Spells that should be on the witch's spell list


Round 2: Summoner and Witch

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I've seen several suggestions, scattered among various threads, that some "witchy" spells are missing from the witch's spell list, and should be added. I thought it would be helpful to consolidate them.

I avoided adding the spells from the Familar-specific spell lists, since the designers' intent was obviously to keep those restricted to certain kinds of witches.

Spells to Add
- More abjuration spells
- More illusion spells, like dream, nightmare, magic mouth and permanent/programmed image
- Faerie Fire
- Circle of Death
- Telekinesis
- Prestidigitation
- Protection from evil/good/etc. & magic circle vs evil/good/etc.
- Hideous Laughter
- Irresistable Dance
- Ghoul Touch
- Charm/Dominate Animal
- Slow
- Wall of Thorns
- Commune with Nature
- Dimensional Anchor
- Invisibility (and greater invisibility)
- Contagion (and mass contagion)
- Sending
- Dismissal / Banishment / Binding
- Planar Binding (and the lesser & greater versions)
- Magic Jar
- Word of Recall (6th level, since it's basically a limited version of greater teleport)
- Seeming
- Symbol of Sleep
- Symbol of Persuasion
- Command Plants
- Limited Wish and Wish
- Gate
- Polymorph Any Object (it's basically a greater version of Baleful Polymorph, with added flexibility)

Spells to Make Lower Level
- Baleful Polymorph is a signature spell for witches, and should be lower than 5th level. Even lowering it to level 3 would be appropriate IMO.
- Charm Monster & Mass Charm (Charm person is also a signature spell, but it's already 1st level)
- Poison should be 3rd level, like on the Druid spell list. Did you know that the biblical phrase King James translated as "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" actually means "thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" in Hebrew?
- Contact Other Plane
- Eyebite

New Spells that should be invented and added
- Mass Baleful Polymorph (as a 7th level spell, I'd say)
- Fast-healing spells, like the Spell Compendium's Vigor and Mass Vigor line of spells.
- Mass Charm Person (as a 5th level spell, 4 levels higher than charm person, just like mass charm monster is 4 levels higher than charm monster. Or maybe 4th level, since it's very much a signature spell for witches.)

Edited: to remove augury and speak with dead from the list, because those are the functions of a Coven.


I didn't think of Wall of Thorns, they definitely need that one.


Making spells lower level is a tricky issue because it can lead to the alteration of some market prices for items and scrolls and such.

Making Baleful Polymorph 3rd level would allow it to be stuck on a wand, for example.

-S


Fergie here:
It may be on the familiar lists, but I think Mislead is a required witch spell if ever there was one.
I think witches should be very good at disguise, deception, and trickery.


Selgard wrote:

Making spells lower level is a tricky issue because it can lead to the alteration of some market prices for items and scrolls and such.

Making Baleful Polymorph 3rd level would allow it to be stuck on a wand, for example.

True, but the saving throw DCs for wands stink, so that's much more of a concern for utility spells and spells that don't require saving throws or spell penetration.


The thing is, magic items are supplementary for classes, because their appearance and availability range so much from one game to another. I'd prefer to balance around classes rather than items, so the possibility of altering the price of a spell or scroll doesn't really bother me.

That being said, I'm afraid 3rd level might be too low, but 4th sounds good. The witch could use a few tricks that she performs better than the wizard.


Reneshat wrote:
I didn't think of Wall of Thorns, they definitely need that one.

Forest of thorns shall be his tomb,

Borne through the skies on a thought of doom.
Now go with a curse and serve me well,
Round Stephan's castle cast my spell.

[i]Maleficent, Walt Disneys, Sleeping Beauty[i]


Frostflame wrote:
Reneshat wrote:
I didn't think of Wall of Thorns, they definitely need that one.

Forest of thorns shall be his tomb,

Borne through the skies on a thought of doom.
Now go with a curse and serve me well,
Round Stephan's castle cast my spell.

[i]Maleficent, Walt Disneys, Sleeping Beauty[i]

I was totally thinking the same thing.


Also, we talked about this earlier, but, if flight isn't made a bigger deal for the class though hexes (or even new class features) I wouldn't mind seeing some of the spells made lower level for the witch. Mayhaps overland flight as a 4th level spell.


