Havocker (Witch Archetype) - THOUGHTS


Advice

Scarab Sages

Is this archetype any good? It seems cool to me( not the best broken op ever created archetype, but cool to play), but probably a little bit mad, what do you think?


It's probably worse than the normal witch, but it's not a trap.
And it's not as good at blasting as the kineticist, but you have spells.

EDIT: if you go for this, use a touch element. physical would probably be way to hard to hit with.


It looks... weak. A havocker witch gets none of the kineticist advantages with a kinetic blast from BAB to elemental overflow, gather power, etc. The blast would therefore be OK at very low levels but would age poorly. With no way to reduce the burn the infusions would be quite expensive to apply, you'd usually be better just to cast the spells rather than use them for spellburn.


Grab an energy blast. It's nice for a few reasons: you have options other than save-or-lose, and you can do something against undead and swarms. Your first level spells can be used to boost your range, so you don't have to get up close and personal like a regular Witch. On the downside, you lose your debuffing and save-or-lose.

Not a trap, and a good choice if Slumber ending most combats doesn't appeal to you. Once you hit 10, though, the loss of fancier hexes starts to really hurt.

Scarab Sages

do you know other archetipes with the "kineticst flavour"?

Scarab Sages

Warlock vigilante is like an elemental annihilator with spells and vigilante talents. Mystic bolts really suffer against energy resistance though.


And suffer even more because they deal, at level 20, 1d6+5.

Silver Crusade

Havocker is trash because spell burn is wretched, losing hexes for half infusion progression is trash, and the entire archetype just doesn't hold up. You'd be better playing a straight witch rather than attempting to make the havocker work, since it just doesn't.

To elaborate on my sentiments

There's not really any Paizo options for a kineticist flavored archetype at the moment, although there's a few 3rd party options that work for that well enough.

Scarab Sages

Azten wrote:
And suffer even more because they deal, at level 20, 1d6+5.

Plus 2d6 holy+5 from arcane striker. Plus deadly aim if you choose to target normal ac instead of touch ac, but that's really a wash. Plus 1 from point blank range.

Yo can do decent DPR if you build for it. It's not optimal, but it passes muster.


At level 20 that is not what a lot of people would consider "decent" DPR.

Scarab Sages

It can be when you are doing 3d6+11 per hit with 8 attacks per round thanks to haste, rapid shot and TWF against touch ac. 172 DPR isn't anything special then, buts it's able to hold its own.


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Osian Oisìn wrote:
Is this archetype any good? It seems cool to me( not the best broken op ever created archetype, but cool to play), but probably a little bit mad, what do you think?

I think that the archetype would have held up better if it had an infusion every level for each hex, granted access to some wild talents, or retained access to the patron spells (or a custom list). As it is, it doesn't really feel like it holds up terribly well. I think my issue is this: you can actually build a better havocker witch with an arcanist than you can with the havocker.

The elemental attacks, while not unlimited, scale the same as the blast -- still target touch, but automatically have their rider tied in. If you like the witch list, just take the unlettered arcanist archetype. Usually the downside of that archetype over going witch would be losing the patron spells, but the havocker loses those anyway. The end result is something similar to a havocker, but with arguably more versatility thanks to other exploits.


Take evasive action!

You do actually keep patron spells. But you throw away all your Hexes for... pretty much a fancy crossbow. If you ever actually use an Infusion that's not 1st level you are crazy. Hexes are so powerful, without them it's a (bad) Tier II class.


The Mortonator wrote:

Take evasive action!

You do actually keep patron spells. But you throw away all your Hexes for... pretty much a fancy crossbow. If you ever actually use an Infusion that's not 1st level you are crazy. Hexes are so powerful, without them it's a (bad) Tier II class.

Quote:
At 1st level, rather than selecting a standard patron and gaining patron spells, the witch selects a specific kineticist element (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures 14), which represents the shadowy forces from which she gains her familiar and class powers.

The Havocker does not select a patron, nor do they receive patron spells. The text should probably include a note at the bottom of the ability where it usually says what it alters or replaces, but I don't see how you can read the replacement ability description and come to the conclusion they do keep a patron.

