Witch Spell Selection Help Needed


Advice


Currently plying in a chatroom-based game that's a blend of 3.5 and pathfinder set in eberron. I'm a half-orc scarred witch doctor (endurance patron), but I'm finding myself with a selection of spells and abilities that's half or more not useful to the situation a bit too much. So far, we've run into/against warforged minions of the Lord of Blades several times, and my slumber hex doesn't work on those. So far our encounters are usually ambushes either in the middle of a city, on a boat, and one that we had exploring a ruin.

Rest of the party includes shifter flame oracle, changeling bard, human swashbuckler, warforged paladin, and human artificer.

We just recently hit level 4. I've got Evil Eye, Slumber, and Cackle as hexes (one from spending a feat). The spells in my mask are as follows:

2nd (3/day): bear's endurance*, blindness/deafness, false life, fog cloud, glitterdust, see invisibility, web

1st (4/day): air bubble, beguiling gift, burning hands, charm person, command, comprehend languages, hex vulnerability, ill omen, mage armor, ray of sickening, reduce person, unseen servant

0th (4/day): arcane mark, bleed, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, guidance, light, mending, message, putrefy food and drink, read magic, resistance, spark, stabilize, tough of fatigue.

I'm looking for advice for what spells would be good to prepare on a day-to-day basis. I like leaving a slot of each level open, but that means going in with only 2 level 2 spells and 3 level 1s. I know false life and mage armor are good, but the one time I had a situation suited to prepping them 9the ruin), we had to leave the day of learning about it to keep ahead of our adversaries, so I didn't have time to refresh spells.


I liked Pox Pustules on my level 4 Witch. It's got a Fort save instead of a Will save and a good long duration. -4 Dex plus sickened or using a move action to negate it is a decent enough debuff IMHO. I've not played him past level 4 though, so take my advice with a hearty grain of salt.


Vomit swarm is pretty nice. A standard action to summon a swarm and even better it gets better as you level. Once you hit 7th you can be summoning CR5 Wasp swarms with a 2nd level slot - pretty sweet.


How about vs those pesky warforged?

Grand Lodge

Glitterdust for its versatility.
False life to boost your HP.

Mage armor- cause duh.
Burning Hands- for low level swarms and AoE

Detect magic
Read magic
Touch of fatigue (replace at level 5 with message)
Dancing light

Spells to look into:
Death Knell...good for right after false life wears off while in a dungeon.

Vomit swarm...swarms are winners.

Whip of X. For a con based witch mixing it up is not bad at all.


You picked good spells and hexes. What kind of challenges are you running into where having spells/abilities that target all three saves are ineffective or hardly effective? Is it simply a matter of not having enough spells for the day or something else?


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Well normally I'd start with two words: Hex Vulnerability

Level 1 and greatly expands the use of your 1/day Hexes. For example a Wand of Hex Vulnerability and now you can spam Healing Hex on your friends...or Fortune...or...

http://www.archivesofnethys.com/SpellDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Hex%20Vulnerabil ity

But in your case against warforged...what specific immunities is your GM running them with? The standard stuff from 3.5? If so, it's things like poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, effects that cause the sickened condition and energy drain. Which admittedly is great package.

Misfortune, as a debuff is one of the best ones out there as it isn't Sleep or Mind-affecting, but you don't have it yet. Evil Eye, which you do possess, should work just fine.

Spell-wise?
Level 1:
Adhesive Spittle. Useful single target debuff. As a tanglefoot bag, but with your DC, doesn't require a to hit roll, and it is SR:no. The awesomeness of a tanglefoot debuff is even when they make their save, they are still entangled. It's a great "save AND suck" spell.

Ray of Enfeeblement. As it is only a str penalty ought also to work fine. It's level 1 and so should be cheap to pick up, unless your GM does't allow your witch to learn spells outside of leveling.

Snowball. Ranged Touch attack for moderate damage, bypasses SR...and save or be staggered. Good combo.

Level 2:
Glitterdust is still a big gun, especially after they have been softened up with Evil Eye. About as close to "I win" as you can get next to Slumber Hex.

Vomit Swarm is also a decent spell. Great against enemy casters.