I'd love to see more work with poisons, and perhaps non-lethal damage. Subtle magical effects that really womp an enemy- Miasma from 3.5 jumps to mind.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I'd be pretty happy if they didn't leave so many spells off of the main list and restricted to familiar lists. Like a cleric's domains, just because it's available on a bonus list doesn't mean you should leave it off the main list (this is obviously based on English ideas of witches making pacts with demons/devils and blighting the country side, and can't do a lot of the relevant things without having several different familiars).

It's missing basic buff spells, like Bull's Strength etc; Contagion (THE thing people were afraid of witches doing to them);
Beast Shape (a very common modus operandi) and Giant Form;
Polymorph Any Object (do I even need to say anything?);
and Protection from Good/Evil/Law/Chaos, Magic Circle against Good/Evil/Law/Chaos, and Planar Binding are necessary to the archetype (this is obviously based on English ideas of witches making pacts with demons/devils, and this thing can't even do a proper devil-binding).

Some flavor issues aside from that: This witch is not good enough at the one kind of combat spell that really fits the archetype (who's most famous for inflicting illness): it's slow at or missing some important blight spells, i.e. Inflict Wounds above 2nd level, Harm, and Contagion.

Several of the suggestions earlier in the thread would also be nice, but the above are pretty glaring.

Dark Archive

I think a lot of these are good suggestions, but I think the idea of lowering baleful polymorph's spell level is by far the best. 4th-level would be perfect, I think. I definitely think the witch lacks any sort of a real edge over a wizard or druid without some small changes like this.

The summoner has haste as a 2nd-level spell because it's an important spell for the class. I think the witch could stand to get a discount on baleful polymorph for the same reason.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Interesting suggestions folks... Are there any spells that should not be on the lists that currently are?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting suggestions folks... Are there any spells that should not be on the lists that currently are?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Yeah, here's some that seem odd for Witches IMO:

1- Burning Hands (Weren't witches in fantasy literature burned at the stake?)
Detect Secret Doors

2- Find Traps
Status

3- Heroism

6- Heroism, Greater
Transformation

Though by no means am I 100% against them being on the list. Really and truly, I think you did a heck of a job on the whole on the spell list.


well Im not so sure if Raise dead and resurection should be on the witches list. I feel like this should rightfully belong only to the cleric.


I pretty much don't like most of the over 'blasty' spells being on the main list: THe burning hands, lightning bolt, Black tentacles, chain lightning. ANything of the invoke/evoke blasty sort.

Scarab Sages

Spells that I think should be one level lower

baleful polymorph
poison/neutralize poison

Spells that should be dumped in favor of other spells

analyze dweomer
antipathy
arcane sight
astral projection
burning hands
clone
cone of cold
detect secret doors
enlarge person
false life
find the path
find traps
glitterdust
grease
greater heroism
heroism
identify
legend lore
mending
minor creation
plane shift
reduce person
secure shelter
see invisibility
sympathy
true seeing

Spells that should be considered for being added

acid arrow
animal messanger
beast shape
(all)- witches were always accused of being cats and whatnot
calm emotions
charm/dominate animal
commune with nature
contagion,
Absolutely contagion, If they get remove disease, shouldn't they have contagion?
contingency
creeping doom
disguise self
they have alter self, why not disguise self?
disintegrate
endure elements
energy drain
- cant's have enervation w/o energy drain
entangle
finger of death
flaming sphere
fox's cunning
they are an INT based class, so this is really needed as a main spell
freedom
gaseous form
giant vermin
greater planar ally
hallucinatory terrain
heat metal/chill metal
hideous laughter
imprisonment
insect plague
lesser planar ally
As chosen by familiar
lesser restoration
longstrider
modify memory
planar ally
plant growth
polar ray
project image
pyrotechnics
quench
resilient sphere
resist energy
mostly included for fire
restoration
sanctuary
scintallating pattern
shapechange
shield
shocking grasp
telekinesis
temporal stasis
wall of fire
wall of force
wall of ice
wall of stone
wall of thorns
whirlwind

Other notes

I don't think they should get reincarnate, raise dead, and resurrection. They need one for their familiar, since it's so vulnerable and important, but it doesn't quite make sense for both

I'd say remove lightning bolt, but Maleficent used it a lot.


I see reincarnate staying but I like resurrection on their list too.

Clerics don't need any more to shine...


add me to the list of people who think baleful polymorph should be available sooner


Benn Roe wrote:

I think a lot of these are good suggestions, but I think the idea of lowering baleful polymorph's spell level is by far the best. 4th-level would be perfect, I think. I definitely think the witch lacks any sort of a real edge over a wizard or druid without some small changes like this.

