APG Witch Discussion


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
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.

Interesting, I was ruling it as specific beating general.

As in: Lingering Composition gives an explicit duration that overrules the general composition trait language.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:

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.

Your response to my assertion that buffing witches are inferior to other classes was to say "debuffs make up for it". What happened to our agreement that there should be no "one true way" to play a class?

Sure. If you want to play a debuffing witch, they're pretty decent in comparison to other classes.

Regarding the comparison to bard, I honestly think you're not thinking clearly if you don't think Inspire Courage (Or Inspire Courage + Dirge of Doom) is massively powerful.

The fact is, a Bard is a powerful buffer just by being a bard and getting Inspire Courage, they can branch out from there or double down on buffing.

A witch with Stoke the Heart or Nudge Fate is starting with a handicap that they have to overcome, and if they want to be a buffer they need to get into another class ASAP.


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One of the things I'm looking for on the Witch is a compelling hook for it besides:
1) Flavor
2) The best at familiars
3) Prepared Pick-a-List


WatersLethe wrote:

Interesting, I was ruling it as specific beating general.

As in: Lingering Composition gives an explicit duration that overrules the general composition trait language.

Specific does trump general. There is nothing in Lingering Composition that combats the ending of effect of another Composition. It only extends the duration, that is all it does.

Quote:
Your response to my assertion that buffing witches are inferior to other classes was to say "debuffs make up for it". What happened to our agreement that there should be no "one true way" to play a class?

Funny, because I haven't seen a single comparison of a Bard without Inspire Courage cast in combat every single time. Which, wouldn't you know it, is optional.

Quote:
Sure. If you want to play a debuffing witch, they're pretty decent in comparison to other classes.

You want to evaluate Witches on a single Cantrip without taking into account the Cantrip you compare it to limits the Bards other choices.

Casting a single buff cantrip over and over and no other hexes? sure, worse than IC. However, it's pretty ridiculous to assume that's the case.

But it's pretty clear that doing multiple instances of a Cantrip Hex is likely not the goal (you put the hex on the best target and you leave it as long as you can).

Quote:
The fact is, a Bard is a powerful buffer just by being a bard and getting Inspire Courage, they can branch out from there or double down on buffing.

Show me where I said otherwise?

I am pointing out a Witch can have varying effects on the field at once. One of those options is buffs, but the options are there.

Quote:
A witch with Stoke the Heart or Nudge Fate is starting with a handicap that they have to overcome, and if they want to be a buffer they need to get into another class ASAP.

Not even remotely true because you've given IC a power that these two have by default: The ability to be cast in tandem with other Hexes.

Quote:
Regarding the comparison to bard, I honestly think you're not thinking clearly if you don't think Inspire Courage (Or Inspire Courage + Dirge of Doom) is massively powerful.

It requires all 3 actions on every turn it is to be held, and unlike the Witch, they cannot vary at all (or with Cackle, get action economy back).

But somehow, in the game where Action Economy is quite literally king, we're just going to overlook the Witch has a bonus action to the above of sustain two separate spells.

Oh and again, no Lingering, no Inspire Heroics, etc. with Harmonize, so you get those two goodies, and that's your turn.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:


Funny, because I haven't seen a single comparison of a Bard without Inspire Courage. Which, wouldn't you know it, is optional.

No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.


Squiggit wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


Funny, because I haven't seen a single comparison of a Bard without Inspire Courage. Which, wouldn't you know it, is optional.
No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.

I clarified. I meant "always on", which is literally the 100% assumption.

It's like the old "contingency" argument from 3.5/PF1 Wizard. It's nonsensical.

If you want to tote "one way to play a class", then I'd love to see a Bard that doesn't have Lingering Composition, Harmonize, Inspire Heroics, Dirge of Doom, etc.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oh alright, that's fair.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


Funny, because I haven't seen a single comparison of a Bard without Inspire Courage. Which, wouldn't you know it, is optional.
No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.

I clarified. I meant "always on", which is literally the 100% assumption.

It's like the old "contingency" argument from 3.5/PF1 Wizard. It's nonsensical.

If you want to tote "one way to play a class", then I'd love to see a Bard that doesn't have Lingering Composition, Harmonize, Inspire Heroics, Dirge of Doom, etc.

FWIW I never said it was the One True Bard. I compared *one* cantrip with *one* cantrip. I would take a bad with any one composition over the entire witch kit.


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Even if the familiar is (as I'm sure is intended) a normal one, not a full witch familiar, the Witch MC is pretty good for (1) focus spell access, (2) familiar entry into a spellcasting dedication, (3) pick a list prepared entry into a spellcasting dedication, and (4) intelligence synergy with Wizard, Investigator, and Alchemist.

Familiar/cantrip plus one of either Elemental Betrayal or Life Boost is a pretty good pair of class feats to invest for a lot of classes, and Wizard will appreciate having the same synergy that Bard/Sorcerer and Oracle/Sorcerer can have.

But I think I most like Investigator with Witch (Occult), the familiar makes a good spy/scout/assistant if you take it up to four abilties, and occult prepared is great for lots of uncommon investigation spells if your GM allows them to mind probe, speak with dead, alter memories, etc. Retrocognition fits very well with the tool kit at higher levels.


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"Pretty good multiclass potential" just means the archetype feats are good. It doesn't mean the base kit is good. Sort of like how being an alchemist is terrible, but multiclassing into alchemist is pretty good for free alchemical things.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Quote:
Your response to my assertion that buffing witches are inferior to other classes was to say "debuffs make up for it". What happened to our agreement that there should be no "one true way" to play a class?
Funny, because I haven't seen a single comparison of a Bard without Inspire Courage cast in combat every single time. Which, wouldn't you know it, is optional.

