First Impressions Thread


Witchwarper


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I, for one, welcome our new magical demigods and I look forward to serving them in the swirling chaos that was once our universe after they tear our reality asunder like it's tissue paper. Hell, Heaven, Elysium, the Boneyard...All planes will be folding into one after the Witchwarpers are done renovating the place.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Witchwarper looks to be an interesting class. The lack of skill points is balanced by having useful non spell abilities pretty nicely. Charisma as a main stat fits even if charisma is a weaker main stat.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

These are pretty interesting. Kind of reminds me of Ambrose Chase from Warren Ellis' Planetary.

I do wonder, though, as written their Infinite Worlds ability seems only useful for making the world around them hazardous terrain in some manner. I think it would be cool if they could also use it for the opposite- for instance, making difficult terrain regular terrain. Using it in beneficial ways, and not just as a hindrance.


A lot of the fluff and abilities gave me a strong Elizabeth from Bioshock infinite vibe. I wish the spell list had a little more of that?


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Elegos wrote:
A lot of the fluff and abilities gave me a strong Elizabeth from Bioshock infinite vibe. I wish the spell list had a little more of that?

I would say that is the one thing keeping me from being FULLY excited by this class is it's rather rough spell list.


thecursor wrote:
Elegos wrote:
A lot of the fluff and abilities gave me a strong Elizabeth from Bioshock infinite vibe. I wish the spell list had a little more of that?
I would say that is the one thing keeping me from being FULLY excited by this class is it's rather rough spell list.

I like it for power/versatility, but it does give a stitched together monster vibe. (Why some (tech flavored!) blasts but not others, why construct healing but not regular healing, why mind control but only up to 4th level, etc.) I'm hoping the final product has a few more unique spells to smooth it out and give it some unique character.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

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The final spell list will absolutely be different, including many more witchwarper-specific spells. Thoughts about what makes sense for the witchwarper spell list are useful, but we never intended for this to be the final spell list.


Honestly, first impressions are that it's spell list definitely needs more unique spells and less overlap with technomancers and mystics. I'm actually rather surprised that the Witchwarper class was made. It looks like the Starfinder equivalent of a Pathfinder witch--a heavily distilled version of a buff/debuff God Wizard. Except that the Witchwarper *looks* like it has far more utility spells relative to the witch. So far, Starfinder has felt like developers are working hard to keep one class from developing like a wizard*, particularly in the area of battlefield control, and the Witchwarper kind of throws this for a loop.

[*Note: I don't object to this! It's just something I've noticed, particularly in SFS play, where newer control spells typically aren't legal]

If I had any (again, initial) thoughts, it would be to drop a lot of the utility spells from the spell list. Things like Flight, Identify, Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Dispel Magic. That would go well with what I see as the biggest difference at the moment between technomancers and witchwarpers, which is that technomancers (thanks to magic hacks and vastly better skill lists) have more out-of-combat utility. That leaves the witchwarper as being a much more combat buff/debuff/control focus, and the technomancer being much more of a toolbox character. I think it'd be interesting to have a spellcasting class that really suffers in out-of-combat utility.

As it stands, unless you're playing an artillery wizard or really hate playing low-skill characters, it's hard to imagine picking a witchwarper over a technomancer. There are limits on the class (Cha as key skill, weakness in skills in general, none of the technomancers extra spells), and obviously, if you like technomancers, that's fine. But the Paradigm Shifts, plus a more comprehensive spell list, seem just a little too good to avoid the feeling that the witchwarper outshines the technomancer.

Making the Witchwarper more, well, "witch-like" (while perhaps avoiding making it overpowered, like the Pathfinder witch is) might fix this and give techomancers a more utility- and metamagic/spell manipulation feel to them.

This is all just first impressions, so who knows what I'll think when I give it a run. But I figured since someone brought up spell lists, I might as well add my commentary ^_~ My favorite builds are battlefield control and buff/debuff, so I'd probably play this class regardless, but I do think something needs to happen to the spell list to lose some of the overlap with the other classes.


