Witch Cantrip Hexes


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
The familiar is also a part of what differentiates the witch from the bard (along side prepared casting), not a direct combat option for the most part, but worth mentioning none the less as it can have a large impact on how events proceed in games.

"Familiars" as a mechanic almost don't exist. They barely existed in PF1 and in PF2 they squished them all together into a formless blob, removed individual animal bonuses, gave a few "pick whatever" options that are mostly junk, and said "oh if you want your animal to be specific again you have to pay for it. Ah I see you like bats, you're now permanently locked into flying and darkvision. Oh that was all the perk points you had? Sorry, too bad."


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Familiar got some really fun abilities in the APG, including...

Casting a spell once per day.

Able to take a humanoid appearance.

Become the point of origin of a spell.

Gain a reaction to Aid Deception and Thievery checks.

And then have the unique ones.

Imp being able to become invisible and give a profane gift.

And Faerie Dragon having a Breath Weapon.


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Kyrone wrote:
Become the point of origin of a spell.

Clerics are going to multiclass wizard/witch for the familiar so they can 3-action Heal through it.

(With someone else on the front line responsible for carrying it).


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Kyrone wrote:

Familiar got some really fun abilities in the APG, including...

Casting a spell once per day.

Able to take a humanoid appearance.

Become the point of origin of a spell.

Gain a reaction to Aid Deception and Thievery checks.

And then have the unique ones.

Imp being able to become invisible and give a profane gift.

And Faerie Dragon having a Breath Weapon.

Don't see how that's going to be helpful if abilities like Spell Battery are any indication, where you get a bonus spell slot that is well below your level. It also doesn't explain how this works based on Spell DCs, spell levels, mechanics, and so on. Too many unknown variables here to say if this is or isn't helpful.

Decent if your character is actually good at Deception. Though last I checked, it only gets its level to Deception checks (which makes it super easy to see through based on proficiency scaling), plus you need to give powers to it to make it talk or even behave remotely humanoid for Deception to even be passable. A humanoid just randomly going "SQUAWK!!" every few seconds is hilarious, but by no means helpful in or out of combat except in the most extreme of circumstances. It also doesn't work especially if you have an extravagant familiar that requires numerous powers to function.

The Heal suggestion for this would be awesome for a Cleric, though they can't really get familiars, neither can Druids. Sorcerers could, but they aren't nearly as effective compared to Clerics, nor can they pick up the Cleric goodies with dedication feats, and this can really be fixed with a 3rd level Haste spell at the end of the day. A ridiculous use of this spell would be to turn your familiar into a "ticking bomb" with spells like Fireball or Flame Strike, but that's about all I'll get into with that, otherwise it could be construed in an offensive manner.

Unique familiars sounds like something that requires more feats and special access that I can't realistically rely upon getting in a given game unless I run a certain AP and build specifically for it. Generally, things behind gates or unpassable barriers aren't really "fun," especially if they are behind there for pretty good reason.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Too many unknown variables here to say if this is or isn't helpful.

If you don't know how something works, you can just ask.


GM OfAnything wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Too many unknown variables here to say if this is or isn't helpful.
If you don't know how something works, you can just ask.

I thought there was some rule on the messageboard that says you can't release rulebook contents until they officially make the rules available to the public online or you'll get banned and all posts containing or talking about said content directly gets deleted.

I may be missing something, but I'm of the opinion that the lack of specific information about these things hints at what I stated above.


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Draco18s wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
The familiar is also a part of what differentiates the witch from the bard (along side prepared casting), not a direct combat option for the most part, but worth mentioning none the less as it can have a large impact on how events proceed in games.
"Familiars" as a mechanic almost don't exist. They barely existed in PF1 and in PF2 they squished them all together into a formless blob, removed individual animal bonuses, gave a few "pick whatever" options that are mostly junk, and said "oh if you want your animal to be specific again you have to pay for it. Ah I see you like bats, you're now permanently locked into flying and darkvision. Oh that was all the perk points you had? Sorry, too bad."

To be fair - non-Improved families in PF1 barely existed. There are some absolutely broken AF improved familiars in PF1.


