APG Witch Discussion


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Draco18s wrote:
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*

Cackle works on any sustained spell; lingering does not.


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Yeah, I don't think Cackle is usually worth it on cantrip hexes. But elemental betrayal, flaming sphere, mad monkeys, or spiritual weapon? A lot more worth it.


Draco18s wrote:
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*

not really:

cackle vs lingering:
cackle is +1 round, lingering is usually +2 rounds
cackle is for any Sustain spell, lingering is only for compositions
cackle can be used reactively, lingerig you must have cast it the previous round to benefit from it
cackle cant fail or crit, lingering can fail but can also crit

i find them pretty on par with each other.

i'd say that the fact that cackle can be cast reactively, and the fact that you sometimes will fail the activation but some other times you will crit it to balance each other
and i find that lingering is 2 rounds vs cackle is 1 round is pretty balanced around cackle Sustaining any and all spells while lingering is just for compositions.


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.

You can get Refocus from Familiar, and if you take Cackle you'll have two focus points, so that's two encounters per day with 2 Focus spells.

And, I was toying with an Antipalladin Dedication Build that grabs "Desperate Prayer" rather early (and honestly, if you can afford the 14 CHA + 14 STR, then you can try Heavy armor and go Bon Mot maybe, but it is a bit starved).

That brings the number to 3 times per encounter once, and then 2, or 2, 2, and 2.

And then there's the Gnome refocus at level 5, that's another Refocus opportunity for Witches.

When Witch gets to the "two per refocus" territory you can basically spam focus hexes if you've invested in it.

I don't know why the Familiar Refocus ability is being overlooked, it's literally one of the best choices and Witches get a bonus ability to start the game.


My biggest issue with Cackle is the cost vs reward. Most hexes have some sort of sustain associated with them. So if I want to use Cackle to sustain one of those hexes you are reducing your opportunity to actually use one of those hexes.

Combine that with the fact that almost every Hex targets only one creature.

So let's run with your example where it is easy to have 2 Focus points.
If I am in a fight against multiple enemies, I target one of them with a Hex. I am now down 1 focus point. Now is the choice, if I Cackle I get to save 1 action. Is that useful? Of course. Is it worth not being able to Hex anyone else? It doesn't seem like it is going to be.

I admit, I haven't played it yet, I am theorizing, that is why I asked for WWHsmackdown to let us know how it actually plays for them.

I don't see giving up 1 free sustain being worth potentially 10 rounds of a Hex on a different target. The only example that has looked worth it to me is if you Summon Spell and then use the Cackle free sustain to be able to get a second Summons out.

Combine that with the fact that it costs you a Feat to get Cackle. Yes I know you get another Focus Point. But the Witch is likely to get a lot of those and I hate the fact that you are capped at 3. That would have been another way they could have let the Witch stand out, remove the 3 Focus Point cap for her.


AzureKnight wrote:

My biggest issue with Cackle is the cost vs reward. Most hexes have some sort of sustain associated with them. So if I want to use Cackle to sustain one of those hexes you are reducing your opportunity to actually use one of those hexes.

Combine that with the fact that almost every Hex targets only one creature.

So let's run with your example where it is easy to have 2 Focus points.
If I am in a fight against multiple enemies, I target one of them with a Hex. I am now down 1 focus point. Now is the choice, if I Cackle I get to save 1 action. Is that useful? Of course. Is it worth not being able to Hex anyone else? It doesn't seem like it is going to be.

I admit, I haven't played it yet, I am theorizing, that is why I asked for WWHsmackdown to let us know how it actually plays for them.

I don't see giving up 1 free sustain being worth potentially 10 rounds of a Hex on a different target. The only example that has looked worth it to me is if you Summon Spell and then use the Cackle free sustain to be able to get a second Summons out.

Combine that with the fact that it costs you a Feat to get Cackle. Yes I know you get another Focus Point. But the Witch is likely to get a lot of those and I hate the fact that you are capped at 3. That would have been another way they could have let the Witch stand out, remove the 3 Focus Point cap for her.

you can use it with stuff like flame sphere and spiritual weapon, and the level 6 hexes and etc to keep things rolling while pilling more sustain spells on teh battle field.

keep in mind that you can sustain your hex and cast another hex in the same round.

so, something like evil eye+ spell on round 1, followed by sustain on evil eye, cackle to sustain the spell, add a 3rd spell on the battlefield,and etc


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Cackle being good (and only being good) when you sustain non-hexes with it is where I go, "But, but, the whole point of Cackle was to sustain hexes!"

Again, if they'd just taken the bard, and inverted all the things the bard did (enemy debuffs instead of ally buffs) and mechanically did nothing new and unique (eg. hexes are compositions) there'd be literally NO complaints about the class beyond the snooty "but they didn't do anything new."

"They didn't do anything new" has been a useless complaint against artistic professionals for years. Musician tries something new? Complaints that it wasn't enough like their old stuff. Musician makes more of the old stuff? Complaints that they didn't try anything new.


Draco18s wrote:
Musician tries something new? Complaints that it wasn't enough like their old stuff.

Which is specifically what you're doing here. A bit self serving to construct an argument and then try to use that same argument as proof of some general behavior. It's like quoting yourself, in poor taste.

Honestly it sounds like you just really want to play a Bard, so go play a bard.


Draco18s wrote:

Cackle being good (and only being good) when you sustain non-hexes with it is where I go, "But, but, the whole point of Cackle was to sustain hexes!"

