APG Witch Discussion


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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True, but it would take 2 class feats, it's good if you want more than just that Hex, otherwise that's a steep price.

Another good point of Elemental Betrayal vs Twisted Form, is that the Witch has access to it from lvl 2 to 9 while your sorcerer is waiting for lvl10.

But all these feats are better coordinated amongst several party members for synergy.


Kendaan wrote:

True, but it would take 2 class feats, it's good if you want more than just that Hex, otherwise that's a steep price.

Another good point of Elemental Betrayal vs Twisted Form, is that the Witch has access to it from lvl 2 to 9 while your sorcerer is waiting for lvl10.

But all these feats are better coordinated amongst several party members for synergy.

well, you're getting a familiar as well. Familiar is around 1 class feat on itself, and you're getting familiar+cantrips+hex with 2 class feats.

at least that's what i'm planning to do for my bomber alchemist (i would had to spent a feat on familiar on him either way, so it really is only 1 feat for cantrips and hex on him)


Kendaan wrote:

True, but it would take 2 class feats, it's good if you want more than just that Hex, otherwise that's a steep price.

Another good point of Elemental Betrayal vs Twisted Form, is that the Witch has access to it from lvl 2 to 9 while your sorcerer is waiting for lvl10.

But all these feats are better coordinated amongst several party members for synergy.

cackle seems like a pretty obvious grab if you are dipping witch and want to build around elemental betrayal, yes?


The thing is... elemental betrayal will only be good after character lvl 8, because it's when martial elemental property runes comes online to trigger it, otherwise you don't trigger it often enough by yourself or together with a second caster to justify the focus cost plus sustain.


Kyrone wrote:
The thing is... elemental betrayal will only be good after character lvl 8, because it's when martial elemental property runes comes online to trigger it, otherwise you don't trigger it often enough by yourself or together with a second caster to justify the focus cost plus sustain.

Unless you've got an alchemist. Spreading them around to the other martial members who have proficiency can allow you to do ramp up some extra damage from range.


or a Storm Druid, or a Flame Oracle etc...

Like I said, it is something you can build a party around. If all you have is a Cleric, Champion & Spirit Barbarian, you might be better off with another lesson.


After an initial read it seems less watered-down than I was afraid of if it launched with a choice of multiple magic traditions, but not by much. I'm glad they went with hex cantrips, and that the familiars aren't as squishy, so those are some nice improvements.

The patron still seems somewhat unexciting, mechanically. Same gripe I have with Sorcerer bloodlines, in that it doesn't seem to evolve much on its own as you level without investment. It's also not my favorite that hex cantrips are tied to your choice of patron, or that patrons don't have the option to choose between multiple different hexes. It would have also been interesting to see patrons provide more bonus spells, especially from other traditions.

I'll have to do another, closer look, but not seeing anything that carves a niche for the Witch beyond tradition choice (which doesn't matter once you decide on one), maybe the focus on a familiar, and maybe hex cantrips. Arguably Bards already did the cantrip "focus spell" thing, but hex cantrips mostly (all?) seem to be one action, which is a nice thing for casters who I think are always going to be looking for solid options for their third action each turn. The regular hexes don't seem to have pushed the envelope on focus spells, though.

Overall, seems fine. Glad folks got their multi-dedication caster, but for myself kind of bummed that it isn't weirder or doing more esoteric stuff as a premiere occult prepared caster. Maybe to sum it up: the other classes actually feel "advanced," while the Witch seems pretty conservative. Prepared Sorcerer.


Sounding like Witch is in need of a errata then (and hopefully the multiclass version too, though like that other guy said, I'm less sure over that).

Maybe they could make up the spell slots to 4 and rework a lot of the Hex Cantrips. Just a few ideas off the top of my head. If anyone wants me to start a thread listing some changes needed for the Witch class, I'd be happy to!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Wizard Giovanni wrote:

Sounding like Witch is in need of a errata then (and hopefully the multiclass version too, though like that other guy said, I'm less sure over that).

Maybe they could make up the spell slots to 4 and rework a lot of the Hex Cantrips. Just a few ideas off the top of my head. If anyone wants me to start a thread listing some changes needed for the Witch class, I'd be happy to!

It could benefit from a balance pass maybe, but really it's fine. The class features came out a bit weak and unfocused because of its choice of traditions, and not much will fix that. You'll find harsh critics, same way you will for alchemist, but I'm pretty sure in play it will still be a solid, fun class!


Sporkedup wrote:
Wizard Giovanni wrote:

Sounding like Witch is in need of a errata then (and hopefully the multiclass version too, though like that other guy said, I'm less sure over that).

