Navigation

    Classes‎ > ‎Base Classes‎ > ‎

    Witch

    Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.

    Role: While many witches are recluses, living on the edge of civilization, some live within society, openly or in hiding. The blend of witches’ spells makes them adept at filling a number of different roles, from seer to healer, and their hexes grant them a number of abilities that are useful in a fight. Some witches travel about, seeking greater knowledge and better understanding of the mysterious powers that guide them.

    Alignment: Any.

    Hit Die: d6.

    Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

    Class Skills

    The witch’s class skills are Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

    Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

    Table: Witch
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
    0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Cantrips, hex, patron spells, witch’s familiar 3 1
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Hex 4 2
    3rd +1 +1 +1 +3
    4 2 1
    4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Hex 4 3 2
    5th +2 +1 +1 +4
    4 3 2 1
    6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Hex 4 3 3 2
    7th +3 +2 +2 +5
    4 4 3 2 1
    8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Hex 4 4 3 3 2
    9th +4 +3 +3 +6
    4 4 4 3 2 1
    10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Hex, major hex 4 4 4 3 3 2
    11th +5 +3 +3 +7
    4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Hex 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8
    4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Hex 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9
    4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Hex 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10
    4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Hex, grand hex 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11
    4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
    20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Hex 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    Class Features

    The following are the class features of the witch.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency

    Witches are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a witch’s gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

    Spells

    A witch casts arcane spells drawn from the witch spell list. A witch must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time.

    To learn or cast a spell, a witch must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witch’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.

    A witch can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Witch. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

    A witch may know any number of spells. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour communing with her familiar. While communing, the witch decides which spells to prepare.

    Cantrips

    Witches can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Witch under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. Cantrips prepared using other spell slots, due to metamagic feats for example, are expended normally.

    Hex

    Witches learn a number of magic tricks, called hexes, that grant them powers or weaken foes. At 1st level, a witch gains one hex of her choice. She gains an additional hex at 2nd level and for every 2 levels attained after 2nd level, as noted on Table: Witch. A witch cannot select an individual hex more than once.

    Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.

    Patron Spells

    At 1st level, when a witch gains her familiar, she must also select a patron. This patron is a vague and mysterious force, granting the witch power for reasons that she might not entirely understand. While these forces need not be named, they typically hold influence over one of the following forces.

    At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch’s patron adds new spells to a witch’s list of spells known. These spells are also automatically added to the list of spells stored by the familiar. The spells gained depend upon the patron chosen. Each patron is listed by its theme. Its actual name is up to the GM and the witch to decide.

    See a complete list of witch patrons here.

    Witch’s Familiar (Ex)

    At 1st level, a witch forms a close bond with a familiar, a creature that teaches her magic and helps to guide her along her path. Familiars also aid a witch by granting her skill bonuses, additional spells, and help with some types of magic. This functions like the wizard's arcane bond class feature, except as noted in the Witch’s Familiar section.

    A witch must commune with her familiar each day to prepare her spells. Familiars store all of the spells that a witch knows, and a witch cannot prepare a spell that is not stored by her familiar. A witch’s familiar begins play storing all of the 0-level witch spells plus three 1st level spells of the witch’s choice. The witch also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to her Intelligence modifier to store in her familiar. At each new witch level, she adds two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new witch level) to her familiar. A witch can also add additional spells to her familiar through a special ritual.

    Major Hex

    Starting at 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch can choose one of the following major hexes whenever she could select a new hex.

    Grand Hex

    Starting at 18th level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch can choose one of the following grand hexes whenever she could select a new hex.

    Favored Class Bonuses

    Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have witches as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class benefit.

    Table: Favored Class Bonuses
    Race Bonus Source
    Paizo
    Half-Elf Add one spell from the witch spell list to the witch's familiar. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level she can cast. If the witch ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar knows these bonus spells. APG
    Half-Orc Add 1 skill rank to the witch's familiar. If the half-orc ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar gains these bonus skill ranks. APG
    Human Add one spell from the witch spell list to the witch's familiar. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level she can cast. If the witch ever replaces her familiar, the new familiar knows these bonus spells. APG
    3rd Party Publishers
    Super Genius Games
    Asterion +1/3 to effective witch level when determining the effectiveness of hexes. (+1 effective level for every three times you select this option.) SGG:HHO
    Piper Add +1 hp to your familiar. SGG:HHO

    Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

    When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

    A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

    Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.

