Advanced Feats: The Witch's Brew (PFRPG) PDF

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The Witch’s Brew mixes together a cauldron full of feats and builds to create a witch character for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game that evokes the awe and dread of medieval folklore.

    Created by Sigfried Trent, this 14-page book includes:
  • A breakdown of the Witch class
  • 30 new feats for witches including Craft Magic Tattoo, Usurp Spell and Familiar Reincarnation
  • Witch character builds: arch-witch, white witch and wicked witch!

Teach your enemies not to trifle with powers beyond their comprehension: get your copy of Advanced Feats: The Witch’s Brew today!

Includes a HeroLab data file for almost all the feats in the PDF. (Because Hero Lab doesn't currently support multiple spellbooks or familiars (it can handle familiar & companion, but not two of the same), this data file does not cover Serve Two Masters and Extra Familiar.)

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4.30/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Dissapointing

2/5

Looking through the feats presented here, sadly most fall into the trap of "cool idea, impractical for actual gameplay".

For example the very first feat is one that reduces ability damage taken. Hmm. How often is ability damage a problem? Certaintly not enough to have the party healer run around with restoration memorized 100% of the time, except possibly for an undead focused campaign.

There are a LOT of feats dedicated to counterspelling and dispelling...again, counterspelling is not a viable option, and spending feats to make it partially viable doesn't make sense when the witch is a feat intensive class (all those extra hexes you need, not to mention metamagic options).

Perhaps most puzzling is a craft magic tattoo feat...when there is an existing inscribe magical tattoo feat, that doesn't reduce con score. The authors seem to be under the assumption that giving any character a magic item that can duplicate a spell is a big deal...when existing magic items already exist for that very purpose (boots of haste anyone?) and there are already existing magic item creation rules to make items that can duplicate spell effects, again, without the con score penalty, or needing CL 9 before being able to take the feat and start crafting.

Expert healing at first glance looks like a great idea, although the heal skill has a rather underpowered option to do something similar (treat deadly wounds). The main problem with expert healing is that the DC check is extremly high...most witches would only be able to take 10 on this skill at level 5, at which point healing 1d4 damage is essentially pointless. One use of a healer's kit costs 5 gp, and a wand of infernal healing is 15 gp for 10 hp in the same amount of time...except no checks are needed.

There are also a large number of familiar related feats that are mostly for niche uses. For example, you could take a feat that lets you use your character instead of class level for witch familiars. Any character that is dipping into witch for a hex or two is not going to care about having a high level familiar anyway.

Linked Resistance is just not useful...by the time your familiar does have spell resistance, having it out in the open is essentially suicide, and the SR would only block an equal level caster 25% of the time or so, and you are taking a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity to get it for 1d4 rounds. Instead of doing that, you could shut the enemy caster down with a save or lose spell or do anything else that would not endanger your familiar and yourself.

Despite all that, there are some very nice feats here. Opportunity counterspell allows more counterspells to potentially happen...assuming your campaign does reach level 15+. Potent hex is a nice way to increase your hex DCs, but might make your DM pause...especially if used in conjunction with Ability Focus. Rememorize gives the witch more versatility spell wise...although the 1 hour timer does seriously limit it's uses (no switching out utility spells unless you have plenty of time to spare, which isn't often).

Unfortunately even many of the feats which have good rules suffer from far too many restrictions. Seduction is potentially great for both roleplaying and for having the witch contribute to social encounters...but the cha 13 requirement essentially limits it to players who roll exceedingly well for stats, and honestly could be done much better with the typical kitsune sorcerer. The requirements for being able to take a second patron is also far too high...pay a feat to get some more utility spells? Sure! Needing to take a pre-requisite feat just to take a feat for more utility spells? Na.

Several pages are also devoted to sample builds which are unfortunately, poorly done. For example the Arch Witch is built around counterspelling...which is a really terrible idea unless your DM throws mostly spellcasters at you (which the rest of the party is unlikely to appreciate, given the number of save or lose spells which they would be facing). Not only that, but she is nearly defenceless until level 4 where she gets the slumber hex (casting burning hands is unlikely to help much. Does anyone even take burning hands these days when you can take sleep?).

At $4, i honestly expected a lot more practical rules that would fit a wide variety of campaigns. It's unfortunate that too much of the stuff in it is simply based on the rule of cool or underpowered because the authors were too cautious.


awesome book

5/5

A very awesome book, that is simple and elegant in what it offers.

