So... about our squishy spellbooks.


Witch Playtest

101 to 150 of 151 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

ChibiNyan wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Still amazed at how many people suggest to patch the issue rather than removing it.

This is a playtest, people. It's not set in stone, and we caught it. Good job. Now we have to stop trying to build a leaning tower over this and work out a real solution, or it'll eventually collapse.

Yep! Please no feats or items, the solution can easily be an automatic part of the rules as to not create a "tax", autopick feature or something new players have to learn for their class to actually function. Everything they need should be built in!

Part of the issue is with the base familiar and that's already baked into the system so it's not so simple as 'fixing the issue'. The further a solution is from the rules as they already are, the further the chances it'll be implemented. I'd LOVE to see familiars reworded but I don't foresee that as something the Dev's are interested in.

Of course we could tinker with how punishing losing a familiar is for a witch's spellcasting, but that's not really fixing anything but just changing the degree it's an issue [it doesn't stop sucking, it just sucks less]. This is why I suggested a feat as that's something the dev's wouldn't mind implementing and it allows players to decide what kind of risk they want to live with without trying to change the base familiar as those rules ARE already set in stone. I think getting a familiar that's useful as an actual independent sapient creature is beyond the scope of the witch class.

Now if we're talking about just removing the extra punishment for a dead familiar, that'd be great but doesn't touch the basic issue: active familiars are in danger of instant death and it's your spellbook. I don't see them removing the basic penalties for a losing your 'spell book' or the making a familiar stats dramatically different for the witch so it's always going to be in danger and it's always going to involve losing a 'spellbook'.


graystone wrote:


Now if we're talking about just removing the extra punishment for a dead familiar, that'd be great but doesn't touch the basic issue: active familiars are in danger of instant death and it's your spellbook. I don't see them removing the basic penalties for a losing your 'spell book' or the making a familiar stats dramatically different for the witch so it's always going to be in danger and it's always going to involve losing a 'spellbook'.

That is why I came to my "receptical of power" answer. Gives the witch a spell book proxy, a thematic place for the familiar to go when it dies and a place to store it in battle if necessary.

Puts them in the same rough ballpark as a wizard spell loss wise and doesn't require paizo to mess with the core familiar rules any more than the witch already does.

It also allows people to have familiars in mirrors, crystal balls and such. Which is something people have asked for.

Paizo Employee Designer

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Midnightoker wrote:

Am I the only one that's really hoping that the Familiar straight up works for the Patron, almost like a liaison of power to the Witch?

Like I actually sort of want the Familiar, in a way, to be more powerful than the Witch they serve or at least, not entirely subservient or without independence.

It might justify juicing them up a bit if they have a little autonomy of their own (though I'd like it to be rigidly codified so GM's can't just hijack a witch).

Idk that aspect of Witch to Familiar relationship having more than just "do as I say small cat!" is a really fun aspect that I haven't seen explored.

This is totally my personal vision of what's happening here, and so whatever happens with the final version of the class, I intend for this still to be an option.

As for the larger question of squishy spellbooks, I'm hearing you that your familiar being a required class feature but a separate creature causes certain problems, even if you're not taking unreasonable risks. We're having a similar conversation here in the office about how to address that. We think the familiar is heavily central to the witch class, so it's not going anywhere (and some of the variants like object familiars are probably going to appear in archetypes rather than the core class - check out the Magaambyan attendant archetype Mask Familiar feat in Lost Omens Character Guide for one example of what this might look like). And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it might be appropriate for Witch familiars to abandon their physical form upon death and return ~1 day later, nothing lost. The penalty might be more narrative driven than wrist-slappy. Like, a three strikes policy, or a geas from your patron in penance for your incompetence.

Or if a penalty is necessary, maybe it could be lost access to a random hex for a time, or a losing access to the last spell you cast.

I think witch familiars being immortal over the normal course of play isn't overwhelmingly powerful, and done right can be a stark, story-driven, point of contrast with other familiars


What if familiars are how Witches do metamagic? Something akin to the "Support" ability like animal companions have for their masters. You could spend an action to command the familiar -- which could then spend 1 or 2 actions to do a special activity that actively modifies the next spell cast by the witch. On the simplest end these could be reskinnings of existing metamagic (silent spell, reach spell, etc) or potentially new metamagic that lets the witch do thinks like impart an additional rider effect on a failed save or successful spell attack.

These familiar could access these support actions by taking unique familiar abilities accessible only by witches. They'd represent the patron giving the witch tips on the fly on how to adjust the spell.

It doesn't solve the squishy familiar problem, but could potentially give them a more active role in combat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lyz Liddell wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Am I the only one that's really hoping that the Familiar straight up works for the Patron, almost like a liaison of power to the Witch?

Like I actually sort of want the Familiar, in a way, to be more powerful than the Witch they serve or at least, not entirely subservient or without independence.

It might justify juicing them up a bit if they have a little autonomy of their own (though I'd like it to be rigidly codified so GM's can't just hijack a witch).

