Wednesday, July 24, 2013

So You Want to be a Witch Some More? (in Pathfinder)

Okay, so earlier I posted my new healer witch design for my buddy Steve's new Pathfinder-based campaign.  Now, when I started looking at the witch class it quickly became apparent that this class is pretty complex.  You will get feats, new spells at each level, additional patron spells at certain levels, hexes, hex swaps due to the Hedge Witch healer archetype. major hexes, and attribute bonuses.  There's quite a lot going on and with a healer and it really is best if you plan out all those level additions at least a few levels ahead of time.

Part of me doesn't like planning out a character's future 20 levels right from the start because it sort of spoils the surprise and feels too "professional".  I prefer a more "amateur" or "organic" feel to the character growing over time sort of interactively with what's going on in the game.  But Pathfinder in general is a rules heavy (I prefer the term "complete") game.  So you really need to at least look ahead if not actually sketch out where you want to go.  So for this character I did a design plan out to level 10.  Steve is using the slow level progression and since we'll likely only meet about 6-8 times per year it will take a while just to get to level 10.  I've left most of the possible individual spell choices at upper levels blank because I may need to take offensive spells despite being a healer.  The party has a weird composition with no "tank", no cleric, and no other arcane magic users (yet).

Progression Plan through level 12:
Hex: Healing (Su): A witch can soothe the wounds of those she touches. This acts as a cure light wounds spell, using the witch’s caster level. Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours. At 5th level, this hex acts like cure moderate wounds. [1d8+1]

Hex: Disguise (Su): A witch can change her appearance for a number of hours per day equal to her class level, as if using disguise self. These hours do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-hour increments. [bonus hex from feat]

Hex: Slumber (Su): A witch can cause a creature within 30 feet to fall into a deep, magical sleep, as per the spell sleep. The creature receives a Will save to negate the effect. If the save fails, the creature falls asleep for a number of rounds equal to the witch’s level. This hex can affect a creature of any HD. The creature will not wake due to noise or light, but others can rouse it with a standard action. This hex ends immediately if the creature takes damage. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day. [I took this as a "witchy" flavor hex and to give my character a "soft attack" which would be  useful in and out of combat.  Plus, a healer has uses for putting a  putting a patient to sleep for much needed rest.]

Possible New Spells:
Patron Spell: 2nd—remove fear
Sanctify Corpse
Remove Sickness
Comprehend Languages
Burning Hands
Summon Monster I

Feat: Eschew Materials

Possible New Spells:
Alter Self
Cure Moderate Wounds
Delay Poison
Gentle Repose
Ghostly Disguise
Inflict Moderate Wounds
Mount, Communal
See Invisibility
Spectral Hand
Summon Monster II

Hex: Spontaneous Healing (Su)
A hedge witch can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that she did not prepare ahead of time. The witch can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower, even if she doesn’t know that cure spell. (This replaces the witch’s hex gained at 4th level for a Hedge Witch)

Attribute bonus: +1 to INT

Possible New Spells:
Patron Spell: 4th—lesser restoration (restore negative levels, ability damage, etc.)

Feat: ???

Possible New Spells:
Bestow Curse
Deep Slumber
Delay Poison, Communal
Dispel Magic
Glyph of Warding
Howling Agony
Lightning Bolt
Pain Strike
Remove Blindness/Deafness
Remove Curse
Summon Monster III

Hex: Prehensile Hair (Su): The witch can instantly cause her hair (or even her eyebrows) to grow up to 10 feet long or to shrink to its normal length, and can manipulate her hair as if it were a limb with a Strength score equal to her Intelligence score. Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a secondary natural attack that deals 1d3 points of damage (1d2 for a Small witch). Her hair can manipulate objects (but not weapons) as dexterously as a human hand. The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature. Pieces cut from the witch’s elongated hair shrink away to nothing. Using her hair does not harm the witch’s head or neck, even if she lifts something heavy with it. The witch can manipulate her hair a number of minutes each day equal to her level; these minutes do not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments.  [This is another witchy flavor choice; it's usefulness is pretty limited but I just think it's totally cool so I'm taking it.]

Possible New Spells:
Patron Spell: 6th—remove disease

Feat: ???

New Spells: ???
Death Ward
Forgetful Slumber
Inflict Serious Wounds
Neutralize Poison
Secure Shelter
Summon Monster IV
Tongues, Communal

Hex: Empathic Healing (Su)
A hedge witch can minister to a diseased or poisoned target, redirecting the affliction into herself. For a poisoned target, the witch must tend to him as a standard action; he makes his next saving throw against the poison as normal, but the witch suffers the effects of the failed save instead of the poisoned creature. For a diseased target, the witch must tend to the sick person for an hour; he makes his next saving throw against the disease as normal, but the witch suffers the effects of the failed save instead of the diseased creature. The witch does not actually become poisoned or diseased (and is not contagious and does not need to be cured), but suffers the effects of the affliction as if she had been. The witch normally uses this ability to extend the life of someone near death, giving him time to recover. This ability has no effect if the witch is immune to disease or poison. (This replaces the witch’s hex gained at 8th level for a Hedge Witch.)

Attribute bonus: +1 to INT

Possible New Spells:
Patron Spell: 8th—restoration

Feat: ???

New Spells: ???
Baleful Polymorph
Break Enchantment
Contagion, Greater
Cure Critical Wounds
Curse, Major
Inflict Critical Wounds
Rest Eternal
Secret Chest
Summon Monster V
Symbol of Sleep

Hex: Flight (Su): The witch grows lighter as she gains power, eventually gaining the ability to fly. At 1st level, the witch can use feather fall at will and gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day. At 5th level, she can fly, as per the spell, for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments. This hex only affects the witch. [Another basically witchy flavor choice, but useful in so many ways]

Major Hex
Major Healing (Su): By calling upon eerie powers, the witch’s touch can mend even the most terrible wounds of those she touches. This acts as cure serious wounds, using the witch’s caster level. Once a creature has benefited from the major healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.  At 15th level, this hex acts like cure critical wounds.

Attribute bonus: +1 to INT

Possible New Spells:
Patron Spell: 10th—cleanse

Future Feat Ideas:
The main area where I'm really not sure with this design is what to take for feats at upper levels (5/7/9).  The ones I'm considering are:

Extra Hex: (Taking Cauldron or Ward; Cauldron helps with potions which is very "witchy" and lets me make healing potions for everyone; Ward is a limited effect protective hex, but with a lightly armored group like this one it could actually come in handy.)

Minor Spell Expertise:  "You are able to cast a 1st-level spell as a spell-like ability twice per day."  (For a healer witch I'd be going for Cure Light Wounds.)

Godless Healing:
"You have mastered a specialized and complex technique to ignore pain by focusing your belief on the self rather than relying on faith."
Prerequisites: Cannot have a patron deity.
Benefit: Once per day when you have half your total hit points or fewer, you may heal yourself of an amount of damage equal to 1d8 plus your total Hit Dice as a move action. This is a supernatural ability.
Special: You can take this feat more than once. Each time you do, you may heal yourself one additional time per day. (Since I'm the only healer type, this could really save my bacon; it doesn't heal a lot but with a slow progression game it will remain useful for many sessions of play. However, the "cannot have a patron deity" sort of clashes with witches having a patron.)

Familiar, Improved: (I'd select from the Harbinger Archon, Lyrakie Azata, or Silvanshee Agathion; all fit with the idea of an otherworldly, good, healing-oriented patron.  All are more powerful than the weasel the character is starting with, but I can't right off think of a reason my character would callously ditch her little critter; this would be a choice calling for help from the GM to work the change into the story in a good way.)

1 comment:

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