Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Coven (PFRPG)

4.40/5 (based on 11 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Coven (PFRPG)
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Are You a Good Witch? Or a Bad Witch?

Wizards may wield studied spells and clerics pray to the gods themselves, but witchcraft—wild, untamed, perilous—is the magic of the common folk, with all the desperation and danger that implies. Embodied by hags and their half-blood daughters, changelings, witchcraft has always been one of the broadest, most potent, and most misunderstood forces of magic... until now. Learn the dark rituals and curses witchcraft empowers, and the good it stands to do in the world as well.

Inside this book you'll find:

  • An examination of the changeling race, including changeling covens, enhanced hag heritage, and specific rules for the 10 subraces of changelings, depending on their hag mothers.
  • New hag- and witchcraft-focused archetypes for a variety of classes, including bloodragers, clerics, investigators, and witches.
  • New curse spells and magic rituals employed by witches, as well as curse-related feats to help adventurers get the most out of a bad day.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but it can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-982-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Amok, Amok, Amok!


Rather enjoyed this product. The specific changeling heritages are both descriptive and varied, much like the “Blood of Angels/Fiends” books were, with an addition to unlock more of your hag-heritage!

Also, of note was an expansion on patrons, called ‘agendas’ – you can now have a patron that perhaps pays more attention to you than other witches, and include both boons and banes.

There is some material about hags and covens, but it doesn’t make the mistake Blood of the Night’s mistake with dedicating player options for vampires. Informative, but short.

Of the archetypes, the malice binder was very cool and interesting: a witch hunter that uses a specific magic to aid in battling their prey. It is an archetype that I would like to see have more options released in future products regarding one of its selectable class abilities (similar to new discoveries).


One of the best

5/5

Strong archetypes, great changeling material, cool new spells and rituals. Even the magic items section is creative, useful, and even pretty funny.


Mama always said not to wander too deep into the woods

4/5

Blood of the Coven is a well-worth addition to the Pathfinder Library of both players and game masters.

This Player Companion begins by expanding on the Changelings, both in terms of rules mechanics and lore. It starts off by expanding on the lore presented in the Advanced Race Guide and Inner Sea Races, and moves on to a guideline for Changelings based on non humans, and a note that the Hags with the Outsider type can also create Changelings.

Changelings get some good options in this book. They received the treatment given to Aasimar, Tieflings and Skinwalkers, being given ten(!) optional varieties tied closely to the Changeling’s hag mother. Each lists a typical alignment (which is one variety of Neutral or another, except for Waker May, born from Dreamthief hag’s coven-mates, into whom the Dreamthief pours their fiendish soul). These variants also alter the racial ability modifiers of the changeling, though most have at least one or two modifiers in common with the non-speciality Changeling. Finally, the variants are each given a Hag Racial Trait, usefully collected from the various Bestiary entries of Hags, expanding the options from the Advanced Class Guide.

This section is excellent, and my only real disappointment is that Slag May, Annis-born Changelings retain a constitution penalty, the only mar on them making absolutely perfect Bloodragers. Why bloodragers? I’ll get to that, but it's by no means a deal breaker.

The next section covers Covens. Once more, Blood of the Covens does some very useful leg-work in collating information on hags, in this place, the specific spells which a given hag contributes to their coven spellcasting. Additionally, there are a few feats in this section: The shiner here to me is Enhanced Coven. Each changeling with the feat gains an additional 3 coven ‘slots’ per day.

Next up is a fairly long section on Witchcraft. Patrons receive a set of archetypes which left you graft some spells onto your patron spell list, and at the cost of a drawback, you get a bonus hex. The drawbacks by and large are either minor or quite flavourful: the Celestial Agenda wants you to not deceive or threaten people, the Green Whispers patron forbids metal armor and inflicts minor damage in contact with metal and those whose patron is Touched By The Outer Gods are easily confused.

This section also contacts three archetypes for witches, of which my favourite has to be the Hagbound. Hagbound Witches have to take the archetype as their first level, and must continue to take levels in hagbound witch until they can free themselves from the hold a hag has on their souls, slowly transforming them into a Hag, becoming an evil monstrous humanoid with several immunities and hefty spell resistance, unless she can remove the archetype with a miracle before you hit 20th level. The putrefactor gains an honorable mention for being ...thoroughly disgusting, but also an interesting take on a witch with a swarm familiar. The section tops off with three additional patrons, Jynx, Mercy and Rot.