Maybe they could make up the spell slots to 4 and rework a lot of the Hex Cantrips. Just a few ideas off the top of my head. If anyone wants me to start a thread listing some changes needed for the Witch class, I'd be happy to!

It could benefit from a balance pass maybe, but really it's fine. The class features came out a bit weak and unfocused because of its choice of traditions, and not much will fix that. You'll find harsh critics, same way you will for alchemist, but I'm pretty sure in play it will still be a solid, fun class!

I think that in order to prefer a Witch to a Wizard or Cleric for a character, I have to really want its class features (familiar, hexes) to justify giving up the Raw Extra Spells those offer.

For my current character who I felt needed the Heals, that meant sticking with Cleric.

If i have a future character where Arcane Spells are the focus of the character, Ill go Wizard.

If I want hexes, to be able to choose a prepared spell list, and a top tier familiar, Witch is unparalleled for that.

That's a good place for actual Balance.


It is definitely weird that patrons and lessons don't grant more spells. Not like, weak necessarily, but weird to me.

Horizon Hunters

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I like the Witch, because it's the only class in the game whose recommended adventuring class kit includes clothes.

Swashbuckler's kit has an "optional" set of fine clothes, but you know, it's clearly listed as clothing optional. :)

All the other class kits in the game have no clothes at all. I don't think it's an error or a coincidence.

People of Golarion are brave in many ways, the Witch is the only sensible and modest one.


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Grankless wrote:
It is definitely weird that patrons and lessons don't grant more spells. Not like, weak necessarily, but weird to me.

And the spells they do grant are... fine, though there are some odd ones like the Lesson of the Elements giving air bubble alongside damaging spells from the other elements.

Having looked at it some more, I'm also really disappointed that the lessons are feats only, rather than a class feature that they gain and can optionally snag more of. You have to pick between some interesting class feats and--I guess thematically and mechanically--growing as a Witch. If you want to push for one of the unique familiars, like an imp, you don't get another focus spell or thematic lesson until after level 6(? I think).

I also feel like the Witch compares unfavorably to the other prepared casters in a lot of ways, though some of the hex cantrips are pretty good. However, there's an over-emphasis on sustaining, which I imagine will make them clunky to play in practice if you really want to get the most out of their toolkit.

Druids have a meatier chassis (8 hp, medium armor and shield block) and their focus spells are very good, something I don't think is emphasized enough for Druids. They have strong class feats, and can have a [plant] familiar of similar quality just by taking the Familiar Master archetype. Wisdom as a key and casting stat is stronger than Intelligence. I think they're just the better primal caster, and you'd have to be in it for the Witch flavor.

Clerics also have 8 hp, and can optionally take medium armor. Deities are significantly more robust than patrons, particularly if you just compare them to the Fervor patron, and their selection of bonus spells is an interesting choice. Divine Font is a strong class ability, letting them pump out heals and harms. While some of their focus spells are situational or meh, some are quite potent. Again, Wisdom as a key and casting stat is stronger than Intelligence. The flavor argument is stronger here, but you also have Oracle and Sorcerer for a divine caster, both of which I think are stronger than the divine Witch.

Wizard is the closest comparison, because both are Int casters and can start with a familiar. While Wizards don't have very interesting feats or great focus spells, most of their focus spells are so, so much better than the Rune patron's discern secrets, and specialization bonus spells are on average going to be better than getting magic weapon for free. I'd still take a Wizard over a Witch, personally, because I can do similar things with a Wizard if I want a familiar focus plus I get Drain Bonded Item and more spells per day. If I could pick another hex cantrip it might be a closer call, but I can't, so discern secrets is my only consideration here.

So yeah. I dunno. Less thrilled on subsequent looks and after doing more comparisons. Underwhelmed.


I think they do fine.

First, hex cantrip are 1 action. Tossing a clinging ice out each turn will add up some extra damage.

Second, the familiar. Read it as "at the start of the day choose 3 skills, you are trained in them for the day". They are very flexible utility. Going into town? Get diplomacy and social. Going into the woods? Get nature and survival. Need to tank some damage? Get toughness and resistance.

I would take flying, thievery, and manual dexterity as default. It opens all the doors for me. And if it dies, then that is a lot of damage your party did not take, and it just comes back.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Witch is the most conservative of the new classes and the most boring. It didn't capture the essence of the 1e witch and its decided shtick (familiar) isn't that interesting.

The witch should get way better scaling hex cantrips and more of them introduced as they level. Focus powers are what everyone else does.

Such a disappointment.