The summoner has haste as a 2nd-level spell because it's an important spell for the class. I think the witch could stand to get a discount on baleful polymorph for the same reason.

Agree with Selgard: "Making spells lower level is a tricky issue"

Giving Summoners haste as a 2nd level spell was bad.
Wand of haste anyone?

Agree they should not have: Burning hands, Heroism, Greater Heroism, glitterdust, resurrection, greater planar ally, plane shift, see invisibility (and some other divination stuff)

Shield should not be considered. They are not wizards they are witches. I guess they need the AC bonus, but shiled just don't feel right. Nor should they get stuff like: charm/dominate animal, commune with nature, etc. They are not druids. At first I tought they should get speak with animals, but I'm not sure. Witches are not like druids a part of nature, they rahter use nature to their own needs.

They should indeed get: hallucinatory terrain, and..
contagion
creeping doom
energy drain
finger of death
fox's cunning
giant vermin
heat metal/chill metal
hideous laughter
imprisonment
insect plague
project image

Scarab Sages

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting suggestions folks... Are there any spells that should not be on the lists that currently are?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I feel like the blasting spells are a bit random. They mostly fit from a flavor perspective (except maybe Burning Hands), but they come infrequently in the list, which is problematic. I'd suggest either just dropping them all and coming up with some other blasting mechanic for Witches that fit their flavor or adding one of each level even if some only slightly fit the Witch style (since most Witches won't be learning all of them just like most Wizards don't know a blasting spell of each level.) Frankly after playing a Witch in a couple of playtest games, I don't think they'd miss dropping all of them. It might be weird having nothing that does direct damage though.

As to what to add to the list, I'd like to again suggest that almost all Abjuration spells be added. This is for the same reason that the Witch has all Divination spells. These two schools are often where you find the spells that deal with arcane things. And while Witches are not Wizards, they are creatures that study the arcane arts. And so should be also studying how to protect themselves from other Witches (or magic in general). I believe the difficulty is that the Abjuration school tends not to get added to any group other than Wizards because they mostly deal with the paradigm of magic in DnD and rarely fit the flavor of casters from other literature. I think viewing the Witch as solely a product outside of the paradigm of DnD magic is a mistake. And so Witches, who are very similar to Wizards but with a different magical philosophy, are suited to Abjuration.

And while they've been mentioned several times, I don't see why Heroism and Greater Heroism would not be particularly suited for Witches. Along with Raise Dead and Resurrection.

On a slightly random note I'd suggest consideration of Beast Shape spells, as there is a common story of Witch duels consisting of alternating animal forms.

Some specific spells that I'd consider adding:
Heroes Feast: This spell isn't so much mechanically useful as fitting the flavor of Witches. It's a good complement to also having Greater Heroism on the list.
Limited Wish and Wish: Is there any reason these aren't on the list? I understand not wanting to overshadow the Wizard, but given the differences you're in no danger of doing that. Wizards still have far more tools at their disposal. And the spells certainly fit the flavor of Witches.
Permanency: On the same note of the Wish spells. This is a seemingly signature spell of Witches in general and giving it to the Witch isn't going to undercut the Wizard by any real degree.
Freedom of Movement: Are there casters that don't get this spell on their list? And with good reason.
Giant Vermin/Repel Vermin: I'm not sure there's much needed to say about these.
Insect Plague: same as above.
Wind Walk: Fast and freaky overland travel? Sign the Witches up.
Gust of Wind: If you're looking for extra padding on the spell list.
Quench: Because it would be amusing?
Stoneskin: I'd consider this spell for the same reason Druids have it. Other than Witches desperately needing more protective spells, which is also a good reason to include it.
Spellstaff: Because if there's a cool trick that Druids have that gets used less often than this spell, I don't know what it is. I think Witches would get far more use out of it and it'd be a nice trick to have up their sleeve.
Undetectable Alignment: I suppose Paladins and Assassins might need this spell more, but neither of those got burned at the stake.
Create Water/Purify Food and Drink/Create Food and Water: Maybe these aren't on the list because Witches are expected to cook their own food, but sometimes you get a lot of guests coming to the cottage.
Restoration (lesser too): I'd consider these spells. Given they have no real flavor since they only remove a game mechanic effect that has little flavor of it's own in any literature they don't particularly suit the Witchr. But given the Witch seems to be Queen of removing debuffs, these would certainly fit that role (and it's a really cool role for them to have).
Feather Fall: Witches are as light as a feather, didn't you know? I'd recommend this spell. There aren't too many transmutation spells I like for Witches (and you have all of the rest of them on the list already) but this one seems well suited for both the flavor of the Witch and mechanically to an arcane caster in DnD.
Endure Elements/Resist Energy/Protection from Energy: These are specific abjuration spells that I think are particularly well suited for Witches.


