So Patrons do nothing mechanically?


Witch Playtest

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Silver Crusade

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Bandw2 wrote:

obviously to be a patron you need the patron trait on your stat block.

(this is a joke, and not to be taken seriously)

It may be a joke but...

Dark Archive

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Weeeell... Patrons on playtest witch currently are like if Cleric's deity was "You are free to pick domains from list of all domains that you think would fit the god". It might as well be the non canon cleric of philosophy from 1e core book.

Its just feels less satisfying when flavor doesn't interact with mechanics much.

I don't mind it if each Patron doesn't have their own mechanic(like, I'd be okay if hypotethical Abrogail and Baba Yaga patron have similar mechanics), but having at least patron "theme"(like devils, demons, powerful spellcasters, dead famous people, metaphysical forces, etc. Or heck, it could also be something like "This patron is your teacher" and "This patron is your inspiration" type difference.) have a mechanic effect on character would be great. That could just mean restricting types of lessons(like deity's domain lists), but that'd be less interesting than something like "All spellcaster patrons have this effect, but you choose lessons that fit particular one better".


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lyz Liddell wrote:
Prince Setehrael wrote:

*trim*

That's fine. I mean if we wont to give feed back on the patrons, Would help to know the in game lore on what a patron is.

We want it to be pretty broad, so that it can suit as many stories as possible. Could Baba Yaga be a patron? Heck yes. How about Mephistopheles? Sure! What about a fey queen? Sure! How about a powerful spirit, like one of the former Taldan emperors explored in War for the Crown? Sure! Empyreal lord? Heck yeah! A powerful hag? I could see it. An ancient dragon? Not out of the realm of possibility. A medusa who found an ancient artifact of great power? That could work, too.

So, could your buddy witch of the same level also be your patron? It's not at all impossible—but it raises great story questions of what's happening such that they have this power to provide to you. Are they themselves (knowingly or not) at the service of a much more powerful patron using them to get to you? Or is something else going on there?

Our hope is that players and GMs will work together to build the thematic or even specific patrons using the flexibility of lessons and patrons, and we want you to have the freedom to do that. But maybe we need to provide more guidance and examples, or establish some known themes/specific patrons to show how that would work.

SQEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Lyz the Great and Powerful quoted/replied to a post I made...
I am soooo honored now.

*Happy Dance*

And I like what ya said and can agree on what can possibly be a patron to a witch.

And keeping it vague for customization for GM/Players but also love have some known themes and specific patrons as well. I feel like that could be a way to go.

I feel like the witch has so many possibilities and its so hard to decide which truly fits best.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

yes, i think giving examples of how to properly use the openness of the patron would do wonders for just about everyone.


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Lyz Liddell wrote:
Our hope is that players and GMs will work together to build the thematic or even specific patrons using the flexibility of lessons and patrons, and we want you to have the freedom to do that. But maybe we need to provide more guidance and examples, or establish some known themes/specific patrons to show how that would work.

I think part of the issue is that the playtest design focused too much on being able to do "anything," to the point that it ended up doing nothing special.

It's not special to say "you can have some relationship which is decided between you and the GM." Any class can do this without needing the book to say so. A Druid could have stumbled into a powerful Fey as a child and received some guidance which set them on the path to becoming a Druid. A Bard's Muse could be a supernatural creature who occasionally gives them tips on how to improve. A Sorcerer could have a personal relationship with the magical creature that originated their bloodline, who repeatedly drops by to check in on/guide their decendant. And even a Fighter could have a relationship with a supernatural entity who teaches them some sword skills for whatever reason.

My point is, unless the Patron noticeably leans into the mechanics of the Witch, and does so in a way that is noticeably different between different Patrons, it doesn't really do anything more than what any other class could just with natural roleplaying. Which is a huge shame when the Witch's Patron is supposed to be a big part of their theme. Compare to how a Cleric's deity choice isn't interchangeable due to how it locks the cleric into certain mechanics/options.

And while it may not be a focus of the class in terms of paizo/Golarion - some of us homebrewers want to be able to make specific patrons for our worlds. But when existing Patrons have nothing mechanical tied to them - there really isn't much room to create something highly unique/specific (mechanically) without diminishing the base class in order to do so.


