Wizard or Witch


Advice

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Looking to start a new campaign, I have never played a wizard or a witch before, looking for opinions which is more powerful and versatile. Pros and Cons of each one, and which archetypes within these twos classes are the best. Thanks.


Wizard will always be more versatile and more powerful. So, it depends on your play style and what you want out of the character. Witches can be great for flavor and RP, but the most combat effective Witch build will probably be to make the DC of your Slumber Hex as high as possible and sleep everything you can. Wizards actually take a lot of time and effort. I recently played a Wizard for the first time and it was hard haha. He wasn't a very good Wizard either. He started out as a pet focused Necromancer and then was changed to a debuff focused Necromancer. If i had to do it again I'd go Conjuration most likely. These are all pretty broad strokes but hopefully it gives you a better idea of what to expect

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

why not both? Play the Pact wizard


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Broadly speaking, witches are a Debuffing class - they specialize in messing with foes and making them more vulnerable. Wizards are a little more generalist, and definitely the more powerful of the two once they get going.


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A wizard, built right and played with proper system mastery, is probably the most powerful and flexible class in the game ... if you survive the early levels, which is not guaranteed. Also, note that the qualifiers are real -- system mastery in particular (i.e., knowing what everything is, what to use, and what situations to use something else instead, are all very important.)

You can do perfectly well with a straightforward wizard of nearly any specialization -- just pick the right spells and know when to use them. (Treantmonk's guide, though not updated for more recent books, covers the basics very well.) Please note that "right spells" and "when to use them" are not at all easy. (If you've never played a spellcaster before, a sorceror is probably easier to play than either a wizard or a witch.)

Witches are almost as powerful as wizards, but not quite as versatile. Hexes are very powerful ways of messing with enemies, though they have some limits (duration, most limtied to once-per-target-per-day, and if your opponent saves you've just wasted your action). The witch spell list is nowere near as versatile as the wizard list, though it's still got lots of good stuff (and proper choice of patron can help a lot.)

"Best" really depends on your playstyle.

Evoker wizards blast enemies to death. These are not the most powerful wizards, but they are probably the easiest to play. Pick feats and class features to boost damage, SR, and save DC, or reduce enemy resistance/immunity to your spells, and blast away. A variation of this focuses not on hit point damage, but on directly paralyzing enemies or knocking them out of the fight (hold person, fear, etc.)

Controller wizards focus on "tilting" the battlefield their way (boost friends, cripple enemies, adjust the battlefield conditions so We have an advantage over Them). Most witches end up in this category. You look for no-save no-SR spells (so enemies can't resist their effects), spells to really boost your friends, and sneaky ways to get around obstacles.

Summoner wizards (not to be confused with the summoner class, though they overlap much) concentrate on getting extra creatures out to hurt, confuse, flank, and otherwise affect enemies -- they may also use various knockout spells to make it easy for their minions to go. You get Augment Summons and anything else that boosts your summoned creatures (at later levels you use the planar binding spells to get really powerful, at least until other players quit out of boredom, your GM revolts, and/or a cabal of outsiders tired of being yanked around by you shows up and murders you in your sleep). (A subtype is the undead-raising necromancer, though these are more often clerics.)

Enchanter/illusion types concentrate on misleading, baffling, deceiving, and outright controlling enemies. They're very hard to play well, because (a) your GM has to be on board with what you're doing, and (b) there are some enemies (mindless creatures, very-high-Will-save foes, creatures immune to charm/compulsion/enchantment, creatures with true seeing) that you're almost powerless against. Raise your enchantment/illusion DCs as high as you can get them (and realize that real power involves not just overpowering enemies' wills and sense, but being so plausible that they never even think to make a saving throw...)
More usually seen as Big Bad NPCs.

There are other styles too, but "best" really depends on what, exactly, you want to do -- witch and wizard are both very powerful and flexible classes, wizard slightly more powerful and substantially more flexible. Tell us more about what you have in mind, and we can do more with helping you be the best at that.


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Note that I've seen several people take a wizard build and "all the best spells" off the boards and try to run it straight. It did not work terribly well -- you really have to know when and how to use which spells on what targets, and have a good understanding of how your spells interact with your fellow players' abilities and options.

E.g., the wizard that started a battle by casting an illusion of a brick well "because the guide said that we can fight through it", ignoring the fact that most of us needed to see our enemies to use our weapons on them. (At the bare minimum, he should have let us known it was an illusion so we could try to make our saves...)