EDIT: This can be fixed by feats; than God the core system is so good.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's what I think the Witch needs before I will be playing one:

1. A Class Archetype that trades out the emphasis on familiar for an emphasis on hex cantrips. I like my familiar to be a little RP friend, not a significant class feature.

2. Better buffing hex cantrips. I don't need full on Inspire Courage, but something on the order of a single target Inspire Courage (with hex limitations like once per minute if it falls off) is absolutely necessary. The absolute shockingly better kit of the Bard means it feels *really* bad to play a buff focused witch.

3. Access to multiple hex cantrips, either naturally as part of a class archetype, or with feats.

4. Free choice of spell list independent of starting hex cantrip.

With those, I would have fun with the class. As is, it's a severe disappointment.


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Sporkedup wrote:
Wizard Giovanni wrote:

Sounding like Witch is in need of a errata then (and hopefully the multiclass version too, though like that other guy said, I'm less sure over that).

Maybe they could make up the spell slots to 4 and rework a lot of the Hex Cantrips. Just a few ideas off the top of my head. If anyone wants me to start a thread listing some changes needed for the Witch class, I'd be happy to!

It could benefit from a balance pass maybe, but really it's fine. The class features came out a bit weak and unfocused because of its choice of traditions, and not much will fix that. You'll find harsh critics, same way you will for alchemist, but I'm pretty sure in play it will still be a solid, fun class!

I think witch is a lot more solid base than alchemist was at launch. Not a lot of hex cantrip/hex diversity but its basically a prepared caster of whatever source of power you want. The familiar is way better and not punishing to use at all with good synergies with the witch and pretty handy to have.

Most of my issues with witch is it seems lacking a few obvious feats that allow you to pick up 1 or more other hex cantrips just so you have a bit more diversity with it. Even still hexes and hex cantrips are handy 1 action options you can throw out while still casting or doing other stuff not super strong but very action efficient.


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Mellored wrote:

I think they do fine.

First, hex cantrip are 1 action. Tossing a clinging ice out each turn will add up some extra damage.

Second, the familiar. Read it as "at the start of the day choose 3 skills, you are trained in them for the day". They are very flexible utility. Going into town? Get diplomacy and social. Going into the woods? Get nature and survival. Need to tank some damage? Get toughness and resistance.

I would take flying, thievery, and manual dexterity as default. It opens all the doors for me. And if it dies, then that is a lot of damage your party did not take, and it just comes back.

The skill thing is I think the sleeper power of the familiar. Know you are going into some ancient azlanti rune have the pet learn to read azlanti/lore azlanti/lore that area you are in. It allows you some pretty good rolls for gaining a lot of potentially very useful information about an area without having to devote more permanent resources to pick up. And it even works well thematically as your patron is helping give background information to you via your familiar.


Dansome wrote:

Witch is the most conservative of the new classes and the most boring. It didn't capture the essence of the 1e witch and its decided shtick (familiar) isn't that interesting.

The witch should get way better scaling hex cantrips and more of them introduced as they level. Focus powers are what everyone else does.

Such a disappointment.

EDIT: This can be fixed by feats; than God the core system is so good.

Patronize: You gain access to another patron, but doing so weakens your familiar.

Reduce the number of abilities your familiar has by 2, and gain the hex cantrip and granted spell of another patron.
At level 6, if you gave basic lesson, greater lessons, or major lessons, you can also trade 2 ability for an additional lesson of the same type. This does not increase you focus points.
Once you make this trade you cannot change it unless you spend a week do downtime to retrain.

Or something similar.


WatersLethe wrote:


2. Better buffing hex cantrips. I don't need full on Inspire Courage, but something on the order of a single target Inspire Courage (with hex limitations like once per minute if it falls off) is absolutely necessary. The absolute shockingly better kit of the Bard means it feels *really* bad to play a buff focused witch.

Nudge fate should not have a will save.


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Witch should have more hex-cantrips. Additionally, I think that some metamagic feats that add nasty effects to your hexes would be nice.


I did a pass on the class last night, and I gotta say I think they're fine.

Cantrip Hexes and Focus hexes are really cool and considering most turns are going to start with a Hex, the lower spell count doesn't matter that much.

Familiars got a LOT of new ability choices (some of which are ridiculously cool).

I still owe Rysky a Mellisandre, and I planned a build for her last night that looked pretty sweet the only thing I would have to fudge is allowing the Fervor Patron choose an inanimate object (for her amulet) which was restricted to Baba Yaga.


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I'm of the same opinion as many of you.

TLDR version: I think witches are just sadly underpowered.

Let's start with a confession: My group is comprised of all heavy power gamers. Three out of five of us are computer programmers so we love to crunch numbers.