I guess as far as what it requires to be a patron:
1) Capable of teaching magic of that tradition (which is the easiest criteria... basically any level 17+ caster qualifies)
2) Capable of providing magic juice via familiar (Narrower, though I think legendary-proficiency casters would be able to choose to get this set up, it would just take research and rituals). Stronger entities of course can handle more of this - at the level of demigods and higher there's no real limit to how many they can be a patron of.

As given as an example above - powerful artifacts and their owners, old and mighty beings, and yes, the strongest of mages (Baba Yaga) all count.

I think the Baba Yaga example is interesting in that her level has surpassed that of her original mentor? There isn't an issue if a witch surpasses their patron - presumably this means they've learned to supplement their patron's power with other sources, possibly included their own ability akin to a wizard. But the patron still needs to be strong enough to power them along the way to that point. (And of course hexes aren't the patron providing power, so there's some innate talent there still)

Dark Archive

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Lyz Liddell wrote:

So, could your buddy witch of the same level also be your patron? It's not at all impossible—but it raises great story questions of what's happening such that they have this power to provide to you. Are they themselves (knowingly or not) at the service of a much more powerful patron using them to get to you? Or is something else going on there?

It's the Amway of witchcraft! Each witch takes a Patron from the more established witches, and then recruits lower level people to be witches, taking *her* as their Patron!

A witchcraft pyramid scheme! It's witches all the way down!


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Set wrote:
Lyz Liddell wrote:

So, could your buddy witch of the same level also be your patron? It's not at all impossible—but it raises great story questions of what's happening such that they have this power to provide to you. Are they themselves (knowingly or not) at the service of a much more powerful patron using them to get to you? Or is something else going on there?

It's the Amway of witchcraft! Each witch takes a Patron from the more established witches, and then recruits lower level people to be witches, taking *her* as their Patron!

A witchcraft pyramid scheme! It's witches all the way down!

Amusingly enough - I've always wanted to have a devil-run witchcraft pyramid scheme for my own setting. xD

"I tricked you out of your soul, yes. But if you use the magic you got from that contract to recruit X more Witches under the same contract, I'll release your soul back to you and even pay you a bonus for every additional contract past that. Of course, every Witch you help make will also have their soul taken and need to recruit X more Witches to get it back..."


I'm all for making patrons matter more, especially mechanically, and as the biggest fan of Irrisen, the winter witch prestige class, and ice magic there ever was, I hope we would get some meager support for that like we got in PF1.

That said, I would be careful with the "dark unknown entity" concept a tad. It's better when it doesn't apply across the board, because while it's a cool theme sometimes you just want to be mysterious and witchy without necessarily being indebted to the Devil or trapped in some kind of hellish occult ritual stock exchange. I'll expect I'll play more than one witch and I don't want to be expecting to pay the dark price for my powers and uncovering the awful truth behind my patron every single time. It would eventually feel very goofy.

Of course, one could argue it could turn out to be positive just as many times as it would negative in story (leaving aside the issue of that single trope alone becoming repetitive over time at a table) but I don't think this is the natural tendency of GMs in a lot of cases, well meaning though most of us may be. Witches may be a kind of inbetween of clerics and wizards but neither core class comes with that much baggage. An option to play a more casual, in control, less-burdened witch should ideally remain open. In this regard patrons are functioning well if only for a lack of mechanics tilting it either way.


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What if a patron wasn’t necessarily permanently a patron, but a drive-by contract on provisions of a lesson. The contract could come with stipulations or payment of some kind, perhaps an indefinite one.

Then a witch continues to gain lessons either via the same patron or a new more powerful patron or even a different one (showing a different lesson)

Then the lessons themselves can be the true restrictive pieces, since they would be the contract effectively.

“You must hex at least 5 candidates your patron deems worthy each week to retain your powers, if not your familiar is weakened as if it had died and been resurrected. If the familiar was already in this state the prior week, the familiar dies instead but a new one can be granted by normal means.”

And then each lesson defines a worthy target or the gm can dictate a target as worthy (perhaps anyone at least your level or greater or with a specific sub type or type).


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Midnightoker wrote:

What if a patron wasn’t necessarily permanently a patron, but a drive-by contract on provisions of a lesson. The contract could come with stipulations or payment of some kind, perhaps an indefinite one.

