I apologize in advanced for this being so long (and it probably is, hard to tell since I am doing this on the phone, but computer is busy lol), as well as any repeating I end up doing in other Pathfinder related FB pages or Paizo Forums. Also preface, I have read every post, forum and watched every video I can find on the Winter Witch/Winter Witch, and have tried to use bits and pieces from all plus everything I could find.
I was hoping to run this set up by you guys and get some ideas on what you think about this, as well as any input for things I might be missing. This character would start at a minimum of level 15, if not higher (replacement for a dead character).
I am currently trying to make a good Ice/cold based witch designed around Blaster/Controller with Hexes for Debuffing or Controller/Blaster/ with Hexes for Debuffing. I love the thought of doing cold damage and inflicting debuffs or crowd control at the same time though freezing them lol. I know that the damage for this won't be the absolute best, but it is a character concept as much as anything else, something I think might be all around fun and useful.
At the moment I am thinking 1 level Crossblooded Sorc with either Orc for general damage boost, or White Dragon for Ice damage boost only (as well as thematically) and the other being either Elemental Ice (for thematics as well as turning all spells to ice), or one of the other two I didn't use before for obvious reasons (though this dip could be ignored for better spell progression of needed). The rest of the character will be Winter Witch Archetype Winter Witch PrC at Witch 6 (Character 7), Snow Elf (for the free Spell Focus, most likely Evocation since Conjuration spells are almost all without a save, and thematic reasons). Also considering adding Invoker (for damage boost and either hex/patron spell DC boosts, or, the spell resistance and DR reduction), Though the loss of some of the hexes may hurt me. But I would still be able to get Evil Eye and Misfortune (could replace either if I wish with Frozen Caress, though I don't see me useing many touch spells for this one). Or Demon-Sworn for the Improved Familiar without a feat and only losing one extra hex (or maybe even both, though that would really hurry with hex progression and cost me either Misfortune or Evil Eye). I would love to have been able to add Fortune, but unless I skip Invoker, I know it isn't possible, and I really feel that Invoker is a needed for this.
Current build stats, feats and equipment (25 pt buy)
Dex. 16 (+2 racial)
Int. 20 (+2 racial)
Wisdom. 14. (12 if I raise Cha to 13)
Charisma. 10 (13 if I choose Improved Familiar or Spirit Talker as Feats)
Feats (in no particular order):
Spell Focus Evocation (racial) for DC bonuses
Rime Spell (Winter's Grasp most often to make stick)
Prereq to Prestigious Spell Caster
Prestigious Spell Caster to offset Winter Witch PrC spell progression loss
Split Hex (or Rod of Voracious Hex)
Spell Perfection (either Come of Cold or Freezing Sphere)
Elemental Focus Cold for DC bonuses
2 (or 3 if No Split Hex) More feats between level 15 and 20... Thinking Spell Specialization, Greater Elemental Focus, improved initiative, magic Tattoo: Evocation, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Specialization, Spell Penetratration, Improved Familiar (really not sure about this one, and not needed if I were to fit in Denim-Sworn), Empowered or Maximized Spell (thinking multiple Rods instead) or maybe Spirit Talker (really really not sure).
Equipment (240k gold as per Character Advancement page, also assuming various other stat, protection boosting gear and a broom of Flying to get in and out as needed and Clawhand Shield.. only things listed are for Spell or Hex improving):
Blouse, Cackling Hag's
Robe, Voidfrost (+1 Raise Caster Level for Cold Spells)
Fates Shears (1 forced reroll)
Hoarfrost Bones (If Allowed, +1 to Caster level for Cold Spells, Day healing in Cold Weather or submerged in knee deep Water)
Decanter of Endless Water (help with Hoarfrost Bones and Winter Witch Freezing and Sculpting)
Rod of Empowering Spell
Haven't picked a patron as yet though Winter is very Thematic, though also most likely not the most optimal, despite allowing lower level Freezing Sphere.
And for Giggles, Hexes
Evil Eye (if not Misfortune)
Misfortune (if not Evil Eye)
Both Above if no Demon-Sworn
If no Invoker, Fortune and whatever
2 More From Grand Down if no Invoker, 1 more if Invoker, Maybe Natural Disaster, Death Curse or Dire Prophecy.
Thank you guy for any and all help you can give, and again, I apologize for the verbose nature of this post.
Personally I’d never dip into another class that lowers spell progression or hex dc. Where are you getting the snow elf from? Have you considered taking a unique patron? You can get an extra hex if you’re prepared to pay the cost. Though I don’t think you can take this option if you give up your first level hex.
The Infernal Contract unique patron works thematically with the Demon Sworn archetype and grants the useful Misfortune hex. In this case the Tricker Patron works well as it grants the ever useful Mirror Image spell, the broader thematics of the patron are less relevant as the Demon Sworn archetype changes most spells.
