While the realms of the divine, the arcane, and the earth itself are all quite different from one another, there is a small area where all three overlap. Those individuals who find themselves at home in that intersection of worlds can do wondrous things — they can cast spells normally accessible to only clerics or wizards; they can commune with the creatures and flora of the lands; they can see into the past and ahead into the future. These multitalented — and often misunderstood — people are hedge witches. Their magical power is divine in nature, but it has many aspects in common with arcane magic.
Witches can take their magical gifts and focus them to follow various paths, or traditions. Many hedge witches feel most in tune with their own power when they are skyclad (nude), and perform as many as their tasks and rites as possible in this state (though it is not by any means required for their magic to work).
Many people wrongly assume there are only two types of witches: those who practice evil, or black magic, and the rare few who practice good, or white magic. In truth, while hedge witches can be of any alignment, far more are good than are evil, and there are four distinct traditions that a hedge witch can follow. Most hedge witches are women, but more than a few males take the hedge witch’s path. Male hedge witches are called hedge witches, not warlocks as some people mistakenly believe. Warlock is the term for a hedge witch, male or female, who has broken the sacred oaths of the coven and has been outcast.
Role: While hedge witches are not highly skilled in physical combat or offensive spells, the magic and abilities they do possess serve them well. The role of the hedge witch varies depending upon which tradition she has chosen, so she may play many roles in a party, from healer to scout to defender. Regardless of their tradition, all hedge witches are strongly connected to nature and the magical weave.
Where clerics and other divine spellcasters nearly always have a single patron deity, hedge witches always have two, a god and a goddess. A hedge witch’s god and goddess must have some commonalities in their dogmas. Work with your GM and the deity list for your campaign to select an appropriate god and goddess for your hedge witch to follow.
Hit Dice: d6.
The hedge witches class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Brew potion, broom, cantrips, cast circle, spells||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Familiar, grimoire, tradition||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Circle +5 ft.||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Tradition feat, tradition spell||5||4||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Circle +5 ft., nondetection circle, tradition power||5||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Circle +5 ft.||6||5||4||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+6||Tradition feat, tradition power||6||6||5||4||3||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Protection from spells circle, tradition spell||6||6||6||5||4||—||—||—||—|
|13th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Tradition feat, tradition power||6||6||6||6||5||4||3||—||—|
|17th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||Tradition feat, tradition power||6||6||6||6||6||6||5||4||3|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||Tradition power, tradition spell||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6||6|
All of the following are class features of the hedge witch.
The hedge witch is proficient with the dagger, dart, sickle and quarterstaff. Witches are not proficient with any type of armor or shields. A hedge witch who wears any type of armor or uses a shield is unable to cast spells or perform any of her rites while doing so.
A hedge witch casts divine spells drawn from the hedge witch spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a hedge witch must have a Wisdom score equal to 10 + the spell’s level. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against the hedge witch’s spells is 10 + the spell’s level + the hedge witch’s Wisdom modifier.
Like sorcerers and clerics, a hedge witch can cast only a certain number of spells per spell level each day. Her base daily spell allotment is shown on Table: The Hedge Witch. In addition, the hedge witch receives bonus spells per days if she has a high Wisdom score.
Similar to a sorcerer, a hedge witch knows a set number of spells per spell level. The number of spells that she knows is shown on Table: Hedge Witch Spells Known. The number of spells a hedge witch knows is not affected by her Wisdom modifier; this is a set number. As the hedge witch gains new levels, she gains one or more new spells known each level.
Knowledge of new spells comes to hedge witch through divine inspiration from her god and goddess.
A hedge witch does not have to prepare her spells in advance, as a cleric or wizard does. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, so long as she has spell slots of that spell level remaining for the day.
At 1st level, a hedge witch gains the Brew Potion feat as a bonus feat.
All hedge witches begin their career with a broom. A hedge witch’s broom is more than just a simple housekeeping tool, though.
At 1st level, a hedge witch can use her broom to cast housewifery (housewifery is the name hedge witches use for the prestidigitation cantrip). She can do this once per day per 2 hedge witch levels.
At 3rd level, a hedge witch can use her broom to protect her dwelling from evil or good (depending on her alignment).
The hedge witch must spend 15 minutes sweeping the floor of her home, shop, tent, inn room, etc. At the end of this period up to 3 different entrances (doors, windows, fireplaces, etc) are protected as if by a protection from evil/good spell. The number of entrances a hedge witch can protect increase by 3 every 3 hedge witch levels (6 at 6th level, 9 at 9th level, etc). A hedge witch must spend another 15 minutes sweeping for every 3 entrances she protects.
The protection lasts for 1 hour per 3 hedge witch levels.
At 5th level, a hedge witch can use her broom to fly through the air. Her broom essentially becomes a broom of flying that only works for her (or another hedge witch). The broom cannot be used to fly by anyone but a hedge witch of at least 5th level; anyone else attempting to do so finds the broom does not respond. Even a rogue using the Use Magic Device skill cannot make the broom fly.
At 10th level, a hedge witch can use her broom to “sweep away” outsiders. By making a melee touch attack against an outsider while chanting or intoning prayers and words of power, the hedge witch can banish (as the spell banishment) an outsider of 10 HD or less. The hedge witch can use this ability once per day.
Though she is a divine spellcaster, a hedge witch refers to her 0-level spells as cantrips and not orisons. The hedge witch learns a number of cantrips as noted on Table: Hedge Witch Spells Known. Her cantrips can be cast like any other spell the hedge witch knows, but they do not use up any spell slots and she can cast as many of them as she needs during a day.