Again, if they'd just taken the bard, and inverted all the things the bard did (enemy debuffs instead of ally buffs) and mechanically did nothing new and unique (eg. hexes are compositions) there'd be literally NO complaints about the class beyond the snooty "but they didn't do anything new."

"They didn't do anything new" has been a useless complaint against artistic professionals for years. Musician tries something new? Complaints that it wasn't enough like their old stuff. Musician makes more of the old stuff? Complaints that they didn't try anything new.

I'm still saying that being less good than a Bard is equivalent to being better Balanced than Bard. People keep comparing the Witch to the best class in the game and complaining that they come up short... OK, thank goodness.

The Witch chassis is extremely flexible and comes with the best familiar in the game, edging out the Familiar Thesis Wizard by an appreciable margin.

Hex Cantrips are heavily limited, but quite powerful in their own right and likely much better balanced for their action cost than Bard Compositions.

Hex Focus spells range from OK to "Essentially a full spell (spiritual weapon/flaming sphere) instead of a Focus Spell". As more become available, the general mechanic will improve.

If compared to a Wizard or Druid, the Witch is in a much better place than against a Bard. Both Wizard and Druid have significant advantages... which they SHOULD... but the Witch is a good alternative if you like the things it offers.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
KrispyXIV wrote:
People keep comparing the Witch to the best class in the game and complaining that they come up short... OK, thank goodness.

Not sure I can really agree with this conclusion. Bards are fun. People generally like Bards. Bards are good and effective and feel useful in almost any party without warping the expectations of the game around them either.

That sounds like what we should be aiming for every class to be, not something to avoid.


Squiggit wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
People keep comparing the Witch to the best class in the game and complaining that they come up short... OK, thank goodness.

Not sure I can really agree with this conclusion. Bards are fun. People generally like Bards. Bards are good and effective and feel useful in almost any party without warping the expectations of the game around them either.

That sounds like what we should be aiming for every class to be, not something to avoid.

Bold mine, because its kindof the issue.

As a GM, my experience with a bard was that having a Bard in a party made encounters easier more significantly than a fifth party member, due to math modification.

I'm glad they play well and are fun (seriously, I am) but we don't need more Bard level classes or eventually the challenge mechanics are going to get powercrept to deal with the assumption that most parties will have a "bard tier" member, and those without will suffer.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
People keep comparing the Witch to the best class in the game and complaining that they come up short... OK, thank goodness.

Not sure I can really agree with this conclusion. Bards are fun. People generally like Bards. Bards are good and effective and feel useful in almost any party without warping the expectations of the game around them either.

That sounds like what we should be aiming for every class to be, not something to avoid.

Bards are powerful, they are not necessarily fun. Much like a cleric, parties tend to expect very specific things out of bards, that end up taking up 1 to 3 actions every round, depending upon how dependent your party is on you for healing. I'd rather not have every class have specific "must use" actions that are expected every single round of every combat. The witch was already in danger of this with access to their cantrip hexes. So far it seems like the class has done a good job of avoiding this.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Fundamentally disagree that "bard tier" is even a thing, much less something so far out of bounds you have to completely rebalance the game around them.

What we're left with is a choice between designing more classes like the class that is almost universally considered useful and generally considered fun and engaging.... or designing more classes like the one that's complained about a lot and considered underdesigned and weak.

Even if there was a meaningful balance issue at play, using classes commonly criticized as boring or weak as your baseline rather than the ones that apparently people enjoy strikes me as a poor idea. Having to think about adjusting encounters a little bit seems like a far less significant problem than having players constantly frustrated by underwhelming class features and options, assuming again that's even the binary we're choosing between.

As it stands though, there are vastly more complaints about PF2 being too hard than PF2 being too easy, so any argument about needing to lowball future design choices on the balance doesn't even seem to be at the same realm as the game most seem to be playing.

Unicore wrote:
Bards are powerful, they are not necessarily fun. Much like a cleric, parties tend to expect very specific things out of bards, that end up taking up 1 to 3 actions every round, depending upon how dependent your party is on you for healing. I'd rather not have every class have specific "must use" actions that are expected every single round of every combat. The witch was already in danger of this with access to their cantrip hexes. So far it seems like the class has done a good job of avoiding this.

That's a fair criticism of the Bard and something I generally agree with from my own experience ('fun' is just something I've seen reflected a lot in community opinion on the class), but I'd also argue that's kind of outside the scope of the current discussion, which is more about general balance.

I agree that Witches are better from an action economy design standpoint, but that same consideration makes them feel like what they get out of being a three slot caster is a much worse deal than their CRB counterparts. So I don't think it ultimately invalidates the criticisms in this thread either.


Squiggit wrote:

Fundamentally disagree that "bard tier" is even a thing, much less something so far out of bounds you have to completely rebalance the game around them.

...

As it stands though, there are vastly more complaints about PF2 being too hard than PF2 being too easy, so any argument about needing to lowball future design choices on the balance doesn't even seem to be at the same realm as the game most seem to be playing.

Yeah, so again, personal experience -

The party with the Bard found Age of Ashes to generally, other than one specific fight late in the campaign where they got careless, go be fairly easy.

The party without a Bard has not found it to be easy, despite being 5 characters instead of 4.

A lot of this comes down to the fact that the party without a Bard is "missing" a fairly reliable 4 points of attack bonus/ac penalty that the bard could apply fairly trivially, that the other party has to work for.

In general, I think the play experience for the party without the Bard has had a generally preferable difficulty curve, where things are reasonably difficult and exciting, but not mostly blowouts. That does indicate that 4 players with no bard would likely be more challenging, at least for Age of Ashes, which is consistent with most play reports I've heard.