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Agree in spirit with the above.

I'm ok with personal illusion options and dimensional travel, because they fit the flavor of the class and how its powers supposedly work. But I agree that flight and the wall powers don't fit, and I'm deeply skeptical of the elemental blast spells that they get. I'm also not sure why they get charm/suggestion/hold/confusion effects, but not dominate or mass suggestion. Both mind control and blasts are borrowed from the mystic/technomancer and then arbitrarily end at level 4.


Actually, I'm going to slightly revise my earlier post. I still agree that a more focused spell list would be nice. But, having taking a closer look at the various class abilities than I did before, I don't think the class is quite as powerful as I initially thought. By extensions, I take back what I said earlier about it being "hard to imagine picking technomancers over witchwarpers." I think a case can be made that they're much more equal to one another than I thought. Almost all of those Paradigm Shifts either impose a 24 immunity on success (for offensive ones) or cost RP (for defensive ones). So it makes a little more sense to me to have a more expansive or mixed spell list, to compensate a bit for this, and the technomancer's strengths become a little more apparent.

All in all, a very interesting class!

(Note: I apologize if any of this sound weird. I'm at a bar and slightly tipsy.)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Mostly, I'm hoping it keeps the charm/suggestion type spells, since I find them very fitting on a charisma class.


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QuidEst wrote:
Mostly, I'm hoping it keeps the charm/suggestion type spells, since I find them very fitting on a charisma class.

I like the idea of finding a reality where I said just the right thing to make the target my friend.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
GM OfAnything wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Mostly, I'm hoping it keeps the charm/suggestion type spells, since I find them very fitting on a charisma class.
I like the idea of finding a reality where I said just the right thing to make the target my friend.

Now that it's been said, that is VERY much how I'm going to roleplay that.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Elaborating on my first impressions mentioned here.

The mechanics do not live up to the awesome flavor of the class. I love the idea of a class centered around creating a pocket of altered reality, but this is undermined by the following issues.

1) Infinite Worlds feels like a minor part of its kit for most of the character's career. At low levels, it has a criminally low number of uses, a highly limited effect, and a duration so short that it rarely justifies the action economy. There are only two paradigm shifts that interact with the ability at all.

2) Little customization. For a class meant to embody all the creative wonders of reality warping, there's surprisingly few ways for you to get creative. Every witchwarper is likely to feel and play mostly the same. Most of the paradigm shifts are similar and you get them infrequently. It would have been nice to see different playstyle options similar to what other classes have. For example, maybe there could be different types of Infinite Worlds abilities?

3) Few class features beyond spells. I know many compared the class to the technomancer, but frankly, the technomancer is the most bland class in the game because they have few class features beyond spells and talents that all classes get. The witchwarper suffers from the same issue. A shame because the flavor of the class is amazing, and yet the class feels like a technomancer with better debuff talents instead of talents that interact with items. While there's a difference in play style, it's not significant enough to make the class feel any better than a generic spellcaster.


thecursor wrote:
Now that it's been said, that is VERY much how I'm going to roleplay that.

Your alternate reality self passed a Bluff check to convince the guard you shared a meaningful common history. He know believes you were a member of the Pi Iota Epsilon fraternity, class of '99 at the Qabarat University of Xenoarchaeology and Xenoanthropology and is eager to give you the tour of this lab that you asked for.

The Exchange

I like the concept. But I'm surprised by the lack of movement in the class. The really scream at me the type of character that would be standing in the foreground one second, the background the next. Maybe play into that flavor of multiversal awareness. Picking up clues about the world from the others that border it. Widening the spell selection with specific options like that would be nice.


Wut. They have three Paradigm Shifts involving movement, all the dimensional travel spells, and flight spell. What more could they have?


Cyrad wrote:

Elaborating on my first impressions mentioned here.

The mechanics do not live up to the awesome flavor of the class. I love the idea of a class centered around creating a pocket of altered reality, but this is undermined by the following issues.

