Witch Playtest Expectations and Hopes


Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest General Discussion

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Maybe the “generic” witch patron could be a more experienced witch.


I hope that they will offer more options for familiars and even advanced familars, similar to the Advanced Familiar fear in 1E.


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Mechagamera wrote:
masda_gib wrote:
@Mechagamera: I think the reasons for wanting a no-patron-option that WatersLethe gave are not mechanical but flavorwise. The goal is a witch that got their spells by own study and not gifted by a patron. A mystery patron would solve nothing in that case.
Since wizard multiclassed with witch will fulfill that concept more than adequately, there is nothing to solve, just a mental exercise in interesting witch patrons.

Except they want to play a witch with that flavor, not a multiclass.

To be honest, the patron was never really a big draw for me either. Especially compared to a class like the Oracle. I’d much rather the mechanical and flavor focus rest on the familiar and hexes, with the patron as something you can opt into.


That sounds like that's what refluffing is for.

It's definitely frustrating when the preexisting fluff doesn't match what you have in mind for a character, but I can also understand why Paizo might not want to radically alter the flavor behind a specific class to accommodate some specific idea. Especially when what's being asked for steps very heavily into the same thematic design space as the Wizard.

There might be a patronless option, but I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't one either.


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Well, a witch who studied a bunch to gain their power probably studied a weird source of power, in which case if their patron is for example, "great old one" the way to fluff it is "you learned magical secrets from reading recovered fragments of excerpts from the necronomicon and was able to get a glimpse of the larger truths of the universe by doing so"

This keeps the mechanical element of having a "patron" and the flavour element of witch power coming from learning weird magical secrets rather than magic as a science while avoiding having it have to come from a pact - so it is pretty easy to reflavour your patron to being a case of studying magic.


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I'm hoping patrons will be optional, or at least something you can easily ignore.

I mean, just try telling Esmeralda Weatherwax that her magic comes from some "patron", and she'll stare at you until you apologize for your mistake and go away quietly.

And if you can't make Esmeralda Weatherwax as a Witch character (albeit at high levels), then what is the point of the class?


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Staffan Johansson wrote:

I'm hoping patrons will be optional, or at least something you can easily ignore.

I mean, just try telling Esmeralda Weatherwax that her magic comes from some "patron", and she'll stare at you until you apologize for your mistake and go away quietly.

And if you can't make Esmeralda Weatherwax as a Witch character (albeit at high levels), then what is the point of the class?

Need a lot of Bluff, sense motive, and stealth. Oh and intimidate.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
And if you can't make Esmeralda Weatherwax as a Witch character (albeit at high levels), then what is the point of the class?

Hard agree. I mean, if I can't make [Random Character] from [Overhyped Novel Series] in a completely unrelated game as a very specific class why even have RPGs in the first place?

Stat Pathfinder Weatherwax as a wizard, because she has basically nothing in common with the PF witch anyways, patron or not.


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Over hyped? BOO!


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She fits PF1 witches perfectly, from the coven to counting as a crone (hag). Her abilities are all typical of the Witch spell list: blast spells, curses, disguises, baleful polymorph, mind control/possesion. And according to the lore, she limits herself which means she can probably do some of the weirder stuff in the spell list. She is not a reader, so no "wizard school" and probably learn due to talent and age, which fits the charisma casting stat.

So in the end, until Paizo releases the Witch and shows the changes (if any) she doesnt fit as a Wizard and might instead be an Occult Sorcerer with high cha & int.

Also, pathfinder classes have always been about the thematic, it would be strange to have a Witch that cant represent what appears to be a classic witch. Imagine if bard by default could only play heavy instrument that he can barely move, like say a grand piano, or sorcerers that only get magic through magical accidents and not bloodlines (exaggeration, but still).


mildly annoyed Vidmaster7 wrote:
Over hyped? BOO!

I didn't say it was bad. Just (very) overhyped.

Temperans wrote:
She fits PF1 witches perfectly

Alright, let's take a look at the core class features of the PF1 witch:

Mystical Patron? Nope
Uniquely intimate bond with a special familiar? Nah
Hexes? Vaguely, but not particularly specifically or uniquely.
Quote:
Her abilities are all typical of the Witch spell list: blast spells, curses, disguises, baleful polymorph, mind control/possesion.