Then a witch continues to gain lessons either via the same patron or a new more powerful patron or even a different one (showing a different lesson)

Then the lessons themselves can be the true restrictive pieces, since they would be the contract effectively.

“You must hex at least 5 candidates your patron deems worthy each week to retain your powers, if not your familiar is weakened as if it had died and been resurrected. If the familiar was already in this state the prior week, the familiar dies instead but a new one can be granted by normal means.”

And then each lesson defines a worthy target or the gm can dictate a target as worthy (perhaps anyone at least your level or greater or with a specific sub type or type).

Paying to maintain your basic class features seems like it could get very tedious. After all, the wizard/druid/cleric/sorcerer/bard just gets to cast his spells, why not you?


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MadMars wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

What if a patron wasn’t necessarily permanently a patron, but a drive-by contract on provisions of a lesson. The contract could come with stipulations or payment of some kind, perhaps an indefinite one.

Then a witch continues to gain lessons either via the same patron or a new more powerful patron or even a different one (showing a different lesson)

Then the lessons themselves can be the true restrictive pieces, since they would be the contract effectively.

“You must hex at least 5 candidates your patron deems worthy each week to retain your powers, if not your familiar is weakened as if it had died and been resurrected. If the familiar was already in this state the prior week, the familiar dies instead but a new one can be granted by normal means.”

And then each lesson defines a worthy target or the gm can dictate a target as worthy (perhaps anyone at least your level or greater or with a specific sub type or type).

Paying to maintain your basic class features seems like it could get very tedious. After all, the wizard/druid/cleric/sorcerer/bard just gets to cast his spells, why not you?

I agree the penalty is a bit harsh.

But some kind of this for that relationship with potentially a less punishing downside would I think be cool while emphasizing that both parties have skin in the game.

Clerics, Paladins, Druids, Barbarians all have contingencies on the power, a small one on the witch would emphasize the difference between the Wizard I think.

It’s a patron for a reason, unless every patron is just super generous some kind of exchange seems on par for the concept if they can get the mechanics to support it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I disagree with an anathema to maintain your powers. Again, one of the key differences between the Witch and the Cleric is that the Witch is still studying like a Wizard, they're just studying under the tutelage of the patron.

If there is an anathema mechanic, displeasing your patron should inhibit progress, but not actually cut off your power source because Witches are only indirectly empowered by their patron.


I'm not speaking about a strict anathema that punishes them by barring their powers, but a "you might have to deal with some difficulties" that otherwise make it worth doing.

It does not make them just like a cleric, anymore than a Champion and a Barbarian are the same.

Implementation of the concept matters.

Every time you displease a patron the familiar takes your level in damage (effectively able to do this 5 times without healing your familiar before it dies).

This would only tax the witch the ability to break the rules often but not off-limits entirely, as out of combat medicine is going to be a fairly common approach.

It also has the desired effect of enforcing punishment on the witch from the patron, the witch having to at least be careful with displeasing patrons, and eventually big punishments for continuing to displease patrons (if the familiar dies, you are in a bad spot as a witch).

That's not really so much an "anathema" as it is contingency plans for maintaining a hold on the witches you bestow lessons to as a patron.

I will note this also makes the Life Link familiar choice much more advantageous for the Witch, as they will be able to prevent their familiar from dying in that case.

Formulating a relationship with the Patron is probably going to have to come with some kind of meaningful mechanic, lesson dictations seem less than ideal.

Hexing a creature that is off limits, casting a spell with a certain descriptor, etc. those could all be triggers for this "familiar backlash" damage.

Although this would certainly be the worst case of "shooting the messenger" in the case of familiars!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Lyz Liddell wrote:
Prince Setehrael wrote:

*trim*

That's fine. I mean if we wont to give feed back on the patrons, Would help to know the in game lore on what a patron is.

We want it to be pretty broad, so that it can suit as many stories as possible. Could Baba Yaga be a patron? Heck yes. How about Mephistopheles? Sure! What about a fey queen? Sure! How about a powerful spirit, like one of the former Taldan emperors explored in War for the Crown? Sure! Empyreal lord? Heck yeah! A powerful hag? I could see it. An ancient dragon? Not out of the realm of possibility. A medusa who found an ancient artifact of great power? That could work, too.

