Feymarked Scoundrel (Witch)


Round 2: Design an archetype

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Morphemic

Feymarked Scoundrel (Witch)

A feymarked scoundrel hides among the desperate masses in the River Kingdoms and preys on the unwary. She bears strange markings that connect her to the region's fey magic, allowing her to summon fey avatars that resemble children or animals. Projecting an appearance of innocence and need, she lures her victims into peril and hexes them from the shadows.

Class Skills: The feymarked scoundrel adds Bluff and Stealth to her list of class skills. She removes Heal and Use Magic Device from her list of class skills.

Fey Mark (Su): At 1st level, a feymarked scoundrel acquires a marking on her skin that represents her connection to the First World. The marking consists of nature motifs and bizarre faerie runes. As the feymarked scoundrel increases in power, her fey mark becomes larger and more elaborate. The fey mark acts like a witch's familiar for the purpose of preparing and gaining spells. A feymarked scoundrel contemplates the patterns of her fey mark to prepare spells. This ability replaces the witch's familiar.

Fey Avatar (Su): At 1st level, a feymarked scoundrel can summon a fey avatar for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive but she must spend them in 1-minute increments.

The feymarked scoundrel selects the form of the avatar at the time she summons it. The avatar must resemble a harmless child or small animal, and may never appear threatening or dangerous. Its appearance may not imitate a specific individual. Regardless of its form, the avatar has statistics as if it were a familiar of the feymarked scoundrel's level, using the pig as the animal type. The avatar appears within 30 feet of the feymarked scoundrel and must remain within 100 feet at all times.

The feymarked scoundrel uses a standard action to summon the avatar and must spend a standard action each round concentrating to maintain the avatar. The avatar acts on the feymarked scoundrel's turn. The feymarked scoundrel shares the avatar's senses and has complete control over the avatar's actions. A fey avatar may not speak, but it may vocalize cries, shrieks, whimpers, or other sounds appropriate to its form.

This ability replaces the witch's 1st-level hex.

Fey Hex (Su): At 6th level, the feymarked scoundrel grants her fey avatar the ability to use certain hexes. If she knows them herself, she may grant the avatar the following hexes: charm, evil eye, and misfortune. When the avatar uses a hex, it is treated as if the feymarked scoundrel had used the hex herself, except that the avatar provides the point of origin. This ability replaces the witch's 6th-level hex.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

My first impression of all the archetypes was based purely on their name, and by that standard, this is my favorite. I might be slightly influenced by a love of rogues and the recent publication of the fey scoundrels in Courts of the Shadow Fey, but ... there you go.

On to the abilities. Losing Heal for Stealth and UMD for Bluff is probably slightly to the archetype's favor, but only slightly.

The flavor of the fey marks is very cool, but losing the familiar is losing both a point of vulnerability and a strength. Not sure how much I like a witch without familiar.

The meat of this archetype is the avatar. At first blush, it's just an annoyingly complex familiar, but with the addition of avatar hexes at 6th level, maybe there's something worthwhile here. It makes sense in a trickster or urban environment: I'm less certain of the utility of this "use the avatar to deliver hexes" idea in more traditional adventures.

Overall, I would say this has great flavor but relatively low utility. the witch is not a class I have a ton of experience with, though, so I'll be curious to see what the other judges say.

As one of 3 witch archetypes, I'll come back to compare this for the title of "Best Witch Archetype."

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial impression: tattooed witch with a pig baby. Strange. I loved the name when I opened the link, but I think what we have here is a first draft. The idea is interesting but the execution is lacking. Replacing a familiar with a marking and then an avatar which later can cast hexes is an interesting idea but the slate of abilities is not that compelling, the usefulness is low, the swaps not that good, and the pig-baby avatar seems overly problematic. The candle was good, this is just not up to superstar level.

I DO NOT Recommend this archetype for advancement.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

On further reflection, I'm going to say this is not my favorite of the witch archetypes. Lots of flavor, low utility.

Not recommended for advancement.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Good name, though (as I said in another archetype) the RK don't have a strong fey vibe for me.