Shadow Lodge

As a compromise, I'd suggest asking the other players if any of them want to play as one of the two. That way, you can have both in your group.

You can scribe scrolls to make sure you both have access to any spell that's on both spell lists; one can specialize in healing and debuffing, while the other can focus on buffing and damage. Plus, you can have a "rote memorization vs. holistic understanding" back-and-forth.


Ahh, sounds like wizard could provide superior utility. I'm looking for a caster that can do damage and provide powerful debuffs and have the ability to heal if the group doesn't have a cleric. Are hexes the one thing that witches get that wizards envy?


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Hmm... well, Wizards aren't very good at healing. Witches, especially those with the Healing patron, are rather better about that.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You might consider a Shaman, if that is your intent, since Shaman basically combine all these aspects.

Witches with the healing patron are fine too, or you could just ignore the healing patron and get wands of cure light wounds for out of combat healing.


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hedge witch and hex channeler witches are decent healers.


Are there any areas besides healing where witches are superior to wizards?


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They get cure spells, but just take pragmatic activator and buy a wand. Or go shaman and get the condition removal spells on your list.

Wizard is vastly superior. I recommend teleportation subschool conjuration specialist if you want the most flexibility. And it comes with a class power, shift, that is one of the strongest defenses in the game.


any thoughts on the white haired witch? is giving up Hex too big of an obstacle to come over?


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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Atalius wrote:
Are there any areas besides healing where witches are superior to wizards?

Hexes.


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Simple terms- wizards are more versatile. Period.

But the question becomes- is versatility the thing you need?

Generally speaking, you want a witch when you have one thing- a lot of other casters in the party.

While a witch can debuff AC, it is usually single target, so it is never as good as a bard's buff for boosting chances in melee. But what witches are GREAT at is debuffing saves- which can allow the other casters in the party to easily apply all sorts of spells to the enemy (charm/dominate is always a favorite- when you need more numbers). It works best when you need to agree to take down one particular enemy RIGHT NOW (such as the enemy caster)- and the range and shut down potential of spells make the best use of that.

Witches are a multiplier for casters. Bards are a multiplier for melee/archers.

Wizards are their own big number- maybe they can also act as multiplers, but they are often well served to do their own thing.

Grand Lodge

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Atalius wrote:
any thoughts on the white haired witch? is giving up Hex too big of an obstacle to come over?

I would not give up hexes. They weaken opponents but they also allow you conserve resources. You will be able to keep your most potent spells for when you really need them.

In combat I would say they are pretty equal most of the time. It is out of combat the wizards have the advantage. When playing 9th level casters it is out right silly to to worry about power. Do you want a million dollar or a million and one.

We a million and one is better but my life is not going to change either way. Pick a character that is fun to play and play it to support your table.


Very interesting to know Grandlounge thank you. Yes definitely one of my prime concerns was in combat how the compare with wizards. Since they are pretty equal thats very good to know.

Grand Lodge

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That said not having haste is always worse than having it. So it may depend on what else you have in the party. Do you know?


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Of course, the wizard spell list gives them the edge in ultimate versatility.

However, in actual practice, hexes can allow the witch to dedicate a greater portion of her spell slots to utility, as the hexes can make up the lion's share of her offense, as opposed to a wizard who must set aside spell slots to fulfill his offensive duties, having no other viable attacks.


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Atalius wrote:
Are there any areas besides healing where witches are superior to wizards?

If your adventuring day is longer than 15 minutes, Witches get to appreciate that most Hexes do not have limits of uses per day that go with the Witch, only a limit of 1 use per day that goes with each individual creature(*). Therefore, as long as you don't have the same enemies somehow coming back to trouble you, you won't run out of Hexes, and can just keep going, even though you start with fewer spells per day than a Wizard (unless you take the spontaneous-casting Ley Line Guardian archetype, in which case you get the same spells per day as a Sorcerer, along with the same limit on spells known, and the same ability to recast spells as needed without preparing them multiple times or investing in a ton of Pearls of Power). Do note that a common complaint of Witch players is inability to get Hexes to stick, so get the DC as high as you can, but also invest in creature-identification Knowledge skills as much as you can so that you can figure out which enemies will have weak Saves against your Hexes, and not bother in the case of ones with strong Saves unless you can load on the anti-Save debuffs. When you get to be 9th level, Quicken Spell + Ill Omen is a good start at this.