At 1st level, a hedge witch can perform the rite to cast a circle. This is the basic rite that all hedge witches learn first, regardless of their tradition. The circle acts as a protection from evil/good spell up to one full hour. The circle’s duration increases by one hour at 3rd level and every two levels after, that to a maximum of 10 hours at 19th level.
The hedge witch uses her athame (a special knife with a blunt edge, used for ceremonial purposes only, never for actual cutting) to draw the circle, praying to her god and goddess as she draws. Casting the circle requires one full minute of time, and the hedge witch can cast her circle a number of times per day equal to 2 + her Wisdom bonus. The hedge witch’s circle is a 5 ft. radius circle at 1st level, increasing to 10 ft. radius at 3rd level, 15 ft. radius at 5th level and 20 ft. radius at 7th level. The circle can never be larger than 20 feet in radius. Once cast, a faint glow — red if protecting from good, blue if protecting from evil — reveals the boundaries of the circle. The glow is visible to all, without the aid of magic.
At 5th level, the hedge witch’s circle also acts as a nondetection spell in addition to the protection from evil/good. At 10th level, the circle also acts as a protection from spells spell. Both effects have duration equal to the duration of the hedge witch’s circle.
If the hedge witch is forced out of her circle before the duration is up, the circle is broken and all effects immediately end. Anyone within the circle with the hedge witch must remain within the circle for its duration or until the hedge witch breaks the circle; leaving the circle breaks it and ends all effects. Likewise, any creature outside the circle that enters it automatically breaks the circle and ends all effects. The hedge witch can break her circle and end its effects voluntarily at any time; the circle is not required to exist for its full duration.
If the hedge witch’s circle is broken by someone other than the hedge witch, the spirits and powers the circle holds at bay can harm the hedge witch. The hedge witch must make a DC 20 Will save or suffer 1 point of temporary Wisdom and Charisma damage.
A coven is a group of witches who work together with common purpose. Typically, all witches in a coven are of the same tradition, but it is not unheard of for witches of the healer, protector, and seer traditions to join together. Black magic witches form covens only with other black magic witches, as their goals are nearly always far different from anything witches of other traditions would seek to accomplish. The benefits and rite described in the description of the Dryad’s Wood Coven are open to covens of any tradition. If the head witch of a coven is male, the power of his god is invoked in the drawing down the moon rite.
A coven can be established with as few as three witches, and can be no more than thirteen in number. The witches do not need to live together, or even live close enough to see each other on a daily basis. Most covens meet regularly once a month, usually on the night of the full moon, or on the night of another moon phase tied to the work they wish to perform. Some covens meet more frequently, and some meet only once or twice a year.
While joining a coven certainly has benefits in terms of power and safety, most witches who join covens do so for the sense of community. A witch’s coven is her second family, and may in fact be her only family if she was ostracized by her own blood kin. If a witch moves away from the area, she can still maintain her place in the coven, even if she can only return home once a year. A witch’s place in a coven will only be filled if she voices her desire to leave the coven; if she ever changes her mind, she will be welcomed back with open arms, though if the coven has a full thirteen members, she may find herself on the sidelines until another member leaves or passes away.
On rare occasion, a witch may be cast out of her coven. Most often, this happens because the witch has broken the principles of her tradition, but she can also be outcast for harming (or intending to harm) another witch in the coven, for stealing from the coven, or for generally being disruptive to the rest of the members. A witch who is cast out of her coven, for whatever reason, is not welcome back unless she can prove she deserves to be given a second chance. Depending on what exactly she has to make amends for, she may never be allowed back in the coven. Any witch cast out of her coven will have a hard time finding another to accept her.
Upon choosing her tradition, the hedge witch is either presented with a large, leather-bound book known as a grimoire (if she belongs to a coven) or makes her own (if she is a solitary hedge witch). The grimoire contains the fundamental teachings of her tradition, but most of the pages are blank. The hedge witch inscribes her own take on her powers as she gains them, and must spend at least one hour each day writing in or studying her grimoire in order to be able to access her tradition powers the following day.
Should the hedge witch lose her grimoire or have it destroyed, she is unable to access her tradition powers until she recovers or replaces it. If she must replace her grimoire, the hedge witch can create a new grimoire, costing 50 gp + 1 gp for each hedge witch level. It takes the hedge witch 2d4 days to create her new grimoire.
The hedge witch may also be presented with a replacement for her lost grimoire. If this is the case, the hedge witch must spend 1d3 days reading through it and making notes of her own before she can use it. The hedge witch can only use a replacement grimoire if it comes from a hedge witch of the same tradition.
At 2nd level, a hedge witch can call a familiar.
She casts a special circle upon the ground and then calls her familiar. The type of familiar a hedge witch can call depends upon the tradition she chooses to follow. See the tradition descriptions for a list of the familiar types available to a hedge witch. In all other respects, this power is identical to a wizard’s ability to summon a familiar, including special familiar abilities and improvements as described in the Familiars entry of the Wizard class description.
HD 1d8; Size Small; Speed 10 ft., fly 80 ft. (average); AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 12; Melee 2 talons +3 (1d4), bite +2 (1d4); Ability Scores Str 10, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6; Special Qualities low-light vision; Feats Alertness, Weapon Finesse; Skills Fly +2, Intimidate +2, Perception +4.
HD ½ d8+1; Size Tiny; Speed 50 ft.; AC 17, touch 16, flat-footed 14; Melee bite -3 (1d2-3); Ability Scores Str 4, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 8; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent; Feats Alertness, Agile Maneuvers; Skills Perception +8, Stealth +4.
Paths of Power. Copyright 2009, 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming; Authors Sean O’Connor and Patricia Willenborg, with Connie J. Thomson and Robert W. Thomson.