Well keep the cold and electricity spells, it fits well with a witch trying to control the weather. I would say add Polar ray as well. Another idea would be have viper lose shocking grasp and gain burning hands, and shocking grasp replace burning hands on the spell list. Well I dont see Sepia Snake Sigil really working for the witch. Wizards use it to protect spellbooks, and a witch has a familiar, So that should be removed. Zone of Truth seems abit out of place for a witch. I always imagine them obscuring truth. Status to me doesnt make that much sense on a witches list I think it should rightfully belong to clerics along with raise dead and Resurection. Since the witch has Phantasmal Killer I would consider adding Weird as well. Same goes for Energy drain.


Atlatl Jones wrote:

I've seen several suggestions, scattered among various threads, that some "witchy" spells are missing from the witch's spell list, and should be added. I thought it would be helpful to consolidate them.

I avoided adding the spells from the Familar-specific spell lists, since the designers' intent was obviously to keep those restricted to certain kinds of witches.

Spells to Add
- More abjuration spells
- More illusion spells, like dream, nightmare, magic mouth and permanent/programmed image
- Faerie Fire
- Circle of Death
- Telekinesis
- Prestidigitation
- Protection from evil/good/etc. & magic circle vs evil/good/etc.
- Hideous Laughter
- Irresistable Dance
- Ghoul Touch
- Charm/Dominate Animal
- Slow
- Wall of Thorns
- Commune with Nature
- Dimensional Anchor
- Invisibility (and greater invisibility)
- Contagion (and mass contagion)
- Sending
- Dismissal / Banishment / Binding
- Planar Binding (and the lesser & greater versions)
- Magic Jar
- Word of Recall (6th level, since it's basically a limited version of greater teleport)
- Seeming
- Symbol of Sleep
- Symbol of Persuasion
- Command Plants
- Limited Wish and Wish
- Gate
- Polymorph Any Object (it's basically a greater version of Baleful Polymorph, with added flexibility)

Spells to Make Lower Level
- Baleful Polymorph is a signature spell for witches, and should be lower than 5th level. Even lowering it to level 3 would be appropriate IMO.
- Charm Monster & Mass Charm (Charm person is also a signature spell, but it's already 1st level)
- Poison should be 3rd level, like on the Druid spell list. Did you know that the biblical phrase King James translated as "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" actually means "thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live" in Hebrew?
- Contact Other Plane
- Eyebite

Dunno if other's have already stated before me but Symbol of Sleep, Symbol of Persuasion, Magic Jar, and Irresistable Dance are on the Witch's Spell List.

I disagree that Baleful Polymorph should be reduced to a 3rd level spell and feel that it is fine as is at a 5th level spell.

Poison however I agree could be switched to a 3rd level spell.

I do say that there are some spells I feel should be removed from the list.

1st level:
Command
Detect Secret Doors
Mount
Chill Touch

2nd Level:
Death Knell
Find Traps
Zone of Truth

3rd Level:
Heroism

4th Level:
Discern Lies

5th Level:
Mark of Justice

6th Level:
Greater Heroism
Transformation

7th Level:
Fine as is to me.

8th Level:
Resurrection

9th Level:
Fine as is to me.

The way I see a witch, and I am open to debate on this, is at low levels they use illusion and enchantment primarily to confuse and misdirect the actions of their enemies, but at they gain more experience they have more of an ability to use devastating evocations, conjurations, and necromancy.

That said I feel these spells could be added, some are from the list Atlatl said should be added.

0 Level:
Prestidigitation

1st Level:
Faerie Fire
Sanctuary
Doom
Bless/Bane
Entangle
Pass without trace
Alarm
Color Spray
Silent Image

2nd Level:
Protection from Arrows
Minor Image
Spider Climb
Silence

3rd Level:
Wind Wall
Contagion
Major Image
Nondetection
Displacement
Slow

4th Level:
Rainbow Pattern
Resilient Sphere
Wall of Fire
Giant Vermin
Chaos Hammer/Holy Smite/Order's Wrath/Unholy Blight (limited by alignment)

5th Level:
Insect Plague
Tree Stride
Wall of Thorns
Dream
Nightmare
Blight

6th Level:
Blade Barrier
Fire Seeds
Circle of Death
Mislead

7th Level:
Spell Turning
Force Cage
Finger of Death
Blasphemy/Dictum/Holy Word/Word of Chaos (limited by alignment)
Fire Storm

8th Level:
Earthquake
Telekinetic Sphere
Scintillating Pattern
Horrid Wilting
Reverse Gravity

9th Level:
Meteor Swarm
Weird
Energy Drain

Scarab Sages

Quote:


I avoided adding the spells from the Familar-specific spell lists, since the designers' intent was obviously to keep those restricted to certain kinds of witches.