(*)Accursed Hex gets you another shot at affecting a creature that saved against your Hex the first time, although this does require another action.

With respect to healing, it's worth noting that if you take the Healing Patron (or Endurance Patron, but it takes a long time and is expensive if you need to use it for this), you can act as close to a total Cleric replacement with respect to spellcasting, except for spontaneously casting the Cure-series spells. If you also take the Hedge Witch archetype, you can even spontaneously cast the Cure-series spells. If you also take the Hex Channeler archetype, you can even Channel Energy, although since each additional +1d6 of Channel Energy costs another Hex, it is better to use this for a rider effect (Turn/Command Undead or Variant Channeling) instead of healing hit point damage (or causing hit point damage to Undead), and the tradeout of all Hexes before 6th level will hurt. If you don't take Hex Channeler, but instead take Herb Witch, you get to be potentially really good at removing bad conditions from individual creatures (unfortunately, you also get to be MAD, since this uses Profession (Herbalist), whish is Wisdom-dependent, while your spellcasting and Hexes are still Intelligence-dependent).

Incompatibility of archetypes listed above: Herb Witch is incompatible with Hex Channeler and Ley Line Guardian; Hedge Witch is incompatible with Ley Line Guardian (but if you are a Ley Line Guardian, you don't need the Hedge Witch 4th level Hex substitute, and the Hedge Witch 8th level Hex substitute is rather lacklustre anyway).

If you want to combine Witch and Wizard with Pathfinder Unchained Variant Multiclassing (note: not allowed in PFS last time I checked), you could get good use out of going Witch VMC Wizard(*), but DON'T try to go Wizard VMC Witch. VMC Witch is just bad in every way, because your Hexes are stuck at a level way below your actual level (even stuck at 1st level for a long time). Only the arguably even worse badness of VMC Gunslinger saves VMC Witch from being the absolute worst VMC ever.

(*)For instance, Witch with the Elements Patron can be a decent Evoker substitute, and gets even better if you add VMC Wizard (Evoker:Admixturer) -- say goodbye to a lot of Elemental Energy Resistance/Immunities. Or for real cheese, go for the Winter Witch archetype (unfortunately doesn't allow the Elements Patron), and then use the same VMC Wizard to get back your ability to deal Fire damage (although if you thereafter go for the Winter Witch prestige class, you eventually won't need this nearly as much).


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Grandlounge wrote:
That said not having haste is always worse than having it. So it may depend on what else you have in the party. Do you know?

Our group consists of a fighter, a wizard, a ranger and a druid.


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^Party already has a Wizard, and already has 4 characters, so if none leave, you'll be #5. I'm going to say something crazy: Go Witch VMC Bard -- have Hexes to enhance the spellcasting in the party, and (from mid levels on) Inspire Courage to enhance the combat and Saves in the party, as well as becoming more of a Knowledge Monkey than even normal for an Intelligence-based spellcaster.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Party already has a Wizard, and already has 4 characters, so if none leave, you'll be #5. I'm going to say something crazy: Go Witch VMC Bard -- have Hexes to enhance the spellcasting in the party, and (from mid levels on) Inspire Courage to enhance the combat and Saves in the party, as well as becoming more of a Knowledge Monkey than even normal for an Intelligence-based spellcaster.

So "be a multiplier for everyone"?


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^Yes -- and some of the party members do more than one thing, so they benefit twice. Better yet if the Druid and Ranger have Animal Companions (preferably with Boon Companion on the Ranger), and better yet if you can convince the Druid and Wizard to summon stuff often (although the summons might bog down play too much, so make sure that everybody has everything ready to go for this, and that this isn't going to drive the GM crazy).


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If your party already has a wizard go witch and then argue with him in game about holistic magic and how books take all the magic out of magic xD


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It's absolutely possible to have two wizards in a party. Having someone to swap spells with is useful, and setting up combinations of spells to buff or debuff in one round rather than two is a major positive.

If you do go that way just make sure you have enough in mechanics and personality different that you look and feel distinct.


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If a witch takes scribe scroll then Witches and Wizards can fairly easily swap spells.

would be helpful to know what the other wizard is doing.


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Atalius wrote:
Ahh, sounds like wizard could provide superior utility. I'm looking for a caster that can do damage and provide powerful debuffs and have the ability to heal if the group doesn't have a cleric. Are hexes the one thing that witches get that wizards envy?

Both classes can accomplish this.