Idk that aspect of Witch to Familiar relationship having more than just "do as I say small cat!" is a really fun aspect that I haven't seen explored.

This is totally my personal vision of what's happening here, and so whatever happens with the final version of the class, I intend for this still to be an option.

As for the larger question of squishy spellbooks, I'm hearing you that your familiar being a required class feature but a separate creature causes certain problems, even if you're not taking unreasonable risks. We're having a similar conversation here in the office about how to address that. We think the familiar is heavily central to the witch class, so it's not going anywhere (and some of the variants like object familiars are probably going to appear in archetypes rather than the core class - check out the Magaambyan attendant archetype Mask Familiar feat in Lost Omens Character Guide for one example of what this might look like). And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.

Dope. :) You all are awesome!

The Exchange

cavernshark wrote:

What if familiars are how Witches do metamagic? Something akin to the "Support" ability like animal companions have for their masters. You could spend an action to command the familiar -- which could then spend 1 or 2 actions to do a special activity that actively modifies the next spell cast by the witch. On the simplest end these could be reskinnings of existing metamagic (silent spell, reach spell, etc) or potentially new metamagic that lets the witch do thinks like impart an additional rider effect on a failed save or successful spell attack.

These familiar could access these support actions by taking unique familiar abilities accessible only by witches. They'd represent the patron giving the witch tips on the fly on how to adjust the spell.

It doesn't solve the squishy familiar problem, but could potentially give them a more active role in combat.

I was just about to comment the same thing. I'd honestly rather the Witch's familiar not be a true familiar. Them not having any hp and instead being a conduit they use to enhance their spells would go a long way to setting them apart from other classes with familiars. Then you can do stuff like reflavor Reach Spell as their Deliver Touch Spell counterpart.

Either something like that or making them like a 1e Eidolon that can be resummoned after death with a Focus point or something of the sort with some minor penalty would feel a bit better. I'd also honestly prefer if they weren't these little creatures to begin with. I went Cartomancer in 1e because I liked the flavor of using a deck of harrow cards rather than a creature to commune with my Patron. Break the paradigm and let Witches commune with their Patrons in their own unique way.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lyz Liddell wrote:
And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.

Well, if the Witch's powers stem from their learning with/through the familiar (which by extension stems from the patron), shouldn't the avenue with which Witches DO ridiculous things be through their familiar? Just a thought.

And I do realize that you likely mean "ridiculous things" like "purposefully throwing the thing in front of a Fire Elemental and it surviving" level of ridiculous, but there should be incentive still for Witch familiars to do *great* things, at least at higher levels. Part of the fun of familiars in PF1 was that (even with their general unwieldiness in combat sometimes) they had their little moments just like their Witch did. I mean, if I have a character sheet for it, why wouldn't I want to have them be a part of the adventure?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maybe the witch could merge with the familiar (one being shared hit points best of the 2 saves) for a short time each day. That would add survivability to the familiar and creepiness to the witch (particularly if the familiar was a spider or bug). Limited time means it won't be all day, but a witch who was going into combat would have the option.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mechagamera wrote:
Maybe the witch could merge with the familiar (one being shared hit points best of the 2 saves) for a short time each day. That would add survivability to the familiar and creepiness to the witch (particularly if the familiar was a spider or bug). Limited time means it won't be all day, but a witch who was going into combat would have the option.

I like this concept a lot, but definitely as an archetype/class feat/optional thing instead of a built in class feature.

That's my take though, I just don't see all Witches wanting to become one with their familiar.

Sovereign Court

Lyz Liddell wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Am I the only one that's really hoping that the Familiar straight up works for the Patron, almost like a liaison of power to the Witch?

Like I actually sort of want the Familiar, in a way, to be more powerful than the Witch they serve or at least, not entirely subservient or without independence.

It might justify juicing them up a bit if they have a little autonomy of their own (though I'd like it to be rigidly codified so GM's can't just hijack a witch).

Idk that aspect of Witch to Familiar relationship having more than just "do as I say small cat!" is a really fun aspect that I haven't seen explored.

This is totally my personal vision of what's happening here, and so whatever happens with the final version of the class, I intend for this still to be an option.

As for the larger question of squishy spellbooks, I'm hearing you that your familiar being a required class feature but a separate creature causes certain problems, even if you're not taking unreasonable risks. We're having a similar conversation here in the office about how to address that. We think the familiar is heavily central to the witch class, so it's not going anywhere (and some of the variants like object familiars are probably going to appear in archetypes rather than the core class - check out the Magaambyan attendant archetype Mask Familiar feat in Lost Omens Character Guide for one example of what this might look like). And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.

What about allowing a tattoo familiar on the witch's body? That way it is always with the witch and doesn't take separate damage from a fireball. The witch can animate the Tattoo and allow it to form an ectoplasmic body for 1 minute per witch level per day if she wants to send it scouting or deliver spells. If it's ectoplasmic form is destroyed, it reappears on the witch's body as a tattoo again after a full night's sleep.