So, could your buddy witch of the same level also be your patron? It's not at all impossible—but it raises great story questions of what's happening such that they have this power to provide to you. Are they themselves (knowingly or not) at the service of a much more powerful patron using them to get to you? Or is something else going on there?

Our hope is that players and GMs will work together to build the thematic or even specific patrons using the flexibility of lessons and patrons, and we want you to have the freedom to do that. But maybe we need to provide more guidance and examples, or establish some known themes/specific patrons to show how that would work.

And while I totally get what you are going for here, respectfully I feel like this is actually an area where the freeform nature of the lessons without any mechanical structure for the patrons actually works to their deficit. The lessons have no real reason to actually be connected to the Patron in question.

Sure, I can carefully craft a specific set of lessons to represent my vision of whatever patron I want, theoretically at least. But there is nothing that makes that Patron actually unique with any mechanical structure.

Using a personal example, my forum namesake, Vali was a PF1 and D&D5e Witch/Warlock who I made a special Patron for by the name of Lofta. Long story short, she was the fetus of a primordial God who was never born and fell into a frozen dire winter in the First World. In order to survive had to absorb all that frozen fey energy and thus became like the Eldest, but secluded herself in a place in the First World so deep and lonely that even the actual Eldest had only heard rumors of her.

When my character Vali became a Witch with her as his patron, she made him a Winter Witch and also the archetype the Fey-touched Hexer.

And this felt great. It was unique and interesting and the patron contributed a LOT mechanically to the idea of my character.

Now if I wanted to make Vali a Witch in PF2, I could do that. I could give him the Lesson of Deceit, Snow, or Curses depending on what spell list I felt was most appropriate. I'd eventually take Lesson of Ice of course, maybe Dreams for the Greater Lesson if I didn't want to just double down on Basic lessons to get a cold hex earlier without having to take the Primal spell list since it really doesn't fit Vali's shtick (what I REALLY want is Occult but with a bunch of extra cold related spells, but since the Witch doesn't really do that, Arcane is begrudgingly accepted).

And all that is cool and totally works and it's fine. The build more or less works and requires only minimal homebrew if I wanted to exactly replicate the Fey-touched Hexer. But there's also nothing that makes any of my decisions have anything to do with my specific patron. The patron didn't actually give me ANY of these things I've picked and ANY other Witch could just decide to pick them also because they're neat. There's nothing that makes me go, "ah yes, this is something that MY patron gives me, and none other".

Now, as I understand it, the goal was to make the Patrons feel more mechanically relevant to the class, and while that might technically be the case, it actually FEELS less relevant to the class. Sure, the old patrons only gave a spell list and that's it. You could sort of give your witch an archetype and claim that was the effect of your patron as I did, but that only came with plenty of expanded material and eventually you should be able to do the same with the Witch once we have more material. But looking just at the bonus spells and the lessons for comparison, the bonus spells might give you less technically, since they're only a couple extra spells when you have access to dozens while the lessons are the entirety of your focus spells, but the bonus spells FEEL like they contribute more because they at least are actually associated with a patron theme and are a connected as part of who you are.

You need to have a Winter Patron to get the Winter bonus spells and always get those winter spells. You don't need to have a Winter Patron to pick Lesson of Ice, so winter patrons don't mean anything.

I do love PF2, and I love how freeform it is MOST of the time. Picking your class feats every other level, picking what ancestry feats matter to you, the ability to mix in Archetype feats into your class feats, but there are a couple places where I feel the freeform philosophy is taken too far. The Witch as defined by the playtest is honestly a relatively minor example. Familiars are the worst offender IMO as it is extremely lame that my Raven and my buddy's Parrot are completely mechanically indistinguishable, but since Witches are so reliant on familiars, the fact that the patrons are also like this hurts them even more.


Vali Nepjarson wrote:
Now, as I understand it, the goal was to make the Patrons feel more mechanically relevant to the class, and while that might technically be the case, it actually FEELS less relevant to the class.

It almost feels like they looked at Bard and went "you know what, lets not do that. I know, I know it worked and worked well, but trust me here, folks will love the flexibility."


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
MadMars wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

What if a patron wasn’t necessarily permanently a patron, but a drive-by contract on provisions of a lesson. The contract could come with stipulations or payment of some kind, perhaps an indefinite one.

Then a witch continues to gain lessons either via the same patron or a new more powerful patron or even a different one (showing a different lesson)

Then the lessons themselves can be the true restrictive pieces, since they would be the contract effectively.

