APG Witch Discussion


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Well, at least demoralize and steal are untrained. So I can keep doing those.

As are grapple/trip/shove. Add in humanoid form, and that can provide some combat use.

Command animal is also untrained.... any way to use that?


Look, the familiar is just scouting, a totally acceptable job, and you gave him defensive abilities. You didn't know there was a trap there!


WatersLethe wrote:

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.

I completely agree with that.

But even if this is not the witch we want, it is the witch we got.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

*Starts campaigning for class archetype book*


The familiar coming back the next day don't make them that disposable, a Witch that lose their familiar can't cast hexes (read the hex trait) or refocus.

And Witch is more resource efficient than people gives it credit, Casting a spell + Hex cantrip them next turn Hex focus + sustain Hex, after that you can pretty much just keep sustaining both for the rest of the battle or drop the cantrip to cast another spell or Hex.

The class focus in sustaining way more than the other casters and if you pick cackle you pretty much will want to prepare more sustaining spells like Flaming Sphere or Aqueous Orb.


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Mmm, yeah. Happy for folks that got their multi-tradition Witches, bummed that I couldn't get something like:

- Occult caster
- "Winter" patron with a bonus ice spell at every level (and other thematic patrons with interesting bonus spells)
- Free choice of hex cantrip
- Lessons that give hexes and other bonus spells from other traditions.

C'est la vie, not for me.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Puna'chong wrote:

Mmm, yeah. Happy for folks that got their multi-tradition Witches, bummed that I couldn't get something like:

- Occult caster
- "Winter" patron with a bonus ice spell at every level.
- Free choice of hex cantrip
- Lessons that give hexes and other bonus spells from other traditions.

C'est la vie, not for me.

Yeah, I too argued hard for prepared occult with a more robust chassis, but we have what we have. I think it will play fine. It sacrificed a lot of identity, both mechanical and flavor, to encompass all traditions.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

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.

Just thought about number 4. I'd be okay with default Occult as long as I can pick my cantrip.


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Not getting to pick the hex cantrip is a really big one for me.

Like there was an entire line of argument back in ye olde playtest debates about how arcane was needed because it has baleful polymorph and occult doesn't. But now you can have baleful polymorph on your Witch but... No evil eye. Can be a Winter Witch but nudge fate is out of your wheelhouse.


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

The description of the familiar's return is left open ended for just this very reason. It could be resurrected, possessed by a new spirit, an entirely different entity, or...wait for it...maybe it didn't die at all. Perhaps it was just "knocked out" and needed some time to recover.

It is a feature, one everyone can use. Don't like a certain theme? Then change the theme!

Compared to video games and board games, it's kind of the super power of role playing games.


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AzureKnight wrote:
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.

The talent that makes specific familiars cost 2 powers less. Those familiars are priced at one per ability they have and they have one innate ability on top of that. So the witch talent that makes them cheaper basically gives you 12 worth of stuff and the psuedo dragon has the speech/flying/nimble hands which you need for a lot of the skill stuff anyway so its a no brainer.


Sporkedup wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:

Mmm, yeah. Happy for folks that got their multi-tradition Witches, bummed that I couldn't get something like:

- Occult caster
- "Winter" patron with a bonus ice spell at every level.
- Free choice of hex cantrip
- Lessons that give hexes and other bonus spells from other traditions.

C'est la vie, not for me.

Yeah, I too argued hard for prepared occult with a more robust chassis, but we have what we have. I think it will play fine. It sacrificed a lot of identity, both mechanical and flavor, to encompass all traditions.

I disagree heavily and I think the notion that something lacks flavor when their spell list allows concepts otherwise impossible debunks that argument pretty handidly.

It’s not the identity you wanted, but it’s got plenty of identity the way they went.

Puna'chong wrote:

Not getting to pick the hex cantrip is a really big one for me.

Like there was an entire line of argument back in ye olde playtest debates about how arcane was needed because it has baleful polymorph and occult doesn't. But now you can have baleful polymorph on your Witch but... No evil eye. Can be a Winter Witch but nudge fate is out of your wheelhouse.

Ah so no matter what kind of witch I want to be I have to have evil eye or I’m not really a witch? Is that it?


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Midnightoker wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:

Mmm, yeah. Happy for folks that got their multi-tradition Witches, bummed that I couldn't get something like:

- Occult caster
- "Winter" patron with a bonus ice spell at every level.
- Free choice of hex cantrip
- Lessons that give hexes and other bonus spells from other traditions.

C'est la vie, not for me.

Yeah, I too argued hard for prepared occult with a more robust chassis, but we have what we have. I think it will play fine. It sacrificed a lot of identity, both mechanical and flavor, to encompass all traditions.

I disagree heavily and I think the notion that something lacks flavor when their spell list allows concepts otherwise impossible debunks that argument pretty handidly.