1) Infinite Worlds feels like a minor part of its kit for most of the character's career. At low levels, it has a criminally low number of uses, a highly limited effect, and a duration so short that it rarely justifies the action economy. There are only two paradigm shifts that interact with the ability at all.

2) Little customization. For a class meant to embody all the creative wonders of reality warping, there's surprisingly few ways for you to get creative. Every witchwarper is likely to feel and play mostly the same. Most of the paradigm shifts are similar and you get them infrequently. It would have been nice to see different playstyle options similar to what other classes have. For example, maybe there could be different types of Infinite Worlds abilities?

3) Few class features beyond spells. I know many compared the class to the technomancer, but frankly, the technomancer is the most bland class in the game because they have few class features beyond spells and talents that all classes get. The witchwarper suffers from the same issue. A shame because the flavor of the class is amazing, and yet the class feels like a technomancer with better debuff talents instead of talents that interact with items. While there's a difference in play style, it's not significant enough to make the class feel any better than a generic spellcaster.

Envoys would like to have a word with you about bland classes. Technomancers are a close second, though. But at least, witchwarpers have features across all levels.


After scanning the class today, there are some things I don't like about it. I can't say why I don't like it right now, but at least it uses Charisma as a casting stat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Honestly, like the casting stat. But felt of the new classes this class felt the least impressive. Mostly it was because so many of the powers have the combination of limited uses, short durations, can only be used once on a target per 24 hours with a saving throw for no effect. Also, to me, this class had the most wording issues on some of the powers. Sadly, the Technomancer has similar issue, with certain powers and abilities being significantly better than others.

I am excited to hear the class will have a more unique spell list, hopefully focusing on energy damage both single target and area effect, area crowded control via terain manipulation or creation effects, and single target charm and domination spells, with some illusion spells as well.

Granted, my group currently is not playing Starfinder, but Pathfinder 1E (we are pretty anti 2E) Mummy's Mask, so actual play testing will probably be a while.


I'm not suited to appraise the mechanics of the Witcharper,but I'll give my thoughts on the flavor/fluff.

The Witchwarper exists so that we can play Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, there be other inspirations for the class but that's the one that I recognize.

I feel that as it's own class the Witchwarper didn't need to exist, all of it's special abilities could be from a Mystic Connection - Connection Multiverse, Skein, or Conflux.

Dark Archive

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Most people saw Elizabeth from Bioshock. However, as the Weeb I am, I instead saw space Haruhi Suzumia. The "reality warping schoolgirl" is such a common character type in anime that its actually something of a trope of the medium, so much in fact that a small part of me hopes the iconic Witchwarper will be some form of schoolgirl. Anime in the fluff aside, from a crunch standpoint the class looked very back-loaded, which I don't consider to be a good design choice.

At low levels, you have very few strong abilities and look just flat out worse than a Technomancer or Mystic at the same levels. Most of the low level phase shifts are absolute underpowered jokes, and the one good one is still pretty horrid at low levels (though much like the class itself becomes exponentially stronger at higher levels.) Likewise, while Infinite Worlds is really cool and strong, it has such pitiful uses/day at low levels its not even remotely relevant in that tier of play. However, in start contrast to how weak the class is at low levels, at high levels the tools it gets look far stronger than anything the other casters have access to. Infinite Worlds goes from having too few uses to be relevant to being downright dangerous, and your phase shifts give you *at-will* stuns and debuffs, both of which put you heads and shoulders above even an overlord mystic when it comes to crowd control. So much in fact that the class may be too strong at high levels. I am not sure about that, though, and will have to play with it to see if thats actually the case.

