Looking for help for Cartomancer Witch Gestalt


Advice


Hey folks! So I really wanted to do something with the Cartomancer Witch Archetype, because cards are hella cool. I think my current idea for a basic backstory would be a fairly young human who does fake harrowed readings, because I was thinking about how some people really charge for irl tarot readings that are defo scams. I think from my skimming (and do correct me if I'm wrong), is that to do actual Harrows with actual effects you'd need some kind of spell or innate magic stuff. Since witches get their magic from their patron I was thinking to play on that idea. Or that Cartomancers don't really have built in stuff with the Harrow readings/card effects specifically, so that even he doesn't really know the 'proper' way to do it and is just making it up (he just came up with his own system similar to how there are many different tarot spreads).

So for some reason or another he's finding himself living out alone, perhaps to prove himself. Except he can't, he's stuck. And, desperate for money so he can actually survive, he decides to get this little thing set up to do fake readings for good luck and fortune and whatever for a little bit of money, because they're harmless enough and it makes people happy and intrigued. this probably goes on for some years. but eventually for some reason I have yet to figure out a patron/deity notices him and it starts actually having legit effects (Fortune or misfortune hex, soothsayer, etc) to which he's like "oh s$*& that's really freaking weird but also that's kinda cool because now I can legit help people and actually do something with my life" and all that.

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That was my idea for my Cartomancer Witch character, which I wanted to use joining a group. I got thrown off course though when I learned that they were using the gestalt system, which was a whole thing of explaining to me how that worked.

So I've been thinking about what to Gestalt my Cartomancer Witch with, but have been absolutely stumped between flavour and like, actually being useful. Doesn't help I'm new to Pathfinder, so I don't know all of the classes, archetypes and little effects that might pair well. I would love some ideas.

It's a 25 point buy system, "Elephant in the Room" feat tax changes, and some 3PP stuff is allowed.

Bard might be fun because it would tie in with how he 'Performed' fake readings, he'd have a decent charisma to bluff and diplomacy people from all of it. I also like the support aspects of a bard's abilities. I'd probably choose one of the subclasses that lets me use Perform (Act) for some of the bardic performances, though the idea of doing acting to give buffs is kinda of something I can't imagine seriously. And there's the issue of having to up Charisma as a stat as well for bard spells, competing with Int for my Witch, Dex for card tossing and Con for survivability.

Another idea is simply Fighter. All the bonus feats seems awesome so I can grab more hexes and buff my card's throwing abilities, I think I could get Focused Weapon to even make my cards do more damage if I'm not casting. And I won't have to worry about a different stat. Armor Master seems a bit wasted though if I'll be going Light Armor. It's not a particularly charismatic kind of class that adds a ton of flavour though, and I'd miss not having some class skills like Bluff.

I know Card Caster Magus is the obvious one, but something about it is like not quite clicking with me. I think I'm a bit scared of managing two separate spell lists with separate class feature effects since Magus has a lot of stuff that is for their spells specifically and stuff to throw in for attacks and, and I guess I'm just confused.

Again, I'd love any ideas on what might be fun. Thanks!


Throwing wants so many feats (more than any other weapon style) that you pretty much have to take something with a lot of bonus feats. Fighter isn't the only option there though; slayer, ranger, rogue, monk with the far strike archetype, ninja, vigilante, even nature fang druid could give you the feats you need. Rogue sounds like the easiest match on flavour.

There are traits or feats which allow you to use intelligence for social skills, e.g. clever wordplay.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For gestalt you could go with something like Monk of the Empty hand to get flurry of blows with your thrown cards. Then cast a spell which allows multiple touch attacks (e.g. Chill Touch) and use flurry to deliver multiple 'touches' per round. Something similar could be done with any high BAB class.

Cartomancer could multiclass in to Harrower if you prefer those abilities or character flavor to hexes.

Goliath Druid would give you another set of spells (which you should be able to use Cartomancer touch spell delivery with) and allow you to increase several size categories... which should increase the damage die of thrown cards.

Rogue along with various spells to hide would allow you to get sneak attack most of the time for a significant damage boost.

Gloves of Arcane Striking and a Deck of Silvering Fate can also significantly increase damage done (along with creating an AoE effect).


Thanks folks. I had a talk with someone else too (as I asked this question a few places, because I want lots of opinions), who suggested I pick up the Card Caster Magus instead if I wanted to fling cards and do spells too, since I can then actually do damage with them and use a spell simultaneously and then there's better synergy with say, a Ninja for a ton of class skills. Though I don't like the flavour of the Magus as much as the Witch since I'm fond of patrons and hexes, which makes me realise I may need to rethink how I'm going into this.

In my head I realise I've been trying to do too many things at once, I want the flavour of a Witch's patron, the support they can provide with their spells and hexes, but then I also want to be a semi-face with skills like Bluff and maybe Perform, but then I *also* want to toss cards around. That's a lot of different facets of a character and I'm going to go deep into the 'master of none' categories if I keep that up.

