important peoples of the major areas was also really cool - it read out like a passed-down legend, which added to the charm of looking through these characters as people of import - especially when the tale-spinners in question were being cheeky!

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll admit I've been stewing on this one for a bit, but I decided to wait at least until the day the PDF was publicly available so that *at least* Subscribers could have a good look at things and have some time to think on them. And to also not spoil too many people on something they may have wanted to read first. But in that case, maybe you should leave before reading any further.
And to preface this, I am absolutely loving - no, ADORING the book! My brain is already stewing with ideas on characters, and the whole description of the Expanse and its peoples is just gorgeous. But, there is just one thing that's niggling in the back of my mind...

Was there any reason why the spider form on PC Anadi had to be so darn restrictive?

Can't use weapons? Sure, alright, they aren't a culture drawn to fighting, and other cultures' weapons aren't made for their body types.
Can't use shields? ...Okay, fine. It's not hard to imagine a spider holding up one of their EIGHT LEGS to Raise a Shield, which I could imagine is possible since shield straps are meant to fit on smooth arms, but whatever - again, Anadi aren't a fighting culture, so maybe their limbs just can't handle that.
Can't use held items? Yeah, sure, a lot of held items are definitely awkward for what is effectively the equivalent of a hairy bendy pole to hold - glass bottles for elixirs and potions, smooth wood of canes and staves (despite there being art of an anadi wearing a staff on its back), and the like. I get it.

Can't use *any action with the manipulate trait?* WHOA, there, bucko. Hold on. That's... a bit much. You realize how many actions... *have* the manipulate trait, right? Assuming it really does mean *just* actions RAI and it doesn't include Activities, and not counting all the Feats that have the Manipulate trait... Archives of Nethys counts *23*, and there's one more big one that I'm aware it's missing.

Now, I'm not gonna go into detail on all twenty-three Actions it listed and explain why an Anadi could use one-to-eight of their *eight legs* to at least simulate the things that finger-gifted ancestries can... unless someone else wants me to, it might be a fun exercise. I'm just gonna focus on two, since I think they not only are very detrimental to the Ancestry, but also just show a distinct lack of cohesion between flavor and function of it.

Specifically, Crafting and Casting a Spell with somatic components are both actions that have the Manipulate trait. Now, that already is a pretty big red flag - you're locked off of casting a large portion of spells *and* any Crafting while in your spider form. You *have* to change to human form, or take the Ancestry Feat to gain a Hybrid Form to do these things, along with any of the other 22 actions Archive of Nethys lists.

What do you get in exchange for losing access to weapons, shields, held items, and (for the sake of simplicity) Crafting and a lot of spells?
Agile, Unarmed Fangs that deal 1d6 piercing damage.

Whoa. Are you sure this isn't like a tested version of the Change Shape before release? Even from just a gameplay perspective this is a HUGE cost for a benefit that just isn't gonna be worth it for people who like the spider form.
If I'm a caster character, why even bother being in spider form at all? I either have to tailor my spells to not have any somatic components or just accept that I'm another ancestry for a huge chunk of time. I can't use magic items that aren't worn, and I can't even pass out potions or anything!

Moving past the cost-benefit analysis of the gameplay of this ability, it also presents I think one of the only real flavor-function dissonance moments of the book.

The other reason I chose Craft and Casting somatic Spells in particular is because of the lore implications. Not only were Anadi implied to have great scholars and spell casters, they can only Change Shape because those great minds came together and *created the magic to assume humanoid form* and passed it down through generations - a magic that is specifically mentioned to be a mixture of Illusion and Transmutation, two schools full to the brim of somatic spells! Am I to believe that they simply lost the ability to cast spells while in spider form after they learned how to Change Shape? Maybe, I guess, but it seems fudgy.

Not to mention the image used on that *exact same page* is art referencing the beautiful Peacock Spider. If you've never seen one, then I urge you to - the dances that they perform are nothing short of beautiful. And, I might add, notably complex! For raising two of their seemingly-simple stick limbs and fluttering their plumage about, it's more than what you might expect. If that's the art that you're going to use, then don't you think that an Anadi could potentially think to use two of its limbs in a similar way, but instead to wave around in complex patterns for spellcasting? I sure do!

Even more, you know what that spider is holding (YES, HOLDING)? A blanket! A blanket that one could easily assume that they crafted with their silk! As their Society block states, they're a simple people that do things like farm mushrooms or *weave blankets*. Which... wait, they can't do that unless they're in their humanoid form. You're telling me that native Anadi villages often times aren't full of spider-form Anadi, but human-form Anadi? That seems a bit odd, since they only have that form to make themselves look more amicable for other cultures for trade!

