APG Witch Discussion


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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HumbleGamer wrote:

About hexes, they require the familiar to be alive in order to draw the power or allow the witch to cast it?

So,

- the familiar has to be alive
- the curse can be cast by either witch or familiar

Is this right?

At no point in the witch familiar,hexes, or spellcasting does it say you need the familiar to use your hexes, or that if the familiar dies you can't use them.

The Hex traits mention that the familiar draw the energy from the patron, but it seems more fluff than actual rule, the second part of the trait actual stating the Hex trait rule (you can cast only one spell with the hex trait each turn; attempts to cast a second hex spell on the same turn fail, and the spellcasting actions are lost).

It would be needlessly harsh to rule that if the familiar is dead you can't use the Hex, and if it was the case I believe it would clearly state it.

Edit: although you do seem to need your familiar to refocus, as you are supposed to commune with it.


Kendaan wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

About hexes, they require the familiar to be alive in order to draw the power or allow the witch to cast it?

So,

- the familiar has to be alive
- the curse can be cast by either witch or familiar

Is this right?

At no point in the witch familiar,hexes, or spellcasting does it say you need the familiar to use your hexes, or that if the familiar dies you can't use them.

The Hex traits mention that the familiar draw the energy from the patron, but it seems more fluff than actual rule, the second part of the trait actual stating the Hex trait rule (you can cast only one spell with the hex trait each turn; attempts to cast a second hex spell on the same turn fail, and the spellcasting actions are lost).

It would be needlessly harsh to rule that if the familiar is dead you can't use the Hex, and if it was the case I believe it would clearly state it.

Edit: although you do seem to need your familiar to refocus, as you are supposed to commune with it.

Yeah, I was definitely looking at the Hex trait and wondering if it was meant to be flavour or not.

As for the second part, "you" means either the spellcaster or the familiar, right? I mean, it's not possible that the witch cast a hex and the familiar another one


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

Good catch with the refocusing, Kendaan.

If is it true that you can't use hexes without the familiar (per the ambiguous text in the Hex trait), where does one draw the line?

When your familiar is dead? Unconscious? Kidnapped? Scouting a mile away? Over in the next room?

I'm thinking it's not true, not meant to be an enforceable rule. It would just be too much trouble to adjudicate properly, and would probably have been more clearly spelled out if that was the intent.


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Exocist wrote:
Is this really what we're getting excited over? Effectively a 1 action mage hand with a higher bulk limit?

the same way monks get excited about flurry of blows saving an action, yes.

It turns it from a utility spell into a creative combat spell. You can move the table in front of the door and cast a spell.


How would Powerful Snares work with a witch?

Would they work at all?


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

How would Powerful Snares work with a witch?

Would they work at all?

Ooh, I wonder if Spirit Object would let you move a snare. >8D


Completely unrelated to the current thread topic, the occult witch imo is currently the best user of Hypercognition, being an intelligence-based occult caster.

With regular skill increases into Arcana / Occultism / Society and skill feat investments into Additional Lore for creatures generally under Religion or Nature, or possibly class feat investment into Loremaster dedication, I think the occult witch is a touch above every other class when it comes to identifying monsters.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

IMNSHO, we should focus more on how well a character pulls its weight relative to what the character's presence in the group adds to a given encounter, as opposed to whether it's marginally weaker or stronger than another option in a particular area.

E.g. does the character perform well in Moderate Encounters, Severe Encounters, Extreme Encounters? Does the character make those encounters easier or harder by being there? as opposed to a control group where there's no one in the slot raising the exp budget.

That'll stop 'viability' from being defined by only the top options since it's just a steady standard options have to meet rather than an arms race, while giving a pretty objective framework.

Call it "The Magic Standard" /s


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voideternal wrote:

Completely unrelated to the current thread topic, the occult witch imo is currently the best user of Hypercognition, being an intelligence-based occult caster.

With regular skill increases into Arcana / Occultism / Society and skill feat investments into Additional Lore for creatures generally under Religion or Nature, or possibly class feat investment into Loremaster dedication, I think the occult witch is a touch above every other class when it comes to identifying monsters.

It’s the Investigator.


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Xenocrat wrote:
voideternal wrote:

Completely unrelated to the current thread topic, the occult witch imo is currently the best user of Hypercognition, being an intelligence-based occult caster.

With regular skill increases into Arcana / Occultism / Society and skill feat investments into Additional Lore for creatures generally under Religion or Nature, or possibly class feat investment into Loremaster dedication, I think the occult witch is a touch above every other class when it comes to identifying monsters.

It’s the Investigator.

Hm, Level 1 Expeditious Inspection, Level 1 Known Weakness, Level 6 Thorough Research, and Level 12 Reason Rapidy definitely competes. Not costing daily resources is strong as well. Hypercognition does give 6 checks vs the 4 from (Expeditious Inspection + 1 action recall knowledge) x 2 (Thorough Research), but is weaker compared to the 7 from 2 from Expeditious Inspection x Thorough Research + 5 from Reason Rapidly. If the monster in question is already the target of a lead, then the witch definitely loses out from (1 Expeditious Inspection + 1 Known Weakness + 1 Recall Knowledge) x 2 (Thorough Research) all with a circumstance bonus to recall knowledge from pursuing a lead.

I agree. Investigator is better at in-combat recall knowledge.


voideternal wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
voideternal wrote:

Completely unrelated to the current thread topic, the occult witch imo is currently the best user of Hypercognition, being an intelligence-based occult caster.

With regular skill increases into Arcana / Occultism / Society and skill feat investments into Additional Lore for creatures generally under Religion or Nature, or possibly class feat investment into Loremaster dedication, I think the occult witch is a touch above every other class when it comes to identifying monsters.