Inspire Courage comes by default with a Bard, but even non-buffers don't mind because 1. it doesn't require stat investment to be effective and 2. it's so powerful using it in a free third action is pretty much always an option.

It is also a benefit for melee bards and archer bards, who get something out of it to.

Midnightoker wrote:
Quote:
Sure. If you want to play a debuffing witch, they're pretty decent in comparison to other classes.

You want to evaluate Witches on a single Cantrip without taking into account the Cantrip you compare it to limits the Bards other choices.

Casting a single buff cantrip over and over and no other hexes? sure, worse than IC. However, it's pretty ridiculous to assume that's the case.

But it's pretty clear that doing multiple instances of a Cantrip Hex is likely not the goal (you put the hex on the best target and you leave it as long as you can).

That single cantrip is, as explicitly stated by the devs during the playtest, the reason why Witches have reduced casting. Of course it matters. Do you know how many cool buffs a buffer witch could put into all those missing spell slots?

All of the regular hexes fall within the expected power of focus spells. I don't find them a compelling argument as to the strength of the class as a whole. If they're the linchpin of the class, then they're failing.

Quote:
I am pointing out a Witch can have varying effects on the field at once. One of those options is buffs, but the options are there.

They can, and that's the sole reason debuffing witches aren't garbage. Buffing witches don't have the same options.

Quote:
Quote:
A witch with Stoke the Heart or Nudge Fate is starting with a handicap that they have to overcome, and if they want to be a buffer they need to get into another class ASAP.
Not even remotely true because you've given IC a power that these two have by default: The ability to be cast in tandem with other Hexes.

I'm not sure what you mean here.

Quote:
Regarding the comparison to bard, I honestly think you're not thinking clearly if you don't think Inspire Courage (Or Inspire Courage + Dirge of Doom) is massively powerful.
Quote:

It requires all 3 actions on every turn it is to be held, and unlike the Witch, they cannot vary at all (or with Cackle, get action economy back).

But somehow, in the game where Action Economy is quite literally king, we're just going to overlook the Witch has a bonus action to the above of sustain two separate spells.

Oh and again, no Lingering, no Inspire Heroics, etc. with Harmonize, so you get those two goodies, and that's your turn.

I still don't think you're really giving Inspire Courage it's due. I also don't think you're taking to heart how punishing the hex lockouts and sustain requirements actually are.

You're acting like being able to keep some simultaneous effects going is some ungodly powerful thing. It's not nearly as impactful as you're imagining, especially if you wanted to, say, play Glenda the Good Witch.

You remember during the playtest you argued so hard about opening all spell lists so that people could play any sort of witch they wanted? Well they're all superbly weak unless they like throwing out offensive spells and debuffs.


Draco18s wrote:
"Pretty good multiclass potential" just means the archetype feats are good. It doesn't mean the base kit is good. Sort of like how being an alchemist is terrible, but multiclassing into alchemist is pretty good for free alchemical things.

I think the point was that it's better as an archetype than as a class.


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Effusion wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
"Pretty good multiclass potential" just means the archetype feats are good. It doesn't mean the base kit is good. Sort of like how being an alchemist is terrible, but multiclassing into alchemist is pretty good for free alchemical things.
I think the point was that it's better as an archetype than as a class.

That is the crux of my feelings.

The Class has the poor saves, low hit point, no armor/weapons of a pure caster class. But it lacks the 4th casting slot of the other pure casting classes.

In theory other class features like the Hex Cantrip should make up for it, but IMO they don't (read this thread fully and you will see the reasons I feel this way).

Some of the Hexes are good, but the class as a whole is a bit mechanically weak IMO. When I distilled it all down and compared everything in the class...it just kept coming back to that 4th casting slot.

There are other interesting ways they could have made it better (raise the 3 Focus Pool limit for the Witch or make the Hex Cantrips better, etc)


Still better than wizard.


WatersLethe wrote:
That single cantrip is, as explicitly stated by the devs during the playtest, the reason why Witches have reduced casting. Of course it matters. Do you know how many cool buffs a buffer witch could put into all those missing spell slots?

I wasn't around for the playtest...if I could prove this is true to my DM and he let me drop the Cantrip for the 4th slot I would do it in an instant.


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Martialmasters wrote:
Still better than wizard.

What do you mean by this? That the Witch overall is better than the Wizard?

I have several posts in this thread comparing the two and I strongly disagree with you if that is the case...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AzureKnight wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
That single cantrip is, as explicitly stated by the devs during the playtest, the reason why Witches have reduced casting. Of course it matters. Do you know how many cool buffs a buffer witch could put into all those missing spell slots?

I wasn't around for the playtest...if I could prove this is true to my DM and he let me drop the Cantrip for the 4th slot I would do it in an instant.

During the playtest there was a question in the surveys that asked something like "Would you prefer to have multiple use hex cantrips (like bard compositions) but have the same number of spells per day as the bard"

Then there was a lot of discussion on the forums and during streams that also implied that that was the trade.


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WatersLethe wrote:
AzureKnight wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
That single cantrip is, as explicitly stated by the devs during the playtest, the reason why Witches have reduced casting. Of course it matters. Do you know how many cool buffs a buffer witch could put into all those missing spell slots?

I wasn't around for the playtest...if I could prove this is true to my DM and he let me drop the Cantrip for the 4th slot I would do it in an instant.