The Wizard can take control spells or Be a Blaster with Rime, and Dazing Meta Magics. What makes a Wizard Blaster good is that they can change element type of a spell to help get around resistances and Immunities.

A witch can be the most effective cold blasters in the game if built right with +3 damage per dice rolled on cold spells and +4 on Cone of Cold spell. When built properly you can just blast through immunities for Half damage. When paired with Rime meta magic you can entangle all your foes while blasting them to smithereens. Then you have a couple Hexes to fall back on for debuffing.

Since this is your very first full caster I recommend the Witch so you can spam Hexes and be more selective when to cast. This will help you learn to be a better wizard later down the road. Wizard is not a class for beginners. It requires a certain level of system mastery to be even a decent wizard.


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I have read some guides suggesting either a human or an elf for a witch, which one would you suggest?


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I am playing a gnome Gravewalker Witch with the fell magic swapped racial trait in an AP. At 9th level I'd saved up 2,500 gp of diamond dust, picked permanency as one of the two freebie spells known from advancing to 9th. Two rounds after spell preparation the character's flight hex lets her flit about enjoying the benefits of size Tiny.

Tack on the +1/6 hex favored class bonus and - if the campaign goes on long enough - she'll hit Grand Hex at 18th level with TWO grand hexes simultaneously learned. I'm thinking dire prophecy and death curse sound just lovely with proper softening up...


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tonyz wrote:

Evoker wizards blast enemies to death. These are not the most powerful wizards, but they are probably the easiest to play. Pick feats and class features to boost damage, SR, and save DC, or reduce enemy resistance/immunity to your spells, and blast away. A variation of this focuses not on hit point damage, but on directly paralyzing enemies or knocking them out of the fight (hold person, fear, etc.)

Controller wizards focus on "tilting" the battlefield their way (boost friends, cripple enemies, adjust the battlefield conditions so We have an advantage over Them). Most witches end up in this category. You look for no-save no-SR spells (so enemies can't resist their effects), spells to really boost your friends, and sneaky...

There's also the middle ground option.

Evoker Wizard that goes all in on a single hyper specialised metamagic blast spell, but also spends 2 feats on heighten spell and signature spell.

Then fills their memorised slots with situational support and situation shaping spells, and if they end up picking the wrong spells, turn them into their blast of choice.


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Another fun option is the Universalist Wizard that makes use of Hand of the Acolyte, aka "Fling a Helicopter Blade at their face". *grin*


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Eltacolibre wrote:

why not both? Play the Pact wizard

Or, in a sideways fashion, a Spirit Whisperer.


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Races!

I've been out of the d20 system a bit, recently, and there are plenty who give better breakdowns, but... I'll take a shot at it!

Atalius wrote:
I have read some guides suggesting either a human or an elf for a witch, which one would you suggest?

Elf

* +2 Int (ideal for an Int-caster/skill points) and Dex (for reflex/AC)
* -2 Con (problem for low-fort/low-hp characters)
* immunity to sleep and bonus against enchantment spells mean wisdom isn't as important
* similarly, keen senses (+2 perception) means wisdom isn't as important for a good perception
* +2 CL v. SR is really useful, and +2 for identification just makes auto-success that much easier
* weapon familiarity means you can have a longbow and, even with a terrible attack, have one of the better weapons in the game (though you'll never use it to its full potential)
* low-light vision is kind of okay

Notice the plethora of variant racial traits. They may be better - please look them over. Generally, these work by dropping one of the above, and replacing them with one of the variant abilities.

Human
* +2 to any one ability score of your choice (solid)
* bonus feat (so good, you guys)
* extra skill point per level (uh, okay, I guess, considering you've got a ton of 'em as an int-based character)

So basically, this is all about the +2 to whatever (intelligence) and bonus feat (so, like, extra hex, or pretty much whatever would be useful). There are a ton of variants, but, generally speaking, they're not as good for an int-based caster as the basic set-up, although certain builds could certainly benefit from the variants.