This reminded me of the Familiar spell lists. I'm not sure they're an especially good idea. For one they cause problems when trying to add more familiars to the available list for Witches, including Improved Familiars. For a class based around having a familiar, making it difficult to expand the list seems odd.

As to the specific spells on the list almost all of the spells would be fine directly on the Witch's spell list. It just seems odd that some Witches get Time Stop or Miracle and others get Shapechange (not that Shapechange is a chump spell, but the other two are clear winners in most circumstances).

I'm all for making the familiars more integral to the idea of being a Witch, but I'm not sure specific spell lists are the way to go. Someone mentioned the idea of general spell lists based on familiar "types" and being able to choose one that the player felt was closest to their particular familiar. I'm not especially fond of this idea, but I think it's more compatible with expanding the familiar list. However, I think the Witch would survive the loss of this particular "power" without really losing the sense that they have an extremely close connection to their familiar.

Oh, and I'd like to wholeheartedly agree with Prestidigitation as a cantrip for Witches. And again disagree with taking away Heroism (can anyone explain why they think this spell doesn't fit the Witch?)


For the witch, I’d like to see them be able to completely replace the cleric in a party. Maybe have a midwife power that gives their familiar all the cure spells, restore/regenerate spells, and rez spells. Maybe have a power similar to the paladin’s lay on hands as well.

As for the rest of the spells, I think the witch should focus on curses, changing shape, poison/sickening spells, enchantment, divination, and illusion. I don’t think the witch needs summon monster at all or blast spells.

As for spells granted by familiars, I think a general list for a type of animal might be helpful (so the list can be expanded). For example, one list for mammals, one for reptiles/amphibians, one for flying creatures, one for marine creatures, etc. So an owl, bat, or hawk would get the flying list and the octopus the marine list.


World of Dusk wrote:
For the witch, I’d like to see them be able to completely replace the cleric in a party.

So as spell casters they should be like clerics but better?

They are all ready too good. They make the Oracle look like a joke. Especially with their healing Hex that let them heal at will.
The Oracle don't even have a healing foci so perhaps we should let the witch take their place as the healer. A more versatile and more powerful spell caster.

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Reneshat wrote:
I didn't think of Wall of Thorns, they definitely need that one.

Heck yeah. Can't get much more witchy than that.

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When considering witchy spells, one must be aware that 'there are good witches, and bad witches', as Glenda would say.

Spells like faire fire, glitterdust, heroism, true seeing, the various cures, etc. are good witch spells.


aptinuviel wrote:


And again disagree with taking away Heroism (can anyone explain why they think this spell doesn't fit the Witch?)

Heroism has either been used as a self buff spell for melee oriented wizards/sorcerers, or it is replaced by the Bard Song which is far better than the spell in many instances.

While it is an Enchantment spell, and witches are mainly seen as Enchanters, it has very little combat utility.

At least in my opinion.


Skizzy wrote:

Heroism has either been used as a self buff spell for melee oriented wizards/sorcerers, or it is replaced by the Bard Song which is far better than the spell in many instances.

While it is an Enchantment spell, and witches are mainly seen as Enchanters, it has very little combat utility.

I can see Heroism fitting the witch's spell list, as an enchantment for buffing allies. But Good Hope might be a better choice.

I like that the witch has lightning and cold-based evocations. They should have a small number of direct damage-dealing spells. Black Tentacles is also particularly apt: I can easily see evil witches summoning writing black tentacles from the ground to incapacitate their enemies. But I agree that burning hands is out of place.

I don't think witches need raise dead or resurrection, but reincarnation makes sense for them. I didn't think of Harm for my first list, but it certainly fits the witch's ethos.

Mark of Justice is a great spell for witches. Only the name is odd. Mechanically, it's basically an old-fashioned geasa (conditional curse) from Irish folklore.