During the playtest there was a question in the surveys that asked something like "Would you prefer to have multiple use hex cantrips (like bard compositions) but have the same number of spells per day as the bard"

Then there was a lot of discussion on the forums and during streams that also implied that that was the trade.

Thanks, it is good to know.

It makes sense the designers went that way.

The cantrips to me feel like very fair and balanced cantrips, but that isn't good enough to justify losing the extra spell slots. They need to be better than standard cantrips.

Plus the fact that the witch can only get one locked behind their patron selection just magnifies it.


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AzureKnight wrote:


The cantrips to me feel like very fair and balanced cantrips, but that isn't good enough to justify losing the extra spell slots. They need to be better than standard cantrips.

They are better in the sense that they are 1 action. However they suffer from very harsh limitations (one hex per turn, which clash with the other Hex you could use, target getting immunity if you stop...) and for most of them have poor to no scaling.

Then some are just not that great:

Nudge fate is interesting but the limit to 1 at a time doesn't make any sense, it's extremely limiting in out of fight situation, while still being weaker than the closes comparison, Inspire Competence.

Shroud of night is useless agaisnt target with Darkvision, which means that past a certain level, you can just forget that you have.

Wilding Word, on top of having a very niche use, the Witch would almost have to try to tank to make sure the sustained action is actually doing something. If you could designate who is protected by the cantrip, or if the number of target increased that could be interesting.

The design of the Witch really seem to have been over cautious, I will take the exemple of Murksight, a level 8 feat, that allows to see through some natural weather condition without constraint. Storm Druid do that at level 1, lvl 2 for other Druids with Order explorer, it is also all weather condition and do not specify only natural weather.

Also as said, a lot of the good thing from a Withc can be access at low level dedication By level 4, any caster can get the benefit of a Familair, & Cackle.

Liberty's Edge

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The Hex cantrips mostly look like they compare pretty well to other cantrips right up until you realize they're one action rather than two. They look a lot better after that.

Now, I don't now if one good cantrip is really worth the loss of spell slots, but most of them are sincerely better than other available cantrips when their action cost is taken into account.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Squiggit wrote:


No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.

I clarified. I meant "always on", which is literally the 100% assumption.

It's like the old "contingency" argument from 3.5/PF1 Wizard. It's nonsensical.

If you want to tote "one way to play a class", then I'd love to see a Bard that doesn't have Lingering Composition, Harmonize, Inspire Heroics, Dirge of Doom, etc.

The Bard in my game doesn't use Harmonize and just tends to switch up Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom. Dirge of Doom doesn't completely end when you cast another composition by the way, the enemies are still all frightened until the end of their turns (or they reduce the condition another way) which has lots of cool potential synergy with Hobgoblins and Fighters who can stop it from reducing.

In fact I would say that an individual Bard will rarely have all of the options you've suggested that every Bard has. Harmonize and Dirge are both level 6 feats, so if you want both you'll grab one at 8th level. But Inspire Heroics is an 8th level feat so now you're bumping one up to 10th, and there are plenty of good options there that are hard to give up. Bards also have a great combo of casting Heroism (which doesn't stack with IC) and then Dirging for an easy +2-3 point swing. Inspire Courage is a great baseline, but it hardly has to be all a Bard does.

Seems like these feats are more of an example of numerous powerful options that enable different play styles that are all quite viable. In fact, you could probably make any Witch build significantly stronger by just multiclassing Bard and picking up a real focus cantrip to spend your actions on.


Djinn71 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Squiggit wrote:


No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.

I clarified. I meant "always on", which is literally the 100% assumption.

It's like the old "contingency" argument from 3.5/PF1 Wizard. It's nonsensical.

If you want to tote "one way to play a class", then I'd love to see a Bard that doesn't have Lingering Composition, Harmonize, Inspire Heroics, Dirge of Doom, etc.

The Bard in my game doesn't use Harmonize and just tends to switch up Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom. Dirge of Doom doesn't completely end when you cast another composition by the way, the enemies are still all frightened until the end of their turns (or they reduce the condition another way) which has lots of cool potential synergy with Hobgoblins and Fighters who can stop it from reducing.

Uh no you’re playing the game wrong then. Unless you use harmonize and the 1 action it costs you than that frightened condition immediately ends.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Traits.aspx?ID=31 “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.“


Is anyone else planning a multiclass witch/bard after reading this thread? Cantrips for days.


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Arakasius wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Squiggit wrote:


No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.

I clarified. I meant "always on", which is literally the 100% assumption.

It's like the old "contingency" argument from 3.5/PF1 Wizard. It's nonsensical.

If you want to tote "one way to play a class", then I'd love to see a Bard that doesn't have Lingering Composition, Harmonize, Inspire Heroics, Dirge of Doom, etc.

The Bard in my game doesn't use Harmonize and just tends to switch up Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom. Dirge of Doom doesn't completely end when you cast another composition by the way, the enemies are still all frightened until the end of their turns (or they reduce the condition another way) which has lots of cool potential synergy with Hobgoblins and Fighters who can stop it from reducing.

Uh no you’re playing the game wrong then. Unless you use harmonize and the 1 action it costs you than that frightened condition immediately ends.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Traits.aspx?ID=31 “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.“

Frightened isn't an ongoing effect, the preventing it from reducing is. If they had a composition cantrip that killed someone or dealt damage would that disappear if they cast a different composition?


Djinn71 wrote:
Frightened isn't an ongoing effect, the preventing it from reducing is. If they had a composition cantrip that killed someone or dealt damage would that disappear if they cast a different composition?

Are you also going to suggest that casting dispel magic on the target of a fear spell wouldn't actually remove the frightened condition caused by the spell?