Aasimar
* +2 wisdom and charisma
* you know what, no, I really don't care and neither do you, none of the basic stuff matters

So, bear with me, as this isn't a conventional choice. First of all, you don't care about the basic aasimar, as a witch. And that's fine. Few ever do. However! Slide on down to variant heritages, and take a gander at peri-blooded. It's a basic +2 int (awesome!) and +2 charisma (meh), +2 knowledge (planes) and spellcraft (so... more auto-success) and pyrotechnics (meh), as well as being an outsider (sweet, sweet immunities to person spells and humanoid-targeting stuff). If your GM is okay with this, you may even be able to swap out your pyrotechnics for other stuff (see the variant abilities and features, near the bottom third of that page). I don't expect your GM to okay it, if you can select your options, number 40 is ideal (as it nets you an extra +2 to your intelligence); barring that, 27, 28, 29, 55, 56, 59, and certainly others (I only did a brief visual scan) are all pretty solid for a intelligence-, healing-, buffing-, or summoning-focused character.

Bare in mind, you've got to get your GM's approval. Also, despite all the awesome, this, technically, isn't as powerful by many estimations as that human bonus feat.

Changeling
* shut it, it's the best option
* look, I don't care that it's sub-par in all ways, it's still the best option
* oh, come on, if you're playing a witch that isn't a dude, you've got to at least consider it...
* dang it, fine, I'll be serious...

So this isn't the power-game choice, by any stretch. But the Witchborn changeling is actually a solid choice, even if it's not the most powerful.

Now, if you're interested in real, ultimate witch-ly power... play... an orc! Well, okay, no, not an orc, not really. But rather, a half-orc.

Why?
* +2 to any ability score (like a human)
* ignore ferocity, and take sacred tattoo instead
* whatever, doesn't matter

So, why is this better than, say, human?

Simple: this delightful mistake that Paizo made, right here

Notice the fierce intelligence. Notice it. In the original version of the scarred witch doctor, it replaced intelligence with constitution - a solid choice, and creating interesting ideas and play styles; I thought it was really cool, and it made me want to play an orc for once.

Then, someone complained, or maybe they were going to release the kineticist (depending on how conspiracy theorist-y you feel like being), but it really doesn't matter; either way they overreacted and changed it so that it just treats your intelligence as two points higher. Also, it killed any interest I had in playing an actual orc.

Now, of course, it doesn't treat your intelligence as two points higher for everything - so, you know, you don't get an extra skill point (which doesn't matter), an extra +1 to whatever (which is just kind of overkill, really), and poison will reduce your intelligence faster than if it were really two points higher... but none of that matters for an int-based caster. Everything you care about as a caster is there, instead (highest spell possible (okay, you won't care about this one, really), spells per day, spell DCs, and number of first level spells known).

Granted, if you can get that aasimar peri-kin plus "choose your own" variant abilities in exchange for the pyrotechnics stacking +2 and +2 intelligence (for +4 total), it would be the most bestest ever... but that's really not something most GMs would let you go for.
(Of course, if you could get it, snagging an aasimar with the racial heritage emberkin, who has scion of humanity alternate racial traits, could snag the racial heritage feat at first level, choose orc, and qualify for the scarred witch doctor racial archetype, netting the equivalent of a +6 to Int for your casting stat (+4 with a '+2 more for casting purposes')... but that's just overkill, and not something most any GM who isn't me will likely ever approve of... despite the fact that an orc-blooded human family blended with a line of fallen angels seeking redemption who hold a burning sacred fire within would make for a phenomenal RP option...)

In any event, those are just a few basic ideas for race. I didn't tell you which to choose, but rather gave you some (hopefully useful) insights into why each race is a useful and/or flavorful choice. The most important thing is the intelligence, the other stuff is just gravy.

Bear in mind, though, you can make an effective witch (or wizard) with most any race, if (and only if) you build to take advantage of the strengths of the race and prepare properly for any trouble. Non-scarred witch doctor orc witch? Sure! It will never be the most powerful, and it could suck if poorly planned, but it could also be viable. You don't need an 18 or 20 in the core stat - that's just a really nice thing to have.

Hope that helps!


hows this stat line for an elf witch, 20 point buy:

STR 7
DEX 16
CON 14
INT 19
WIS 10
CHA 7


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If you're okay with dumping stats that hard, I would at least get intelligence to 20. Cannot overestimate its importance. Save DCs are imperative for an effective witch.


Tsukiyo wrote:
If you're okay with dumping stats that hard, I would at least get intelligence to 20. Cannot overestimate its importance. Save DCs are imperative for an effective witch.

Ugh that means I will have to sacrifice dex or con, which one should I drop even more?


Tsukiyo wrote:
If you're okay with dumping stats that hard, I would at least get intelligence to 20. Cannot overestimate its importance. Save DCs are imperative for an effective witch.
Atalius wrote:
Ugh that means I will have to sacrifice dex or con, which one should I drop even more?