“You must hex at least 5 candidates your patron deems worthy each week to retain your powers, if not your familiar is weakened as if it had died and been resurrected. If the familiar was already in this state the prior week, the familiar dies instead but a new one can be granted by normal means.”

And then each lesson defines a worthy target or the gm can dictate a target as worthy (perhaps anyone at least your level or greater or with a specific sub type or type).

Paying to maintain your basic class features seems like it could get very tedious. After all, the wizard/druid/cleric/sorcerer/bard just gets to cast his spells, why not you?

yeah something like this should be an archetype, i loved deific obediences.

Grand Lodge Designer

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Vali Nepjarson wrote:


And while I totally get what you are going for here, respectfully I feel like this is actually an area where the freeform nature of the lessons without any mechanical structure for the patrons actually works to their deficit. The lessons have no real reason to actually be connected to the Patron in question.

Sure, I can carefully craft a specific set of lessons to represent my vision of whatever patron I want, theoretically at least. But there is nothing that makes that Patron actually unique with any mechanical structure.

I'm hearing this. And while I was really surprised to see the demand for mechanical weight to patrons (especially given how very little they originally had in First Edition), it seems like the lore around witches, combined with some of the options introduced later in the game's lifecycle, has really given them a function that y'all want to see borne out in the Second Edition rules set. So that's 100% something we'll be working on for the final class.

Silver Crusade

Woohoo!


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Vali Nepjarson wrote:
You need to have a Winter Patron to get the Winter bonus spells and always get those winter spells. You don't need to have a Winter Patron to pick Lesson of Ice, so winter patrons don't mean anything.

But they're literally the same mechanically, the only difference there is fluff and the way the patron is described. Before, it was described as a Winter Patron, while now it is described as a Patron who teaches you lessons related to winter. Either way you are getting winter spells from a Patron class feature. Is the issue that the theme of your lessons can be more flexible, while patrons were previously restricted to a single word concept and thus couldn't change what they offer past level 1? The PF1 way gives less mechanical weight for choosing your special fetus patron, he's literally the exact same mechanically as Baba Yaga or any other winter patron, while the PF2 way can distinguish the two.

Or maybe the issue is they haven't yet come out with prestige classes that say "you must have the lesson of snow to take this dedication" or archetypes that say "if you take this your lessons are locked into snow, ice, winter, and popsicles"? But that is not the PF1 patron class feature, that's just having more published material.

I am fine with people suggesting that Paizo should put more mechanical weight on patrons, even if I don't agree. But I think it's a major stretch to suggest that PF1 did more mechanically to tie you to your specific patron than PF2.

Before: Fixed list of added spells, 1-20, all patrons have only one theme and those that share a theme are mechanically identical

Now: Several choices of smaller added spell lists and accompanying hexes, chances of two patrons giving exact same abilities significantly decreased (and as more lessons are added will go down further)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oof. Hopefully that 'mechanical weight' doesn't strip away the flexibility the current system gives to players and GMs.

Because 'build your own patron' is probably my favorite thing about the current witch and the biggest improvement over 1e's.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Lyz Liddell wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:


And while I totally get what you are going for here, respectfully I feel like this is actually an area where the freeform nature of the lessons without any mechanical structure for the patrons actually works to their deficit. The lessons have no real reason to actually be connected to the Patron in question.

Sure, I can carefully craft a specific set of lessons to represent my vision of whatever patron I want, theoretically at least. But there is nothing that makes that Patron actually unique with any mechanical structure.

I'm hearing this. And while I was really surprised to see the demand for mechanical weight to patrons (especially given how very little they originally had in First Edition), it seems like the lore around witches, combined with some of the options introduced later in the game's lifecycle, has really given them a function that y'all want to see borne out in the Second Edition rules set. So that's 100% something we'll be working on for the final class.

as long as the mechanical benefit does not give a clear indication of the alignment or nature of your patron by requirement then i don't have an issue with it.

but please, don't base patrons around what they are, such as devil patron, hag patron, etc. basically, any patron should still be able to give any mechanical benefit.

if this isn't preserved then a lot of good writing goes out the window.