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Djinn71 wrote:
Arakasius wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Squiggit wrote:


No it isn't. Every Bard gets Inspire Courage.

I clarified. I meant "always on", which is literally the 100% assumption.

It's like the old "contingency" argument from 3.5/PF1 Wizard. It's nonsensical.

If you want to tote "one way to play a class", then I'd love to see a Bard that doesn't have Lingering Composition, Harmonize, Inspire Heroics, Dirge of Doom, etc.

The Bard in my game doesn't use Harmonize and just tends to switch up Inspire Courage and Dirge of Doom. Dirge of Doom doesn't completely end when you cast another composition by the way, the enemies are still all frightened until the end of their turns (or they reduce the condition another way) which has lots of cool potential synergy with Hobgoblins and Fighters who can stop it from reducing.

Uh no you’re playing the game wrong then. Unless you use harmonize and the 1 action it costs you than that frightened condition immediately ends.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Traits.aspx?ID=31 “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.“

Frightened isn't an ongoing effect, the preventing it from reducing is. If they had a composition cantrip that killed someone or dealt damage would that disappear if they cast a different composition?

Death or damage is not an ongoing effect, it’s a permanent change to your character. Basically for your argument to make sense than the Harmonize feat does nothing. Since they wrote the Harmonize feat to let you have 2 composition effects at a time it’s pretty clear your interpretation is incorrect. If you cast dirge followed by IC in one turn the frightened effect drops.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

The Hex cantrips mostly look like they compare pretty well to other cantrips right up until you realize they're one action rather than two. They look a lot better after that.

Now, I don't now if one good cantrip is really worth the loss of spell slots, but most of them are sincerely better than other available cantrips when their action cost is taken into account.

The problem I think is that a lot of the cantrips aren't spammable like the bard ones are. On basically 100% of turns a well built bard is going to have a composition cantrip that will help. But the witch is going to run into enemies resistant to cold (clinging ice), or a scene where recall knowledge, seek, or sense motive aren't useful (discern secret), or when everybody is already immune to your evil eye, or the when the target of nudge fate hasn't failed anything yet, or when all the enemies have darkvision (shroud of night), or when you're fighting non-natural creatures (wilding word), or when your melee pals are already getting status bonuses to damage (stoke the heart), etc.

So when those things come up, it does feel like you're giving up a spell slot for very little. The solution is simple- print some witch feats that give you a second hex cantrip that you can use when your original one doesn't apply and you have an action for it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

The Hex cantrips mostly look like they compare pretty well to other cantrips right up until you realize they're one action rather than two. They look a lot better after that.

Now, I don't now if one good cantrip is really worth the loss of spell slots, but most of them are sincerely better than other available cantrips when their action cost is taken into account.

I have considered that, if you go back a few pages I comment on it. The problem I still see is the one hex per turn, coupled with the fact that most of the cantrips can only target once per minute, pair that all up with the fact that each witch only ever gets one cantrip...

So say I go and cast Elemental Betrayal, I can't use Clinging Ice that same turn...so next turn I cast it to get the bonus damage. But now in round 3...can't...so Ray of Frost? I was better off choosing Acid and using Acid Splash so the persistent damage would double up with my Betrayal....that sucks.

Fighting two monsters, tag one, tag the next one...now what?

I chose that example because really you won't be likely to sustain Clinging Ice. A 5' move penalty on a spell with range 30' isn't that much.

If we choose another cantrip like Evil Eye...sure round 1 is great cast evil and move/other action or Evil Eye + Another spell. But then round 2 I have to sustain it. If something breaks that I can't target that foe again. So I sustain...now I could tag another person with Evil Eye. Do I really want to tie up that many actions to give 2 targets a -1 debuff?

Action for Action when I broke it down none of them really added up to being worth losing the spell slots.

But everyone is free to feel how they want, if some love it, I'm genuinely happy for those players. I just don't see it. I want to see it, that is why I keep coming back to this board...I might ghost for awhile. I'm starting to repeat myself and I don't see a lot of merit in that. I don't want to just endlessly complain :-)

Liberty's Edge

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AzureKnight wrote:
I have considered that, if you go back a few pages I comment on it. The problem I still see is the one hex per turn, coupled with the fact that most of the cantrips can only target once per minute, pair that all up with the fact that each witch only ever gets one cantrip...

They're clearly meant to be used on top of an actual cantrip (or spell). Or at least that's my interpretation.

AzureKnight wrote:
So say I go and cast Elemental Betrayal, I can't use Clinging Ice that same turn...so next turn I cast it to get the bonus damage. But now in round 3...can't...so Ray of Frost? I was better off choosing Acid and using Acid Splash so the persistent damage would double up with my Betrayal....that sucks.

I don't think you're intended to combine Clinging Ice and Sustaining something...or not without Cackle anyway. You seem to be trying to combine Hexes without adding in actual two action spells, which I'd say is a mistake.

AzureKnight wrote:
Fighting two monsters, tag one, tag the next one...now what?

Well, if you combine it with Electric Arc for two rounds to tag each of your two Electric Arc targets once, I think you surpass martial DPR on those two rounds for zero cost. Your DPR is certainly the highest of any caster not using limited resources.

After that you're 'reduced' to using your actual spell slot spells like you were a Wizard or Druid or something.

AzureKnight wrote:
I chose that example because really you won't be likely to sustain Clinging Ice. A 5' move penalty on a spell with range 30' isn't that much.

Yeah, you should basically never sustain Clinging Ice. It's still good as a supplement to other damaging spells, though.