Fey Mark: Having a familiar is one of the iconic aspects of the witch class. Removing that is like a wizard that doesn't need a spellbook. Strange choice.

Fey Avatar: ... and then you give her something that isn't actually a familiar, but uses the familiar advancement. Why take away a class ability just to give it back again with a limited duration?

Fey Hex: Because the avatar can only use three specific hexes, that basically forces the witch to take those hexes in order to make use of this ability. I recommended against this sort of choice in my archetype advice thread

Other than the weird flavor of the avatar, this doesn't seem much more than a slight variant to the standard witch, and isn't really tied to the RK (its theme of "preys on the unwary" could just as easily apply to any standard witches in the RK).

I do NOT recommend this archetype for advancement.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Just starting to read everything, but ...

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Good name, though (as I said in another archetype) the RK don't have a strong fey vibe for me.

I have to disagree here. I think a lot of what I think of as the River Kingdoms "proper" may not have a fey vibe, but the Stolen Lands certainly do and they're technically part of the RK.

Also, IIRC, the chapter on Uringen talks a lot about its fey problems.

A quick search function on the Guide to the River Kingdoms shows the word "fey" first appears on Page 2: "The departure of the elves gave the human race new territory to explore, putting them in conflict with lizardfolk, frog-men, and suspicious fey." They're mentioned again on Page 5.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

The name has nice flavor and I can see how the concept could be appropriate for the River Kingdoms.
The skill swap is ok. I have some reservations on the utility of swapped skills vs heal, but only a small one.

Fey Mark: This is where I was hoping to get reeled in, but just didn't. You've replaced the Familiar with a tattoo (sort of), but the abilities the mark gives don't deliver on the promise of the flavor text. I think you tried to tackle a more difficult class as far as Archetypes go, but you just didn't nail it for me. I think this would have been better if the mark granted a few other abilities. It's probably hard to do that without swapping out hexes at certain levels with this class. Good Luck.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I'm not sure what I think about this archetype as I don't play casters very often. It's certainly seems cool.

My main reason for posting is to chime in on the Fey element of the RK. I understand that the River Kingdoms may not be totally overrun with Fey, but Kingmaker probably accounts for 90%* of Pathfinder players familiarity with the River Kingdoms and that's chockfull of Fey.

*60% of statistics are made up 100% of the time.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

P33J wrote:

I'm not sure what I think about this archetype as I don't play casters very often. It's certainly seems cool.

My main reason for posting is to chime in on the Fey element of the RK. I understand that the River Kingdoms may not be totally overrun with Fey, but Kingmaker probably accounts for 90%* of Pathfinder players familiarity with the River Kingdoms and that's chockfull of Fey.

*60% of statistics are made up 100% of the time.

(I prefer "fully 68% of statistics are misleading") ;p

I like this archetype, though it is particularly niche, definitely more for an RP player. The fey avatar is very reminiscent of Japanese spirits that appear as animals or harmless children. I have no problem with witch archetypes trading out familiars (contemplating the tattoo is great!) or, for that matter, Patrons. Just need a good thematic reason why and mechanic to replace it. Not sure the fey avatar is that mechanic however.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

I have to disagree here. I think a lot of what I think of as the River Kingdoms "proper" may not have a fey vibe, but the Stolen Lands certainly do and they're technically part of the RK.

Also, IIRC, the chapter on Uringen talks a lot about its fey problems.

A quick search function on the Guide to the River Kingdoms shows the word "fey" first appears on Page 2: "The departure of the elves gave the human race new territory to explore, putting them in conflict with lizardfolk, frog-men, and suspicious fey." They're mentioned again on Page 5.

Which is why I included the parenthetical statement.

Just because The Stolen Lands uses fey stuff and the word "fey" appears on page 2 of Guide to the River Kindoms doesn't change that "fey" is "not one of the first things **I** think of when I think of the RK)."

Dedicated Voter Season 6

The first thing I suspect that most of the gaming public thinks of regarding the River Kingdoms is the Stolen Lands because of the Kingmaker Adventure Path. wink wink, nudge nudge ;)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Which is why I included the parenthetical statement.