Silver Crusade

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I’d honestly like them to be closer to P1’s themes, and not be explicit creatures (barring exceptions). I don’t like how freeform they are right now since as others have pointed out they are too freeform with nothing to build around/on. If you can just ignore the Patron and not design anything about them and still play exactly the same that’s kinda an issue.

Regardless of that, I would like the connection between Witch and Patron being much more explicit in how it functions. Is the Patron granting the Witch spells like a Deity does for a Cleric, or do they serve as inspiration with the Witch learning their spells themselves on a guided path, similar to Wizard.

Sovereign Court

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Lyz Liddell wrote:
Vali Nepjarson wrote:


And while I totally get what you are going for here, respectfully I feel like this is actually an area where the freeform nature of the lessons without any mechanical structure for the patrons actually works to their deficit. The lessons have no real reason to actually be connected to the Patron in question.

Sure, I can carefully craft a specific set of lessons to represent my vision of whatever patron I want, theoretically at least. But there is nothing that makes that Patron actually unique with any mechanical structure.

I'm hearing this. And while I was really surprised to see the demand for mechanical weight to patrons (especially given how very little they originally had in First Edition), it seems like the lore around witches, combined with some of the options introduced later in the game's lifecycle, has really given them a function that y'all want to see borne out in the Second Edition rules set. So that's 100% something we'll be working on for the final class.

For me, I think it is related to the 5e Warlock's Patrons. Each one has a major impact on the kind of flavor the Warlock has. If you have a Fey Patron, or a Fiend Patron, or a Great Old Ones Patron, it changes the free spells and gives the Warlock 4 unique abilities as they level up as well. I think the comparisons between the Witch and Warlock will be frequent and unavoidable, they are 2 sides of the same coin in lore, myths, history, and stories..


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Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but are people who don't like the free-form method concerned for example that a witch who talks with the GM at level 1 and says they have a patron who by lore only does cold and nothing else could opt for a lesson of fire (assuming such existed) at a later point and totally screw the lore? Because if you have that concern I would point to the sidebar titled "In Service to the Unknown", which says (paraphrasing heavily) if you want to pick a mishmash of lessons that don't match your patron the GM is allowed to change your patron's assumed identity to fit the lessons you pick. So if you throw in a random lesson of fire without justification and without talking to the GM about it, there is no way that your patron is actually the 100% Winter Patron you thought it was, your character was mistaken somehow and it's really a different Patron of fire and ice. At least that's how I'm reading that sidebar.


I'm so-and-so about the free-form lessons at this point in time. On the one hand, it makes the class highly customizable. On the other hand, a Schrödinger's patron only works until the party figures out their identity, which will inevitably happen at our table.


So the concern with free form patrons is that someone somewhere may decide to pick a theme and then do nothing in their build to reinforce that theme? That seems like a highly unlikely scenario and even if it does happen, so? Thats only one step away from someone roleplaying a macho wrestler and choosing wizard to do it with.


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For me at least, the concern would be that Patrons are active forces within the world. If cleric gods were completely free-form, that would cause issues at my table for more or less the same reason.

That said, I’m still at least sort of positive to choosing from a wide selection of lessons.


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BellyBeard wrote:
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but are people who don't like the free-form method concerned for example that a witch who talks with the GM at level 1 and says they have a patron who by lore only does cold and nothing else could opt for a lesson of fire (assuming such existed) at a later point and totally screw the lore? Because if you have that concern I would point to the sidebar titled "In Service to the Unknown", which says (paraphrasing heavily) if you want to pick a mishmash of lessons that don't match your patron the GM is allowed to change your patron's assumed identity to fit the lessons you pick. So if you throw in a random lesson of fire without justification and without talking to the GM about it, there is no way that your patron is actually the 100% Winter Patron you thought it was, your character was mistaken somehow and it's really a different Patron of fire and ice. At least that's how I'm reading that sidebar.

I just prefer game design where mechanical decisions have narrative weight, and vise versa. If the Patrons are narratively important, they should be mechanically important.

See: Clerics with regard to deities/domains/edicts/anathema. These are things I really like.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Saedar wrote:
If the Patrons are narratively important, they should be mechanically important.

I mean, the Lessons you take (which are directly linked to your Patron) define which spellcasting list you cast from and what sorts of extra spells you get. That is important. Character defining, really. Significantly moreso than pretty much any other class choice outside Sorcerer bloodlines.