The Invoke may or may not be awesome but my preferences has always been for hexes. When it comes to Misfortune and Evil Eye you ideally want both. There’s quite a few rather nice hexes these days and taking the right hexes can save you spell and item slots. Even with a magic item or long duration spell I still wouldn’t want to be without the Flight hex(it cannot be dispelled and the swim bonus is a nice perk) the Murksight hex provides a useful defensive combat option, hexes likeWater Lung and Greater Gift of Consumption could save your life, hexes such as Weather Control, Prehensile Hair, Feral Speech and Toungues offer good utility and finally the Regenerative Sinew grants you the ability to heal hp, ability score damage and regenerate lost limbs.
Item wise I’d suggest either the Witching Gown or the Corset of Dire Witchcraft in place of the Void Frost robe. +1 to CL for some spells (use alchemical reagents instead) and a weak ice blast are not worth your body slot not when the gown grants +4 bonus to all saves, +4 to intimidate, diplomacy and bluff checks, the ability for the gown to take whatever appearance you like and the ability to store a spell that triggers against and enemy that attacks you, or not when the corset grants a +2 bonus to the CL of a hex and a +4 bonus to ac. I know you want to be an awesome ice witch but you don’t need to pump the numbers to the exclusion of everything else and risk becoming too focused.
Sorry about that, when I typed out Snow Elf, I meant Snowcaster Elf from the People of the North (was using my phone and autocorrect got me lol), which is basically just a group of Elves that stayed behind and moved to the Northland area somewhere, nothing more than a flavor thing to me since they are still elves.
The choice of the Cold Based Damage/debuff/control is set in stone (as is the Winter Witch Archetype/ Winter Witch PrC) since I really want that Thematically, it fits my vision of what this Character's backstory is all about. Also, what Ice Magic should do, hurt, slow or lock down, and make you more sluggish and less able to fight as Hypothermia sets in.
The Invoker and Sorc I am iffy on, with the Demon-Sworn a much less likely choice (I am still considering it, but I really don't want to give up Misfortune, so probably will discard it). The Invoker is a almost a certainty because of what it brings to the table for all three of those roles. With the Hex'es I would still have and the DC boosters to Spells and Hexes (plus if I am allowed Hoarfrost Bones for extra DC love), then the Debuff is still there (If I don't take Demon-Sworn, then I can still get Misfortune with no problems) and still have Control from spells with The Winter Witch Prestige required Hex choices OR spells. Rime Spell attached to Winter's Grasp (which has no save or spell resistances) can make a powerful combo and is cheap. Because the Winter Witch/Winter Witch is able to reduce Cold Resistances and Half Damage even to Immune, then I can still do damage, and with invoker I can actually cut down Spell resistances even more while raising my Hex DC to insure that my damage spells will land, which can add more control or debuff if I tag them with add-ons. Basically, I can just about insure that Every Cold based Spell can land by tanking their DC and Raising my quite high, all the while making resistances and Cold Immunity a lot less of an issue.
One of the reasons I am Considering Cross-Blooded Sorc is for the bonus +2 Damage per dice (+3 with Invoker), or +1 (+2 with Invoker) and switching spells to cold to take advantage, or Rime with more spells as well as my DC buffs (easily +5 or more, not to mention their Debuffs). These Bonus Damage per dice may not be huge, but with an Intensified, Empowered, CL Boosted (From Robe and maybe Invoker) Cone of Cold, or Freezing Sphere, Or even Chain lightning if I Take Ice Elemental Bloodline, can add up since that is a bit of Dice being rolled and +2 or +3 per dice can mean anywhere from +30 minimum (and this is if I didn't boost with Empower and Intensify) +60 or more damage (depending on Bloodline choice and Metamagics used) ON top of what the actual Dice roll is. Reality is, I could possibly (not sure on this since I am not sitting with the notes in front of me atm) pull a +75 or more to the spell damage if I can get the spell CL to 25 and it is 1D(Whatever) per Caster Level. That may not be great Damage, but to me, it also isn't terrible, even if I rolled all 1's, it would still be useful (especially if I was able to Rime it, or do a double cast from one Quickened). Having said all of that, I also hate the idea of losing a spell level Progression, which is why this combo is still in the air for me, it is just something I am, thinking about. Mind I have gotten a few items to help with a few things I might hurt from, like the Hexing Runes, and such.
Corset of Dire Witchcraft is actually a nice choice.. I didn't see that it didn't occupy the same spot as the blouse when I last looked at it, which is one of the reasons I overlooked it. I will have to sit down and do the math with the Voidfrost Bonuses and see how it stacks up with the bonus damage (and since caster level impacts Resistances that too) versus the better Hex DC, which when used with the Hex Runes could really help with the debuffing. I think I am liking that option more and more.. actually, I just did some spot math, and yeah, you are right on the money, much better choice, thank you!