And the salt on the wound? They included the NPC stat blocks for the Anadi Hunter, Sage, and Elder in the book, too - the ones from Age of Ashes: Hellknight Hill according to Archives of Nethys. And they're unchanged from those books.
The Change Shape from *those* stat blocks indicates that Anadi in their spider form can't use... weapons. That's it. Just can't use weapons. Yes, even the level 2-equivalent Anadi Hunter who can't take Hybrid Form yet (even though it wouldn't change what they can or can't do in their spider form regardless and they still have hybrid form because NPC levels aren't real).

I just - really? Either this was a major oversight, or somebody was just waaaay too overzealous to balance a 1d6 fang attack even at the cost of both flavor and fun. Even so, so what if it 'doesn't make sense' if my Anadi can hold a glass bottle - isn't it more fun to come up with a way to roleplay that sort of thing with a table?

I dunno, I'm definitely taking this a bit far with all this text, but at least this was my thought process when trying to mentally process this bit of info in one of the book's creative ancestries - the most adorable, in my opinion. If there's any other people wanting to discuss this, then that'd be great! This would definitely be something I'd have to change with a GM, but others aren't me, so it'd be interesting if others had differing opinions. And either way, discussion probably drives the chance of someone at Paizo looking at this up, which is cool too.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think a big problem for the Witch at the moment is it feels like it was built with a core identity in mind like Oracles but was given no baked-in way of increasing that core identity while also diversifying.

Oracles get their Major and Extreme curses automatically and even two Oracles of the same mystery could still end up feeling notably diverse given their class feat choices.

Witches right now feel like they just... have to choose to either 'Be a better Witch' by picking Lessons or to sidegrade and either put off their core class identity for flavor or forego it altogether.

It also doesn't help that the Witch not only got saddled with these 'identity progression feats' but also had potential feat slots wasted with the generic shared caster feats. Seriously, the only unique Metamagic feat Witch gets is Split Hex, at 18th level? Man, that sucks.

And while yes, a lot of this *could* be helped by a better selection of feats in the future books, that also still doesn't help the 'either progress in your class or don't' feeling that Witch gives.

Wizards *AT LEAST* get great spell slots and don't have a real identity holding them down. One wizard can focus on metamagic and the other can focus on the feats that give them access to more spells and even focus spells in general and neither will walk away feeling like they 'missed something'.

I guess as an example of a similar thing that I don't find egregious - Clerics also have to spend feats on their Focus Spells. But, at the same time, if you ask me, a Cleric's identity isn't *mainly* on their focus spells - it's a combination of their Doctrine and their god's divine powers - which are both baked-in to the class via the Doctrine and the Divine Font, along with the extra spells on their list. Two Clerics of Sarenrae could diverge, too - one decides to focus on their god's domain spells and the other on improving their font or... I dunno, only taking 'Hands' feats. Either way, neither of them feel like less of a Sarenrae Cleric than the other.

I like the idea of baking in the Lessons with level progression. Even if it was just two baked-in lessons to get you to 3 Focus Points and 3 non-cantrip Hexes, and you had to use a feat to get Extra Lessons along the way, that STILL goes a long way in making Witches diverse but *also* not making them feel like they had to not be as Witchy to do so.

I dunno, this post is all over the place but that's kinda how I am with the Witch - I don't dislike it's current incarnation, I just feel like it's having an identity crisis of sorts in a way. It was sold as a Focus-spell-based class with a better-than-average familiar... who has to pay their way into Focus Spells. At least we get Familiar Ability progression for free, which is nice, but regardless of your stance of familiar viability it's still only half of what we 'were promised' so-to-speak.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lyz Liddell wrote:
And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.

Well, if the Witch's powers stem from their learning with/through the familiar (which by extension stems from the patron), shouldn't the avenue with which Witches DO ridiculous things be through their familiar? Just a thought.

And I do realize that you likely mean "ridiculous things" like "purposefully throwing the thing in front of a Fire Elemental and it surviving" level of ridiculous, but there should be incentive still for Witch familiars to do *great* things, at least at higher levels. Part of the fun of familiars in PF1 was that (even with their general unwieldiness in combat sometimes) they had their little moments just like their Witch did. I mean, if I have a character sheet for it, why wouldn't I want to have them be a part of the adventure?

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ediwir wrote:

Still amazed at how many people suggest to patch the issue rather than removing it.

This is a playtest, people. It's not set in stone, and we caught it. Good job. Now we have to stop trying to build a leaning tower over this and work out a real solution, or it'll eventually collapse.

