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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I was hoping for a feat/trait or something that could give a witch a bonus on ritual casting. With the witch's very limited skill points, they could use it. 9th level caster classes tend to not be very good at making ritual skill checks. I know casters get a bonus, but most 6th level casters have them beat with the skills they get.


Hmm, a trait specific to the River Kingdoms? That pleases me.

Do we get any in formation on which lands in Golarion are more likely to have Hags and Changelings? I remember the Book of Bastards having them in Varisia, Andoran, Ustalav, and one or two other places.

Lastly, would someone be so kind as to share some information about the Scapegoat feat?


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Eric Hinkle wrote:

Hmm, a trait specific to the River Kingdoms? That pleases me.

Do we get any in formation on which lands in Golarion are more likely to have Hags and Changelings? I remember the Book of Bastards having them in Varisia, Andoran, Ustalav, and one or two other places.

Lastly, would someone be so kind as to share some information about the Scapegoat feat?

Each of the heritages include areas where they are common.

Spoiler:
Scapegoat give a bonus against curses and once per day you can attempt to absorb a curse from someone. If you succeed, the remaining duration affects you instead.


What is the hexbreaker magus like?


KingOfNinjas wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:

Hmm, a trait specific to the River Kingdoms? That pleases me.

Do we get any in formation on which lands in Golarion are more likely to have Hags and Changelings? I remember the Book of Bastards having them in Varisia, Andoran, Ustalav, and one or two other places.

Lastly, would someone be so kind as to share some information about the Scapegoat feat?

Each of the heritages include areas where they are common.

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks. That feat sounds both odd and very original.


StrayChowChow wrote:
Can anyone give a bit more info about the Putrefactor Witch and the Rot patron? :O

Bringing this to the latest page


jedi8187 wrote:
What is the hexbreaker magus like?

I'd be interested in more information on this as well.....

Any takers ?


A brief rundown of archetypes

Spoiler:
Highlights of the Rot patron include warp wood, fungal infestation, and creeping doom.


How does the Witchborn alternate racial trait interact with the new heritages?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Zulkir Jhor wrote:
How does the Witchborn alternate racial trait interact with the new heritages?

I think there are about four it works with.


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I think this is the most excited I have been for a book in 3 years :P


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Certainly the most I've been for a player companion in a while.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am also psyched for all this witchy goodness.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are Companipns being released a bit more early in thd month than before?


I think just this one Decius.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All the better! >:3


Probably a silly question.....but do the heritage sections include pictures by the same artist who did the images for Blood of angels/fiends ?

Dark Archive

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nighttree wrote:
Probably a silly question.....but do the heritage sections include pictures by the same artist who did the images for Blood of angels/fiends ?

Gosh, I hope so, there was some great art in those books! (And not just the heritage headshots.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Is the call of a Changeling's hag mother to her daughter detailed in this manual (aka any possible Will saves to make it stop, ways to resist it, or failing both a way stop it outright)?

Do Changelings with Blood Hag mothers have crimson red hair? Are they born ugly and deformed or seductive and bewitching? What alternate racial traits can they gain?


Anyone?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Blood-Born changeling are quite adept at social graces. They blend in easily. Their special racial trait makes it difficult to read them with Sense Motive

I think I saw nothing crunch-related about the Call


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't have the book with me at present, but I recall reading a statement that a changeling can easily ignore the call (it does not control their behavior in any way). I would infer that the hag mother will start sending the call at the appropriate time if she is still alive.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If the mother is dead, does a changeling never get the Call?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Unknown.

I didn't see any statement about hags sending the Call to orphaned changelings. Maybe, if the changeling's mother was in a coven, other hags in the coven would send the call in the event of her death?

Dark Archive

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Samy wrote:
If the mother is dead, does a changeling never get the Call?

It does, if the mother is undead... ;-)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have the book but may have missed this - is there any specific details given about when a changeling manifests as something other than human?

presumably in order to be raised as a human until adulthood this doesn't happen as a child (as I would imagine a child with claws would be a pretty big clue that something is wrong)

for my current game I have decided that sometime in early adulthood a changeling transforms - and that this could be traumatic for them and their sense of who they are and their place in society (i.e. especially to their friends and family) - mechanically I think they should have a slight tweak to their languages to get the language of their childhood community - i.e. their adopted human ethnicity which I think I would do as a house rule for any PC changelings

I've introduced an NPC (though speced as a potential future PC) changeling to my players as having almost literally just transformed - so not entirely aware of who or what she is anymore. If she sticks with the players it will be fun to see what happens when she runs into potentially the coven from whence she comes....


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{downloading now} Woo-hoo!


So does the Patron theme replace your first level hex and give you a downside, or does it give you an additional first level hex and a downside?


Okay, a little confused, cause the hags and occult thing mentions several new spirits and has hag touched implements, but I see none of those things in any detail other than mention. Guys where is that info

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hagtouched Implements are mentioned on p. 22, the Hag Haunted is on p. 23, and the Malice Binder is on p. 28

Edit: I reread what you wrote. The Hags and the Occult is just (really interesting) flavoring atm.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Imperator wrote:
So does the Patron theme replace your first level hex and give you a downside, or does it give you an additional first level hex and a downside?

Your first hex and some patron spells are locked and you get a drawback.


Rysky wrote:
The Imperator wrote:
So does the Patron theme replace your first level hex and give you a downside, or does it give you an additional first level hex and a downside?
Your first hex and some patron spells are locked and you get a drawback.