Lyz Liddell wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Am I the only one that's really hoping that the Familiar straight up works for the Patron, almost like a liaison of power to the Witch?

Like I actually sort of want the Familiar, in a way, to be more powerful than the Witch they serve or at least, not entirely subservient or without independence.

It might justify juicing them up a bit if they have a little autonomy of their own (though I'd like it to be rigidly codified so GM's can't just hijack a witch).

Idk that aspect of Witch to Familiar relationship having more than just "do as I say small cat!" is a really fun aspect that I haven't seen explored.

This is totally my personal vision of what's happening here, and so whatever happens with the final version of the class, I intend for this still to be an option.

As for the larger question of squishy spellbooks, I'm hearing you that your familiar being a required class feature but a separate creature causes certain problems, even if you're not taking unreasonable risks. We're having a similar conversation here in the office about how to address that. We think the familiar is heavily central to the witch class, so it's not going anywhere (and some of the variants like object familiars are probably going to appear in archetypes rather than the core class - check out the Magaambyan attendant archetype Mask Familiar feat in Lost Omens Character Guide for one example of what this might look like). And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.

Oh yeah that would be really cool if the witch familiar is indeed a patron's servant and not just the witch's pet. That would separate it a bit more from the wizard's familiar (particularly the wizard that took the familiar thesis).

It could be done by having a more powerful being but less easy to control. Like mechanically have a limited number of "plea" you can ask so the familiar acts. The effect could be a bit stronger than the normal familiar's one but balanced by a limited number. And a stronger being could be way tougher than a normal familiar (either by having more HP, better damage avoidance, DR or any combination) without being too good. I imagine the squishiness is mostly to avoid abusing the critter's powers (too easy scouting, abusing familiar touch spells, etc...) which would not be a problem if you are restricted in the number of "uses" of the familiar. You could slap on that nice feats like "bribing" the familiar to gain extra uses by paying power (like expanding a spell slot or focus point).
That would also allow to go a bit further in the familiar options without making it too good like having a feat so your familiar is a full caster using your own spell slots. You could thus ask them to cast for you at range but a limited number of time.

This option would both strengthen the theme of the familiar and allow for a more unique witch compared to a wizard (and also solve the currently discussed problem of having the familiar being too squishy).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Having the familiar be immortal and keep coming back every time they die with some disappointment in the Witch idea just reminds me of Hctib Elttil from LFG comics, and his insanity from going back and forth from the astral plane. And/Or Frumpkin in Critical Role "You lost me again huh? You suck at this, like a lot" and other such snark that might happen between player and GM. Also, the "mirror mirror on the wall" idea sounds super fun as a pokeball for your furry/scaly friend. I'm also glad Lyz as dropped in a few times and acknowledged that some things are genuinely screwy, and we all aren't just making a mountain out of a molehill that may or may not even be intentional in the first place


2 people marked this as a favorite.

OMG OMG

I don't know how I didn't bring this up earlier, but in light of the Mask Familiar feat, please let us have a way to have an animate tome or spellbook as a familiar. This needs to happen.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
cavernshark wrote:

OMG OMG

I don't know how I didn't bring this up earlier, but in light of the Mask Familiar feat, please let us have a way to have an animate tome or spellbook as a familiar. This needs to happen.

Agreed. Winifred Sanderson from Hocus Pocus was assuredly a Witch, and if anything was her familiar, it was the book.

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
BigHatMarisa wrote:
Lyz Liddell wrote:
And while we want there to be some incentive for you to not do ridiculous things with your familiar, we don't want it to be crippling, so we're working on some solutions here.
And I do realize that you likely mean "ridiculous things" like "purposefully throwing the thing in front of a Fire Elemental and it surviving" level of ridiculous, but there should be incentive still for Witch familiars to do *great* things, at least at higher levels.

Agreed! But a familiar is distinct from an animal companion or another combat-focused creature, so we want to avoid conflating those roles for the witch (again, as far as the core class is concerned).

Samurai wrote:
What about allowing a tattoo familiar on the witch's body? That way it is always with the witch and doesn't take separate damage from a fireball. The witch can animate the Tattoo and allow it to form an ectoplasmic body for 1 minute per witch level per day if she wants to send it scouting or deliver spells. If it's ectoplasmic form is destroyed, it reappears on the...

Given the prominence of tattoos among Varisians and other cultural groups, I'd be surprised if this doesn't show up as an option at some point.

nick1wasd wrote:
... I'm also glad Lyz as dropped in a few times and acknowledged that some things are genuinely screwy, and we all aren't just making a mountain out of a molehill that may or may not even be intentional in the first place

We're definitely seeing the issues you all have raised! It's been very useful feedback. I've read every post in the witch (and oracle) forums, and I just don't have the time to respond as often as I'd like. But I'm hearing you, and I appreciate the input you all have written up!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lyz Liddell wrote:


Samurai wrote:
What about allowing a tattoo familiar on the witch's body? That way it is always with the witch and doesn't take separate damage from a fireball. The witch can animate the Tattoo and allow it to form an ectoplasmic body for 1 minute per witch level per day if she wants to send it scouting or deliver spells. If it's ectoplasmic form is destroyed, it reappears on the...