On a side note...note sure what your Traits are, but my witch double-traited Ill Omen with metamagic reducers (Magical Lineage and Wayang Spellhunter) and started casting Quickened Ill-Omen + Hex of your Choice when he hit level 5. Great way to open a fight. Drop your biggest hex and the poor guy has to roll twice on that save. And of course if he made the save against the Hex, he's still rolling d20 twice on his next check/attack/save and taking the worse one.


I love me some Ill-Omen. One of my favorite 1st lvl spells for so many reasons.


pipedreamsam wrote:
You picked good spells and hexes. What kind of challenges are you running into where having spells/abilities that target all three saves are ineffective or hardly effective? Is it simply a matter of not having enough spells for the day or something else?

examples I've had include: having charm person, web, burning hands, and fog cloud when we get ambushed on a bridge; Fog Cloud, Blindness/Deafness, Charm Person, Ray of Sickening, and Reduce Person prepared when skeletons and a drowned attack our ship from below; and mage armor, ray of sickening, false life, blindness/deafness when we got attacked at an inn trying to have a conversation with our contact.

@Rerednaw: we didn't start with traits, so I had to use the extra traits feat at first level to get fate's favored and reactionary


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
examples I've had include: having charm person, web, burning hands, and fog cloud when we get ambushed on a bridge; Fog Cloud, Blindness/Deafness, Charm Person, Ray of Sickening, and Reduce Person prepared when skeletons and a drowned attack our ship from below; and mage armor, ray of sickening, false life, blindness/deafness when we got attacked at an inn trying to have a conversation with our contact.

Sounds like the GM is really into ambushes.

You probably have all of your hexes planned for the next umpteen levels but grab the Swamp's grasp hex if you can. Fighting warforged is going to be tough for you, focusing on control really is the best option. If saying so makes me a rebel than so be it [/sarcasm]

Honestly it just looks like bad luck so far. You prep a list and it doesn't really work so you tweak it to cover a weak point but then you fight something else that you weren't prepared for. Just carry and and if it keeps happening then well ... maybe its not your luck.


pipedreamsam wrote:
Honestly it just looks like bad luck so far. You prep a list and it doesn't really work so you tweak it to cover a weak point but then you fight something else that you weren't prepared for. Just carry and and if it keeps happening then well ... maybe its not your luck.

It not being my luck is kinda why I made the thread. Similar situations seem to happen whenever I try to play prepared casters.


As a scarred witch doctor you can probably drop either false life or mage armor, you're pretty much the hardiest 9th level "Arcane" caster there is. Buying a wand of Mage armor will help save slots but won't really help with the ambushes (but with some good intuition ...)

If you can afford it at level 5 I really can't recommend the feat scribe scroll enough for any 9th level prepared caster. Over the years I've found it to be one of the most powerful feats over the life of a campaign.


False Life would probably be easier to do without. Next time we get some scratch I'll try to work with the artificer to make a wand of mage armor. He's got a lot of discounts, I think he makes things for only 3/8 of market value. Then I'm thinking Glitterdust, See Invis, and an open slot for 2nd level. Now to figure out 1st level slots.


Seems like warforged aren't immune to mind affecting effects like I thought which makes them a lot easier to deal with.

To me a good 1st level universal list looks something like this:

Ill Omen, Command (should work on warforged and I'm not sure if you'll be able to get much mileage out of charm person), beguiling gift, open slot.

That's all mind affecting but realistically you already have a flame oracle so taking burning hands isn't going to accomplish much. If you run into anything immune to mind effecting spells you're just going to have to use higher level slots or hexes, just be sure to pick a non mind affecting hex the first chance you get.

Once you get level three spells the options really start to open for you. Unfortunately for you first two spells I have a hard time recommending anything other than dispel magic and fly for you to grab right away. I've just seen too many players (myself included) get burned by not having these two spells available.

and looking forward to level 5 you should strongly consider crafting your witch doctor mask into a jinsaga of fortunate soldier.


I've already made it into a mask of stony demeanor, and I plan on adding much more to it. I'm not sure if we're getting our next feat at 5th or 6th, but I plan on taking the flight hex with it and grabbing misfortune as my 6th level hex. Dispel magic sounds good though.


Well, with the new arg errata, I'm probably going to have to scrap this character.

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