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Arovyn
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« on: January 21, 2011, 03:19:22 AM »

For a game I'm running, one of my players asked if she could play the Witch class out of the Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide. Thinking about it for a bit, I decided that maybe I could convert it into something usable. Here's the result. Whatever feedback you can give me would be excellent!

Witch/Warlock

   A witch (or warlock) is an individual who has made a bargain with an otherworldly or extradimensional being to gain power and the ability to use magic. They forge a bond with this being to act as a patron. As a manifestation of this bargain, witch’s gain the service of a mystical advisor known as a familiar which serves the witch and reveals knowledge and secrets most mortals are unaware of. A familiar acts as a conduit to magical power granting the witch the ability to cast spells. Witches are often derided by mages as those without the willpower to master real magic. They are also often looked down on or actively persecuted by priests and religious orders for making bargains with beings that are often considered evil or enemies of the faith. Most witches make this bargain out of jealousy of magical practitioners, or because they have a sudden need for such power in order save a loved one or to get simple revenge.
   Depending on your campaign, a witch could be…
•   A shrewd bargainer who supplements his skills with magical ability.
•   A widely scorned practitioner of borrowed  or stolen magic.
•   A trailblazer setting the stage for the world’s awakening to a new source of magic.
•   A magical bounty hunter whose magical prowess did not come from accepted sources.

Party Role: Wildcard. Your role is determined by the spells and abilities you choose as well as how you use them.

Class Features
Requirements: Sorcery campaign quality
Favored Attributes: Wisdom, Charisma, Intelligence
Caster: Each level in this class increases your Casting Level by 1.
Class Skills: Bluff, Crafting, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Medicine, Notice, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Ride, Search, Sense Motive
Skill Points: 8 + Int modifier per level
Vitality: 6 + Con modifier per level
Starting Proficiencies: 2

1 – Familiar, inspired patron
2 – Familiar Knowledge I
3 – Circle of Power I
4 – Hex
5 – Circle of Power II
6 – Major Hex
7 – Circle of Power III
8 – Hex
9 – Circle of Power IV, Major Hex
10 – Grand Hex
11 – Familiar Knowledge II, Circle of Power V
12 – Hex, Major Hex
13 – Circle of Power VI
14 – Familiar Power
15 – Circle of Power VII, Major Hex
16 – Hex
17 – Circle of Power VIII
18 – Major Hex
19 – Familiar Knowledge III, Circle of Power IX
20 – Hex, Grand Hex

Core Ability
Inspired Patron: Choose an additional Discipline of spells that you can cast.

Class Abilities
Familiar: At Level 1, you may purchase ranks in the Spellcasting skill, learn spells from any three Disciplines of your choice, and cast Level  0 spells you know. Your familiar acts as a mage’s pouch. Your familiar appears as an animal or a large insect (your choice of appearance), but is nothing more than an otherworldly construct that cannot be targeted or attacked. Your familiar may communicate with you as if it were speaking to you in your native language, but to any observers, it appears to be communicating in a fashion appropriate to its appearance, and is not understandable.
Familiar Knowledge I: At level 2, choose one skill you know and gain a +3 bonus when making checks with that skill. You also gain a +3 bonus to any Knowledge check you make.
Familiar Knowledge II: At level 11, choose one saving throw type and gain a +2 bonus when making saving throws of that type. Your bonus to Knowledge checks increases to +5.
Familiar Knowledge III: At level 19, your familiar acts as a mage’s workshop. Your bonus to Knowledge checks increases to +10.
Hex: At Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, you may choose any Level 0 or 1 spell as a Hex. You may cast that spell with no spell point cost once per scene with a +5 bonus to your Spellcasting check. You may not select the same spell more than once. You can choose not to select a spell and instead you gain 1 additional Spellcating or Crafting feat.
Major Hex: At Levels 6, 9, 12, and 18, you may select any Level 2 or 3 spell to use as a Hex or you may gain 1 additional Chance or Skill feat.
Grand Hex: At Levels 10 and 20, you may select any Level 4 or 5 spell to use as Hex, or you may gain 1 additional Covert or Style feat.
Familiar Power: At level 14 you may cast a number of spells per scene equal to your starting action dice that cost no Spell Points.

BAB - Low
Fort  - Low
Ref - Low
Will - High
Defense - Low
Initiative - Mid
Wealth - Mid
Legend - Mid
Spell Points

Thoughts, suggestions, ideas?