The feats are all pretty solid and I like how a fair amount are more flavorful, roleplay oriented as opposed to straight power boosts.

I *highly* recommend this book for anybody looking to build a Witch, or any caster for that mater.


A nice bunch of options for Witches

4/5

This pdf is 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving 11 pages of content.

The pdf, as all advanced feat books, opens with a introduction and discussion of the class.
After this short discussion, we get the meat of the book, 30 new feats for Witches.

The feats are:

Ability Damage Resistance: Reduce all ability damage by 2 points

Counterspell Feedback: Damage casters when countering their spells
Craft Magic Tattoo: Tattoo yourself and others with spell effects

Delay Spell: Delay the effect of a spell

Discriminating Spell: Alter a spell to affect or not affect a chosen race or creature type

Dispel Mastery: +3 bonus to dispel checks

Expert Healing: Heal 1d4 damage using a healer’s kit

Extra Familiar: Summon an additional familiar

Familiar Concentration: Familiar can maintain spell concentration

Familiar Development: Familiar gains abilities as if 2 levels higher

Familiar Feat: Familiar learns a feat

Familiar Focus: Familiar’s abilities are based on your character level

Familiar Range Extension: Familiar’s range extends to 100 miles

Familiar Reincarnation: New familiars know the spells of former familiars

Familiar Training: Familiar can utilize your feats

Guarded Casting: Fight defensively while casting spells and activating magic items

Hexing Familiar: Familiar performs hexes

Improved Caster Level: Increase CL by 4, up to character level

Infer Spell: Learn spells from spell trigger or spell completion magic items

Linked Resistance: Gain your familiars spell resistance for 1d4 rounds

Mass Effect Spell: Single target spells affect multiple targets

Opportunity Counterspell: Counterspell without a readied action

Potent Hex: +1 to hex DC

Rememorize: Change a prepared spell in 1 hour

Robust Health: +4 to saves against poison and disease

Seduction: Gain bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Charm spells

Serve Two Masters: Gain a second set of patron spells

Signature Focus: Create an expensive item that replaces costly spell components

Soul Mate: Sense when your soul mate is in danger and gain a bonus to skill checks used on them

Touch Mastery: Use spellcasting ability score on touch attacks

Usurp Spell: Gain benefits of spell countered

Comments on select feats:

Ability Damage Resistance: Ok, why does this not have a prerequisite? 2 points ability damage less? That's a godsend at lower levels! Why doesn't it explain how this resistance comes about? A little fluff-blurb would have gone a long way to make this feat feel less metagamey.

Counterspell Feedback: Cool idea, neat balancing. I would take it.

Delay Spell: Another very good and strategic idea I like. Players will LOVE this.

Discriminating Spell: Another feat I like, as I use the mechanic already in my rather dark and grim home-campaign, where I've substituted alignment-based attacks with character belief-based ones. Neat.

Expert Healing: A godsend for low-magic campaigns that don't feature your med-kit cleric/druid at every corner.

Familiar Development feats: I liked them, as they make the witch feel more unique and her familiar different from e.g. the Wizard's one. It also forces hard choices on the PC: Use the familiar and risk it being hurt? Etc.
Infer Spell: While I like the idea, I somewhat have a mild disdain for the execution - learning spells from any items with one check seems wrong to me, but that is just my personal preference.

Mass-Effect Spell: Gold for buff/debuff casters and a nice alternative to all the mass X spells.
Opportunity Counterspell: Steep requirements, cool payoff. Never build your high-level caster without it.

Rememorize: Nice feat if you don't use the alternative rules of replacing spells in 15 minutes.

Robust Health: Great idea to help against poisons etc without conferring immunity.

Seduction: Just up my alley, this is a roleplaying feat as in opposed to roll-playing. Plus: I like some potentially adult themes in my games. Nice.

Serve Two Masters: This feat screams "character backstory"-development. I like it.

Usurp Spell: Complimentary to "Parry Spell", this feat is a good idea.

The pdf also has three sample builds, the Arch Witch, the White Witch and the Wicked Witch.