    FAQ/Errata

    General

    Do Temporary Ability Score Increases affect the DCs of monster and PC supernatural abilities based on those ability scores?

    Although the description of temporarily ability score bonuses just refers to increasing spell DCs, that is a legacy of some older game terminology not being updated as new features were added to the rules. Temporary ability score increases should affect supernatural ability DCs based on those ability scores, such as a medusa's gaze attack or a witch's hexes.

    Hexes

    Cackle Hex: Can I use my standard action and move action to cackle twice in one round, extending another hex by two rounds?

    No, you can only use cackle once per round.

    This is being considered for clarification in a future printing of the Advanced Player's Guide.

    Cackle Hex: Does my character literally have to cackle madly when I use this hex, or is that just flavor text?

    Your character actually has to cackle—probably in a strong voice, akin to the volume and clarity necessary for verbal spell components.

    If the witch is in a silence effect, she can't use the cackle hex.

    If the target is in a silence effect, it is unaffected by the cackle.

    This may require some clarifying text in the next printing of the Advanced Player's Guide.

    Cauldron Hex: Is a witch who selects this hex at 1st level able to use the Brew Potion feat, even though Brew Potion has a "caster level 3rd" prerequisite?

    Yes.

    Disguise Hex: What's the time limitation for this hex?

    The hex's description should say that the witch can use the ability for a number of hours per day equal to the witch's class level. (This was added in the 2nd printing of the APG.)

    Evil Eye Hex: Can I use this hex more than once on a target?

    Yes. As long as you apply a different penalty with each use of the hex (AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks), you can have multiple penalties on the same target. Applying the same hex penalty to a target just resets the duration to the most recent use of the hex.

    Example: On round 1, you hex the target's AC. On round 2, you hex the target's attack rolls, so the target now has two evil eye hexes on it. On round 3, you hex the target's saving throws, so it now has three evil eye hexes on it. On round 4, you hex its AC again, resetting the duration of the AC-hex (which does not add an additional –2 penalty to its AC). The same thing would happen if two witches were using evil eye on the same target--as long as each evil eye hex applied a penalty to a different thing, they'd all apply.

    This doesn't violate the general rule for stacking penalties--each evil eye effect is basically a different source, even though they stem from the evil eye hex (the evil eye hex is much like 5 separate weak hexes under a common umbrella). In the same way that multiple castings of bestow curse on the same target should stack as long as they do different things (penalize Strength, penalize Dex, penalize attack rolls, take no action, and so on), multiple uses of the evil eye hex stack as long as they're targeting different game statistics.

    Flight Hex: Can my witch use her feather fall and levitate abilities on other creatures?

    No. All aspects of the flight hex affect only the witch (though she can carry objects or creatures as part of her weight allowance as described in those spell effects). (The 2nd printing of the APG includes this updated information.)

    Fortune Hex: How often can a creature "benefit" from this hex? If it lasts more than one round, does it end after the first time it is used?

    When a creature becomes the target of the fortune hex, it gains the benefit of that hex once per round, until the hex runs out, as determined by the level of the witch that created the effect. Once it ends, the creature cannot again be the target of that hex for 24 hours.

    Healing Hex: Can I use this hex to damage undead? If so, how often can I affect a particular undead?

    The hex acts like the appropriate cure wounds spell, so it damages undead.

    When used this to damage undead, it should have the same once-per-24-hours limitation as its healing usage (even though that's not a "benefit" to the targeted undead).

    For clarity, where the hex currently says: "Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours."

    It should actually say: "Once a creature has been affected by the hex, it cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours."

    If a hex says it can only affect a creature once every 24 hours, does that mean no other witch can use it on that target?

    No, the restriction only applies to that particular witch using that hex, and doesn't prevent other witches from using their own hex with that name on the target.

    For example, if Esmerelda uses her healing hex on Gustav, she can't use it on him again for 24 hours. Morda can still use her healing hex on Gustav during Esmerelda's no-healing-hex time period (and doing so prevents Morda from using it on him again for 24 hours). Repeat for any other witch using the healing hex

    Ice Tomb Hex: What is the range of this hex? Can it affect objects? Does the target need to drink? Can it affect a cold-immune creature? If the target succeeds at its save, is it still imprisoned? How long does it last?