It’s the Investigator.

Hm, Level 1 Expeditious Inspection, Level 1 Known Weakness, Level 6 Thorough Research, and Level 12 Reason Rapidy definitely competes. Not costing daily resources is strong as well. Hypercognition does give 6 checks vs the 4 from (Expeditious Inspection + 1 action recall knowledge) x 2 (Thorough Research), but is weaker compared to the 7 from 2 from Expeditious Inspection x Thorough Research + 5 from Reason Rapidly. If the monster in question is already the target of a lead, then the witch definitely loses out from (1 Expeditious Inspection + 1 Known Weakness + 1 Recall Knowledge) x 2 (Thorough Research) all with a circumstance bonus to recall knowledge from pursuing a lead.

I agree. Investigator is better at in-combat recall knowledge.

Best is a Investigator with a Rune Witch ally.

Discern Secrets on the investigator for a +1.
At heightened 5, you can both roll.


The intelligence apex item also casts hypercognition for any of these at high levels.

And of course a 20th Investigator with Just The Facts and Dubious Knowledge always gets one useful piece of knowledge even on a critical fail and can chain all those Reason Rapidly results together as long as he doesn’t roll a critical fail.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:
kaid wrote:
AzureKnight wrote:
The only trap with Cauldron is the cost. It is so expensive to craft at level. It will start to pay off and make sense when you can craft down about 4 levels or so.
One thing to note about making potions is you are making them for the group so the group should be helping subsidize their consumables. So having somebody who can crank out some potions at low levels is nice if you are in a position where you are away from town for a while to keep up group consumables.

I made a thread about this during the playtest (that got zero attention). Cauldron makes no sense as a 1st level feat (trying to get AoN to pull up the final wording, but the site is being slow).

The amount of time it takes to craft potions is insane, its like 45 or 60 days, depending on exactly how you adjudicate it (and the exact wording on the final version).

Edit:
Read the final version. The only change they made was that you can also make oils.

The feat is still terrible.

Terrible is being generous.

Let's say you're 6th level and want to craft 12 potions of moderate healing. The cost for cauldron or magic crafting is the same: 300gp up-front followed by 300gp worth of earning income.

The witch can, with a regular success, get this done in 158 days. The poor magic crafter, only brewing 4 at a time instead of 6, has to spend, wait for it, 162 days. What does that 4 days buy you? The ability to make ANY magic item, not just oils and potions.

I hope I'm missing something, but it sure seems like taking cauldron is a huge mistake.

I know they didn't want it just to be another version of alchemy, but they should have done something where it's an encampment activity of some kind. Between brewing and cleaning the cauldron afterwards, it could be a one-potion type for, say, two hours' work, and what you get is something that needs to be consumed that evening. It can have lingering effects, but you pretty much have to pick your poison. (Of course, this is where a coven would have a real advantage.)

But they need to do SOMETHING to make that feat even remotely worthwhile.


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

I agree that the Cauldron could use a little more meat.


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Arius Kaufmann wrote:

Terrible is being generous.

Let's say you're 6th level and want to craft 12 potions of moderate healing. The cost for cauldron or magic crafting is the same: 300gp up-front followed by 300gp worth of earning income.

The witch can, with a regular success, get this done in 158 days. The poor magic crafter, only brewing 4 at a time instead of 6, has to spend, wait for it, 162 days. What does that 4 days buy you? The ability to make ANY magic item, not just oils and potions.

I hope I'm missing something, but it sure seems like taking cauldron is a huge mistake.

I know they didn't want it just to be another version of alchemy, but they should have done something where it's an encampment activity of some kind. Between brewing and cleaning the cauldron afterwards, it could be a one-potion type for, say, two hours' work, and what you get is something that needs to be consumed that evening. It can have lingering effects, but you pretty much have to pick...

I don't like the crafting rules, so the fact that you're making me defend them hurts me - but your choice of scenario is presents this in the worst possible light making choices players shouldn't and probably wouldn't make.

Making 6 on level potions with a level 6 character is the problem. It's 300 gold investment, which is pretty huge at that level and you're doing 6 of them. A level 6 character is probably expected to have one of these at most. So you've gone with maximum item level, right before the character could be master proficiency, in the maximum batch size, with no world context explaining why we're crafting these anyway.

Instead, look at making 6 lesser healing potions. These are level 3 items. If a witch is in a settlement level 3 or higher, the witch could probably just buy them for 72 gold. That will always be the fastest choice. But let's assume we're in a small settlement 2 town just restocking before going back to a dungeon. A witch probably has a least a +15 crafting modifier at this level -- 4 trained + 6 level + 4 int + 1 item. This batch of 6 costs 72 gp. After four days, you pay the 36 gp for half the cost and then can either continue working or pay the other 38 gp immediately. Let's say the team had a week -- so the witch keeps working 3 extra days. The witch will likely net 2.4-2.5 gold discount over having just bought the items outright and will have created 6 items which could not be otherwise purchased.

It's not going be amazing, but crafting unlocks item availability where there wouldn't otherwise be any, and with investment, nets small discounts -- appreciably more over time (the scenario above would have net about 25 gold due to the low level of the settlement). It's entirely contingent on your location. If you're in a major metropolitan area and you're a novice crafter, you're probably better off doing a job to earn money and then spend that money on the items you need.

Going back to your level 6 moderate healing potions example. If the town you're in is less than settlement 6, it probably doesn't even have 6 moderate healing potions lying around. The game mastery guide presents Otari, a "diverse lumber town and trade port with a storied past and a fair share of sinister secrets", as settlement 4 and it has 1200 people. Your hypothetical cauldron witch can take 4 days and 300 gold and create those for the party in that town. For a level 1 feat.


