So Patrons do nothing mechanically?


Witch Playtest

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Silver Crusade

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Not sure how I feel about, granted it's not bad per say, since now Witches can pick their spell casting Traditions, though I did like that (similar to Deities for Clerics and Bloodlines for Sorcerers) you could get spells for them from other lists.

I do like the Lessons though.


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One of the first things I was looking for when I looked at the class. With zero mechanical impact, I worry that Patrons have become even less thematic than in PF1 - where they were only a single word concept + some spells. That's... the exact opposite of what I was hoping would happen.

Silver Crusade

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Yeah, I'd at least hoped they kept themes. Or go more in depth on how they're supposed to function.

Right now they're an afterthought character wise.

Dark Archive

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Said this in blog announcement thread, but yeah, I agree that I think I would have preferred more straight up "Baba Yaga or a devil is your patron" style thing, though I do like lessons and flavor of them and how they essentially take 1e patron system and give more flavor to it.

I think main problem I have with current version is that more lazy gms or players might just choose lessons and never really bother thinking about the patron. Because there is really no mechanical reason to think about the patron's flavor, since you can mix and match lesson options however you want. Its currently roleplaying only thing where if you are lucky, maybe your gm wants to roleplay the patron and how they interact with you. But if they don't, well, I guess its just some nebulous entity that gives you stuff but no requests. Or you can be like "I think my patron might be Asmodeus so I picked the lessons fitting for them" and GM is like "Okay cool" and leaves it at that.


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Quote:
Because there is really no mechanical reason to think about the patron's flavor, since you can mix and match lesson options however you want. Its currently roleplaying only thing where if you are lucky, maybe your gm wants to roleplay the patron and how they interact with you. But if they don't, well, I guess its just some nebulous entity that gives you stuff but no requests

Is that a bad thing? GMs and players who want to make Patrons a big deal can, while people who don't aren't bogged down by a system with certain expectations they don't want.

Silver Crusade

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Not necessarily, but it does stick out when compared to the previous version and also to Sorcerer's Bloodlines and Cleric's Deities which still function similarly to their P1 counterpart.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I was honestly hoping for the Patrons to be more like what was shown in Blood of the Coven with the Unique Patrons.

Example: Infernal Contract

Your power was brokered from a powerful daemon, demon, or devil to speed the corruption and moral decay of mortals. When you die, your soul goes to Abaddon, the Abyss, or Hell, and you can’t be raised or resurrected except by extraordinary means—though bold service may earn you a favored position in damnation. You gain the misfortune hex at 1st level, but your magic requires sacrifice; each day when you prepare spells, you must deal 1d6 points of damage to yourself as part of your infernal ritual, feeding the lost blood to your familiar. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, this damage increases by 1d6.

Available Patron Themes: Enchantment, Strength, Trickery, Vengeance

Spell Changes: 8th—lesser planar ally, 12th—planar ally, 16th— greater planar ally (your bonus spells can be used to summon only the type of outsider your patron represents).

There is a theme to each patron which would grant something based on the theme.

A payment that is done during your daily preparations.
A Hex and bonus spells that are tailoer to the Patrons theme.

Silver Crusade

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

Yeah that'd be cool.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.


I think it would be cool to have some mechanical benefit to having a patron, though I can make do by just choosing lessons and spells that are on theme for whatever patron I choose if I need to.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.

Yay!

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.

Woo! :D Hopefully that goes through. Even if we can't have other casters as patrons(I can see why people might find non-quasi deity casters giving powers to other casters weird), I still love that idea. Maybe there can be some sort of compromise between having patrons be characters from setting and keeping them mysterious...(if nothing else, I suppose Crimson Oath's patron is kinda similar example)

I do like lesson system though, so would be nice if it sticks along with patrons themselves having more mechanical benefits specific to patron themselves.

On side note I like Patrot's Truth level 20 class feat, but I definitely would like more guidance on what is "fundamental truth" about the patron.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I would like to see something similar to the Wizard's Schools with the Witch's Patron.

Picture it: Sicily 1922.

Go with the Unique Patrons: That have a them, Payment, Hex, bonus spells and recommended Lessons to the theme.
Similar to the 8 schools of magic.

But have an Unknown Theme: That always for a completely anonymous Patron like have they have shown in the playtest.
Like the Universalist wizard.