Liegence wrote:


To be fair - non-Improved families in PF1 barely existed. There are some absolutely broken AF improved familiars in PF1.

Yes. That's what I said.

So making that THE defining feature of a class seems very strange.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

The familiar is also a part of what differentiates the witch from the bard (along side prepared casting), not a direct combat option for the most part, but worth mentioning none the less as it can have a large impact on how events proceed in games.

And having it come back the next morning would certainly let me be more reckless with a familiar than I would with any other class spending a class feat on it :P

As for hexes... Why the 1 minute immunity, it is better than 24h, but why in gods name any immunity. If they scaled better or something I could see it but as is...

This said, I never thought that cantrip hexes were a good angle to go and would have rathered they just expand the cantrip list in general. Hexes being single target debuffs or boons but costing focus points was a better design space imo.

That said Discern Secrets is probably one of the best ones to pick up, I could see this being used every other encounter especially in the mid to high levels. Depends on the GM though, the way some people talk on this forum there seem to be a glut of GMs who read "useful" differently and apparently give out useless information instead like a creatures name. -shrugs-

I think they were worried about hex spamming on a target but they also have a limitation that you can only use one hex either cantrip or focus per round anyway. I think they were being cautious of the power of these and that may get errataed and or just new hex cantrips added in the future that are a bit stronger. They seem to want sustaining spells to be a witches thing so I think they kinda expect you to be sustaining your hex on a target until it dies if there was no immunity you would just keep recasting it fresh every turn for basically the same effect.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm really liking what I'm seeing of the witch so far. Just finished my first game playing one in Plaguestone.

When one of the PCs got surrounded by three enemies and was getting mauled by their three-action attacks, I was able to use evil-eye actions on all three to cause their nine attacks to all miss. I wasn't able to maintain all of them, but that didn't matter as the rest of the party was able to come to his aid and put down two of the three threats. I was then able to maintain the penalties on the third remaining enemy.

When a big boss showed up, I was able to keep him debuffed the entire fight.

Cackle is also great for stretching out that debuff on a round in which you need all your actions for other things. It's also great for getting as many as three summons out at once.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

I'm really liking what I'm seeing of the witch so far. Just finished my first game playing one in Plaguestone.

When one of the PCs got surrounded by three enemies and was getting mauled by their three-action attacks, I was able to use evil-eye actions on all three to cause their nine attacks to all miss. I wasn't able to maintain all of them, but that didn't matter as the rest of the party was able to come to his aid and put down two of the three threats. I was then able to maintain the penalties on the third remaining enemy.

When a big boss showed up, I was able to keep him debuffed the entire fight.

Cackle is also great for stretching out that debuff on a round in which you need all your actions for other things. It's also great for getting as many as three summons out at once.

Did they use Evil Eye three times? If so, that's a no-no. One hex per round until you get Split Hex at level 18.


Now you can do one each round for three rounds then just spend rounds sustaining all of it or spending focus to cackle when you need to move but yes one hex of any kind per round cantrip or focus hex.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


The Heal suggestion for this would be awesome for a Cleric, though they can't really get familiars, neither can Druids.

Actually, Druid can have a Leahy familiar with the Leaf Order (or order explorer at level 2), and everyone can get one by being a gnome or with adopted ancestry.

It just make it even more appealing for my Domain specialist Cleric Build!


Kendaan wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


The Heal suggestion for this would be awesome for a Cleric, though they can't really get familiars, neither can Druids.
Actually, Druid can have a Leahy familiar with the Leaf Order (or order explorer at level 2), and everyone can get one by being a gnome or with adopted ancestry.

Playtest Witch also had a feat they could take that would give them a leshy familiar. I don't know if that was retained or if it changed in some way (eg. patron selection) just that it was there.


They still have a feat option for a plant familiar if they want a leshey type familiar.


WatersLethe wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I'm really liking what I'm seeing of the witch so far. Just finished my first game playing one in Plaguestone.