I have never heard of infernal contract before this, and so I just looked it up, and now I have to find out if it can be used without a first level Hex, since the way it is written it doesn't say that it forces you to take that hex, but rather that you get the hex at 1st level. This leaves some gray area to me since it is adding a hex while the invoker is removing one. If it works, then this is an awesome idea and many thanks to you for it, since with the Water Item and some creative use of freezing the water and shaping it, I can spend some short time in there for fast healing 1 and regen the lost hit points before the adventure begins. I can't say how much I thank you for that Idea, I will read up on it, and if I can't find anything, I will ask my GM if he will allow it, since it will also fit with the Flavor I am seeking. He was sent to Irrisen with a large sum of money in order to be trained in the arts of Winter Witchcraft. The goal of this was to Gather as much power as possible, through whatever means necessary, in order to take revenge on the Elves who had left them behind all that long time ago. With this new information you have given me, I can even add in That part of the deals he had to make to gather this kind of power meant signing himself into this Infernal Pack with the Trickery Patron, who turned out to be (umptyscrunch devil/demon or whatever lol). I still will have to fine tune and flesh out the backstory, but that is a wonderful bit of extra flavor to go with the character, and all the while Still Allowing him to keep Misfortune AND gather a Improved Familiar (ice of course lol).
Ok, I have made this long enough, and I really do thank you for your time to answer. You provided me some very useful information and Ideas to work with that should help out immensely, so thank you once again. Now to go do my research and pester my DM lol.
Be sure to look up alchemical reagents/alchemical power components on archives of Nethys. Liquid Ice for example can be used as a material component with Cone of Cold to add +1 damage per caster level and Urea can be used with spells that have the cold descriptor to add +1 caster level for the purpose of the effect.
Since you have a limited number of hexes (and even if you don’t) you might want the Ritual Hex feat. This will add a considerable degree of flexibility, allowing you to make use of more niche/situational hexes and then change them when they’re no longer needed. At your level you’ll have no difficulty hitting the DCs (20 on 2 History and 2 Arcana checks) for common hexes so it’s basically granting you a hex you can change each day. The Mask of a Thousand Tomes grants a +10 competence bonus to all knowledge checks and can help ensure you hit the ritual DCs for gaining a Major or Grand hex. Here’s something to ponder: assuming you can beat the DC would this feat give you access to Grand hexes before level 17?
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply Mr. Drake, been a bit busy. That Alchemical reagent bit is a very good idea, never really looked into it before, thank you. The Ritual Hex Feat I will have to ponder on, since I am already feat starved (for what I was doing) and I would have to see what I could drop, but it IS an interesting idea as well.. and if it would allow me to swap out the Grand/Major Hexes, that could really up it's value. I will certainly look into that as well, thank you once again. Again, I apologize for such a long time with no reply.
If you want to be a blaster, you should get Spell Spec/Greater Spell Spec at the very least (so your CL goes up and you can trash other spells for your blaster spell) and if you can afford it, get Persistent Spell, Heighten Spell and/or Echoing Spell. If your spells get resisted, that's huge.
Misfortune Hex + Persistent Spell is a nasty combo all but ensures they will fail vs your blaster spell (or your debuff spell). Misfortune causes them to roll twice and take the lesser result, and if they do manage to save, Persistent Spell will make them roll to save a second time, rolling twice again and taking the lesser result again.
Also if you can afford it, consider Spell Hex as a feat. Turn any lvl 1 spell into a Hex. Personally, I'd take Hex Vulnerability for unending Hexy shenanigans, or Beguiling Gift so you can hand the BBEG a cursed necklace of strangulation and he'll drop everything he's holding and immediately put it on.
Hmmm thank you Ryze Kuja.. that idea on Persistent spell in very interesting. I may have to try and get it to fit in, though I figured that the DC changes from the PrC, and various Archetypes as well as with Evil Eye and Misfortune would have been enough to make them land, and the Resistance Penetration from Evoker for that extra kick, but it is a good idea to look into further. Not exactly sure as to where I could make it fit though.. unless I put it in at one of my last 2 feats between 15 and 20 maybe. Spell Spec and Greater spell spec, I would likely have to just wait to get for the last 2 feats between 15 and 20 if I didn't take the Persistent Feat. Thank you again for your assistance though, you have given me several things to think upon.
You're probably not going to run into any problems landing spells through SR until about 10-13ish, and that's a good time to get your first Spell Penetration Feat. That can usually help you survive til about lvl17-19, when the SR starts getting out of hand again, and Greater Spell Pen starts to get worth it. If you get Spell Perfection at 15 (which you should if you're going to be a blaster), your Spell Pen/Greater Spell Pen bonuses double for your perfected spell. And if you are going to do a bit of relying on Hexes, at lvl 11 your feat should definitely be Split Hex. It literally doubles your hex effectivity.