Witch Rework: Wilding Steward Needs a Serious Rework


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Temperans wrote:
I have seen no evidence that the remaster witch feats will be any better outside of the spirit familiar. And I hate the spirit familiar feat because that makes no sense for a witch who should be focusing on cursing people.

There are 3 defining parts of the Witch:

- Hexes
- Familiars
- Patrons

Patrons are neither extremely important (Clerics already have a very meaningful Patron, much more than Witches) nor developed but both Familiars and Hexes are important to the Witch identity. The fact that you focus on Hexes is fine, to each their own, but others focus also/mostly on the Familiar.

Also, the fact that the new feats are appealing is a rather good indication that the other (potential) new feats have high chances to be appealing.

In the current state, the Witch seems good. So unless the Witch has been nerfed otherwise, which I'd find hard to believe, chances are high that the new Witch will be an interesting caster.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd actually estimate that some of the new combinations of Familiar 'specials,' hexes, the new focus point rule, and some of the new feats strongly suggests that Witches have leapfrogged a fair portion of the class pack in power, even discounting everything we haven't seen.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

From what I've seen, Witch seems like it's going to be in a much better place but I'm just going to have to find ways to swallow having Familiars out in the thick of things and likely dying. My party summoned a leopard from a bag of cats and sent it to investigate an area and it died and they were not happy about it, and they had like 2 seconds to bond with it. If familiars are supposed to be out on the field getting swatted or AoE'd I'm going to have a player riot.

I'll probably just have to take the Witch familiars out of their hands a bit more, like I said upthread, so it feels more like it's risking itself, not being ordered to go out and die. I'll probably also have it stick around but incorporeal so it lessens the impact.


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WatersLethe wrote:

From what I've seen, Witch seems like it's going to be in a much better place but I'm just going to have to find ways to swallow having Familiars out in the thick of things and likely dying. My party summoned a leopard from a bag of cats and sent it to investigate an area and it died and they were not happy about it, and they had like 2 seconds to bond with it. If familiars are supposed to be out on the field getting swatted or AoE'd I'm going to have a player riot.

I'll probably just have to take the Witch familiars out of their hands a bit more, like I said upthread, so it feels more like it's risking itself, not being ordered to go out and die. I'll probably also have it stick around but incorporeal so it lessens the impact.

On the bright side, when Witch familiars come back, they can simply be a reincarnation of your existing familiar or a duplicate of your existing familiar, so by extension, they don't die unless you want them to, they just need their body replaced.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

From what I've seen, Witch seems like it's going to be in a much better place but I'm just going to have to find ways to swallow having Familiars out in the thick of things and likely dying. My party summoned a leopard from a bag of cats and sent it to investigate an area and it died and they were not happy about it, and they had like 2 seconds to bond with it. If familiars are supposed to be out on the field getting swatted or AoE'd I'm going to have a player riot.

I'll probably just have to take the Witch familiars out of their hands a bit more, like I said upthread, so it feels more like it's risking itself, not being ordered to go out and die. I'll probably also have it stick around but incorporeal so it lessens the impact.

On the bright side, when Witch familiars come back, they can simply be a reincarnation of your existing familiar or a duplicate of your existing familiar, so by extension, they don't die unless you want them to, they just need their body replaced.

Yeah not something I like as a playstyle. Great for the people who do, but that is not what I see in a witch.


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If you put Tough (or even Lifelink) on your Familiar, it becomes pretty tough (obviously). I don't think Familiars are in such a bad place in terms of survival, especially considering the low attention they raise (even if it's strongly dependent on how you use them as a Witch).

There's still the issue of AoE spells. But even against them, Familiars are not going to die to a single one. Familiar deaths should stay a rarity.


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Familiars have passable defences but terrible HP.

A human wizard at level 1 with 12 con would be at 15hp vs 5 hp for the familiar, 7 if the familiar is spending half of its abilities on defense.

The same wizard on level 10 would be 108hp vs 70 for the tough familiar 50% more than the familiar.

While 1 aoe won't knock them down, 2 are not far off of doing so (a 5th rank fireball at that level averages 50% of the familiars hp)

---

That said, changing the utterly terrible reaction Hex to give complete immunity instead of just a bit resistance (making it currently an utter waste of a focus point) would go a long way to make Witch familiars durable enough to stick into the fray.

Alternatively keep it as resistance but make it a cantrip instead, not costing you a focus point (after all, all similar reactions do not cost 1,have no target restrictions, and have bonus rider effects).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Temperans wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

From what I've seen, Witch seems like it's going to be in a much better place but I'm just going to have to find ways to swallow having Familiars out in the thick of things and likely dying. My party summoned a leopard from a bag of cats and sent it to investigate an area and it died and they were not happy about it, and they had like 2 seconds to bond with it. If familiars are supposed to be out on the field getting swatted or AoE'd I'm going to have a player riot.

I'll probably just have to take the Witch familiars out of their hands a bit more, like I said upthread, so it feels more like it's risking itself, not being ordered to go out and die. I'll probably also have it stick around but incorporeal so it lessens the impact.