To what exactly are you referring here? Which solutions do you believe are more patches than problem solving, and what would you suggest instead? While I would assume you mean suggestions like the Familiar Satchel and being able to simply stow it away, your wording is a little unclear.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That would actually be a neat class feat for like a poppet witch dedication - instead of a living animal you have a plushie that acts as a bonded item.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is maybe that the secret, then? Give the familiar a boost in power in exchange for the Witch 'returning the favor', so to speak? That could actually tie really well to helping solidify patrons as a concept as well, like discussed in other threads.

It would even work for patrons that aren't 'living' (i.e. wellsprings of elemental or primal energy) if you flavor it as the familiar asking for the 'tax'. You could even say that the patron influences both you and your familiar towards certain inclinations.

So, for example, someone who's patron is a hag (and more actively involved in the witch's progression) might require that the Witch spreads fear among the people regularly, whereas someone who's patron is the magical energies of the Forest of Spirits (more of an intangible source of power) might mentally nudge the witch and familiar to pray to seemingly-mundane things in order to please whatever kami might be residing within them. And in all this, the familiar is the one "keeping tabs" so to speak.

As much as I dislike the witch having an 'anathema' mechanic, it could work similarly in that if you don't keep up whatever thing your familiar (and by extension the patron) tends to do your familiar, like, loses something in exchange?

EDIT: Or maybe it could work in an inverse? If you perform your weird ritual thing then your familiar GAINS bonuses?

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That's kind of what I've been getting at, Midnightoker, though I've always been more of the belief that the witch and the familiar grow as a unit. Less of a "do as I say" relationship like other caster's companions/familiars and more of an equal "hey, do you mind?" request.
Witch familiars may be sent by the patron, but it doesn't know everything by the start (why you're still a learned caster instead of knowing everything in your list), so as you level and gain more lessons you AND your familiar are kinda decoding the messy lessons your patron is giving you. Does that make sense?

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't personally see the point of a familiar if it's NOT tied in with your spells. The whole idea is that your patron (whatever it may be) gave you a middle-man from which you learn your magic. If you take its spellbook like nature away, then it's just a normal familiar with no real point of being there than just to be there.

Taking away the punishment for losing the familiar seems... somehow wrong, too? I'm not sure how to put it. Like, it's already a little more forgiving than Wizard's, and I don't wanna be eating my Wizard's lunch over here, too by actually being able to get mine back without spending all my reserved gold on replacement scrolls.

Of course, the punishment can and is effectively game-ending for either class at certain points for a lot of campaigns, and that's not okay, either.

In a vacuum, I personally think the most fun way of dealing with this issue is making the familiar actually better than other casters', as per the flavor encounter-wise, since that would both dissuade people from treating it like a non-living spellbook (since they can actually use it), and make the risk of actually using your familiar a strategic choice - do I have my buddy help me out on this one, or should they tread carefully this time? - instead of always defaulting to "safety first" mode. I realize I'm using vague terms here, but I'm not thinking of specifics more than the direction of taking this issue.

(Of course, it's very possible that there's a good compromise between the two, where the familiar is useful but not a second PC, and also not game-ending to lose. But, if I had to pick between a spellbook-animal that is low-risk but still less effective than a crossbow, or a high-risk animal spellbook that can actually make use of being a commandable creature, I'd take the latter any day.)

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Lifelink is already a familiar power, and effectively allows HP sharing

Note: Lifelink is *not* really relatable to HP sharing. It's an ability which allows specifically the Master to take the full brunt of any attack which would kill your familiar. There's no way for the familiar to do the same for the Master in the ability, nor is there any number-splitting. It's the Master eating whatever damage would kill their familiar, simple as that.

Which, in a lot of cases of AoE, would end up with either a very hurt or unconscious Witch, since if they both failed the save and the Witch wanted to save their little guy, they'd be taking double damage. And even then, eating a bunch of damage from a single-target attack is still likely not something a 6 HP/level full caster would appreciate anyways.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Ninja'd above, but I wrote this all out so I'll keep it anyways:
Except a Wizard doesn't have class feats and flavor text associated with their spellbook implying that they should be actively doing something with their spellbook at all during encounters.

A Wizard can actually put their spellbook into a bag (hopefully a safe one) and their player can be content in knowing that they aren't playing the class wrong. They've set their spells for the day, they lock up their secret arcane notebook and they go along with their day hopefully having slotted the correct spells. That's how the Wizard is flavored and how it plays. You generally don't have your spellbook out during an encounter.