It’s not the identity you wanted, but it’s got plenty of identity the way they went.

Puna'chong wrote:

Not getting to pick the hex cantrip is a really big one for me.

Like there was an entire line of argument back in ye olde playtest debates about how arcane was needed because it has baleful polymorph and occult doesn't. But now you can have baleful polymorph on your Witch but... No evil eye. Can be a Winter Witch but nudge fate is out of your wheelhouse.

Ah so no matter what kind of witch I want to be I have to have evil eye or I’m not really a witch? Is that it?

No, but the aggression I'm getting from you suggests you're taking my own gripes with the class personally. Which is an unfortunate turn to what's seemed like a fairly chill conversation so far. Sorry you're upset.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:

Mmm, yeah. Happy for folks that got their multi-tradition Witches, bummed that I couldn't get something like:

- Occult caster
- "Winter" patron with a bonus ice spell at every level.
- Free choice of hex cantrip
- Lessons that give hexes and other bonus spells from other traditions.

C'est la vie, not for me.

Yeah, I too argued hard for prepared occult with a more robust chassis, but we have what we have. I think it will play fine. It sacrificed a lot of identity, both mechanical and flavor, to encompass all traditions.

I disagree heavily and I think the notion that something lacks flavor when their spell list allows concepts otherwise impossible debunks that argument pretty handidly.

It’s not the identity you wanted, but it’s got plenty of identity the way they went.

Oh, I already knew how you felt. I was here for the playtest.

I have no particular problems with the prepared-any the witch turned into, not really. But what was my fear regarding the concept has mostly come to pass--the idea to make it able to cast from all four spell lists ended up giving it weak class features. The familiar is nice but not that impressively better than can be otherwise obtained, and the Familiar Master feat pretty much wipes out a witch multiclass as the best way to focus on a little friend. The hex cantrips are a solid idea but are very weakly tuned, giving them generally little viability compared to their action cost. The focus hexes have a couple gems but there are way too few of them and the free level 1 hex you get is situational at best.

I was afraid of too many witch concepts needing a foot in the door with core witch, and that's what we've got. Yay, we got a divine patron so we can make a red witch, except that aside from the spell list all they get is a cantrip that buffs ally attacks, nothing demonic or devilish at all.

I think it's a fine enough class and will be fun, but I also don't think it stacks up against other casters well at all. Sorcerer gets more spell slots, a much wider range of choices, stronger focus feats, and a special bloodline effect instead of a boosted familiar. Wizard has to be built a little more specific to match a witch familiar, but otherwise they get more spell slots and better focus spells. Cleric and druid get significantly better class features like divine font and wild shape stylings. Bard is probably the smoothest caster right now, and their focus cantrips demolish the witch's. Oracle has some downsides but really looks strong and highly, highly playable.

So really that's just my concern. In trying to fit witch into all boxes, the balancing team failed to make it an appreciably equal option for any of them. Picking one spell list would have made balancing around what occult offers much more specifically and effectively, in my estimation.

I'm glad witch works for you. I'm not here to argue that prepared-any was the wrong choice--I just think it made it harder for them to get it right, and so we're left with a decent if still underwhelming witch. And that's just a little disappointing, because all the right ideas are there.

All opinions, by the way.


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I guess I just don’t like blanket statements about classes that quite literally have been in play for less than a month, especially when 90% of the complaints mirror the Wizard thread or declare hexes “bad” or say it’s a pet class now.

These judgements don’t sound fair and I’m willing to bet they aren’t on actual play.

I’m going to be running a few witches as NPCs fairly soon and I have yet to make one so far that I was just “really disappointed in”.

And I’m getting tired of seeing the blame go to the multiple lists, because it literally has nothing to do with the other choices they made for the class (like hexes).

Some statements being made here are just straight up indictments that lack evidence. It’s been “chill” because just about every comment has been negative.

So here’s me saying what they made looks cool, it looks fun, it looks viable and strong, and I am pretty excited to play it. I’m sure everyone will say how wrong I am but I’m not just going to go with the current discussion flow because everyone’s having a good time pooping on the new class.

And since the thread is at least titled “discussion” and not “worst class ever” I figured I should at least cast one vote to the “nice work” column.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I've been very happy with the Witch so far myself after investing so heavily in it during the playtest. It can do some neat things with familiars (since it gets more master abilities) and has plenty of other interesting features like Hexes.

I really like the way patron/lessons ended up working, and I'm tempted toward multiple builds, including the item creation / cauldrom set up where you can thoughtful gift items into someone else's hand on demand, Arcane Witch for a character I've kept with me since 4e, and others, like the Primal witch I like most thematically by default.