To me, that indicates that there's definitely room for many classes to get a little better... but I think the appropriate target level is Rogue, Champion, or Druid - not Bard (or Fighter, which is also in the 'dont nerf it, but definitely above ideal baseline' tier IMO). And I think Witch is pretty close to those classes.


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swoosh wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Musician tries something new? Complaints that it wasn't enough like their old stuff.

Which is specifically what you're doing here. A bit self serving to construct an argument and then try to use that same argument as proof of some general behavior. It's like quoting yourself, in poor taste.

Honestly it sounds like you just really want to play a Bard, so go play a bard.

No, I'm saying that what they did different isn't actually different. But its more than "its different" but that it is mechanically inferior. The comparison to musicians are when they switch genres (and go from rock and roll to country, or whatever) not the quality of their work.

The witch has NO advantage in its kit that the bard can't do and do better.

"Buh buh witch gets Nudge Fate!" yeah, that's Inspire Competence, except objectively worse.
"Buh buh witch gets Evil Eye!" yeah, that's Dirge of Doom, except objectively worse.
"Buh buh witch gets Cackle!" yeah, that's Lingering Composition, except worse. How much worse is debatable, but when its better used on things that aren't part of the baseline kit (i.e. non-hex spells) than it is on witch-specific features I question the design goal of the ability. Sure, its powerful, but it doesn't do the thing I want it to do. And when compared with how it works on hexes with how Lingering works on compositions Lingering is just better.

I'm not actually complaining that "wasn't enough like their old stuff" I'm saying, "its so much like their old stuff that its directly comparable and objectively worse." i.e. a quality difference, not a genre change. It's Midnight at the Well of Souls vs. The Sea is Full of Stars: the latter was written two decades after the first and contains a forward where the author admits he was paid a huge sum of money to write another book in the series. And its a terrible book.

Yes, the bard has one of the best kits in the game. But the gulf between the bard and the witch is so wide and so directly comparable that its mind boggling. *Points to the lines in the sand, draws another two marks.* Bard is all the way over there *points back to where he started.* Witch and wizard are about where I'm standing. I think witch is worse than wizard, but I'm willing to give a degree of error that might swap them. *shrug* Some people think witch is better than the wizard, I don't agree, but eh, they're pretty close (and wizard has its own threads about being weak).

Alchemist is a big further down thataway a few more paces. But the point is this is where the witch is, and the bard is waaaaaaaaaay over there and the two classes do pretty much the same thing in almost the same way.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If Bard is so broken that its very existence skews the game, and no one should have abilities even a little bit closer to theirs, then fine, nerf them.

If they're only a little bit out of line, then there should be room to give buffing cantrip hexes a little more oomph, because as-is the gulf between buffing cantrip hexes and inspire courage is so wide, in addition to other class features, that it's affecting the enjoyment of playing a buffing witch to a significant degree. Even if buffing witches got a Inspire Courage exactly the same as a Bard, their whole package would still be worse.

If buffing witches are meant to suck, then that's a trap option and antithetical to the game's principles.


WatersLethe wrote:


If buffing witches are meant to suck, then that's a trap option and antithetical to the game's principles.

Do they suck, or do they only suck by comparison to the Bard?

Certainly, I dont accept theyre bad enough to be called a "trap" option.

Its like complaining that all accuracy sucks compared to a Fighter - yeah, Fighters are the best. Everyone's accuracy sucks by comparison.

A Witch is "better" than a Bard in that she gets an Amazing Familiar and access to any spell list. That's where you have to look for distinction- it was never going to be in faux compositions like hexes. Thats Bards thing.

If those aspects don't excite you but compositions do... well, there's bard.

In general, as far as power goes, I think you have Alchemist in the back, most classes in a great big blob past there, and then Fighter and Bard solidly in the top (because they violate the Math rules).

I don't perceive a significant gap between all the classes in that middle group... including Witch.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Draco18s wrote:

The witch has NO advantage in its kit that the bard can't do and do better.

"Buh buh witch gets Nudge Fate!" yeah, that's Inspire Competence, except objectively worse.
"Buh buh witch gets Evil Eye!" yeah, that's Dirge of Doom, except objectively worse.
"Buh buh witch gets Cackle!" yeah, that's Lingering Composition, except worse. How much worse is debatable, but when its better used on things that aren't part of the baseline kit (i.e. non-hex spells) than it is on witch-specific features I question the design goal of the ability. Sure, its powerful, but it doesn't do the thing I want it to do. And when compared with how it works on hexes with how Lingering works on compositions Lingering is just better.

All you've done is convince me that the bard class needs a bit of nerfing.

Among other things, Dirge of Doom should require a save. I can't think of any other effects in the game at that level that would apply a global penalty to multiple creatures automatically, with no save.

Evil Eye, is weaker, but the witch gets it much earlier. In general, abilities gained earlier aren't going to be as strong as abilities gained later.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

The witch has NO advantage in its kit that the bard can't do and do better.

"Buh buh witch gets Nudge Fate!" yeah, that's Inspire Competence, except objectively worse.
"Buh buh witch gets Evil Eye!" yeah, that's Dirge of Doom, except objectively worse.
"Buh buh witch gets Cackle!" yeah, that's Lingering Composition, except worse. How much worse is debatable, but when its better used on things that aren't part of the baseline kit (i.e. non-hex spells) than it is on witch-specific features I question the design goal of the ability. Sure, its powerful, but it doesn't do the thing I want it to do. And when compared with how it works on hexes with how Lingering works on compositions Lingering is just better.

All you've done is convince me that the bard class needs a bit of nerfing.

