First Witch character


Advice


Alright, I finally put together the Witch build I've been working on - its a class I have absolutely zero experience with, but I'm really excited about some of its possibilities.

The concept is a Lawful Neutral or a Neutral Good character, one for whom death is neither a thing to be feared nor evil in and of itself. Rather, it is a part of the natural order top be embraced when the time comes. The character also recognizes the cruel injustice of a life made harder than it should be through suffering inflicted by others or - even worse - cut tragically short before their time. That's a large part of her motivation for adventuring, to alleviate suffering when possible, ease that suffering when its not, and to prevent those whom would end life before its time from doing so by taking the lives they have in forfeit. She has no tolerance for those without respect for life, and just as little tolerance for those who have no respect for death as she finds the undead an abomination of both life AND death.

Mechanically its probably not very groundbreaking - she'll carry a scythe on her back who's literal sole purpose is killing those foes she has rendered helpless, usually through her sleep hex. By my calculations burning a feat on power attack or Arcane Strike would be unnecessary for those purposes, but if someone feels otherwise please let me know. Spell Focus & Greater Spell Focus will be taken in Necromancy to maximize the effectivenss of spells like Blindness, Bestow Curse, Suffocate, etc. She'll play as a battlefield controller and part-time healer with compassion for life but no compunction whatsoever about killing those who's time has come. Her familiar will manifest as a scorpion, and her communion with it will educate her as to the nature of life, death, magic, nature and the harmonious secrets of the universe. I'm trying to decide on a Death or Healing (Life) Patron at the moment, thinking that if I take Death I'll eventually take the Life-Giver Hex and if I go with healing I'll eventually take the Death Hex. The Summon Spirit Hex at higher levels would be used to summon some sort of avatar of death as she and it grow ever-more intimate.

I figure taking Craft Wand will be useful for ubiquitous low-level spells like Cure Light Wounds, Enlarge Person and False Life while the eventual Cauldron/Witch's Brew hexes should keep us well-stocked in potions at the higher levels. Of all my hexes, those potion-brewing ones are the ones I'm most unsure of - we rarely play into the higher levels and even more rarely have access to magic items on-demand. Saves should be solid, as should hit points with a decent Constitution and eventual Toughness, Initiative should be high from the get go... any thoughts are welcome.

Witch build:

Spoiler:
Human 20th level Witch (Death or Healing Patron)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 12
DEX - 14
CON - 14
INT - 16 (+2 racial bonus, +1 @ 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th)
WIS - 12
CHA - 7 (+1 @ 20th)

Traits:
Reactionary
Focused Mind

Familiar:
Greensting Scorpion

Feats & Hexes:
Feats:
1st - Accursed Hex
1st - Hex: Slumber
1st - Spell Focus: Necromancy
2nd - Hex: Healing
3rd - Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
4th - Hex: Misfortune
5th - Craft Wand
6th - Hex: Cackle
7th - Spell Penetration
8th - Hex: Evil Eye
9th - Greater Spell Penetration
10th - Hex: Major Healing
11th - Split Hex
12th - Hex: Retribution
13th - Quicken Spell
14th - Hex: Hag's Eye
15th - Extra Hex: Cauldron
16th - Hex: Witch's Brew
17th - Toughness
18th - Hex: Summon Spirit
19th - Split Major Hex
20th - Hex: Life-Giver

Skills:
Knowledge: Arcana* (ranks 1-20)
Knowledge: History* (ranks 1-20)
Knowledge: Nature* (ranks 1-20)
Knowledge: Planes* (ranks 1-20)
Spellcraft* (ranks 1-20)
Perception (ranks 1-20)
Survival (ranks 1-20)
Heal* (ranks 8-20)
Fly* (ranks 16-20)


As long as you're taking Spell Focus; Necromancy, I'd suggest trying to find room for a few ranks in Knowledge: Religion so you can get the Threnodic Spell metamagic. Undead are completely immune to about 90% of a standard witch's abilities, and are a pure pain to fight.