AzureKnight wrote:
If we choose another cantrip like Evil Eye...sure round 1 is great cast evil and move/other action or Evil Eye + Another spell. But then round 2 I have to sustain it. If something breaks that I can't target that foe again. So I sustain...now I could tag another person with Evil Eye. Do I really want to tie up that many actions to give 2 targets a -1 debuff?

Absolutely not. You want to use your other two actions on spell slot spells, like most spellcasters do. Having a +1 to your Save DCs, even as conditionally as this, is very good mechanically.

AzureKnight wrote:
Action for Action when I broke it down none of them really added up to being worth losing the spell slots.

Not if you don't combine them with the spell slot spells you still have. They're intended to be boosts on top of those, not the only thing you do.

AzureKnight wrote:
But everyone is free to feel how they want, if some love it, I'm genuinely happy for those players. I just don't see it. I want to see it, that is why I keep coming back to this board...I might ghost for awhile. I'm starting to repeat myself and I don't see a lot of merit in that. I don't want to just endlessly complain :-)

Oh, I'm not necessarily saying that the trade is worth it. I'm leaning towards Witch being a bit weak at the moment, honestly, though I'd need to see them in play to be sure. But the advantage they've gotten in exchange for the spell slots is certainly real, I'm just not positive if it's enough.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Not if you don't combine them with the spell slot spells you still have. They're intended to be boosts on top of those, not the only thing you do.

I don't think that this is a Thing that anyone actually wanted.

Liberty's Edge

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Draco18s wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Not if you don't combine them with the spell slot spells you still have. They're intended to be boosts on top of those, not the only thing you do.
I don't think that this is a Thing that anyone actually wanted.

I wouldn't speak for everyone if I were you. I'm sure somebody wanted it, though not necessarily you or I.

But regardless of what anyone wanted it is their clear mechanical design space, and they're useful in that context.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One problem I think is that Witch Hex Cantrips tend to be a lot more tailored to specific circumstances than the Composition Cantrips.

This is arguably a good thing from a design perspective, since you don't want to solve a player's action economy too much.

But the problem is since you get only one of them and they're such a huge part of your power budget, they end up feeling kind of unsatisfying if the one you pick doesn't have wide use cases.

And on top of that you don't even really get to pick from all of them since they're tied to your spell list too.

Having these niche cantrips, imo, would make a lot more sense if you had more ready access to a variety of them. Instead they're not only less commonly useful than Dirge or Inspire Courage, but you don't ever get another option either.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Oh, I'm not necessarily saying that the trade is worth it. I'm leaning towards Witch being a bit weak at the moment, honestly, though I'd need to see them in play to be sure. But the advantage they've gotten in exchange for the spell slots is certainly real, I'm just not positive if it's enough.

Overall I believe we feel the same. Is the class playable? Of course it is. It just feels rather weak to me. I think that feeling will heighten as levels go by.

I agree the Hexes will work best combined with other 2 action spells. It just feels like a bit of a miss that they can't work as well with each other.

I theorize (want to stress that) that in higher levels the Hex Cantrips will be less useful and the loss of the spell slot will be felt more keenly.

Time will tell...not sure what I'm going to play in this campaign. Wizard/Witch, Druid/Witch or just bit the bullet and try a pure Witch.

In any case I really have enjoyed all the opinions and everyone's thoughts and ideas. It is great to have a fun community we can all geek talk together.


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cavernshark wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
Frightened isn't an ongoing effect, the preventing it from reducing is. If they had a composition cantrip that killed someone or dealt damage would that disappear if they cast a different composition?
Are you also going to suggest that casting dispel magic on the target of a fear spell wouldn't actually remove the frightened condition caused by the spell?

No, the only possible reference for the Fear spell's duration is the frightened condition. Here is the relevant rule: Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical.

Frightened 1 is an ongoing effect that will, without intervention, always last less than the duration of Dirge of Doom (which is until the start of your next turn), therefore if it is not clearly mentioned in the duration it should be considered non-magical and will remain after the spell has ended.


Djinn71 wrote:
Here is the relevant rule: Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical.

As a side note Hexes are the only ones I know of which specifically say that an effect that would normally persist after the spell ends, does not persist if the spell is not sustained (persistent damage with Personal Blizzard, and Affliction with Curse of Death).


Djinn71 wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
Frightened isn't an ongoing effect, the preventing it from reducing is. If they had a composition cantrip that killed someone or dealt damage would that disappear if they cast a different composition?
Are you also going to suggest that casting dispel magic on the target of a fear spell wouldn't actually remove the frightened condition caused by the spell?

No, the only possible reference for the Fear spell's duration is the frightened condition. Here is the relevant rule: Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical.

Frightened 1 is an ongoing effect that will, without intervention, always last less than the duration of Dirge of Doom (which is until the start of your next turn), therefore if it is not clearly mentioned in the duration it should be considered non-magical and will remain after the spell has ended.

Cool, so you've established that Frightened 1 from Dirge of Doom is a non-magical ongoing effect of the Dirge of Doom composition cantrip.

So explain to me again why the Frightened 1 condition, a non-magical ongoing effect of a composition spell, doesn't immediately go away when a Bard uses a new composition absent Harmonize?

"If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately."

Emphasis mine.


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cavernshark wrote:
So explain to me again why the Frightened 1 condition, a non-magical ongoing effect of a composition spell, doesn't immediately go away when a Bard uses a new composition absent Harmonize?

Because Frightened 1 is an ongoing non-magical condition.

Conditions don't end when the spell that applied them ends.