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I would love for the patrons to be more significant. As it stands now patrons just do not feel as significant. One of the things that I said about bard in the playtest is I wish choosing a muse felt more impactful and I think the change that was made really helped that. I feel the same about witch. Your patron just does not feel as thematic as it should.


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I prefer the patrons as they are, they can be as much or as little as you and your GM can agree on.

PF1 patrons were pretty bad because they also didn't link to any particular creatures and were more like vague universal concepts and only gave very weak and inflexible bonuses.

Now your selection of hexes is more thematically tied in with the customizable themes of your patron, if you want it to be.


While I'm not against the build-a-patron concept at all - I like it in a lot of ways - I would definitely much prefer it to be tied in to more directly to lore figures, a la what James said and what Blood of the Coven involved. Some vagueness is fine and fun, but tying the class deeper in to Golarion lore (possibly with a vagueness-equivalent to make it easier to use in non-Golarion games) is a really good idea.


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Would it make sense for each patron to have one unique lesson, only accessible through that patron? Seems like a potentially cool way to tie patrons and lessons together.

Scarab Sages

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The stars must have aligned, I agree with Rysky for once. I think the patron should have a bigger role, and the unique patrons are a good way to go. Gods have tenants and anathema, a price or geas for patrons would be in line and add a lot I think.


I'm also on board with Patrons having a stronger mechanical-thematic role within the class. I prefer mechanics that reinforce a narrative and if the narrative is that a broader variety of things can be Patrons then the mechanics should support that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.

Woo! :D Hopefully that goes through. Even if we can't have other casters as patrons(I can see why people might find non-quasi deity casters giving powers to other casters weird), I still love that idea. Maybe there can be some sort of compromise between having patrons be characters from setting and keeping them mysterious...(if nothing else, I suppose Crimson Oath's patron is kinda similar example)

I do like lesson system though, so would be nice if it sticks along with patrons themselves having more mechanical benefits specific to patron themselves.

On side note I like Patrot's Truth level 20 class feat, but I definitely would like more guidance on what is "fundamental truth" about the patron.

That's the thing for me—I don't see a patron as someone who gives anyone anything. They're not a source of power... they're an inspiration. If this were a real-world concept, a patron would be more like a teacher or an inspiring author or a politician or an activist—someone whose actions inspire you to take a specific route and to study and better yourself. Which means you can even have a dead person/deity as your patron.

I could see a mechanic whereby the patrons are listed not by name, but by role. Things like "Artist" or "Singer" or "Explorer" or "Teacher" or "Politician" or whatever. But with more flavorful names that make it sound like things a witch might be into, along with a few Golarion-flavored examples of patrons, before whatever else mechanical gets in there to do its thing. This way, the player could pick ANY NPC or whoever in any setting, potentially even for different roles. For example, a witch could pick Runelord Sorshen as a Teacher or a Politician and get different results.

Anyway... gonna step back out of the thread. Patrons are something I've always been intrigued on doing better, and I couldn't resist popping in here to chat a bit, but I'd rather let folks outside of my head help give feedback overall. So please pardon my input and distractions! :-P


I would much prefer unique patrons. I think it'd be a great way to tie the class more intimately with the setting. I think the build your own system has some strengths, but I'd rather see more interesting and thematic abilities.


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James Jacobs wrote:

That's the thing for me—I don't see a patron as someone who gives anyone anything. They're not a source of power... they're an inspiration. If this were a real-world concept, a patron would be more like a teacher or an inspiring author or a politician or an activist—someone whose actions inspire you to take a specific route and to study and better yourself. Which means you can even have a dead person/deity as your patron.

I could see a mechanic whereby the patrons are listed not by name, but by role. Things like "Artist" or "Singer" or "Explorer" or "Teacher" or "Politician" or whatever. But with more flavorful names that make it sound like things a witch might be into, along with a few Golarion-flavored examples of patrons, before whatever else mechanical gets in there to do its thing. This way, the player could pick ANY NPC or whoever in any setting, potentially even for different roles. For example, a witch could pick Runelord Sorshen as a Teacher or a Politician and get different results....

Isn't that more akin to a muse? Being an inspiration an all that? If it goes that way, I think "patron" as a name should change.

On the threads topic: I kinda like the lessons you can string together yourself but I agree they should have more mechanical impact. At least every lesson should have one edict and one anathema.
As long as the patron concept is kept, the patron should be able to guide your path a bit. Violating the anathema of a lesson blocks the one given spell and hex, so it's not so bad.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To give a little direct feedback, I'm actually of the opinion that I prefer the flexibility offered by the playtest- and I've got an idea to split the difference in a satisfying way, I'd prefer for instance, to keep it divorced from specific characters in the actual rules text.

