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{WH} The Witch, a character class of natural arcana and the old ways of magic
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{WH} The Witch, a character class of natural arcana and the old ways of magic

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Long ago when the world was young, magic was the domain of gods and shadows, utterly unknown to mortals.

In these forgotten times, a bargain was struck between mortals and these antediluvian entities. Thus, the first inklings of magic were imparted, and the survival of the mortal races ensured against the primordial forces that ravaged these ancient times.

You are a follower of this grand and ancient tradition, harkening back to a time when the natural and the arcane were treated as one. You are a Witch: feared, revered, and never, ever to be trifled with.

The Witch is a full character class with progression from levels 1-20, five distinct Coven subclasses, and 16 jinx options to characterize how strange and wild your magic can be.

Play as a natural illusionist, crafting figments and strange curses from moonlight, or as a sage healer, acting as a balm for mortal toil. Conjure demons and treat with devils as a practitioner of forbidden magics, or lay unbreakable dark curses and bind mortal souls into scarecrow minions. Craft potions from your spellcraft and combine them into powerful elixirs, or animate a witch’s cottage on chicken legs to bring your home along with you.

Whatever your ideals may be, forge your own destiny as a witch, and woe betide any who would presume to cross you.

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Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Katherine M September 04, 2018 9:58 pm UTC
I really like this class! It's very close to my image of my own ideal Witch class.

That said, though I got most of my answers to questions looking in the discussion section, there is one bit that bothers me: the lack of an Intelligence saving throw. It's strange to lack that when it's a key ability score to the class. If you want to have Charisma and Wisdom saving throws for this class (which I agree is a thematic fit), you could have one or the other gained as a saving throw as a class feature, similar to how Rogues get proficiency Wisdom Saving Throws at a certain level (can't remember it off the top of my head)?
Customer avatar
Tyler B September 04, 2018 10:46 pm UTC
That's not a bad plan!

I'd have to replace the CHA saving throw with INT, because both are considered the "weak" save option to WIS's "strong" save option.

I could then insert CHA saves as part of Fine Fettle, because having a strong force of personality pairs well with Fine Fettle's themes of having a strong physical body.

Honestly if you want to homebrew it as such in the meantime until I actually change it up, that'd be reasonable.
Customer avatar
Katherine M September 05, 2018 1:11 am UTC
That sounds good! Yeah, if I must I'll just homebrew that change up until it's fully changed.

Also re-reading some of it...I'm not sure about the big gap between lvl14 and lvl20 in regards to getting a new feature outside of upgrading Jinx. Looking at it, it seems strangely empty like there should be another core class feature at 17th or 18th level. Not sure exactly why I get that impression but that's what I got.

The Grand Old Wytch looks weird in regards to how it's 5 instead of 10 years for the slowed aging flavouring. Why did you make that choice? More out of curiosity than any actual complaint; feel like it's a thematic thing but I can't see the reason why.
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Tyler B September 05, 2018 10:25 pm UTC
That gap between 14th and 20th has come up a lot in feedback. I'm unsure how to address it, because if you look at core classes such as the wizard, warlock, and druid, there are levels where features get very sparse.

It's a common trait of casters, since much of their balance hangs on the progression of the Spellcasting feature. I don't want to add features just for the sake of having features, that creates bloat, and there's only so much I can move around existing features.

I'll take a look at it in the future, but honestly unsure if anything I do will make it better.

With Grand Old Wytch, my thinking there was that a high level witch should still age perceptibly, as (similar to a high level wizard) age is a signifier of experience and earned respect. A witch would naturally age slower, but they wouldn't necessarily *put effort* into aging slower. Witches, being practical, care more about the effects of death than the physical attributes of aging.

That's my...See more
Customer avatar
Katherine M September 06, 2018 1:15 am UTC
You definitely don't want it to be "bloated" as you put it. But for some reason it does look like it needs something there (similar to how Druid gets that Timeless Body feature at that time). The other option is another coven feature at that point but I feel like that would be too much work, even if it could be arguably easier to balance things out to tailor it to fit each Coven. A single core feature of some kind strangely seems to be needed there.

That's a pretty cool idea for the aging and honestly it does make sense. The bit where they can essentially "choose" when to die naturally definitely feels like a witch thing.
Customer avatar
Ádám U August 08, 2018 1:40 am UTC
I realy like the tone of this class, as well as the fact that it is in fact not the OP version of an existing class. Well... It is kind of something combined from Wizzard and UA Artificer... and Warlock... and... OK! OK! All the caster classes. Which is okay if you consider, by lore it is meant to be the first to be caster type.
I only have a few minor problems: First, in the witches table the complete (20th lvl) Witch has two 6th level and two 7th level spell slots instead of the one-one the official full casters usually get, is this a typo or is this on purpose?
And second, it's not a big thing, but I think, in the description of class traits, the level at which you gain access to the trait should be written in the first part of the first sentence, rather than in the second paragraph. (Just so it could be clearer.)
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Tyler B August 08, 2018 2:04 am UTC
Heh, I like that you picked up that it fills a thematic midpoint!

When I started in on this class option, it was originally a wizard subclass, because the 4e version of the witch was a type of wizard. But it felt too distinct from being a wizard, too thematically different, so I tried making it a druid. I had the same problem there, so I tried making it as a warlock.

Finally, I just broke down and decided to make it its own class, a halfway mark between a lot of different class options that still manages to be distinct.

For the concerns raised, though:

1) I actually went back and took another look at spell slot progression. Full casters actually *do* get their second 6th-level spell at 19th level, and their second 7th-level spell at 20th level. For most of their progression both of these spell levels only have one slot (if any), so it's easy to overlook.