Given the prominence of tattoos among Varisians and other cultural groups, I'd be surprised if this doesn't show up as an option at some point.

Does that mean I can play a version of Maui from Moana as a MCD Witch Barbarian/Ranger with his Tattoo as his familiar LOL

nice.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I like the suggestions of alternate familiars and special feats people have suggested here.

But I just want to echo what some people said earlier in the thread, that the Witch's familiar should be completely functional and without these issues on their own. It shouldn't be necessary to take archetypes or feats to solve a problem like this.

Sovereign Court

Squiggit wrote:

I like the suggestions of alternate familiars and special feats people have suggested here.

But I just want to echo what some people said earlier in the thread, that the Witch's familiar should be completely functional and without these issues on their own. It shouldn't be necessary to take archetypes or feats to solve a problem like this.

Well, in the CRB, it takes a week of downtime to get your familiar back and it costs nothing, That is a long time for a caster to loose the main benefit of his Path (Arcane Thesis, Druid Order, etc). It's even more crippling for the witch if she can't use her daily prep for a week. I think the APG should provide ways for all casters to regain their familiars faster, such as a rule that a familiar comes back after a 1 hour Find Familiar ritual that can either recreate the one that was lost or give a new familiar.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The familiar should be the one doing the Cackle. And get more powers based on magic with some being useful in combat, though not as a combatant itself (too close to a companion). The familiar abilities being partly dependent on the Patron would be a good way to strengthen the Patron's importance too.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Samurai wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

I like the suggestions of alternate familiars and special feats people have suggested here.

But I just want to echo what some people said earlier in the thread, that the Witch's familiar should be completely functional and without these issues on their own. It shouldn't be necessary to take archetypes or feats to solve a problem like this.

Well, in the CRB, it takes a week of downtime to get your familiar back and it costs nothing, That is a long time for a caster to loose the main benefit of his Path (Arcane Thesis, Druid Order, etc). It's even more crippling for the witch if she can't use her daily prep for a week. I think the APG should provide ways for all casters to regain their familiars faster, such as a rule that a familiar comes back after a 1 hour Find Familiar ritual that can either recreate the one that was lost or give a new familiar.

A ritual or feat perhaps. Regardless, a week of restricted casting might even be fine, as long as afterwards the witch regains all spells... equipment destruction is not a fun mechanic, as the 2e rules on Sunder have highlighted, and purchased spells are absolutely equipment.


For those talking about tattooed familiars.

That was literally the level 1 ability of the Tattooed Sorcerer archetype and Tattooed Mystic PrC.
So I can see that specific option being part of the Tattooed Mystic dedication.

However, making Synergist a default might not be bad with a few feats to get the more advanced benefits (everything past lv 1) of that archetype. That way its optional.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think of the familiar as being an independent creature, but as a projection of the witch. It has its own personality and free will, but it exists because of the witch. This is a bit like an Eidalon in reverse.

The first thing a patron teaches is how to create this being and how to bind it into an animal. The only spell a witch can prepare without a familiar is Bind Familiar. This means when a familiar is killed, the next day the witch prepares and casts Bind Familiar and is back in business. Finding a vessel (the right animal) is up to the witch. This could be tweaked for mirrors, crystals, etc.

This does nothing to stop the familiar from being so squishy, but it gets the familiar back on line more quickly. It does mean losing spells makes no sense.

What do folks think of lucky familiars? They always have Fortune for making saves, and attacks against them have Misfortune. It seems thematically right, and makes them tougher but not indestructible.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DougSeay wrote:

I don't think of the familiar as being an independent creature, but as a projection of the witch. It has its own personality and free will, but it exists because of the witch. This is a bit like an Eidalon in reverse.

The first thing a patron teaches is how to create this being and how to bind it into an animal. The only spell a witch can prepare without a familiar is Bind Familiar. This means when a familiar is killed, the next day the witch prepares and casts Bind Familiar and is back in business. Finding a vessel (the right animal) is up to the witch. This could be tweaked for mirrors, crystals, etc.

This does nothing to stop the familiar from being so squishy, but it gets the familiar back on line more quickly. It does mean losing spells makes no sense.

What do folks think of lucky familiars? They always have Fortune for making saves, and attacks against them have Misfortune. It seems thematically right, and makes them tougher but not indestructible.