The Witch Religions section provides an overview of the common deities that Witches worship, , and provides the Triadic Priest Cleric archetype, which forms a Triadic bond with exactly two allies, and gains bonuses for working cooperatively with them (I’m strongly considering this archetype if I ever get into a 3 player+GM game in the future)

Next up is a section on curses.slightly over a bag of spells all with the curse descriptor (surprise surprise) and a few feats. The standout feat is the Latent Curse metamagic feat. For a +1 spell level adjustment, you change the target line on a spell to object touched, but the object does not suffer the effect of the spell, oh no, the next creature to touch the object does. I think that this is a legitimately amazing feat with some creative, devious uses.

Hags and the Occult touches on Hagtouched implements and Hag or curse themed archetypes for the Kineticist and Spiritualist as well as a psychic discipline and hag-themed implements for Mediums, and the Arakineticist Archetype. I’m not as familiar as i should be with the occult classes, so I can’t really comment on these.

And then Ritual Magic. I love Ritual magic, and I love these Rituals! Five-Generation Curse is how you get lycanthropic families. Grand Coven lets a coven gain additional members, and gain powerful effects for more members,including wail of the banshee and greater create undead. Invoke the Nemesis is an amazingly thematic spell, I believe it’s a bit let down by being a seventh level ritual that summons a creature with a CR under 4.

Those who hunt is the penultimate section, and probably my favourite in the game, but then I favor martial characters. The Covenbane slayer could easily have been much too niche for consideration in many campaigns, but instead is, in my opinion a viable, strong archetype! The Covenbane slayer gains a supernatural ability to sense spellcasters, hags and creatures with SLAs, as well as recognise creatures disguised magically (“By the prickling of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes...”), Studied target expands to give bonuses against the entire coven after studying a single member, and later expands to include those bound by hive-minds or telepathic bond, an excellent extrapolation of the theme.

The Hagriven Bloodrager is also amazing, gain claws, the ability to sacrifice spell slots for enhancement bonuses to both claws that stack with other enhancement bonuses, and natural armor bonus, and a free floating critical feat, changeable each day. And the art supplied for it on the previous page is excellent. Despite the con penalty on Slag-May/Annis-born Changelings, they’ve risen high on my “Play this concept” list.

The Malice Binder Investigator is perhaps a step down from the un-archetyped Investigator, but contains a slew of interesting abilities, but is perhaps better suited to an NPC than a PC. (But would serve excellently in that role: Wrack is especially cool, and a fantastic way to create tension.

Blood of the Coven closes up with an item section. There’s nothing essential here, but the Pactseeker’s blade is very cool, dealing bonus damage to each of a struck creature’s allies that the creature shares an active spell effect with, and the Battlepot Cauldron, which is a giant spiky pot you can use as a magical heavy mace. Beyond that, you can put up to five potions into the battlepot as a standard action each. When you hit an enemy with the Battlepot, you can free action effect that creature with one of the potions (of your choice) in the pot, very fun, I think! Also, ‘battlepot’ is just a plain fun word.

This wasn’t a book I had any particular excitement for when I first saw it on the release schedule, but I thought I’d take a look, and I was very pleased with what I found. Some very cool archetypes, interesting rituals, a delightfully tricksome metamagic feat. In addition, Paizo has taken an opportunity to enshrine that while hag’s magical nature causes them to bear only female children, these children can express masculine identities or lack clearly defined sexual traits.

Development leads for this book were Crystal Frasier and Jessica Price. John Compton, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, Lissa Guillet, Elisa Mader, Adrian Ng, Mark Seifter and Linda Zayas-Palmer are credited as authors. The cover art is by Setiawan Lie, and interior art is by Kent Hamilton, Alyssa McCarthy and Benjamin Widdowson.


Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

5/5

As an enthusiast of all things hag-related, I waited with baited breath to acquire this gem.

The new options give a lot of customization to witches, changelings, and coven casters. Pleased to see changeling options for the outsider hags and finally (if not a little brief) new information on hag goddesses.

Interesting to see how different casters and psionics can touch upon the feats, spells, and items. Also pleased to see more classic hag homages, Curse of Dragonflies screams Spirited Away.

All of the Blood supplements have been useful, and Blood of the Coven especially so!