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I have been able to make a nice winter witch, and I really like it.

Good customization around both spells and focus powers, and nice balance between offensive and defensive abilities.

I am just wondering whether to take improved witch charge or not.

Ps: the fact that heart of the frozen queen is marked as rare means nothing since it is a class feature, right?


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HumbleGamer wrote:
Ps: the fact that heart of the frozen queen is marked as rare means nothing since it is a class feature, right?

It doesn't mean anything unless your GM says it does. In Golarion, it would be rare because it's usually tied to a specific in-world Patron (Baba Yaga) but there is no mechanical reason your PC couldn't take it if you and you GM decide it makes sense.


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HumbleGamer wrote:
Ps: the fact that heart of the frozen queen is marked as rare means nothing since it is a class feature, right?

The patron, lesson and hexes are ALL listed as rare in the source material...


graystone wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Ps: the fact that heart of the frozen queen is marked as rare means nothing since it is a class feature, right?
The patron, lesson and hexes are ALL listed as rare in the source material...

Then there are some issues with pathbuilder, since everything is marked as uncommon but frozen heart.

Good catch, thank you!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
cavernshark wrote:
Arius Kaufmann wrote:

Terrible is being generous.

Let's say you're 6th level and want to craft 12 potions of moderate healing. The cost for cauldron or magic crafting is the same: 300gp up-front followed by 300gp worth of earning income.

The witch can, with a regular success, get this done in 158 days. The poor magic crafter, only brewing 4 at a time instead of 6, has to spend, wait for it, 162 days. What does that 4 days buy you? The ability to make ANY magic item, not just oils and potions.

I hope I'm missing something, but it sure seems like taking cauldron is a huge mistake.

I know they didn't want it just to be another version of alchemy, but they should have done something where it's an encampment activity of some kind. Between brewing and cleaning the cauldron afterwards, it could be a one-potion type for, say, two hours' work, and what you get is something that needs to be consumed that evening. It can have lingering effects, but you pretty much have to pick...

I don't like the crafting rules, so the fact that you're making me defend them hurts me - but your choice of scenario is presents this in the worst possible light making choices players shouldn't and probably wouldn't make.

Making 6 on level potions with a level 6 character is the problem. It's 300 gold investment, which is pretty huge at that level and you're doing 6 of them. A level 6 character is probably expected to have one of these at most. So you've gone with maximum item level, right before the character could be master proficiency, in the maximum batch size, with no world context explaining why we're crafting these anyway.

Instead, look at making 6 lesser healing potions. These are level 3 items. If a witch is in a settlement level 3 or higher, the witch could probably just buy them for 72 gold. That will always be the fastest choice. But let's assume we're in a small settlement 2 town just restocking before going back to a dungeon. A witch probably has a least a +15 crafting modifier at this level --...

You can get magic crafting at level 2 in some circumstances, so a feat that gets you an advantage for all of one level ain't great when money isn't even available usually.

The question isn't whether the level 6 potion is reasonable. It's a comparative. To craft 12 minor potions of healing as a sixth level character, it takes the same amount of money for cauldron and the magic crafter, and it takes the cauldron person 18 days and the magic crafter 21. So again, is three days worth exchanging the ability to create other magic items?

Besides, you say it's unreasonable for a level 6 character to make level 6 potions. But a level 5 alchemist who's a chirurgeon can make 18 5th level elixir of lifes every morning. There's no contest.


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Arius Kaufmann wrote:
But a level 5 alchemist who's a chirurgeon can make 18 5th level elixir of lifes every morning. There's no contest.

You're being wildly disingenuous here. A chirgugeon who uses class features to only make 5th level elixirs of life also has no other class abilities. No spells, no bombs, no poisons, no hexes, etc. Those elixirs of life also vanish the next day. The potions crafted via the crafting rules do not.

Yes, the alchemist can take Magical Crafter, and so can the witch. But one is a skill feat that requires a very specific early investment by the player and maybe they player doesn't want that. Multiple paths to the same objective is good. In the scenarios where crafting potions is useful (you can't buy them) and that's all you ever want to craft, making 6 instead of 4 might matter. If that's useful, grab the feat. Notably, because it's level 1, an Alchemist could multiclass into witch and pick it up are a later level if they also only wanted to make potions on top of their usual daily alchemical items.

Crafting abilities are highly campaign dependent. This feat is no different. If you don't like it, don't take it. That's reasonable. But acting like it's useless isn't helpful, or correct.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
cavernshark wrote:
Arius Kaufmann wrote:
But a level 5 alchemist who's a chirurgeon can make 18 5th level elixir of lifes every morning. There's no contest.

You're being wildly disingenuous here. A chirgugeon who uses class features to only make 5th level elixirs of life also has no other class abilities. No spells, no bombs, no poisons, no hexes, etc. Those elixirs of life also vanish the next day. The potions crafted via the crafting rules do not.

Yes, the alchemist can take Magical Crafter, and so can the witch. But one is a skill feat that requires a very specific early investment by the player and maybe they player doesn't want that. Multiple paths to the same objective is good. In the scenarios where crafting potions is useful (you can't buy them) and that's all you ever want to craft, making 6 instead of 4 might matter. If that's useful, grab the feat. Notably, because it's level 1, an Alchemist could multiclass into witch and pick it up are a later level if they also only wanted to make potions on top of their usual daily alchemical items.

Crafting abilities are highly campaign dependent. This feat is no different. If you don't like it, don't take it. That's reasonable. But acting like it's useless isn't helpful, or correct.

And the next day he makes 18 more. Or, he can choose to make 12 Elixirs of Live and 4 fire bombs. Or 6 EoLs and 4 firebombs, 2 centipede venoms, and 2 tanglefoot bags.

