Why so many touch-range Hexes?


Round 2: Summoner and Witch


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

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


Atlatl Jones wrote:

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

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

It'd make sense for some of the more utility-based ones (i.e. Charm) to remain touch-range, but I do agree that having too many spells be melee-range would be irksome. Then again, it's worth noting that there are a good number of ranged spells on the spell list, so having melee hexes would be a more risk-reward thing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Atlatl Jones wrote:

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

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

The bigger question I have is if you can "defensively cast" a Hex. The way I'm reading it, probably not.


Hexes are supernatural, no Attack of Opportunity.

Scarab Sages

Can spectral hand or the familiar's Deliver Touch Spells ability be used to deliver a hex?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Madcap Storm King wrote:
Hexes are supernatural, no Attack of Opportunity.
PDF Pg 13, bottom right corner wrote:

Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard

action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Unfortunately, this is here. :-(


Tom Baumbach wrote:
Can spectral hand or the familiar's Deliver Touch Spells ability be used to deliver a hex?

Since they're not spells, signs point to no, but this could be changed.


Serisan wrote:

PDF Pg 13, bottom right corner wrote:

Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard

action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
Unfortunately, this is here. :-(

Oh.

Then how does Misfortune ever work? Do you just hold it and then make a touch attack with it? Can you even do that? Do you get beat in the head every time you try to use it? Now I'm confused.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Madcap Storm King wrote:
Serisan wrote:

PDF Pg 13, bottom right corner wrote:

Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard

action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
Unfortunately, this is here. :-(

Oh.

Then how does Misfortune ever work? Do you just hold it and then make a touch attack with it? Can you even do that? Do you get beat in the head every time you try to use it? Now I'm confused.

Kind of needs to be defensively cast, but the rules are hazy on that.


Madcap Storm King wrote:
Serisan wrote:

PDF Pg 13, bottom right corner wrote:

Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard

action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
Unfortunately, this is here. :-(

Oh.

Then how does Misfortune ever work? Do you just hold it and then make a touch attack with it? Can you even do that? Do you get beat in the head every time you try to use it? Now I'm confused.

It's unclear how a supernatural ability touch attack that provokes an AoO would work (or, for that matter, why you wouldn't just make it a spell-like ability). For spells and spell-like abilities, you can cast, then move, then touch as a free action:

"Touch Spells in Combat: Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll."

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

hogarth wrote:


It's unclear how a supernatural ability touch attack that provokes an AoO would work (or, for that matter, why you wouldn't just make it a spell-like ability). For spells and spell-like abilities, you can cast, then move, then touch as a free action:

"Touch Spells in Combat: Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll."

Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I like option number one for a few reasons.

First, it sticks within normal rule parameters for supernatural abilities.
Second, the hexes in general have built-in limitations, most often the 'can't use on the same creature more than once/day'. With these limitations, I don't feel that not provoking an AoO should cause much of an issue.
Third, the witch is a low-BAB, d6, no-armor caster. The fact that she has to get in touch range at all is actually a fairly decent penalty by itself.


MaverickWolf wrote:

I like option number one for a few reasons.

First, it sticks within normal rule parameters for supernatural abilities.
Second, the hexes in general have built-in limitations, most often the 'can't use on the same creature more than once/day'. With these limitations, I don't feel that not provoking an AoO should cause much of an issue.
Third, the witch is a low-BAB, d6, no-armor caster. The fact that she has to get in touch range at all is actually a fairly decent penalty by itself.

Ditto to all that.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

There are various monsters with spell-like abilities that aren't exactly based on a spell (notably various dragon SLAs like Corrupt Water, Freezing Fog, Luck, etc.). And likewise there are quite a few witch hexes which mostly duplicate existing spells (e.g. Healing, Tongues, Disguise).


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Honestly, I am fine with them not provoking an attack of opportunity. Given their BAB and hit points, getting close to an opponent to use a hex is not always a good idea.

Besides, you could always add a 14th level fighter feat off of the Disruptive/Spellbreaker tree that allows a fighter to make AoO against supernatural abilities. :)

Dark Archive

MaverickWolf wrote:


I like option number one for a few reasons.

First, it sticks within normal rule parameters for supernatural abilities.
Second, the hexes in general have built-in limitations, most often the 'can't use on the same creature more than once/day'. With these limitations, I don't feel that not provoking an AoO should cause much of an issue.
Third, the witch is a low-BAB, d6, no-armor caster. The fact that she has to get in touch range at all is actually a fairly decent penalty by itself.

I agree with this, of the 4 options given I think that is the best option.

Scarab Sages

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Is there a reason why many of the hexes are touch and not ranged touch attacks? I'm a little worried at the Witch's lack of protection spells combined with touch based hexes. I think I need to play test it a little more, but so far (after just running a few short scenarios) I'm finding it difficult to be in a situation where getting close to an enemy isn't a quick death.

I don't particularly mind the feeling of being a glass debuffer. But a glass debuffer that dances around right next to the hammer isn't much fun.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
aptinuviel wrote:
I don't particularly mind the feeling of being a glass debuffer. But a glass debuffer that dances around right next to the hammer isn't much fun.

Whether the Glass hits the Hammer or the Hammer hits the Glass it's always going to be bad for the Glass...