Silver Crusade

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Squiggit wrote:
Saedar wrote:
If the Patrons are narratively important, they should be mechanically important.
I mean, the Lessons you take (which are directly linked to your Patron) define which spellcasting list you cast from and what sorts of extra spells you get. That is important. Character defining, really. Significantly moreso than pretty much any other class choice outside Sorcerer bloodlines.

But as is they aren’t linked to your Patron though. Your Patron has no mechanical weight at the moment.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

But as is they aren’t linked to your Patron though.

Uh, what? Lessons explicitly come from your patron.


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Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:

But as is they aren’t linked to your Patron though.

Uh, what? Lessons explicitly come from your patron.

The book says that, but go on, I'd like to see a quote from the book that says I can't take any of that don't match what is written in my backstory paragraph about my patron.

Also, I wrote that backstory with another GM, hi, I'm at your table now because Pathfinder Society.

Silver Crusade

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As Draco18s point out, the Lessons say they’re from your Patron, but they’re not actually linked to anything, Patron or otherwise.

You can play a Witch with absolutely 0% design or thought about your Patron and it changes absolutely nothing, because your Patron does nothing. The Lessons are you, not your Patron.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:


The book says that, but go on, I'd like to see a quote from the book that says I can't take any of that don't match what is written in my backstory paragraph about my patron.

Also, I wrote that backstory with another GM, hi, I'm at your table now because Pathfinder Society.

That's a conscious choice on your part. So I mean, more power to you if that's how you want to play your character.

That doesn't seem like a problem with the class so much as a problem with how you're choosing to play the class though.

Arguably even a good thing, because it means the Witch is broad enough to accommodate a variety of playstyles.


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I mean I’d probably just play it as if each lesson was from a different patron then.

But I’d still like patrons to matter at least a little bit.


Henro wrote:
I'm so-and-so about the free-form lessons at this point in time. On the one hand, it makes the class highly customizable. On the other hand, a Schrödinger's patron only works until the party figures out their identity, which will inevitably happen at our table.

Why would they want to? Just accept the class abilities like everyone else. There isn't anything that makes figuring out a patron's identity matter. They don't take an active hand or put any limits on what you can or can't do. Finding out the patron is the Whispering Tyrant itself or just Bob from accounting is of no relevance at all.

Squiggit wrote:
Saedar wrote:
If the Patrons are narratively important, they should be mechanically important.
I mean, the Lessons you take (which are directly linked to your Patron) define which spellcasting list you cast from and what sorts of extra spells you get. That is important. Character defining, really. Significantly moreso than pretty much any other class choice outside Sorcerer bloodlines.

... not sure what you mean here. Yes, its good to know what spells you get (and can get), but important or character defining is pretty fuzzy. A sorcerer who tosses around a lot of fireballs and blindness spells could be one of many bloodlines, and which one is kinda... not particularly a big deal.

Same with the witch- is a witch who took Protection first and Snow second really defined by that compared to one that took Snow first and Protection second? As long as they're casting useful stuff, I'm not particularly fussed which witch is which.

Silver Crusade

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Squiggit wrote:
That doesn't seem like a problem with the class so much as a problem with how you're choosing to play the class though.

If I can outright ignore such a supposedly large and important part of my class and it changes absolutely nothing, that is indeed a problem with the class.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

As Draco18s point out, the Lessons say they’re from your Patron, but they’re not actually linked to anything, Patron or otherwise.

You can play a Witch with absolutely 0% design or thought about your Patron and it changes absolutely nothing, because your Patron does nothing. The Lessons are you, not your Patron.

would we be having this issue if the lessons abilities weren't separate and did the exact same thing but were just under the patron section?

I don't think we would.

I think this is mostly just a reaction to reading the patron section and seeing nothing mechanical in it.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:

I mean I’d probably just play it as if each lesson was from a different patron then.

But I’d still like patrons to matter at least a little bit.

it's explicitly mentions your patron might be a group of entities.


Bandw2 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

I mean I’d probably just play it as if each lesson was from a different patron then.

But I’d still like patrons to matter at least a little bit.

it's explicitly mentions your patron might be a group of entities.

Well I more meant like completely unaligned entities, like drifter patrons of sorts.