I like both very much and the lucky familiar is extremely thematic.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I prefer that the familiar comes from the Patron as an independent entity, and I want it to be your spellbook, it's a really cool idea and I don't want to see it disappear for balance reasons, I would rather they just implemented some kind of mechanic to adjust how quickly you can get it back, or give it some benefit to make it sufficiently tough to survive adventuring (but not stupid decisions)

I actually really like the fortune/misfortune idea- they get a reroll when attacked or have to make a saving throw, so for instance, they can still die, but they have a much better chance of surviving.

I could also imagine a model where they just have a special rule that lets you bring them back if they do die much faster than the week of downtime- maybe a few hours of meditation? maybe it's a special ritual?

I could also imagine as I mentioned before, the idea that they can step into the ethereal plane at will on their turn (but they wouldn't be able to use familiar abilities from the ethereal plane), this is great if the chief concern is "the f@+# do I do to avoid losing it to dragon's breath in a fight with this dragon that is happening"


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well the current rule is that they come back the next day. The problem is that even thou they are back you have to wait the week to get back 60%+ of you spells; and you still lose 1 spell per witch/spell lv (that part I'm not exactly sure).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I prefer that the familiar comes from the Patron as an independent entity, and I want it to be your spellbook, it's a really cool idea and I don't want to see it disappear for balance reasons, I would rather they just implemented some kind of mechanic to adjust how quickly you can get it back, or give it some benefit to make it sufficiently tough to survive adventuring (but not stupid decisions)

I actually really like the fortune/misfortune idea- they get a reroll when attacked or have to make a saving throw, so for instance, they can still die, but they have a much better chance of surviving.

I could also imagine a model where they just have a special rule that lets you bring them back if they do die much faster than the week of downtime- maybe a few hours of meditation? maybe it's a special ritual?

Did you see my post earlier suggesting the Familiar be more of a supernatural creature acting as the vessel of the patron? I suggested it should have some limited powers of its own based on the Patron, and be something the Witch Summons when she makes the pact (mostly background flavor, but makes it clear the Familiar is a Summoned creature instead of a normal Familiar). If it dies, she can bring it back the next day as part of her morning preparations with a special ritual using components to do so based on highest spell level. I also suggested she should be able to Banish the Familiar at will as a free action, so she can take it out of danger immediately, but it takes a one minute ritual to Summon it back, so that Familiar is out of the fight, but at least its not dead.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
drakkonflye wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I prefer that the familiar comes from the Patron as an independent entity, and I want it to be your spellbook, it's a really cool idea and I don't want to see it disappear for balance reasons, I would rather they just implemented some kind of mechanic to adjust how quickly you can get it back, or give it some benefit to make it sufficiently tough to survive adventuring (but not stupid decisions)

I actually really like the fortune/misfortune idea- they get a reroll when attacked or have to make a saving throw, so for instance, they can still die, but they have a much better chance of surviving.

I could also imagine a model where they just have a special rule that lets you bring them back if they do die much faster than the week of downtime- maybe a few hours of meditation? maybe it's a special ritual?

Did you see my post earlier suggesting the Familiar be more of a supernatural creature acting as the vessel of the patron? I suggested it should have some limited powers of its own based on the Patron, and be something the Witch Summons when she makes the pact (mostly background flavor, but makes it clear the Familiar is a Summoned creature instead of a normal Familiar). If it dies, she can bring it back the next day as part of her morning preparations with a special ritual using components to do so based on highest spell level. I also suggested she should be able to Banish the Familiar at will as a free action, so she can take it out of danger immediately, but it takes a one minute ritual to Summon it back, so that Familiar is out of the fight, but at least its not dead.

I did, and if I understand how you mean (that the Familiar is actually a creature created by the pact, otherwise I'm not sure what the different is) then I would prefer for the familiar to be a regular spirit- the important thing to me is that it has it's own personality and agenda, I don't want the Witches familiar to be something completely mastered by the Witch. I want it to be a (potentially uneasy) partnership.


The Raven Black wrote:
DougSeay wrote:

I don't think of the familiar as being an independent creature, but as a projection of the witch. It has its own personality and free will, but it exists because of the witch. This is a bit like an Eidalon in reverse.

The first thing a patron teaches is how to create this being and how to bind it into an animal. The only spell a witch can prepare without a familiar is Bind Familiar. This means when a familiar is killed, the next day the witch prepares and casts Bind Familiar and is back in business. Finding a vessel (the right animal) is up to the witch. This could be tweaked for mirrors, crystals, etc.

This does nothing to stop the familiar from being so squishy, but it gets the familiar back on line more quickly. It does mean losing spells makes no sense.

What do folks think of lucky familiars? They always have Fortune for making saves, and attacks against them have Misfortune. It seems thematically right, and makes them tougher but not indestructible.

I like both very much and the lucky familiar is extremely thematic.

I agree, great ideas!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I did, and if I understand how you mean (that the Familiar is actually a creature created by the pact, otherwise I'm not sure what the different is) then I would prefer for the familiar to be a regular spirit- the important thing to me is that it has it's own personality and agenda, I don't want the Witches familiar to be something completely mastered by the...