Some of the prior posts are perfect IMO. The witch has the hit points, weapons, and armor of a pure caster but lacks the 4th spell slot per level of the pure casters.

The counter of course is that the hexes are going to make up for that. But they just don't IMO.

Hex Cantrips:
I keep seeing the argument that these are really good because they are 1 action. That is great. But you only get 1 hex cantrip and you really can't even pick which one. If you thematically want to play a certain type of witch, or you are choosing based on the casting type you want to play (divine, primal, etc) then you are forced into a cantrip choice. Even if you get the "best" hex cantrip, I don't see any of them being worth 1 spell slot per level.

I'd ask this of all the players out there talking about the witch, if they gave you a choice of the 4th spell slot or the cantrip which would you choose?

Other Hexes:
Some are better than others, for the most part they feel on par to me with the other class focus spells.

Other Class Feats:
Some are better than others, for the most part they feel on par to me with the other class feats. Paizo really has put a lot of the class feats on rails.

Familiar:
The familiar is nice in that it comes back to life right away and the Familiar's Eyes ability. Pretty much everything else about it can be gained by other classes.

Thematically though I feel a witch should be about the patron and the hexes, not the pet. I'm going to speculate here, I could be wrong, but I don't believe Paizo granted the familiar the ability to come back the next day because the familiar is such a powerful theme of being a witch. It was a mechanical move that needed to happen or the witch would be broken. Just my opinion, I'm sure some may disagree.

Other Class Comparison (I'll partially repeat and add to what others mentioned above:):
- divine witch is inferior to a cleric that has better armor, weapons, hit point and more spells (Divine Font)

- witch of any casting type is inferior to a sorcerer of the same type; the flexibility of spontaneous casting and more spell slots.

- arcane witch is inferior to wizard due to the spell slots/bonded item.

- occult witch vs bard....kinda can't comment, haven't dug deep enough into the bard.

- primal witch is inferior to the druid (mostly). The spell slots are on par, but as mentioned above the druid has hit point, weapon, and armor access over the witch. In addition IMO the Animal, Leaf, and Wild druid abilities are far above the witch's hexes. The exception is the Storm Druid which IMO is kind of on the same level as the witch (if the Storm Druid stays pure and avoids crossing into another order...)

I REALLY, REALLY want to play a witch in our upcoming campaign but I just don't think I can bring myself to. My Role Player is just losing out to my Roll Player. I will happily sacrifice power gaming for theme, but this threshold is just too much for me to swallow.

I'll likely end up a Wizard multiclass Witch...

Some of the posts brought up the idea of "fixing" the witch. I think the easiest solution is to grant the 4th spell slot. Another option might be to remove the hex cantrip from the patron and let the witch choose 2 hex cantrips to prepare each day. Let her start with a couple and learn more like other spells or something. If the cantrips are supposed to balance the lack of the 4th spell slot it needs more flexibility.

But honestly, when I look over the classes, if the Witch had the 4th spell slot she feels even with the others. Nothing about her would suddenly have me saying...Witch is better than everyone else and is a no brainer to take. Sadly I don't see Paizo changing such a core part of a class.

This has been a fun discussion :-) Have fun gaming eveyone!


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Mellored wrote:


Second, the familiar. Read it as "at the start of the day choose 3 skills, you are trained in them for the day".

Can you tell me where you are getting this from? Are you talking about investing in the "Skilled" familiar ability three times?

If so, they are not Trained in those skills. They simply have a better modifier. This would mean they cannot attempt any Trained Skill checks so even if you choose Thievery it could not attempt to pick a lock or disable a device. Furthermore, if the skill attempt has any Trained/Expert/etc qualifier they can't attempt it. Additionally, they would need to invest other abilities to communicate with you any information gathered, manual dexterity to use thieves tools, etc.

Am I missing something? Are you talking about some other ability?


AzureKnight wrote:
Thematically though I feel a witch should be about the patron and the hexes, not the pet.

i feel this is the actual complaint, and I would agree. Not that i ever played the PF1 witch, but i would of never thought of them as a caster/pet class. I would of made them more of an alchemists with hexes.

So if you see the familiar as useless, then yes, it will be a weak class.

But if you get past the name of the class and make use of the familiar, like being able to pick up any lore skill, remotely disarm traps, fly up the wall and tie a rope to climb, scout out the enemy location, etc...
then they are fine.


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On the other hand, it's very easy to get a familiar in P2e, and with the Familiar Master archetype the Witch doesn't have a huge advantage over anyone else in terms of familiar power (their focus spell, familiar reincarnation, and the extra familiar ability).

It's an advantage, certainly, and there are some cool new things for familiars, but if you're really invested in your familiar and spending class feats on it there's a lot you're giving up. Like lessons.