Also, I think 'Split Hex' requires you to specify a hex to split.


rememebr - the true power of a witch is versitility...
Vs non-mind effectin foes - its easy, evil eye + slumber + misfortune ..
Vs undead / ooze / golem etc, you need to build alternatives:
1. remember to summon monsters + fortune them. its just YAMM
2. take patron that add buff spells, like agility, time, ancestors so you can buff your friends.
3. misfortune works on the dead as well
4. take some AOE spells to allow dealing with groups.

Dark Archive

Hedge Witch is a decent archetype to consider. Being able to spontaneous cast cure spells helps free you up to take other spells, but still being able to help support a main healer if need be. Also, as above has mentioned fighting undead otherwise as a witch can be a pain.


make sure to take some wands, even cure light wounds,
touch 1d8+1 Vs undeads.
not great - but not so bad either.


heh, damage bypassing DR? no, not bad at all. especially at first level.


Evil Eye is far too useful a hex to be put off until 8th level. Unlike most of the witch's hexes it can be used multiple times against a single target, as long as the effect is different each time (-2 to AC, -2 to saves, etc.); since you also have Accursed Hex, you can try each effect twice on the same target.

Healing at 2nd level will effectively allow you to cast CLW once per day per party member. Sounds good for the first couple of levels but will very quickly become superfluous if there's a cleric or paladin in the group. If you really do need your witch to be a healer, make her a Hedge Witch. It'll cost you two hex slots, but IMHO you were probably wasting one of those on the Healing hex anyway, and by 8th level the Hedge Witch can heal people in ways even a Cleric can't.


also, there are nice combos that can be great Vs non cold immune foes:
take a cold spell that work for round/level like frost bite + the trait that allow no cost in spell level.
take rime spell feat, and you have a VERY nice debuff with no save.


666bender wrote:

also, there are nice combos that can be great Vs non cold immune foes:

take a cold spell that work for round/level like frost bite + the trait that allow no cost in spell level.
take rime spell feat, and you have a VERY nice debuff with no save.

or better yet - take chill touch... it effect undeas as well :)


Also, be sure to pick up paragon surge. You can use it to grab extra hex and you can switch-hit to anything hex-wise.


There's a lot of good advice here.

I'm currently thinking about dumping the item creation feats - exchanging Craft Wand with Extra Hex: Flight @ 5th, Extra Hex: Cauldron with Threnodic Spell @ 15th (nice fit thematically) and perhaps the Fortune Hex at 16th instead of Witch's Brew.

Damon Griffon - I'm not trying to be the party's primary healer and certainly not a combat healer, but I'd prefer to use hexes in place of spells whenever I can freeing those slots up for actual in-combat effects. From what I can see, taking the healing Hex @ 2nd and the Major Healing Hex @ 10th will result in the following healing benefits:

@ 1st level - 1d8+1 for every party member each day
@ 5th level - 2d8+5 for every party member each day
@ 10th level - 2d8+10 and 3d8+10 for every party member each day
@ 15th level - 2d8+10 and 4d8+15 for every party member each day

That's all pretty much free healing that doesn't eat up any spell slots, and collectively seems ideal for a secondary healing role to me.

As far as the Evil Eye Hex, Misfortune seems far superior to me (as does Slumber) in the early going because forcing a re-roll on saves, attack rolls, etc. will likely net you a much greater benefit than -2 and affects more than one stat with a single application. Things get a little closer by 8th when the Evil Eye benefit increases to -4 and I like the fact that you can layer it so I consider it a definite take there.

Since it looks like I'm going to be taking Quicken Spell and Threnodic Spell, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't try to work Spell Perfection in there, pehaps for Suffocation... a Quickened Suffocate with a +4 DC and +8 against SR would work nicely after applying a -4 save via Evil Eye.