Either way, the class strikes me as very much being the "wizard" of Starfinder, in both the best and worst ways. Like the wizard, it is the strongest crowd control and debuff caster in the game, able to really tilt battles in its party's favor, especially at higher levels when you actually get good control and debuff shifts. This niche' was one that I feel was/is much needed in Starfinder. While Mystics can do some crowd control and even specialize in it with connections like Overlord, the fact SF casters get so few casts per-day means that even at higher levels there will be some rounds where your not able to cast spells. For Mystics and Technos, who get no real useful at-will magic abilities, this means those turns will be spent shooting things, either to give harrying/covering fire bonuses, or to actually try and deal some damage. This makes both of them generally have to invest their feats into being good with longarms to truly be able to contribute to every round of combat, which has left a lot of people (myself included) longing for a caster that has some form of at-will magical powers that let it keep the same spell/day progression as the other casters while still being able to do something magical every round, and thus never forced to have to invest in longarms and shoot people if they don't want to. The Witchwarper delivers this option, and its by far the class I am most interested in as a result. It fills the much needed niche of "caster that can do something magical every round" and thus while at-will powers can be hard to balance, I think they should absolutely stay a part of this class, as they give it a unique niche a lot of people have wanted filled for a while.

However, like the wizard, it also suffers from having a VERY slow/weak start, but also a VERY strong/potent finish. Its a class that at low levels feels like playing a watered down, janky, bootleg technomancer, but at high levels feels like playing a god made flesh, much more so than even the other two casters. This is, again, very much like the PF wizard, and while that may be fine from a game balance standpoint (I.E. compensating for the class being very strong at high levels by making it very weak at low levels), from gameplay standpoint thats a poor design decision. Its never fun for a player to feel weaker than the rest of their party, and like the Wizards of old the Witchwarper suffers from feeling weaker than everybody else at low levels, but making everybody else feel weaker than them at high levels. Thus, while I think the class is well on its way to being something awesome, I feel it really needs to have the high level goodness it gets distributed more evenly throughout its progression, making the high level features a little less potent, but likewise giving them some much needed potent low level tools.


There are a lot of bad and a few good points in the above, but I’ll just note that I’m exceptionally puzzled both by the idea that the 2nd level paradigm shifts aren’t very good compared to low level connection powers and magic hacks and by the claim that the overlord Mystic has some sort of special crowd control capability. He’s got nothing even slightly relevant except his bonus spells, which any Mystic can choose.


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@Takhisis: I agree with you, high level Paradigm Shifts look incredibly strong. But I kind of like the low level ones, too. Obviously, they are less powerful, but a few of them are, in my opinion, excellent.
Shifting Step, for example. Having played a 4th Edition tactical Bard with such kind of ability, I know it can, sometimes, really change the shape of a battle, by getting an ally out of harm or moving an enemy in the worst possible position.
Thwart Ability is also excellent. It's basically a +2 reroll against a spell for one Resolve Point.
Disrupt Attack has a small effect, but it only consumes your Reaction... so nearly nothing.
Prevent Wounds/Lessen Injury is also very nice. Expensive in terms of Resolve Points, but the effect is very useful, even if it's a small one.

I have hard time choosing which Shift to take at second level, I like half of them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Personally, I think disrupt attack is a trap ability. Save for no effect and can only use it once per target.

Otherwise, yes, even the shift ability and a few of the other powers while weak and may allow saves for no effect, can be used on allies for interesting tactical options. After level one, Witchwarper really should be able to almost every turn to something besides shoot, unlike Mystic and Technomancer. And I agree that is really cool.


Jack Rift wrote:

Personally, I think disrupt attack is a trap ability. Save for no effect and can only use it once per target.

You can only affect a target once per day, you can use it as often as needed until it triggers on a particular foe.

Compare to Overlapping Forms. Yes, there's a save, but you can use it to protect others on an adhoc basis (rather than spend 1 RP for a fixed ally boost), it's effective AC boost is one higher (and it scales faster) on a failed save, and it's a constant reaction expenditure (which in a ranged fight you probably have nothing else to spend on) vs. a precious standard action (with sharply limited duration at low levels).


Jack Rift wrote:
Personally, I think disrupt attack is a trap ability. Save for no effect and can only use it once per target.

Once per enemy. So, condidering the number of enemies in an average fight, you can use it every round for 3 rounds on average.