Otherwise the familiar things a Witch can do most other classes can get pretty darn close to with a similar investment while also having, I think, more interesting base class options. Like an Alchemist with a familiar may arguably get the most out of that feature just by virtue of how their class works.

I may try to build the same familiar focused character for Witch and other prepared casters just to see how they compare.


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Puna'chong wrote:

On the other hand, it's very easy to get a familiar in P2e, and with the Familiar Master archetype the Witch doesn't have a huge advantage over anyone else in terms of familiar power (their focus spell, familiar reincarnation, and the extra familiar ability).

It's an advantage, certainly, and there are some cool new things for familiars, but if you're really invested in your familiar and spending class feats on it there's a lot you're giving up. Like lessons.

Otherwise the familiar things a Witch can do most other classes can get pretty darn close to with a similar investment while also having, I think, more interesting base class options. Like an Alchemist with a familiar may arguably get the most out of that feature just by virtue of how their class works.

I may try to build the same familiar focused character for Witch and other prepared casters just to see how they compare.

witch effectively gets 3-4 familiar feats for free (assuming daily respawn is worth a feat).

So compare a wizard / familiar master. To a witch / wizard (extra slots).


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Just one more thing on the comparison with Cleric & Druid, they both have full access to the common spell of their tradition, compared to the Witch, which is another point in their favor.

I also think that while the basic Lesson Hex are fine to great, the greater lesson are a lot less good (a buffed up spiritual weapon that gives you an evil spell, personal blizzard scales really badly, and deceiver's cloak while nice is quite niche), and for Major Lesson, curse of death is almost a no brainier... (I'm not counting the one from Legend as it's being the Rare tag...).

Of course this will get better with more books, but it's probably 1 year before we get more options.


AzureKnight wrote:

I'm of the same opinion as many of you.

TLDR version: I think witches are just sadly underpowered.

Let's start with a confession: My group is comprised of all heavy power gamers. Three out of five of us are computer programmers so we love to crunch numbers.

Some of the prior posts are perfect IMO. The witch has the hit points, weapons, and armor of a pure caster but lacks the 4th spell slot per level of the pure casters.

The counter of course is that the hexes are going to make up for that. But they just don't IMO.

Hex Cantrips:
I keep seeing the argument that these are really good because they are 1 action. That is great. But you only get 1 hex cantrip and you really can't even pick which one. If you thematically want to play a certain type of witch, or you are choosing based on the casting type you want to play (divine, primal, etc) then you are forced into a cantrip choice. Even if you get the "best" hex cantrip, I don't see any of them being worth 1 spell slot per level.

I'd ask this of all the players out there talking about the witch, if they gave you a choice of the 4th spell slot or the cantrip which would you choose?

Other Hexes:
Some are better than others, for the most part they feel on par to me with the other class focus spells.

Other Class Feats:
Some are better than others, for the most part they feel on par to me with the other class feats. Paizo really has put a lot of the class feats on rails.

Familiar:
The familiar is nice in that it comes back to life right away and the Familiar's Eyes ability. Pretty much everything else about it can be gained by other classes.

Thematically though I feel a witch should be about the patron and the hexes, not the pet. I'm going to speculate here, I could be wrong, but I don't believe Paizo granted the familiar the ability to come back the next day because the familiar is such a powerful theme of being a witch. It was a mechanical move that needed to happen or the witch would be broken. Just my...

I think one thing to note as a prepared caster while they don't have 4 spell slots they can acquire more spells known over time than spontaneous casters. They have more room to pick up the situational stuff that normal spontaneous casters can't. They also fixed it so if your familiar dies you are not losing stuff you have paid to have it learn for you.

I think at this time they are the only prepared occult caster options. One interesting thing if you have an hour you can simply feed your familiar a scroll of you could potentially learn for it to learn the spell for you and add it to your known spells.

Had to quick edit forgot druid were prepared casters for some reason my brain was thinking they were spontaneous.


Mellored wrote:


But if you get past the name of the class and make use of the familiar, like being able to pick up any lore skill, remotely disarm traps, fly up the wall and tie a rope to climb, scout out the enemy location, etc...
.
.
.
.
witch effectively gets 3-4 familiar feats for free (assuming daily respawn is worth a feat).

So compare a wizard / familiar master. To a witch / wizard (extra slots).

You are really losing me here: I posted one question above that you might not have seen, how are you getting the Trained skills on this familiar?

Also, by 3-4 familiar feats? Do you mean the bonus familiar abilities (at levels 1,6,12,18)? If so, the Wizard can get that too with the Improved Familiar Attunement Thesis.