Can someone clarify whether or not Split Hex or Split Major Hex requires you to specify a particular Hex or if it can be used with any hexes you have that target a single foe...?


evil eye is better than you think.
slumber and misfortune got saves...
evil eye + cackle dont.
and its a very versitile tool.
you want to effect a hex / spell? use it for saves.
the wizard ask fro a debuff - ready to use it before he cast
the fighter can hit the monster? lower its AC - its like a range aid another to the whole party to the whole attacks.

at level 8 it gets SO much better....
there was a fight 2 weeks ago, our 2 handed sword arch-damage-fighter couldnt hit the half demon we were facing, i used the tactic :
1. cleric kept him alive
2. he went on the defence
3. monk aided his AC
that allowed me 3 rounds that i used:
1. evil eye as debuff on BBEG
2. haste on EVERY1
3. fortune to allow the fighter to reroll than cackle.

it was hard fight, but we won ....


Well, Damocles, remember first off, if you dont like the suggestions, you dont have to go with them. It is YOUR character. I do hope you have fun either way. Dont let any of these guys bully you into a pure min/max or their favorite combo. That being said... wand of presto... everything is better with presto :D


I personally think u can push off spell pen and greater till later.. level 10 or so is when SR starts poping up occasionally and ur hexes dont allow SR, so youll always have somthing to do if u dont wanna gamble with spells vs SR.. I would also puch spell focus until slightly later, as ur best 1st level spell doesnt allow a save(ill omen). As a secondary healer the first few levels can be done with cure light wands, so i wouldnt take healing until it became cure mod.. I would do this instead:

1st: Accursed Hex
1st: Extra Hex-Misfortune
1st: Hex-Cackle
2nd: Hex-Slumber
3rd: Spell Focus-Necro
4th: Hex-Evil Eye
5th: Extra Hex-Flight
6th: Hex-Healing
7th: Greater Spell Focus
8th: Hex-Fortune
9th: Spell Pen
10th: Hex-Major Healing
11th: Split Hex
12th: Hex-Retribution
13th: Quicken Spell
14th: Hex-Ice Tomb
15th: Greater Spell Pen
16th: Hex-Hag's Eye
17th: Spell Hex
18th: Life Giver
19th: Extra hex-Suumon Spirit
20th: Hex-Death Curse

Additionally paragon surge was suggested for the use of extra hex on the fly.. This is borderline broken and u must be a half-elf to use the spell, but if u dont mind switching races and feats ard it could deff be worth it.. Along side ur wands of cure buy a wand of ill omen.. Its a great thing to save spell use with..


Also on the subject of race changes.. Take a look at the Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctor.. Its prob the best witch archetype out there atm..


WerePox47 wrote:
Also on the subject of race changes.. Take a look at the Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctor.. Its prob the best witch archetype out there atm..

Its my understanding that there technically is no 'Half-Orc Scarred Witch Doctor', only the Orc version... but in truth, it doesn't really jive with my concept anyway, but thanks for the suggestion.


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Alright, so given the advice I've recieved on the board thus far, I'm thinking about re-arranging things as shown below. I'm still really torn about giving up my healing early on - I had visions of roaming a village in ruins or a battlefield sorely won and healing person after person - but ah, well. Best laid plans and all that.

After tweaking my skills a little bit to better reflect my needs, this is what I'm thinking:

Feats:
1st - Accursed Hex
1st - Hex: Slumber
1st - Spell Focus: Necromancy
2nd - Hex: Misfortune
3rd - Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
4th - Hex: Cackle
5th - Threnodic Spell
6th - Hex: Flight
7th - Heighten Spell
8th - Hex: Evil Eye
9th - Spell Penetration
10th - Hex: Major Healing
11th - Greater Spell Penetration
12th - Hex: Hag's Eye
13th - Quicken Spell
14th - Hex: Retribution
15th - Spell Perfection: Suffocation
16th - Hex: Fortune
17th - Split Hex
18th - Hex: Summon Spirit
19th - Split Major Hex
20th - Hex: Life-Giver


Damocles Guile wrote:


That's all pretty much free healing that doesn't eat up any spell slots, and collectively seems ideal for a secondary healing role to me.

