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.
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.
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.
The following are the class features of the witch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.