So what if they go away the next morning? It's not like he doesn't then get to choose another batch of stuff. How about 6 fire bombs, 4 juggernaut mutagens and 3 elixirs of life? Yeah - that 6 level 1 healing potions after almost three weeks of worth is just SO worth it.

I don't have to act like it's useless. You have to contrive exceptionally narrow situations where it's useful at ALL.

Oh, and you can't take cauldron at 1st level. It's a 1st level feat, but Witches and Wizards, for example, don't get a class feat at 1st level. You have to do something like take a human with natural ambition or some other option to get it.


Re crafting:

And now we get back to why I hate the listed item level on consumables. Its basically wrong. The only thing it lines up with is what the players are expected to find as loot (ie. the item's GM-reward-level). In terms of what the players are expected to buy, make, and use on a regular basis is basically "the listed level minus 5."

The problem is that there aren't any level -4 items for first level characters to buy, make, and use. Hell there are barely even level 0 items (and those consist of purely mundane goods like food and clothing).

(Alchemists are the odd-one-out in this regard, I am aware.)

I really think they should have written the tables from a player-centric point of view, eg. if a level 4 player goes into a shop to buy consumables, what consumables is he going to (1) have money for (2) buy in quantity and (3) get a benefit out of for that monetary cost. Remember, players are expected to find/craft/make use of permanent items that are roughly their own level: the same should apply to consumables.

And then just tweaked the GM loot table appropriately. When it comes to the alchemist, either (a) give them the same bump with regards to quick alchemy--which would look very tempting as a class feature "wow, I can craft level 5 items instantly? Cool!"--or (b) balanced the class in another manner, say by having more reagents.


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Arius Kaufmann wrote:
cavernshark wrote:
Arius Kaufmann wrote:
But a level 5 alchemist who's a chirurgeon can make 18 5th level elixir of lifes every morning. There's no contest.

You're being wildly disingenuous here. A chirgugeon who uses class features to only make 5th level elixirs of life also has no other class abilities. No spells, no bombs, no poisons, no hexes, etc. Those elixirs of life also vanish the next day. The potions crafted via the crafting rules do not.

Yes, the alchemist can take Magical Crafter, and so can the witch. But one is a skill feat that requires a very specific early investment by the player and maybe they player doesn't want that. Multiple paths to the same objective is good. In the scenarios where crafting potions is useful (you can't buy them) and that's all you ever want to craft, making 6 instead of 4 might matter. If that's useful, grab the feat. Notably, because it's level 1, an Alchemist could multiclass into witch and pick it up are a later level if they also only wanted to make potions on top of their usual daily alchemical items.

Crafting abilities are highly campaign dependent. This feat is no different. If you don't like it, don't take it. That's reasonable. But acting like it's useless isn't helpful, or correct.

And the next day he makes 18 more. Or, he can choose to make 12 Elixirs of Live and 4 fire bombs. Or 6 EoLs and 4 firebombs, 2 centipede venoms, and 2 tanglefoot bags.

So what if they go away the next morning? It's not like he doesn't then get to choose another batch of stuff. How about 6 fire bombs, 4 juggernaut mutagens and 3 elixirs of life? Yeah - that 6 level 1 healing potions after almost three weeks of worth is just SO worth it.

I don't have to act like it's useless. You have to contrive exceptionally narrow situations where it's useful at ALL.

Oh, and you can't take cauldron at 1st level. It's a 1st level feat, but Witches and Wizards, for example, don't get a class feat at 1st level. You have to do something like...

You're missing the point. You're comparing an alchemists entire daily allotment of resources to a witch, who also has spells and hexes. It's a ludicrous comparison to make. If you want to shower potions on your party, make an alchemist, or even an investigator with alchemical sciences background. If you want to be a primary spellcaster who also sometimes makes potions, be a witch. It would be dumb if a witch could make as many potions as an alchemist, because the witch also has heal spells, or soothe, or the hex which gives fast healing every 10 minutes.

As for the feat's level, you can also take counterspell as a level 1 feat. That doesn't make it a good use of that feat. Those are there specifically for things like Natural Ambition and, shockingly, to increase the pool of feats a person could pick at 2. It also makes the feat more easily accessible if you want to multiclass (e.g. see the alchemist with witch multiclass above who opts to use their skill feats on something other than magical crafter because they only ever want to make potions).

It feels like you are just raging about crafting in general, which is a legitimate complaint if you want to make it. Or maybe you just don't like 2E. Who knows. But the feat is fine and is really one the least objectionable things I can find about the witch. (Oh no, they have a marginally useful in some situations, albeit thematic, feat at level 1 that no one is forced to take and, in fact, can't take at level 1 without jumping through specific hoops! Oh no!)


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Cauldron is a cool thematic feat.

Mechanically, I agree with most of the posts here, meh.

We discussed Cauldron back a few pages. It is very situational to be useful. The cost in time, to craft at a lower gold cost is stupid high. The designers clearly wanted to prevent players from opening magic item shops to make wealth. (Which we did in Pathfinder 1...franchised out the shops in fact).

So the only benefit to any crafting of potions, magical items, or items of any kind is access (unless you have a long stretch of down time). If you are in a town or a campaign with little access it will help. If you are in major cities and high magic campaigns it is a lot less useful.

Mathematically the numbers only make sense to craft down 4 levels. Otherwise the cost is too high on average for a consumable item.

Taking Cauldron over Craft Magic Item:
It does give you free formulas and let's you craft oils.

It is a very situation feat. My gaming group has coined a term we are using a lot; "The Pathfinder Two Tease". You look at a lot of abilities and the concept is Great, then you break down the mechanics and it is bad to OK. So in the end it just feels like a tease.