The current model of how Witch Patrons work is that it's basically a container that refers to an infinitely variable-but-individually-specific entity, and I think that's pretty good because it keeps it from becoming limited, but if we want it to have a little more mechanical heft (and we do, it seems) we should design the solution in the same space of abstraction.

Every Witch should have a "Current Goal" that can change during their daily preparations that reflects something that the Patron wants them to do, written by the GM with (possible, depends on the kind of game and story) input from the player. They can be long term goals (collect pieces of X ancient artifact, release 'Y' from their prison) or short term goals ('slay the dragon Bellavax')and a passage would advice GMs of what not to do with them. "Until next time" or "Await my orders" are examples of goals that could be used to give the Witch freedom between patron-missions.

Then, every witch would also have an anathema that basically forces them to not work against that goal, and take opportunities to complete it, with the kind of text the Champion gets that clarifies that certain pain point outcomes of that anathema aren't counted as violations (you aren't required to die for it, you shouldn't have to take an opportunity to work towards a goal if it would jeopardize your ability to complete it, by say, turning your party against you)

If the designers go this route, I would also argue that violating the anathema (ambiguously often, but more than once, like the Champion and other anathema classes) would have the patron abandon the witch, with the atone ritual as its usual salve. It should be similarly possible mechanically for a witch to declare an end to the contract, and therefore lose their powers. I would also support the inclusion of a ritual that the Witch with a 'broken contract' can use to find a new patron, probably at some cost and with a penalty if the contract was broken by violating the anathema.

This system would allow for very impactful patrons, because a patron's goals are always idiosyncratic to who the patron is and what they want (one set of goals might involve the destabilization of a kingdom, another might involve preparing the world to combat an ancient evil, another might want to retrieve ancient knowledge, etc.) This system would also allow for GMs to hint at and foreshadow the nature of the Witch's Patron if it's unknown (a witch always working from the shadows to support a particular church might begin to suspect the deity, a witch whose goals consistently involve delivering cryptic threats to fey beings and punishing vague failures hinted at in each encounter might start to suspect a fey lord or lady is using them as a political tool.)

It would also allow GMs to season their campaigns to taste, some campaigns might have very impactful Patrons the give frequent, direct, missions, while others might deliver a singular long term goal as an overarching character-plot, while still others might have extremely hands off patrons who want nothing (or small things, like their name spread.)


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Lots of cool ideas

I like these ideas but they require a significant GM overhead which is fine for some GMs but would be hard to translate for PFS or similar concepts with all the possible patron options.

I like the idea of certain anathemas but would rather it was quirky or tied to things like you can't cut your hair if you want to take living hair. Although I admit that might not be a highly expandable concept.

I like in the flavour that your patron is mysterious and you learn more about who they are over time, I think this is a nice character development/discovery feel. So for me this already kind of covers goals, a GM can easily under the current tropes convey a command from your patron through the familiar with consequences for failure to comply. Its already there (same as any power that comes from an external source).

For me I like the idea of Patron concepts having a pool of lessons linked to them. I also like the idea that a patron requires a daily sacrifice to maintain the arrangement, perhaps having a list of potential sacrifices linked to patron concepts so there is some flexibility. This can then be tied into refocus abilities perhaps (similar to Oracles) allow a witch get extra uses of focus points for extra sacrifice while refocussing. It ties it in thematically with the concepts and allows real flavour or character rp development.

I think lessons could be improved with taboos associated with them. You get a Hex and spell from a lesson but also a taboo/ritual. Minor hexes could have small things like can't eat meat, or have to sleep facing east etc, can't wear read. Greater ones could be 'cannot knowingly tell a lie, can't betray a friend or have to always keep a promise' or similar concepts.

I do think putting a lot more flavour through mechanics into a patron could lead to a very rewarding RP experience for a witch player. Patrons should be personal.

I do have a question, if your patron represents a person that was dead (ala the inspiration concept above) how does a familiar giving you spells tie into that? The familiar seems to need an active patron concept for it to be a conduit. I mean I suppose it could be to the soul of a dead person but then wouldn't they then be an angel/demon concept?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cyder wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Lots of cool ideas

I like these ideas but they require a significant GM overhead which is fine for some GMs but would be hard to translate for PFS or similar concepts with all the possible patron options.

