Overpowered witch?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


In my reg path game (lev 5), my GM was complaining about my witch being overpowered. I had cakle, cauldron, misfortune, and sleep hex. My usual tactic at 4-5th level was to sleep the mobs, and misfortune the baddest ugliest guy i saw. I had a bow, so i would most of the time use that for damage, as a majority of my spells were healing because we lacked any other character to heal. I tried to point out that if i went damage class, say a ranger, i would probably take out the same guys i was CCing for the rest of the party to take out. we had a barbarian, a TW fighter, and a sorcerer in the party. I would throw out some spell damage once in a while, not often though. Is it really an overpowered class?

Silver Crusade

No. It's a really good class, but no more than any other options.

Dark Archive

I never played one but have read The class over and we had 3 of our group play as one in games with level ranges from 3 - 9. If anything I would say they are under powered, a second tier character.


I've seen many effective witches. I've seen no overpowered witches.

Quite a few of the hexes are strong, but they are mostly Fortitude and Will based saves, which many monsters excell at, and are also for the most part single target abilities, making them less than ideal for dealing with larger groups. The majority better witch hexes weaken you enemies and strengthen your allies (evil eye, cackle, misfortune, fortune, and so on) making you reliant on allies or taking a few rounds to soften up a wingle powerful enemy to the point where you can all but guarentee success via sleep or nauseation, which many enemies may be immune to anyway. The witch spell selection is more limited than a wizard's as well. Witches can be quite strong, but are hardly overpowered on their merit.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sleep - countered by anything immune to Mind Affecting. My Witch, not knowing the Bestiary as well as I do, will occasionally throw it at monsters that are immune to sleep. Obviously, Half Elves and Elves are the exception, as the character is Half Elf and knows better because of that.

Cauldron - There's no way that this Hex is overpowered. Nothing about it is intimidating in any way. True, it's the equivalent of 2 feats, but it's not a big deal.

Cackle/Misfortune - Good, but not amazing. Monsters can save or they can move beyond your Cackle range. Extremely strong when it does hit, though.

If he thinks you're OP now, just wait until you get Major Hexes.

Lantern Lodge

Seems like your witch is a great debuffer for your party.

Your party's 3 other characters are all damage dealers, which combo perfectly with your witch! Sleep, then mass damage from the bar, fighter and sorcerer.

I think that is the reason why your DM is singling you out. You help setup perfect kills for your team. Without you, enemies would last longer fighting your party.

Ask your DM if the reason he feel you are overpowered is due to how great you are at weakening the enemies. If so, work something out with your DM.


Sleep is probably the major problem. If the GM hasn't planned out ahead well, and the monsters are unlucky with their saves a lot of encounters get much easier than expected. But this is the same for every save or suck thing (the reason why some wizard optimizers discourage you to go that road).

If it is really a big problem for your GM, I would offer to change the sleep hex for something different. Evil Eye would still be very effective, but wouldn't immediatly take out an opponent.

As others mentioned, the witch is in general not overpowered, but it is very easy to be effective even if you use all your spell to heal, the hexes are great.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm playing a witch currently and I am finding that she is a very feast or famine type of character. I find that the vast majority of my Hexs and spells are Will saves. Great if I'm fighting a Fighter or Rogue. But this week we were fighting an Anti-Paladin and I could pretty much just stand there and look pretty for all the good I was doing. Even with three fold aspect on myself my hexes had only a DC20, and the spells are lower then that. He would have had to roll below a 5 to hit with. Slumber is the best, but it is easily avoided by a smart DM


Many opponents are immune to mind-affecting effects (constructs, oozes, plants, undead and vermin). That leaves witch character little to do. I am GM:ing a witch in a party, and I really like the supporting role of the class.

Sleep hex can be a pain, but good boss should have impressive saves. Didn't help certain lamia matriarch thou. Two One's; Save vs Sleep and then Save vs Coup De Grace...


I have a witch and I love it, I'd say they are not OP as others have posted above, just wait until you get the fortune hex for your meleers along with your misfortune hex, GM headache...


My only problem with the witch is that I feel it gets a lot more last ability when compared to a wizard or sorcerer when you throw the hexes in there, but honestly it is all about how your dm plans encounters so any real issues are nit picky.

Liberty's Edge

I've never played the witch, but having taken a good look at the abilities and spell list it's clear that there is little chance of it becoming overpowering. Working in conjunction with a group is why the GM is having such a hard time, but since many of your abilities are enchantment based its not really hard to overcome them. I use this rule of thumb when trying to determine if a character is overpowered, if the character could solo a situation that you are facing as a group, then your overpowered. With out the back up of your party of frontliners you'd probably not be able to handle those encounters. Your fine.