The main issue is that you get far better ways to use your reaction at high levels, so I would only consider it if I don't plan on getting over level 10.

I also find Overlapping Form to be bad. It starts to be interesting far too late, when you have so many better choices.


Takhisis wrote:

Most people saw Elizabeth from Bioshock. However, as the Weeb I am, I instead saw space Haruhi Suzumia. The "reality warping schoolgirl" is such a common character type in anime that its actually something of a trope of the medium, so much in fact that a small part of me hopes the iconic Witchwarper will be some form of schoolgirl. Anime in the fluff aside, from a crunch standpoint the class looked very back-loaded, which I don't consider to be a good design choice.

At low levels, you have very few strong abilities and look just flat out worse than a Technomancer or Mystic at the same levels. Most of the low level phase shifts are absolute underpowered jokes, and the one good one is still pretty horrid at low levels (though much like the class itself becomes exponentially stronger at higher levels.) Likewise, while Infinite Worlds is really cool and strong, it has such pitiful uses/day at low levels its not even remotely relevant in that tier of play. However, in start contrast to how weak the class is at low levels, at high levels the tools it gets look far stronger than anything the other casters have access to. Infinite Worlds goes from having too few uses to be relevant to being downright dangerous, and your phase shifts give you *at-will* stuns and debuffs, both of which put you heads and shoulders above even an overlord mystic when it comes to crowd control. So much in fact that the class may be too strong at high levels. I am not sure about that, though, and will have to play with it to see if thats actually the case.

Either way, the class strikes me as very much being the "wizard" of Starfinder, in both the best and worst ways. Like the wizard, it is the strongest crowd control and debuff caster in the game, able to really tilt battles in its party's favor, especially at higher levels when you actually get good control and debuff shifts. This niche' was one that I feel was/is much needed in Starfinder. While Mystics can do some crowd control and even specialize in it with connections like...

Anime fan to, didn't Haruhi or Hitomi(Escaflowne) but I do get the comparison.

Though I'd have a knockoff Haruhi be an actual incarnate deity that is suffering from amnesia.

What do you think about Witchwarper just being a Mystic Connection.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Jack Rift wrote:

Personally, I think disrupt attack is a trap ability. Save for no effect and can only use it once per target.

You can only affect a target once per day, you can use it as often as needed until it triggers on a particular foe.

Compare to Overlapping Forms. Yes, there's a save, but you can use it to protect others on an adhoc basis (rather than spend 1 RP for a fixed ally boost), it's effective AC boost is one higher (and it scales faster) on a failed save, and it's a constant reaction expenditure (which in a ranged fight you probably have nothing else to spend on) vs. a precious standard action (with sharply limited duration at low levels).

The affect line makes it slightly better, but as others said, you get better uses out of reactions at later levels and at second, I personally rather save my reaction to shift a grenade to a better location (either offensively or defensively) than gamble a -2 is enough to cause a enemy to miss especially since they could pass the save and cause me to waste a reaction. Or hell, yeah it costs resolve, but reducing damage of an ally takes is also really useful.


I also like the grenade shifting one, but I think it's far too situational, unless you play with a bombard soldier and plan on fixing his natural 1s or reduce his range increment (shifting the grenade a square or two further away so the save DC stays high :-D).

I also like Surefooted. It's bad before level 8, but then, it's a minute/level long group buff, giving +4 against trip, the ability to ignore difficult terrain and to stand up from prone as a swift action. And you can use it every time you take a 10-minute rest, so a lot of time per day.
Also, considering that, at level 10, your parallel word goes to a 20-foot radius, you can land it wherever you want without affecting your buddies.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yeah, I can see the grenade one being situational, but man, when that grenade needs to move, it can be a life saver or ender, depending. Also, I have heard complaints about the abilities to reduce or heal the damage abilities. But man, it sucks when the healer mystic gets dropped and you don't have another healer.


I've played quite a few SFS modules and haven't faced any enemy using grenades. Unfortunately, despite the extra coolness of the move, I won't take it.

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