Among other things, Dirge of Doom should require a save. I can't think of any other effects in the game at that level that would apply a global penalty to multiple creatures automatically, with no save.

Evil Eye, is weaker, but the witch gets it much earlier. In general, abilities gained earlier aren't going to be as strong as abilities gained later.

Dirge of Doom is definitely one that should be looked at, as it is not a buff and thus falls outside of the idea that the bard is such a support heavy class that it deserves for its buffing power to be a little over powered. It is a spell level lower than the Wizard Enchanter's Dread Aura focus spell and costs one less action to get started. Although, with effortless concentration, a wizard can keep dread aura going for a minute for free after getting it started, but that is not until level 16, so it doesn't seem like a fair trade off.


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Yeah, Dirge of Doom is one of the only abilities in the game that renders large swaths of builds and abilities in the game pointless if there's a bard in the party who has it. With a bard with DoD in the party, why would a fighter take Intimidating Strike? Why would a Marshal take Dread Marshal Stance? Why would anyone ever Demoralize? It just invalidates so many things.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'd be happy if they swapped. So Dirge of Doom required the will save but Evil Eye did not.


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Ravingdork wrote:
All you've done is convince me that the bard class needs a bit of nerfing.

And that's been mentioned. And I'm fine seeing the bard get a few nerfs to rein it in. That's fine.

But my point still stands that there's about four miles between the bard and the witch and that changing a few bard abilities to be a little more in line with the average still leaves about three miles between them.

Even if you made Dirge of Doom single target with a save, it would still be better than Evil Eye. Why? Two pieces of text that Evil Eye has that Dirge of Doom does not:
"Sustained"
and
"the target is then temporarily immune for 1 minute."

You stop sustaining Evil Eye and the target is immune. Dirge of Doom you can start up and abandon as you need to, Evil Eye you are forced to switch targets.

And we both know that that's not how far down the spectrum Dirge of Doom would get nerfed.

And that still only covers one ability. That's why the gulf is so huge. Every. Single. Feature. is just better on the bard. There's a few spikes of "yes, well, but X" for the witch, but they come down to being more rules interactions than kit design. The kit design is hexes and the familiar, with a splash of spell casting. The "ohhh, Cackle on a Summon spell..." isn't something that's advertised as a class feature: its a rules interaction.

KrispyXIV wrote:
A Witch is "better" than a Bard in that she gets an Amazing Familiar and access to any spell list. That's where you have to look for distinction- it was never going to be in faux compositions like hexes. Thats Bards thing.

Whoop dee doo.

I am not playing a witch to have "an amazing familiar." I'm playing a witch because she curses people, brews potions, and is generally a little crazy/creepy. If I want "an amazing familiar" I'd play a summoner, familiar master, or driud.


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


If buffing witches are meant to suck, then that's a trap option and antithetical to the game's principles.

Do they suck, or do they only suck by comparison to the Bard?

Certainly, I dont accept theyre bad enough to be called a "trap" option.

Its like complaining that all accuracy sucks compared to a Fighter - yeah, Fighters are the best. Everyone's accuracy sucks by comparison.

A Witch is "better" than a Bard in that she gets an Amazing Familiar and access to any spell list. That's where you have to look for distinction- it was never going to be in faux compositions like hexes. Thats Bards thing.

If those aspects don't excite you but compositions do... well, there's bard.

In general, as far as power goes, I think you have Alchemist in the back, most classes in a great big blob past there, and then Fighter and Bard solidly in the top (because they violate the Math rules).

I don't perceive a significant gap between all the classes in that middle group... including Witch.

They definitely suck in comparison to Bard.

Debuffing witches are playable in comparison to everyone else.

Buffing witches are unsatisfying even in comparison to everyone besides Bards.

You only get one hex cantrip, and if that cantrip is something as uninspiring as Nudge Fate, then what's the point? Go play a sorcerer, wizard, or even better, a bard.

Nudge Fate takes action after action to potentially help one person boost a check from failed to success (but not success to crit, because that'd be too OP!). Let it drop off, and all your previous rounds of sustaining are wasted, your target is immune for a minute. Put it on a second target and consign yourself to doing nothing but sustaining.

And *that* is what you traded one spell per level for?

You could play a different class and fill all those slots you gain with Bless and be waaaay better off.

Edit: Oh wait, you can't have multiple Nudge Fates up at once.


WatersLethe wrote:


Buffing witches are unsatisfying even in comparison to everyone besides Bards.

Not that it fixes the core issue you have.

But consider familiar mascot as a way to trade familiar stuff for buffs.


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


Buffing witches are unsatisfying even in comparison to everyone besides Bards.

Not that it fixes the core issue you have.

But consider familiar mascot as a way to trade familiar stuff for buffs.

That's a genuinely cool ability. I love that flavor. I would consider it a pretty decent ability if it was a Witch feat.

I could roll up a bard with the Familiar Master archetype and really rock it!


I'm going to point out that Bard cannot sustain multiple different types of performances at once and a Witch can.

That's a big difference. Casting an additional Hex in the round ends another, but from round to round you can cast a different type of hex on the following turn.

So sure, maybe a Witch won't out buff, but it can provide different kinds of buffs, a debuff and a buff, etc.

And Cackle gives them even more options to do that with the Free Action allowing a Double Sustain + a 2 action spell.

Action variability on a Witch is high.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
KrispyXIV wrote:
Do they suck, or do they only suck by comparison to the Bard?

You mentioned saying that Witches compare more favorably to Wizards and Druids.