Scarab Sages

cavernshark wrote:
Osian Oisìn wrote:
Is this archetype any good? It seems cool to me( not the best broken op ever created archetype, but cool to play), but probably a little bit mad, what do you think?

I think that the archetype would have held up better if it had an infusion every level for each hex, granted access to some wild talents, or retained access to the patron spells (or a custom list). As it is, it doesn't really feel like it holds up terribly well. I think my issue is this: you can actually build a better havocker witch with an arcanist than you can with the havocker.

The elemental attacks, while not unlimited, scale the same as the blast -- still target touch, but automatically have their rider tied in. If you like the witch list, just take the unlettered arcanist archetype. Usually the downside of that archetype over going witch would be losing the patron spells, but the havocker loses those anyway. The end result is something similar to a havocker, but with arguably more versatility thanks to other exploits.

What are the best blast exploits?

Sovereign Court

I wanted to like this archetype. I'm not a fan of most hexes; many of them are too powerful (slumber) for my taste or too situational (that swampwalking thing). Giving witches a solid all-day physical attack mode was exactly what I wanted. But I'm a bit uneasy with all the criticisms about this one. I fear the infusions were a bit too nerfed.


Thought experiment time.

Goff the goblin fire havocker witch with starting Dex 20, Con 14, Int 16. Level ups to int because you're still a witch and you'll want the bonus spells to help power the spellburn.
L1: Point blank shot, fire blast (within 30') at +6 touch, 1d6+2
L5: Add precise shot, weapon focus (ray), burning infusion, +2 dex belt. +10 touch, 3d6+2. Burn a 1st level spell to set people on fire (no save).
L10: Add reckless aim, lob shot, fan of flames, flash infusion, +4 dex belt. +14 touch, 5d6+2, or DC 22 reflex half in a 15' cone, 5d6+2 for a 1st level spell, option of adding DC 17 will save to blind for a round for a 4th-5th level spell. Reckless aim/lob shot can improve accuracy even further.

Dorae the dwarf earth havocker witch with starting Dex 14, Con 18, Int 16.
L1: PBS, earth blast at +3, 1d6+6
L5: Add precise shot, WF, extended range, +2 con belt. +5, 3d6+9. Burn a 1st level spell to get a real range, though at +4, 3d6+8.
L10: Add rapid shot, overwatch style, entangling infusion, impale, +4 con belt. +8, 5d6+13 or +6/+6, 5d6+13 as a full round action. Burn a 2nd level spell to entangle someone damaged (no save), or a 3rd to affect all in a 30' line, a 5th to do both.

I tried to push accuracy as far as possible with the goblin, damage with the dwarf. It costs all the feats in both cases. The question is, is either worth it? I don't think so but there might be some compromise between the two which is useful.

The other question is whether I made mistakes in my estimate of which feats might apply of course.

Edit: and with a little checking it looks like overwatch isn't an option. OK, Dorae can get the same reckless aim/lob shot feats as the goblin and be just a little more accurate instead.

Sovereign Court

Isn't Far Shot a prerequisite of Lob Shot?


Hmm. True, my bad. OK, Reckless aim and sage's guidance for the gobbo then, the dwarf gets reckless aim and a free feat. Edit: maybe delay blast? The ability to cast in advance would occasionally be useful for raising damage further.


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cavernshark wrote:
The Havocker does not select a patron, nor do they receive patron spells. The text should probably include a note at the bottom of the ability where it usually says what it alters or replaces, but I don't see how you can read the replacement ability description and come to the conclusion they do keep a patron.

Because I didn't believe it could possibly be that bad?

Because I assumed from the poorly written flavor text it was implying in addition to parton spells?

Because the standardized format tells me if it is not at the bottom it is not traded?

Because that level of terrible just can't be believed?

Because honestly, what?

I'm sorry. I still don't believe you.

That can't be right at all. Nope.

My brain refuses to accept this information.

It is not at the bottom. They have to remain. Your patron grants you a disipline as well. I'm... I think I am actually in the denile stage?