Drop some constitution.

I mean: you're fighting yourself by pushing an elf's Con score up to 14 - you're paying as if it's a 16, and only getting the benefits of 14; instead drop your Con to 12 - that's a loss of +1 to fortitude and 1 hit point per level. At first level, that fortitude bonus is useful, but the hit point is definitively not. While those hit points will be nice, later, they're never going to make as big a difference in living and dying as having a higher hit dice.

Having a high constitution is not a bad idea, but it's not really something you want to struggle to pay for on an elf int-based caster.

You're going to want that extra six point-buy points to nab yourself a nice 20 Int (you're basically paying to get there, anyway), and put whatever's left into wisdom as a cheap "nice to have" bonus, and a little +1 to perception and will saves doesn't hurt anyone.

EDIT: posted quickly to save my progress, as my internet is fading in and out.

Also, your Dex is super-important, because you'd basically need to buy your way to a 16 Con (i.e. an 18 Con) to get as many hit points as you'd be getting from your hit dice (an average of 3.5 - you'd still not be quite making that), whereas you can avoid taking damage whatsoever a nice +5% of the time (relatively speaking*) by having a +1 Dex modifier, and 16 dex nets you a 15% "I didn't take any damage at all" instead of "I probably take damage that is almost guaranteed to minimize at just as many hit points as my con mod nets me" (i.e. 2 hit points, at present).

That 15% isn't much, but it adds up much faster - on every attempted hit - than the 2 extra hit points you currently get.

(While the same holds true of fortitude saves, dexterity also nets you some nice reflex saves - admittedly, reflex isn't the most important save, but it's nice to have, and also helps reduce damage from the unexpected - and also helps you in initiative, which can be the single most important thing in many cases.)

* This is the number often bandied about. It's not, technically, correct, as there are a host of complex factors, but it's pointing out that every +1 when compared to a d20 roll translates into a rough 5% chance of hit/miss. That is a good hallmark to consider when things give you a +/- effect to anything involving a dice roll, whether for (like attack) or against (like AC). Just bear in mind, that it doesn't always translate into a true percentage - someone with true strike on still has a 5% failure rate, but, conversely, unless you're rocking a Dex of 50 or higher (not really possible in PF, to my knowledge), your Dex modifier (by itself) isn't worthwhile against a foe with a +20 attack bonus. So, keep those sorts of things in mind.


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a human witch with:

STR 7
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 20
WIS 11
CHA 7

or a elf witch with:

STR 7
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 20
WIS 11
CHA 7


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With witch, I like the ashiftah archetype from Qadira Campaign Setting. I also think the invoker archetype from haunted heroes is interesting.

Elf has the racial alternate ability dreamspeaker that gives +1DC to slumber.


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Tacticslion wrote:

...

In any event, those are just a few basic ideas for race. I didn't tell you which to choose, but rather gave you some (hopefully useful) insights into why each race is a useful and/or flavorful choice. The most important thing is the intelligence, the other stuff is just gravy.
...

For completeness, here is a list of races that have, or can have, the +2 Int bonus.

Aasimar (Emberkin), Android, Changeling (Witchborn), Dhampir (Ajibachana), Dhampir (Ru-Shi), Elf, Elf (Aquatic), Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Human, Kitsune (Keen Kitsune), Lashunta, Ratfolk, Samsaran, Skinwalker (Bloodmarked), Skinwalker (Nightskulk), Sylph, Tiefling, Tiefling (Grimspawn), Wayang, Wyrwood.

I think a Kitsune Witch with Keen Kitsune and Superior Shapeshifter would be fun. Select a fox as a Familiar and have fun playing the 'twins' game. ;)


Atalius wrote:

a human witch with:

STR 7
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 20
WIS 11
CHA 7

or a elf witch with:

STR 7
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 20
WIS 11
CHA 7

Depends on what you intend to do with that bonus feat. :)


Gisher wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

...

In any event, those are just a few basic ideas for race. I didn't tell you which to choose, but rather gave you some (hopefully useful) insights into why each race is a useful and/or flavorful choice. The most important thing is the intelligence, the other stuff is just gravy.
...

For completeness, here is a list of races that have, or can have, the +2 Int bonus.