I like the idea of certain anathemas but would rather it was quirky or tied to things like you can't cut your hair if you want to take living hair. Although I admit that might not be a highly expandable concept.

*shortens quote a bit*

Thats part of why it essentially exists as an optional system, even if every Witch technically uses it- Patrons can be relatively hands off, in which case you aren't getting a lot of flavorful objectives, but the GM has zero overhead (really, you'd just set one that is guaranteed to come up in the campaign itself, or one generic enough to be a part of standard adventuring play, and treat them as a long term goal.)

You could also as a GM, use it not to give *direct* missions, but instead have the player work out an overall goal for you to approve ("My patron wants me to amass great wealth" "My patron wants me to destroy the undead wherever I find them" "My patron wants me to set him free") and then it never changes and becomes one of your character campaign goals, like any other goals a player character has.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

[

Thats part of why it essentially exists as an optional system, even if every Witch technically uses it- Patrons can be relatively hands off, in which case you aren't getting a lot of flavorful objectives, but the GM has zero overhead (really, you'd just set one that is guaranteed to come up in the campaign itself, or one generic enough to be a part of standard adventuring play, and treat them as a long term goal.)

You could also as a GM, use it not to give *direct* missions, but instead have the player work out an overall goal for you to approve ("My patron wants me to amass great wealth" "My patron wants me to destroy the undead wherever I find them" "My patron wants me to set him free") and then it never changes and becomes one of your character campaign goals, like any other goals a player character has.

But this is completely possible without even having a system. Right not Clerics can receive visions from deities, witches can just as easily get objectives from patrons. Arguably for an RP perspective this is already there at DM discretion, no system required. I have certainly done it to my players in the past when dealing with characters whose source of power is an outsider. Doesn't need system support, its kind of already in the flavour text for the GM to use.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.

Woo! :D Hopefully that goes through. Even if we can't have other casters as patrons(I can see why people might find non-quasi deity casters giving powers to other casters weird), I still love that idea. Maybe there can be some sort of compromise between having patrons be characters from setting and keeping them mysterious...(if nothing else, I suppose Crimson Oath's patron is kinda similar example)

I do like lesson system though, so would be nice if it sticks along with patrons themselves having more mechanical benefits specific to patron themselves.

On side note I like Patrot's Truth level 20 class feat, but I definitely would like more guidance on what is "fundamental truth" about the patron.

That's the thing for me—I don't see a patron as someone who gives anyone anything. They're not a source of power... they're an inspiration. If this were a real-world concept, a patron would be more like a teacher or an inspiring author or a politician or an activist—someone whose actions inspire you to take a specific route and to study and better yourself. Which means you can even have a dead person/deity as your patron.

I could see a mechanic whereby the patrons are listed not by name, but by role. Things like "Artist" or "Singer" or "Explorer" or "Teacher" or "Politician" or whatever. But with more flavorful names that make it sound like things a witch might be into, along with a few Golarion-flavored examples of patrons, before whatever else mechanical gets in there to do its thing. This way, the player could pick ANY NPC or whoever in any setting, potentially even for different roles. For example, a witch could pick Runelord Sorshen as a Teacher or a Politician and get different results....

I rather like the idea of Patron's being semi-tangible/sentient inspiration for the Witch, harkening back to their feel of being inbetwixt Wizard and Cleric. Not necessarily an actual person or thing, but say, if a sudden equation appeared in the witch's head ex machina alongside their thoughts and creativity. Inspiring and laying a path, but without outright controlling them, again inbetween a Cleric worshipping a Deity or a Wizard pursuing their studies, the Witch is the wonderful blend of both, having an outside object of their inspiration that chose to appear to them rather than the Witch's whimsy conjuring it, and inspiring them to new heights.

Yes that does make them a bit similar to Bard's Muse, but that has more to do with Bard's Muses being able to be absolutely anything and everything, so everything is similar to the Bard's Muse. Having the Patrons be specific/semi-specific ideas/entities can help further and shape them. Which is much more appealing.

Dark Archive

How does the familiar being your in between helper relaying things between witch and patron work though if patrons are just inspirations like muses?

Silver Crusade

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Patron is the professor, familiar is the class textbook.

Note, I don’t want them to be completely open and anything like Muses, I want them to be (at least) quasi-tangible things specific to the Witch.