As far as the Evil Eye Hex, Misfortune seems far superior to me (as does Slumber) in the early going because forcing a re-roll on saves, attack rolls, etc. will likely net you a much greater benefit than -2 and affects more than one stat with a single application.

Can someone clarify whether or not Split Hex or Split Major Hex requires you to specify a particular Hex or if it can be used with any hexes you have that target a single foe...?

The healing isn't free, it's gained at the cost of a hex slot. If your assessment is that the slot can't be better used for buffs/debuffs that aren't redundant with Cleric/Paladin abilities, that's fine. As IejirIsk said, it's your character, we're just making suggestions.

I agree that Misfortune is a very good hex. If you were to adopt the Hedge Witch archetype I'd definitely suggest moving it out of the 4th level slot so it's not the one sacrificed to get spontaneous healing. However, when comparing it to Evil Eye remember that until 8th level Misfortune's effects only last a single round, where Evil Eye for your build will last for 7 rounds. Even at 8th, it's 2 rounds versus 8. That's potentially a lot of missed attacks, saves, ability/skill checks and reduced AC over the course of an encounter. More than most other hexes, Evil Eye is the gift that keeps on giving.

As to Split Hex/Split Major Hex, I can see these two arguments:

When you use one of your hexes (not a major hex or a grand hex) that targets a single creature, you can choose another creature within 30 feet of the first target to also be targeted by the hex.

(a) It says one of your hexes, not any hex, so that means you have to pick one when the feat is selected.

(b) If you had to pick one, the standard feat language would say something like "the hex must be chosen at the time the feat is taken and cannot be changed"; and would probably also say "This feat can be taken multiple times. Effects do not stack. Each time the feat is chosen it applies to a new hex."

Of the two I'd say (b) is the stronger argument, but it's up to your GM.


Half-Orc is considered human and orc for the purposes of meeting pre-reqs.. So the Orc Blood pre-req is met.. Although it not being ur cup of tea is all good as well..


I personally think your waiting to long on Cackle and Evil Eye. Those are bread and butter for every witch.


It may not be necessary to change races.

Quote:
Spells: The spells in this section are common to spellcasting members of the race. Sometimes they only target members of the race, but often they are just the race's well guarded secrets; members of other races can learn to cast them with GM permission.


Buri wrote:

It may not be necessary to change races.

Quote:
Spells: The spells in this section are common to spellcasting members of the race. Sometimes they only target members of the race, but often they are just the race's well guarded secrets; members of other races can learn to cast them with GM permission.

Ok so backstory involving how u obtained the spell and gm permission could get u paragon surge.. I suppose the 2nd level spell Blood Transcription could learn it from a dead half-elf as well lol.. Or a spell book from a dead wizard..

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

On the Paragon Surge front: the range is listed as Personal (half-elf only).

You must be a half-elf to use the spell, unless your GM is houseruling that bit away.

/hijack


In retrospect, I'm definitely going with the Time Patron. The spells are better across the board in my opinion, and it will fit well with the theme of knowing when one's time has come, or when its 'not one's time yet'...


i took time as well :)
time allow haste - the best buff in the game for mid levels.


I took transformation for the shape of the dragon spells in my Rise witch.


666bender wrote:

i took time as well :)

time allow haste - the best buff in the game for mid levels.

Its pretty rare that I'm on a team that doesn't already have a designated 'Haste-caster', but I suspect I'll make pretty good use of Silence, Teleport, Disentegrate, Expend and Time Stop while Threefold Aspect is flavoricious. I wonder if you can lay Hexes on foes while under the effects of Timestop... probably not, eh?