You're basically describing the arcane list here. Pathfinder witches aren't even all that good at blasting without specific patrons (which we already said we're avoiding here).

Quote:
and probably learn due to talent and age

This is a completely unintelligible sentence fragment, but assuming you're talking about how she learned her magic, she was trained by another spellcaster. Kind of like a wizard's apprentice.

Of course, the more correct answer here is that she's an arbitrarily powerful character from a book and therefore fails to fit any mechanical framework effectively, never even mind that she completely fails to fit the same narrative niche that a pathfinder PC is meant to cover, so whining about not being able to build her in a completely unrelated game is a pretty terrible take.


Yeah that's sentence was meant to be about how she learned, which was not at all like wizards as Witches in discworld are all about intuition. Also Wizards go to university in that world too.

Their system of magic is all about belief which fits the "mystic patron" even if it's never revealed as it could very well vary for each coven and Witch family.

The Witch spell list has/had 5 focuses: Debuffs, Enchantments, Battle field control, Blasting, and Healing. I will admit they were not the best blasters, but they got more than enough in the base list without even getting a patron. Which deny her having a blasting patron.

Familiars aren needed for witches, look at the ley line guardian, bonded witch, bouda, cartomancer, Alley Witch (perfect fit for Esmeralda), etc.

I will however admit to remembering their main stat wrong since they use int not cha (it's been a while). Occult Sorcerer is still a better choice than thou.


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I think in PF2 terms, a storm druid would get you closer to Granny Weatherwax than almost any iteration of Witch that we might get.

Be that as it may, I'd rather not see witches without familiars at first. I want familiars to be as central to Witches as Divine font is to clerics. With as many as half of their class feats revolving around that feature. Most of the other half will be hexes of course, and a scattered few about improving attacks and a couple patron feats.

Actually, I'm curious. Do people want some hexes tied to their patron, or free for all with all hexes?


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All I know for certain is that I will be very disappointed if the blog post previewing the witch isn't titled "Witch, please"


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Tender Tendrils wrote:

All I know for certain is that I will be very disappointed if the blog post previewing the witch isn't titled "Witch, please"

I would also accept "Must be the Season of the Witch."


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Temperans wrote:

She fits PF1 witches perfectly, from the coven to counting as a crone (hag). Her abilities are all typical of the Witch spell list: blast spells, curses, disguises, baleful polymorph, mind control/possesion. And according to the lore, she limits herself which means she can probably do some of the weirder stuff in the spell list. She is not a reader, so no "wizard school" and probably learn due to talent and age, which fits the charisma casting stat.

So in the end, until Paizo releases the Witch and shows the changes (if any) she doesnt fit as a Wizard and might instead be an Occult Sorcerer with high cha & int.

Also, pathfinder classes have always been about the thematic, it would be strange to have a Witch that cant represent what appears to be a classic witch. Imagine if bard by default could only play heavy instrument that he can barely move, like say a grand piano, or sorcerers that only get magic through magical accidents and not bloodlines (exaggeration, but still).

One thing that suggests high charisma for the Discworld witches is their focus on "headology", which is more about conning people than book learning.


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Charisma as force of personality does fit Granny Weatherwax to a T. I wouldn't mind a whole new class based on the Discworld witches, to be honest.


Seducer witches works well enough, although she clearly wouldn't use the archetype abilities. (Probably not lore friendly).

* Counter argument:
Unlettered Arcanist fits with how smart she is and the force of personality, but doesnt really fit "witch". (Arcanist is such a versatile class, I really miss it, but probably wont be ported over.)

Still Arcanist =/= Wizard as some have suggested.


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There are also bard and sorcerer possibilities.

These would work well in PF2 since the bard uses the occult list and sorcerers get a choice of list (assuming that the PF2 witch will be a prepared occult caster, as many have hypothesized).


You know, as we get closer and closer to the line, all I have to say is I hope the prehensile hair hex makes a triumphant return, hopefully as a focus power or something.


SoulknifeFan420 wrote:
You know, as we get closer and closer to the line, all I have to say is I hope the prehensile hair hex makes a triumphant return, hopefully as a focus power or something.