Let's assume for a moment this heresy is true. In that case... Is the Witch spell list really good enough to make it a Tier II class? Or is this a Tier III archetype?

Scarab Sages

I'm going to be honest: I LOVE this archetype.

Now, you may be saying to yourself "Davor, that is absolutely CRAZY. Hexes are awesome, the way infusions are handled is TERRIBLE, and if you don't even get patron spells you're losing out on one of the must crucial parts of the Witch class!" You might even be yelling that last bit out loud.

What you DO get, however, is a spellcaster that is more in line with other classes. I feel that the Havocker is just about the ideal balance state around which most spellcasters ought to be balanced. Now, let me be clear: Spellburn is REALLY poorly designed. If the spell slot required was at least 1/2 the level of the infusion, it might ALMOST be worth it as an option (but still clearly isn't). I feel that, if they had given the witch Gather Power (to replace something else they normally get that was given up early, because too much is given up for the blast, imo), and then you needed to sacrifice spell slots of a level equal to the burn taken, it would be a bit more reasonable.

Still, though, it's very well balanced and designed outside of Spellburn. I'd be willing to say it's one of the MOST well designed classes that Paizo has put out.

Scarab Sages

Davor wrote:

I'm going to be honest: I LOVE this archetype.

Now, you may be saying to yourself "Davor, that is absolutely CRAZY. Hexes are awesome, the way infusions are handled is TERRIBLE, and if you don't even get patron spells you're losing out on one of the must crucial parts of the Witch class!" You might even be yelling that last bit out loud.

What you DO get, however, is a spellcaster that is more in line with other classes. I feel that the Havocker is just about the ideal balance state around which most spellcasters ought to be balanced. Now, let me be clear: Spellburn is REALLY poorly designed. If the spell slot required was at least 1/2 the level of the infusion, it might ALMOST be worth it as an option (but still clearly isn't). I feel that, if they had given the witch Gather Power (to replace something else they normally get that was given up early, because too much is given up for the blast, imo), and then you needed to sacrifice spell slots of a level equal to the burn taken, it would be a bit more reasonable.

Still, though, it's very well balanced and designed outside of Spellburn. I'd be willing to say it's one of the MOST well designed classes that Paizo has put out.

How you gonna build one( a water one)?


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The Mortonator wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
The Havocker does not select a patron, nor do they receive patron spells. The text should probably include a note at the bottom of the ability where it usually says what it alters or replaces, but I don't see how you can read the replacement ability description and come to the conclusion they do keep a patron.

Because I didn't believe it could possibly be that bad?

Because I assumed from the poorly written flavor text it was implying in addition to parton spells?

Because the standardized format tells me if it is not at the bottom it is not traded?

Because that level of terrible just can't be believed?

Because honestly, what?

I'm sorry. I still don't believe you.

That can't be right at all. Nope.

My brain refuses to accept this information.

It is not at the bottom. They have to remain. Your patron grants you a disipline as well. I'm... I think I am actually in the denile stage?

Let's assume for a moment this heresy is true. In that case... Is the Witch spell list really good enough to make it a Tier II class? Or is this a Tier III archetype?

Honestly, I'm with you Mort. If the archetype let you keep your patron and patron spells (even if it just limited you to a specific set of elemental themed patrons), I'd probably be on board here even with the nerfed blast / infusions.


The Mortonator wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
The Havocker does not select a patron, nor do they receive patron spells. The text should probably include a note at the bottom of the ability where it usually says what it alters or replaces, but I don't see how you can read the replacement ability description and come to the conclusion they do keep a patron.

Because I didn't believe it could possibly be that bad?

Because I assumed from the poorly written flavor text it was implying in addition to parton spells?

Because the standardized format tells me if it is not at the bottom it is not traded?

Because that level of terrible just can't be believed?

Because honestly, what?

I'm sorry. I still don't believe you.

That can't be right at all. Nope.

My brain refuses to accept this information.

It is not at the bottom. They have to remain. Your patron grants you a disipline as well. I'm... I think I am actually in the denile stage?