Worth the Wait!

5/5

I've been looking forward to this book for months, as our current campaign has a changeling character in it, and we were hoping for more material to work with. Now that it's here I'm blown away by it; I think I can safely say this is my favorite book in the Player Companion line.

This book has great options and information for changelings, hags, and witches in Pathfinder, all in about equal measure. The contributions here go beyond the rule additions however; the book really expands on what we know about hag ecology, the lives of changelings, and the role a patron plays in a witch's spellcasting career. In the case of the patrons, I finally feel like a witch's patron is as active a participant in her character as a cleric's god, which is saying something!

Our game group is going to get a lot out of this book now and in the future. I'd recommend it as a steller expansion on both character options and in-game lore.


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Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I may have misread thetweet I saw but did Crystal and Jessica work on this?

If so I'm even more psyched for it!


zergtitan wrote:

I am curious right now. the street date on the customer service boards is Oct. 25th but it is showing the PDF as being available on the 18th, is this a new thing or just a technical mistake?

Have they started releasing PDF's a week early from now on?

I'm assuming it's the 25th until proven otherwise.


Do any of the hag subraces have an intelligence boost without losing con?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
So...spells perhaps?
** spoiler omitted **

A bit on...

Spoiler:

Curse of dragonflies
please?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

I may have misread thetweet I saw but did Crystal and Jessica work on this?

If so I'm even more psyched for it!

Crystal and Jessica are credited as development leads. Crystal is also credited as an author.

I really like the book and the options. One of my favorite little things is that each heritage displays particular personality traits related to their parent hag. I also really enjoy the theme of curses and drawbacks in pursuit of power.

Another new cool thing:

There are rules for changeling-only covens. You can have an adventuring party of changelings that form a coven. That's pretty cool.


deuxhero wrote:
Do any of the hag subraces have an intelligence boost without losing con?

Nope. You might be able to use the witchborn alternative racial trait to do that, though. At least one has the standard bonuses, but loses Dex instead of Con.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
DeciusNero wrote:
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
So...spells perhaps?
** spoiler omitted **
A bit on... ** spoiler omitted ** please?

Spoiler:
Spell level 3/4, a permanent curse

Curse of Dragonflies causes paper insects to disrupt the flight of the target creature, either severely reducing their maneuverability or making the target unable to sustain flight.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I may have misread thetweet I saw but did Crystal and Jessica work on this?

If so I'm even more psyched for it!

Crystal and Jessica are credited as development leads. Crystal is also credited as an author.

I really like the book and the options. One of my favorite little things is that each heritage displays particular personality traits related to their parent hag. I also really enjoy the theme of curses and drawbacks in pursuit of power.

** spoiler omitted **

Sweet!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Thomas Seitz wrote:
zergtitan wrote:

I am curious right now. the street date on the customer service boards is Oct. 25th but it is showing the PDF as being available on the 18th, is this a new thing or just a technical mistake?

Have they started releasing PDF's a week early from now on?

I'm assuming it's the 25th until proven otherwise.

Just asked on the Shipping thread, it is indeed 18th and Sara Marie has updated the shipping post, so yay!


Can we get a general rundown on the Bloodrager bloodline please :P


4 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Can we get a general rundown on the Bloodrager bloodline please :P

Spoiler:

Some selections from the Hag bloodline:
Mother's Gift is on the feat list
A version of the Evil Eye hex 3+Cha /day
Extra strength bonus when raging at the cost of Dex and Wis
At high level, they get bestow curse as a spell-like ability and may join a coven


Does the spiritualist's hag spirit constitute its own emotional focus?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ixos wrote:
Does the spiritualist's hag spirit constitute its own emotional focus?

No.

Spoiler:
A hag phantom must choose one of: anger, hatred, jealousy, or zeal.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Are the heritages half-pagers each in a format similar to aasimar/tiefling heritages?


*wonders if Skeld got a copy yet...*

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingOfNinjas wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
So...spells perhaps?
** spoiler omitted **
A bit on... ** spoiler omitted ** please?
** spoiler omitted **

Intetesting, thank you!

REALLY looking forward to this Companion!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Samy wrote:
Are the heritages half-pagers each in a format similar to aasimar/tiefling heritages?

Yes, pretty much.


