A Somewhat Extreme Possibility-


Witch Playtest


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

So, I was picking over the Witch, when a notion occurred to me. A massive, "oh god why?" rework, in fact, but one that addresses some of the things that have left me scratching my head.

I don't know that I like witches being prepared spellcasters.
I don't know that I like them being spellcasters in the Pathfinder RPG sense at all.

What if we coded them to be ritual casters (requiring the presence of their familiar for their patron to provide the figurative "juice") with a wide array of Hex options, some of which are at-will? I mean, mechanically that's an utterly insane rework that involves going scorched earth on the whole notion of the class as it has existed, but... the more I pick at them, the more I think it would help them distinguish themselves as gaining their magic in a fundamentally different way from the others.

I dunno. Probably not workable, and a definite design headache to even contemplate, but... the way the new multiclassing system works, you could address a wider array of folk magic traditions than you could before.


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I agree. Witch should be more different from wizard. Studying ritual magic but never has the talent to memorize spells will be a good reason why a smart person try to link with a patron.

I always think the familiar is bond to the patron first, and only share its power with the witch. it should fit with the witch concept well.

And we can have a scene in The Princess and the Frog when the patron find out the witch can not pay back. Hahahaha! Firends...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

this sounds suspiciously like a 5e warlock.

note: that's not necessarily a bad thing, but i doubt they'd want to make such a comparison with 5e


I'd be fine with dropping spellcasting in exchange for going hog-wild with hexes. My 1e witch is like that. They've got a spell saving DC of something like 14 (plus spell level) at level 4. Yes, its that bad. Because I went all-in on the things that either don't care about saving throws or where a successful saving throw is still a pinata.

Things like Evil Eye, Protective Luck, and Healing Hex.


It could be like the Witch is the Alchemist to Ritual Spells. There are features and feats that improve their abilities to make them better at rituals and have feats that give you Hexes.


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

I mean... it would be a radical departure from the existing 1st edition chassis... but I don't know anyone who picked a Witch for the spells.

My anecdotal sample size is all about Hex appeal.


A ritual caster who relies on focus spells is what I've drafted up for a 2e occultist homebrew, incidentally. I think it's a fun concept but my own anecdotal experience from having two witches and a shaman at my table in 1e is that people also like having the flexibility that a full spell list provides on top of the raw hex power

Silver Crusade

Cole Deschain wrote:

I mean... it would be a radical departure from the existing 1st edition chassis... but I don't know anyone who picked a Witch for the spells.

My anecdotal sample size is all about Hex appeal.

Me and a few players I know did, Arcane but with healing/debuff removal was really appealing.

The Hexes were just icing :3


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I prefer the "rituals, and is *really great* at focus spells, but no spell slots" to be the domain of the Occultist. The Witch is a prepared spellcaster now, because it was a prepared spellcaster in PF1. I didn't like it then, but I think continuity matters at least a little.

Sovereign Court

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Bandw2 wrote:

this sounds suspiciously like a 5e warlock.

note: that's not necessarily a bad thing, but i doubt they'd want to make such a comparison with 5e

I've already created a Warlock for PF2e, you can check it out and see how you think it could work as a witch or be added to the witch. They get a Patron that provides spells and abilities too, just like the witch. That said, I do kind of like the witch being a "Ritual specialist".

Even if it isn't their only thing, it should be part of the witch class. Maybe a bonus when casting rituals, or a reduction in the time, expense, and cost. If Alchemists can make elixirs and eventually potions for
free, no reason the witch can't get something similar when casting rituals.

Sovereign Court

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I prefer the "rituals, and is *really great* at focus spells, but no spell slots" to be the domain of the Occultist. The Witch is a prepared spellcaster now, because it was a prepared spellcaster in PF1. I didn't like it then, but I think continuity matters at least a little.

In this case, I think continuity is just being stuck in the past. "This is the way it has always been done." Well, PF2 is a new game system, so no reason not to look at what was done before for ideas, but re-examine them to see if they can't be improved with the new edition.

For instance, Hexes used to be at will powers that often then made the specific target immune for a day. If they are going to change them into focus powers that are limited to a few times per day, there is no real need to keep the "immune for a day" rider that limited the at will powers from before.

Similarly, before they were prepared casters. But the lore for Pathfinder witches is much closer to spontaneous casting. They can't bug their patron to change their spells every day, that is a downtime thing involving rituals and such, imploring them to change what the Familiar grants. The witch isn't in change here the way a wizard is pouring through his spellbooks. She receives what her patron provides, and is not able to make changes on a whim, especially if they don't even know who the patron is. And one more up-side to being spontaneous casters is that it is a bit of a callback to "at will" powers. True, it's not entirely at will, but if a spontaneous caster knows a spell, they can cast it as long as they have slots instead of forgetting the spell once it is cast. I really think this switch needs to be made for 2nd edition.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Samurai wrote:
She receives what her patron provides, and is not able to make changes on a whim, especially if they don't even know who the patron is.