I've also observed a lot of people in my group MCing Witch, probably for the familiar and some of the other feats-- I have an elemental sorcerer who did it and got Elemental Betrayal, then proceeded to use their extra gold to outfit the party with frost runes and such.


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I don't feel like any of these statements criticizing the design are blanket statements, and those who aren't as excited have been clear that it isn't the very fact that there are multiple traditions, but that the options feel less robust. We talked quite a bit about focusing on the class as the premiere familiar class, for instance, which had nothing to do with lists. Down to whether using your familiar as a sacrificial flank bot that reincarnates every day was doable.

As an example, when I was talking about not being able to have baleful polymorph and evil eye I wasn't talking about a "right" or "wrong" Witch, I was talking about how one conception of a Witch couldn't be realized because we can't pick our hex cantrips. What I really want is to evil eye people and ill omen them while also turning them into newts and using occult powers, but the hex cantrips aren't available for arcane and baleful polymorph isn't an option right now from a lesson if I go occult (however, I can do this as a Hag Sorcerer, so that may be what I have to do). I can't make a Winter Witch--again, that I want to make, not that I think anyone else should want to make--that also plays on a Norn kind of theme with nudge fate, and I can't cast ill omen because it's an occult spell.

My other "disappointment," which I talked about being a disappointment for me, also doesn't have anything to do with spell lists specifically, and is also an issue I have with Sorcerer as well: lessons (and bloodline powers) are only available as feats, so they necessarily compete with other cool feats at the same level when it feels like your patron would teach you as a matter of course (or your bloodline would naturally advance).

Feel free to bring whatever baggage you want into the thread, but if a lot of comments are critical it's usually more productive to approach them with counterarguments if you feel differently rather than casting everyone as being on a Witch hunt. While it's true that the Witch hasn't been out long at all, I've rolled up a bunch of different characters now and compared them to what I could do with another class and have been talking about my impressions.

Like The-Magic-Sword mentioned, I think there's more possibility in Witch than just a familiar class. I actually think investing a lot in the familiar, while clearly encouraged by the number of feats and features supporting it, is a bit of a mistake, and that the item creation path is a bit more interesting. I'm also interested in the mention of using a Witch MCD with a Sorcerer to get elemental betrayal.

It's just a discussion of our impressions of the class now that it's out and we can fiddle with it. It's ok to be disappointed with constructive criticism, which I feel is prevalent in this thread. It's also ok to be stoked and say why. It doesn't have to be a fight.


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While I can understand some of the nuanced views some might have, the choice of words for this thread has comments like "all hex cantrips suck except evil eye".

If you're having trouble fulfilling a specific concept and why you think that concept deserves to exist in the opening release of a class, I'd be happy to hear that.

But "I don't have Evil Eye" is not a concept, it's an issue with a specific mechanic not being available, and to be honest, long term would not be surprised that these were expanded.

I will also point out though, that given the entire Patron GM/Player relationship is supposed to be a partnership there is room to allow changes to these rules (in fact, Patron is written in such a way that it's intended). Whether that's enough for some GM/Tables to make variations on existing Patron options on a per-player basis is another matter that I can see causing concern for players.

But I would expect even in PFS (which we're already seen) that there will be additional options per adventure in these capacities potentially (though otherwise limited).

I do not agree that all hexes are weak except Evil Eye, most have exceptional value and round to round variation on their choices is great.

They have one less spell sure, but the fact that most combats will open with a Hex is going to help accentuate the use of lower-level spells and still allow ally's to do work.

The Focus hexes look fantastic and very thematic.

There are some in the list that I find less than ideal (the Night Hex is lacking a bit, but I've made gripes about Darknvision/Darkness before for this very reason) in combat situations against typical night-creatures but that's not enough for me to say "the whole class is unsatisfying because my every round hexes aren't game enders".

Personally to me, you have to look at the whole package together.

As a unit, the hex cantrips + focus hexes + Familiar variability + Patronlist make for a very "full" class. The combination of these together is what makes it good.

If there are some missing ingredients in the recipe above, then all that's missing is printed options it's not really a fundamental "miss" in terms of design.

And given this class has nearly a built in "build your own recipe" in the Patron section, I find that an okay pill to swallow.

I went through a few concepts so far, and was able to create most of what I had hoped would be possible, so when I see all this criticism I would expect it to come with "here's what concept I can't accomplish" instead of "X class feature is bad" with little justification.


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I think if there was an option to trade familiar abilities for more hexes (probably 2 for 1), that would solve a lot of the complaints.


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I really do want the "order explorer" style feat to let you grab another hex cantrip. Or some higher level hex cantrips. The bard gets a bunch of them available through feats, so it's kind of disappointing the witch just gets the one.


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Midnightoker wrote:

Personally to me, you have to look at the whole package together.

As a unit, the hex cantrips + focus hexes + Familiar variability + Patronlist make for a very "full" class. The combination of these together is what makes it good.