On the bright side, when Witch familiars come back, they can simply be a reincarnation of your existing familiar or a duplicate of your existing familiar, so by extension, they don't die unless you want them to, they just need their body replaced.
Yeah not something I like as a playstyle. Great for the people who do, but that is not what I see in a witch.

I like me some Witches, but yeah, not every class is for every player, though that was directed at WatersLethe in response to their specific concerns regarding their group!


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shroudb wrote:
While 1 aoe won't knock them down, 2 are not far off of doing so (a 5th rank fireball at that level averages 50% of the familiars hp)

So you need the Familiar to fail 2 saves against at level AoE effects. Most of the time you'll need 3 AoE effects to get rid of the Familiar. That's quite a lot. And it's not counting any healing effect the Familiar can benefit from (3-action Heal is a common counter to strong AoE fights).

From my experience, AoOs are a more common threat as a lot of Familiar abilities are triggering it, especially the quite useful Valet and Manual Dexterity.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:
While 1 aoe won't knock them down, 2 are not far off of doing so (a 5th rank fireball at that level averages 50% of the familiars hp)

So you need the Familiar to fail 2 saves against at level AoE effects. Most of the time you'll need 3 AoE effects to get rid of the Familiar. That's quite a lot. And it's not counting any healing effect the Familiar can benefit from (3-action Heal is a common counter to strong AoE fights).

From my experience, AoOs are a more common threat as a lot of Familiar abilities are triggering it, especially the quite useful Valet and Manual Dexterity.

That's why I said 2. If it's in the fray, which a lot of the new abilities require, then it's bound to catch stray swings and aoos as well. And at midlevels, 2 aoe in a fight is pretty much quite common.

And that's when you've already spend abilities to make it tougher.

Hence why I said that "at minimum" that waste of space reaction Hex better be updated to account for that and be useful instead of downright a liability to use.


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shroudb wrote:

That's why I said 2. If it's in the fray, which a lot of the new abilities require, then it's bound to catch stray swings and aoos as well. And at midlevels, 2 aoe in a fight is pretty much quite common.

And that's when you've already spend abilities to make it tougher.

Hence why I said that "at minimum" that waste of space reaction Hex better be updated to account for that and be useful instead of downright a liability to use.

Remember that using this Hex also activates your special "familiar ability" triggered by Hexes. Considering it's a reaction, I find it quite nice.

And as you can now have a more liberal use of Focus Points, I think Phase Familiar can prove itself useful.

I won't say that Familiars are tough, that's clearly false. But with clever play I think you should be able to do fine despite the higher risks they'll be taking now. I have a few characters with Familiars in the open and even if they've been put down a few times, they have never died. Considering I've never taken anything (feat, ability or spell) to protect them.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

That's why I said 2. If it's in the fray, which a lot of the new abilities require, then it's bound to catch stray swings and aoos as well. And at midlevels, 2 aoe in a fight is pretty much quite common.

And that's when you've already spend abilities to make it tougher.

Hence why I said that "at minimum" that waste of space reaction Hex better be updated to account for that and be useful instead of downright a liability to use.

Remember that using this Hex also activates your special "familiar ability" triggered by Hexes. Considering it's a reaction, I find it quite nice.

And as you can now have a more liberal use of Focus Points, I think Phase Familiar can prove itself useful.

I won't say that Familiars are tough, that's clearly false. But with clever play I think you should be able to do fine despite the higher risks they'll be taking now. I have a few characters with Familiars in the open and even if they've been put down a few times, they have never died. Considering I've never taken anything (feat, ability or spell) to protect them.

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK" (a bit worse than similar reactions without a cost).

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.


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shroudb wrote:

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK".

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Without a Focus Point cost, and considering it'll activate the Familiar special ability, it would be a good candidate for cheese (putting your Familiar under a low damage dot so you can activate it every round for a nice bonus). Also, as it's a Focus Spell it increases your Focus Point pool by 1.
As of now, it's not incredible, but it's free. And using 3 Focus Points per fight should be rather uncommon so I expect it to stay useful.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK".

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Without a Focus Point cost, and considering it'll activate the Familiar special ability, it would be a good candidate for cheese (putting your Familiar under a low damage dot so you can activate it every round for a nice bonus). Also, as it's a Focus Spell it increases your Focus Point pool by 1.
As of now, it's not incredible, but it's free. And using 3 Focus Points per fight should be rather uncommon so I expect it to stay useful.

The additional abilities are too minor for any amount of cheese. Wasting a reaction and damage reaction to an extremely squishy core part of your abilities to... Gain a single flanked target?

Putting it without a cost would put it in a similar power as similar abilities even if we include said additional benefits.

As for the focus point, that's a self fulfilling prophesy:
Gaining a single charge but requiring a charge for every single use is by no means "an upside".


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK".