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But I'm not sure if those extra familiar abilities are worth it.

Wizard is probably the closest comparison because Wizards are pretty barebones, so I definitely think the comparison between an arcane Witch and a familiar-specialized Wizard would have some fair tradeoffs. I think Wizard and Witch are roughly on an even playing field in a lot of ways, although I think the extra spell slot and Drain Bonded Item outweighs the familiar advantages Witch has for me, and the Witch taking a Wizard dedication means they aren't getting their superior Witch feats to improve their familiar. The Wizard can just keep buffing their familiar with Familiar Master feats, all the while they still have a spell slot advantage over the Witch for most levels.

But if you take a primal Witch and compare it to an Order of the Leaf Druid, you're really weighing those familiar benefits against the feats the Druid is effectively getting for free: light and medium armor (two feats or an archetype dedication), 2 more hp per level (at least a feat), shield block (literally a feat) and, as Order of the Leaf, you get goodberry, which is pretty nice. AND the Druid doesn't have to select their spells known, they just know every primal spell.


AzureKnight wrote:
Mellored wrote:


But if you get past the name of the class and make use of the familiar, like being able to pick up any lore skill, remotely disarm traps, fly up the wall and tie a rope to climb, scout out the enemy location, etc...
.
.
.
.
witch effectively gets 3-4 familiar feats for free (assuming daily respawn is worth a feat).

So compare a wizard / familiar master. To a witch / wizard (extra slots).

You are really losing me here: I posted one question above that you might not have seen, how are you getting the Trained skills on this familiar?

Also, by 3-4 familiar feats? Do you mean the bonus familiar abilities (at levels 1,6,12,18)? If so, the Wizard can get that too with the Improved Familiar Attunement Thesis.

Skilled (Advanced Player's Guide pg. 146): Choose a skill other than Acrobatics or Stealth. Your familiar's modifier for that skill is equal to your level plus your key spellcasting ability modifier, rather than just your level. You can select this ability repeatedly, choosing a different skill each time.

The question as written I am not sure that actually works like a trained skill though but the dice roll modifier makes you really likely to succeed at it. Not good for stuff that requires actual expert+higher to do but great for stuff like lore and language stuff to give you access to some broad information gathering stuff you can change day to day. At high level witches who really work on their familiar can have around 12 familiar abilities. This opens up a LOT of options for utility skill stuff so you don't have to bother.


AzureKnight wrote:


Also, by 3-4 familiar feats? Do you mean the bonus familiar abilities (at levels 1,6,12,18)? If so, the Wizard can get that too with the Improved Familiar Attunement Thesis.

I completly missed that one.

Still, witch has daily respawn. Which lets you use the familiar with a lot less caution


kaid wrote:
AzureKnight wrote:
Mellored wrote:


But if you get past the name of the class and make use of the familiar, like being able to pick up any lore skill, remotely disarm traps, fly up the wall and tie a rope to climb, scout out the enemy location, etc...
.
.
.
.
witch effectively gets 3-4 familiar feats for free (assuming daily respawn is worth a feat).

So compare a wizard / familiar master. To a witch / wizard (extra slots).

You are really losing me here: I posted one question above that you might not have seen, how are you getting the Trained skills on this familiar?

Also, by 3-4 familiar feats? Do you mean the bonus familiar abilities (at levels 1,6,12,18)? If so, the Wizard can get that too with the Improved Familiar Attunement Thesis.

Skilled (Advanced Player's Guide pg. 146): Choose a skill other than Acrobatics or Stealth. Your familiar's modifier for that skill is equal to your level plus your key spellcasting ability modifier, rather than just your level. You can select this ability repeatedly, choosing a different skill each time.

The question as written I am not sure that actually works like a trained skill though but the dice roll modifier makes you really likely to succeed at it. Not good for stuff that requires actual expert+higher to do but great for stuff like lore and language stuff to give you access to some broad information gathering stuff you can change day to day. At high level witches who really work on their familiar can have around 12 familiar abilities. This opens up a LOT of options for utility skill stuff so you don't have to bother.

OK, but that doesn't make them Trained. They cannot take half of the actions. The thievery action Disable Device or Pick Lock are both Trained actions. The familiar may have a better number but can't even attempt those actions.

Also, several of the listed actions would require other abilities to accomplish. For example, as a DM I don't think I would allow a familiar to take the Steal action without Manual Dexterity.

So the investment gets a little higher...

Mellored wrote:
Still, witch has daily respawn. Which lets you use the familiar with a lot less caution

Yup and I stated initially, that is awesome. But just not worth the weak hex cantrips and loss of the 4th spell slot.