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cavernshark wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:
Frightened isn't an ongoing effect, the preventing it from reducing is. If they had a composition cantrip that killed someone or dealt damage would that disappear if they cast a different composition?
Are you also going to suggest that casting dispel magic on the target of a fear spell wouldn't actually remove the frightened condition caused by the spell?

No, the only possible reference for the Fear spell's duration is the frightened condition. Here is the relevant rule: Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical.

Frightened 1 is an ongoing effect that will, without intervention, always last less than the duration of Dirge of Doom (which is until the start of your next turn), therefore if it is not clearly mentioned in the duration it should be considered non-magical and will remain after the spell has ended.

Cool, so you've established that Frightened 1 from Dirge of Doom is a non-magical ongoing effect of the Dirge of Doom composition cantrip.

So explain to me again why the Frightened 1 condition, a non-magical ongoing effect of a composition spell, doesn't immediately go away when a Bard uses a new composition absent Harmonize?

"If you cast a new composition spell, any ongoing effects from your previous composition spell end immediately."

Emphasis mine.

You are correct. This person is just wrong about how Bard composition spells work.

It's even been specifically stated that Lingering Composition doesn't allow more than one to overlap, and if this person's reading was the way it was read, then it would.

Which would make Harmonize completely irrelevant, because then Lingering Composition would be better every single time and Harmonize is a level 6 Feat...

When people have to start interpreting the rules in a way contrary to RAW (or weren't even aware of the RAW in some cases) it shows they have started with a false premise of what the perceived power of something is.

Now the right thing to do is take a step back, reevaluate, and see if your opinion has changed.

But instead we have a lot of people digging in and saying either one the RAW they had completely overlooked doesn't matter or that the RAW is infact not the RAW.

1 action cantrips are always good because they grant the Witch something most casters do not have: A guaranteed 3rd action on a turn with a 2 action spell.

That alone is worth a lot.

Draco18s wrote:
I would take any composition spell over the entire Witch kit

Oh look. A blatant hyperbole!

We were talking about how Hex cantrips aren't worth the loss of a spell slot but somehow IC is worth literally the whole witch.

We should have just made the Witch have IC, no hexes at all, no familiar, no patron list, and then we'd have a real Class folks.

Sure man. Sure.
_______________________________________________________

Don't we think this has gotten pretty far from the actual discussion on the Witch and the power of its kit and moved directly into malicious territory?

"I didn't get what I wanted, and even though it's probably a decent Class I'm going to say that it's poorly designed and weak so that I can feel justified about my point of view!" is a pretty bitter attitude, and I gotta say that's pretty much what I'm seeing.

It is fine to just not like the Class, but attacking the design with incomplete/flawed arguments is hardly the way to express that frustration.

Draco18s wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
So explain to me again why the Frightened 1 condition, a non-magical ongoing effect of a composition spell, doesn't immediately go away when a Bard uses a new composition absent Harmonize?

Because Frightened 1 is an ongoing non-magical condition.

Conditions don't end when the spell that applied them ends.

Unfortunately for you, the specific rules for Conditions applied via Compositions overrides that.

Otherwise, as previously mentioned, Harmonize would be a useless Feat because Lingering Composition would be vastly superior.

Come on guys, it's pretty clear the effects stop immediately:

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

This isn't some negotiation. That's the RAW. Composition effects immediately end if you cast another and the only way to apply more than one at a time is Harmonize.

Otherwise Harmonize wouldn't exist.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
But instead we have a lot of people digging in and saying either one the RAW they had completely overlooked doesn't matter or that the RAW is infact not the RAW.

Welcome to the modern age, where facts are fluid and the emotional rhetoric of the few trample the sound logic of the many.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
But instead we have a lot of people digging in and saying either one the RAW they had completely overlooked doesn't matter or that the RAW is infact not the RAW.
Welcome to the modern age, where facts are fluid and the emotional rhetoric of the few trample the sound logic of the many.

I just expected things to be slightly different here.

Even some of the people that are arguing counter to this are people that I respect and generally think have good insights. That hasn't changed.

Which is what makes it so surprising that when faced with something they didn't know/interpretted contrary to the RAW, they instead go "I reject the reality and substitute my own".

If we're going to use the Bard as a benchmark, then it's important that we all have the same understanding of what the Bard is actually capable of doing.

Right now, we can't even do that. Not that I even think the Bard is the best comparison in this case, because the Witch has a lot more combinations/variability than the Bard by a considerable amount, but nonetheless.


Thanks midnighttoker. Yeah it seemed pretty clear with the ruling what happens when you double cast a composition. I agree Bards seem very powerful (although the party I’m DMing doesn’t have one) but you should have an idea of what the class does via their action economy and feats before bringing balance into things.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
But instead we have a lot of people digging in and saying either one the RAW they had completely overlooked doesn't matter or that the RAW is infact not the RAW.
Welcome to the modern age, where facts are fluid and the emotional rhetoric of the few trample the sound logic of the many.

Careful, if you pat yourself on the back any harder you might hurt yourself.


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>Right now, we can't even do that. Not that I even think the Bard is the best comparison in this case, because the Witch has a lot more combinations/variability than the Bard by a considerable amount, but nonetheless.

A witch is a spellcaster, it picks its list and gets a hex, and that's its class. They can pick up a few hexes and make their familiar have more abilities, but neither of those make it particularly more versatile. People have gone through and compared it to each other spell casting class and witch ends up behind almost every time. Bard is the other class with a spammable class cantrip so it gets the most comparison since the spell casting isn't special combined with the iconic witch being pictured as a debuffer to the bard's buffer. It doesn't help that bard got a new muse and composition support with the APG that the witch can't hope to compare to with their cantrip.

