thoughts about witch class


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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Unlike many classes witches have different and equally popular conceptions.

You have the arcane witch that goes to the academy and keeps spells in a spell book, very popular with YA.

You have the witch that makes pacts with powerful entities, and communes with a familiar

and perhaps the oldest tradition of all old witch in the woods.

I think that the witch should be determine by the archetype. you should have a

1. the arcane witch, that case with int, has a spell book and studies magic
2. the witch that made a pact with some outsider. uses charisma, has a familiar and uses the spell list most appropriate to the outsider.
3. the witch in the woods, uses wisdom, and casts from the primal list.

Sovereign Court

ikarinokami wrote:

Unlike many classes witches have different and equally popular conceptions.

You have the arcane witch that goes to the academy and keeps spells in a spell book, very popular with YA.

You have the witch that makes pacts with powerful entities, and communes with a familiar

and perhaps the oldest tradition of all old witch in the woods.

I think that the witch should be determine by the archetype. you should have a

1. the arcane witch, that case with int, has a spell book and studies magic
2. the witch that made a pact with some outsider. uses charisma, has a familiar and uses the spell list most appropriate to the outsider.
3. the witch in the woods, uses wisdom, and casts from the primal list.

I like it, and I hope that is similar to what they do. For the Pact witch, I think it should be Occult casting. This way, like a Sorcerer, the player could choose what spell list they want their witch to pull from and what flavor she has.


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Historically, Pathfinder's idea of a witch has been strongly tied to the "patron and familiar" shtick, but it is pretty difficult to deny the prevalence of the "spellbook" and "herbalist" types in the broader understanding of a 'witch'.

One way or the other, the witch ought to be a prepared, possibly primarily occult spellcaster, however I think it would be good to give them a choice of...Calling?

With choices of "patron bestowing knowledge upon the witch via a familiar" as a throwback to 1e, a partly-arcane "not-quite wizard" caster with a spellbook, and a herbalist with alchemy and primal spells thrown into the mix.

I certainly want there to be an option to play a witch with a spellbook - while cool, the familiar+patron idea always felt weirdly idiosyncratic and somewhat at odds with the common idea of a witch, so 2e might be a good opportunity to expand on what the witch is conceptually, while still keeping it distinctly 'witchy' and 'folklore'sy, without stepping too hard on the toes of the scholastic wizard and primal druid.

Just my 2c.


I think every Witch has a Patron as a major, core mechanic, but I expect them to give variable spell lists like Sorcerer bloodlines.


I think they will build the witch in one of two ways

1. Prepared Occult Caster + A Schtick

2. Prepared Anything Caster w/ Patrons like Bloodlines.

I was thinking it would be the former until watching that Friday stream and now I think it might be the later. Either way I hope they get some good familar stuff. Hopefully other classes get some good familar stuff in the APG aswell. Maybe familars are of a type that depends on your patron (e.g. Abberation for Occult; Celestial/Monitor/Fiend for Divine; Fey/Animal for Primal; Construct/Etc. for Arcane) if its the second way.


ikarinokami wrote:

Unlike many classes witches have different and equally popular conceptions.

You have the arcane witch that goes to the academy and keeps spells in a spell book, very popular with YA.

You have the witch that makes pacts with powerful entities, and communes with a familiar

and perhaps the oldest tradition of all old witch in the woods.

I think that the witch should be determine by the archetype. you should have a

1. the arcane witch, that case with int, has a spell book and studies magic
2. the witch that made a pact with some outsider. uses charisma, has a familiar and uses the spell list most appropriate to the outsider.
3. the witch in the woods, uses wisdom, and casts from the primal list.

As much as I'd like an Int-based Primal casting class, your concept is really well thought out.


I'm hoping for prepared witches whose patron gives the tradition for casting as well as access to bonus familiar abilities. Like a pact with fiendish forces gives free speech so the familiar can tempt you while a familiar gained through study and arcane research grants familiar focus to represent academic expertise, and a familiar from unexplained outer forces gives life link as your soul is inexplicably bound to theirs.


I'm expecting hexes to be a strong mechanic like it is in first edition. At least as one option. I'm envisioning hexes working like bard compositions but focused on debuffs rather than buffs.

At the core I expect they will all be prepared occult casters then a choice of focus beyond that.

-hex focus
-patron focus with powers much like cleric domains
-familiar focus build

That would give three distinct flavors of witch that would build upon frameworks they have already established.