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I personally like the idea of the familiar being as much (if not more) of an agent of the patron than of the witch, and the patron not necessarily being a friend or even a mentor. The witch could be a pawn who becomes more than the patron can handle. The patron could be in that role because of a desperate deal, with the familiar reminding the witch constantly of the debt they owe...

I think that flavor differentiates it from a deity, or a mystery, or a muse

General patrons and lessons are fine, but some more built-in freedom (even just a side bar) for players and DMs to make their own would be really cool. One witch's relationship with Baba Yaga might be totally different than another's. Each has the same patron but might receive totally different powers. Being able to represent that mechanically is something you could do with some build-a-patron guidelines

The Exchange

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I don't know how complicated this would be but I think I'd like to see Patrons providing different riders to spells based on the lessons you selected. Similar to Sorcerer bloodline riders but something you could select daily with your spell preparation.

Something like "Baba Yaga's method of cursing rends the flesh as well as the soul. While focused on her Lesson of Curses, you can tweak your Necromancy spells to deal negative energy damage equal to the level of the spell."


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masda_gib wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

That's the thing for me—I don't see a patron as someone who gives anyone anything. They're not a source of power... they're an inspiration. If this were a real-world concept, a patron would be more like a teacher or an inspiring author or a politician or an activist—someone whose actions inspire you to take a specific route and to study and better yourself. Which means you can even have a dead person/deity as your patron.

I could see a mechanic whereby the patrons are listed not by name, but by role. Things like "Artist" or "Singer" or "Explorer" or "Teacher" or "Politician" or whatever. But with more flavorful names that make it sound like things a witch might be into, along with a few Golarion-flavored examples of patrons, before whatever else mechanical gets in there to do its thing. This way, the player could pick ANY NPC or whoever in any setting, potentially even for different roles. For example, a witch could pick Runelord Sorshen as a Teacher or a Politician and get different results....

Isn't that more akin to a muse? Being an inspiration an all that? If it goes that way, I think "patron" as a name should change.

On the threads topic: I kinda like the lessons you can string together yourself but I agree they should have more mechanical impact. At least every lesson should have one edict and one anathema.
As long as the patron concept is kept, the patron should be able to guide your path a bit. Violating the anathema of a lesson blocks the one given spell and hex, so it's not so bad.

Its actually close to the original meaning of the word patron. Patrons (in the sense that is most relevant and fitting to the idea of witch patrons) historically where initially wealthy people who would give a skilled artist or writer or philosopher or inventor money and protection so that the artist could create great works to enhance the prestige of the patron. The patron would usually act as inspiration of a sort for what the artist creates (the artist had to create works that glorified the patron in some way), though in some cases the relationship was less than amicable (as some artists would subtly mock their patrons in their works). Probably one of the most famous examples of this was Ludovico Sforza, who was Leonardo Da Vinci's patron (as well as being the Duke of Milan and the guy who commissioned Da Vinci to paint the Last Supper).

Paizo Employee Designer

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I just wanted to pop in and say I'm really enjoying this thread! One of the things that really struck me when researching the P1 witch was how little the patron actually did for the class (at least in its original function - later supplements did expand this quite a bit), and how much opportunity there was in that concept. So I'm watching this convo to see where it goes, because this is an area we can really tinker with for the final class.

Silver Crusade

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

Yay!

Thanks for checking in ^w^


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Mechanically I'd like to see the current Lesson system remain intact, with specific Patrons connected to Golarion having certain lessons that they qualify as eligible for. Perhaps also anathema and some sort of minor boon associated with them.

But I'd like to see the current witch, where the Patron is a collaborative effort between GM and Player and the choices are open ended, also remain an option.

Narratively I see Patrons as, well, the traditional definition of the term. They aren't a teacher, not directly, and the relationship is more direct than the relationship between a god and a cleric (which is why I think it's a good thing Witches can't be Divine).

Instead the Patron provides the resources the Witch needs via their magical connection and... probably has some rules or might call in favors. The familiar acts as both a guide and companion to the Witch and as the eyes and ears of the Patron to make sure the Witch isn't misbehaving too much.

To create a silly analogy. If a Wizard is going to class to study, a Witch is taking the online course where they have all the study material but not a lot of direction. Maybe they can email the teacher but who really knows if they'll get a response back.