This book sounds really fun. Lot of cool things. Hag bloodline bloodrager, the ivetigator archetype and spiritualist archetype seem cool, and I'm always up for more sub races of half humans.

Is the kineticist archetype compatible with kinetic knight by chance?

Also any of the subraces get a strength bonus?


How much of the mechanical parts of this book are female only?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Samy wrote:
Are the heritages half-pagers each in a format similar to aasimar/tiefling heritages?

Yes, pretty much.

Sold so much. That's all I need, more racial options and I'm sold.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
deuxhero wrote:
How much of the mechanical parts of this book are female only?

Just the Changeling racial material, as best I can recall -- and that only by implication.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
So...spells perhaps?
** spoiler omitted **

"... and foul is fair/Hover through the fog and filthy air!"

Spoiler:
Or, a spell that makes your zombie minions look alive, your enemies look like zombies to each other, and ends by dropping a cloudkill over everyone?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
David knott 242 wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
How much of the mechanical parts of this book are female only?
Just the Changeling racial material, as best I can recall -- and that only by implication.

kind of makes me wonder what happens if a changeling (or other gender specific species) is affected by something that changes the gender/sex, does it create an otherwise impossible male changeling or female satyr (I think they're only male anyway) or does it fail or what?


This is sounding like one of the best Player Companions in a long time.


14 sided die wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
How much of the mechanical parts of this book are female only?
Just the Changeling racial material, as best I can recall -- and that only by implication.
kind of makes me wonder what happens if a changeling (or other gender specific species) is affected by something that changes the gender/sex, does it create an otherwise impossible male changeling or female satyr (I think they're only male anyway) or does it fail or what?
Quote:
The magical nature of hags allows them to bear only female children, though the magic that ensures this is as precarious and uncontrolled as any other hag endeavor, and hags occasionally bear children lacking any clearly defined sexual traits or daughters who grow to express masculine identities.

My speculation:

Much like the Girdle of Opposite Gender can remove sexual traits, I expect such magics would not make a male-bodied changeling, but would remove sexual characteristics resulting in an androgynous body.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
14 sided die wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
How much of the mechanical parts of this book are female only?
Just the Changeling racial material, as best I can recall -- and that only by implication.
kind of makes me wonder what happens if a changeling (or other gender specific species) is affected by something that changes the gender/sex, does it create an otherwise impossible male changeling or female satyr (I think they're only male anyway) or does it fail or what?

Ah, that is an easy question to answer! You see, when a changeling (or any other monogendered race) comes under the effects of an item such as the Girdle of Opposite Gender the universe is faced with a paradox, seeing as how a male changeling is impossible, and as such the fabric of reality thins. Luckily, it just so happens in a parallel universe where everything is the same except that everyone is of the opposite gender the exact same thing has happened, which also thinned the walls of that universe. Each universe, not wanting to deal with the contradiction of terms they had just been forced to face takes advantage of the thinning dimensional boundaries to slingshot the character into the universe where their race being the opposite gender is the norm. This functionally acts as though your character is exactly the same as they were before, save that they remember everyone being the gender they were in their world. This could cause a good amount relationships to become somewhat awkward. Fortunately, if the find a way to break the curse and return to their original form the first scenario repeats itself, returning them to their regular dimension, making everything, more or less, return to normal. IT'S SCIENCE!

This is meant to be vaguely humourous anecdote and does reflect Malefactor's actual view on what would happen. If you found this comment to be utterly inane and nonsensical, you are probably correct. Malefactor has no idea what actually would happen, and probably shouldn't be allowed to post after he has had more than five cups of hot chocolate. All rights reserved.


Would it be possible to ask if there are any new items, and if so what they are?

Liberty's Edge Developer

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

I may have misread thetweet I saw but did Crystal and Jessica work on this?

If so I'm even more psyched for it!

Yes. I did the development on all the parts I didn't write, and Jessica did the outlining and assigning to authors (including my brilliant and creative wife, who gave us the hag-riven and the malice-binder, among other things)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
NeoTiamat wrote:
Would it be possible to ask if there are any new items, and if so what they are?

Spoiler:
Two cauldrons, two collars, a grisly bag, a lantern, a lock, a longsword, and a doll.
Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I may have misread thetweet I saw but did Crystal and Jessica work on this?

If so I'm even more psyched for it!