This feat fits that, sounds awesome, then you run the numbers and it is OK, sometimes, for the right settings.


This was probably brought up earlier in the thread but I dunno where but, why are witches only receiving three spells per spell level? As a 6 HP per level caster who is fairly squishy, like the wizard and sorcerer, shouldn't they be getting four spells per spell level, like the wizard and sorcerer?
Or do their hex cantrips make up for the gap?


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Perpdepog wrote:
Or do their hex cantrips make up for the gap?

The thought is "maybe they're supposed to" but they don't. The alternative theory is that "maybe the familiar makes up for it" but that doesn't seem to be it either.


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Draco18s wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
Or do their hex cantrips make up for the gap?
The thought is "maybe they're supposed to" but they don't. The alternative theory is that "maybe the familiar makes up for it" but that doesn't seem to be it either.

This is this persons opinion. Some believe their full kit is fine. Some do not. But that is the intent.


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Perpdepog wrote:

This was probably brought up earlier in the thread but I dunno where but, why are witches only receiving three spells per spell level? As a 6 HP per level caster who is fairly squishy, like the wizard and sorcerer, shouldn't they be getting four spells per spell level, like the wizard and sorcerer?

Or do their hex cantrips make up for the gap?

That was the majority of the thread.

IMO, 5/8 of the cantrip hexes (+ daily respawn for familiar) mostly make up for the gap. Keep in mind, they are single actions. So you can add damage to the wizards fireball, while also casting most other spells.

Nudge Fate does not. It certainly needs an errata for the Will save at minimum, but I would hope they remove the sustain as well. That would make it pretty good.
Shroud of Night and Wilding Ward only make it up in rather specific campaigns. I feel like they need a heightened version.

Others disagree. And I certainly wouldn't say they are better, just edging up to on-par. Mostly...

Maybe throw in a level 1 feat for them as well. Wouldn't hurt.

Liberty's Edge

I am honestly of the opinion that the MUST have made a last-minute cut of a Class Feat that would have given them the Hex Cantrip that belongs to a different Patron/Tradition.

Leaving it at one for the entire 20 levels just feels so SO SO much of a departure from how they were consistently made and worked in 1st ed that this HAD to be a thing, likely a controversial one around their office that someone put the ax to because it would have resulted in what we colloquially refer to as a "Feat Tax" so instead of leaving that in place they just cut it all together and it resulted in a Witch that is nowhere near as flexible with their Hex use compared to the previous edition.

Don't get me wrong, Witch isn't bad at all, but their flexibility and the amount of all-day-nonstop Hexing that they were able to dole out previous is just missing.


Themetricsystem wrote:

I am honestly of the opinion that the MUST have made a last-minute cut of a Class Feat that would have given them the Hex Cantrip that belongs to a different Patron/Tradition.

It's the opposite; hex cantrips were a last minute addition. In the playtest they were regular focus spells and the witch had 4 spell slots.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah. "Hex Cantrips" were a specific request from the community. Unique cantrips and 3 spells a day "like a bard" was the feedback from the forum.

So from the playtest to the final version, the Witch lost one spell per level and gained effectively their version of Inspire Courage in the form of Shroud of Night/Discern Secrets/Nudge Fate/etc.

But otherwise the only change to their chassis was giving them an extra trained skill at level 1, rather than getting more proficiencies or health like other three spell casters.


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I submitted "like a bard" in the playtest response, but my hope was that like a Bard the Witch could grab several focus cantrips.

That's really the only thing I need to feel good about the witch- additional cantrips available via feats (but more familiar abilities, particularly master ones) would be welcome.


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For those that think Cauldron is bad, just remember that Alchemist has the equivalent "Efficient Alchemy" feat, which is even worse.

Cauldron gives you +50% items per craft, gives you the crafting feats required, gives you recipes and recipes/level and it's just a level 1 feat.

Efficient alchemy only gives +100% per craft and literally nothing else, and it's level 4.

So, one gives 6 potions per craft but gives you free skill feats and free recipes and is level 1, the other crafts 8 elixirs, nothing else, and is level 4.


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shroudb wrote:
For those that think Cauldron is bad, just remember that Alchemist has the equivalent "Efficient Alchemy" feat, which is even worse.

You're not wrong. I think it just gets overlooked because that's also when Calculated Splash is available.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I submitted "like a bard" in the playtest response, but my hope was that like a Bard the Witch could grab several focus cantrips.

That's really the only thing I need to feel good about the witch- additional cantrips available via feats (but more familiar abilities, particularly master ones) would be welcome.

When would such a Feat be accessible though? And if a Witch has a Focus spell that they can effectively elongate to multiple rounds (and the fastest track class I believe to max focus points) doesn't that derive more longevity than a typical Focus spell? You know, like a Cantrip would.

I guess what I'm saying is the Focus Hexes DO function effectively as Cantrips in a sense, because they can be sustained over multiple rounds, Witches have greater Focus point access/regeneration than other casters, and they can have a total of 3 different Hexes all out at once by level 6.

The Witch has a wealth of resources available already. One less spell but gaining Focus Point Spells that can be sustained (and a bonus Cantrip that can last an entire encounter) is not the same as Tempest Surge or Hand of the Mage.

The only argument I can see counter is that Lessons are competing with other Class Feats, but if you invest in Basic, Greater, and Major Lessons you're not going to be at a lack of Hexes in combat.

Witch Hexes are a more potent Focus spell by their nature, because they can all last nearly an entire encounter (Life boost lasts 4 rounds but lacks a sustain requirement).

The only issue I see with Hex Cantrips is that they are Patron locked, not that multiple are necessary for a viable Witch.