I felt like the context of that statement distinction they made was for things like the Dominion of the Black


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
If I can outright ignore such a supposedly large and important part of my class and it changes absolutely nothing, that is indeed a problem with the class.

You can't, though. Again. Your first lesson defines what spell list you cast from. That's pretty damn significant and hard to ignore, although admittedly as Voss pointed out there's some overlap between traditions. That's still pretty far from 'outright ignoring' it.

Silver Crusade

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Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

As Draco18s point out, the Lessons say they’re from your Patron, but they’re not actually linked to anything, Patron or otherwise.

You can play a Witch with absolutely 0% design or thought about your Patron and it changes absolutely nothing, because your Patron does nothing. The Lessons are you, not your Patron.

would we be having this issue if the lessons abilities weren't separate and did the exact same thing but were just under the patron section?

I don't think we would.

I think this is mostly just a reaction to reading the patron section and seeing nothing mechanical in it.

That is explicitly what we are talking about.

The Patron is supposed to be important, but as of right now it has zero importance. Deities and Muses have importance.

Silver Crusade

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Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
If I can outright ignore such a supposedly large and important part of my class and it changes absolutely nothing, that is indeed a problem with the class.
You can't, though. Again. Your first lesson defines what spell list you cast from. That's pretty damn significant and hard to ignore, although admittedly as Voss pointed out there's some overlap between traditions. That's still pretty far from 'outright ignoring' it.

Your Lesson, not your Patron. You're Patron has nothing to do with anything at this time, you can flat out ignore it.

You're Lessons aren't restricted or suggested or tied to Patrons in any way.

And before anyone gets pedantic yes I know the First Lesson class feature says "Your first lesson is the most significant of all your patron's teachings" but that is it, that is the sum total of your Patron, that you don't need to have nay info or thought on.

Don't need a name, inspiration, goals, anything to do with a Patron. You can flat out say you don't have a Patron and it changes absolutely nothing.

Silver Crusade

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To hopefully illustrate this better, if I was playing a Witch and had a character sheet that had a page solely for listing my Patron and I left it completely blank, so that neither me nor my GM nor my fellow players knew anything about my Patron or if I even had one, it would change absolutely nothing.

It goes beyond mechanics, as is Patrons have zero presence.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

To hopefully illustrate this better, if I was playing a Witch and had a character sheet that had a page solely for listing my Patron and I left it completely blank, so that neither me nor my GM nor my fellow players knew anything about my Patron or if I even had one, it would change absolutely nothing.

It goes beyond mechanics, as is Patrons have zero presence.

right, some campaigns, your patron won't ever be nailed down or interact in any meaningful way, some cmapaigns your GM will decide what your Patron is and bring it up later, with you not knowing what kind of deal you got into, and some campaigns you explicitly signed a contract with a fey lord, with the intent to eventually open a portal to the feywild.

you can only have all 3 of these under this system.

Silver Crusade

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Bandw2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

To hopefully illustrate this better, if I was playing a Witch and had a character sheet that had a page solely for listing my Patron and I left it completely blank, so that neither me nor my GM nor my fellow players knew anything about my Patron or if I even had one, it would change absolutely nothing.

It goes beyond mechanics, as is Patrons have zero presence.

right, some campaigns, your patron won't ever be nailed down or interact in any meaningful way, some cmapaigns your GM will decide what your Patron is and bring it up later, with you not knowing what kind of deal you got into, and some campaigns you explicitly signed a contract with a fey lord, with the intent to eventually open a portal to the feywild.

you can only have all 3 of these under this system.

And you can have that equally as well by flat out removing the Patron altogether.

Right now they're too open that there's very little importance to them. There's too much freedom, that inhibits building around them.


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I’m more interested in picking a specific Patron to choose lessons from than I am in picking a specific muse for a bard.

I’d appreciate more suggestions in the book, but more restrictions aren’t necessary.

Silver Crusade

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Suggestions would be an improvement.

Anything basically.


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Imagine if Deities worked the same way as Patrons and all the cleric could do to choose a deity was pick domains, no anathema, no edict, no bonus spells; all you got was a free choice of any domain. Then on top of that, dont mention any deities besides what species or title they have; and describe how the GM can without even telling you change the deity you picked at 1st level because you spent a feat to get an extra domain which doesnt fit the original choice as there are no other lessons that fit.

That's exactly what the Witch is doing.

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