Contrasted with a Wizard, the Witch loses two top level spells per day, one spell of every other level and (essentially) the ability to trade out its familiar for another benefit.

In return it gains an extra trained skill, a hex cantrip, slightly better weapon proficiencies and has an easier time reviving its familiar (though they had the weapon proficiencies in the playtest too).

Do you think a Wizard alternate class feature that traded half your spell slots at level 1 and one slot at every successive spell level in exchange for Discern Secrets would genuinely be well received?

There are a handful of gems in the Witch's kit, but that's just genuinely not that impressive of a starting point, even if you never bring up the Bard. Especially when you consider that when we're making that comparison to the Wizard, we're making it to another class that's been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism and complaints.


Midnightoker wrote:

I'm going to point out that Bard cannot sustain multiple different types of performances at once and a Witch can.

That's a big difference. Casting an additional Hex in the round ends another, but from round to round you can cast a different type of hex on the following turn.

So sure, maybe a Witch won't out buff, but it can provide different kinds of buffs, a debuff and a buff, etc.

And Cackle gives them even more options to do that with the Free Action allowing a Double Sustain + a 2 action spell.

Action variability on a Witch is high.

Yes they can. Dirge of Doom + Inspire Courage is absurdly better than anything a Witch can do.

Also, casting a second hex in a round doesn't end another hex, it fails. If you evil eye someone and they succeed you can't just try again versus someone else in that round.


Djinn71 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

I'm going to point out that Bard cannot sustain multiple different types of performances at once and a Witch can.

That's a big difference. Casting an additional Hex in the round ends another, but from round to round you can cast a different type of hex on the following turn.

So sure, maybe a Witch won't out buff, but it can provide different kinds of buffs, a debuff and a buff, etc.

And Cackle gives them even more options to do that with the Free Action allowing a Double Sustain + a 2 action spell.

Action variability on a Witch is high.

Yes they can. Dirge of Doom + Inspire Courage is absurdly better than anything a Witch can do.

Composition Trait states:

Quote:
The spell gains all the traits of the performance you used. You can cast only one composition spell each turn, and you can have only one active at a time. If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately.

So no, you can't cast Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom and have them both take effect in the same turn. They are both Composition Spells and anytime either is active, the other is not.

Hexes on the other can, can do that.

Quote:


Also, casting a second hex in a round doesn't end another hex, it fails. If you evil eye someone and they succeed you can't just try again versus someone else in that round.

Wow you literally missed the point.

If I cast Evil Eye on the first round and then cast Personal Blizzard on the second turn I can sustain Evil Eye and then continue to sustain both the following turn.

I just cannot cast Evil Eye and Personal Blizzard in the same turn.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:


Composition Trait states:

Quote:
The spell gains all the traits of the performance you used. You can cast only one composition spell each turn, and you can have only one active at a time. If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately.

So no, you can't cast Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom and have them both take effect in the same turn. They are both Composition Spells.

Harmonize, the ability the person you quoted linked, specifically allows you to have two compositions going at once. Though Harmonize > Dirge > Inspire is a whole turn's worth of actions.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Casting an additional Hex in the round ends another

No. You are strictly prohibited from casting a second hex. Its not that the first one ends, its that the second is an invalid action.

As for getting two or more hexes running at once?
Doesn't matter, Inspire Courage (or whatever bard effect you prefer) automatically hits 2+ people at once. They're AOE.


Squiggit wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


Composition Trait states:

Quote:
The spell gains all the traits of the performance you used. You can cast only one composition spell each turn, and you can have only one active at a time. If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately.

So no, you can't cast Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom and have them both take effect in the same turn. They are both Composition Spells.

Harmonize, the ability the person you quoted linked, specifically allows you to have two compositions going at once. Though Harmonize > Dirge > Inspire is a whole turn's worth of actions.

A 6th level Feat that a Witch can do for free, and it is literally impossible to do a combination of a 1 action Composition and a 2 action Composition (or use any other actions in conjuction with those Compositions per turn).

So while, sure, Harmonize is an option, it is much more limited than Witch Hexes.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's also not helpful to mix cantrip hexes, compositions, and regular hexes.

Cantrip hexes, inspire courage, and dirge of doom are unlimited use. They're directly comparable. According to Paizo, they're also the reason witches and bard have reduced casting.

Regular hexes are focus spells. They should be compared against other focus spells. If they're stronger than other class's focus spells is up for debate.

Just because a witch can mix up a single mediocre buff cantrip hex with good debuff hexes doesn't mean their kit is good.


Draco18s wrote:

As for getting two or more hexes running at once?

Doesn't matter, Inspire Courage (or whatever bard effect you prefer) automatically hits 2+ people at once. They're AOE.

What does that have to do with anything? I am pointing out that a person can buff the Barbarian for +2 damage with Stoke the Heart and then spend the following round casting Personal Blizzard and sustaining both.

You want to Inspire Courage? Sure, great action, but it's not exactly guaranteed that every person can even take advantage of IC abilities every turn.

Quote:
You and all allies in the area gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves against fear effects.

This doesn't help Spell Save DCs so any caster depending on those is going to benefit from the Stoke the Heart or debuffs to an enemy more.

Regardless, being able to Sustain two\three hexes at once (heck technically depending on how many focus points you want to spend on Cackle) on a turn is something a Bard cannot do.

A bard on turn 3? Still a +1 Status bonus to attacks. A Witch on turn 3? Personal Blizzard on a lackie, Stoke the Heart on the Barb, and Curse of Death on the BBEG.

And then if they cackle, they can be casting spells on every turn as well.