If there are some missing ingredients in the recipe above, then all that's missing is printed options it's not really a fundamental "miss" in terms of design.

And given this class has nearly a built in "build your own recipe" in the Patron section, I find that an okay pill to swallow.

I'm sorry, I have a tendency to write long threads:

TLDR: Your opinion the witch is fine, my opinion she is under-powered, we both have reasons :-)

TLDR: My Reasons:
- The loss of the 4th spell slot is not made up for by other class abilities.
- The locking of the Patron theme/casting tradition/hex cantrip sucks without house rules to allow other custom patrons. My gaming table doesn't allow house rules lightly.

=========================================================================== ==================================================================

If you read through many of the comments I have made in this thread you will see that I AM looking at the class as a whole. For the upcoming character I am looking to play I have now skeletoned out a Witch, a Sorcerer, a Wizard, a Bard (working on a Cleric now) out to level 14.

In my opinion the Witch falls far short of all of the other classes I have compared in terms of power and ability. Furthermore, I feel that the mechanical build also restricts Role Playing aspects as well.

I'm not here to poop on the class. As I have stated before, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to like the witch. I was super excited to hear she was coming. I'm in this thread to find out if I am wrong about her power level (nothing has yet convinced me otherwise).

As stated earlier, I play with a group of power gamers, being left in the dust is not fun. Do I think the witch is going to be left in the dust...probably not completely no. But from everything I can see she certainly is going to be running behind the curve.

From a Role Playing perspective I find it sad that the hex cantrip and casting traditions are tied to the patron. At my table we largely play by the books. So your statement that there is a "build your own recipe" for Patrons is NOT true for everyone. Great, your table does it. Mine doesn't. Why? Because it is a table full of power gamers and as soon as we open that door there is a flood of "little" requests that start to fly in.

The Witch's Familiar is the best potential familiar in the game. That is pretty blatant at this point, just due to the daily recreation. That is a nice notch for the Witch.

My biggest complaint?
She is a primary casting class with low hit points, no armor access, limited weapon access. - Fine
But, she lacks the 4th casting slot granted to all of the other primary casters - OK...so as you stated, total package what does she get instead?

Without investing Feats that sacrifice other class abilities, she gets Hexs and the Familiar reincarnate.

In my opinion the Witch's Level 1+ Hexs are fine; they feel really on par with other class Focus spells. We can break down the numbers if you want...I'd be more than happy to. The witch has a lot of options for Focus spells, more than some of the other classes, but at the end of the day she is still locked into a pool of 3 focus points. This hinders her ability to leverage those extra hexes. Really feels like an even split with other classes to me.

So that leaves the Hex Cantrips, which in theory are supposed to make up for the lack of the spell slot. Here I have several reasons why I feel they don't. You can't pick your cantrip to fit your build. If you want a certain tradition or theme for your witch, then your cantrip is selected for you. If you are making a certain type of build, Blaster, Buffer, Healer, etc. Your cantrip (which should be a core part of your character) cannot be selected. You state that is "easily" overcome by a custom patron. But "custom" patrons are not RAW, they are house rules.

Even if you do get the perfect cantrip for your build. They are not great. Shall we break them down?

- Clinging Ice: 1d4 damage and chance for speed debuff. However it can only target each target once per minute (10 rounds most fights are over on our table...not sure how this is for everyone else). So a range 30' spell, the average speed in the game is 25'. So, if you get to perfect range and get the debuff on you could potentially keep the foe from reaching you in one move. But my guess is that the speed debuff usually won't matter. If I could slow you from 100' away that would be a lot better. Overall, this cantrip is mechanically weaker than all the other attack cantrips out there in terms of damage. It gets a good boost from being one action but that in turn is limited to once per target. And if you do score a debuff that you want, then you are now losing that action economy gain by having to sustain. No other cantrips require a sustain. Overall...it feels like a well balanced cantrip that could live on any cantrip list.

- Discern Secrets: Recall Knowledge, Seek, Sense Motive. This to me feels split between combat and non-combat. It is one action that can grant another player a Recall Knowledge, this trades one of your actions for another player's if you cast it on someone else in combat...OK. Maybe good if they need that action more than you do? Then it grants a +1 buff. Sure, that feels on par with a standard cantrip.

- Evil Eye: -1 (-2 if you are lucky) debuff. OK, that feels on par with a cantrip. As the others, the once per fight per target sucks, but the single action is cool. But, the sustain cost does away with that. I cast a 2 action spell and Evil Eye round one. Round two if I cast another standard spell I cannot evil eye again, I have to sustain. It is good...but again, IMO right on par with standard cantrips.

I could continue down the list, if you reply and want my thoughts...I will. But in the end they all end up looking this way to me. The Hex Cantrips are really well balance Cantrips IMO.