Just because The Stolen Lands uses fey stuff and the word "fey" appears on page 2 of Guide to the River Kindoms doesn't change that "fey" is "not one of the first things **I** think of when I think of the RK)."

Sorry, Sean. I read this one first (and thus didn't see the parenthetical) and then felt like I should post in the other fey-type just to be evenhanded.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

well written, good template use.

i've been focusing mostly on game balance and i would say you've got just a little bit of an issue there. unlike most of what i've pointed out, i think you made this less powerful than the base class. the fey avatar, while alleviating fears about your familiar getting killed, will not be useful all that often for a PC and you've taken away 2 hexes and basically restricted selection of the others. i could see making an interesting NPC with this archetype (though you could probably mimic the flavor with a homunculus improved familiar and the disguise skill), but i have trouble imaging most PCs being interested in it.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't apologize... WE MUST BATTLE!!! :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Can I surrender instead? As punishment, you can make me do work for Paizo.

My shameless plea for work aside, let me focus on Mark's archetype, instead of derailing his thread.

I'm not sure I liked scoundrel in this case. I think just calling the witch feymarked would have worked better for me. Scoundrel just doesn't quite gibe with "preying on" the desperate in my mind.

I love the visual of the feymarking. It reminds me a bit of Eberron's dragonmarks. I've never been a big fan of familiars (I find in my games they tend to get treated like the raven in Order of the Stick), so not having one doesn't bother me, though as Wolfgang notes, it's also sort of taking away a resource. Still, it means you can never be without your spellbook unless you somehow get skinned, which would probably mean you were dead, so that seems like a fair tradeoff.

The fey avatar is interesting. If I'm reading it right, it doesn't actually have to be a pig, just uses the pig's stats. That said, I'm not quite sure what I'd do with it. Use it to attack I guess -- which takes my standard action to command it to do. There's no real harm if the thing gets damaged, but it seems like a weak version of an eidolon. I also don't like swapping out the hex. That's the witch's core power, I feel like, that this means that (barring use of a feat) she can't use it until second level.

I like letting the avatar be the source of the hexes (though you could argue it makes adventuring safe for the witch as she can send this undependable resource close to battle while staying far away herself); I actually went and checked and was surprised that's NOT already part of the class, perhaps instead of letting you cast spells through the familiar. That said, limiting it to three hexes means I'm pretty much going to have to choose those hexes to take advantage of the power. So instead of four hexes at 6th level, I've got two I can take and they're almost always going to be two of those three.

I'm on the fence. I really like a lot of the color of this one, but I don't think it's one I'd play.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored

Mark Nordheim wrote:

Feymarked Scoundrel (Witch)

I don't care much for "Scoundrel", but your lead-in is tight and the first thing I thought of was the fey problems around Uringen while reading this.

Mark Nordheim wrote:

Fey Mark (Su)

You take away the bonuses and drawbacks of the familiar. This is balanced and has good opportunity for Roleplaying. (Will someone spot the mark? She can't be a witch she has no familiar. Etc.). I think this should be (Ex) not (Su), maybe?

Mark Nordheim wrote:

Fey Avatar (Su)

You give us back the familiar, but for a limited amount of time. We lose a hex for it, but it sets up the powers to come and extends the theme. We can now deliver touch spells/hexes at range again. This should be (Sp) not (Su).

Smart to save words by using the statistics of an existing creature (the pig).

The big change is that the pseudo familiar acts as a kind of proxy for the character. Leaving the character in the shadows. Not sure how I feel about that.

Mark Nordheim wrote:

Fey Hex (Su)

Now our pseudo familiar can deliver hexes that aren't touch only. But only if we have the hexes. A wasted power if we choose other hexes, so a slight ding here. I'm also tired of everything having "hex" in the name.

Overall: This archetype is well balanced, but the names are a little drab. You've changed the wrapper on the witch, but not much underneath. We'll have to compare against the competition to see if this gets a vote as it falls towards the middle of the pack for me.

Good luck!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Good name, though (as I said in another archetype) the RK don't have a strong fey vibe for me.

As a Kingmaker player I think the fey vibe is much much stronger in the RK than, say, time/dimensional paradoxes, which only happen in one particular town. I certainly like the fey theme and it certainly fits, particularly in the Stolen Lands.