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The spellbook witch is just a female wizard written by people who think those terms should be gendered for whatever reason and can be dismissed outright

The pact witch is essentially what Paizo's vision of the witch in first edition was and I think they should stick with it. Prepared occult caster, patron is vaguely defined so as to allow the player to decide what it means much like the Bard's muse.

Dark Archive

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ikarinokami wrote:

Unlike many classes witches have different and equally popular conceptions.

You have the arcane witch that goes to the academy and keeps spells in a spell book, very popular with YA.

You have the witch that makes pacts with powerful entities, and communes with a familiar

and perhaps the oldest tradition of all old witch in the woods.

I think that the witch should be determine by the archetype. you should have a

1. the arcane witch, that case with int, has a spell book and studies magic
2. the witch that made a pact with some outsider. uses charisma, has a familiar and uses the spell list most appropriate to the outsider.
3. the witch in the woods, uses wisdom, and casts from the primal list.

We had a homebrew version of that in 1st edition. Witches could belong to the bell (Cha), book (Int) or candle (Wis) traditions, but, regardless of the stat or tradition name, they all stored their magic in their familiars, and, other than the change in casting stat/hex DC stat, they had no other mechanical differences.

(And not all of them agreed on the tradition names, for that matter. Some Int-using Witches called themselves 'kettle witches' and associated with cauldrons, instead of associating their tradition with books, while some 'book' traditionalists were more focused on writing and less on actual books, and might be covered with tattoos or carry dozens of rune-inscribed items.)


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The Witch of Pathfinder has always been very distinctly the patron and familiar Witch. I highly suspect that the Witch will be an Occult caster specifically, with maybe some extra spells from other spell lists depending on the Patron. Winter Witch would get Cone of Cold and Polar Ray, and hopefully Polar Midnight once that is added in for example.

I don't see any reason to design a sub-Witch that uses a spellbook instead of a familiar and uses Arcane casting for example, because at the end of the day that is just a Wizard. And while that version of Witches definitely exist in other settings, in Pathfinder the Witch and Wizard are very different things, and for good reason. If the Witch and the Wizard were the same thing, why would you need them to be separate classes?

As for the Hedge-witch, I could more easily see that as a sub-archetype, but to be honest I feel like for a proper "Witchy" feel they would still use the Occult spell list, with just a few bonus spells from the Primal list. Most likely the animal summoning ones and maybe a couple others. That would likely just be another Patron.


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If witches go to school to learn arcane magic and cast from a spell book, they would be wizards. Just because they're called witches in Harry Potter doesn't mean it's the same concept in Pathfinder.

Similarly, the old witch of the woods with otherworldly wisdom and primal magic would be a druid in Pathfinder.

The stream did mention the witch concept of a greater emphasis on familiar/patrons. I wouldn't mind either prepared occult with patrons offering spells from other lists, or prepared casting from any list depending on the patron.

Patron-specific hexes would also be very welcome.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I’d like for Witch to be defacto Prepared Occult caster since they were a blend of Arcane and Divine in P1 and the abstract of Occult fits them.

I can definitely see Patrons giving them spells outside the Occult spell list, like Bloodlines and Deities.


Apparently:

"They haven't fully decided if the Witch will be an Occult caster. Lots of similarities to different second edition spell lists. They want to do cooler things with Patrons, especially making them relevant to the game's lore."


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just need hexes, and they have to be robust, pretty much the backbone of the class. All-day buffs and debuffs that can be extended or empowered with more witch actions.

Familiar is whatever, I actually would prefer if it was optional.

Patrons should stay nebulous so I can hand-wave them. I like witches to have otherworldly power of their own, rather than being reliant on a patron. Baba Yaga don't need no one's say so to be a badass, and neither does most of the witches I can think of from books.

The occult spell list looks just perfect, keeps them distinct from wizards.


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WatersLethe wrote:

I just need hexes, and they have to be robust, pretty much the backbone of the class. All-day buffs and debuffs that can be extended or empowered with more witch actions.

Familiar is whatever, I actually would prefer if it was optional.

Patrons should stay nebulous so I can hand-wave them. I like witches to have otherworldly power of their own, rather than being reliant on a patron. Baba Yaga don't need no one's say so to be a badass, and neither does most of the witches I can think of from books.

The occult spell list looks just perfect, keeps them distinct from wizards.

I'd like the patrons to be a mix of nebulous concepts and concrete beings, depending on what pact it is. And the main difference between witches and clerics is that once witches have their powers, they can't really lose it anyway. So even if Baba Yaga got her power from an external source, she doesn't need it's continued permission to be powerful.