When one of the PCs got surrounded by three enemies and was getting mauled by their three-action attacks, I was able to use evil-eye actions on all three to cause their nine attacks to all miss. I wasn't able to maintain all of them, but that didn't matter as the rest of the party was able to come to his aid and put down two of the three threats. I was then able to maintain the penalties on the third remaining enemy.

When a big boss showed up, I was able to keep him debuffed the entire fight.

Cackle is also great for stretching out that debuff on a round in which you need all your actions for other things. It's also great for getting as many as three summons out at once.

Did they use Evil Eye three times? If so, that's a no-no. One hex per round until you get Split Hex at level 18.

Curious how this worked out as well. And all 9 attacks missed by 1 or 2?

And how are you getting three summons out? I can see two (full round summon, then next turn Cackle and full round summon) but how do you sustain 2 and then three-round summon again? Cackle affects one hex until level 20, and summons aren’t hexes anyway (level 20 cackle has to target a hex to get the clause to affect all hexes - cackle on a non-hex does not extend all spells or even all hexes)


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Liegence wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I'm really liking what I'm seeing of the witch so far. Just finished my first game playing one in Plaguestone.

When one of the PCs got surrounded by three enemies and was getting mauled by their three-action attacks, I was able to use evil-eye actions on all three to cause their nine attacks to all miss. I wasn't able to maintain all of them, but that didn't matter as the rest of the party was able to come to his aid and put down two of the three threats. I was then able to maintain the penalties on the third remaining enemy.

When a big boss showed up, I was able to keep him debuffed the entire fight.

Cackle is also great for stretching out that debuff on a round in which you need all your actions for other things. It's also great for getting as many as three summons out at once.

Did they use Evil Eye three times? If so, that's a no-no. One hex per round until you get Split Hex at level 18.

Curious how this worked out as well. And all 9 attacks missed by 1 or 2?

And how are you getting three summons out? I can see two (full round summon, then next turn Cackle and full round summon) but how do you sustain 2 and then three-round summon again? Cackle affects one hex until level 20, and summons aren’t hexes anyway (level 20 cackle has to target a hex to get the clause to affect all hexes - cackle on a non-hex does not extend all spells or even all hexes)

Cackle effects spells, not just hexes. Since hexes are focus spells, they qualify under that umbrella as well.

To sustain two spells you would need to cackle more than once so you'd need the focus points for it though.

Round 1: Cast summon spell
Round 2: Cackle to maintain, cast 2nd summon spell
Round 3: Cackle twice to maintain first two summon spells, cast 3rd summon spell.
Round 4: Pretend to be a statue while you maintain with all your actions and let your summons do the work.

EDIT: Shoot. Looks like WatersLethe is correct. One hex per turn.


Kyrone wrote:

Familiar got some really fun abilities in the APG, including...

Casting a spell once per day.

Able to take a humanoid appearance.

Become the point of origin of a spell.

Gain a reaction to Aid Deception and Thievery checks.

And then have the unique ones.

Imp being able to become invisible and give a profane gift.

And Faerie Dragon having a Breath Weapon.

The skill one is good too. You can pick a skill and uses your spellcasting for the roll so should make them pretty good for extra skills you can swap on a day to day basis or with a feat at higher levels a 10 minute rest.


Ravingdork wrote:
Liegence wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I'm really liking what I'm seeing of the witch so far. Just finished my first game playing one in Plaguestone.

When one of the PCs got surrounded by three enemies and was getting mauled by their three-action attacks, I was able to use evil-eye actions on all three to cause their nine attacks to all miss. I wasn't able to maintain all of them, but that didn't matter as the rest of the party was able to come to his aid and put down two of the three threats. I was then able to maintain the penalties on the third remaining enemy.

When a big boss showed up, I was able to keep him debuffed the entire fight.

Cackle is also great for stretching out that debuff on a round in which you need all your actions for other things. It's also great for getting as many as three summons out at once.

Did they use Evil Eye three times? If so, that's a no-no. One hex per round until you get Split Hex at level 18.

Curious how this worked out as well. And all 9 attacks missed by 1 or 2?