That said, it's sad that the designer sunk the majority of his word count into explaining an ability that isn't very exciting. I'm afraid I'd rather play the "vanilla" witch than this archetype.

Anyway, good luck in round 2, Mark!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

I like the name but I don't feel it really fits the archetype you've given us. Speaking of which...This is more of an NPC villain archetype than a PC/NPC archetype. I'd like to see more versatility in superstar archetypes. So the mechanical considerations mentioned above aside I won't be supporting this archetype for advancement. I'm sorry.

Congratulations on making the top 32 and good luck on the archetype round.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

An intereting choice, making an archetype nothing but flavor. I don't think it pays off.

Mostly, the avatar isn't as good as it would have been if it were raw flavor. Summoning a fake small child? Kinda neat! Summoning the small child that can't do anything and forces you to take no actions and can only be active a few minutes a day? overcomplicated and not worth taking.

if, perhaps, the 'child' was a hex that the player could take, and was simplified and made better - maybe. As is...

good luck, I think you'll need it.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Archetype and ability names: do they show flair? How closely tied to the River Kingdom is the archetype? And last but certainly not least, do I want to play this archetype?

Archetype and ability names: Below average. Mostly descriptive.

River Kingdom tie: Average, if you think RK and fey go together.

Desire to play: Below average. To be fair, I don't like fey so this starts at a disadvantage from the name. But even so, I don't really get what this is trying to do. It takes away the familiar, then gives you a much worse version of it, then you wait 5 levels to be able to do anything with it. I feel like I must be missing the point.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored

Jerry Keyes wrote:

...I'm also tired of everything having "hex" in the name...

Correction: Tired of everything having "fey" in the name. (I shouldn't type late at night!) ;)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Fey, oh lovely lovely fey. You've got me on the name at first glance. Although the scoundrel bit threw me when I realized it was a witch archetype.

As I read the description, these passages stood out to me:

"A feymarked scoundrel hides among the desperate masses in the River Kingdoms and preys on the unwary."

"She bears strange markings that connect her to the region's fey magic, allowing her to summon fey avatars that resemble children or animals."

So, she hides in the crowds, but is marked by another world's markings? Something that is sure to stand out? She then lures her victims and kills from the shadows? She gains Stealth and Bluff, which is a good fit, but you've got some contention on your description. You start to lose me.

The ability names are all cool and thematically tied in.

"The avatar must resemble a harmless child or small animal, and may never appear threatening or dangerous. Its appearance may not imitate a specific individual."

How does the Feymarked Scoundrel know if it is imitating a specific individual. In fact, I would think quite the opposite, this type of archetype SHOULD be imitating a loved one or relative or friend to better lure individuals. Some more contention in theme and mechanics.

In all honesty, you've lost me at this point in the archetype. OK, so later the Avatar can cast hexes as a point of origin, effectively increasing the range of a hex. But, again, this wouldn't be a luring type of maneuver...basically it is an attack extension. Still more contention.

Overall, I'm not impressed. There's some definite work to be done here, and I believe you CAN do it...but this doesn't show me Top 16 right here. I hope you make it through (as a fan of your candle) but it's not going to be from me.

I DO NOT recommend.


This archetype draws on old folklore themes of the changeling children and is a beauty for a villain in a campaign. I agree that "scoundrel" seems inappropriate in the name, fey-marked would be better. The other consideration I have is just where on the body would the player situate this mark? I can see a lot of non-family-friendly abuse going on here if this were available to PFS players, for example.

Star Voter Season 6

A concern I have that I'm surprised no one's brought up yet (though I do share just about every concern that HAS been mentioned) is how would you gain additional spells with your mark? It functions as a familiar... so I can have my markings commune with another familiar, or use a scroll and do a ritual where "the scroll is burned and its ashes used to create a special brew or powder that is consumed by the familiar"?

To repeat some thing that have already been said, though: "Scoundrel" seems an inappropriate name, the 'avatar' seems over complicated with no actual benefit, and the Fey Hex feature is obnoxiously restrictive.

