Witch's cackle?


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Grand Lodge

Player's Witch gave a party member fortune he cackled to keep it going. Does it last indefinitely as long as Which keeps cackleing? Player who benefited was rolling 2 dice most of the night. Is this right? Never had a witch in a party.


Yes, the witch can cackle every round; however, they can only do so once per round, as per the FAQ.


PRD wrote:
Cackle (Su): A witch can cackle madly as a move action. Any creature that is within 30 feet that is under the effects of an agony hex, charm hex, evil eye hex, fortune hex, or misfortune hex caused by the witch has the duration of that hex extended by 1 round.

So yes it can be done.

Grand Lodge

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Popupjoe wrote:
Player's Witch gave a party member fortune he cackled to keep it going. Does it last indefinitely as long as Which keeps cackleing? Player who benefited was rolling 2 dice most of the night. Is this right? Never had a witch in a party.

Yes, it can be annoying. Some important notes:

- Cackle takes a move action, so that will slow things down, especially out of combat.
- The witch has to stay within 30 feet of the party member.
- Fortune only works once per round. So if the party member rolls twice for an attack roll, he doesn't get to roll his save twice against confusion later that round.

Those are all hard rules. Outside of those, you may want to metagame or houserule sparingly to discourage overuse of this:

- grant nearby enemies perception checks to hear the cackling and prepare for combat;
- give the witch a small but cumulative arcane spell failure chance as her voice gets raspy from all the cackling. Say, 5% per ten minutes;
- throw in a few ranged or fast enemies to punish the slow move speed;
- target the recipient of the fortune/cackle with lots of stuff that requires saves. This will encourage them to hold back their double-roll;
- break the radius of cackle with combat maneuvers or spells;
- disable the witch. Stun, daze, fear, nonlethal, whatever;
- etc.

Grand Lodge

Cackle can be counter songed as well right?

Grand Lodge

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Popupjoe wrote:
Cackle can be counter songed as well right?

No, countersong only works on things that require saves.


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I don't see why anyone would want to restrict an ability that pretty much defines a character class.

The witch is there to buff the other party members and debuff the enemy. That's her main task. To cackle she needs to use a move action, which is pretty significant.

To impose penalties for the witch to use her class abilities would be to start on a slippery slope. Do you also restrict the number of times a fighter can use his Power Attack or the number of hours he gets to wear his heavy armour? Do you decide that magic users have to test for laryngitis after casting five spells in a row? How about the rogue testing to avoid sneezing whilst sneaking up for a Sneak Attack? Druids can't Shapeshift if they are within 30' of metal?

Buffing the party is part of the class ability. Nobody would play a witch if the class's primary ability was arbitrarily nerfed through GM fiat.


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Exocrat wrote:


- give the witch a small but cumulative arcane spell failure chance as her voice gets raspy from all the cackling. Say, 5% per ten minutes;

I think it would be fair to use the same chance the fighter has to get chaffed from all the armor wearing and suddenly have to stop doing that.

Cackling is noisy. It shows that the character is doing something, and is probably someone to be targeted. The obvious stuff is obvious. The penalties you listed are not penalties - they are the dangers and difficulties of using the ability.

A house-ruled 5% cumulative penalty per turn because you are using a class ability seems very wrong.

Shadow Lodge

cheechako wrote:
Exocrat wrote:


- give the witch a small but cumulative arcane spell failure chance as her voice gets raspy from all the cackling. Say, 5% per ten minutes;

I think it would be fair to use the same chance the fighter has to get chaffed from all the armor wearing and suddenly have to stop doing that.

Cackling is noisy. It shows that the character is doing something, and is probably someone to be targeted. The obvious stuff is obvious. The penalties you listed are not penalties - they are the dangers and difficulties of using the ability.

A house-ruled 5% cumulative penalty per turn because you are using a class ability seems very wrong.