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Without a Focus Point cost, and considering it'll activate the Familiar special ability, it would be a good candidate for cheese (putting your Familiar under a low damage dot so you can activate it every round for a nice bonus). Also, as it's a Focus Spell it increases your Focus Point pool by 1.
As of now, it's not incredible, but it's free. And using 3 Focus Points per fight should be rather uncommon so I expect it to stay useful.

The additional abilities are too minor for any amount of cheese. Wasting a reaction and damage reaction to an extremely squishy core part of your abilities to... Gain a single flanked target?

Putting it without a cost would put it in a similar power as similar abilities even if we include said additional benefits.

As for the focus point, that's a self fulfilling prophesy:
Gaining a single charge but requiring a charge for every single use is by no means "an upside".

Again, you're focusing on the bad familiar abilities and not the good ones. The Resentment can extend the success conditions of Slow and Synesthesia indefinitely. Keeping a boss slowed 1 and clumsy 3 at the same time is absolutely worth a reaction and a focus point.

I'd appreciate it if familiar survivability got some boosts too, but to act like these are all bad abilities which aren't worth using is asinine.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK".

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Without a Focus Point cost, and considering it'll activate the Familiar special ability, it would be a good candidate for cheese (putting your Familiar under a low damage dot so you can activate it every round for a nice bonus). Also, as it's a Focus Spell it increases your Focus Point pool by 1.
As of now, it's not incredible, but it's free. And using 3 Focus Points per fight should be rather uncommon so I expect it to stay useful.

The additional abilities are too minor for any amount of cheese. Wasting a reaction and damage reaction to an extremely squishy core part of your abilities to... Gain a single flanked target?

Putting it without a cost would put it in a similar power as similar abilities even if we include said additional benefits.

As for the focus point, that's a self fulfilling prophesy:
Gaining a single charge but requiring a charge for every single use is by no means "an upside".

Again, you're focusing on the bad familiar abilities and not the good ones. The Resentment can extend the success conditions of Slow and Synesthesia indefinitely. Keeping a boss slowed 1 and clumsy 3 at the same time is absolutely worth a reaction and a focus point.

I'd appreciate it if familiar survivability got some boosts too, but to act like these are all bad abilities which aren't worth using is asinine.

Nor doing the exact opposite like you and pointing out the single best interaction out of all said abilities.

Most amount to a +/-1 if we want to go average.

Plus, even for "infinite slow":

You can do the same by sustaining a hex on your turn.

The main point still is:

Having your core familiar survivability ability being a complete waste of a focus point in no way inspire confidence if they want us to have our familiars be involved in combat.

You want to cost a focus point?
As I said above, make Phase Familiar give complete immunity to the trigger instead of some insignificant resistance.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Don't forget, even if your familiar dies, you don't lose your spells and as a Witch you get your familiar the very next day. Definitely softens the blow when risking your familiar for extra power.


Captain Morgan wrote:
The Resentment can extend the success conditions of Slow and Synesthesia indefinitely. Keeping a boss slowed 1 and clumsy 3 at the same time is absolutely worth a reaction and a focus point.

I feel like this specific ability will cause some issues as different tables with be stricter or slacker in how they interpret what it can sustain. A strict reading would mean you might be able to sustain the clumsy effect of Synesthesia but not every part of it as they are not specifically conditions with a duration.

The ability may well be very powerful but it will only work with specific debuffs and will take coordination to pull off.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK".

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Without a Focus Point cost, and considering it'll activate the Familiar special ability, it would be a good candidate for cheese (putting your Familiar under a low damage dot so you can activate it every round for a nice bonus). Also, as it's a Focus Spell it increases your Focus Point pool by 1.
As of now, it's not incredible, but it's free. And using 3 Focus Points per fight should be rather uncommon so I expect it to stay useful.

Also, I'm suspecting that the change to a Hex Cantrip wouldn't be the only option.

Changing Phase Familiar to a non-Hex 1/round reaction ability would also be an option. At that point it wouldn't trigger all of the other things that Hex casting would trigger.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Phase familiar could be a Cantrip (no focus point cost) and it would still be "just OK".

If it still costs a focus point with its current effect, using it actively makes you worse. Every single other Hex you could have used with that focus point would have much better effect.

There's no justification for Phase familiar to exist in its current state.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Without a Focus Point cost, and considering it'll activate the Familiar special ability, it would be a good candidate for cheese (putting your Familiar under a low damage dot so you can activate it every round for a nice bonus). Also, as it's a Focus Spell it increases your Focus Point pool by 1.
As of now, it's not incredible, but it's free. And using 3 Focus Points per fight should be rather uncommon so I expect it to stay useful.

The additional abilities are too minor for any amount of cheese. Wasting a reaction and damage reaction to an extremely squishy core part of your abilities to... Gain a single flanked target?

Putting it without a cost would put it in a similar power as similar abilities even if we include said additional benefits.

As for the focus point, that's a self fulfilling prophesy:
Gaining a single charge but requiring a charge for every single use is by no means "an upside".

Again, you're focusing on the bad familiar abilities and not the good ones. The Resentment can extend the success conditions of Slow and Synesthesia indefinitely. Keeping a boss slowed 1 and clumsy 3 at the same time is absolutely worth a reaction and a focus point.