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Really I just want to make sure that the Witch Patron dynamic really does not end up mimicking the cleric diety one. There are already too many sell your soul preconceptions about any class like this, and frankly in my opinion that is more in the realm of champions and clerics. I think that the playtest version just from a dead does manage to swell a mysterious patron rather decently. I mean it could be used to very much set up a Great Expectations sort of scenario where the Patron is thought to be Oz the great and powerful and instead turns out to be the Wicked Witch of the West.


Squiggit wrote:
Mechanically I'd like to see the current Lesson system remain intact, with specific Patrons connected to Golarion having certain lessons that they qualify as eligible for. Perhaps also anathema and some sort of minor boon associated with them.

This is my thought as well. I like the flexibility to define my own patron through lessons I choose. Keep pre-defined specific patrons as an option.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Eoni wrote:

I don't know how complicated this would be but I think I'd like to see Patrons providing different riders to spells based on the lessons you selected. Similar to Sorcerer bloodline riders but something you could select daily with your spell preparation.

Something like "Baba Yaga's method of cursing rends the flesh as well as the soul. While focused on her Lesson of Curses, you can tweak your Necromancy spells to deal negative energy damage equal to the level of the spell."

Would actually be ideal to add later in a Lost Omens product, as class feats designed to tie Witches in more with Golarion, or in a specific adventure where that figure might come up, I really like that idea.


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I like the "working-for-your-patron" angle. It makes witches distinct from Clerics, who are devoted to their god. A witch might not even like their patron particularly, but are willing to further their cause in exchange for power.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.

I personally like how the patron is left completely unconnected. It allows for a lot more wiggle room and surprise. You can't be surprised you're working for a devil if you know your getting an ability only devil's provide.

I really hope this class keeps patron anonymity strong, when we already have stuff like clerics and druids.

Edit, you could potentially have uncommon lessons for specific patrons, where they're less mysterious.


I think the patron and the lessons should be more connected. More specifically having patrons follow a theme and granting access to a select group of lessons.

Side note: I think lessons should grant bonus spells and not hexes. As that would allow witches of any patron to use hexes.


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I'm pretty firmly on the camp that the patron should have more impact on your selection of lessons. I like the idea that they're free form to some extent, but really the patron should have a little more thematic tie. I'd say this is akin to the PF1 chained summoner's eidolons being big blobs of abilities vs. the unchained summoners eidolons being thematic while still having customizability.

I'd also really firmly believe that witches are effectively making pacts / negotiating for power, unlike sorcerers who are born with it or wizards who learn it through study. To that end, I'd love if witches used some variant of the Oracle's curse to power their hexes. Maybe not quite as powerful, but getting a drawback temporarily.

This might be a good replacement power for Cackle (which feels more like something that should be offered as a 1st level feat) -- something that lets the Witch regain focus points or cast a hex while at 0 focus points in exchange for a drawback of some kind... a drawback that might be based on the patron selected. This would be a lot more like the patron themes from Blood of the Coven.

Dark Archive

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Bandw2 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.
I personally like how the patron is left completely unconnected. It allows for a lot more wiggle room and surprise. You can't be surprised you're working for a devil if you know your getting an ability only devil's provide.

I'd like a final setup where both options are possible, and *some* witches could be flat-out wrong (or quite deliberately misinformed...) about the true nature of their patron, while other witches, such as in Irrisen may have actually *met* (and be related to) their patron (Babs).

Leave room for both, if possible. I like the idea that *some* witches will be making pacts for power with entities that they don't really know all that well, and who may be lying to them about their true nature.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Set wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Let us know! That's the point of the playtest. Myself, I'll be pushing to make patrons more interesting and significant. It should mean something different if one witch has Baba Yaga as a patron, another has Nocticula, and another has Queen Abrogail.
I personally like how the patron is left completely unconnected. It allows for a lot more wiggle room and surprise. You can't be surprised you're working for a devil if you know your getting an ability only devil's provide.

I'd like a final setup where both options are possible, and *some* witches could be flat-out wrong (or quite deliberately misinformed...) about the true nature of their patron, while other witches, such as in Irrisen may have actually *met* (and be related to) their patron (Babs).

Leave room for both, if possible. I like the idea that *some* witches will be making pacts for power with entities that they don't really know all that well, and who may be lying to them about their true nature.

I think maybe they should give lessons rarity and make some uncommon with access provided by specific deities. that would leave me satisfied. the vast bulk of lessons shouldn't be tied to specific entities but be lessons on magic.