Conclusion:
Editing and layout are top-notch, gone is the parchment-like printer-unfriendly layout of "Secrets of the Alchemist". I didn't notice any typos. The cover artwork is the only one in the file and nice, although it didn't impress me either. All in all, I felt that this installment of Advanced Feats is superior to the one on the alchemist, mainly because I didn't find any feats I considered unsalvageable/broken. While "Rememorize" collides with the alternative rules I use and while "Ability Damage Reduction" still feels plain wrong to me, my overall impression is that this book focuses more on the Witch and making the class more unique, make her stand out more etc - i.e., it is more focused. Due to this focus and the overall improvement of both content and layout, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars. While not perfect or as good as "Cavalier's Creed", this is a worthy addition to any Witches arsenal.


5/5


30 New feats for witch's

5/5

As often is the case my review wouldn't fit. See forum post for full review.


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So, anyone got a copy of this yet, or not?

I am curious about the 'Familiar Reincarnation' bit. I have this strange idea of a witch killing someone and then reincarnating them as a new familiar...

Dark Archive

Yes I have it. I should have a review up for it by this weekend. The feat you mention just means the familiar does not lose the spells learned if killed and brought back. Which was the biggest thing that bugged me about the witch in the APG.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Yes I have it. I should have a review up for it by this weekend. The feat you mention just means the familiar does not lose the spells learned if killed and brought back. Which was the biggest thing that bugged me about the witch in the APG.

Yes, now that you describe it that does indeed sound like a very good idea for a witch feat.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Yes, now that you describe it that does indeed sound like a very good idea for a witch feat.

Sigfried's concepts for feats are astonishly good, and balanced. I suspect his many years as a leader of the Netbook of Feats, seeing 1000s of feats and discussing them, mean he's got a big trove of experience.

We will probably post a sample feat on the KQ.com blog next week.

Dark Archive

I picked this up yesterday. I liked the character builds. Some of the feats were cool. The Familiar Reincarnation should be a standard part of the class. Since the familiar is it's spellbook...if it dies...you lose all your spells? That's even worse than the Wizard's penalty for losing an arcane bonded item. A couple of the other feats are pretty cool too.


Thanks!

I always want the feats to be attractive and that means they need to either be full of flavor or have a decent impact on character performance. Those I like the best are the ones that let you do something entirely new, but they tend to be the minority and are the hardest to balance.

I feel a feat no one will take is in some ways worse than a feat that is too strong. At least someone is having fun with the broken one. A clever player can break nearly any system that has enough moving parts. None the less I do try to get the balance right and many ideas never see print because they are just too easy to abuse or are just too good.

I really like having the comment sections in this series as it lets me flag those feats that I think have potential for abuse. It really depends on what kind of players you have and what level of power you expect them to wield. Ideally you want a nice tension between players striving for success and a challenge that makes that effort feel worth while.


Hi Mister Trent,

Just want to say that I love what you've done with the Witch and the Alchemist. Can we hope to see similar PDFs revolving around other APG classes like the Summoner and Inquisitor?


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Can we hope to see similar PDFs revolving around other APG classes like the Summoner and Inquisitor?

Thanks kindly :)

Yes indeed. The plan is to do a PDF for each of the APG classes. I'm working on the last parts of Summoner now which will be the next in the series and probably the largest as each build essentially involves making two characters in tandem.

Dark Archive

I have read it now, but have not had time to write a review yet. I will say I think this one is better than your last one. Other than the print issue, I think these feats as a whole are better.

So after you are done with the feats, when are you going to start on new class options? bombs and stuff for alchemist, hexes for witches etc?

The Exchange Kobold Press

There's been a fair number of reviews so far. Here's one example, I'm just waiting to see one here.

Dark Archive

I should have mine up tomorrow if things work out the way i expect.

Dark Archive

My review. Posted it here and at ENworld as always.

The Witch's Brew by Open Design

This product is 14 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, credits and Intro (3 pages)

Next it jumps into examining the new witch class from the APG from paizo. It looks at all the classes powers and the good and bad aspects of the witch. (1 pages)

