High Level Witch


Advanced Player's Guide Playtest: Final Playtest

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

It seems the high level witch (11th+) has some problems. I note that there is not a lot of open play testing reported for this level of witch, and hope that some is being done in house.

So, I have a lot of experience playing high level wizards, and in converting a 14th level wizard to a witch, I noticed a number of problems that make the witch underpowered for this level of play (at least compared to a wizard):

Major Hexes are not all appropriate for 11th level and higher. Two hexes are particularly weak.

*Hags Eye*: this is a 4th level spell. The 5th level wizard spell prying eyes, that creates multiple eyes that last 1 hour/level is *much* better. Hag’s eye should be unique for the other eye spells in that it allows your to teleport the eye to any location as per the spell ‘teleport object’, and allows any of your divination spells to function through the eye as though it were your own eye. Also, its duration should probably be 10 minutes/level.

*Waxen Image*: this just takes too much time to be useful in combat. It takes a full round action to create the image (which has no direct effect on the melee combat), and then a standard action for each command; but there is a saving throw to completely negate the effect after both the full round action, and after each standard action.

Instead, since the witch takes a full round action to create the image, the target should get no saving throw after that full round action. After each standard action command, they should get a saving throw to ignore that command, but the witch should still be able to attempt further commands. That would be an interesting hex.

Spells are also a problem. Wizards at 11th level and beyond are able to defend themselves with powerful abjuration spells like ‘Spell Turning’, ‘Globe of Invulnerability’, and ‘Protection from Spells’. Further, they can misdirect foes with spells like ‘Project Image’. Witches lack any such capability.

I would give them some additional spells, including Mass Heal (9th), Spell Turning (seems as witchy as anything, in fact it is mirror related and happens a lot in Bewitched), Protection from Spells, Circle of Death, and Finger of Death. Get rid of clone, phase door, and transformation if you must, but adding a couple of spells per level to their list would not hurt much, especially considering that they only get access to those spells known by their familiar.

Scarab Sages

moon glum wrote:


Spells are also a problem. Wizards at 11th level and beyond are able to defend themselves with powerful abjuration spells like ‘Spell Turning’, ‘Globe of Invulnerability’, and ‘Protection from Spells’. Further, they can misdirect foes with spells like ‘Project Image’. Witches lack any such capability.

I would give them some additional spells, including Mass Heal (9th), Spell Turning...

I ran a playtest of a 15th level Witch (several different scenarios now) and noted this exact problem in my previous playtesting report on the forum. Witches really could just take the entire Abjuration school and still feel like a distinct class from Wizards. But they need something, and it can't just be scattered throughout the familiar spell lists (yet another problem with having separate familiar spell lists is the belief that these problems are covered if a single familiar has access to them.) If nearly all of the familiar lists were just added to the normal spells that a Witch had access to they'd be fine. There are plenty of protective spells there and several high levels spells that pack a punch (Miracle and Time Stop specifically).

I also think they should have Spellstaff from the Druid list, but that's mostly because I think the spell could have been written for the class if I didn't know any better.

The Witch spell list is interesting, but there are a few levels (especially the high ones) where their list is pretty generic and lackluster. There are almost no spells that someone would say "Whoah, that spell is too overpowered to give to a class." But keep in mind that Clerics/Wizards *do* have these spells. So a full time caster that doesn't have access to something like those (either their own really cool spell or one of the Wizard/Cleric really cool spells) ends up being the red-headed stepchild of casters. And Witches *hate* stepchildren.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
aptinuviel wrote:
. And Witches *hate* stepchildren.

Actually it is a well known fact that Witch's love step children, in a nice red wine sauce with a side of gingerbread.

Scarab Sages

Galnörag wrote:
aptinuviel wrote:
. And Witches *hate* stepchildren.
Actually it is a well known fact that Witch's love step children, in a nice red wine sauce with a side of gingerbread.

You mean they would if they weren't constantly being killed, or worse, humiliated, by them.


Yeah, I actually thought Waxen Image should be replaced with a Lesser Simularcum ability. It just seemed more witchy to me.

Though a voodoo doll is very witchy I guess... And I think that's what Waxen Image is trying to replicate. If it were I think it should be more pin-cushion-esque

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