Maybe wizards should get a 5% cumulative penalty per round whenever they cast a spell. After all, handling those material components like owlbear s%@& make their fingers slippery, increasing the likeliness that they end up dropping future pieces of owlbear s#%@.


The true overpowered ability I'm seeing in this thread:

DM's Knee Jerk (Ex): Remove one class ability, feat, race, and/or item from the game. This ability may be used at will, but no more than once per round.

If you're unhappy with how the witch uses their powers, pile enemies on the creepy laughing spell caster and see how willing they are to keep up a cackle when they need to withdraw from melee. And then be glad your player doesn't stack Soothsayer on top of Fortune.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

In the humble opinion of certain forum-readers, the mere presence of a cackling witch in a heroic adventuring party is tantamount to high comedy. <g>

I feel better restricting witches to an NPC class, but hey, that's just me.

This said, if you're going to allow a witch PC in the first place, it's probably best not to nerf any of her signature powers.

YMMV.


Sadurian wrote:
I don't see why anyone would want to restrict an ability that pretty much defines a character class.

If the ability that defines a class is broken, then it's a poorly designed class that is broken.

Not necessarily agreeing that the witch is broken, as I've never seen one in action ... though I've heard stories. Brrrr.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Zhayne, from what I've heard, and from my reading of the witch class, it is *very* broken, or at least some abilities and combinations are on a campaign-wrecking level of brokenness.

And the character concept itself doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would be a team player. I mean, we're not talking "Glenda the Good" here, but the cackling, ugly, wart-nosed, kiddy-baking caricature of the wicked witch.

Or else my blind prejudice against witch-kind is making it impossible for me to conceive of another option.


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The innate flavor of the witch is mutable. Note that they can take a 'hex' that lets them heal, which is definitely more 'white witch'. Class is not concept, concept is not class. You come up with your concept, find the class(es) whose mechanics most closely mirror it, then ignore the innate class flavor where necessary and build your character your way.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Maybe.

But can you picture Glenda the Good cackling for half an hour? Or even for 3 minutes?


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Cackling is also flavor text. It could be mirthful giggling, mystical chanting, or since it doesn't require concentration or for you to use the ability through the entire time (it's a move action and you're done), just the magic word for 'continue' or 'sustain' in some archaic language.

Reflavoring is a gamer's best friend.


From my experience playing and GMing the class, I find it to be a very flavorful arcane caster that allows for many different concepts. It is true that some of the hexes are in need of adjustment, both in terms of flavor and mechanics. I'll put my adjustments in the House Rules section. The core concept, however, is absolutely fine.

Cackle (especially with the FAQ clarification limiting it to once per round) is not an out-of-line ability by any means. If you're having trouble with it from a flavor perspective, change it to something like Ley Line Manipulation that requires strong gestures rather than a strong voice.

EDIT: Or any of Zhayne's suggestions above.

EDIT 2: My witch hex adjustments are here.

Sovereign Court

Rather than mechanical nerfing like spell failure chance, there are lots of ways, I think, to discourage one of your characters from cackling for hours at a time.

Does your party like getting ambushed? I sure hope so! Because all enemies will now hear them coming before they enter a room. All NPCs will think they're creepy as all hell. And even the party members may get tired of it - particularly if you force the witch him/herself to end every sentence with cackling.

Grand Lodge

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Sadurian wrote:

I don't see why anyone would want to restrict an ability that pretty much defines a character class.

The witch is there to buff the other party members and debuff the enemy. That's her main task. To cackle she needs to use a move action, which is pretty significant.

To impose penalties for the witch to use her class abilities would be to start on a slippery slope. Do you also restrict the number of times a fighter can use his Power Attack or the number of hours he gets to wear his heavy armour? Do you decide that magic users have to test for laryngitis after casting five spells in a row? How about the rogue testing to avoid sneezing whilst sneaking up for a Sneak Attack? Druids can't Shapeshift if they are within 30' of metal?