Well, not really overpowered, let's say that at low-mid level it can be very effective in fights against a lot of opponents with low will saves: they can put to sleep a number of enemies really easily. A wizard could do the same IF they have the proper spell prepared (which means, knowing the spell, having prepared it at the beginning of the day, not having used it already). On the other hand, however, against enemies immune to mind-affecting spells (or just with high will saves) they are much less useful than a wizard.
So, not overpowered except than is very specific kind of encounter.

Scarab Sages

Sharis wrote:
We had a barbarian, a TW fighter, and a sorcerer in the party. I would throw out some spell damage once in a while, not often though. Is it really an overpowered class?

If you're in a four-person party, there's not a lot of people between you and the enemy.

Given the lack of a dedicated healer, and you having to spend your spells keeping people up, I'd say that, without the sleep hex occasionally evening the odds, you'd find your front-line over-run.

I'm playing a level 5 witch right now, though with a different focus. I'm in a larger party of 6, plus 2 animal companions and familiar, so the first hex I took was healing. Followed by evil eye, then ward.

Buffing abilities give a much greater payoff when there are more friendly targets (it was like having up to 9 cure light wounds spells/day at level 1!), less so when the party is small.
With offensive abilities, the reverse applies.

Since yours is a small party, the likelihood is that the encounters you face will be closer in CR to your level, or sometimes lower, which means, less opponents, of lower level, with less gear, in less advantageous terrain. Which in turn, means the opposition are far more likely to fail a save, and when they do, it takes out a larger proportion of the enemy forces (maybe even 100%).

(Your use of the word 'mob' is, I believe, in the modern MMO misleading sense of 'any mobile opponent', rather than it's traditional meaning of a mob/horde/swarm/army that outnumbers the PCs. If that's the case, it's going to confuse the issue when you talk to traditional table-top gamers.)

Ultimately, no-one on this board can really change your GM's opinion (or give you the tools to do so), without actually seeing one of your sessions, or having the GM come here to explain his reasoning.


Having played a witch from 1 to 7 (currently) I can definetly see how a witch can cause troubles for a dm, especially a dm without a lot of experiece. But, so can a LOT of characters, and crying OP isn't really a mature way for a DM to deal with those challenges. If you use most of your spells for healing and a dfew damage spells, you arent even utiliziing the full power of the class. A spell like web can prevent more damage than all your 2nd lvl slots can heal. But, as long as you arent taking away the glory or fun from other characters, there is nothing really he should be complaining about. Is your group trivializing every/most encounter? Then it's probably because of the overall power of your group, and not your slumber hexes alone, tell your DM to just up the CR of encounters a bit instead of whining about your perfectly reasonable character.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

The first time I ran a player who was a debuffer I was a little annoyed as well. I thought I wasn't running a good game. The players eventually TPKed though, as they weren't ready for things they couldn't easily debuff. I eventually learned that debuffing happens and makes the game interesting and adds new challenges to the players/DM.

Eventually you'll fight some elves or undead and the DM will be fine.

Sczarni

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Hey there! ^_^ 5th level witch here.

I have Evil Eye, Flight and Slumber as my hexes currently. We just went on an adventure last night and Slumber effectively NERFed two encounters- saving us from fighting two higher level NPCs when they failed their saves.

After the game, I spoke with the DM asking if she thought I should drop Slumber as it was "so powerful" in ending those encounters... she said, "No, your hex wouldn't have worked on two of the prior encounters at all... and who says in the future that monsters won't make their save most of the time. Keep your hex ability, it's part of what makes your character special... failed saves are part of the mix, you just got lucky."

Chibiko

Dark Archive

I had until recently played a Hedge Witch level 10 and trust me, while some of the hexes seem powerful (I never took sleep) a lot of stuff will make the saves versus stuff like Evil Eye or Misfortune and then they count for nothing.Knowing when to pick your targets with a Witch is the key to success.I thought it was a fun class overall but definitive not overpowered.Not weak either.

Dark Archive

It's really the Misfortune/Slumber combo that GMs have trouble dealing with.

Slumber is good obviously, but there are still lots of things that are immune to sleep or mind-affecting effects. Slumber also is generally ineffective against flying opponents, since they fall and become awake again from falling damage.

Misfortune is more powerful I believe. It hits everything, and rolling two d20s for everything is really really brutal. Cackle obviously combos with it, but if your party is heavy on DPR, Cackle isn't as necessary.

The Will saves can be difficult to make for monsters as with a 18/20 starting INT, plus a +2-6 headband, + Threefold Aspect (a truly great buff spell) make for some really high DCs.

I feel even Agony isn't as effective overall compared to Slumber and Misfortune. There are more monsters with big Fort saves than Will IMO, although the result is the same on a failed save (basically ends that threat).