Long term, maybe a higher level Class Feat could introduce multiple Hex Cantrips, but again, it's a significant power increase and not just some trivial addition.


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"Multiple hexes" I think is mostly desired for the fact that a couple are hypersituational and that having one of those and another one would be better.


Draco18s wrote:
"Multiple hexes" I think is mostly desired for the fact that a couple are hypersituational and that having one of those and another one would be better.

What's "situational" about Evil Eye, Stoke The Heart, Clinging Ice, and Shroud of Night?

Wildling Word, Spirit Object, and Discern Secrets are powerful when their circumstances align. Wildling Word in a wilderness campaign is invaluable. Discern Secrets with an Investigator or Mastermind Rogue in the party is insanely strong. Spirit Object as others have mentioned allows for really creative tricks (and is a rare one anyways).

Nudge Fate is the one potential "weak point" in the list, but acting like one weak option means the whole Class is in trouble is a stretch.

Even then, Nudge Fate derives value from lots of rolls. In an above level encounter with a Ranger in the party, that's a lot of effective rolls to potentially gain the bonus on, and I think we can all agree that if Nudge Fate turns even one Failure into a Success within the first or second turn, that is in fact pretty valuable.

If you want to compare it to Guidance, by all means, but Guidance has a 1 hour lock out and it only lasts until your next turn.

It's on the weaker side but not useless.

Wildling Word is niche, but in that niche it's better than almost all the other Hexes. Heck, idk how many debuffs you can even apply to Plants/Fungus since they're generally resistant to those types of effects.

But again, I think that comes back to Cantrip Hexes being Patron locked as opposed to needing more than 1.

Honestly, if Nudge Fate and Shroud of Night had heighten effects (3/4th Shroud turns to Greater Darkvision and Nudge Fate allows for Success -> Critical Success) that'd be a pretty significant lift to each.

Or if there were Feats to attach Riders (such as a Class Feat that alters spells with the Darkness Trait in general, which would by proxy affect Shroud of Night).


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So I don't think more than one hex cantrip is a "significant power increase" though. It's really just a versatility grab because of the 1 hex/turn limit

Turn 1: Hex cantrip from patron, spell/cantrip (note: NOT another hex, cantrip or otherwise)

Turn 2: Sustain, hex cantrip taken with a feat, one action

Turn 3: Sustain, sustain, one action

It's just cantrips. Their power is intentionally lower than a focus spell, and their usefulness primarily comes from being one action and being free. An alternative turn without hex cantrips might look like:

Turn 1: Spell, one action

Turn 2: Electric arc, one action

Turn 3: Electric arc, one action

Sustaining isn't itself a strong mechanic, the spell it's attached to has to be doing something good every round. Flaming sphere isn't good because you can sustain it, it's good because it does more damage than your cantrips and you can sustain that over multiple turns as a sort of basic attack while still being able to use your other two actions.

Sustaining frightened 1 on an enemy or +2 damage on an ally is fine. Doing both at the same time is also fine, if you're trying to save resources, but it isn't suddenly catapulting the Witch into unreasonable territory.

Hexes are fundamentally limited by being 1/turn. They're additionally limited by most requiring a sustain action to get the full effect--in general one turn of a hex cantrip isn't terribly strong, but is decent for one action. If your character is sitting there with Mook One getting a persistent frightened 1 debuff and Mook Two: The Cat getting a -2 to their stuff against the Witch, that's 2/3 actions for that turn, and if the hexes ever drop they can't be reapplied to those same enemies for that combat.


Midnightoker wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
"Multiple hexes" I think is mostly desired for the fact that a couple are hypersituational and that having one of those and another one would be better.
What's "situational" about Evil Eye, Stoke The Heart, Clinging Ice, and Shroud of Night?

Yes, name the 3 hexes that aren't the situational ones.

As it wasn't my stated opinion:

Mellored wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:

This was probably brought up earlier in the thread but I dunno where but, why are witches only receiving three spells per spell level? As a 6 HP per level caster who is fairly squishy, like the wizard and sorcerer, shouldn't they be getting four spells per spell level, like the wizard and sorcerer?

Or do their hex cantrips make up for the gap?

That was the majority of the thread.

IMO, 5/8 of the cantrip hexes (+ daily respawn for familiar) mostly make up for the gap. Keep in mind, they are single actions. So you can add damage to the wizards fireball, while also casting most other spells.

Nudge Fate does not. It certainly needs an errata for the Will save at minimum, but I would hope they remove the sustain as well. That would make it pretty good.
Shroud of Night and Wilding Ward only make it up in rather specific campaigns. I feel like they need a heightened version.


Puna'chong wrote:
So I don't think more than one hex cantrip is a "significant power increase" though. It's really just a versatility grab because of the 1 hex/turn limit

You're wrong because you can still sustain the first hex on the second turn. That's the difference.

The one Hex per turn isn't a huge limitation.

Quote:

Turn 1: Hex cantrip from patron, spell/cantrip (note: NOT another hex, cantrip or otherwise)

Turn 2: Sustain, hex cantrip taken with a feat, one action

I cast Evil Eye and Stoke The Heart. Both are successful so now, as a Witch, my turn is Sustain, Sustain (or use Cackle) and spend a 3rd action to cast another Cantrip.

I can now spam Cackle, cast two cantrips for +2 damage and permanent Frightened 1 on a target with spells on my second turn.

Quote:
It's just cantrips. Their power is intentionally lower than a focus spell, and their usefulness primarily comes from being one action and being free. An alternative turn without hex cantrips might look like:

If you think +2 (scaling) to all damage rolls or permanent Frightened 1 (or 2 on CF) are somehow even with other Cantrips when they can last the entire encounter, then I'm not really sure what to say.