I do pretty strongly associate fey and the RK (I blame Kingmaker), and the name initially got me excited, but the actual archetype itself was nothing but a let-down. The flavor was a strong inspirational theme to build a vanilla witch around, though. There's just nothing this archetype offers that makes it worth the trade-off, to me.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Good: I love Fey, I love Witches and I love marking things so I'm excited about the title. 1st and 3rd powers are good.
Bad: 2nd power not so much
Ugly: Pig is what did it for me, I'm picturing a fairy pig and I don;t like it.
Overall: I could see this making top 16, but not off my vote.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Unfortunately, this isn't working for me from beginning to end. Juxtaposing scoundrel with witch was a bit of instant dislike - the words just don't fit well in my mind. Feymarked Stalker would be better - a scoundrel implies lots of bluff, gambling, drinking too much, fast talking, etc.

Then, the abilities granted basically are: don't have a familiar, except temporariliy, and let it use 3 of your hexes...and all of this costs you 2 precious hexes.

First of all, the fey mark replacing a familiar not only rips away one of the core concepts of the witch, but is VERY limiting - witches can learn new spells by letting their familiars either commune with other witch familiars, or burning scrolls and feeding the ashes to their familiar. You can't do either with your fey mark, so these witches are going to have a lot fewer spells known.

Then, the fey hex is very limited - not only can you only use it when your fey pig child is around, but it's only 3 specific hexes. I think letting your familiar deliver hexes instead of you is a great ability, but one that should cost a feat, or be usable a certain number of times per day for any hex you know.

Also, there's no real connection to the RK, just using fey in the name of the archetype. There's lots of places that are fey themed in Golarion. Finally, nothing about this archetype seems really fey to me. Fey are known for using illusion and enchantment magic, which aren't really part of this archetype at all. Tattooed witch would be a better name.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Hiding in the crowd with a mark on his skin, summoning a disturbing beast that looks like a child - it's very odd. I might almost connect some of this to a different type of creature. Not one, I agree, that has much to do with the River Kingdoms.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Morphemic

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ok, I realize I screwed up on this one, but I wanted to get a "what was I thinking?" post out there. Apparently the intent wasn't particularly clear from the entry itself.

Before I begin, thanks for all the comments. My skin is thick enough to take them, and I'm planning to be back next year and do better! And a special thanks to anyone who saw promise in this archetype, or even voted for me (especially Oceanshieldwolf for posting it in the exit poll).

I have no intent to try to answer all the criticism. A lot of it is accurate. But here's the basics of why I wrote this --

There are a couple problems with witch's familiars as they are implemented in Pathfinder:

1) Because the witch relies on them for spells, it is very risky to use them for other purposes that might get them killed. This creates incentives to ignore them.

2) There's a lot of folklore out there about familiars, and the standard D&D/PF familiar doesn't really have the capabilities to do very many of the things they do in stories.

3) They don't really do anything powerful (like deliver hexes).

The objective of this archetype was to create an alternative to the familiar that solved these problems but was still balanced with it. Here's some of the things it can do better:

1) You can send it into danger. There is no penalty if it gets killed. Just summon another.

2) It is an excellent scout because it shares the witch's senses and the witch controls its actions.

3) It can have exactly the form you need for a particular task. Sometimes you might prefer a rat, sometimes a dog, sometimes a child.

4) It delivers hexes.

There's plenty more I could discuss if anyone is interested. But I've now gotten the main thing I was waiting to post off my chest. So I'll answer specific questions if anyone has them, but otherwise I'm probably done with this thread.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bummer dude for not getting to the top 16.
You certainly got my vote and if you want to use this archetype in our next campaign then fine by me! lol

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Morphemic

DrGabe wrote:

Bummer dude for not getting to the top 16.

You certainly got my vote and if you want to use this archetype in our next campaign then fine by me! lol

Heh, thanks. Certainly wouldn't want to play it in our current campaign (for those reading along that would be Skull & Shackles). Depends what the next one is.

Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2013 / Round 2: Design an archetype / Feymarked Scoundrel (Witch) All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Round 2: Design an archetype
Arsonist (Rogue)