WatersLethe wrote:
Just because a witch can mix up a single mediocre buff cantrip hex with good debuff hexes doesn't mean their kit is good.

Oh I wasn't the one drawing comparisons to the Bard, everyone else is.

And if you want to Compare Cantrip Hexes to Bard Composition Cantrips, then you have to compare the weaknesses that they have versus each other. But you can't have it both ways. You either evaluate what a Hex can do that a Composition cannot (which directly allows working with Focus Spells) or you stop Comparing it to the Bard.

We don't get to just overlook a key difference between the abilities but then also compare them exactly equally outside that.

Hexes can be cast on two separate turns and not interrupt other hexes

The following interrupt IC:

Fatal Aria, Hymn of Healing, House of Imaginary Walls, etc.

Therefore always comparing a Bard as if they have IC up ALL THE TIME, is not an accurate one if you consider their other spells conflict with that.

YMMV clearly, but downplaying the value of different applications of benefits/debuffs seems like a gross miscalculation of a Class when it's a deliberate portion of the Hex trait itself.

EDIT: And on Harmonize, remember that Lingering Composition and Inspire Heroics cannot be paired with Harmonize, as all three have the exact same requirement "your next action is to.." which if you use one, precludes the others.

Bards are my favorite Class, and I agree they are strong, but lets not turn them into the new "Schroedinger's Bard(Bat)man". They have to make sacrifices that a Witch does not.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

But if you interrupt IC, you can put IC back up because there's no one minute lockout. Putting IC on the whole party for one round is highly comparable to putting Nudge Fate or Stoke the Heart on one person for 3+ rounds.

If you get stunned for a round as a Witch you're out both your Hex Cantrip and your regular Hex that you stacked.

Saying IC can't always be taken advantage of every turn applies quadruple to buffing hexes.


WatersLethe wrote:

But if you interrupt IC, you can put IC back up because there's no one minute lockout.

If you have the actions left, but that doesn't do you any good for any of your focus spells which require sustaining.

Using House of Imaginary Walls/Dirge of Doom and then immediately ending it does not help you or your party at all because the effect of the cantrip immediately ends.

The 1 minute lockout is indeed a downside. So is not having two Compositions active at once or even 3 (4) for the Witch (which is possible at level 1 I might add).

But not even all of the hexes have a 1 minute lockout, Evil Eye does, but Malicious Shadow, Elemental Betrayal, Life Boost, etc. do not.

And given that targets are single usually, the 1 minute lockout really just means "pick someone else" as opposed to "cannot use this".


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KrispyXIV wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:


If buffing witches are meant to suck, then that's a trap option and antithetical to the game's principles.

Do they suck, or do they only suck by comparison to the Bard?

I know the thread of the conversation has twisted towards Witch vs Bard, but if you look at a lot of the earlier posts (some by myself) there are breakdowns mechanically comparing the Witch to the Druid, Cleric, Wizard, Sorcerer.

I'm working on building a witch (power gaming number cruncher here). So far I have built this character 10 different ways with various classes and Class/MultiClass options.

The Witch is inferior to every build I have done. I don't want to repeat myself too badly.

Druid: knows every spell, doesn't waste wealth learning spells, armor access, shield access, hit points, better focus spells.

Wizard: Bonded Item, Thesis, 1 spell slot of every level over the witch. The witch will have more focus spells and the Hex Cantrip.

Let's talk familiar...there are long conversations about the familiar in this thread but at the end of the day the Witch Familiar can get 2 more abilities over other Familiars in the game and that takes a lot of feats to get there. So unless you want to do a massive familiar build it doesn't matter. The one big shining star...the familiar comes back to life in a day. That is better.

Sorcerer comparison: pretty much the same as the Wizard IMO.

For the record I consider 1 spell slot per level a huge price to pay.

Where does the Witch Shine? As a multiclass.

If a spellcaster wants a Familiar they can spend one Feat to grab the Witch Dedication and gain a Witch Familiar that is as good as their Familiar would be and comes back to life the next day AND comes with a free Cantrip....

I can build a Druid/Witch or a Wizard/Witch that takes a couple levels more to progress but once it does it will have as many hexes, a great familiar, more spell slots per day than the Witch.

If I go Druid I get more hit points and armor, if I go Wizard I get more spell slots.

What do I lose? A Hex Cantrip....really? Wow....

So the best mechanical witch builds I can make are not witches....

For the record, I'm not comparing to Bards because I just don't like roleplaing Bards...so I haven't dug into the class that closely.

If you want details I have spreadsheets....


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
A bard on turn 3? Still a +1 Status bonus to attacks. A Witch on turn 3? Personal Blizzard on a lackie, Stoke the Heart on the Barb, and Curse of Death on the BBEG.

These are not apples to apples comparisons.

You're comparing a Bard's third action to a witch going nova with their focus points.

Look at Round 5 after the Witch was forced to move, or stunned, or had to heal a team member in Round 4.


WatersLethe wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
A bard on turn 3? Still a +1 Status bonus to attacks. A Witch on turn 3? Personal Blizzard on a lackie, Stoke the Heart on the Barb, and Curse of Death on the BBEG.

These are not apples to apples comparisons.

You're comparing a Bard's third action to a witch going nova with their focus points.

It's not "Nova" as I've pointed out several times in this thread, with responses being crickets I might add, Witches have plenty of Focus Points and have access to Refocus options.

The round above I just described is possible 2 times per day as a Witch with a simple Familiar Ability. And then after that they can just as easily swap one of the Focus spells for a Cantrip on someone else (two Evil Eye's). If they get another focus spell (level 6) that's 3 rounds of the above.