I'd appreciate it if familiar survivability got some boosts too, but to act like these are all bad abilities which aren't worth using is asinine.

Nor doing the exact opposite like you and pointing out the single best interaction out of all said abilities.

Most amount to a +/-1 if we want to go average....

What hex can you sustain that is slowed 1 indefinitely on a successful save?

And yeah, I'm focusing on the best familiar abilities because those are the ones people will actually play with. And a +1 on all of the rolls to hit an enemy is also totally worth a focusing point and a reaction. That's essentially how Amped Guidance works.

As someone with a Rune Witch in Strength of Thousands, I too wish Inscribed familiars were better. (Though interestingly enough I had the rare mono melee party that would really benefit from a free action flank.) But dismissing the whole remaster out of hand is mind-blowing to me when there's some game changing stuff we already know is packaged into the class options.

Edit: Honestly, even with a bad familiar ability you'll probably want to keep it alive for Stitched Familiar. That feat is absurd.


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I'm curious if they'll provide updates to the rare patrons to make them functional with the updated Witch.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
As someone with a Rune Witch in Strength of Thousands, I too wish Inscribed familiars were better. (Though interestingly enough I had the rare mono melee party that would really benefit from a free action flank.) But dismissing the whole remaster out of hand is mind-blowing to me when there's some game changing stuff we already know is packaged into the class options.

One of my friends liked to say that rpg discussions - and indeed, playing rpgs - is like playing rock paper scissors. Someone mentions a build, immediately 10 people jump in mentioning an opponent, scene, or situation where it would fail (the rock to your scissors), or a different build that will 'beat' it on some specific measure (that's also a kind of rock to your scissors). When playing, there is always something the GM could throw at you that you wouldn't be good at handling. This does not mean the original build or class or concept is underpowered, inferior, or broken. It just means the game is sufficiently complex that if I say "rock", you can always say "totally dismissiable and full of fail, because paper." There is no single build is great against every opponent type or challenge. "I can think of a situation in which class X using feat Y stinks" is not a great argument against class X or feat Y (also, a really bad way for GMs to design encounters... :)


Easl wrote:
One of my friends liked to say that rpg discussions - and indeed, playing rpgs - is like playing rock paper scissors. Someone mentions a build, immediately 10 people jump in mentioning an opponent, scene, or situation where it would fail (the rock to your scissors), or a different build that will 'beat' it on some specific measure (that's also a kind of rock to your scissors). When playing, there is always something the GM could throw at you that you wouldn't be good at handling. This does not mean the original build or class or concept is underpowered, inferior, or broken. It just means the game is sufficiently complex that no single build is great against every opponent type or challenge. "I can think of a situation in which class X using feat Y stinks" is not a great argument against class X or feat Y (also, a really bad way for GMs to design encounters... :)

People aren't really saying that though, we're asking for options to be as carefully balanced internally (I.E. spells, class feats, focus spells) as they are externally between the various classes. This makes weak subclasses even worse because the tools they could make better use of are very narrowly designed so that the actually good subclasses can't break them. For anybody who is even slightly mechanically minded the often poor internal balance of classes is among PF2's greatest issues.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Easl wrote:
One of my friends liked to say that rpg discussions - and indeed, playing rpgs - is like playing rock paper scissors.

The problem is a ttrpg is not rock paper scissors. Sometimes people have a concept or idea they want to execute.

So when someone talks about the problems they have playing Rock, telling them to just be scissors instead is unhelpful (and tbh can be kind of toxic).

Captain Morgan wrote:
Again, you're focusing on the bad familiar abilities and not the good ones.

I mean, why not? If I want to play an Arcane or Primal Witch it doesn't matter how cool The Resentment is.

The fact that I might be stronger if I play a completely different character instead doesn't really mean anything.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
What hex can you sustain that is slowed 1 indefinitely on a successful save?

Any Hex literally if you are resentment.

The resentment ability triggers on sustain or cast of any hex.

No need to waste focus points on absolutely terrible abilities like Phase Familiar.

As for keeping it alive for Stiched, I'm not saying not having defensive abilities for the familiar to keep it alive.

I'm saying that the current one is an absolute waste of space.

That's like if lay on hands healed 2 hp/rank and people were defending it by saying "Well it's free healing for the champion".

Something being terrible, math wise, is not justified by making it mandatory to use, which is the case for Phase Familiar if its not updated to the new paradigm of becoming a necessity to use with its current numbers.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
shroudb wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
What hex can you sustain that is slowed 1 indefinitely on a successful save?

Any Hex literally if you are resentment.

The resentment ability triggers on sustain or cast of any hex.

No need to waste focus points on absolutely terrible abilities like Phase Familiar.

As for keeping it alive for Stiched, I'm not saying not having defensive abilities for the familiar to keep it alive.

I'm saying that the current one is an absolute waste of space.

That's like if lay on hands healed 2 hp/rank and people were defending it by saying "Well it's free healing for the champion".

