Witch Name Issue


Round 2: Summoner and Witch

Grand Lodge

So I am loving the witch. It seemed like a very cool class and I can't wait for the finalized product. However I was discussing it with a friend and he brought up an interesting point: the name. Ever since the days of Shakespeare witches have been solely female. Male witches have been warlocks but alas there is already a warlock in Paizo's Tome of Secrets. So while some men, like myself, are perfectly willing to play the witch class as is and endure any ridicule other male players might throw at them, many will not.

While this is definitely an issue with our society, it is an issue none the less. So there are three ways of dealing with this issue: one, tell men to suck it up and don't play the class if they don't like the name (and miss out on its awesomeness,) two, have two names for the class, one masculine, one feminine, or three, change the name all together to something androgynous. Personally I am against number three. I think the name "Witch" perfectly sums up the class and should remain but I am curious to see what others think. Am I alone in thinking this might be a problem for male players? Or could it be an issue? After all, names are powerful things.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

The name of the class will not change, just like it does not change from sorcerer to sorceress. Although in the game world, NPCs might refer to male witches as warlocks, for a clarity of game terminology, we will be sticking with witch.

In other words.. you can have it both ways...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

First Tome of Secrets wasn't published by Paizo.

In any case, I have no problem with using the word Witch for my character (male or female), just as I have no problem with female wizards (a primarily male role from literature).

Even so I often rename my character's class to fit a concept. So my male witch might be a Houngan or Witch Doctor.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Or if you really feel like Witches have to be female, you could always play a girl ;)

Liberty's Edge

I'd change the name to fit the character, regardless of what the class is officially called. I'm sure not every sorcerer refers to him or herself as such. I ran a campaign once where the tiny gnome sorcere insisted she be referred to as a battle mage.

"I'm a Battle Mage! Sorcerers are wimps."

Personnally, I'm a big fan of Witch Doctor or Voodoo King :)

Dark Archive

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Even so I often rename my character's class to fit a concept. So my male witch might be a Houngan or Witch Doctor.

lol

this made me think of diablo 3, which is kinda a good source to pull from for the class too!

sorry, i just had to laugh.


Darkeyes777 wrote:
Personnally, I'm a big fan of Witch Doctor or Voodoo King :)

Ooo Eee Ooo aaah aaah ting tang walla walla bing bang...


A male witch is a mitch.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BladeMaster0182 wrote:

So I am loving the witch. It seemed like a very cool class and I can't wait for the finalized product. However I was discussing it with a friend and he brought up an interesting point: the name. Ever since the days of Shakespeare witches have been solely female. Male witches have been warlocks but alas there is already a warlock in Paizo's Tome of Secrets. So while some men, like myself, are perfectly willing to play the witch class as is and endure any ridicule other male players might throw at them, many will not.

While this is definitely an issue with our society, it is an issue none the less. So there are three ways of dealing with this issue: one, tell men to suck it up and don't play the class if they don't like the name (and miss out on its awesomeness,) two, have two names for the class, one masculine, one feminine, or three, change the name all together to something androgynous. Personally I am against number three. I think the name "Witch" perfectly sums up the class and should remain but I am curious to see what others think. Am I alone in thinking this might be a problem for male players? Or could it be an issue? After all, names are powerful things.

As was discussed in numerous other places, the narrow view of witches as only female is extremely misguided and not reflective of reality. In literature, witches may be portrayed as female. In the real world, we come in both genders. The fact that Paizo got the naming correct is actually something we kind of like about the game.


Serisan wrote:


As was discussed in numerous other places, the narrow view of witches as only female is extremely misguided and not reflective of reality. In literature, witches may be portrayed as female. In the real world, we come in both genders. The fact that Paizo got the naming correct is actually something we kind of like about the game.

So, what else did they get right? Do you get your spells from your familiars? Can you cackle to keep a hex going?

And most importantly, would you describe yourself as smart, or charismatic?

(Totally kidding)


Serisan wrote:


As was discussed in numerous other places, the narrow view of witches as only female is extremely misguided and not reflective of reality. In literature, witches may be portrayed as female. In the real world, we come in both genders. The fact that Paizo got the naming correct is actually something we kind of like about the game.

+1 male witches are witches


Yeah, male witches are witches. Witch is gender neutral around here.
Storyteller players have been playing with the Brujah clan for a long time and Brujah is Witch in Spannish and no one ever complained with it being a female noun. (A male witch would be Brujo in spannish).


I more or less subscribe to Wicca as my spirituality and I am a straight male, yes despite what aspersions you may place upon me for being a furry, I chase skirts, and Witch is gender neutral. If anything I might look over Tome of Secrets again and rename the warlock class. Incidentally for those who care, a warlock is also gender neutral. The term is reserved for one who betrays the coven. Now typically these were male witches that did this but the term is unisex.

This said, I like the class for the most part although I may want to change the familiar to something more in line with the wizard's arcane bond and let it be a staff or a familiar and maybe do a write up on what certain items might do, like say a staff vs. a dagger per se.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FenrysStar wrote:

I more or less subscribe to Wicca as my spirituality and I am a straight male, yes despite what aspersions you may place upon me for being a furry, I chase skirts, and Witch is gender neutral. If anything I might look over Tome of Secrets again and rename the warlock class. Incidentally for those who care, a warlock is also gender neutral. The term is reserved for one who betrays the coven. Now typically these were male witches that did this but the term is unisex.

This said, I like the class for the most part although I may want to change the familiar to something more in line with the wizard's arcane bond and let it be a staff or a familiar and maybe do a write up on what certain items might do, like say a staff vs. a dagger per se.

Asatruar disagree with your definition of warlock, but that's beside the point.


That is mainly how I have come to understand the term Warlock and why the connotations are there. I still feel that way about it but I have not come up with an alternative name yet for it.


Loads have said this but:

Witch: term for a person thought to associated with magic. some people think that it is a word for medieval Wise Ones but these were Wise Ones or Cunning Folk. The original meaning, from old english, is one who paractises evil magic or an ugly women.

Warlock: Original meaning is traitor, betrayer or devil, in some texts it was used as another word for evil spirits. Current times it is used to desribe a male witch. Taking a negative view of witches.

I know that in this modern age Witch is used for someone who follows a wiccan or some other earth spirituality paths. However the original term IS female and evil.

I personally think they should use Wise One/ Cunning Folk. But seeing as their going Hexy then Witch is fine and its modern usage is gender neutral.

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