Occult: Bard has versatility in class feats and muses, skills, compositions, a better chassis, and spontaneous casting is more versatile than prepared in 2e I'd say in terms of the adventuring day let alone that a caster bard can learn to prep spells from off list and eventually even pick up a 4th slot at each level and as a capstone make every spell they know signature.

Divine: The hex and familiar aren't bad compared to what a cloistered cleric gets, but the cleric chassis is better with an earlier master will save, wisdom casting, and 8 HP per level. The divine list is also very buff heavy but you'll also want healing while the cleric gets a pile of channels so they can prep whatever buffs they want while being an effective healer or damage dealer. Warpriest also gets better armor proficiencies and fort save at the cost of no legendary casting but for a divine list that isn't a big deal if they are heal or buff focused.

Primal: Druid just has so many more abilities and options than a witch for the same amount of casting. They have wildshape, an animal companion, good focus spells, better armor, weapons, and HP. A class DC for crit specialization even if they want to go that route. Wis casting is better than Int casting. Druid is just a well rounded class compared to the witch getting some hexes and a familiar.

Arcane: This is probably the most favorable comparison for the witch. It has the same chassis as the wizard with one extra trained skill, but one less spell per level. It's familiar is better than even a wizard who focuses on it and gets one no matter what. The hex is pretty niche though on par weaker than some of the better wizard school powers. Wizard feats aren't any better than witch feats for the most part. The witch will get better, more usable focus spells off their feats than most 8th level school powers. A wizard is probably better off just grabbing archetypes. Arcane thesis though gives the wizard several ways to either reprepare spells during the day or just get more top or low level slots or get some metamagic for free to free up the class feats. In comparison to the witch there is some variety in how it casts. So the comparison comes down to how much you value a familiar and focus hexes versus an extra spell slot and some versatility in arcane thesis. Personally I think the wizard has enough open class feats it can pick up its own super familiar or even better an animal companion off an archetype if it really wants to and the free focus spells are not strong enough to make me give up the extra spell per day and options an arcane thesis would give me. But that is just personal preference and play style at that point.


The variability isn't restricted to their spell list, as there action economy is significantly more fluid than the Bard (both for the limitations on Compositions and because of Witches Action economy boosts from cheap action cantrips, Cackle, and deriving longevity on spells).

We can compare it to Bard if we can agree that Composition the trait is a more restrictive trait than Hex, and therefore that derives value.

But I will say, that we all agree the Bard is really good. Even I think it's possibly one of the best Casters (maybe even the best).

So to me, comparing it to the Bard and saying "it is weaker" doesn't mean that much to me, of course the goal wouldn't be to make the Class better than (arguably) the best Class.

I do have critiques on some of the options (or lack thereof).

Let's look at Eldritch Nails:

I really want to like this ability, I really do, but it's honestly a total trap.

For starters, an unarmed attack on a Witch needs to be pretty valuable to justify, since with 6HP it's a bit dangerous to go into melee (and Elf is appetizing for INT/DEX as a Witch, and they have 6HP too).

Secondly, it requires its own level of investment when it comes to magic, which to me, seems like a tax.

Third, the benefit of applying hexes to your attack is actually probably a horrible idea. If you miss, you lose the Hex, you gain no additional benefit for attempting a Strike with the Hex (beyond the action economy), and the nails are not able to be wielded with DEX so it requires you to use STR to hit. And any hex in combo with this will cost a Focus point, as there are no 2 action Cantrip hexes.

Lastly, and probably the most important issue I have with it (it dwarfs the others), there are approxiametly 2 Hexes (realistically anyways, Malicious Shadow and Curse of Death) you can use this for the Action Economy boost. The only one of which, to me, that seems like a valuable combo is Curse of Death (which is extremely high level considering Nails is a level 4).

I even tried to make Nails work with an MCD into Witch, and it's just really hard to make it work (was going for like a Hexblade).

BUT

Even with my own issue, I can see how more Hexes being introduced can potentially help alleviate the problem (as the main one is not having a Hex to even use with Nails at all for a majority of the game).

I do wish it had some additional effect for trying to do it though, because making a Strike as a Witch is really putting yourself at a disadvantage even if we were talking highest STR possible for maximizing this Feat potential. There's just a really unlikely scenario where it's worth it.

But, a new Cantrip Hex that has 2 actions would be a pretty radical increase to that style though (as we're talking basically a Magus in a sense at that point).

In fact, a Magus MCD into this would probably be the meal ticket to making it work (provided there was a Hex you could use it with).

In closing, I like the architecture, but some specific rooms in the house are missing some furniture (options/Feats).


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Midnightoker wrote:
But, a new Cantrip Hex that has 2 actions would be a pretty radical increase to that style though (as we're talking basically a Magus in a sense at that point).

Unfortunately, it also specifies non-cantrip hex.


Effusion wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
But, a new Cantrip Hex that has 2 actions would be a pretty radical increase to that style though (as we're talking basically a Magus in a sense at that point).
Unfortunately, it also specifies non-cantrip hex.

That might be why I didn't consider them when I was building, I tend to forget the details once I struggle with something too long. I just couldn't get a concept to work for about an hour or so.

I really wanted to run a Dhampir Swashbuckler MCD Witch who ran Fangs + Nails with Hexing attacks.

I still ended up doing the MCD for flavor, but swapped the Nails for a Rapier and just took other Class Feats instead.

When you compare Nails (4th level) to Martial Artist (2nd level) it's objectively worse in terms of Unarmed Attacks (literally exact same situation, but less traits) but it also gives you scaling proficiency.