Scarab Sages

Skizzy wrote:
aptinuviel wrote:


And again disagree with taking away Heroism (can anyone explain why they think this spell doesn't fit the Witch?)

Heroism has either been used as a self buff spell for melee oriented wizards/sorcerers, or it is replaced by the Bard Song which is far better than the spell in many instances.

While it is an Enchantment spell, and witches are mainly seen as Enchanters, it has very little combat utility.

At least in my opinion.

I assume you mean in 3.5 and not Pathfinder? Now Heroism stacks with Inspire Courage (morale and competence bonus respectively) and lasts a *lot* longer (bard songs are now measured in rounds rather than uses).

I don't see how, mechanically, this would make it a non-Witch spell inherently, and I've yet to read an argument that it doesn't actually fit the flavor of the Witch. Are people hung up on the name? Or do people not feel it's appropriate that Witches would have one of the more solid buffs in the game? Is it because it's a buff and not a debuff? It's come up on quite a few people's "non-witch" list and I'm just not seeing it.


Atlatl Jones wrote:


Mark of Justice is a great spell for witches. Only the name is odd. Mechanically, it's basically an old-fashioned geasa (conditional curse) from Irish folklore.

Well wouldn't Bestow Curse be better for that instead of Mark of Justice?

Since Mark of Justice is a triggered Bestow Curse in effect.

aptinuviel wrote:


I assume you mean in 3.5 and not Pathfinder? Now Heroism stacks with Inspire Courage (morale and competence bonus respectively) and lasts a *lot* longer (bard songs are now measured in rounds rather than uses).

I don't see how, mechanically, this would make it a non-Witch spell inherently, and I've yet to read an argument that it doesn't actually fit the flavor of the Witch. Are people hung up on the name? Or do people not feel it's appropriate that Witches would have one of the more solid buffs in the game? Is it because it's a buff and not a debuff? It's come up on quite a few people's "non-witch" list and I'm just not seeing it.

Ah I was going off of the old 3.5 rules.

Believe me though I am all for a witch being primarily a buff/debuff class to help or hinder parties of adventurers.

Their conjuration spells work great for field control (I.E. Web, Grease, Black Tentacles, Glitterdust).

Burning Hands doesn't fit a witch's "look" in regards to everyone's perception of a witch, but utility wise it works when it has to. I've been the only arcane caster as a witch at adventuring party tables and burning hands has saved us against swarms, or unlucky opponents who decided to group together.

Dark Archive

Sgtdrill wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting suggestions folks... Are there any spells that should not be on the lists that currently are?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Yeah, here's some that seem odd for Witches IMO:

1- Burning Hands (Weren't witches in fantasy literature burned at the stake?)
Detect Secret Doors

2- Find Traps
Status

3- Heroism

6- Heroism, Greater
Transformation

Though by no means am I 100% against them being on the list. Really and truly, I think you did a heck of a job on the whole on the spell list.

+1. I also found these spells to be weird choices as I statted up two NPC witches. Although I understand that all of these spells work a lot better for PC witches than Evil and selfish NPCs who belong to a hag coven.

I'd like to see witches getting more hexes, and in general I'd want all of them to be ranged touch attacks.


I don't know I want most (if not all) those divination spells to stay.

After all the witch is that one out on the edge you go talk to when you need to know things that they probably shouldn't know, but do -- they also seem to know just how you are doing too... and were you hid that secret door you thought you were so cunning to have.

Over all I see divination as a major focus for the witch and wouldn't want to see it go away.

I think some blasting spells are necessary for a witch and burning hands works better than most for this purpose. I'm not saying "load them down!" but there are plenty of cases in witch type stories where in extreme circumstances they pull some direct damage/ area damage out.


Zark wrote:
They are all ready too good. They make the Oracle look like a joke. Especially with their healing Hex that let them heal at will.

p. 15: "Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours."

p. 16: "Once a creature has benefited from the major healing hex, it
cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.

Sure, it's "at will" if you need to heal a few thousand level one commoners, but that doesn't come up very often.


I really think Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning should be removed for Call Lightning and Call Lightning Storm as they seem to fit more for a Witch than blats of electricity shooting from their hands.

I like Fire Seeds as well, but NO to Fire Storm or Meteor Swarm except via familiar. Most witches at least respect nature, if not protect or worship it ala a Druid. However some Infernal or Abyssal themed/allied Witches could be all about destroying anything, natural or otherwise.

Mythmage's list is pretty good as well, especially Polymorph Any Object, which i think is almost a MUST for the list.