A Witch sets their spells for the day... and now they have an extra character sheet with them that's not even equivalent to someone with half your class levels in most cases. If it even attempts to use Spell Delivery it faces a likely risk of death (which does carry implication with your patron as well, so it's not like it's completely free for you to just keep sending her in willy-nilly). The Witch player now feels like they might not be getting the most out of their class since now they feel like they have to protect this thing out in the field, or lock up the poor thing and just treat it like a living spell textbook, even though The Book told them that their familiars should be better than that.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

AoEs? Incidental traps that wouldn't have killed a player but would kill a familiar due to its extremely low HP? Attacks made by intelligent combatants because, despite how people like to treat them, they *are* in fact a separate, living creature able to be targeted?

And besides, you're given the option to command your familiar in encounters with a specific action that gives them two actions to use on your turn. How does that *not* insinuate some intent for them to be used in encounters (which are primarily combat)? And to be frank, that's kind of me pointing to familiars in general not being really that effective in PF2e, not just Witches' critters.

But Witches' familiars are stated flat-out in the text to be "more powerful than the simple creatures most other spellcasters call their familiars" and yet we get something that gets, sure, more F/M abilities but is also just a liability due to its load-bearing nature. If I'm expected to be combat casting and my familiar is my conduit shouldn't it make sense that that familiar is capable of at least holding its own against even one measly attack?

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I understand that a lot of people don't like using their familiar to the fullest since it takes a lot of table time, but I think that mindset should be considered the "optional and talk to your DM" bit rather than the default - I shouldn't *have* to spend 360 GP to keep my familiar tucked away in an extradimensional space so it has more than a half-chance in survival, especially when it's kinda glued to the class by lore.

The Witch's familiar should be able to stand up on its own two feet (or four, or one, or whatever) without having to sweet-talk the GM into maybe not having the kobold aim his crossbow at my spellbook or without having to just ignore it. A class feature that is better ignored is a failure as a class feature, after all.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hell, since the familiar is in many ways treated as the source of your spells (it's the one that learns the things on your list *and* the spells from your lessons) I could even see a feat tree that gives it some way to cast your (non-Hex)spells, too. Obviously if you do that, a clause should be made that you can't cast spells in the same turn as your familiar so you don't get any of those silly dual-casting shenanigans that the designers try to shy away from a lot.

Like, I understand that a line between Familiars and Animal Companions needs to be drawn, since they are different by nature and separate the classes of beasts into different niches, but personally I think there's some room to give Witch familiars a little more combat utility than the average familiar, because Spell Delivery just ain't doin' it on its own.

ALL familiars can already do a little more out-of-combat than usual because you can just attune them to speak Common one day and to use their tails as hands another day. Witch familiars should be able to do more *with* their master, since they're both your spellbook *and* your substitute teacher.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I admit that that's a pretty genius idea for getting around the RAW as-is (really, I would have never thought of that; good job) I'm more wondering what could be done to fix the issue so it doesn't feel like we're working around a liability dressed as a spellbook.

I can understand having a squishy boi during early levels, but maybe if there was a collection of Witch Feats that could either give you a larger pool of F/M abilities to choose from, or just make your little liaison more capable, it would actually make it seem like both you and your familiar are improving over time.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Throwing aside discussion of Hexes and patrons and traditions for a second, let's talk about one of the other things that sets a Witch apart from other casters: their reliance on the cute little beasts as their textbook and spellbooks.

Specifically, about how the only thing that makes a Witch familiar better than others being the extra F/M abilities you get.

Personally, I think since your little buddy has the frankly severe drawback of being a separate, targetable creature that is also your spell conduit there should be some other pieces in place to make sure they're not instantly dead if caught in an AoE or something.
I know they get Damage Avoidance as a familiar ability and Lifelink as a master ability, but ALL familiars only have 5 HP per master's level. These two skills are still risky at best, one depending on making saves (and doing nothing against regular attacks) and the other putting your own life at risk.
Since you get the immediate penalty of losing non-lesson spells until next prep (and even then not gaining most of them back until the end of the week), do you all think we should get better protections for our boys?
What are your ideas? I do wanna hear what others feel on the subject a lot, since I think this is a pretty important point - after all, I don't wanna have a familiar that has to stay cooped up in a box for fear of them dying from a gust of wind.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think people are forgetting the true flavor of Witch here - at least, how it's presented currently.

The gist of it is this (granted it's the way I've interpreted it) - A magical beast representing some sort of powerful force (the patron) has come along and agreed to teach you how to cast spells. These spells are from a tradition that is based on your first lesson (usually based upon your patron's specialties or something of the sort). The Witch themselves is simply learning the magic as it's being taught.

So, an Arcane Witch would be taught in the ways of the Material and Mental essences, the Primal Witch learns Material and Vital essences, and Occult learns Mental and Spiritual.

I personally don't see any reason why a familiar couldn't feasibly teach someone how to harness the Spiritual and Vital essences if their patron could do so.

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