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So I'm jumping in to share my two cents. Patrons definitely need more fleshing out (and need a skill to be trained in) but I really like the flavor of at first level you learn your "First Lesson" and the mechanics of getting to pick and choose my Hexes. So what if we dropped the idea of having a single patron entirely, and think in terms of the various lessons you would learn in your Coven instead.

I'm actually thinking of borrowing from the PF1e Shaman a bit here, in terms of how a Patron would be described. The difference in game mechanics is that we shouldn't assume a Witch would only learn from a single coven member. While your First Lesson would be the most impactful and would have benefits only gained at level one, the Second Lesson, Greater Lesson and other feats would still let you pick up a Hex from another Patron.

As a side note, I personally wouldn't mind if we further borrow from the Shaman and let that first patron choice flavor your Familiar a bit. I like the extra ability points, but we need far more options if somebody were wanting to purchase up to 8 familiar or master abilities. At high levels I currently see all witch familiars being pretty similar to each other.

To pull all this together, how about updating the idea of the Maiden/Mother/Crone for a few patrons.

Patron: The Youth
First Lesson: You were initially inspired by a patron who embodies enthusiam, boldness, cunning and new beginnings. Your first patron encourages exploration and experimentation, even when such actions might be perceived as reckless. You have learned the traditions of Primal magic and are trained in the Nature skill.

Familars: Familiars granted by the Youth are young in both body and spirit, exibiting vigor and playfulness. They gain the <insert here> Familiar Ability.

Basic Lesson: Lesson of Deceipt
Greater Lesson: Lesson of Dreams
Major Lesson: Lesson of Renewal

Patron: The Protector
First Lesson: Your first patron was concerned with your safety and well being. They taught you the benefits of discipline and planning, though they may not have been the most kind-hearted of patrons. You have learned the traditions of Arcane magic and are trained in the Arcana skill.

Familars: Familiars granted by the Protector are strong and tough, often having been sent to guard against their master's folly. They gain the Bodyguard Familiar Ability.

Basic Lesson: Lesson of Protection
Greater Lesson: Lesson of <insert here>
Major Lesson: Lesson of Boundaries

Something along those lines could be really interesting. Your first patron gives you a fair amount of flavor for your character's background and explains why you were trained in certain magic traditions. A little bit of uniqueness to the familiar carries over as well. Let the various "Lesson" feats specify you may learn a lesson from any patron so you're not as locked in like you would be with a Diety and describe your collection of patrons as your "Coven".


I'm not really a fan of the idea of intrinsically tying the Witch to Covens, but I think it's a valid option.

Which is why I like the idea of keeping Patrons more open ended, so we can fit all these different variations on the theme inside them without making one player or another feel like they're being pigeonholed into a story they aren't as excited with.


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I'm personally in favor of making the patrons not specific entities, as a person who doesn't play in Golarion. I'd be cool with patrons being more mechanically involved, but I'd prefer if they were descriptive titles that could apply to a number of patrons like James suggested.

That said, i have a feeling that I'm in the minority when it comes to me not playing in Golarion.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Salamileg wrote:

I'm personally in favor of making the patrons not specific entities, as a person who doesn't play in Golarion. I'd be cool with patrons being more mechanically involved, but I'd prefer if they were descriptive titles that could apply to a number of patrons like James suggested.

That said, i have a feeling that I'm in the minority when it comes to me not playing in Golarion.

I don't either


I definitely like the idea a player might have a vague idea of this patron, but leave details to the GM, and perhaps figure it out later. Makes for good story hooks.


Gunna pop in and throw a "+1" for Patrons having a more mechanical effect.

Too, I support the following general sentiment:

Puna'chong wrote:

I personally like the idea of the familiar being as much (if not more) of an agent of the patron than of the witch, and the patron not necessarily being a friend or even a mentor. The witch could be a pawn who becomes more than the patron can handle. The patron could be in that role because of a desperate deal, with the familiar reminding the witch constantly of the debt they owe...

I think that flavor differentiates it from a deity, or a mystery, or a muse

General patrons and lessons are fine, but some more built-in freedom (even just a side bar) for players and DMs to make their own would be really cool. One witch's relationship with Baba Yaga might be totally different than another's. Each has the same patron but might receive totally different powers. Being able to represent that mechanically is something you could do with some build-a-patron guidelines

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