    Like most major hexes, the range is 60 feet.

    In the second printing of Ultimate Magic, the text says, "A storm of ice and freezing wind envelops the creature...," so it only affects creatures, not objects.

    The target doesn't need to eat, breathe, or drink.

    The general assumption for effects is if the creature negates the damage from the effect, the creature isn't subject to additional effects from that attack (such as DR negating the damage from a poisoned weapon, which means the creature isn't subject to the poison). Therefore, a cold-immune creature takes no damage from the hex and can't be imprisoned by it.

    A target that succeeds at its save takes half damage and is not imprisoned.

    Under temperate conditions, the ice lasts 1 minute per witch level. In tropical environments it might only last half as long. In cold environments where ice and snow persist without melting, it might last indefinitely.

    Scar Hex: Does the scar hex have any effect on the target's Diplomacy or other social skills, or any other effects?

    First, the sentence "These scars do not hinder the target's actions or abilities in any way" is there to indicate that you can't scar over a target's eyes to make them blind, ears to make them deaf, or mouth and nose to keep them from breathing. However, large, visible scars may have a positive or negative effect for the target, depending on who he's interacting with--a tribal culture may see scarification as the mark of a deadly warrior, while the upper echelons of a decadent urban nobility may see scars as a sign of childhood poverty or general thuggishness. Rather than trying to present a system of game mechanics for all these possibilities, the GM should use the Fiat Rule to modify Bluff, Disguise, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks as appropriate for interactions with the scarred target.

    Second, the scar is a magical curse, and it should persist through changing shapes (lycanthropic, the change shape monster ability, polymorph spells, and so on).

    Third, the hex needs a range. Touching the target to scar it is thematically appropriate, so the witch has to make a melee touch attack.

    Fourth, the hex could benefit from a mechanical boost. Therefore, scarring a creature with the hex has two benefits: the witch can use any of her hexes on that creature at a range of up to one mile, and the witch is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scry and similar divinations.

    The book will be updated with these changes, though the exact wording will depend on the space available when the page is typeset.

    Update: Witch scar hex, add notes about skill modifiers, shapechanging persistence, melee touch attack, increased range for other hexes, and scrying boost.

    Patrons

    If I take levels in a prestige class that advances my spellcasting, do I continue to gain bonus spells from my patron as I gain levels?

    No. That is a class feature of the witch class, and the standard "+1 level of spellcasting" prestige class ability only advances spells known, spells per day, effective spellcaster level. (You retain the patron spells from your familiar based on your actual witch level, of course.)

    What spell does the light patron grant at level 18?

    The spell at level 18 should be fiery body.

    Update: Change the level 18 "sunburst" to "fiery body**."

    What spell does the insanity patron grant at level 6?

    The spell at level 6 should be distracting cacophony.

    Update: Change "mad hallucination*" to "distracting cacophony*."

    Source(s) Advanced Player's Guide FAQ, Ultimate Magic FAQ

    Table: Witch Archetypes / Alternate Class Features
    Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
    Class Skills Weapon & Armor Spells Cantrips Hex Witch's Familiar Patron Spells Major Hex Grand Hex
    1 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
    Paizo
    Beast-bonded





    X
    X X




    C










    Dimensional Occultist




    X

    X
    X




    C C C C C C C C C

    Gravewalker



    X
    X
    X





    X
    X X

    X X X


    Hedge Witch





    X
    X

















    Sea Witch



    X










    X X X X X X X X X

    White-Haired Witch



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Winter Witch


    C

    X







    C C C C C C C C C C

    Racial Archetypes - The following class archetypes are available to members of the listed race.
    Bonded Witch (Half-elf)















    X










    Dreamweaver (Changeling)
    C



    X
    X
    X





    X X X X X X X X X

    Scarred Witch Doctor (Orc)




    X









    X










    3rd Party Publishers
    Super Genius Games
    Blacksnake



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Cloakfighter



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Harrier



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Physical Exemplar



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Spellhammer



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Weapon Champion



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    Youxia



    X X X X X X X X X X X









    X X
    X=replaced, (X)=optional replacement, C=changed, 1=archetype package 1, 2=archetype package 2