Aasimar (Emberkin), Android, Changeling (Witchborn), Dhampir (Ajibachana), Dhampir (Ru-Shi), Elf, Elf (Aquatic), Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Human, Kitsune (Keen Kitsune), Lashunta, Ratfolk, Samsaran, Skinwalker (Bloodmarked), Skinwalker (Nightskulk), Sylph, Tiefling, Tiefling (Grimspawn), Wayang, Wyrwood.

I think a Kitsune Witch with Keen Kitsune and Superior Shapeshifter would be fun. Select a fox as a Familiar and have fun playing the 'twins' game. ;)

Awesome! :D


Tacticslion wrote:
Atalius wrote:

a human witch with:

STR 7
DEX 14
CON 14
INT 20
WIS 11
CHA 7

or a elf witch with:

STR 7
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 20
WIS 11
CHA 7

Depends on what you intend to do with that bonus feat. :)

Extra Hex I was thinking.


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Another possibility for being a Witch is to be a Halfling with the Halfling Jinx and Creepy Doll alternate racial traits. On the downside, you don't get an Intelligence bonus. But on the upside, Halfling Jinx gets you extra debuffing directly, and Creepy Doll gets you extra debuffing by way of Intimidate, because it conveniently allows you to intimidate larger creatures with no penalty for the size difference.

The lack of an Intelligence bonus confers a -1 to your Hex and spell DC.

Halfling Jinx causes an affected creature to take -1 on its Saves. On the downside, it takes a Standard Action to apply, and they can Will Save against it (but see below), but if they don't Save, then it lasts up to 24 hours unless you attempt to apply it to another creature. You can get Area Jinx to make Jinx have an area of effect instead of just a single target (and if you need to hit a large area, you can even take more than one rank of it to increase the area). You can get rid of the action economy tax of Jinx by getting Jinxed Spell, which makes the Jinx a rider on the spell (including affecting an area if you also have Area Jinx), and uses the Save of the spell (it has to be a spell that allows a Save) for the Save against the Jinx, so pick spells that target enemies' weakest Saves, and also get Persistent Spell (they have to roll their Save twice and take the worse result).

If you successfully use Intimidate to make enemies Shaken (Demoralize), they are at -2 on their Saves (as well as Attack Rolls, Ability Checks, and Skill Checks). This does normally take a Standard Action for each creature, so see if you can find ways to improve the action economy; nevertheless, the debuff beats the -1 you take on your Save DCs for not having an Intelligence bonus, and Halflings get a Charisma bonus to help on the DC for Intimidate (and as noted above, Creepy Doll removes the penalty you would normally have for being Small, no matter how big your enemies are). It gets better if you get the Pathfinder Unchained Skill Unlock for Intimidate.

Yes, Halflings can make better debuffing Witches than Changelings, even after the Witchborn alternate racial trait became available to Changelings.


The wizard has a larger spell list than a witch simply because they are an older more popular class. This gives them a very slight edge on the witch because while they have a larger spell list the individual wizard does not know any more spells than the witch. This is counter by the fact that witches get access to spells that are normally divine spells. A hedge witch with the healing patron can fulfill the role of healer in the party which a wizard will not be ab le to do.

One thing to keep in mind about the witch is that many of the spells and hexes are mind affecting so some creatures particularly undead can be a problem. This is not to say that witches cannot deal with undead it’s just that they need to be prepared. I have seen a hedge witch with the prehensile hair hex in an undead heavy campaign that worked extremely well. Her ability to convert any spell into a cure and then use her hair to deliver it from behind another character was very useful.

Both classes are powerful casters and which is more powerful often comes down to how they are played rather than the class. I have years of experience in gaming and usually end up as the GM. If I was playing either class and a novice was playing the other my character would be more powerful. If you are looking at two experienced players with equal system mastery than there may be argument for one being more powerful. For a player that has never played either both classes will probably be equal.


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Actually I'd argue that for a complete novice a witch has a definite edge because of hexes not running out, in the early levels witches and wizards run out of spell really easy, run out of hexes, not so much.

Grand Lodge

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^ I agree with this. Spell selection is hard and many players make mistakes. This can quickly degrade the power of a caster. Not being able to use 1 in 5 spells may not seem that bad but that's 20% of your power. A wizard may have 9 spells in his top 3 spots mis-preping even a few of these degrades offensively capability.

Witches have spell equivalent abilities that's can be cast "spontaneously" all day. They can mis-preping their whole list and still be OK.


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^Of course, you know, it IS possible to choose your Hexes incorrectly . . . .

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