They cost 1 action.

Quote:
Sustaining isn't itself a strong mechanic, the spell it's attached to has to be doing something good every round. Flaming sphere isn't good because you can sustain it, it's good because it does more damage than your cantrips and you can sustain that over multiple turns as a sort of basic attack while still being able to use your other two actions.

I'm sorry, is Frightened 1 permanently or +2 to damage on AoE Fireball not "something" each round?

And Flaming Sphere is good because it can be sustained. If FS could not be sustained it would be a mediocre spell. The fact that it can be sustained allows the caster to perform multiple actions within a turn.

And action economy is king in PF2.

So yes, Sustaining is a strong mechanic.

Quote:
Sustaining frightened 1 on an enemy or +2 damage on an ally is fine. Doing both at the same time is also fine, if you're trying to save resources, but it isn't suddenly catapulting the Witch into unreasonable territory.

Ah yes, spending absolutely no resources and still having a more effective turn than the Bard or any other Caster "isn't unreasonable".

Because after all, it's two cantrips, something they can do all day every day without even casting a Spell.

Quote:
Hexes are fundamentally limited by being 1/turn. They're additionally limited by most requiring a sustain action to get the full effect

Honestly, this is ridiculous. The value of +2 damage on a turn and Frightened 1 on a turn is already good. The value of sustaining them makes them "more valuable", it's not catchup to sustain them.

You need to prove sustaining is ineffective and that Hexes aren't worth the cast without them before you can make such broad stroke statements.

None of what you said do I agree with and its inherently flawed because in both example cases, the value of a Cantrip that can deliver +2 (scaling) damage or Frightened 1 increases as the PCs progress, it doesn't get worse.

Show me the other Cantrip on the spell lists that gives +2 damage or Frightened 1/2. I'll wait.

Draco18s wrote:


Yes, name the 3 hexes that aren't the situational ones.

Ah so we should change the fundamental design of the Class because 3 of the options, in your opinion, aren't able to be used as often as the other 5?

Doesn't really seem like a good idea to me.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Wildling Word, Spirit Object, and Discern Secrets are powerful when their circumstances align. Wildling Word in a wilderness campaign is invaluable. Discern Secrets with an Investigator or Mastermind Rogue in the party is insanely strong. Spirit Object as others have mentioned allows for really creative tricks (and is a rare one anyways).

The problem with Wilding Word is that, if you want to be a primal witch that isn't ice themed, you have to get it as your sole focus cantrip. Or if you want to play an arcane witch, Discern Secrets is your only option. Before she rebuilt as a wizard, the arcane witch I GMed for never used Discern Secrets once, because they were never in a situation where seeking would be helpful, and she was the only person in the party built for Recall Knowledge so letting someone else do that wasn't particularly helpful.

If she had had another option to go to be an arcane witch, she probably would've been a lot happier with the class.


Midnightoker wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
"Multiple hexes" I think is mostly desired for the fact that a couple are hypersituational and that having one of those and another one would be better.

What's "situational" about Evil Eye, Stoke The Heart, Clinging Ice, and Shroud of Night?

Wildling Word, Spirit Object, and Discern Secrets are powerful when their circumstances align. Wildling Word in a wilderness campaign is invaluable. Discern Secrets with an Investigator or Mastermind Rogue in the party is insanely strong. Spirit Object as others have mentioned allows for really creative tricks (and is a rare one anyways).

Nudge Fate is the one potential "weak point" in the list, but acting like one weak option means the whole Class is in trouble is a stretch.

Even then, Nudge Fate derives value from lots of rolls. In an above level encounter with a Ranger in the party, that's a lot of effective rolls to potentially gain the bonus on, and I think we can all agree that if Nudge Fate turns even one Failure into a Success within the first or second turn, that is in fact pretty valuable.

If you want to compare it to Guidance, by all means, but Guidance has a 1 hour lock out and it only lasts until your next turn.

It's on the weaker side but not useless.

Wildling Word is niche, but in that niche it's better than almost all the other Hexes. Heck, idk how many debuffs you can even apply to Plants/Fungus since they're generally resistant to those types of effects.

But again, I think that comes back to Cantrip Hexes being Patron locked as opposed to needing more than 1.

Honestly, if Nudge Fate and Shroud of Night had heighten effects (3/4th Shroud turns to Greater Darkvision and Nudge Fate allows for Success -> Critical Success) that'd be a pretty significant lift to each.

Or if there were Feats to attach Riders (such as a Class Feat that alters spells with the Darkness Trait in general, which would by proxy affect Shroud of Night).

Wilding word is situational in that, on top of the restricted type of target, it only works on 1 Target, and only do something if that target was gonna attack the witch.

Let's say the party is facing a pack of wolf, it will protect the witch from 1 wolf.it won't stop that wolf to attack other party members, or the rest of the pack to attack the witch.

With all the limitation, I'm wondering how much better it is than raising a shield, for the same action cost, works against all the enemies, it only lacks the sickened debuff.


Kendaan wrote:
It only lacks the sickened debuff

I hear your point, but can we honestly stop saying "it has everything except this pretty significant portion of the ability"?

I've seen people discount Frightened 1, Sickened 1, etc.

Sickened 1 last time I checked was a -1 to basically everything, and last time I checked -1 in this edition matters a lot. We don't just get to discount it.

Salamileg wrote:
The problem with Wilding Word is that, if you want to be a primal witch that isn't ice themed, you have to get it as your sole focus cantrip.

And I 100% hear that argument. But again, that doesn't mean Witches need more than one Hex Cantrip, it means they need more freedom to choose their Cantrip or additional options in that regard.

That portion makes sense to me, because it forces player choice into potentially more situational options they otherwise wouldn't choose.


