Thursday, November 22, 2018

The White-Haired Witch Class for Neo School Hack

So in my buddy Steve's Pathfinder-based campaign I'm playing a witch character with the healer Hedge Witch archetype. The most recent hex I added to the character was Prehensile Hair, which allowed her to awesomely apply the finishing strike to a demon.  More recently, I was on YouTube, consuming some media, when I came across a clip of the scene from The Forbidden Kingdom (功夫之王) movie where the young punk Seeker battles the obviously more awesome White-Haired Witch (白髮魔女) and she takes the magic staff from him with her magic hair.  In that movie she's depicted as a villain, even though the character in the original novels Lian Nichang (練霓裳), nicknamed Jade Rakshasa (玉羅剎), is formidable martial arts vigilante fighting injustice.  And I thought to myself "Why isn't there a character class like that?"

Pathfinder does have an archetype for the witch class called White-Haired Witch, but all it does is swap out all the cool witch hexes--which are the core of the class--for a couple enhanced hair-weapon abilities and a handful of rogue talents. The class has no monk-style martial arts abilities. It would not play anything like the character in The Forbidden Kingdom.

So, since I'm still a bit OCD about my Neo School Hack rules, I decided NSH needed a White-Haired Witch class to remedy this glaring gaming oversight.
White-Haired Witch

- The White-haired Witch is a female wuxia martial artist with unique powers to use her hair. She may appear as a dedicated avenger of injustice or an implacable tracker assassin.

Inherent: Magic White Hair/focus: you can magically extend your hair out 30 feet and grapple or roughly manipulate with it; however you cannot perform fine manipulation skills such as writing with a pen.

Classic Weapon: whip (In addition to normal Light Weapon attacks with it, the witch may trip, disarm, grapple, or choke an opponent following a successful whip strike.)

Martial Witch ("巫侠")/constant: the witch is trained in martial arts, allowing lethal unarmed attacks as a Light Weapon and a special dodge (spend your turn to pass a Cunning check against the attacker's dice score to flip or spin out of the path of an attack)

"Men are such liars"/constant: a witch can always tell if a male is lying

"Hmph"/focus: with a quick bad-girl smirk and slight snort, the witch summons qi for the fight; gain one temporary Awesome Point which can only be used in the current action scene

"Misfits following a misfit"/focus: after sizing them up for a few moments, the witch taunts her opponents, causing all of them to be Disadvantaged on their first roll against her in the current scene.

"Where have you flown, little Sparrow?"/rested: the witch has an uncanny ability to intuit where to find her quarry.

"Kill them!"/rested; a small gang of armed thug minions suddenly appear from nearby and perform acts of intimidation or violence for one action scene

Far Sighted/focus; taking a few moments to concentrate, the witch can see to three times as far as a normal person; this vision negates all distance penalties for ranged shooting attacks.

Lashing Leap/rested: the witch can perform a long, drifting leap covering up to 50 feet; she can double this distance if lashing her whip to generate extra qi.


And, here are some awesome video clips from The Forbidden Kingdom of the witch in action which I based the character class on:

Scene at the inn:

Scene in the cherry blossom orchard:

Scene at the Jade Warlord's palace:

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