And how are you getting three summons out? I can see two (full round summon, then next turn Cackle and full round summon) but how do you sustain 2 and then three-round summon again? Cackle affects one hex until level 20, and summons aren’t hexes anyway (level 20 cackle has to target a hex to get the clause to affect all hexes - cackle on a non-hex does not extend all spells or even all hexes)

Cackle effects spells, not just hexes. Since hexes are focus spells, they qualify under that umbrella as well.

To sustain two spells you would need to cackle more than once so you'd need the focus points for it though.

Round 1: Cast summon spell
Round 2: Cackle to maintain, cast 2nd summon spell
Round 3: Cackle twice to maintain first two summon spells, cast 3rd summon spell.
Round 4: Pretend to be a statue while you maintain with all your actions and let your summons do the work.

EDIT:...

Comment about Cackle and non-hexes is specific to the level 20 feat only. You can definitely Cackle to get two summons.

The level 20 feat that sustains all hexes only works if you use Cackle to sustain a hex as written. So if you had two hexes and a summons out, if you Cackle, with the level 20 feat, affecting the Summons then that cackle would not sustain the other two hexes. If you Cackle to sustain one hex, it affects the other hex but not the summon. You could ofc sustain as an action and Cackle


How does the sustaining of a damage spell even work? I have not really played a caster yet and I was considering rolling a Winter witch. does clinging ice deal damage every round? does the target roll their save every round? It looks more fun than Bards and Wizards to me, but I don't know anything balance-wise

As for Familiars; is the Familiar master Archetype worse than MC into witch/wizard?


The sustain only works for the debuff. The damage is instantaneous.

Familiars are weaksauce. Always have been. Always will be.


I think they over-nerfed the hexes from 1st edition. They used to be pretty powerfull.
Every witch used to have "Extra Hex" feat all the way, because they were just too good to pass up.

Now they nerfed it so that they're barely worth a feat to begin with... but now they made the chance that feats are the only way to get hexes!

It doesn't look good for the witch class in terms of power balance in the game... which is a shame, because I loved witches and shamans in 1st edition.


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Runehacking wrote:

I think they over-nerfed the hexes from 1st edition. They used to be pretty powerfull.

Every witch used to have "Extra Hex" feat all the way, because they were just too good to pass up.

Now they nerfed it so that they're barely worth a feat to begin with... but now they made the chance that feats are the only way to get hexes!

It doesn't look good for the witch class in terms of power balance in the game... which is a shame, because I loved witches and shamans in 1st edition.

Imma stop you right there. Feats are the main source of features in the game, so thinking that this is a negative thing in PF2e is meaningless, because this is one base assumption. The Bard, the current standard for this kind of Cantrip+Spell playstyle "spends" feats to get more cantrips and spells, exactly like the witches do.

Some Hexes are quite nice and some of them are in line with other cantrips and some of them are terrible (Nudge Fate is beyond awful. It, AT LEAST, should remain as long as the witch Sustains the spell even after it works, otherwise it's just a beyond awful waste of actions, atrocious even,I can't believe it was released in this state, to be honest).


I am not quite sure if the one minute reapplication is a huge deal in practice or not. You probably won't want to be sustaining 2 or 3 of these often and 1 minute duration is pretty much long enough to have on a target for as long as its alive then shift to the next target. I think this one I will have to see in play to get a feel for how useful they are. Having a target pretty much permanently feared seems useful in that it also makes landing your other spells easier. These probably are closer to where a cantrip like power like this probably should be than where bards are. I could see them errataing the one minute lock out as it seems a bit unnecessary but again probably have to see it in play to get a feel if its a problem or not.


Lightning Raven wrote:
Imma stop you right there. Feats are the main source of features in the game, so thinking that this is a negative thing in PF2e is meaningless

I didn't say it was a negative thing PF2 works this way. As I said, the problem is that most of these hexes aren't worth a feat.

Lightning Raven wrote:
Some Hexes are quite nice and some of them are in line with other cantrips and some of them are terrible

Well, since the hexes are tied to patrons, that means noone will pick anything aside from Winter patron and Baba Yaga (if that one even is legal).

Because the rest of them aren't worth their actions in combat compared to a regular spel cantrip.