Perpdepog wrote:

This was probably brought up earlier in the thread but I dunno where but, why are witches only receiving three spells per spell level? As a 6 HP per level caster who is fairly squishy, like the wizard and sorcerer, shouldn't they be getting four spells per spell level, like the wizard and sorcerer?

Or do their hex cantrips make up for the gap?

If you go back and read you can see that I am in the camp that FIRMLY feels nothing in the witch build makes up for the loss of the slot.

I've broken it all done in other posts cross comparing to the other casting classes in the game. I'll try to keep this one shorter.

My thoughts: the Hex Cantrips are cool but not worth the slot.
- The fact that you only ever get 1 locked into your patron/casting tradition choice is terrible.
- The limit of one per round, once per target per minute greatly reduces their usefulness.
- I feel the action tax on this class is painful. With limited focus points to use, combined with the hex limitations it really almost forces you to sustain and that can be tough if you have to move to keep your squishy caster safe.

Overall I love the theme, I think the abilities are balanced. I don't see anything worth the cost of the 4th slot. The witch loses big on long days where you need those extra slots. Plus as a prepared caster she loses versatility on the option to have other things prepared.


Midnightoker wrote:

last time I checked -1 in this edition matters a lot. We don't just get to discount it.

I want to start with a disclaimer, Midnightoker this is not directed at you personally, your statement gives me a chance to ask a question about something I genuinely don't understand.

Since jumping into Pathfinder 2 I see this statement or variations of it all the time. +/- 1 is a BIG DEAL in this edition!

So...math is still math. +1 is still a 5% change. What makes that a bigger deal than a 5% bonus/penalty in first edition?

I understand that in PF1 it was much easier to get much bigger bonuses. PF1 power "creep" was more of a power sprint. Is that the only reason everyone says this?

Because there sure are a lot of things that do +/- 1 in this edition, so it sure doesn't feel all that rare.


AzureKnight wrote:


- The fact that you only ever get 1 locked into your patron/casting tradition choice is terrible.

Doesn't change the power level, and is only a conceptual limitation.

Quote:
- The limit of one per round, once per target per minute greatly reduces their usefulness.

They cost one action, all Cantrips are "once per round", so the argument here that for some reason this is "exclusive to Hexes" is ridiculous. Any other 1 action Cantrip (such as Shield) is either redundant or also limited in that regard (Compositions) or they cost 2 actions so you can't do it anyways.

And not all Hexes are 1 minute lockouts (Baba Yega's Cantrip Hex doesn't have one and Focus Hexes don't), and those 1 minute lockouts are restricted to the same target (so other targets are viable). There will almost certainly be two targets available (if not more) in most scenarios and even if there weren't you could still sustain it on the same casting.

Quote:
I feel the action tax on this class is painful. With limited focus points to use, combined with the hex limitations it really almost forces you to sustain and that can be tough if you have to move to keep your squishy caster safe.

It has the highest action variability out of any caster simply because of Sustain, Cackle, and one action Hex Cantrips.

These are all white-room, theorycrafting, assertions that just don't hold up. Some of them are just outright not true

Quote:


So...math is still math. +1 is still a 5% change. What makes that a bigger deal than a 5% bonus/penalty in first edition?

Tiers of Success my dude.

It's not just a 5% change, it's a 5% change in all respective tiers.

5% more likely to gain Critical Success, Successs and 5% less likely to get Failures and Critical Failures.

Since the outcomes changes (sometimes drastically) across all tiers, the math carries more weight.


Midnightoker wrote:
Kendaan wrote:
It only lacks the sickened debuff

I hear your point, but can we honestly stop saying "it has everything except this pretty significant portion of the ability"?

I've seen people discount Frightened 1, Sickened 1, etc.

Sickened 1 last time I checked was a -1 to basically everything, and last time I checked -1 in this edition matters a lot. We don't just get to discount it.

I absolutely agree that sickened 1 is good, the problem is it would only apply if the one wolf you hexed attacked you.

Not counting that it does not stack with the -2 to attack that you already inflict them, as they are both status penalty.

I agree with you with the other cantrips hex (apart from the shroud, it should have a heightened version that require greater darkvision to see through imo), but wilding word is very too niche & narrow.


Salamileg wrote:
Before she rebuilt as a wizard, the arcane witch I GMed for never used Discern Secrets once, because they were never in a situation where seeking would be helpful, and she was the only person in the party built for Recall Knowledge so letting someone else do that wasn't particularly helpful.

Uh...why didn't she cast it on herself? It's a +1 and you get the check as part of the hex action.


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Kendaan wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Kendaan wrote:
It only lacks the sickened debuff

I hear your point, but can we honestly stop saying "it has everything except this pretty significant portion of the ability"?

I've seen people discount Frightened 1, Sickened 1, etc.

Sickened 1 last time I checked was a -1 to basically everything, and last time I checked -1 in this edition matters a lot. We don't just get to discount it.

I absolutely agree that sickened 1 is good, the problem is it would only apply if the one wolf you hexed attacked you.

Not counting that it does not stack with the -2 to attack that you already inflict them, as they are both status penalty.

I agree with you with the other cantrips hex (apart from the shroud, it should have a heightened version that require greater darkvision to see through imo), but wilding word is very too niche & narrow.

Yeah the greater Darkvision missing from Shroud is sad, perhaps it can be errata'd (but again, I f!@#*!@~ hate Darkvision as a concept in general).

I generally don't like super narrow abilities, but having a super narrow ability Cantrip does feel a bit meh.

Honestly, if they just made it to where they could use it on any target, but non-plants/fungus/animals treat their degree of Success as one tier better, that'd probably be enough (maybe even too good.. food for thought).

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