Something being terrible, math wise, is not justified by making it mandatory to use, which is the case for Phase Familiar if its not updated to the new paradigm of becoming a necessity to use with its current numbers.

You do realize you need the familiar to be in proximity to the target to continue using the familiar ability, right? You can't just sustain a hex on its own to achieve that effect. I don't know why you're talking about the new Resentment ability as if it is separate from the familiar.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
What hex can you sustain that is slowed 1 indefinitely on a successful save?

Any Hex literally if you are resentment.

The resentment ability triggers on sustain or cast of any hex.

No need to waste focus points on absolutely terrible abilities like Phase Familiar.

As for keeping it alive for Stiched, I'm not saying not having defensive abilities for the familiar to keep it alive.

I'm saying that the current one is an absolute waste of space.

That's like if lay on hands healed 2 hp/rank and people were defending it by saying "Well it's free healing for the champion".

Something being terrible, math wise, is not justified by making it mandatory to use, which is the case for Phase Familiar if its not updated to the new paradigm of becoming a necessity to use with its current numbers.

You do realize you need the familiar to be in proximity to the target to continue using the familiar ability, right? You can't just sustain a hex on its own to achieve that effect. I don't know why you're talking about the new Resentment ability as if it is separate from the familiar.

You are probably confused about something because I never said that.

What I said is pretty simple :

Mathwise, Phase Familiar is beyond trash for its cost. Utterly unusable:

Similar abilities have no cost.
So, either buff it (giving immune instead of resist) or remove cost.

The above is ESPECIALLY important because the new paradigm of Witch familiars requires you to put them in danger.

So the single tool Witch has to keep them safe needs to be good enough to be more than "a power never to be used" which is its current state.

---

Piling up specific additional benefits that apply to all hexes was never part of the discussion from my part, others put those in, disregarding that all those benefits apply to any and all hexes and are not in any shape or form part of the Phase Familiar Hex and trigger the exact same way if you use any other, actually useful, hex instead.


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Parry wrote:

Seriously, can you guys go back to whining about the Wizard in the other thread already.

1) Most of the cantrip hexes are completely functional right now.

2) The witch, as it is, is not a garbage class by any stretch of the imagination. As a spell caster, its versatility still blows any martial out of the water and it rewards thoughtful game play.

3) The feats, in my own opinion, from the remaster are great. The found a way to even the (perceived) power curve by leaning into the flavour. Perhaps wilding steward sits on the lower end, but the specific flavour of the patrons combined with the familiar abilities are an extremely solid base.

4) If people hate familiars, they are not going to like the class. If your GM is an unreasonable cranky puss, then that is going to colour the way you view familiars. Between the Gatewalker archetype and the familiar options in RoE I see Paizo really trying to surface a play style that is supported by familiars. With that said, we are never going to get (nor what I want) the familiar-centric playstyle from PF1.

You are someone to tune out at this point since you consider it whining if someone is pointing out issues that make the game less fun to play and a class less capable of fulfilling its roll.

There are clear rules for scouting and the like that make familiars incredibly weak and easily killed even if the exploration rules allowed them to do these activities.

I allow exploration fine. But I don't allow familiars wandering around camps without opposed stealth and perception checks because I believe the common rat or bird would be killed if spotted in a world where it was a reality that people used them as spying devices. You don't let spying devices move around important areas without opposition.

So no, it isn't a DM's fault for not allowing folks to abuse their familiar without rolling when the rogue would have to roll to do similar scouting or such things. If you want a familiar to scout and engage in those activities, then the game designers should make it capable or doing so with sufficient abilities to go against opposed rolls with some decent chance of success.


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shroudb wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
What hex can you sustain that is slowed 1 indefinitely on a successful save?

Any Hex literally if you are resentment.

The resentment ability triggers on sustain or cast of any hex.

No need to waste focus points on absolutely terrible abilities like Phase Familiar.

As for keeping it alive for Stiched, I'm not saying not having defensive abilities for the familiar to keep it alive.

I'm saying that the current one is an absolute waste of space.

That's like if lay on hands healed 2 hp/rank and people were defending it by saying "Well it's free healing for the champion".

Something being terrible, math wise, is not justified by making it mandatory to use, which is the case for Phase Familiar if its not updated to the new paradigm of becoming a necessity to use with its current numbers.

You do realize you need the familiar to be in proximity to the target to continue using the familiar ability, right? You can't just sustain a hex on its own to achieve that effect. I don't know why you're talking about the new Resentment ability as if it is separate from the familiar.

You are probably confused about something because I never said that.

What I said is pretty simple :

Mathwise, Phase Familiar is beyond trash for its cost. Utterly unusable:

Similar abilities have no cost.
So, either buff it (giving immune instead of resist) or remove cost.

The above is ESPECIALLY important because the new paradigm of Witch familiars requires you to put them in danger.

So the single tool Witch has to keep them safe needs to be good enough to be more than "a power never to be used" which is its current state.