Buffing the party is part of the class ability. Nobody would play a witch if the class's primary ability was arbitrarily nerfed through GM fiat.

Fortune was not designed to last all day. Nobody would not play a witch because they are not allowed to cackle every 6 seconds for 16 hours every day.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

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Some Other Guy wrote:
Sadurian wrote:

I don't see why anyone would want to restrict an ability that pretty much defines a character class.

The witch is there to buff the other party members and debuff the enemy. That's her main task. To cackle she needs to use a move action, which is pretty significant.

To impose penalties for the witch to use her class abilities would be to start on a slippery slope. Do you also restrict the number of times a fighter can use his Power Attack or the number of hours he gets to wear his heavy armour? Do you decide that magic users have to test for laryngitis after casting five spells in a row? How about the rogue testing to avoid sneezing whilst sneaking up for a Sneak Attack? Druids can't Shapeshift if they are within 30' of metal?

Buffing the party is part of the class ability. Nobody would play a witch if the class's primary ability was arbitrarily nerfed through GM fiat.

Fortune was not designed to last all day. Nobody would not play a witch because they are not allowed to cackle every 6 seconds for 16 hours every day.

This.

The witch is perfectly capable of buffing party members and debuffing the enemy without turning a short duration hex into a 24 hour buff.

People will still play the witch, even if perma-cackling is disallowed.


Where this looses me is,

Witch - "Hey guys we're moving too fast, slow down so I can keep cackling."

- Torger


Is there even a point to cackling Fortune? Once you benefit from it, you can't benefit again for a full day.


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Zhayne wrote:
Is there even a point to cackling Fortune? Once you benefit from it, you can't benefit again for a full day.

When a creature becomes the target of the fortune hex, it gains the benefit of that hex once per round, until the hex runs out, as determined by the level of the witch that created the effect. Once it ends, the creature cannot again be the target of that hex for 24 hours.


From the Paizo SRD site:

Fortune (Su): The witch can grant a creature within 30 feet a bit of good luck for 1 round. The target can call upon this good luck once per round, allowing him to reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result. He must decide to use this ability before the first roll is made. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.

Whoever wrote that FAQ apparently missed this.

Grand Lodge

My thing is... well cackling constantly especially in a game where you are ever sneaking, traveling in a town, going into an inn... well Roleplaying wise

Constant Cackling = Hilarious roleplaying / story consequences.

My 2 cents anyways


Zhayne wrote:

From the Paizo SRD site:

Fortune (Su): The witch can grant a creature within 30 feet a bit of good luck for 1 round. The target can call upon this good luck once per round, allowing him to reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result. He must decide to use this ability before the first roll is made. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.

Whoever wrote that FAQ apparently missed this.

That's the "Once it ends, the creature cannot again be the target of that hex for 24 hours" part of the FAQ.

You can do it once per round, while the hex is on. Once it's off, that's it for 24 hours. They didnt' miss anything, they just clarified the intent - which was perhaps written poorly.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zhayne wrote:

From the Paizo SRD site:

Fortune (Su): The witch can grant a creature within 30 feet a bit of good luck for 1 round. The target can call upon this good luck once per round, allowing him to reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result. He must decide to use this ability before the first roll is made. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.

Whoever wrote that FAQ apparently missed this.

Looks to me the one per round thing means they can use the ability each round while the last part means they can only be affected by the hex once per 24 hours.

Having recently started playing a witch I wouldn't cackle the whole way through an adventure just to keep the thing up. Perhaps some part of me just views it as just, against human nature to just be that persistent. Keeping fortune up during an encounter perfectly fine to me but to do it through the entire time is not okay.


I read it as 'once you've taken a reroll, it's over'. That's the benefiting part.


Zhayne wrote:
I read it as 'once you've taken a reroll, it's over'. That's the benefiting part.

And that's exactly what they wrote the FAQ to clear up. Without that, what would even be the point of the FAQ?