Arovyn
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aegis
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2011, 03:56:27 AM »

That's a very personal opinion but I would rather see this class as an expert class, with a few Chance feats (Black Cat, Jinx) or the Bestow Curse spell as prerequisites and abilities building on this (or both!). Further, I would limit the spellcasting Disciplines the character has access to to Affliction, Illusion, and Shadow, rather than giving a free choice. Finally, I would or would not (depending on whether you want to emulate D&D's warlock or not) grant him some kind of eldritch blast, whose potency slowly increases with class level.

Right now, I honestly feel like the class looks to much like a regular Mage with a few abilities that are interesting, but not really "eldritch" like they should. Smiley
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:58:34 AM by aegis » Logged
aegis
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2011, 05:04:48 AM »

Quick draft as an expert class:

Class Features
Conditions
: Spellcasting 6+ ranks, Black Cat feat, 3+ spells with the Curse descriptor
Favored Attributes: Charisma, Constitution, Intelligence
Caster: Each Level in this class increases your Casting Level by 1.
Class Skills: Bluff, Crafting, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Medicine, Notice, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Ride, Search, Sense Motive
Skill Points: 8 + Int mod per Level
Vitality: 6 + Con mod per Level

Core Ability
Master of Curses
: Each time you spend an action die to boost a Spellcasting check for a Curse, or a spell from the Affliction or Shadow Discipline, the saving throw DC increases by an equal amount.

Class Abilities
A suggestion of class abilities, to toy with as you like:
Bonus Feat: At Levels X and X, you gain 1 additional Chance or Spellcasting feat.
Bringer of Chaos I: At Level X, you gain the Jinx feat and the error ranges of your Black Cat feat's victims increase by an additional 1.
Bringer of Chaos II: At Level X, you gain the Tough Luck feat and your Spellcasting feats count as Chance feats when fulfilling prerequisites and requirements or determining the effects of any ability.
Lust for Pain I: At Level X, whenever a target fails her save against one of your Curses, you gain 1 Edge.
Lust for Pain II: At Level X, whenever you activate an error of one of your Black Cat feat's victims, you gain 1 Edge.
Cursed Versatility: At Level X, you may add 2 tricks to each Spellcasting check you make to cast a Curse. Also, you gain a trick:
Eternal Curse (Curse Spellcasting Trick): Spend 1 to 5 Edge. Your Casting Level increases by that amount for that spell only.
Eldritch Blast: At Level X, once per round as a full action, you may produce an eldritch blast along a 20-ft. line, inflicting 2d6 + your Con modifier in lethal damage. Make a single attack against all characters and objects in the path; each character hit may make a Reflex Save (DC 10 + the number of Chance feats you have + your Con modifier) to suffer only 1/2 damage (rounded down).
Empowered Blast: At Level X, at the beginning of each scene, choose one of the following benefits to apply to your Eldritch Blast until the end of the scene: (increased range, damage, alternate damage type, area of effect, attack bonus, threat range bonus ...)
Wicked Blast: At Level X, at the beginning of each scene, choose one of the following benefits to apply to your Eldritch Blast until the end of the scene: (affects target with a condition for 1d6 rounds but Reflex save cancels, drains ability, reduces the cost of critical hits ...)

A suggestion for the gamebreaker:
Hand of Doom: At Level 10, whenever you activate an error of one of your Black Cat feat's victims, you may immediately target her with a Curse as a free action, without spending spell points in the attempt.

Of course, balance has to be checked afterwards.

Edit: Corrected, thanks Mr A.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 08:25:13 AM by aegis » Logged
Krensky
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 07:36:30 AM »

Like almost all 3.5 and PF classes, it's probably better as a specialty. See the sorcerer or wizard, for instance. Same with the other classes in the APG. Now, the Witch would benefit from knowing the final shape of familiars in spellbound, but an interm can be worked up, I'm sure.