Turns out it did!


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I'm kind of sad they choose prepared any. Specially given how its base on "what 'hex' do you want at lv 1" instead of what patron you picked.

I mean was I the only one who saw the hexes were just regular focus spells?

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I would have preferred them being Prepared Occult, and am sad Patrons are a non-entity.

I kinda figured Hexes were gonna be the Witch’s Focus Spells.


I got almost everything correct. I was hoping however that witches would also have spellcasting ability. as I think there are witch archetypes that support int/wis/cha depending on the storytelling tradition.

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Temperans wrote:

I'm kind of sad they choose prepared any. Specially given how its base on "what 'hex' do you want at lv 1" instead of what patron you picked.

I mean was I the only one who saw the hexes were just regular focus spells?

I agree. Even by their own game setting lore and logic, the patron is providing spells to the familiar, so there shouldn't be a choice of "what do I want to cast today?", it should be "these are the spells my patron has provided for me to use, and if I want to change one of them, it will be a lengthy (downtime) process to implore and beg him for a spell change". In other words, they should be spontaneous casters!

And, it makes even more sense in the Advanced Player's Guide! The Oracle is the spontaneous Divine caster, and the Witch covers Arcane, Primal, and Occult spontaneous casting! All the (tradition's) bases are covered!


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The way I tend to read it is as a patron more as an otherworldly teacher as opposed to a source of power unlike a diety which provides power at a cost to the user.

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Grenn the scarred wrote:
The way I tend to read it is as a patron more as an otherworldly teacher as opposed to a source of power unlike a diety which provides power at a cost to the user.

I don't get the feeling of teacher at all, but rather a vague otherworld entity with unknowable goals and plans, far less reliable and communicative than a cleric's deity or even the natural world/Gaia to Druids. This may change before the final version (and I actually hope it does), but right now they are just a vague MacGuffin.


I hope more will be done with the familiar

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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
I hope more will be done with the familiar

As I said in another thread about familiars, I would like some kind of ability to transform your familiar into an animal companion, like I created in my Warlock adaptation. It would be a cool and unique ability, and presents a real danger if the familiar dies fighting the witch's enemies. (Speaking of which, I'm not sure I like how harsh the results of that are...)


Samurai wrote:
Temperans wrote:

I'm kind of sad they choose prepared any. Specially given how its base on "what 'hex' do you want at lv 1" instead of what patron you picked.

I mean was I the only one who saw the hexes were just regular focus spells?

I agree. Even by their own game setting lore and logic, the patron is providing spells to the familiar, so there shouldn't be a choice of "what do I want to cast today?", it should be "these are the spells my patron has provided for me to use, and if I want to change one of them, it will be a lengthy (downtime) process to implore and beg him for a spell change". In other words, they should be spontaneous casters!

And, it makes even more sense in the Advanced Player's Guide! The Oracle is the spontaneous Divine caster, and the Witch covers Arcane, Primal, and Occult spontaneous casting! All the (tradition's) bases are covered!

The patron is giving the witch a very large toolbox to work with, and it's up to the witch's discretion/ingenuity to make use of those tools to serve their master's bidding, The patron still dictates what spells the familiar starts with (fluff wise, it's still the player who picks the list) and teaching it new spells is far more expensive that a wizard adding new spells to his book. Plus spontaneous casting doesn't vibe with the super extensive planned methodology that witches typically are depicted to have

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nick1wasd wrote:
The patron is giving the witch a very large toolbox to work with, and it's up to the witch's discretion/ingenuity to make use of those tools to serve their master's bidding, The patron still dictates what spells the familiar starts with (fluff wise, it's still the player who picks the list) and teaching it new spells is far more expensive that a wizard adding new spells to his book. Plus spontaneous casting doesn't vibe with the super extensive planned methodology that witches typically are depicted to have

That's because most every witch in media is a villain, and the villains always have a plan of some kind. But for heroes look at Charmed, for example. Heroic witches who have a limited and defined power set. They make do with what they have most of the time. One can move objects, one can freeze time for a few seconds, and one can read thoughts and get premonitions by touch. hey and the writers try to work with those abilities and not pull off the old "magic can solve everything" schick. Or at least the show is best when they don't try to do that.

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