I do recall some witches in mythology able to summon fire spells like fireball.

Mab from the Merlin movie with Sam Neil was one such witch.

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As I have posted elsewhere, I really think that it would be better to let witches' familiars have the potential to know any spell from the Druid, Cleric, or Sorcerer/Wizard list, but that the number of such spells the familiar could know would be limited (probably to 9 + the familiar bonus spell, plus a few more with certain feats).

This would add fun to the class as it would let the player create a short, but useful and interesting unique spell list for their character. Also, it has good fluff to go with it-- the reason witches use their familiars to learn spells is that the familiar has access to a unique source knowledge. However, the witch is in turn limiting themselves by focusing on the magical perspective of their familiar.

I would also advocate having some feats that expand the witches spell list. Perhaps one feat that would let them add the spells of a particular domain to their familiar, and another that would let their familar learn a few extra spells.


I haven't dug deep into Witches, but I think it's important to give them a few blasty elements, otherwise they sit there sighing when you face constructs, vermins, and undead, all of which are immune to mind-affecting spells.

Sure, they should have fewer options, maybe be worse at blasting, but ... removing all attack spells would be really annoying.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

It might be interesting to consider the other attempts at a witch class, and the spell lists that those classes had.

Here are the versions of the witch that I can think of:

Dragon Magazine #20 (pre-1st edition D&D):
If I recall, this class had some interesting new spells, such as spells to create and control lycanthropes, a spell that transfers hit points from one creature to another, an abjuration spell that breaks enchantments/destroys magic items/negates spell casting ability (high level, that one), and the spells 'circle of disintigration' and 'circle of life and death'. With circle of life and death, the witch could slay living creatures within the magic circle.

The Players Guide to the Wilderlands, Swords and Sorcery Studios (3rd edition D&D):
This was a re-write of the old Judges Guild campaign setting with the City State of the Invincible Overlord, and the like. The list made some sense, though it was a weak list, and again, I would have given witches several spells that were missing from the list. Witches did also get domain spells and a domain ability from her pact.
Sample spells per level:
1st level: cause fear, change self, charm person, command, comprehend languages, cure light wounds, doom, endure elements, hypnotism, identify, silent image, sleep, speak with animals, summon monster I, summon natures ally I, ventriliquism.
5th level: baleful polymorph, dream, false vision, feeblemind, greater command, magic jar, major creation, mirage arcana, nightmare, seeming, sending, summon monster V, summon nature's ally V.
9th level: earthquake, foresight, gate, refuge, shapechange, summon monster IX, wail of the banshee, weird.

Dungeon Masters Guide v.3.0:
Spells *very* similar to the Wilderlands spells, but with more illusions, and no domain.

Those are the witch attempts that I can think up off the top of my head. Does anyone know of any others?


William Timmins wrote:

I haven't dug deep into Witches, but I think it's important to give them a few blasty elements, otherwise they sit there sighing when you face constructs, vermins, and undead, all of which are immune to mind-affecting spells.

Sure, they should have fewer options, maybe be worse at blasting, but ... removing all attack spells would be really annoying.

I can tell you that fighting said creatures is [insert appropiate explitive here] annoying as a witch.

I did nothing more but sigh and then reward the fighter when he was hit.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm surprised no one's mentioned this.

Three spell list. White, Grey, and Black. Each for an alignment (Good, Neutral, and Evil). You could expand it to Law and Chaos (Blue and Red), but that might be over board. This way a Witch could fill an appropriate niche. White magic has healing and protectives with disabling spells (Hold) for the offensive. This even opens up the idea of Feats that allow a Witch to dabble in another spell list without penalizing their alignment.

Classically, Witches hold rituals and make Pacts with Demons (Archons for good aligned) to gain power or protection through their favor. I realize this sounds like a complete overhaul, but look at it this way. It all amounts to a system similar to Domains without being called that.

Here's something that would help the Witch out and make her a more appealing class for group play without having to further clericify the class. Allow her to produce a small number of charms each day. Each charm last for one day, but allows a designated ally (or herself) to cast a spell, once. So she could spend a 1st level slot to make a charm that lets an ally cast a cure light wounds. Either on themselves or another. Keep the number of charms small (no more than one per spell level and maybe no more than one per 3 levels a day. Easy to keep track of, unique to the Witch class, and interesting to play with.