---

Piling up specific additional benefits that apply to all hexes was never part of the discussion from my part, others put those in, disregarding that all those benefits apply to any and all hexes and are not in any shape or form part of the Phase Familiar Hex and trigger the exact same...

Ok, well that simplifies things and I can just say you're wrong.

1. I was never suggesting you used Phase Familiar to trigger the familiar ability. I was suggesting it to prevent your familiar from dying.

2. Because it is triggered when you would actually take the damage, you know how much damage it is and can reserve it for times when it makes the difference between your familiar getting knocked out or not.

3. It is not "utterly useless." It's not great and you probably shouldn't use it often, but if it makes the difference between your familiar being knocked out or not and your opponent recovering from their various debuffs... Spend the focus point.

4. It is not the single tool the witch has to keep the familiar safe. There's like 11 familiar abilities alone that mitigate damage or prevent it entirely, and of course all the defensive spells you can shake a stick at. Those aren't specific to the witch, but they are extremely relevant.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
It is not "utterly useless." It's not great and you probably shouldn't use it often, but if it makes the difference between your familiar being knocked out or not and your opponent recovering from their various debuffs... Spend the focus point.

A)

It is, comparatively with extremely similar abilities.

What others do better for no cost, you do worse and have to spend a focus point for it.

Which brings me to my point that if this exact ability was made a Cantrip instead it would simply be on par with those.

At the cost of a focus point it needs to be much stronger to be balanced.

B)
The justification "it's bad yeah, but that's what we have so we have to use that" is simply erroneous logic.

If something is bad the solution is to fix it. It costs nothing to do so.

Case in point: "...but if it makes the difference between your familiar being knocked out or not... " the core of the ability, saving your familiar, doesn't change if the ability costs a focus point or not, just its power.

So instead of having a weak power to save your familiar, you have a normal strength one.


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People, people, let's cool it a little. This is what got the wizard thread shut down. I don't disagree that familiar needs more survivability, but no need to get heated about it.

We'll see what witch gets when they get it. The feats look good on a first pass-through, though.


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Calliope5431 wrote:

People, people, let's cool it a little. This is what got the wizard thread shut down. I don't disagree that familiar needs more survivability, but no need to get heated about it.

We'll see what witch gets when they get it. The feats look good on a first pass-through, though.

Tbh, not feeling too hot about the dagger feat either.

A single/two (with overcharge) spell slot of rank -2, with added negatives to boot (requiring free hand and etc) for a level 6 feat doesn't scream "great" to me. It's OK, but nothing truly powerful imo

But I concur:

We'll have to wait and see.

My opinion still is though that without some serious work on the hexes themselves (including Phase Familiar), I don't think that a single good level 8 feat is enough to bring the Witch on par with the rest, good, spellcasters.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
You are someone to tune out at this point since you consider it whining if someone is pointing out issues that make the game less fun to play and a class less capable of fulfilling its roll.

It's "role." ;P


Calliope5431 wrote:

People, people, let's cool it a little. This is what got the wizard thread shut down. I don't disagree that familiar needs more survivability, but no need to get heated about it.

We'll see what witch gets when they get it. The feats look good on a first pass-through, though.

Not sure why the wizard thread was shutdown.

Fact is we won't know the final form of all these things until the remaster is done.

So far some of the witch feats look better. If they improve the hex cantrips and feat options, should be a better class.

I noticed they changed some skills too. I imagine there will be some surprise changes in the game. We still haven't seen if they nerfed electric arc hard to make other cantrips seem better.

The focus point change should help too if the witch or wizard have better focus point options.

Quality focus spells are good for low level sustainability and can be useful at higher level if the focus spell is good enough. Though I do find myself using them less and less as I get higher level unless it's a really good focus spell that is useful for a core ability like lingering song.

It will be interesting to see the final remaster soon. See what the final changes look like.


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shroudb wrote:
My opinion still is though that without some serious work on the hexes themselves (including Phase Familiar), I don't think that a single good level 8 feat is enough to bring the Witch on par with the rest, good, spellcasters.

There's so much more than that. The new "Familiar ability" triggered by casting Hexes is quite nice. I agree that for the cantrip Hexes it doesn't bring them on par with Bard Composition but they are much much better, still. Also it's an improvement to all Hexes including those who didn't need an improvement.

You have the new Familiar abilities. Rage of Elements brought some nice ones, that can be used during combat. So it looks like the Familiars who spend combat doing nothing will be a thing of the past.

The new rule about Refocusing, as Witches end up with multiple Focus Points as early as level 2 in general.

And you have these crazy level 8 feats.

And that's just what we know, considering that we had just 6 levels of feats, there'll be 3 times that in the final book with maybe a few other good ones.

In my opinion, the Witch will be fine. Unless they compensate all that with a nerf, they should be perfectly playable. Maybe not the best caster out there, but at least solid ones.


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I was encouraged with what I saw in the witch preview. Excited play a remastered winter witch with a little frosty scamp


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shroudb wrote:

It is, comparatively with extremely similar abilities.

What others do better for no cost, you do worse and have to spend a focus point for it.