No, not an agent created by the pact, but a servitor of the Patron acting as its emissary and sent to forge an alliance with the Witch. The Familiar acts as the Witch's mentor and a vessel for the Patron's power, but it definitely has its own personality. Someone compared the Familiar to Sabrina's cat Salem, and I assume they meant the Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, but I would be more inclined to compare it to the Salem of the Netflix Sabrina; it's a supernatural being that takes the form of this animal but is far more intelligent, sent to the Witch by some mysterious Patron to guide her in her studies. It might choose to be her friend, might be spying on her for the Patron, might even BE the Patron taking an unassuming form to use the Witch to further its own goals. Anyway you look at it, this Familiar is not your standard Familiar and should be more supernatural in its own nature. Hence why I suggested is be treated more like a Summoned creature than a normal Familiar


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
drakkonflye wrote:


No, not an agent created by the pact, but a servitor of the Patron acting as its emissary and sent to forge an alliance with the Witch. The Familiar acts as the Witch's mentor and a vessel for the Patron's power, but it definitely has its own personality. Someone compared the Familiar to Sabrina's cat Salem, and I assume they meant the Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, but I would be more inclined to compare it to the Salem of the Netflix Sabrina; it's a supernatural being that takes the form of this animal but is far more intelligent, sent to the Witch by some mysterious Patron to guide her in her studies. It might choose to be her friend, might be spying on her for the Patron, might even BE the Patron taking an unassuming form to use the Witch to further its own goals. Anyway you look at it, this Familiar is not your standard Familiar and should be more supernatural in its own nature. Hence why I suggested is be treated more like a Summoned creature than a normal Familiar

ah you're not advocating for changing the story of the familiar, but for changing its mechanics away from the standard familiar ones- eh, i think it works well as a familiar simply because the familiar abilities like spell battery and refocusing and such are pretty ideal for the Witch and compliment it well. I don't think we need to go that far to make the familiar less likely to die.


Samurai wrote:
graystone wrote:

My suggestion:

Stone Familiar: Witch Feat 1
In a 10 min ritual the witch turns her familiar into a stone statue. The familiar in this form is treated like an intelligent Object instead of a Creature. The familiar in stone form is immobile so no movement powers work but other abilities work normally. In stone form they are not counted as living creatures and therefor immune to things that living beings requires like breathing, drinking, bleeding, ect. The effect lasts until the ritual is used again or the witch prepares for another day.

This allows a witch to decide if/when and where they want to risk a mobile creature if they want it at all. When they don't, it's the equivalent of a wizards spellbook.

That could work, but I like the idea of turning your familiar into a tattoo on the witch's body better. Then it can never get lost or stolen, it's literally part of the witch herself. The witch and familiar could still mentally communicate with each other, but in order to get out and do stuff the familiar is also able to emerge from the witch and form a body of it's own for a little wile (I suggested 1 minute per level of the witch per day Then back to tattoo form. Same if the familiar dies, it just reappears as the tattoo.

I love the idea of witches having the option to have their familiar out and about or stashed as a tattoo or weird birthmark or a small pendent that appears to have negligible worth.

If it is “killed” while out and about, it reverts to being a tattoo or whatever for a few days and the witch can only prepare and use the spells it had prepped the day the familiar died.


Again tattoo (and tumor) familiars are a weird one given their previously exclusive nature. Those might work better as part of a dedication than as part of the witch itself.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wish for a familiar snugly nestled within the Witch's mind and that they can manifest in the real world when the familiar needs to come out and play.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Temperans wrote:
Again tattoo (and tumor) familiars are a weird one given their previously exclusive nature. Those might work better as part of a dedication than as part of the witch itself.

Then we still have spellbooks that can die and essentially screw a character massively. Witches are encouraged to utilize their familiars (they get extra powers, etc.), yet they have a very high chance of being penalized for using their class features.

Making it a dedication or archetype makes that archetype almost a “duh” choice due to how damaging a familiar dying is.


But making it a witch exclusive would also go against Sorcerer and Alchemist who would naturally get them previously. Making it so its a dedication with some extra relevant feats, like tattoo spells, would make it available to all caster.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was thinking about witches and Patrons and Pacts...

What if the familiar could 'draw upon' their master for a given scene/combat (doing a point of ability damage to an appropriate physical ability) to gain temporary invulnerability to damage for that scene/combat?

That'd mitigate at least some of the squishiness, and it'd also argue against risking the familiar too much, because if the familiar got captured, then enterprising sorts could just keep beating on it until the witch is dead or in dire straits?

Alternatively, what if a Witch is in danger of losing their familiar and they can voluntarily take a Doomed condition to mitigate all damage to said familiar for a given scene/combat, which can only be cleared by rest and the daily prep cycle?

Very thematic, I'd think?


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Very thematic, I'd think?

Maybe, but wizards are going to look and wonder why they can't do something similar:

Improved Familiar Attunement "You’ve long held that fine-tuning the magic that bonds wizard and familiar can improve the mystic connection, compared to the safe yet generic bond most wizards currently use."