I don't know. The FAQ still seems completely at odds with it. This needs to be an errata instead, if they want it to work that way.


Zhayne wrote:
I don't know. The FAQ still seems completely at odds with it. This needs to be an errata instead, if they want it to work that way.

Houserule if you like. There was a lot of argument before the FAQ was written. Plenty of people read it as you did. Plenty of others read it the other way. We got a FAQ, the question is settled.


'benefited by a fortune hex' could be interpreted as getting a single reroll, or as being able to reroll once a round for the duration of the fortune hex. Both things are benefiting from (i.e. receiving the benefit of) the fortune hex.

The faq clarifies that the latter is the correct interpretation.

As a DM, I probably wouldn't allow cackle to extend beyond a single encounter. It just isn't realistic to imagine continually cackling while exploring an area, moving etc.


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Funny how you can focus on the fact that you can benefit from it once per day (and take that to imply once you use 1 reroll it's over), but you completely ignore the fact that you can make a re-roll once per round. Once per round clearly implies the ability can be used once PER ROUND, as long as the fortune lasts. Once it ends, it is done. But the once per round and the fact that it is mentioned as a target for cackle makes it 100% clear imo.


Yes, because at 8th and 16th levels, the duration extends a round. So 1-7, you get one reroll. 8-15, you get one in round 1, then one in round 2, and it's over. 16-20, you get one in round 1, one in round 2, then one in round 3, and it's over.


Zhayne wrote:
Yes, because at 8th and 16th levels, the duration extends a round. So 1-7, you get one reroll. 8-15, you get one in round 1, then one in round 2, and it's over. 16-20, you get one in round 1, one in round 2, then one in round 3, and it's over.

Wait. That's how you think it works?

But you still think extending it with Cackle only gets one reroll? The general argument for the "Only one reroll" side was that you only got one reroll per day. Any extension, whether through Cackle or high level was just in case you didn't need it in the first round(s).


Big deal.

If one character getting one extra roll a round (even if it is every day all day) is destroying a dungeon, the problem is the GM not the player.

This guy is playing the Witch the way it is supposed to be played.

By the way, how is this a thread that cries about witches and the main complaint is cackle. By far, the signature move of any good witch is slumber. That one is a game-time for real.


i played a witch and i dont think i ever cackled once. i slumbered and ice tomb'd everything i saw though.


Zhayne wrote:
Yes, because at 8th and 16th levels, the duration extends a round. So 1-7, you get one reroll. 8-15, you get one in round 1, then one in round 2, and it's over. 16-20, you get one in round 1, one in round 2, then one in round 3, and it's over.

Really? Like, for real?

But, cackle says it extends the duration. In the entire game, any effect which extends the duration you get the same effect for extra rounds/minutes/hours. It even says in the hex that it can extend to more rounds at higher level.

An effect has a duration. For that duration, you get an effect. The effect is "once per round something happens".

At some point the effect end. For haste that is after one round per level. If you use the extend meta-magic it becomes 2-rounds a level. Not 20 rounds in which you can select to use it 10 times, depending on your fancy?

Cackle let's you extend an effect. It can go on indefinetely, 1 round at a time. After the effect ends (1-3 rounds depending on level+ extension from cackle) you can not be targeted again for 24 hours.

If all cackle did was letting you "hold the charge" longer it would be a really bad use of an action.

It would also make Misfortune really bad, like, not worth it, same as agony.

Scarab Sages

Continually cackling is a millstone around your neck, you've lost half your action for the round, can't take any full round actions and generally must devote your standard action to keeping up with your target (that 30ft range is really short!)

On the upside, it's not just one hex that it extends, but all eligable hexes in range, though anyone affected just has to move back at least 40ft and then they're protected from cackle.

All in all, if one player wants to be entirely supporting, well that's their choice!


I noticed that in the Advanced Class Guide, the nearest Shaman equivalent to Cackle is Chant, which, unless I missed something, does everything that Cackle does and then some. The ACG missed an opportunity to come right out and say so, and then to add "while being less annoying to allies".