This isn't accurate at all. Witches can freely learn extra spells on their own.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think it's too radical a departure from the core vision of the designers, this book is coming out to us in 7 months, and it has to go to the printers before that. Trying an overhaul like this would be a recipe for disaster.

Sovereign Court

Squiggit wrote:
Samurai wrote:
She receives what her patron provides, and is not able to make changes on a whim, especially if they don't even know who the patron is.
This isn't accurate at all. Witches can freely learn extra spells on their own.

Effectively, the GM is her patron. If the GM provides another witch for the familiar to befriend, and that witch uses spells that the PC witch could use, the patron has mystically brought the 2 witches together so the familiars can learn from each other. Same if the patron/GM allows the witch to find a scroll for the familiar to eat.

Sovereign Court

The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I think it's too radical a departure from the core vision of the designers, this book is coming out to us in 7 months, and it has to go to the printers before that. Trying an overhaul like this would be a recipe for disaster.

I don't see how using the same key abilities as the core book instead of changing them all to Int is a radical change needing 7 months of playtesting. In fact, I think changing the all to Int is the big change that needs more playtesting. For instance, take a Primal witch. She needs to use the Nature skill to do stuff with her spell list, including the "learn a spell" ability. What if Wisdon is not a good skill for her because she saw "Int is your key ability" and so made Wisdom her dump stat?. Oops! Do we now change the definition of the Learn a spell skill use on pg 238 of the core rules? Keeping things according to the rules as established unless there is a reason for the change makes the most sense. And I see no reason for this change to "all Int for every spell list", especially when literature, media, and history provide plenty of examples of wise witches and charismatic witches.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I think it's too radical a departure from the core vision of the designers, this book is coming out to us in 7 months, and it has to go to the printers before that. Trying an overhaul like this would be a recipe for disaster.

As the OP, I essentially believe this statement is true.

But at the same time... something to toss out there.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Very cool concept. As it stands, the Witch is not very distinct at all from the CRB casters. This would definitely give them something much more unique to call their own.

Wish something like this could happen. I doubt it will.


Cole Deschain wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I think it's too radical a departure from the core vision of the designers, this book is coming out to us in 7 months, and it has to go to the printers before that. Trying an overhaul like this would be a recipe for disaster.

As the OP, I essentially believe this statement is true.

But at the same time... something to toss out there.

I'll remind you of the Alchemist. While a pure focus caster or something is neat, it's not going to be the Witch.

I do think a cantrip focus based setup has potential for translating over Occultist, Kineticist, and such though down the line (in fact, I think Kineticists map quite nicely to focus cantrips and metamagic in particular) and that we'll absolutely see a class more devoted to that eventually.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I think it's too radical a departure from the core vision of the designers, this book is coming out to us in 7 months, and it has to go to the printers before that. Trying an overhaul like this would be a recipe for disaster.

As I recall from the core rulebook playtest, the playtest contents represent the most radical change that they are considering. Their options are to tweak what they did or dial it back, but certainly not to make it more complicated.


Personally, I could see something like this for if the Summoner class returns. By not having actual spells, the class could put more focus/power into the Eidolon and any magical ability they really needed could be turned into focus spells. Not to mention it would be highly thematic for the class to focus more on rituals and it wouldn't suffer too much in combat as a result due to the power of the Eidolon.


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I wouldn’t mind if summoners “spellcasting” was a divine font like ability that allowed them to cast any summoning spell, that they could also spend to heal their eidolon.


Charon Onozuka wrote:
Personally, I could see something like this for if the Summoner class returns. By not having actual spells, the class could put more focus/power into the Eidolon and any magical ability they really needed could be turned into focus spells. Not to mention it would be highly thematic for the class to focus more on rituals and it wouldn't suffer too much in combat as a result due to the power of the Eidolon.

Absolutely. Give the summoner spellcasting of a tradition but no spell slots. So they can use wands and scrolls, they can use focus spells to bring out/support summons, and they have a unique ritual for their eidolon.

But Witch should have spell slots. I like them covering the pick a tradition prepared caster, it's appropriate as the patrons can be of different sources much like bloodlines. And it mechanically means the hole is filled for occult prepared caster, which reduces burdens future books need to carry?

I do think they need a bit more hexiness to their flavor. Possibly either through cantrip hexes so they hex more often, other abilities to stretch their focus points (moving a hex to a new target if it dies, spreading it, etc), or just getting bonuses to hex-like spells.

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