2) Looking back over the writing style present in the PHB, it looks like you're right, and the...See more
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Damian F August 03, 2018 5:14 pm UTC
Looks good so far.

I must ask though, regarding Brewcraft:

Are you supposed to ONLY gain the herbs on a roll of 10, 15, 25, and 30, or are you meant to get them in "tiers" (i.e 10-14. 15-24, 25-29)? The former (which it appears to be read as written) makes it quite difficult to obtain herbs for a day's work.
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Tyler B August 03, 2018 6:12 pm UTC
Aha, I see the confusion. RAW, it would be only on a result of 10/15/25/30, but that's not what I intended.

My intent was for them to be tiers, as you mentioned. I'll see if I can't edit that in there later today.
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Maia H July 27, 2018 7:14 am UTC
First of all, let me say that I love this. It nails witchiness thematically, and best of all—it looks like it'll be really fun to actually play. There were two comments/observations I had that I thought might be pertinent.

1. Someone else raised the spellbook/spell list thing. Since this class is already incredibly versatile with lots of abilities and thirty spells is quite a decent number, I wonder if they should be able to learn more spells. Wizards are a little low on abilities and being able to know everything is pretty much their thing, whereas witches have a lot more options built into the class aside from just spells. In answer to this, here's a suggestion you might consider; you could borrow a leaf from the Tome Warlock's book (pun unintended). Witches could have 30 spells they *know*, but can copy *ritual* spells into a spell book which would be just for those rituals. Perhaps—I don't know how balanced this is—they could also cast those as regular spells to differentiate themselves...See more
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Tyler B July 27, 2018 7:53 am UTC
First: I love the ritual book idea! It ties the witch thematically to the warlock, while helping differentiate it from the wizard in a meaningful way.

For spell progression, I think I'll start the witch with 5 spells and give the ability to learn 1 new spell per level, capping out at 25 versus the wizard's 46, the sorcerer's 15, and the bard's 22.

Second: The Half-Moon definitely has a creative, non-combat focus, I agree. I have some ideas about how I could mix up the level 1 to make it more combat-oriented, but for now, the archetype features themselves (if not fully the spell list) are more roleplay-oriented.

I'm glad you like it! If after playtesting you have any extra feedback to add, I'd love to hear it!
Customer avatar
Dylan P July 26, 2018 10:12 pm UTC
So, the first thing to jump out at me is that the witch has both spells known and a spell book. Spell knowledge should come under one of three types, a spell book like the wizard where you can have every spell available to you so long as it is in your book, spells known like the sorcerer which means you have a limited number of spells and you can switch them out at level up, or spells prepared in which you know the spells but can only choose among a few of them for the day. The spells known should usually go to being switched out at a long rest eventually, except the bard, who uniquely has a higher spells known but once they hit level 20, they are done. Currently, you have it as a mix between the Bard and Wizard it seems with a very high spells known (higher even than bards) and a spell book which means you really have all the spells.

Beyond that, I really enjoy the Jinxs and you nailed the thematic element of a witch perfectly.
Customer avatar
Tyler B July 27, 2018 3:09 am UTC
That's something I had a lot of back-and-forth on how to do.

I wanted the spellbook for ritual casting, a thing witches should absolutely have, and they settled into being an INT caster after the rough draft. I wanted too for them not to have as many spells known as a wizard, as that's a wizard's defining attribute.

I settled on averaging the spells a sorcerer and a wizard would have at each level, and having that be the default for the witch. This created an uneven amount of spells gained each level (I believe the increase was around 1.5 per?), so I decided to add a Spells Known column to illustrate the exact increase each level.

It's a weird thing for a spellbook caster, especially because they can learn spells in excess of this amount. Perhaps I should nix the spells known, start out with a greater number of spells known, but only add one spell known per level (against a wizard's 2)?

If I wanted to increase this, I could also grant knowledge of additional...See more
Customer avatar
Dylan P July 29, 2018 10:15 am UTC
Haha, so funny enough, I do have a little insight on this.

If you pop over to the Unearthed Arcana Reddit, you might discover a Witch class made by Zarieth. I loved this witch class, and have given him tons of feedback on it, even made revisions and additional subclasses for it. Currently being playtested heavily. But Zarieth ran into the same problem, and we have argued a bit back and forth on that subject. Originally he had something like 18-19 spells known, a number of spells granted by each subclass, something like find familiar granted as well. In total the number of spells known came to around 28.

So I gave him this breakdown. Bard: Known. 26. Cleric: Prepared. Around 40. Druid: Prepared. Around 30. Sorcerer: Known. 21. Warlock: Known. 23. Witch: Known. 28. Wizard: Book. Technically All. The bard has a high spell count because once they hit 20, they are stuck with those spells forever. Clerics and Druids are dependent on levels and stats, so the lower of each the lower number....See more
Customer avatar
Tyler B July 30, 2018 9:55 pm UTC
Thanks for the input!

The most recent version revises the spellcasting system a little bit, removing the Spells Known column and adding scaling similar to wizards. At 1st level, a witch learns 3 spells + 2 from their Witch's Coven for a total of 5, and then learns 1 additional spell each witch level.

Basically, this scales from 5-32 spells, plus the wizard-like ability to learn the spells they find. Wizards have more spells and learn more per level, however, and assuming that wizards and witches would have the same ability to acquire spells out in the world, a wizard will always have more. A wizard's spell list is also significantly larger, meaning that the effective cap on the spells they can learn is that much greater than a witch.

That's the logic I'm operating off of, anyway.

As for the spellbook and rituals, were the witch a prepared caster it could just have a line about using spells as rituals. Spellbook casters usually have a direct reference to their...See more
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File Last Updated:
September 16, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on July 25, 2018.