I'm curious what other abilities you are referring to. Would you mind specifying which abilities you are talking about.

The only ones I can see for familiars are Protect Companion and Lifelink. Which all types of Witches will have access to if they want to use. All of them are reactions, so you couldn't use more than one at a time. But depending on how much damage the familiar was about to take, having all three would be useful.

Protect Companion gives an AC boost to begin with and is good if the familiar isn't at risk of dying from the damage.

Phase Familiar is good if the familiar is taking multiple types of damage at once, taking precision damage, or are taking damage when you are low on HP (since this is the only option that doesn't involve the caster taking some of the damage).

Lifelink is good if the familiar is going to take enough damage to drop it even with the damage reduction from the other two options. Assuming that you have enough HP to take the damage in its place.

For Eidolons, they have some other abilities and tricks that they can get, but that is somewhat irrelevant. And Animal Companions have less options than familiars do. I think Protect Companion is the only option.

And above all, this is all with the likely wrong assumption that Phase Familiar isn't going to be changed in some way.


breithauptclan wrote:
shroudb wrote:

It is, comparatively with extremely similar abilities.

What others do better for no cost, you do worse and have to spend a focus point for it.

I'm curious what other abilities you are referring to. Would you mind specifying which abilities you are talking about.

The only ones I can see for familiars are Protect Companion and Lifelink. Which all types of Witches will have access to if they want to use. All of them are reactions, so you couldn't use more than one at a time. But depending on how much damage the familiar was about to take, having all three would be useful.

Protect Companion gives an AC boost to begin with and is good if the familiar isn't at risk of dying from the damage.

Phase Familiar is good if the familiar is taking multiple types of damage at once, taking precision damage, or are taking damage when you are low on HP (since this is the only option that doesn't involve the caster taking some of the damage).

Lifelink is good if the familiar is going to take enough damage to drop it even with the damage reduction from the other two options. Assuming that you have enough HP to take the damage in its place.

For Eidolons, they have some other abilities and tricks that they can get, but that is somewhat irrelevant. And Animal Companions have less options than familiars do. I think Protect Companion is the only option.

And above all, this is all with the likely wrong assumption that Phase Familiar isn't going to be changed in some way.

Phase familiar is basically budget champion reaction/amulet abeyance.

It's a reaction for 4+level instead of 2+level resist all only it can only target your familiar instead of any ally.

It lacks the side benefits of the other 2 reactions, it has severely more limited scope (only your familiar vs any ally) but bigger range.

Obviously I'm not calling to be made as powerful, but seeing as the two above have 0 cost, I fail to see why phase familiar has such a steep cost.


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shroudb wrote:
Phase familiar is basically budget champion reaction/amulet abeyance.

You are comparing one of the main abilities of some classes with a small ability aimed at making your Familiar less fragile. I hardly consider the comparison valid.

shroudb wrote:
Obviously I'm not calling to be made as powerful, but seeing as the two above have 0 cost, I fail to see why phase familiar has such a steep cost.

Steep? One reaction, but reactions are quite cheap to casters. And a Focus Point on a class who will have spare Focus Points as soon as the new rule on Refocusing will be out.

Before the change on Refocusing, I'd have agreed with you. But with the new Refocus, you'll have more Focus Points than you can use unless you grab Focus Spells outside your class (which is not a given).

But most importantly: this ability is just a side ability. It's not strong but it's useful and usable, I hardly see why you hate it so much.


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shroudb wrote:
Obviously I'm not calling to be made as powerful, but seeing as the two above have 0 cost, I fail to see why phase familiar has such a steep cost.

It's a free ability every witch gets. Protect Companion is a cantrip that must be learned and prepared, while Lifelink is a familiar master ability that must be selected. IOW, getting either those two has an opportunity cost. Getting Phase Familiar does not.

So no PC is ever going to be confronted with the choice you find so problematic. No character will ever find itself in the situation of having to choose between taking Phase Familiar or Protect Companion as a cantrip, or between taking Phase Familiar or Lifelink in a familiar ability slot. If you're a witch, you get PF gratis, and if that's not enough protection for you, you can still choose to spend a cantrip slot or familiar master ability to get one of the others. If you are not a witch, you start with nothing and must expend a cantrip slot or familiar master ability slot to get a 'protect my familiar' capability.

So comparing them head-to-head is, IMO, useless, because a head-to-head choice never arises in the game. Depending on what class you choose to play, you either get Phase familiar AND the option to spend resources to get one of the others, or you get ONLY the option to spend resources to get one of the others.

This makes phase familiar perfect for players who value an emergency ability to keep their familiar alive, but don't value it enough to want to spend build resources on it. You are absolutely right that, if you are a player who values this ability enough to want to spend build resources on it, you are going to build to one of the other options and then - usually - preferentially use that instead.


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Easl wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Obviously I'm not calling to be made as powerful, but seeing as the two above have 0 cost, I fail to see why phase familiar has such a steep cost.
It's a free ability every witch gets.

Just because it doesn't cost a class feat doesn't mean that it is free.