Don't forget that haste and summon = win
Especially with a one big hitter animal


666bender wrote:

i took time as well :)

time allow haste - the best buff in the game for mid levels.

The "agility" patron also grants haste, along with freedom of movement, mass cat's grace, polymorph and ethereal jaunt. I decided for my witch I liked that better than the "time" set, although disintegrate will be missed. Teleport (from "time") is a witch spell already.


Damon Griffin wrote:
666bender wrote:

i took time as well :)

time allow haste - the best buff in the game for mid levels.
The "agility" patron also grants haste, along with freedom of movement, mass cat's grace, polymorph and ethereal jaunt. I decided for my witch I liked that better than the "time" set, although disintegrate will be missed. Teleport (from "time") is a witch spell already.

Hmmmm... I'm thinking about teaming this girl up with a Master Summoner who specializes in Elementals so that's worth considering. Disinetegrate would be difficult to give up though.

I think it would have been better if all Patron spells had been spells absent from the Witch list - makes the customization seem a little pointless otherwise.


My advice about creating Witch characters: don't. Roll up a Wizard and max your UMD instead.

Unless you and your GM/group are willing to put in a great deal of effort fixing and rebalancing the class, it is one of the worst-written steaming messes to ever be published for the d20 system. It was designed with good intentions, but executed poorly. Spectacularly so.

The name of the class your character has levels in is purely meta-game knowledge. Take levels of Wizard and just call yourself a "Witch" in-game.


Aunt Tony wrote:

My advice about creating Witch characters: don't. Roll up a Wizard and max your UMD instead.

Unless you and your GM/group are willing to put in a great deal of effort fixing and rebalancing the class, it is one of the worst-written steaming messes to ever be published for the d20 system. It was designed with good intentions, but executed poorly. Spectacularly so.

The name of the class your character has levels in is purely meta-game knowledge. Take levels of Wizard and just call yourself a "Witch" in-game.

Not sure where this is coming from. I've only ever played one Wizard that I actually liked - an Elven Voidmage & Spellbinder. I generally don't like prepared casters... I like Sorcerers, I like Bards and I like Summoners. If Witches didn't have Hexes - the defining class feature that separate them from Wizards - I doubt I'd like them either. What are the problems with the class as a whole as you see it?


Story Archer wrote:
Aunt Tony wrote:

My advice about creating Witch characters: don't. Roll up a Wizard and max your UMD instead.

Unless you and your GM/group are willing to put in a great deal of effort fixing and rebalancing the class, it is one of the worst-written steaming messes to ever be published for the d20 system. It was designed with good intentions, but executed poorly. Spectacularly so.

The name of the class your character has levels in is purely meta-game knowledge. Take levels of Wizard and just call yourself a "Witch" in-game.

Not sure where this is coming from. I've only ever played one Wizard that I actually liked - an Elven Voidmage & Spellbinder. I generally don't like prepared casters... I like Sorcerers, I like Bards and I like Summoners. If Witches didn't have Hexes - the defining class feature that separate them from Wizards - I doubt I'd like them either. What are the problems with the class as a whole as you see it?

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pft9?The-Witch-and-I#1

Just read that. Let's keep this thread on topic.


one thing, its REALLY not the same as wizard...
witch is alot less versitle spell wise BUT have the great benefit to NEVER be out with spells ...
in long non-resting missions - it pays of.
also - a witch alone is a poor soul, its meant to be like "anti-bard"
de-buff the enemey to bring him to his knees - allowing the fighter the killing blow - never with credit, but gets the job done.


WerePox47 has it right about ill omen being an amazing spell, but it'd be better take it and then take a lesser rod of quicken spell and make it part of your combo, rather than using it as a wand. That way the spell you cast as a standard action is save off worst of two rolls, rather than a random d20.

That or a Quicken spell and put it in 5th level slots or something.


I also use it. For a ready : just as the enemy attack my friends- making the. Miss = win popular contest in the party :)M

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