So...why is that a problem? Because it appears to me that the loss of the extra spell slot per day was done because of the Hex Cantrips and when I look at this class as a WHOLE, it just doesn't add up.

Please, show me specifically where I am wrong, show me the build that is mechanically as good as other casting classes. I am here, literally begging to be wrong - and because I love rule discussions with other gaming geeks :-)

My dream for the Witch Class:
- Separate the Patron Theme from the Magic Tradition and Hex Cantrip. Allow the player to choose a role playing theme and then choose a tradition and cantrip. I really don't see how that would break the class in any way.
- Give them the 4th casting slot like the Wizard and Sorcerer.

To anyone that read my ramblings this far...thanks for listening.

PS: Multiclassing into a Witch is a really good build if you want a Familiar.


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I am kinda wondering after digging around more with witch if the loss of the one spell slot is because they are really being aimed at spell sustaining. A lot of their kit seems to revolves around putting a debuff on something and then sustaining it till that target croaks. Could be they are trying to aim at making you cast efficiently and sustaining your hexes and other spells so a lot of your rounds are just upkeeping what you have grinding away on stuff with cackle to give you a free action to do something else if you need to.


hmmm quick question:

SPlit Hex +Malicious Shadow: 1 Attack roll for both targets per sustain, or 2 seperate attack rolls, one for each. And what about MAP in the 2nd case?


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The patron should absolutely be tied to the magic tradition. If you're being granted/taught magic by a thing, the magic the thing gives you should be related to what kind of thing it is. A faerie can teach you primal magic for sure, but absolutely should not be able to teach you divine magic.

The Patron granting a hex cantrip is also fine. The biggest problem is that [u]this is the only hex cantrip you ever get[/u].

This is particularly glaring in light of the fact that the only other class which has focus cantrips has nine different feats which grant access to one in addition to the one they start with (a focus cantrip which is more universally applicable than something like something like shroud of night or discern secrets.)


kaid wrote:
I am kinda wondering after digging around more with witch if the loss of the one spell slot is because they are really being aimed at spell sustaining. A lot of their kit seems to revolves around putting a debuff on something and then sustaining it till that target croaks. Could be they are trying to aim at making you cast efficiently and sustaining your hexes and other spells so a lot of your rounds are just upkeeping what you have grinding away on stuff with cackle to give you a free action to do something else if you need to.

Maybe I'm missing something, but to me this seemed kinda obvious.

Hexes by definition have an inherent advantage by being cast first they provide the long term benefits with sustain effects.

They also don't penalize you for switching your curse to someone else, since whether it is a Sustain or a new target the Hex is likely to cost one action.

Focus Hexes also fall into this category as well, they inherently provide more value the longer they are on the field.

People wanted Hexes to be integrated heavily into not only the combat style, but the success of their spells as well.

Now being able to get another Patron's Hex via a Feat seems reasonable, but Basic Lesson is only a level 2 Feat and I do think it provides a decent amount of alleviation to some of the more niche hexes.

But in general, it certainly seems like a Witch needs to get a Hex out ASAP, which honestly is to me a success in design. Of course they should be hexing as soon as possible.


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You get a second hex with a level 2 feat, sure, but there are 10 more levels before you get the ability to refocus for 2. So no matter how many hexes you know, being able to use more than one per combat is a once (or twice) per day thing.

Your bread and butter is going to be spell slots, actual cantrips, and hex cantrips. It would be nice if the latter category offered choices past level 1.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

You get a second hex with a level 2 feat, sure, but there are 10 more levels before you get the ability to refocus for 2. So no matter how many hexes you know, being able to use more than one per combat is a once (or twice) per day thing.

Your bread and butter is going to be spell slots, actual cantrips, and hex cantrips. It would be nice if the latter category offered choices past level 1.

You start with a focus spell, so you get 2 at least once and if you take the familiar refocus ability it’s two times. And since witches get a bonus choice, that’s almost guaranteed.

So two times per day you can use two focus hexes with that ability and then you get one focus hex per combat per day outside that and almost all of the focus hexes are actually good.

And that’s in addition to your spells, which are of course still good.


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Familiar Conduit lets you drop spells at quite a distance, and adding the persistent damage... and you can really soften someone up before they reach you.

Winter Witch
Trained in Stealth.

Familair has independent, share senses, and survivability stuff.
2: Familiar Master
4: Familiar Conduit
6: Improved Familiar (Imp)
8: Greater Lesson (Personal Blizzard)
10: Incredible Familiar (possibly retrain later)
12: Familiar's Eyes (or keep using familiar senses)
14: Hex Focus
16: Effortless Concentration
18: Hex Wellspring
20: Patron's Truth

Invisible Imp moves up, Familiar Conduit + Personal Blizzard, and sneak away...