If I wanted to fling cards around more, perhaps a Card Caster Magus would be my best bet. I was politely reminded that if I did say, Witch/Fighter, I could only do one thing at a time, cast a spell/hex or do damage with a card, effectively being one class per turn in a sense.

But maybe I should slow myself down and remember what my initial goal was before I got overwhelmed by the Gestalt system. A Cartomancer Witch was simply something I got massively interested in because of the fun flavour of a Witch patron, the support of hex and spells from the Witch's list, while replacing familiars (which I didn't want for this character) to *once in a while* using cards to deliver touch spells.

I think maybe I should not focus so much on trying to buff the card damage itself. It would be good to increase the accuracy of them so I can land my ranged-touch attacks reliably, but I was getting tunnel visioned on buffing the base damage of them to the point it would have been better to go Magus. Which maybe I will, I don't know, I haven't decided yet.

All in all I think my brain might be about to fry. What I want for flavour isn't matching what I can do mechanically. I might be cheeky, and ask about the possibility of using CHA as a casting stat instead of INT (like the seducer witch, but without... the themes of it) so I can go for a Cartomancer/Bard which I think fits perfectly for what I wnat thematically.

In the meantime I might have to bite the bullet and look at other Int classes and just learn to manage multiple spell lists, or go for a Card Magus with Ninja/Rogue.

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EDIT: I think a solution, for me, has been found. Seducer Witch is way too uncomfortable, but some 3PP is allowed, and I'm allowed to use the Feytouched Hexer, which thankfully doesn't seem to clash with Cartomancer. This gives me Charisma casting stat, spontaneous casting (which is nice for my pea sized brain), and some fun flavour with Fae because Fae are neat. This will let me Gestalt easier with Bard which will definitely give me the flavour I want for an ex-con artist and performances with the harrow card readings. I might get really feat starved though because I'd want things to buff my throwing accuracy, things to get me more hexes, and then things to buff my performance. That's the main concern.

However that's just for my specific character flavour, and I'd still be interested in hearing ideas for other Cartomancer gestalt ideas in case I change my mind.


Most full casting classes only have a good Will save, so pick something that has good Fort and Reflex saves.

Slayer is a beautifully crafted class that offers full BAB, Ranger Combat Style feats, Sneak Attack, and Rogue Talents... combined with the casting class of your choice.

Brawler is another good choice for gestalting with full caster classes for similar reasons.

While not full BAB, the Alchemist fixes your saves, and gives you the ability to throw Bombs and cards, or exploding cards... if you play your cards right.


In general, magus isn’t good for gestalt. It’s already a pretty self-sufficient class that can easily use up all of its actions every round. The “best” gestalt combos give you more or better actions every round than either class would have alone.

I’d combine the cartomancer with a far strike monk. Built in range increases are great, and you also get some good bonus feats. And both classes work well without armor.


Since 3rd party material is allowed, see if you can grab Kung Fu Genius from DnD3.5, literally converts the Monk into an Intelligence based class.

Absolutely go with the Far-Strike Monk and the rest builds itself.

It's not at all overpowered, so that should be in your favor as far as GM approval.

You'll be the best Marvel X-Men Gambit, ever, but not nearly as overwhelming as gestalt can get.

At my table, I would allow you to take Kung Fu Genius, and gestalt Far-Strike Monk with the Cardomancer Witch, without question.


Thanks foe the suggestions!
With Kung Fu Genius, Far Strike Monk definitely looks really promising and fun. Bonus feats to support better throwing so I'm not quite so feat starved and even scaling damage dice that I so covet. It even gets Perform as a class skill.

Of course the issue I think is that I'd have to choose between being a witch or being a monk each turn as far as attacking vs casting a spell, but the range increase will help to deliver touch spells and it sounds fun and scratches that card throwing itch. I'll definitely consider it alongside the Feytouched Hexer Cartomancer/Bard idea.


If we’re doing third party, then use the unchained far strike monk from purple duck games.

http://hastur.net/wiki/Unchained_Monk_Archetypes_(Apath)#Far_Strike_Monk

That will give you better BAB and hit points than the core version in a witch gestalt.


Melkiador wrote:
If we’re doing third party, then use the unchained far strike monk from purple duck games.

Cheers, I'll have an ask and see if that's alright.

So I think Cartomancer Witch/Kung Fu Genius monk and Feytouched Hexer Cartomancer Witch/Bard of an undecided Archetype (one that would let me use Perform(Act) for Counterspell etc) are my two prime options right now. I'll try and see if I can build something with both as it might help give an idea of what I might want to play going forward. (Help appreciated, of course, because a dumb newbie like me building is definitely gonna make some dumb decisions)


Here we go, this is what I made up for build ideas to see if I'm on the right track. Of course getting a newbie to build I probably messed some things up hard core but here we go.