Huh, not really a fan of strictly worse options for play, and a drawback with no upside is that.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Imperator wrote:
Rysky wrote:
The Imperator wrote:
So does the Patron theme replace your first level hex and give you a downside, or does it give you an additional first level hex and a downside?
Your first hex and some patron spells are locked and you get a drawback.
Huh, not really a fan of strictly worse options for play, and a drawback with no upside is that.

Misunderstanding, I think. You get a specific bonus hex at first level, in addition to your regular hex, assuming you didn't trade that away.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Imperator wrote:
Rysky wrote:
The Imperator wrote:
So does the Patron theme replace your first level hex and give you a downside, or does it give you an additional first level hex and a downside?
Your first hex and some patron spells are locked and you get a drawback.
Huh, not really a fan of strictly worse options for play, and a drawback with no upside is that.

You'd have to go over what all spells you get to see if it's strictly worse or not. And the drawbacks themselves range from something minor to pretty severe.


Is there a way to ask a dev specifically about this, since this is apparently a confusing thing, or do I have to hope one sees my question?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Imperator wrote:
Is there a way to ask a dev specifically about this, since this is apparently a confusing thing, or do I have to hope one sees my question?

You DO get a bonus hex, no question. You do not get to freely choose what that bonus hex is; it's tied to the patron theme. You can still take Slumber or Cackle or whatever with your regular hex at first level.

This hex has, in my opinion, two uses. One is the hex itself- generally one of the weaker hexes, although there are exceptions. (Generally, the better the hex, the harsher the drawback.) The other is having a hex at first level if an archetype normally would mean you wouldn't. That lets you take Extra Hex from first level, rather than waiting.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
The Imperator wrote:
Is there a way to ask a dev specifically about this, since this is apparently a confusing thing, or do I have to hope one sees my question?

You DO get a bonus hex, no question. You do not get to freely choose what that bonus hex is; it's tied to the patron theme. You can still take Slumber or Cackle or whatever with your regular hex at first level.

This hex has, in my opinion, two uses. One is the hex itself- generally one of the weaker hexes, although there are exceptions. (Generally, the better the hex, the harsher the drawback.) The other is having a hex at first level if an archetype normally would mean you wouldn't. That lets you take Extra Hex from first level, rather than waiting.

*rereads the way it is worded*

Quid is correct, sorry about that.


Rysky wrote:

Hagtouched Implements are mentioned on p. 22, the Hag Haunted is on p. 23, and the Malice Binder is on p. 28

Edit: I reread what you wrote. The Hags and the Occult is just (really interesting) flavoring atm.

this makes me a sad panda. I like the occultist and want to see more implement stuff outside the norm. The class is easily quite modular.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

While it doesn’t use a voodoo doll technically the selections of buffs and debuffs the fetters offer are really neat and universally useful.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
While it doesn’t use a voodoo doll technically the selections of buffs and debuffs the fetters offer are really neat and universally useful.

They're... really not. The best one is probably the +2 to +6 deflection bonus, which also sickens the target it's used on. And actually, on reading it closer, may only be usable on a single wounded creature? Since the attacker is technically the target, and they can only be targeted once every 24 hours.

Most of the debuffs are save or suffer a minor inconvenience for a few rounds. Best one of those is probably Divine Dread, since it actually does something noticeable on a save, but it's still only one round every 24 hours.

Flavorful as heck, sure, but it's asking a lot for a player to get really weak hexes in exchange for their spellcasting, while the Witch is sitting over there with both and better.


Is it the intent that the patron themes are making hexes available to archetypes that do away with hexes entirely, such as the White-Haired Witch or the Havocker? It seems to read that way, based on the fact that you get access to it through the patron class feature, which none of those two archetypes alter..


I mean, there tends to be universal agreement that the archetypes that lose hexes completely tend to give up a lot more than what they receive (a rogue talent at level 10 doesn't quite feel like an even trade), so it's not as if it is deserving of kneejerk "bad ban op bad"-reactions - I'm just curious if this is actually something that's intended, because if so, maybe we'll see a surge in "Gordian Knight" WHW builds?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Pounce wrote:
Is it the intent that the patron themes are making hexes available to archetypes that do away with hexes entirely, such as the White-Haired Witch or the Havocker? It seems to read that way, based on the fact that you get access to it through the patron class feature, which none of those two archetypes alter..

If you've traded the feature away entirely, I definitely recommend checking with your GM.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Rysky wrote:
While it doesn’t use a voodoo doll technically the selections of buffs and debuffs the fetters offer are really neat and universally useful.

They're... really not. The best one is probably the +2 to +6 deflection bonus, which also sickens the target it's used on. And actually, on reading it closer, may only be usable on a single wounded creature? Since the attacker is technically the target, and they can only be targeted once every 24 hours.

Most of the debuffs are save or suffer a minor inconvenience for a few rounds. Best one of those is probably Divine Dread, since it actually does something noticeable on a save, but it's still only one round every 24 hours.

Flavorful as heck, sure, but it's asking a lot for a player to get really weak hexes in exchange for their spellcasting, while the Witch is sitting over there with both and better.

I like Hexing Shield, bonuses to Will saves are always nice.

And for the others the deafening/silencing, cosing more movement/avoidance, sickening > staggering are good.

You can also get the tokens from areas the target has been in, with the sickening/stagger all you need is a footprint.

There also not trading out spellcasting, but extracts (and a lot less of those than the Alchemist). You can’t use spell trigger items because of the extract class features I believe.

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