The main weakness of the witch is significantly weaker and small spell list, and that a witch needs to get pretty close to do damage as compared with other spell casters. A witch has also pretty weak defensive spells, so hitting should be easier.

Class is fine, not overpowered.


BYC wrote:


The Will saves can be difficult to make for monsters as with a 18/20 starting INT, plus a +2-6 headband, + Threefold Aspect (a truly great buff spell) make for some really high DCs.

But, headband bonus and threefold aspect bonus should NOT stack seen they are both enhancement bonuses, right ?


I think the issue with the Witch is the perception of it being overpowered, not that it actually is. Some DM's may find the constant debuffs/control very unfun for them; My DM was a big non-fan of my Witch Enchantress' constant tendency to take his big beaty monster he was excited to throw at us and... turn it back on him.

"Ooooh, thats a cool Giant Anaconda. I think I'll take it!"

Technically, she wasn't necessarily any more powerful than any other caster, but when every action I was taking in combat (Hexes, majority of offensive spell selection) were either controlling or denying him the use of his 'cool monsters' he wanted to throw at us, he found it very frustrating.

And then she got eviscerated by a critical sneak attack due to lacking defensive spell options like Mirror Image (wrong patron) and such on the Witch list.

But overpowered? Nah. Possibly unfun to play against? Maybe...

Dark Archive

Kruggh wrote:
BYC wrote:


The Will saves can be difficult to make for monsters as with a 18/20 starting INT, plus a +2-6 headband, + Threefold Aspect (a truly great buff spell) make for some really high DCs.
But, headband bonus and threefold aspect bonus should NOT stack seen they are both enhancement bonuses, right ?

Yup. I was mistaken.


Yeah, the idea of magic that isn't subject to dispells, spell resistance, counter spells and doesn't provoke AoO can be intimidating. However, it's mostly subject to saves and what not so it's very balanced, imo.


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I think the perception is flavored by the fact that (most) hexes don't run out of uses, they run out of (valid) targets. Witches are absolutely the top of the heap when it comes to utility. Rather lower down the totem pole when it comes to raw power/versatility.

I have a witch with the healing hex. With a team of 5PCs, 3 NPCs and a few familiars, and a population of thousands of refugees to escort, that healing hex is going to turn into the equivalent of somewhere between dozens or hundreds (or even thousands) of 2nd level spell slots. Overpowered? Well, probably not. Useful? Oh, hell yes.

I don't have personal experience, but I strongly suspect that at the higher levels, the best wizards are going to outshine the best witches. I do have personal experience in how well low level witches do compared with low level wizards...

Consider that a 1st level human witch can heal every PC, animal companion, familiar, mount and friendly NPC, attempt to curse every hostile NPC or monster once/day and brew a potion without blowing a single spell (except for making the potion) is pretty nice.

But overpowered? Not really.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
cattoy wrote:

I think the perception is flavored by the fact that (most) hexes don't run out of uses, they run out of (valid) targets. Witches are absolutely the top of the heap when it comes to utility. Rather lower down the totem pole when it comes to raw power/versatility.

I have a witch with the healing hex. With a team of 5PCs, 3 NPCs and a few familiars, and a population of thousands of refugees to escort, that healing hex is going to turn into the equivalent of somewhere between dozens or hundreds (or even thousands) of 2nd level spell slots. Overpowered? Well, probably not. Useful? Oh, hell yes.

I don't have personal experience, but I strongly suspect that at the higher levels, the best wizards are going to outshine the best witches. I do have personal experience in how well low level witches do compared with low level wizards...

Consider that a 1st level human witch can heal every PC, animal companion, familiar, mount and friendly NPC, attempt to curse every hostile NPC or monster once/day and brew a potion without blowing a single spell (except for making the potion) is pretty nice.

But overpowered? Not really.

I would agree. It is super fantastic that my witch can just spam Slumber and Misfortune all day every day, this really helps to make up for the fact that you get one spell per level less than Wizards, Clerics and Druids (w/ domain). The problem is that every one of your hexes and spells are will based. Additionally, the best Wizard spells per level are usually ones that alter the battle ground more than do damage. The Witch spell selection is much more limited.


Sharis wrote:
In my reg path game (lev 5), my GM was complaining about my witch being overpowered. I had cakle, cauldron, misfortune, and sleep hex. My usual tactic at 4-5th level was to sleep the mobs, and misfortune the baddest ugliest guy i saw. I had a bow, so i would most of the time use that for damage, as a majority of my spells were healing because we lacked any other character to heal. I tried to point out that if i went damage class, say a ranger, i would probably take out the same guys i was CCing for the rest of the party to take out. we had a barbarian, a TW fighter, and a sorcerer in the party. I would throw out some spell damage once in a while, not often though. Is it really an overpowered class?