After that it moves onto 30 new feats. (6 pages)
Ability Damage Resistance – reduces ability dmg
Counterspell Feedback – damage caster of the spell you counter
Craft Magic Tattoo – Create a tattoo with spell like ability
Delay Spell – delays the spell effect
Discriminating Spell – can choose to not effect a race or creature type.
Dispell Mastery – bonus to dispell checks.
Expert Healing – bonus dmg healed when using heal skill
Extra Familiar – get a extra familiar.
Familiar Concentration – familiar can maintain a concentration spell for caster.
Familiar Development – familiar gains abilities as if caster was two levels higher.
Familiar Feat – familiar learns a feat.
Familiar Focus – familiar abilities are based on your character level instead of class level.
Familiar Range Extension – Familiar can roam further from you.
Familiar Reincarnation – Familiar comes back knowing all the same spells.
Familiar Training – familiar can use your feats.
Guarded Casting – can fight defensively while casting spells.
Hexing Familiar – familiar may use any basic hex you know, not in the same round as you.
Improved Caster Level – cast spells as if higher level, but no higher than character level.
Infer Spell – can learn spells from spell triggers etc.
Linked Resistance – gain familiars resistance for short time
Mass Effect Spell – single target spells effect more targets.
Opportunity Counterspell – able to counter spell with out ready action.
Potent Hex – higher DC for hexes.
Rememorize – can swap out a memorized spell for another with time.
Robust Health – bonus save vs poison and disease.
Seduction – bonus to bluff, diplomacy skills and charm spells.
Serve Two Masters – gain second set of patron spells.
Signature Focus – expensive item that takes the place of materials for spells.
Soul Mate – can sense when soul mate in trouble and bonus to skill checks used on them.
Touch Mastery – may use spell casting stat in place of str on touch attacks.
Usurp Spell – When countering a spell may have it effect you instead of target.

Next it gets into character builds giving three types of witch builds to help people build witch characters. (3 pages)
Arch Witch – Focuses on dominating other spell casters.
White Witch – More healing and battle field control build
Wicked Witch – battle field control and hexes.

It finishes with a OGL.

Closing Thoughts. The cover art is use twice and that is the only artwork in the book. There is a few side bars explaining why some things was done by the author. This time unlike the last one in the series it is a lot more printer friendly. I thought the feats where better this time with none I couldn't see someone taking and many are up there with some of the better feats in the game. I don't think any are over powered though a few are on the high end of the scale with Paizo's feats.

My only real complaints about the book is, it still could have been more print friendly. The faint arcane background images look cool and would not be bad on a printer but I would have still liked to seen a true print friendly version as well. The other complaint is there was something screwy with the copy and paste. While trying to copy and paste the names of the feats to this review it kept having copy errors. I am not sure what could be causing it and none of my other PDF's have this problem. Both are fairly minor issues.

My rating this time falls as follows. For those looking for more options for witch's and advice for builds then this is a 5 star. For those just looking for some new options for the witch then this is a 4.5 star. For the rest I still say it is a 3 star as many of the feats can be used by other classes and they are well done.


I would love that you don’t just do this for the APG classes but also for the other classes. I could mention Priests as one class with very few class specific feats. I will remind you that not all play a Priest as a healing machine wearing plate armor; a shield and mace... some actually play them as casters or combat buffers.

The amount of feats that are meant for martial classes are so vast compared to what is available for classes like druids and priests.

Where are all the feats specific for feral druids that want to focus a lot on their shape shifting? With the introduction of APG there are almost more feats affecting how to use a crossbow than feats the specifically enhance/alter abilities of druids and priest.

It might not come as a surprise that I am not very impressed on than additions APG gave to priests compared to other old classes.
So create these for the original classes too.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Given how popular the series has been so far, I think visiting priests and other base classes is fairly likely.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've been really pleased with the great feedback on the series so far. I wasn't sure if the format would work since its quite a bit different from your typical feat list or splat book.

Personally I love the ability to not only write the feats, but give the story behind the feats or ideas for using them.

If the series does well I'd love to tackle the core classes. I just hope the well of ideas doesn't run dry. When this series is done it will contain 180 new feats which is close to the number in the players guide.

One of my design principles for feats is to make them as widely applicable as possible. Most of the feats in Witch's Brew would be great for a wizard or nearly any spell caster. Secret's of the Alchemist has a few feats than any fighter might drool over. Generally no more than a third of the feats will be usable only by the class covered.

The Exchange Kobold Press

A big thank you to EVERYONE who made this the #1 bestselling non-Paizo release on the site this past week!

Shadow Lodge

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
A big thank you to EVERYONE who made this the #1 bestselling non-Paizo release on the site this past week!

Woo hoo! Congrats, Sigfried and Wolfgang!


Wolfgang Baur wrote:

A big thank you to EVERYONE who made this the #1 bestselling non-Paizo release on the site this past week!

It deserved the honor. I just wish the Summoner PDF had gotten as much love.