Sure Nails gives the hex benefit, but it's also a higher level Feat and it's specific to the Witch (objectively one of the WORST melee strikers in the game).


Midnightoker wrote:

The variability isn't restricted to their spell list, as there action economy is significantly more fluid than the Bard (both for the limitations on Compositions and because of Witches Action economy boosts from cheap action cantrips, Cackle, and deriving longevity on spells).

We can compare it to Bard if we can agree that Composition the trait is a more restrictive trait than Hex, and therefore that derives value.

But I will say, that we all agree the Bard is really good. Even I think it's possibly one of the best Casters (maybe even the best).

So to me, comparing it to the Bard and saying "it is weaker" doesn't mean that much to me, of course the goal wouldn't be to make the Class better than (arguably) the best Class.

I do have critiques on some of the options (or lack thereof).

Let's look at Eldritch Nails:

I really want to like this ability, I really do, but it's honestly a total trap.

For starters, an unarmed attack on a Witch needs to be pretty valuable to justify, since with 6HP it's a bit dangerous to go into melee (and Elf is appetizing for INT/DEX as a Witch, and they have 6HP too).

Secondly, it requires its own level of investment when it comes to magic, which to me, seems like a tax.

Third, the benefit of applying hexes to your attack is actually probably a horrible idea. If you miss, you lose the Hex, you gain no additional benefit for attempting a Strike with the Hex (beyond the action economy), and the nails are not able to be wielded with DEX so it requires you to use STR to hit. And any hex in combo with this will cost a Focus point, as there are no 2 action Cantrip hexes.

Lastly, and probably the most important issue I have with it (it dwarfs the others), there are approxiametly 2 Hexes (realistically anyways, Malicious Shadow and Curse of Death) you can use this for the Action Economy boost. The only one of which, to me, that seems like a valuable combo is Curse of Death (which is extremely high level considering Nails is a level 4).

I even tried...

The nails I think are going to need errata. They smack of some playtest legacy issues as right now they don't make a ton of sense. The hex strike basically is useless until your highest level of hexes which come WAY after you gain the nails in the first place. They would make sense if witch hexes mostly took 2 actions as you are gambling some action economy efficiency at the cost of maybe missing and losing the hex. But currently there are almost no hexes even applicable to use the option in the first place. Their runes should work like handwraps I can't see that being OP.


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Eldritch nails seems like a trap to me no matter the situation unless you are confident your attack won't miss regardless of what hex you are using or they print. As you said they are str based weapons which for a witch is a steep cost. And even if you hit they still get a save vs the hex. So you are adding a chance of 4d6+7 tops in exchange for an extra chance of possibly wasting your focus point. Add in it has to be melee when you are almost always at range and it isn't really an action saver since you need to move in and you are going to want to move out. Unless you plan to be in melee anyway which is a big risk.

The Composition trait is more restrictive than the Hex trait (Outside the bard capstone that lets you spam compositions); Compositions are far less restrictive than hexes. If a bard starts dirge of doom and swaps to inspire courage he can still swap back to dirge of doom next turn. A witch cannot. If they drop their hex they can't use it again on that target for the fight meanwhile the bard can hit the entire party or group of enemies every round with whatever composition he knows. Lingering composition is more restrictive than cackle but there are plenty of fights where the bard just inspires courage and has no plans to stop. A focus point for 2/3 actions is better than a focus point for 1 even if cackle can be used on a summon to get a round of two of double summons. Restrictions that limit it to something the bard was planning to do anyway isn't really a restriction.


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demon321x2 wrote:
Eldritch nails seems like a trap to me no matter the situation unless you are confident your attack won't miss regardless of what hex you are using or they print.

This is my main thing with Nails.

Now if the application via a Strike gave the bonuses/penalties to the DC/Save of the Hex? (like the NPC Magus Ability) Now we're talking.

But essentially adding an additional roll (on a roll you aren't even going to be good at) is pretty much a 50% (at least) decrease in effectiveness of the Hex (which is going to be WAY better than the Strike anyways).

If Nails worked with Handwraps, there were Hexes you could actually combine it with, and landing the Strike gave your Hex a +2 Status bonus to your DC or a -2 Status penalty to their save? Then it's at least close to being viable (But you need to build for it, and honestly, it's probably still better via MCD which would take 3 Feats just to accomplish and level 8).

Not sure it'll get errata'd, but considering the Iconic uses them, it'd be cool.

Right now it's basically a ribbon.

shrug

demon321x2 wrote:
If a bard starts dirge of doom and swaps to inspire courage he can still swap back to dirge of doom next turn. A witch cannot.

Not really true.

A Witch can target someone else, and some of the Hexes do not have the "1 minute" restriction.

Equating all hexes the same that do not have that restriction isn't fair.

Quote:
Restrictions that limit it to something the bard was planning to do anyway isn't really a restriction.

A Bard will want to use other Compositions and they will be limited on IC if they choose to do them.

Is "Inspire Courage is always up, the Bard never has to make choices" the new "Contingency Wizard"?

Realistically, it's not going to be the case and I can't really refute "A Bard is always going to be able to use IC and if they can't it doesn't matter".

I can't combat a flawed premise like that.


Midnightoker wrote:
Sure Nails gives the hex benefit, but it's also a higher level Feat and it's specific to the Witch (objectively one of the WORST melee strikers in the game).

I guess they couldn't make eldritch nails a 2nd level feat because they already had living hair at 2nd level. I couldn't tell you why they decided the witch should have two separate unarmed brawling feats though.

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