Also by the time they even get CoD, they have the Refocus for 2 option, which makes this their all day option (heck sprinkle in another or Cackle).

Quote:
Look at Round 5 after the Witch was forced to move, or stunned, or had to heal a team member in Round 4.

I mean this is a logical fallacy, so I'm just going to leave it alone, but if by round 5 they can probably switch the Cantrip to someone else after letting it fall off on their turn (so doesn't even really effect them that much).


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Midnightoker wrote:

A Witch on turn 3? Personal Blizzard on a lackie, Stoke the Heart on the Barb, and Curse of Death on the BBEG.

And then if they cackle, they can be casting spells on every turn as well.

OK, a level 10 Witch that has spent 3 of their 5 feats to this point on Hexes.

And in your example above, they can Cackle for 1 turn.

Turn 1: Personal Blizzard (1 focus gone) (2 other actions)
Turn 2: Stoke the Heart (Cantrip) (1 other action) assuming this is the one cantrip you got.
Turn 3: Curse of Death (1 focus gone) (0 other actions)

Turn 4: Cackle and one action...(1 focus gone) (1 other action)
Turn 5: Sustain (0 actions)

The action cost per damage / buff done is just terrible on this class. This class does not mechanically stack up.

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

Next encounter you likely have 1 or 2 Focus depending on your Familiar abilities and other Feats. So after the first encounter you can't even do the above.


AzureKnight wrote:


Next encounter you likely have 1 or 2 Focus depending on your Familiar abilities and other Feats. So after the first encounter you can't even do the above.

Uh so you forced them to cackle on turn 4 to use a single action instead of having them drop the Cantrip spell to do that "must use" 3rd action?

This is just bad choices of action economy deliberately.

We do not have the value of context for the turn.

Turn 1 PB
Turn 2 Stoke The Heart
Turn 3 CoD
Turn 4 drop stoke the heart, shift to other melee on turn 5 sustain two hexes, and move
Turn 5 cast, sustain, sustain.

Next combat? Hey look at that, you can do it again because they still have a focus point, they can refocus one.

And they didn't even use the Familiar Ability.

Let alone if we talk Gnome, or MCDs for other abilities (I mentioned Desperate Prayer because it is a level 1 class feat and super cheap).

EDIT: And to your math, it's two feats. Cackle was optional in the above. You want Cackle, go right ahead, but that's not the premise.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
A bard on turn 3? Still a +1 Status bonus to attacks. A Witch on turn 3? Personal Blizzard on a lackie, Stoke the Heart on the Barb, and Curse of Death on the BBEG.

These are not apples to apples comparisons.

You're comparing a Bard's third action to a witch going nova with their focus points.

It's not "Nova" as I've pointed out several times in this thread, with responses being crickets I might add, Witches have plenty of Focus Points and have access to Refocus options.

The round above I just described is possible 2 times per day as a Witch with a simple Familiar Ability. And then after that they can just as easily swap one of the Focus spells for a Cantrip on someone else (two Evil Eye's).

Also by the time they even get CoD, they have the Refocus for 2 option, which makes this their all day option (heck sprinkle in another or Cackle).

So, why isn't the Bard using Lingering Composition to keep their IC up while doing their other things? It can last for four rounds on a crit, and the focus isn't expended on a failure.

And I don't argue the debuffing cantrip hexes aren't significantly better than buffing ones, putting Witches roughly on par with non-bards. Being able to move an evil eye to another target is pretty good.

The crux of your argument is that non-cantrip Hexes are good because they're single actions and can be sustained, allowing you to keep them rolling all simultaneously, but only if you're okay with being both a buffer and debuffer.

That doesn't change the fact that buffing cantrip hexes are extremely underwhelming, especially when compared against Inspire Courage, and are a liability in comparison to debuffing cantrip hexes, since you have to debuff to be an effective witch.

Unlike other casters, you can make low main stat variations who focus on buffs rather than offensive effects. You can't do that with Witch because you're saddled with ineffective buff hexes whose only benefit is that they synergize with keeping debuffs up.


WatersLethe wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
A bard on turn 3? Still a +1 Status bonus to attacks. A Witch on turn 3? Personal Blizzard on a lackie, Stoke the Heart on the Barb, and Curse of Death on the BBEG.

These are not apples to apples comparisons.

You're comparing a Bard's third action to a witch going nova with their focus points.

It's not "Nova" as I've pointed out several times in this thread, with responses being crickets I might add, Witches have plenty of Focus Points and have access to Refocus options.

The round above I just described is possible 2 times per day as a Witch with a simple Familiar Ability. And then after that they can just as easily swap one of the Focus spells for a Cantrip on someone else (two Evil Eye's).

Also by the time they even get CoD, they have the Refocus for 2 option, which makes this their all day option (heck sprinkle in another or Cackle).

So, why isn't the Bard using Lingering Composition to keep their IC up while doing their other things? It can last for four rounds on a crit, and the focus isn't expended on a failure.

He can cast spells. Not other Compositions. A Witch could always cast spells in these scenarios if they chose a single Hex.

If you want to argue that a Witch's singular hex + spells isn't as good as a Bards singular Composition + Occult spell of some kind, then by all means, but we've now moved the goalposts on the comparison.

Quote:
Unlike other casters, you can make low main stat variations who focus on buffs rather than offensive effects. You can't do that with Witch because you're saddled with ineffective buff hexes whose only benefit is that they synergize with keeping debuffs up.

If you were only casting one Hex a turn, it sure as heck wouldn't be the Cantrip version unless you had already spent every Focus point you had.