Mellored wrote:
AzureKnight wrote:


Also, by 3-4 familiar feats? Do you mean the bonus familiar abilities (at levels 1,6,12,18)? If so, the Wizard can get that too with the Improved Familiar Attunement Thesis.

I completly missed that one.

Still, witch has daily respawn. Which lets you use the familiar with a lot less caution

Also losing the famiilar does not impact what spells you currently have memoriezd for the day so losing the familiar during a day of sucks but its a pretty minor setback compared to other classes.

They also automatically start with phase familiar as a focus spell so if something does start targeting the familiar they have a reaction option if they have a focus point to help. Also with the new toughness familiar ability they can have a pretty legit amount of HP not a tank but they can take a hit or two without that much danger.


One of the better uses for the skill is lore and language stuff but even with other skills having potentially legendary level chance of success on untrained stuff is still really useful. It gives the witch wide range of stuff that they can have done at a good level of competence. Very jack of all trades type stuff. Given how freaking specific lore stuff is having a "party member" who can afford to take super dialed in specific lore skills in multiple things that they can change from day to day is really handy.


AzureKnight wrote:


OK, but that doesn't make them Trained. They cannot take half of the actions. The thievery action Disable Device or Pick Lock are both Trained actions. The familiar may have a better number but can't even attempt those actions.

ouch. I've been playing this wrong then.

I've been using it as remote lock picker quite a bit.


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kaid wrote:
One of the better uses for the skill is lore and language stuff but even with other skills having potentially legendary level chance of success on untrained stuff is still really useful. It gives the witch wide range of stuff that they can have done at a good level of competence. Very jack of all trades type stuff. Given how freaking specific lore stuff is having a "party member" who can afford to take super dialed in specific lore skills in multiple things that they can change from day to day is really handy.

Sure, but anyone with a familiar can do this.

A witch that heavily invests in Familiar Abilities can get 2 more than anyone else via Incredible Witch. Outside of that she has as many abilities on her familiar as a Familiar Thesis Wizard. Compared to other familiars she does have 1-4 more abilities, which is nice. But again, not worth the 4th spell slot to me.

That is the core of my issue, the better familiar is nice. But it isn't INCREDIBLE. Also, to me thematically this shouldn't be a pet class first, it should be a patron / hex class (again to me).

Overall I am really enjoying this discussion with everyone, I have a lot fun talking about our opinions on this and getting to see how others see things in case I am way off base :-)

She gets a good familiar, but so can others...and the class still feels very weak.


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kaid wrote:
One of the better uses for the skill is lore and language stuff but even with other skills having potentially legendary level chance of success on untrained stuff is still really useful. It gives the witch wide range of stuff that they can have done at a good level of competence. Very jack of all trades type stuff. Given how freaking specific lore stuff is having a "party member" who can afford to take super dialed in specific lore skills in multiple things that they can change from day to day is really handy.

I find this to be a somewhat dubious benefit though. While a Witch is more likely to be able to have a familiar that can have a bunch of these and also talk to them, Speech is one familiar ability, and then each Skilled is an additional one. A Wizard with Improved Familiar Attunement has as many base familiar abilities, plus Drain Bonded Item. Anyone can swap out one lore a day with just a basic familiar (which I think get two abilities a day).

Alternatively, any class could just go with Loremaster and use Loremaster Lore. Maybe the chance of success isn't as high (depending on GM) as you'd get for a specific lore, but you still have Recall Knowledge "on any topic."


Even compared to a wizard the wizard only really stays competitive with the amount of stuff their familiar can get if they decide to go the familiar master archetype otherwise they get enhanced familiar as the only real upgrade on top of the stuff they get from bonded familiar.

At level 4 witches can take an option that makes specific familiars take less options which gives you a good package of utility stuff cheap so you can add on more skills and then they get incredible witch to add more.

As for lore master if a familar is worth a dedication feat + at least one other feat so you could take another dedication than clearly thats a handy ability.

At least if my math holds up at max level a witch can have 12 familiar abilities where a wizard would have I think 8 if they don't take familiar master.


Can a familiar flank?


Mellored wrote:
Can a familiar flank?

I don't believe so. Generally even a witch probably is not going to want their familiar up in hand to hand range other than as a hit and run with a touch attack spell.


kaid wrote:

Even compared to a wizard the wizard only really stays competitive with the amount of stuff their familiar can get if they decide to go the familiar master archetype otherwise they get enhanced familiar as the only real upgrade on top of the stuff they get from bonded familiar.

At level 4 witches can take an option that makes specific familiars take less options which gives you a good package of utility stuff cheap so you can add on more skills and then they get incredible witch to add more.