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The main thing I need from witches is being able to Cackle for some form of mechanical benefit.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
The spellbook witch is just a female wizard written by people who think those terms should be gendered for whatever reason and can be dismissed outright.

If your only reference of Witch with a Spellbook comes from Harry Potter; maybe, but even then Witches in lore and fantasy is a female dominated occupation until more recent distinctions, so a mixup in understandable from a casual standpoint to say the very least. Sadly though you’d also be discarding the fact that Witches using Spellbooks is actually more of a regular trope than you’re giving it any semblance of credit for; though admittedly not as ubiquitous as it is for Wizard.

Spellbooks in general fantasy are usually much more influential and powerful than they have been in tabletops in general(where they’re used as glorified book of flash cards).

I see Hexes working like compositions as someone else pointed out. Beyond that, and much more in-depth mechanics for Familiars, I’ll leave up to the dev team to bring some creative hooks to the class.

Scarab Sages

Im super interested to see how they flesh this class out. It was very versatile in P1 and was a huge debuff class. In P2 not many classes give negatives out. So this is going to be very interesting.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
The spellbook witch is just a female wizard written by people who think those terms should be gendered for whatever reason and can be dismissed outright.

If your only reference of Witch with a Spellbook comes from Harry Potter; maybe, but even then Witches in lore and fantasy is a female dominated occupation until more recent distinctions, so a mixup in understandable from a casual standpoint to say the very least. Sadly though you’d also be discarding the fact that Witches using Spellbooks is actually more of a regular trope than you’re giving it any semblance of credit for; though admittedly not as ubiquitous as it is for Wizard.

Spellbooks in general fantasy are usually much more influential and powerful than they have been in tabletops in general(where they’re used as glorified book of flash cards).

Many of those witches use their spellbooks as a recipe book for what goes into the cauldron. That's an Alchemist, essentially.

Traditionally witch is a word that's been applied to pretty much any woman that does magic, it's impossible to create a defined Witch class that covers every trope that's been considered witchy over the years since you're going to cast way too large of a net.


I think many of the stated "concepts" already have very clear mechanical counterparts.

I mean, the "hedge witch" is really just someone with the skill feat of Natural remedies. If you want to go deeper, a female druid with Natural remedies and magic item crafting for potions fits EXACTLY the trope of the witch in the woods, complete from familiar, to weather altering effects, to healing, to nature effects, to potions, and etc.

The academy witch with a spellbook is really just a female wizard, nothing to add here.

The Pact Witch is the only one that's missing imo.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
The spellbook witch is just a female wizard written by people who think those terms should be gendered for whatever reason and can be dismissed outright.

If your only reference of Witch with a Spellbook comes from Harry Potter; maybe, but even then Witches in lore and fantasy is a female dominated occupation until more recent distinctions, so a mixup in understandable from a casual standpoint to say the very least. Sadly though you’d also be discarding the fact that Witches using Spellbooks is actually more of a regular trope than you’re giving it any semblance of credit for; though admittedly not as ubiquitous as it is for Wizard.

Spellbooks in general fantasy are usually much more influential and powerful than they have been in tabletops in general(where they’re used as glorified book of flash cards).

Many of those witches use their spellbooks as a recipe book for what goes into the cauldron. That's an Alchemist, essentially.

Traditionally witch is a word that's been applied to pretty much any woman that does magic, it's impossible to create a defined Witch class that covers every trope that's been considered witchy over the years since you're going to cast way too large of a net.

I am inclined to agree with you. Though in a number of those interpretations that was how they cast spells and hexes; not just for brewing potions. The potion aspect as well had much more magical reactions rather than alchemical ones. More like 1e Alchemist as apposed to 2e Alchemist for example.

The broad interpretations of a witch is subject to time and cultural popularity with what survives and what crumbles away. I don’t think anyone feels every interpretation must be met; but a generalizing sweep about the people suggesting a Spellbook with Witch as little more than a Female Wizard is a bit disingenuous.

Personally i like the Familiar aspect, but if an interesting concept can be thought up with giving Witch an option for a Spellbook, similar to how Bard having a Spellbook is a genuinely unique aesthetic and a fresh mechanic, i say go for it. If it’s going to end up as a clunky add-on then, much like yourself, i wouldn’t want it added either.


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1 is definitely just a wizard.

2 is a sorcerer with better RP

3 is a druid


I think witches will end up parallel to sorcerers with devil/demon/daemon divine patrons, fey primal patrons, Great Old Ones occult patrons, and dragon arcane patrons. Hexes can be focus abilities, so there won't be as much difference between witches of different patrons.

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