Skizzy wrote:
William Timmins wrote:

I haven't dug deep into Witches, but I think it's important to give them a few blasty elements, otherwise they sit there sighing when you face constructs, vermins, and undead, all of which are immune to mind-affecting spells.

Sure, they should have fewer options, maybe be worse at blasting, but ... removing all attack spells would be really annoying.

I can tell you that fighting said creatures is [insert appropiate explitive here] annoying as a witch.

I did nothing more but sigh and then reward the fighter when he was hit.

Evil Eye is an at will supernatural ability that isn't mind affecting... Summon monster is on the witch's spell list, et al...

There is plenty to do besides blasting that is still useful for the party and an active deterant to constructs, vermin, and undead.


A possibility yes, but limiting a witch to just summoning creatures, you might as well play a summoning druid, summoning conjurer, or The Summoner class itself.

Evil Eye is a good hex believe me, but in my group I've chosen some affects that have more roleplay potential for my character.

This is my playstyle which I am finding out that it is flawed in some areas, so some changes are necessary, but overall the witch is possibly the weakest class that's been released.

The Exchange

Not to mention that Evil Eye is a great way to set up another spell next round (if you stand still, you can use Evil Eye and Cackle in the same round, turning it into a 2-round curse minimum even if they pass their save) by applying the penalty to saves, thereby making your next attempt to use Bestow Curse (or Hold Person, or your targeted spell of choice) through Spectral Hand with a much greater margin of success. BTW, great selection of Spectral Hand for the Witch. Even though by the RAW I know you can't, but it would be awesome if the witch could use her hexes through the spectral hand. That, or make he touch-range ones not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Sure, against some foes you may be just Evil Eye'ing away their AC to help your up-close-and-personal guys do their job, but you'll always have something to do every round. Hell, the witch in the party I'm GM'ing for opted for Craft Wand and spent a great deal of his wealth just to gain options for every round... Shocking Grasp, Lightning Bolt, CLW for out of combat healing (7.5 GP per 1d8+1 hp healed? can't beat that deal. And it only took 1 day to make). He is finding that he wished that he had access to some of the other familiar bonus spells, though. It just seems weird that a class can have the stat-buffing spells (bull's strength, cat's grace, ect.) but is only allowed to have one of them. I know they filled a perfectly easy spot on the cat and owl's list, but it seems kinda harsh to make them choose only one of them.

The Exchange

Skizzy wrote:
This is my playstyle which I am finding out that it is flawed in some areas, so some changes are necessary, but overall the witch is possibly the weakest class that's been released.

My player loves the Witch for her versatility, and being able to fill multiple roles if called upon to do so. Part-time healer, part-time disabler, part-time blaster (of course the wands help this), he loves the spell list and the abilities. That's even taking into account that all they've fought so far is undead, too! Lightning Bolt is a wonderful thing, you see ;)


There in lies the difference between us actually.

You're playing a witch that has access to third level spells, where as I am not.

My witch has barely made second level and my best spell is either Ray of enfeeblement or grease.

Both of those have helped us in fights when we fought undead but they only delayed creatures for a round at best for my part.

When I played my first adventure I did not have either of those spells because I focused more on enchantment spells and Cure light wounds.

So when we fought all creatures that were immune to enchantments, I was S.O.L.


So this was a focus issue? After all even if other choices were present (and they were) you choose to ignore them and go after what you wanted instead (not a bad thing)... that doesn't mean there is a problem with balance however, it just means that in this one case you weren't as effective as you would be against say seven human guards that had been drinking.

An enchanter (wizard) in a similiar situation would have had the same problems, and a druid that choose all animal spells for the day would have too.

I'm not saying that you didn't have a problem, and I'm not saying that the problem was a bad build, I'm only pointing out that this is one of those "not my time" things, much as what can happen to any character.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Shane LeRose wrote:

I'm surprised no one's mentioned this.

Three spell list. White, Grey, and Black. Each for an alignment (Good, Neutral, and Evil). You could expand it to Law and Chaos (Blue and Red), but that might be over board.

Color choices aside, I would so want to convert my 9th level wizard to be a chaos witch. Anything even called a chaos witch as got to be cool. In fact, you can up the coolness factor of just about anything by putting the word chaos in front of it. Chaos nerds are cooler than nerds, for example. Chaos witches' color should be prismatic though (or at least paisley).


Personally, I'd remove lightning bolt in favor of call lightning and call lightning storm. Lightning bolt is more of an un-natural, create lightning from nothing between my hands and kamehameha it towards the enemies, spell than it seems the Witch is designed around.

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