I'll post something when I get a chance.
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 07:40:54 AM »

Fell Hand is already taken as a class ability name by the priest
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aegis
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 09:03:07 AM »

Like almost all 3.5 and PF classes, it's probably better as a specialty. See the sorcerer or wizard, for instance. Same with the other classes in the APG.
Normally I'd agree with you. But a Spellcasting class with abilities based on Chance feats and Curses, that's something that can easily benefit from FC's mechanics far beyond what D&D used to offer (and it can encompass at the same time the Warlock, the Witch, and some Hexblade builds even). I've only came up with some obvious abilities, but I really believe that something smart and funky can be done with it.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2011, 09:10:40 AM »

Gut instinct is that there will be a base class like this come Spellbound.
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2011, 09:57:12 AM »

Gut instinct is that there will be a base class like this come Spellbound.

Aegis is closer *puts on tinfoil hat*
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Arovyn
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2011, 10:32:56 AM »

I think I need to add my design notes here, but it's good to know that people seem to understand the base of what this class is trying to be. When I set out on this, I was looking for a nearly straight-up conversion of the APG Witch class, but the more I worked on it, the less like the original it started to become. In the end, everything changed while staying somewhat the same. Even the witch's familiar was transformed into something else. I can admit that I did feel some inspiration from the 4E warlock and hexblade, but I didn't want to make a straight up conversion that either. I wanted something similar to mage, but without the complete versatility or overwhelming power a mage could bring to bear, but still have magic and still fill a party role. Hence, the idea transformed to being someone who took a shortcut to power out of greed, jealousy, or desperation. At the same time, I didn't want it to be like the Infernalist expert class. I didn't want to overtly imitate a 4E warlock either. I really didn't want them to be some twisted version of the priest class. (I did, at one time consider using Paths to imitate the Hex aspects, but the idea didn't settle well). I didn't want to put limits on what Disciplines or Schools the class had access to because different entities out there could offer completely different avenues of power, and you can build whole portions of a campaign on what sort of entities would do such a thing. It also means the class can fit more people's ideas of what sort of power they would bargain for. In the end, I wanted a base class that could wield magic like a mage, but not be a mage. I wanted a class about bargains for power, and the obvious archetype is the witch and warlock of story, myth, and legend.

I really don't want this to be an expert class. So with these design notes in mind, is this base class worth playing? Does it have too much power or too little? Are there enough Disciplines to give it a sense of power versatility? Are the other features balanced and worthwhile? And most of all, would you play it as written? If not, what can I do to improve it so that you would?

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Krensky
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2011, 11:14:06 AM »

Still sounds like a specialty.

If the bookish mage who gains power through study and the person born with magic in their blood are specialties, why is the person who makes a deal with powers a class?

Use Mage or one of the specialist classes for the magic.

That leaves the familiar, which you don't actually do anything meaningful with, and the hex thing which is way over powered.

Hexblade is a feat chain. So is the signature blasting power of the D&D warlock. The flavor elements of this are a specialty and the player spell choice.

I'll have something after work.
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Krensky
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2011, 05:35:11 PM »

Contractor
You have struck a bargain for power.
  • Bonus Feat: Extra Contact. (Your patron) [1]
  • Attribute Training: The lower of your Wisdom or Charisma scores increases by 1 (your choice if a tie). Apply this bonus after any modifiers from your Species or Talent. [1]
  • Pact: You are always considered to have a Mage’s Pouch. [1]
  • Free Hint: Once per session, you may request a free hint from the GM. If he refuses, you gain 1 bonus action die. [1]
  • Alignment: You gain 1 alignment and a study related to your patron. You may not have more then one alignment. [1]
  • Paired Skills: Each time you gain 1 or more ranks in the Spellcasting skill, you gain equal ranks in the Haggle skill. This may not increase your Haggle skill beyond its maximum rank. [2]


Pact probably needs a better name.

You could probably also swap Extra Contact for Familiar using the stand in of changing PL to be and work off of Spell Casting or the official version (assuming it's a feat) when Spellbound drops.

The Extra Contact feat represents your Patron, or at least the part of it you have regular contact with.

Pact covers the interesting twist of that since you're less 'working' magic and more asking for favors that you don't need the tools of the trade.

Pairs Skill here reflects that for the Contractor spell casting is haggling.

Alignment is there because that while you may not agree with or want to follow your patron's beliefs or whatnot, you are indelibly marked by the patron. and suffer from all the drawbacks of the source of your power.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 05:42:57 PM by Krensky » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2011, 06:07:30 PM »

Neat interpretation, Krensky

You could probably also swap Extra Contact for Familiar using the stand in of changing PL to be and work off of Spell Casting or the official version (assuming it's a feat) when Spellbound drops.