Devils advocate: Why does a witch get to protect their familiar/spellbooks when wizards can't with their familiar/Bonded Item. "'draw upon' their master" and 'draw upon your fine-tuned magic bond' are both thematic.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Due to the fact that the familiar is there as part of a contract with a Greater Power/Patron whereas most of the other class stuff from my limited experience is casters playing fantasy Pokemon?


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Due to the fact that the familiar is there as part of a contract with a Greater Power/Patron whereas most of the other class stuff from my limited experience is casters playing fantasy Pokemon?

"Familiars are mystically bonded creatures tied to your magic. Most familiars were originally animals, though the ritual of becoming a familiar makes them something more."

Nothing in the witch class makes it's familiar any more or less "mystically bonded": If a witch can 'draw upon' their master, a wizard should be able to 'draw upon' their mystic bond. Both familiars are "tied to your magic": just because the patron can use the familiar as a cell phone doesn't mean it should get exclusive access to a 'get out of jail free card' when there are classes that have subclass that focuses on familiars.

So IMO, your idea it thematic for all familiar users and giving it just to witches would feel unfair to those classes that opted to focus on familiars.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Due to the fact that the familiar is there as part of a contract with a Greater Power/Patron whereas most of the other class stuff from my limited experience is casters playing fantasy Pokemon?

"Familiars are mystically bonded creatures tied to your magic. Most familiars were originally animals, though the ritual of becoming a familiar makes them something more."

Nothing in the witch class makes it's familiar any more or less "mystically bonded": If a witch can 'draw upon' their master, a wizard should be able to 'draw upon' their mystic bond. Both familiars are "tied to your magic": just because the patron can use the familiar as a cell phone doesn't mean it should get exclusive access to a 'get out of jail free card' when there are classes that have subclass that focuses on familiars.

So IMO, your idea it thematic for all familiar users and giving it just to witches would feel unfair to those classes that opted to focus on familiars.

But those classes do not use their familiar as the repository of their spells.

This is why the Witch's familiar requires special protections, but it can also be the reason why it does get those protections whatever they are.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I think there are two separate issues here. The first being that a Witch's familiar is an unnecessary liability.

But also the broader issue about how fragile and dubiously useful familiars are in general.

The former is more immediately problematic, but the latter is still something I'd like to see Paizo address generally too and it'd be kind of frustrating if meaningful familiar support ends up being witch only.


Squiggit wrote:

I think there are two separate issues here. The first being that a Witch's familiar is an unnecessary liability.

But also the broader issue about how fragile and dubiously useful familiars are in general.

The former is more immediately problematic, but the latter is still something I'd like to see Paizo address generally too and it'd be kind of frustrating if meaningful familiar support ends up being witch only.

Yes, Familiars are a liability that will likely keep me from playing a Witch until that's solved. (AoEs happen, among other things.)

If the solution is an item/feat/etc. where the Witch otherwise keeps the abilities from a Familiar, it becomes a "must-have" which goes against a PF2 design ethic.
So the solution somehow has to deny you the advantages & disadvantages together and that leads in four directions (that I see):
-Vanilla Familiars who had to invest totally in defense which ties into your second problem, making neither side happy.
-Familiars as intelligent items, or essentially items. Given the extensive lore of Witches interacting w/ items, both speaking and not, I see this as a win-win Witch option, though that still leaves those wanting active Familiars in the lurch.
-Witch's Familiars as simply better intrinsically. Mechanically so much rides on keeping them alive so lessen the risk to nil. But that draws into issues vs. a Wizard w/ a Familiar Thesis which should be comparable, shouldn't it?
-Or alter the mechanics so all those eggs aren't in the Familiar's basket. Sure the familiar might be a conduit to a Witch's spells, but must it be the only one, or merely the most convenient one? Maybe some sort of strain's involved or time, skill rolls, offerings, or whatnot. Maybe even a Ritual for either the spells or a quicker return of the Familiar.

We'll see, I guess.


The Raven Black wrote:
But those classes do not use their familiar as the repository of their spells.

Not true: #1 Any familiar can take Cantrip Connection and #2 we're talking about what's thematic and what makes sense, not necessarily what's 'fair'.

The Raven Black wrote:
This is why the Witch's familiar requires special protections, but it can also be the reason why it does get those protections whatever they are.

It might be a good argument for why you think a witch should get it but why is it a good argument all other familiars SHOULDN'T get it?

Sovereign Court

What if the familiar was the one using the hexes/focus spells and then that was the only thing that disappeared when it died? That way the witch can still use and prepare their spells, they only lose their hexes and makes the familiar more supernatural and its own thing compared to other familiars.


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

For one thing, unless I'm mistaken, you get a replacement familiar the next daily preparation. It has some limitations on brand new familiars however, and begins with less spells, and the provision they are supposed to randomly lose one spell of each level in these cases when they die.