As for lore master if a familar is worth a dedication feat + at least one other feat so you could take another dedication than clearly thats a handy ability.

At least if my math holds up at max level a witch can have 12 familiar abilities where a wizard would have I think 8 if they don't take familiar master.

I'm coming to 10, must be missing one...

Either way, yes, if the witch spends 2 extra class feats her Familiar is indeed better than the Wizard. But at the cost of two feats the Wizard can use for other abilities, so that seems fair to me.

The other fun option is for the Wizard to multiclass into Witch instead to get the Witch Familiar, spend the same two feats the Witch does to get the extra familiar abilities and still have one more spell slot per level....granted it would take them more levels to get there.


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That also presupposes that it's actually worth putting this much investment into a familiar over other things. They can have all these familiar abilities, but is that going to be better than grabbing lessons or Cackle, etc.? Because all of those familiar abilities is a hefty investment in class feats.

It's like a bunch of old P1e feat chains. You can be the master of fighting while blind, while everyone else is picking up things like power attack.

As for flanking, as far as I know familiars can flank, they're just tiny creatures. The familiars rules contemplate familiars making attacks. Surefire way to get your little guy smushed though, or burn through your focus points as a Witch.


Witches are hands down the best trap finders now. With tough, life link, and the resistance/save abilities your familiar will probably even survive to find more than one per day. Toss on Lesson of Life for Life Boost and a Spirit Link if you want to make him a little more durable still.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kaid wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Can a familiar flank?
I don't believe so. Generally even a witch probably is not going to want their familiar up in hand to hand range other than as a hit and run with a touch attack spell.

Here are the relevant rules.

FLANKING
When you and an ally are flanking a foe, it has a harder time defending against you. A creature is flat-footed (taking a –2 circumstance penalty to AC) to creatures that are flanking it.

To flank a foe, you and your ally must be on opposites sides or corners of the creature. A line drawn between the center of your space and the center of your ally’s space must pass through opposite sides or opposite corners of the foe’s space. Additionally, both you and the ally have to be able to act, must be wielding melee weapons or able to make an unarmed attack, can’t be under any effects that prevent you from attacking, and must have the enemy within reach. If you are wielding a reach weapon, you use your reach with that weapon for this purpose.

Since most familiars can't wield melee weapons, make unarmed attacks, or really make attacks of any kind (at least insofar as I'm aware), and have an effective reach of 0 feet, it doesn't look like they can flank or help provide flanking.


kaid wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Can a familiar flank?
I don't believe so. Generally even a witch probably is not going to want their familiar up in hand to hand range other than as a hit and run with a touch attack spell.

Actually, looks like the familiar can.

"If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier."
Specifically says they can attack.

"must be wielding melee weapons or able to make an unarmed attack"

And why not let it get hit? You have 5*level hit points each day, might as well use them so your allies don't have to. Plus phase familiar.

Maybe a wort witch to give it reach.

Switch to a spell slime if your getting too many crits.


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Mellored wrote:


"If it attempts an attack roll or other skill check, it uses your level as its modifier."
Specifically says they can attack.

It doesn't say they can attack. It says that if in the future some yet to be published ability allows them to attack it would use your level as its modifier.

And in fact APG did provide such an ability: the Spellcasting familiar ability. You can now grant it a 1/day spell, which could have an attack roll (such as Acid Arrow) and because of that future proofing we know how to resolve the attack roll (very poorly).

There's still no way to do a melee attack.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Like others have said, familiar is neato if you like that sort of thing, bur being a pet class was never the point if Witch for me. It was the hexes, and especially the buffing hexes for me. I like playing a "good" witch.

Using familiars as disposable because they come back the next day is *SO FAR* from how I roleplay my familiars that it's not a feature for me. It'd be flagrantly disregarding the reverence and kinship of the master-familiar bond.

If I wanted to play a caster focused on a pet I already could have gone Wizard or Druid. I still don't have a caster focused on cantrip hexes, unless I reflavor Bard.


Pretty grim scenario to throw your familiar into combat every day as a Witch, knowing it'll pop back into existence tomorrow, though I'm also kind of doubting if they can attack now. The rules talk about how you roll their attack, but there aren't any stats for their attacks or Bestiary entries for really any tiny animals (except vipers I think). Kind of odd that your imp familiar could not attack by virtue of being a familiar, even though there are stats for it. Probably just talk to your GM and don't assume that it can.

That said, I could see it being a bit with some familiars or a relationship that sort of breaks the fourth wall, like a jerky imp begrudgingly serving the Witch and getting tired of being crushed and reincarnated every day. Though that's also treading into some distasteful territory for some.

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