Witch- Half-Elf or Human?


Advice


I was wondering between either a Half-Elf or Human, which would be better for playing a Witch for Min/Maxing.


What level are you starting at? At low levels, Extra Hex is lovely so human. Later on, the conditional bonuses of half-elf might win out.


1st level PFS character.


Half-elves can take the Bonded Witch archetype, which is an interesting option.


Gisher wrote:
Half-elves can take the Bonded Witch archetype, which is an interesting option.

I was asking because I was in a discussion with another player over building a Cartomancer Witch.

Neither one of us was really saying which was better out of the two for min/maxing, so I told him I'd ask and see what the community thought.

Grand Lodge

I'd say human. Yes half-elves get some nice bonuses, but none of them seem to really synergize with the witch class by any large extent. The skills you'll focus on aren't really ones that warrant a skill focus (unless you pick up a trait for something like disable device), you don't get perception as a class skill and aren't wisdom-based, so their perception bonus is only just keeping one in the back of the race. Elven immunities are nice

None of the alternate racial traits really give a bonus to "witch" niches other than Arcane Training, although dual minded can boost your will-saves even further.

Overall I find half-elves work better with a lot of wisdom based characters that get into some weapon-based fighting.

Humans, with their bonus feat and one extra skill point, can become just about anything.


Thanks, I appreciate you explaining the benefits. :)


Half-elf + paragon surge (extra hex) = access to all the hexes


Buri Reborn wrote:
Half-elf + paragon surge (extra hex) = access to all the hexes

Thanks for pointing that out!


Also, consider Half-Elf with Ancestral Arms (trade out Skill Focus for proficiency with 1 Martial or Exotic weapon). This can get you a decent weapon, such as a polearm. While some GMs would rule that the Ancestral Arm you pick has to make thematic sense (and I would rule this way if I were GM), it should usually be pretty easy to find a thematic fit for an Elven Branched Spear (and get the stats by searching for it on the weapons page. Normally, 1/2 BAB and a Reach build wouldn't mix well, but since the Elven Branched Spear gives you +2 on Attacks of Opportunity rolls (to hit, not damage) and lets you use it with Weapon Finesse (even though it is not a Light weapon), and you want to pump Dex moderately high anyway for AoO fishing, you don't fall behind a 3/4 BAB character who doesn't have one of these (most don't) until you get to level 11, and PFS enforces retirement after level 12 anyway, so in just the highest 2 levels you would only be 1 behind a tried-and-true Reach Cleric, and on the plus side, unlike a Reach Cleric, you never run out of Hexes (just uses of each Hex against a target already selected for that Hex).

Edit: This should work just as well for a Half-Elf being a normal Witch (or any other archetype) as a Bonded Witch, which is completely optional.

Now, if only I had a chance to try this out myself . . . .


I mean...

Half-Elves are half-human, meaning that they count as Human, Elf, and Half-Elf for everything - feats, Racial Favored Class Abilitis, etc.

The only difference is that Humans get any feat at 1st level, while a Half-Elf basically chooses between Skill Focus and Martial/Exotic Weapon Proficiency, though Drow Magic is also a possibility.

Other than that, Half-Elves are just better than Humans in every way - they're basically Humans with extra icing.

Either way, your Racial Favored Class Bonus (unless you take Racial Heritage at level 1) is going to be "Gain an extra Spell".


^Now that you mention it, almost all of the Witch Favored Class Bonuses are pretty mediocre (adding 1 spell to your Familiar is something you can instead spend some gold on(*)), with the exceptions being Sylph, and maybe Halfling if you manage to find just the right Patron (the Gnome and Tiefling bonuses are the right idea but take FOREVER to have a significant effect).

(*)Unless you're stuck out in a total dump where you can't buy Scrolls and can't acquire a Stone Familiar, in which case adding 1 spell to your Familiar actually becomes decent, since unlike the spells you spent gold to get, the Favored Class Bonus extra spells come back if you lose and then replace your Familiar.

Edit: If you're going to be a single-classed Half-Elf Witch, might as well trade out Multitalented for Arcane Training to get a bit of help with UMD.


Buri Reborn wrote:
Half-elf + paragon surge (extra hex) = access to all the hexes

All of them, yes, but only one extra hex within a 24 hour period. P.Surge was nerfed in a FAQ, generally making it so whatever choices you make when casting it the first time are automatically the same choices for that day. Still, with limited castings of that particular spell, it won't be much of an issue.

Overall, both races satisfy the condition of giving you +2 Int if you want, so as a baseline they're both good. I'm a huge fan of Humans, especially from level 1, since the extra feat helps get your build off the ground. Still, even a 'core' Half Elf gives you a lot of nice bonuses. Between a familiar, a trait that makes it a class skill, and the +2 racial, my modest-Wisdom Half Elf Witch never fails an important Perception roll.

My advice is to think about the character, see what race might fit them best, and go with that. Humans and Half Elves are both strong enough and similar enough that you won't really feel like you lose out on too much by picking one or the other.


chbgraphicarts wrote:


The only difference is that Humans get any feat at 1st level, while a Half-Elf basically chooses between Skill Focus and Martial/Exotic Weapon Proficiency, though Drow Magic is also a possibility.

Dual minded should not be ignored. +2 to will saves means you could dump your wisdom a bit to boost some other stat. Or simply having a +2 is merit enough on its own. It's hard to have too much will save.

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