Class abilities are budgeted by the design team. Getting Phase Familiar means that the Witch doesn't get something else.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
Easl wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Obviously I'm not calling to be made as powerful, but seeing as the two above have 0 cost, I fail to see why phase familiar has such a steep cost.
It's a free ability every witch gets.

Just because it doesn't cost a class feat doesn't mean that it is free.

Class abilities are budgeted by the design team. Getting Phase Familiar means that the Witch doesn't get something else.

The conundrum is what does 'something else' mean?

If Paizo knows how bad Phase Familiar is, then it's a tiny fraction of the budget and whatever replaced it would be equally underwhelming (like Cackle in the playtest, it was a mostly useless ability, but it was useless by design so it didn't really matter).

Paizo might really overvalue how useful it is, in which case we're missing out, but idk.

... I kind of always got the impression that Phase Familiar exists because the Witch was hastily redesigned after the playtest and suddenly it was the only caster that didn't have a starting focus spell, so they threw in something that wouldn't really alter how the class works.

... I have nothing to back that up just how the focus spell feels to me.


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To add on - coven spells is also a very solid feat at 12. It gives you, as a reaction, the ability to tack on the effects of dangerous sorcery (a premier sorc feat) to someone else's spell, or alternatively add on a spellshape [metamagic] (which would also be neat, depending on the metamagic - some are particularly strong as a reaction, for instance Reach Spell could functionally save a friend a move action, which is awesome).

I'm quite happy with the options presented so far!


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Squiggit wrote:

If Paizo knows how bad Phase Familiar is, then it's a tiny fraction of the budget and whatever replaced it would be equally underwhelming (like Cackle in the playtest, it was a mostly useless ability, but it was useless by design so it didn't really matter).

Paizo might really overvalue how useful it is, in which case we're missing out, but idk.

... I kind of always got the impression that Phase Familiar exists because the Witch was hastily redesigned after the playtest and suddenly it was the only caster that didn't have a starting focus spell, so they threw in something that wouldn't really alter how the class works.

... I have nothing to back that up just how the focus spell feels to me.

I would agree with the hasty development.

I have always felt that Paizo overvalued the existence of the familiar on the battlefield. They were expecting that the familiar would be running around using tremorsense to find invisible enemies, spellcasting for the one low rank spell they can cast per day, spell delivery, valet, and so on. They weren't expecting that nearly everyone would just pick master abilities and shove the familiar into a pocket dimension and forget about it.

With the familiar on the battlefield, Phase Familiar becomes more useful. So it seems like Paizo is giving us more incentive to keep them there.

I would still rather see Phase Familiar be an optional level 1 class feat for those who want it rather than a mandatory class feature that costs us something from every Witch character made.

Paizo Employee Community and Social Media Specialist

Removed some baiting posts and their quotes. Keep things civil please.


WWHsmackdown wrote:
I was encouraged with what I saw in the witch preview. Excited play a remastered winter witch with a little frosty scamp

Where was the preview? Was it a little snip in the blog or something more expansive…


OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:
WWHsmackdown wrote:
I was encouraged with what I saw in the witch preview. Excited play a remastered winter witch with a little frosty scamp
Where was the preview? Was it a little snip in the blog or something more expansive…

Ravingdork has you covered here.


breithauptclan wrote:
OceanshieldwolPF 2.5 wrote:
WWHsmackdown wrote:
I was encouraged with what I saw in the witch preview. Excited play a remastered winter witch with a little frosty scamp
Where was the preview? Was it a little snip in the blog or something more expansive…
Ravingdork has you covered here.

Why…yes…he does. Thanks Ravingdork!

(Wow, that is a…lot. Lots to see and cogitate about, waaaay more than just the witch. Is there a thread for a breakdown of all this other stuff?)

[end threadjack]


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Calliope5431 wrote:

To add on - coven spells is also a very solid feat at 12. It gives you, as a reaction, the ability to tack on the effects of dangerous sorcery (a premier sorc feat) to someone else's spell, or alternatively add on a spellshape [metamagic] (which would also be neat, depending on the metamagic - some are particularly strong as a reaction, for instance Reach Spell could functionally save a friend a move action, which is awesome).

I'm quite happy with the options presented so far!

I'm pretty into the idea of using Familiar Conduit to turn your familiar into a long range turret for you and your allies. It will definitely put a target on the familiar, but there are ways around that. Have it take a fire elemental form to go fight other fire elementals, then blast them with ice or water spells.

Honestly, getting your familiar killed is tactically advantageous if it is at the end of an adventuring day. It lets you swap out a specific familiar. But that's pretty horrible from a roleplay perspective so I hope Paizo has a better option.


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I had someone try the familiar conduit route. It takes quite a bit of set up and generally isn't worth the payoff. It can be situationally useful.

Familiars are another example of bad scaling. One AoE spells from a high level, high DC spellcasting mob and your familiar is adios. Or being in range of a high hitting multiattack mob that hits everything in a range or aura or gaze mobs.

They are forgettable at lower level and can be painful to remember at higher level.

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