This comparison no longer holds any water, every rebuttal is just met with a "let me introduce some new scenario that helps prove my view on this situation".

I'm frankly just going to leave it alone from here if this is going to be the continued progression of discussion.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
They can probably switch the Cantrip to someone else after letting it fall off on their turn (so doesn't even really effect them that much).

So IC may not even be usable by anyone in the party round to round, but this hypothetical Witch has two targets who are definitely getting use out of it whenever it's convenient for the Witch?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
He can cast spells. Not other Compositions.

That's actually news to me, where does it say that?


WatersLethe wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
They can probably switch the Cantrip to someone else after letting it fall off on their turn (so doesn't even really effect them that much).
So IC may not even be usable by anyone in the party round to round, but this hypothetical Witch has two targets who are definitely getting use out of it whenever it's convenient for the Witch?

Are you arguing that there won't be at least one target for a +2 to damage or healing? Because those are the benefits the buff hexes provide.

I never said IC wasn't good, it is good, but acting like it's amazingly better on everyone than any Witch buff in any situation is a farse.

IDK about you but there are at least two targets for Stoke The Heart in every party I am running.

There are also 2 people in each of the parties I am running that likely wouldn't benefit at all (use primarily Save spells). Of course the damage/fear helps, but it might not be the BEST.

You have a problem with the cantrips? Fine. But that doesn't devalue the mixing and matching of debuffs/buffs that a Bard just cannot do with their Compositions outside of a stationary turn with Harmonize Feat.

Quote:
That's actually news to me, where does it say that?

Right here:

Composition Trait wrote:
If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately.

Right there in black and white.

So newsflash for those that didn't know, if you've been allowing Bards to use Linger Composition on IC and cast another Composition and have that persist that is illegal.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
They can probably switch the Cantrip to someone else after letting it fall off on their turn (so doesn't even really effect them that much).
So IC may not even be usable by anyone in the party round to round, but this hypothetical Witch has two targets who are definitely getting use out of it whenever it's convenient for the Witch?

I think it's a fair point

If you have a party that is explicitly not compatible with IC (characters with innate status bonuses or who don't make attack rolls) and you have another reliable source of Frightened and you have characters who can specifically leverage Witch hexes, Witches are probably okay.

That's just a lot of ifs.


Midnightoker wrote:
AzureKnight wrote:


Next encounter you likely have 1 or 2 Focus depending on your Familiar abilities and other Feats. So after the first encounter you can't even do the above.

Uh so you forced them to cackle on turn 4 to use a single action instead of having them drop the Cantrip spell to do that "must use" 3rd action?

This is just bad choices of action economy deliberately.

We do not have the value of context for the turn.

Turn 1 PB
Turn 2 Stoke The Heart
Turn 3 CoD
Turn 4 drop stoke the heart, shift to other melee on turn 5 sustain two hexes, and move
Turn 5 cast, sustain, sustain.

Next combat? Hey look at that, you can do it again because they still have a focus point, they can refocus one.

And they didn't even use the Familiar Ability.

Let alone if we talk Gnome, or MCDs for other abilities (I mentioned Desperate Prayer because it is a level 1 class feat and super cheap).

EDIT: And to your math, it's two feats. Cackle was optional in the above. You want Cackle, go right ahead, but that's not the premise.

I literally used your example......you mentioned they could then Cackle, I was trying to point out the terrible action economy that would result in. So yeah, you are right is it bad action economy and YOU suggested it.

So let's compare what you just did to a Wizard....OK

Wizard turn 1
-Elemental Tempest and Cone of Cold. (1 Focus - 1 spell slot the Witch doesn't get) 12d6 in a 60' cone, 5d6 in a 10' radius, 17d6 to any primary target(s) caught in both.

Wizard Turn 2
- repeat (using Bonded Item recall spell that the Witch Doesn't get)

Wizard Turn 3
Likely out of focus so let's drop a 4d8 Ice Storm that will last a minute without needing to be sustained (granted, it can now be avoided) with one action to spare.

Wizard Turn 4
has now used the same resources as the witch…
still has more resources than the witch with additional spell slots and has done more damage.

If by some crazy chance you build a Wizard/Witch you still have 7 more spell slots than the standard Witch at level 10 and a Focus point left at this point…and a cool Witch Familiar.

Mechanically the witch does not add up...I just don't see it. Your example does not match the numbers just posted and the Wizard still has more left in the tank than the witch.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:

This comparison no longer holds any water, every rebuttal is just met with a "let me introduce some new scenario that helps prove my view on this situation".

I mean, same to you. Suddenly we have to consider how mediocre abilities are justified because you can use them while using other consumable resources.

Any downside we mention to hexes you handwave.

In real, actual play you're not guaranteed time to refocus, you're not guaranteed to be able to keep things rolling, but because the possibility exists that you can stack a bunch of debuffs, we're supposed to be okay with the vast gulf between Stoke the Heart and Inspire Courage?

A bard can use their EXTREMELY powerful Inspire Courage all day, every day, stop and start as necessary, use abilities to keep it going while doing something else, and it affects everyone.

A witch starts to almost match the power of that if they use all their focus points every battle, and never let things drop off or get resisted.


Ah yes, the Bard always has Inspire Courage up, it's always the best action/buff of the turn, and pretty much nothing a Witch is capable of with their plethora of mix-match options on a turn compares.

Apologies for providing nothing but factual information that was side-swiped with Just In Case fallacies out the wazzoo and incomplete understanding of a critical rules difference between Compositions vs. Hexes.

I'll let you all continue with the "discussion" on Witches.

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