Yes. I did the development on all the parts I didn't write, and Jessica did the outlining and assigning to authors (including my brilliant and creative wife, who gave us the hag-riven and the malice-binder, among other things)

Oooo! Thank you, and Jessica, and tell Lissa thank you too! From what's revealed so far I think I'm going to really like the Hag-Riven!


Wondering if we finally got a Hex Gunner Archetype for the Gunslinger class in this book?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Maybe in the next book.

Liberty's Edge Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Wondering if we finally got a Hex Gunner Archetype for the Gunslinger class in this book?

It wasn't really appropriate to the themes and tone of the book, but Kobold Press released one in their Expanded Gunslinger supplement.


I'm sad that there are no new hexes, but what is here sounds really cool. I'm very excited to read the new witch archetypes.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Is there any new background about the Call or how the process of converting to a Hag works? (I'm not interested in spoilers; I'm just wondering if such information is in there.)


Evil Eye and Coven are the only hexes a witch needs. ;)

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Evil Eye and Coven are the only hexes a witch needs. ;)

Cackle.

Silver Crusade System Administrator

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah I've been trying to slip the Hag Riven into something since the Advanced Race Guide came out. I had this idea for someone who was saved mid transformation and had all these weird hag qualities but hadn't lost her mind yet. The pic for her is utterly terrifying. I think people are going to like the archetype quite a bit. Was really happy to work on those archetypes.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lissa Guillet wrote:
Yeah I've been trying to slip the Hag Riven into something since the Advanced Race Guide came out. I had this idea for someone who was saved mid transformation and had all these weird hag qualities but hadn't lost her mind yet. The pic for her is utterly terrifying. I think people are going to like the archetype quite a bit. Was really happy to work on those archetypes.

Yay! It sounds even awesomer! And I'm glad you had a lot fun working on it ^w^

Can't wait to see it myself.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
KingOfNinjas wrote:
Evil Eye and Coven are the only hexes a witch needs. ;)
Cackle.

<_<

>_>

I can't wait for the new season of Changelings in Cauldrons Getting Coffee on Cackle.


*wonders if Luthorne is going to show up...*

Also do the improved or whatever they did to patrons affect just a small portion or all of them?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What are the changes for the sea hag born changeling?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:

*wonders if Luthorne is going to show up...*

Also do the improved or whatever they did to patrons affect just a small portion or all of them?

The patron categories are one of the things I'm most excited about. They make having a patron more interesting and play well into the theme of power at a price.

Spoiler:
There is a good variety:

Celestial Agenda- Endurance, Healing, Light, Portents
The Condition of All- Elements, Time, Transformation, Wisdom
Empath- Ancestors, Mind, Spirits, Wisdom
Fey Gifts- Agility, Enchantment, Trickery, Winter
Green Whispers- Animals, Endurance, Moon, Transformation
Hag’s Calling- Moon, Plague, Shadow, Vengeance
Infernal Contract- Enchantment, Strength, Trickery, Vengeance
Touched by the Outer Gods- Insanity, Occult, Stars, Transformation
Shadowbound- Death, Deception, Ethereal, Shadow

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Those sound much more flavorful and interesting than the core ones. Really interested in seeing them.

From all I'm hearing this sounds like it's going to be a rare Player Companion revisit to the level of quality seen in Blood of Fiends/Angels. I wasn't even satisfied with BoBeasts, which a lot of people seemed to like, but this, this is sounding really good. Finally 32 pages given to a single race instead of split between many races. This is sounding really, really good.


doc the grey wrote:
What are the changes for the sea hag born changeling?

Spoiler:
Sea-born (or brine may) have the same hag trait as before, allowing them to hold their breath for longer than normal. When they awaken their hag heritage, they gain a swim speed. Their ability modifiers favor dexterity instead of charisma. They are also very fickle.
Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Is the suffix supposed to evoke thoughts of swanmays or is that just coincidence?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
Is the suffix supposed to evoke thoughts of swanmays or is that just coincidence?

I suspect the authors chose 'May' for its archaic meaning of 'Maiden.' I'm sure that Swanmay was chosen for that reason. Swanmay = Swan Maiden.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That's what I meant by coincidence, yes. Just using the same suffix without an intentional connection. But they could've also been thinking of swanmays, which is why I wondered.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

All of the changeling heritages in this book have "may" as the second word of their alternate names.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes, that's why I asked.

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