The "official version" I'm referring to is an expert class, but it's not thematically a witch - though it easily could play as one.

FWIW - the reason Spellbound does not, and will not have a "witch" of the exact flavor Arovyn is looking for is because Fantasy Craft is a toolkit game and does not carry any inherent setting out of the box. It could be in one guy's setting, ALL magic derives from pacts with powers beyond our world, while in another it comes only from willpower that bends reality. In one of those settings, would all or none of the spellcasters have to be Witches? Just as we leave our spells largely without specific flavor so you can define details as part of building or reinforcing your setting, so too do we let you determine the origin of nature and magic without having to force certain styles into or out of a campaign.

I see many ways to do a witch, based on the flavor of your world. Personally, my mind goes to the woman of the wild who encorcels men's minds and lives in harmony with th primal world, so I would probably build a witch as an Enchanter, perhaps with the Extra Discipline (Curses) if I thought she was more evil. Arovyn might think witches are skilled at dabbling with powers outside our own reality, making the Prophet base class more fitting, perhaps with a splash of Charm or Nature spells. In someone else's setting, witches may be the classical hags who only consort with darkness, making the Reaper a better place to start. The flavor of how that magic comes to the witch is the GMs decision Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2011, 06:22:06 PM »

Neat interpretation, Krensky

Thanks.

You could probably also swap Extra Contact for Familiar using the stand in of changing PL to be and work off of Spell Casting or the official version (assuming it's a feat) when Spellbound drops.

The "official version" I'm referring to is an expert class, but it's not thematically a witch - though it easily could play as one.

I was referring to the Familiar there Alex

FWIW - the reason Spellbound does not, and will not have a "witch" of the exact flavor Arovyn is looking for is because Fantasy Craft is a toolkit game and does not carry any inherent setting out of the box. It could be in one guy's setting, ALL magic derives from pacts with powers beyond our world, while in another it comes only from willpower that bends reality. In one of those settings, would all or none of the spellcasters have to be Witches? Just as we leave our spells largely without specific flavor so you can define details as part of building or reinforcing your setting, so too do we let you determine the origin of nature and magic without having to force certain styles into or out of a campaign.

I see many ways to do a witch, based on the flavor of your world. Personally, my mind goes to the woman of the wild who encorcels men's minds and lives in harmony with th primal world, so I would probably build a witch as an Enchanter, perhaps with the Extra Discipline (Curses) if I thought she was more evil. Arovyn might think witches are skilled at dabbling with powers outside our own reality, making the Prophet base class more fitting, perhaps with a splash of Charm or Nature spells. In someone else's setting, witches may be the classical hags who only consort with darkness, making the Reaper a better place to start. The flavor of how that magic comes to the witch is the GMs decision Smiley

Which is a reason it feels more like a specialty. It's easy to allow or disallow a specialty, and a Contractor (rather then a more specific concept, like a witch). It's about as tied to the explanation for magic as the Sorcerer or Wizard specialties.
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2011, 06:35:59 PM »

Contractor
You have struck a bargain for power.
  • Bonus Feat: Extra Contact. (Your patron) [1]
  • Attribute Training: The lower of your Wisdom or Charisma scores increases by 1 (your choice if a tie). Apply this bonus after any modifiers from your Species or Talent. [1]
  • Pact: You are always considered to have a Mage’s Pouch. [1]
  • Free Hint: Once per session, you may request a free hint from the GM. If he refuses, you gain 1 bonus action die. [1]
  • Alignment: You gain 1 alignment and a study related to your patron. You may not have more then one alignment. [1]
  • Paired Skills: Each time you gain 1 or more ranks in the Spellcasting skill, you gain equal ranks in the Haggle skill. This may not increase your Haggle skill beyond its maximum rank. [2]

Yoink! I am so doing a variant of that for Sunchaser.

Quote
Pact probably needs a better name.

I was going to sugest "inner Magic" but that's too ironic inthis case. How about "Nothing up my sleeve"?
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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2011, 07:53:22 AM »

Arovyn,

Sorry, but I agree with the consensus here.  I can see how a D&D 3.5 player might currently struggle to convert their Warlock, but now I think a Contractor Channelor (perhaps with some specific feat line) should cover it nicely.

Krensky,

I do like that Contractor specialty. 
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