One question about Cackle and Chant: Am I uunderstanding correctly from reading the rules for these Hexes that they can extend the effects of Hexes cast by a different Shaman or Witch?

Grand Lodge

Zhayne wrote:
I read it as 'once you've taken a reroll, it's over'. That's the benefiting part.

I argued this point at table! I didn't know there was a FAQ for this. this discussion helped turns out i was wrong about a lot of stuff that night.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

I noticed that in the Advanced Class Guide, the nearest Shaman equivalent to Cackle is Chant, which, unless I missed something, does everything that Cackle does and then some. The ACG missed an opportunity to come right out and say so, and then to add "while being less annoying to allies".

One question about Cackle and Chant: Am I uunderstanding correctly from reading the rules for these Hexes that they can extend the effects of Hexes cast by a different Shaman or Witch?

I am sure RAI is for the witch that activated the hex. It says "caused by the witch", but if you try to interpret that as "any witch" don't expect for the GM to agree with you.

There is also the problem of an opposing witch using a hex on your team and you cackling since cackle says not say you get to designate targets, if you try to play it that way.


^Well, that's what I mean -- can an opposing Witch do that against your Witch?

Alternatively, can 2 (or more) allied Witches/Shamans take turns Cackling/Chanting?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@Popupjoe

If you would kindly cite exactly what about this class ability was causing issues in the game I think we'll be better able to address your concern.

How was the encounter/session/campaign/story being completely derailed via this class feature?


Dave Justus wrote:
As a DM, I probably wouldn't allow cackle to extend beyond a single encounter. It just isn't realistic to imagine continually cackling while exploring an area, moving etc.

After just having played a witch through Dragon's Demand, this was our expectation as well. Yes, it could be done in theory, but there is no reason why a witch would do it, especially since it takes away a move action.


wraithstrike wrote:

I am sure RAI is for the witch that activated the hex. It says "caused by the witch", but if you try to interpret that as "any witch" don't expect for the GM to agree with you.

I think RAI says that witch hexes are unique to that witch. For example, the Healing hex says: Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours. Does that mean a character can only get one healing hex a day or one per witch per day?

I think RAI says the later is the case, and that targeting and extending and saving vs a hex apply to the hexes of one witch at a time. The Accursed Hex feat seems to back this up. Another way of looking at it is like this: the party is tracking down a coven of witches. The scout runs into the first one, but saves vs. Slumber. He should not suddenly gain immunity to that Hex for the rest of the day.


^Good point. Although it might be kind of scary to have a Coven Feat that allowed Witches to mess with each other's (including enemy Witches) Hexes. Unfortunately, Coven support is really incomplete right now . . . .

Grand Lodge

Right here from the FAQ:

http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fn#v5748eaic9ot2

Quote:

Witch: If a hex says it can only affect a creature once every 24 hours, does that mean no other witch can use it on that target?

No, the restriction only applies to that particular witch using that hex, and doesn't prevent other witches from using their own hex with that name on the target.

For example, if Esmerelda uses her healing hex on Gustav, she can't use it on him again for 24 hours. Morda can still use her healing hex on Gustav during Esmerelda's no-healing-hex time period (and doing so prevents Morda from using it on him again for 24 hours). Repeat ad infinitum for any other witch using the healing hex


One more point to consider when discussing potentially buffing a single party member all day is that Bards can do much the same thing with their own class powers, but to the entire party and without requiring the loss of their Move action each turn.

Okay, instead of having two rolls you usually get to add a bonus, but (speaking as someone who can easily roll 2d20 and get under five in total) the bonus is often more help than the reroll.

The Witch's Cackle ability isn't that much different on balance to the Bardic Inspire.


I'd say that you have to be in "hustle mode" to cackle, so if you do it more than an hour per day, you have to make fatigue checks.

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