Mellored wrote:

Familiar Conduit lets you drop spells at quite a distance, and adding the persistent damage... and you can really soften someone up before they reach you.

Winter Witch
Trained in Stealth.

Familair has independent, share senses, and survivability stuff.
2: Familiar Master
4: Familiar Conduit
6: Improved Familiar (Imp)
8: Greater Lesson (Personal Blizzard)
10: Incredible Familiar (possibly retrain later)
12: Familiar's Eyes (or keep using familiar senses)
14: Hex Focus
16: Effortless Concentration
18: Hex Wellspring
20: Patron's Truth

Invisible Imp moves up, Familiar Conduit + Personal Blizzard, and sneak away...

It's not necessarily bad, but the amount of class feats you need to reach that results is very steep...

One thing that hasn't been mentioned much is, Hexes have a lot more restriction than other Focus spells & cantrips focus, and not all of them seems to justify it.


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Kendaan wrote:
Mellored wrote:

Familiar Conduit lets you drop spells at quite a distance, and adding the persistent damage... and you can really soften someone up before they reach you.

Winter Witch
Trained in Stealth.

Familair has independent, share senses, and survivability stuff.
2: Familiar Master
4: Familiar Conduit
6: Improved Familiar (Imp)
8: Greater Lesson (Personal Blizzard)
10: Incredible Familiar (possibly retrain later)
12: Familiar's Eyes (or keep using familiar senses)
14: Hex Focus
16: Effortless Concentration
18: Hex Wellspring
20: Patron's Truth

Invisible Imp moves up, Familiar Conduit + Personal Blizzard, and sneak away...

It's not necessarily bad, but the amount of class feats you need to reach that results is very steep...

One thing that hasn't been mentioned much is, Hexes have a lot more restriction than other Focus spells & cantrips focus, and not all of them seems to justify it.

Got another way to cast a spell from a mile away?

I mean, you still need line of effect so not as good in a dungeon, but that's a long distance weapon.


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Not happy that the witch only gets one hex cantrip ever, especially when precedent is there from other classes to grant focus cantrips from other subclasses (see: druid).


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littlebattler wrote:
Not happy that the witch only gets one hex cantrip ever, especially when precedent is there from other classes to grant focus cantrips from other subclasses (see: druid).

druid doesnt give focus cantrips, it gives focus spells, which the witch has free range to pick from regardless the patron since they are from the Lessons.

The only other class with focus cantrips is Bard, and yeah, it sucks that bard has like 9 of them and can pick from other muses while the witch has only 4 and can't get more than 1.

But it's not that wide spread since it's only 1 other class that has them.

If the norm for focus cantrips is the Bard (you can get multiple ones) or the Witch (you only get 1) can only be known if later classes that release with focus cantrips follow the Bard or the Witch paradigm.


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It feels like there should be a middle ground between "you only get one focus cantrip ever" and "you can spend your 2nd, 4th, 6th, 10th, 12th, and 14th level feats on new focus cantrips if you want."


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i'm not so peeved about only getting one IF they were suppossed to be some sort of signature thing. But they lack the scalability to do so.

Bard as well will usually only be using 1 or maybe 2 of his cantrips, but the thing that it's missing is scalability imo.

They are pretty weak compared to bard's, as an example, evil eye is the same range as Dirge (only a level 6 feat), needs a save, hits only 1 target. For a level 1 signature move, it's not bad, but it should had something like heightened+2: +1 target

Even if it was just a base 60-120 range instead of 30 would help to seperate them a bit.

something along those lines.

same thing with nudge fate and the rest of them. They are cool since they are 1 action, but at later levels, hitting only 1 target is questionable if it's even worth using said action.

They follow similar rules as arcane thesis and etc, that are supposed to be THE signature of your patron, but their usefulness fade away pretty fast.

(p.s. some of them DO scale, like the damage ones and etc, but i still think you should be able to multitarget way WAY earlier than level 18...)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would really like to know the thought process behind the vast, vast gulf in power between the buffing cantrip hexes like nudge fate and stoke the heart versus inspire courage.

I've heard people say Inspire Courage is an outlier, but even if it is there are a multitude of ways that you could shrink the gap a little. If you can't shrink the gap at all, then Inspire Courage should be nerfed or something.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

I would really like to know the thought process behind the vast, vast gulf in power between the buffing cantrip hexes like nudge fate and stoke the heart versus inspire courage.

I've heard people say Inspire Courage is an outlier, but even if it is there are a multitude of ways that you could shrink the gap a little. If you can't shrink the gap at all, then Inspire Courage should be nerfed or something.

What would your proposed nerf to Inspire Courage be?


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WatersLethe wrote:

I would really like to know the thought process behind the vast, vast gulf in power between the buffing cantrip hexes like nudge fate and stoke the heart versus inspire courage.