Table Rules:
*Group has a rule that you can't have more than one stat be negative before racials.
*Elephant in the Room Feat Taxes (Just that page, not the full document)
*25 Point Buy
*Can select two traits. One additional trait can be chosen if I take a drawback. A bonus feat can be taken if I take a major drawback. Can only select one trait from a list (so no selecting two combat traits, or two social traits etc)
*We can also take a background, with another rule being that we can take a bonus feat of our choice rather than what feat a background might give us as long as it makes sense in the context of that background.

I definitely want Human for flavour reasons. And remember, his whole shtick is that did card readings for people, but they weren't real magic ones (prior to Witch-Patron Shenganisn) just whatever ones.

As far as gear, I have no idea. I'm already having enough trouble trying to figure out Feats.

Cartomancer Witch/Kung Fu Genius Far Strike Unchained Monk

o Split between martial and caster.

+ Lots of feats, Monk side can pick up the ones to buff my throws while Witch side can focus on the hexes.
+ Full BAB also means better accuracy sending touch spells out.
+ Scaling card damage
+ Fort and Ref saves to round out all the saves.
+ Good AC with unarmored

- Can't use the Monk and Witch class features on the same turn. I'm either going to Flurry of Blows, or I'm going to cast a spell or hex. There's less of a mesh of the classes, and I'll kinda just be one or the other each turn.
ie if I want to keep a hex going with Cackle, I'm basically not going to use Flurry of Blows for the rest of the combat to keep it up.

Possible Build:

Spoiler:

(7/16/14/18/12/12/)
Undecided Witch patron (lol)
Traits: Clever Wordplay (Bluff uses Int), Reactionary (Init + 2)
Background: Merchant (Bluff, Diplomacy)
Level 1
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle

Lvl 1 Feat - Extra Hex (Cackle)
Bonus Human Feat - Accursed Hex
Bonus Monk 1 Feat - Precise Shot
Bonus Monk Feat - Quick Draw
Background Feat (Merchant) - Deceitful

Level 2
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer
Bonus Monk 2 Feat - Far Shot
Free Witch Feat - Deadly Dealer, Arcane Strike (but only for Deadly Dealer)

Level 3
Lvl 3 Feat - Improved Initiative

Level 4
+1 Int (bringing it up to 19)
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune
Bonus Monk Feat - Shot on the Run

Level 5
Lvl 5 Feat - Ability Focus (Misfortune)
(And cards now use scaling monk damage and ki focus stuff)

Level 6
Bonus Monk 6 Feat - Improved Precise Shot
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune, Evil Eye

Level 7
Lvl 7 Feat - Spell Penetration

Level 8
+1 Int (bringing it up to 20)
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune, Evil Eye, Slumber

Level 9
Lvl 9 Feat - Combat Casting

Level 10
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune, Evil Eye, Slumber, Charm
Major Hex - Retribution
Bonus Monk 10 Feat - Pinpoint Targeting

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Feytouched Hexer Cartomancer Witch/Wit Bard (Wit seems like a neat archetype but I don't know for sure...I don't think verbal dueling will come up often to lose Jack of All Trades but the initiative stuff and the bluff etc skills is nice):

o More focused on support and full casting.

+ Lots of class skills, CHA fits the flavour better
+ Can maintain bardic performance while doing Witchy things.
+ Cartomancer can deliver touch spells not just from Witch list (I think), so additional spells from Bard can support that. All the Cure Wounds!!
+ Lots of spells to choose from.
+ Minutes per level flight at lvl 5

- Bard doesn't help with extra feats. Feats are going to be hard having to decide between Witch hexes, Bard performances and buffing card throws. Though cards won't be thrown as often, only for touch spells.
- Weak damage if I am stuck throwing cards, but with so many spells that shouldn't happen too often.
- Weaker fort save and AC

Possible Build:

Spoiler:

(7/16/14/12/12/18)
Witch Patron doesn't matter because all the spells gets replaced.
Traits: ??? (honestly have no idea)
Background: Merchant (Bluff, Diplomacy)
Level 1
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle

Lvl 1 Feat - Extra Hex (Cackle)
Bonus Human Feat - Discordant Voice (Or Lingering Performance if I can't get it as a background feat)
Background Feat (Merchant) - Lingering Performance (I think I can make an argument for this, otherwise I'll pick Prodigy)

Level 2
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer
Free Witch Feat - Deadly Dealer, Arcane Strike (but only for Deadly Dealer)

Level 3
Lvl 3 Feat - Precise Shot

Level 4
+1 Cha (bringing it up to 19)
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune

Level 5
Lvl 5 Feat - Improved Initiative

Level 6
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune, Evil Eye

Level 7
Lvl 7 Feat - Ability Focus (Misfortune)

Level 8
+1 Int (bringing it up to 20)
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune, Evil Eye, Slumber

Level 9
Lvl 9 Feat - Combat Casting

Level 10
Hexes - Fortune, Cackle, Soothsayer, Misfortune, Evil Eye, Slumber, Charm
Major Hex - Retribution

I honestly have no idea what I'm doing. But my best! Hoorah!

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