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

The vast majority of Hexes that are likely to provoke AoOs are not powerful enough to justify the risk. The only one that I can think of that does is Misfortune, which is arguably the best Hex available when combined with Cackle. The other internal balancing mechanisms (particularly once per target per day) sufficiently balances the Hexes vs. other class abilities.


Serisan wrote:
The vast majority of Hexes that are likely to provoke AoOs are not powerful enough to justify the risk. The only one that I can think of that does is Misfortune, which is arguably the best Hex available when combined with Cackle.

Really? I see it as worthwhile against BBEGs, but not in any encounter with more than 1 or 2 enemies. My personal favorite is Slumber, aka "stop being alive now." Just make your rounds from enemy to enemy, and when one fails its will save have your allies coup-de-gras it. It's an at-will save-or-die spell that scales with your level and is fairly easy to boost (ability focus comes to mind). Sure, you only get one go at each enemy, but if you win, you win.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Another vote for pulling the AoO text. Before I saw that my assumption was that generally this is something to do when the enemy comes to you, not something to chase them down with... with the AoO, it's not even much good for that.


Am I missing the reason that the initial sugestion of slapping a 30 foot range on them isn't a viable option?

Torger

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
hogarth wrote:


It's unclear how a supernatural ability touch attack that provokes an AoO would work (or, for that matter, why you wouldn't just make it a spell-like ability). For spells and spell-like abilities, you can cast, then move, then touch as a free action:

"Touch Spells in Combat: Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll."

Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I would say option 1 for reasons others have already mentioned here

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm for Option 1.

It allows the following tactical situations:

You see a witch coming at you, you Ready a trip attack to prevent her touch attack. (Their hexes are treated as touch attacks right?)

You see a witch coming at you, you throw a tanglefoot bag, web, grease or big dumb grapply fighter to hold her in place and stop her from touching people inappropriately (teehee).

My second favourite is option 2 -

The witch can "hold the charge" (she spits vitriol into her hand and then heads to her intended target palm extended). It means that the witch can't just hex the guy right next to her, but if the battlefield is under control she can go a-hexin' as required.


MaverickWolf wrote:

I like option number one for a few reasons.

First, it sticks within normal rule parameters for supernatural abilities.
Second, the hexes in general have built-in limitations, most often the 'can't use on the same creature more than once/day'. With these limitations, I don't feel that not provoking an AoO should cause much of an issue.
Third, the witch is a low-BAB, d6, no-armor caster. The fact that she has to get in touch range at all is actually a fairly decent penalty by itself.

This! ;)


Torger Miltenberger wrote:

Am I missing the reason that the initial sugestion of slapping a 30 foot range on them isn't a viable option?

Torger

This would be my suggestion as well, making most/all offensive hexes short range spell-like abilities.


hogarth wrote:
Torger Miltenberger wrote:

Am I missing the reason that the initial sugestion of slapping a 30 foot range on them isn't a viable option?

Torger

This would be my suggestion as well, making most/all offensive hexes short range spell-like abilities.

I like this best as well. If not, then option 1.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sean FitzSimon wrote:
Serisan wrote:
The vast majority of Hexes that are likely to provoke AoOs are not powerful enough to justify the risk. The only one that I can think of that does is Misfortune, which is arguably the best Hex available when combined with Cackle.
Really? I see it as worthwhile against BBEGs, but not in any encounter with more than 1 or 2 enemies. My personal favorite is Slumber, aka "stop being alive now." Just make your rounds from enemy to enemy, and when one fails its will save have your allies coup-de-gras it. It's an at-will save-or-die spell that scales with your level and is fairly easy to boost (ability focus comes to mind). Sure, you only get one go at each enemy, but if you win, you win.

See, I always forget the coup de grace rules. Ok, that makes two AoO opportunities that are worthwhile.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Keith McVay wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Torger Miltenberger wrote:

Am I missing the reason that the initial sugestion of slapping a 30 foot range on them isn't a viable option?

Torger

This would be my suggestion as well, making most/all offensive hexes short range spell-like abilities.
I like this best as well. If not, then option 1.

two questions in a related vein:

1) Can a familier deliver a hex that is touch range
2) Can Spectral Hand

if 2), is it limited to Normal Hexes, or Normal and Major? or all?


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Yeah.. I caught this issue yesterday and have been considering a few work options...

1. I can remove the bit about them provoking AoO
2. I can add the language that allows you to move after using the hex but before the touch.
3. I can add some concentration language to the hex mechanic.
4. I can change them to spell like abilities...

I am not sure which one works best here.. but I am open to debate. 1 is the most powerful. 2 and 3 seem to break a number of existing rules conventions. 4 makes them into something they are not (since they do not have spell descriptions).

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

1 seems like the best option because the witch really needs an answer to something closing with them when they annoy targets with their ranged spells.

2 would still leave the witch in a tight spot. Say the touched target doesn't like the effect. If it's not dead or asleep it's going to smack it or cast a spell back. The witch's turn comes around, they still have to avoid getting smacked and they can't back off.

3 would be fine as well, but I feel that the hex has a lot of similarity to a spell-like ability in this case.

4 is fine too. It's standardized, and if necessary you can always make spells for the abilities to be like.

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