They start with cantrips, and one spell per other level. One thing that might make that more tolerable, would be rather than having only one random spell per level for the first week, would be to have them begin to slowly remember an additional cantrip, and other spell each new morning until the week is over, at which any remaining spells other than lost spells return. You could also have the lesson spells automatically added to the list of spells they familiar comes back knowing the first morning, without using up one of the spells per spell level.

Additionally, if you don't make the spells be completely random to come back, allowing the witch to select the one they want. However, have them make a flat check needing a 5 or higher, or any chosen spell is unavailable to be added to the familiar's list that day, they need to choose another and roll for it. The lost spell is the last available spell of that level, or after a week, randomly one of the remaining spells for that level. Lost spells can be regained by the familiar consuming a scroll or other token created by the Witch's past Learn a Spell Activity. Actually, although it would take an hour per spell, the witch and familiar could begin re-learning all their spells the first day.

I'll admit, I worry about making the lose of the familiar too unimpactful, since wizards can be shattered by the loss of their spellbook which can be easily destroyed by fire or other area effects if it gets left unattended or gets lost or targeted. Granted, a wizard can have a backup spellbook with however many of their spells inscribed in it and be back to that point immediately, where the familiar would need to re-learn spells that were recorded for it to re-learn/re-acquire.

Something I find fascinating, is that a Witch can as far as I can tell, use another Witch's familiar to cast spells not know by the Witch's own familiar if they show up on the tradition's spell list. But unless I'm mistaken, the Witch doesn't know the spell, they just have it memorized. They wouldn't themselves, be able to then teach it to their own familiar.

I also find it interesting to note, that it seems witches can choose to store potion recopies in a tome, or in their familiar. Both being subject to normal ways of being lost, for both choices. The way I read it, it even seems to imply that they could choose to store some in a book and others in their familiar if they wanted to.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
But those classes do not use their familiar as the repository of their spells.
Not true: #1 Any familiar can take Cantrip Connection and #2 we're talking about what's thematic and what makes sense, not necessarily what's 'fair'.

Thank you for mentioning Cantrips Connection. I had not seen it yet.

I still think it is different, because it is something that is chosen and not forced on the whole Class. Also the impact when the familiar is no longer here is far less severe.
Not to mention that the Witch can take it too.

On the second point, I think "fair" is a very important part of what we are debating here. The whole thread started because of the impact that losing the familiar has on the ability of the Witch to contribute to the game. It is a matter of fun at the table. And "fair" is important for fun. Because something that feels unfair soon becomes unfun.

Quote:
The Raven Black wrote:
This is why the Witch's familiar requires special protections, but it can also be the reason why it does get those protections whatever they are.
It might be a good argument for why you think a witch should get it but why is it a good argument all other familiars SHOULDN'T get it?

I just realized that this argument is about it being not "fair" to other casters who would focus on the familiar ;-)

Two things here.

First is I think we should not restrict the Witch to what is available to casters with familiars in the CRB. Because I sure hope we will get more content for those who love their familiars and Companions.

Second, we can easily imagine a feat available to all with familiars but that is immediately of great benefits for the Witch. Like, say, a feat that would give a bonus to the familiar's continued survival with a value based on the highest spell slot it "carries" for their master. Immediate benefit for the Witch who should likely get it as a class feature. And of help for future abilities that would help other casters intent on using their familiar as a spell battery.
It could even be a part of the Witch MC dedication.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ellias Aubec wrote:
What if the familiar was the one using the hexes/focus spells and then that was the only thing that disappeared when it died? That way the witch can still use and prepare their spells, they only lose their hexes and makes the familiar more supernatural and its own thing compared to other familiars.

Since being able to cast hexes all day long is mentioned so often as the greatest thing in playing a PF1 Witch, I do not think curtailing it this way in PF2 will be more palatable than losing the spells.


I still like the idea of Hexes functioning as a "Bardic Music" of sorts for the Familiar while it is sustained on an enemy.

Then sprinkle on a free few of the Master/Familiar abilities as an innate bonus.

That way Paizo can leave the rules for familiars pretty much as is, and Familiars can gain a lot of viability as long as the Witch is actively engaging with an enemy.


The Raven Black wrote:
First is I think we should not restrict the Witch to what is available to casters with familiars in the CRB. Because I sure hope we will get more content for those who love their familiars and Companions.

I look at it from the other side: If we're going to fix familiars, why only do it for one class? Just because it more pronounced in the witch, doesn't mean it's not an issue with all familiars. A witch only solution make it much less likely that anything will be done for others.

The Raven Black wrote:
Second, we can easily imagine a feat available to all with familiars but that is immediately of great benefits for the Witch.

I'd be fine with this but I wouldn't want it to be part of the Witch MC dedication as that forces any familiar user into a single path for familiar survival, making everyone with a familiar a witch in the end.

101 to 150 of 151 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest / Witch Playtest / So... about our squishy spellbooks. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.