Dark Archive

Well nice to see another review... but some text would have been nice. :)


Added a review. Love the book. quick question tho:

Does the bonus to Charm spells from Seduction work all the time, or just against the same people the skill bonuses work with??


Monkeygod wrote:

Added a review. Love the book. quick question tho:

Does the bonus to Charm spells from Seduction work all the time, or just against the same people the skill bonuses work with??

My intent was that the bonus applied to all charm spells regardless of the target's normal "interests."

And thanks for the review!


The Soul mate feat references a Gather Information check. This is a 3.5ism and should probably reference a Diplomacy to gather the relevant information.


I have to admit, I love this book. I've been playing a witch in our current campaign, and my GM has allowed several feats here as options for our campaign. One of my favorites in this book right now is simple but effective. Potent Hex is essential for me, anything to keep my hexes DC's higher is always nice! Thanks for a great book that still gets a whole lot of use in 2012!

Grand Lodge

Sigfried Trent wrote:
I really like having the comment sections in this series as it lets me flag those feats that I think have potential for abuse. It really depends on what kind of players you have and what level of power you expect them to wield. Ideally you want a nice tension between players striving for success and a challenge that makes that effort feel worth while.

I've become intimately familiar with this product over the past couple days, and I just wanted to say that I'm noticing something I didn't appreciate the first go-round, and that's this bit above.

There are a lot of feats in here that are overpowered. I can't deny it because I wouldn't allow them at my table.

However, on almost every one that I would ban, Sigfried says as much, and then goes into why he included it anyway, and I generally agree with the reasons. He'll occasionally even list how you could limit them, and on one occasion come right out and said he wouldn't allow it at his own table.

A lot of game authors design product they want to see at their table, but Sigfried has a good sense of being able to design for everyone, not just those that agree with his sense of balance.

And I might not have figured that out if it weren't for the annotations, which do a good job of making me think about the power level first before blanket accepting/banning.

Much appreciated!

Dark Archive

Caedwyr wrote:
The Soul mate feat references a Gather Information check. This is a 3.5ism and should probably reference a Diplomacy to gather the relevant information.

It probably should not be capitalized, but I believe the gather information usage of the Diplomacy skill is still referred to as a gather information check in Pathfinder. If not in print, then definitely out of habit.

The Exchange Kobold Press

This PDF now also includes a Hero Lab data file as part of the download, I think, if the Paizonians have flipped the switch.

Given that Gen Con is just a couple days past, I might be 24 hours ahead of the Store Gninja. For once. :)


Bought and downloaded this today, however rather than a PDF file I find the .zip ONLY contains an unknown ".hl" file that Windows 7 does not recognize and refuses to open. I am guessing this is the Hero Lab file mentioned above. Unfortunately it does not seem to contain the PDF I bought it for >_>

Contributor

Updated to include HeroLab file. Blitterbug, please try downloading it again: it should have the HL file (which is the HeroLab data file) as well as your PDF.


Liz Courts wrote:
Updated to include HeroLab file. Blitterbug, please try downloading it again: it should have the HL file (which is the HeroLab data file) as well as your PDF.

Got it, and thank you :D

Grand Lodge

For those of you who've played with the Hero Lab editor, there is a quick and dirty trick to creating a "second" spellbook that's specific to the character.

see the last two posts from this thead on the Lone Wolf Forums gives a basic rundown of how to to do it. (The thread also explains why a workaround is necessary, adding a page count to your spellbook, and also making it so your new spell lists the DC required to memorize if it's from a borrowed spellbook):
Support for Multiple Spellbooks

In short:
* go into the editor
* click on the "spell" tab
* click "duplicate spell" and pick the spell you are adding to your second spellbook
* Add a notation to the name (such as 2 for spellbook 2 or Kurzog's Fireball) to indicate which spellbook it's from)
* give it a new unique ID (located next to item name)

the next time you open hero lab you should be able to add this new spell to the chracter's spellbook, essentially having two spellbooks listed in the same place. If you are familiar with creating new sources, you may want to add one labled as your characters name so you can turn the dataset off when using another PC

The Exchange Kobold Press

I love this community. Thank you Poizon37, that is extremely helpful.

Grand Lodge

Me too. And after the generosity I've seen from it today, it's going to take me a long time to catch up to the good karma. I best get cracking... after prepping for tomorrows game, of course.

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