I will say as a GM that sleep is annoying, but it is not overpowered. The class is not overpowered IMHO. It is good at debuffs. If he throws undead at you then he will be better off, but I would not do it for every fight.


Chibiko wrote:

Hey there! ^_^ 5th level witch here.

I have Evil Eye, Flight and Slumber as my hexes currently. We just went on an adventure last night and Slumber effectively NERFed two encounters- saving us from fighting two higher level NPCs when they failed their saves.

After the game, I spoke with the DM asking if she thought I should drop Slumber as it was "so powerful" in ending those encounters... she said, "No, your hex wouldn't have worked on two of the prior encounters at all... and who says in the future that monsters won't make their save most of the time. Keep your hex ability, it's part of what makes your character special... failed saves are part of the mix, you just got lucky."

Chibiko

Any openings at your table? Lol. I think some GM's forget that sometimes things work because of failed saves, and then they work awesome, and others when saved against have no power, and a wasted turn, just like any miss, with the added bonus of not being able to use that hex again.


IMO, early in a game, a witch with the misfortune hex can cackle its way right down the overpowered path. That's without even talking about slumber. Most stuff early on (goblins, animals, vermin, etc) have crappy will saves. They also tend to have poor attack bonuses, and rely on the sheer number of attacks (e.g. 8 goblins each with a +1 attack) to get any hits in, much less serious damage. With misfortune, a 50% hit chance goes down to 25%. A 1/3 chance goes down to 1/9. As a GM, I try not to play low-level stuff with much tactics, so they wouldn't think to move 30 feet away or anything like that. I was running Rise of the Runelords a while back, and the witch just made the game no fun. Granted, they party-wiped by level 4 or 5 (bad tactics, I would say) so I can't speak for the witch at higher levels, but starting out it's a real pain in the be-hind.


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ಠ_ಠ


Toddpinil wrote:
Most stuff early on (goblins, animals, vermin, etc) have crappy will saves. They also tend to have poor attack bonuses, and rely on the sheer number of attacks (e.g. 8 goblins each with a +1 attack) to get any hits in, much less serious damage. With misfortune, a 50% hit chance goes down to 25%. A 1/3 chance goes down to 1/9. As a GM, I try not to play low-level stuff with much tactics, so they wouldn't think to move 30 feet away or anything like that.

A witch take 8 rounds (years apparently) to misfortune 8 goblins, so it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.


Save-or-suffer is really strong.

The witch gets pretty strong save-or-suffer from early levels (specifically the sleep hex). Spellcasters start with decent save DCs (because the caster only needs one high stat, so you try to make that stat as high as possible). Seeing PC casters with an Int of 18 to start is not at all unusual.

Quote:

Slumber (Su)

Effect: A witch can cause a creature within 30 feet to fall into a deep, magical sleep, as per the spell sleep. The creature receives a Will save to negate the effect. If the save fails, the creature falls asleep for a number of rounds equal to the witch’s level.

This hex can affect a creature of any HD. The creature will not wake due to noise or light, but others can rouse it with a standard action. This hex ends immediately if the creature takes damage. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Quote:
Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.

So I can dish out a save DC 14 effect, at 1st-level. The target is unconscious until someone uses a standard action to rouse them (and the target might not survive long enough to be roused, of course). There is no concentration needed, and I will not provoke an opportunity attack.

These are the saving throws of a goblin, a typical opponent faced at 1st-level:

Quote:
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will –1

This ability will be used for the rest of the witch's career. The save DC will always be similar to the DCs of the witch's highest level spells.

Well, at least the witch can't use Spell Focus.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/amplified-hex/

It can use that instead.

The GM will probably sigh and simply add more goblins (or whatever) to every encounter... if they realize they should do that. These goblins can wake up the named characters the PCs are supposed to fear.

This spell (hex, sorry) feels almost as nasty as Hold Monster (a 5th-level spell) only it's supernatural.


The Thread wrote:
ಠ_ಠ

Sorry, I should have left it =P

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A witch is great in a single target encounter or against a low number of enemies if the party supports her.
Her main problem is that the hexes ranges are generally short and it has relatively few defensive spells.


For those who haven't noticed, This Thread has been sleeping for 8 years. Chances are whover you're replying to is not going to see your reply. We should let it go back to bed unless we actually have a question to ask (and personally I'm a fan of starting a new thread with links if I've got a new question).


To necro a post is generally bad, because the arguments from back then may not be true anymore. But I don't really see any big changes here. We've just gotten more used to it. Personally, I think slumber is a bit too good for a hex, but it's been that way for nearly the whole life of the game and hasn't ruined many games. So, it's not game-breakingly too good.

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