I've heard people say Inspire Courage is an outlier, but even if it is there are a multitude of ways that you could shrink the gap a little. If you can't shrink the gap at all, then Inspire Courage should be nerfed or something.

witches (and everyone else) can take Inspire Courage; no one other than witches can access Hex Cantrips.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lelomenia wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

I would really like to know the thought process behind the vast, vast gulf in power between the buffing cantrip hexes like nudge fate and stoke the heart versus inspire courage.

I've heard people say Inspire Courage is an outlier, but even if it is there are a multitude of ways that you could shrink the gap a little. If you can't shrink the gap at all, then Inspire Courage should be nerfed or something.

witches (and everyone else) can take Inspire Courage; no one other than witches can access Hex Cantrips.

Shouldn't that allow hex cantrips to be more powerful, because they're locked down behind a class with few other powerful features?

And it's to the point where a buffing witch is far, far better off just reflavoring Bard to be a witch (which is super easy) and going with that chassis.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
First World Bard wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

I would really like to know the thought process behind the vast, vast gulf in power between the buffing cantrip hexes like nudge fate and stoke the heart versus inspire courage.

I've heard people say Inspire Courage is an outlier, but even if it is there are a multitude of ways that you could shrink the gap a little. If you can't shrink the gap at all, then Inspire Courage should be nerfed or something.

What would your proposed nerf to Inspire Courage be?

I wouldn't want to nerf it. I just keep hearing people dismiss its strength as being out of line, but giving no reason why that justifies the massive gulf in power for a new ability that's directly comparable.

I'd much prefer to give Witch a single target inspire courage hex and call it a day.


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I'm fairly excited to make a human damphir curse witch with cackle and effortless concentration. Evil Eye, Malicious shadows, and curse of death (plus focus regeneration feats) with an archetype like beast master sounds really cool. Also, with cackle as a built in sustain on top of the other two spooky focus powers I finally found the chassis Im going to play a necromancer on. Occult has animate dead so I'm good to go. Bard may be a strictly stronger base but it wouldn't feel nearly as thematic mechanic wise and I wouldn't have a buff familiar to boot. Overall, more hex cantrip choices, more lessons, and a feat to snatch another patrons cantrip would definitely fix the only lingering issues I have with the class.


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WWHsmackdown wrote:
I'm fairly excited to make a human damphir curse witch with cackle and effortless concentration. Evil Eye, Malicious shadows, and curse of death (plus focus regeneration feats) with an archetype like beast master sounds really cool. Also, with cackle as a built in sustain on top of the other two spooky focus powers I finally found the chassis Im going to play a necromancer on. Occult has animate dead so I'm good to go. Bard may be a strictly stronger base but it wouldn't feel nearly as thematic mechanic wise and I wouldn't have a buff familiar to boot. Overall, more hex cantrip choices, more lessons, and a feat to snatch another patrons cantrip would definitely fix the only lingering issues I have with the class.

TBF, i don't think Witch is weak, and i do like the mechanics and the flavor as well.

It's just kinda aggravating when you compare some things to the Bard, doubly so because Cha which is the main stat for bard also has tremendous support over Int which is the main stat for Witch.

If Int had cool tricks like Bon Mot and such to compliment as spellcaster it would be tons better.


The difference is how compositions have more limitations than hexes, both have the same only once can be cast per turn but compositions cancel the effects of the previous ones unlike hex that can stack with each other.

And then have focus spells by itself that the witches ones are more varied, ranging from damage, debuff, healing and buffs, while bard have like 3 notable ones, being Lingering Composition, Inspire Heroics and Soothing Balad, the first two are from Maestro that have chance to fail and will take your skill ups in performance. So if you don't pick Maestro you basically don't have an impactful focus spell until lvl 14.


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Kyrone wrote:

The difference is how compositions have more limitations than hexes, both have the same only once can be cast per turn but compositions cancel the effects of the previous ones unlike hex that can stack with each other.

And then have focus spells by itself that the witches ones are more varied, ranging from damage, debuff, healing and buffs, while bard have like 3 notable ones, being Lingering Composition, Inspire Heroics and Soothing Balad, the first two are from Maestro that have chance to fail and will take your skill ups in performance. So if you don't pick Maestro you basically don't have an impactful focus spell until lvl 14.

Failing a metamagic composition isnt that dire since it refunds the focus point, while if someone saves vs the Hex loses you the focus point.

And what people are mostly discussing is exactly that, you dont have to be a "maestro" to pick up the other focus cantrips since you can pick up multiple muses, while there's no such option for Witch.