The curses one is good too it basically is a good all around debuff that increases your ability to land bigger spells once applied


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Runehacking wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Imma stop you right there. Feats are the main source of features in the game, so thinking that this is a negative thing in PF2e is meaningless

I didn't say it was a negative thing PF2 works this way. As I said, the problem is that most of these hexes aren't worth a feat.

Lightning Raven wrote:
Some Hexes are quite nice and some of them are in line with other cantrips and some of them are terrible

Well, since the hexes are tied to patrons, that means noone will pick anything aside from Winter patron and Baba Yaga (if that one even is legal).

Because the rest of them aren't worth their actions in combat compared to a regular spel cantrip.

Correct me if I'm wrong but they shouldn't be evaluated against normal offensive cantrips since they're usually not the same amount of actions. You could for example use Stoke the Heart and cast a spell.


Draco18s wrote:
Kyrone wrote:
Become the point of origin of a spell.

Clerics are going to multiclass wizard/witch for the familiar so they can 3-action Heal through it.

(With someone else on the front line responsible for carrying it).

I always take skilled(intimidate). Not only is it funny, but 1 action for 2 demoralize is pretty decent.

Add in independent for my familiar = Free demoralize 1/round.
Skill (Medicine) is pretty decent. As it any lore skill, so you can do 2 Recall knowledge with 1 action. Or just an extra low level spell slot.

Also the fact that witches get their familiar back daily, instead of a week of down time, means you can throw them into traps much easier.

Not saying it makes witches better than bards. But it's not nothing either.


Intoxicated Illithid wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but they shouldn't be evaluated against normal offensive cantrips since they're usually not the same amount of actions. You could for example use Stoke the Heart and cast a spell.

Oh, my bad... I thought they costed 2 actions.

That does change things.


Runehacking wrote:
Intoxicated Illithid wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong but they shouldn't be evaluated against normal offensive cantrips since they're usually not the same amount of actions. You could for example use Stoke the Heart and cast a spell.

Oh, my bad... I thought they costed 2 actions.

That does change things.

A lot of the hexes (and revelation for the Oracle) are 1 action, I think that is often overlooked and make them way better.

A lot of the 2 actions are usually worth the 2 actions as well.


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Lightning Raven wrote:
Runehacking wrote:

I think they over-nerfed the hexes from 1st edition. They used to be pretty powerfull.

Every witch used to have "Extra Hex" feat all the way, because they were just too good to pass up.

Now they nerfed it so that they're barely worth a feat to begin with... but now they made the chance that feats are the only way to get hexes!

It doesn't look good for the witch class in terms of power balance in the game... which is a shame, because I loved witches and shamans in 1st edition.

Imma stop you right there. Feats are the main source of features in the game, so thinking that this is a negative thing in PF2e is meaningless, because this is one base assumption. The Bard, the current standard for this kind of Cantrip+Spell playstyle "spends" feats to get more cantrips and spells, exactly like the witches do.

Some Hexes are quite nice and some of them are in line with other cantrips and some of them are terrible (Nudge Fate is beyond awful. It, AT LEAST, should remain as long as the witch Sustains the spell even after it works, otherwise it's just a beyond awful waste of actions, atrocious even,I can't believe it was released in this state, to be honest).

Compare the Bard cantrips to the Witch cantrips. Frightened 1 to all enemies within 30 feet, without a save, no focus points, etc. And no way to reduce it, is crazy strong compared to what a Witch can do (Frightened 1 to one target which requires sustaining every time with a 1 minute immunity period).

Inspire Courage, which is always granted to Bards for free, is the best buff in the game with no cooldown and ways to buff it up to crazy levels of power. In fact, it's so strong that outside of a couple other songs (like the one mentioned above), nothing tops it. Inspire Competence is good, but only for out-of-combat situations. Inspired Defense is worse than Inspire Courage because you're trying to buff defenses that shouldn't matter when you should be pressing the attack and ending the encounter by giving everything the Dead condition.

Did I also mention Bards get better weapons, armor, saves, and skills than Witches, while having superior spellcasting? And they aren't tied or bound to the mechanics of Familiar garbage?

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