Let's assume for a moment this heresy is true. In that case... Is the Witch spell list really good enough to make it a Tier II class? Or is this a Tier III archetype?

"At 1st level, rather than selecting a standard patron and gaining patron spells"


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Chess Pwn via's Mort's brain wrote:
"At 1st level, in addition to selecting a standard patron and gaining patron spells"

I'm not seeing the problem here.

Liberty's Edge

Honestly, I think people are being too demanding here. Is the witch particularly known for blasting? No, not really. So is it really a problem that they get an at-will blasting ability that does okayish (but not great) damage? No, not really.

Obviously, you can't give them the full blasting ability of a kineticist, because then no one would play a kineticist and would instead play havocker. So they gave them a neutered at-will blasting.

And havocker is still a 9-th level casting class with all of the witch spells.

This seems fine to me. You have a FULL 9TH LEVEL CASTER who has at-will pretty good blasting. It is similar to the warlock, but better as it blasts better and also has 9th level spells. Seriously, the main people who should be complaining are warlocks, because havocker makes them obsolete.

YES, I think you should basically never accept spellburn and just do the basic blast. But a full complement of witch spells and an at-will unmodified basic blast is really not all that bad. Definitely do a touch AC blast so you don't run into BAB problems.

If I were to build this, I would take the basic kineticist blast and really not spend any more feats on it and definitely take a touch AC one. You get a lot of infusions that you should probably never use. Then just make the rest of your build a primary caster and choose feats to complement whatever witch spells you want to prioritize.

Liberty's Edge

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In particular, take any energy blast except fire (because fire is frequently resisted and you don't get the kineticist goodies to enhance fire) and just call it good. Don't devote any more feats and/or efforts to improving the blast, with the possible exception of point blank and precise shot. No more.

Then maybe either build a summoning focused build with all of the feats and just blast after you do the summons.

Or do a kitsune enchantment focused build and blast after you do you initial enchantment spells.

Seems fine to me, to be honest. It is not a trap archetype, although probably the infusions are all pretty much traps and should not be used.

With either of these, you will be expending most of your resources to be either a pretty good summoner or a pretty good enchanter. And you have 9th level spells. And then you just blast after your initial summons/enchanting rally, healing as well where needed. I can't think of a party that would be able to complain that you were not a contributing member.


Extended Range infusion isn't too bad of a deal once you have a few levels. It's handy to be able to hit something far away in a pinch.


nennafir wrote:
Honestly, I think people are being too demanding here. Is the witch particularly known for blasting? No, not really. So is it really a problem that they get an at-will blasting ability that does okayish (but not great) damage? No, not really.

[link]


All I can speak to is 1st level play experience with this archetype--but I will say I enjoyed it a lot.

I went with water (cold) for the blast and human for race so I could get Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot. The touch AC attack made the blast attack more useful than a crossbow would have been and 1d6+2 isn't shabby for a 1st level character. It was nice to run around the battlefield damaging foes while the melee types stood up front and swung about as effectively as 1st level melee types can. I wasn't tracking damage, but it felt like I was keeping pace with the rest of the group and (in some cases) exceeding their damage per combat.

While I did not get to see performance at higher levels, touch AC generally stays constant or even declines as CR increases, so accuracy might overcome slightly lower damage on a successful hit.

And I still had a few spells I could throw around. And use the party's cure light wounds wand. And several of the scrolls we found.

There is another benefit, which may not appeal to everyone, but sometimes appeals to me--the character was simple. Rather than having to keep in mind hexes and spells, I pretty much burned my spells on mage armor and one (actually used) liberating command. I always had something I could do, but I didn't have to think too much about my action. And, with trait selection, I had good out-of-combat skills.

As with every game mechanic, the Havocker's fun factor depends on what you're looking for. Me, I enjoyed the character a lot and would definitely like to continue with her. As a "save-or-suck" debuffer, cackling up a storm, no, she wasn't effective. So if that's the character you want to play, the archetype doesn't work. But as a steady damage out-putter with a nice selection of spells, useful skills, and lots of flavor, I'd rate the Havocker highly.

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