There are also a lot more varied compositions than you imply. There are defensive ones, offensive ones, debuffing one, healing, cleanse, illusions that double as utility, skill support, and etc. The only thing that's lacking is a damage one compared to the Witch (until level 20 at least if you pick up Aria)

As for multiple hexes, at it's core, a single composition alone is worth multiple hexes in it's effect. A Dirge is like 3-10 evil eyes (each of which takes both an action and they have to fail the save), an Inspire compares pretty directly to multiple castings of Stroke the Heart, and etc.


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*Draws a line in the sand and writes "bard" on it, starts walking, drawing several other lines and marking them with class names along the way.*

I'll let you know when I get to the witch.


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Draco18s wrote:

*Draws a line in the sand and writes "bard" on it, starts walking, drawing several other lines and marking them with class names along the way.*

I'll let you know when I get to the witch.

Ha!

But again, i don't think Witch is a bad class, it's just that it directly compares to bard in some aspects and that, well, sucks since bard is indeed King in some of them.

If anything I like Witch more than Wizard or Sorc, the early 1 action hexes give her a bit more engaging playstyle that fits me more.

For me, if they just put a decent "heighten" on them i would be more than happy with the class.


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shroudb wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

*Draws a line in the sand and writes "bard" on it, starts walking, drawing several other lines and marking them with class names along the way.*

I'll let you know when I get to the witch.

Ha!

But again, i don't think Witch is a bad class, it's just that it directly compares to bard in some aspects and that, well, sucks since bard is indeed King in some of them.

If anything I like Witch more than Wizard or Sorc, the early 1 action hexes give her a bit more engaging playstyle that fits me more.

For me, if they just put a decent "heighten" on them i would be more than happy with the class.

But over the long haul the loss of the spell slot per level compared to Wizard and Sorcerer just nerfs the Witch in a painful way to me.


I've been mulling over ways to improve the witch other than just giving it 4 spell slots (which would work but it's a bit of a boring fix).

What if cackle refunded its focus point cost if it is used to sustain a hex? Or maybe just for hex cantrips (after adding a feat to pick up more of them)? It would still restrict the witch's actions by taking up their hex for the turn and they'd need to keep a focus point reserved for it, but it would give the witch a slightly different niche from the bard instead of simply being worse at the same thing and it would be a better justification for having fewer slots than other casters. It might need to be swapped with phase familiar as the innate focus spell to make it a signature class feature that can't be picked up through the archetype.


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WWHsmackdown wrote:
I'm fairly excited to make a human damphir curse witch with cackle and effortless concentration. Evil Eye, Malicious shadows, and curse of death (plus focus regeneration feats) with an archetype like beast master sounds really cool. Also, with cackle as a built in sustain on top of the other two spooky focus powers I finally found the chassis Im going to play a necromancer on. Occult has animate dead so I'm good to go. Bard may be a strictly stronger base but it wouldn't feel nearly as thematic mechanic wise and I wouldn't have a buff familiar to boot. Overall, more hex cantrip choices, more lessons, and a feat to snatch another patrons cantrip would definitely fix the only lingering issues I have with the class.

Please post later and let us know how Cackle works out for you. I just don't see it as very useful since it costs a Focus Point. If you have two focus and cast any other non-Cantrip hex you can now Cackle once...just feels very weak to me.


AzureKnight wrote:
WWHsmackdown wrote:
I'm fairly excited to make a human damphir curse witch with cackle and effortless concentration. Evil Eye, Malicious shadows, and curse of death (plus focus regeneration feats) with an archetype like beast master sounds really cool. Also, with cackle as a built in sustain on top of the other two spooky focus powers I finally found the chassis Im going to play a necromancer on. Occult has animate dead so I'm good to go. Bard may be a strictly stronger base but it wouldn't feel nearly as thematic mechanic wise and I wouldn't have a buff familiar to boot. Overall, more hex cantrip choices, more lessons, and a feat to snatch another patrons cantrip would definitely fix the only lingering issues I have with the class.

Please post later and let us know how Cackle works out for you. I just don't see it as very useful since it costs a Focus Point. If you have two focus and cast any other non-Cantrip hex you can now Cackle once...just feels very weak to me.

cackle is not weak. it's the equivalent of lingering performance for witches but with different strengths and weaknesses.

it's one of the more solid options for Witch, although it does impact your choice of spells since it tends to push you towards more Sustain spells in general.


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shroudb wrote:
cackle is not weak. it's the equivalent of lingering performance for witches but with different strengths and weaknesses.

Its mostly weaknesses. Lingering can make compositions linger for more than 1 round off a single use. Cackle cannot. The worst result from Lingering is 1 round and no focus cost for 1 action. The only result from Cackle is 1 round for 1 focus and no action.

Literally if Cackle did the same thing as Lingering, no one would be complaining. Literally if Hexes were Compositions, no one would be complaining.

Well, there might be complaints about it being "too similar to the bard" but there wouldn't be this thread about the witch being under powered.

*Continues drawing in the sand*

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