Homebrew Witch Class
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    Witch Class

    Updated witch class in campaign document here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...41#post6791841.

    Cheers,
    Brian

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    Last edited by bmcdaniel; Monday, 4th January, 2016 at 06:09 PM.
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    I don't know a lot about 5e and so can't evaluate balance on the class, but I do suspect that with bless, fairy fire, and sleep on their 1st level spell list, this is probably the class with the best selection of 1st level spells in the game. I would from a power gamer perspective put a Fate Tradition Witch up against any other low level caster. Evil Eye is also basically a win button and probably the best low level debuff in the game, were it not for the fact that a metagaming DM can always insist that the 'stressful time' is not now (rendering the spell the biggest source of table arguments I can imagine).
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    bmcdaniel,

    You put a whole heck of a lot of work into this, and I am highly impressed with the final result. I wish I could award you more than a single XP.

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    Very nice work. I've always loved the concept of the Witch as a PC or NPC class. Back in the day, I used to use the Witch NPC class presented in an old Dragon Magazine (The issue number escapes me; might have been reprinted in Best of Dragon one or two) pretty frequently. I've thought of creating a 5E Witch as a separate spell-casting class - you beat me to the punch. Great job with it.

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    After reviewing the class more deeply, it does seem to me that Bestow Curse and Bestow Major Curse are more powerful than the respective levels you have assigned to them (3rd and 5th, respectively). This is primarily because of "Duration: Permanent until removed".

    This Bestow Curse is more powerful than the spell of the same name and level in the PHB. For my own gaming table, I've simply increased their respective levels by one level (to 4th and 6th), and added the designation "Witch" in each of the spell names (Bestow Witch Curse and Bestow Major Witch Curse).

    Otherwise, I'm liking this class even more than when I first read it over.
    Last edited by Redthistle; Thursday, 1st January, 2015 at 02:22 PM.

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    Thanks for the feedback. A few thoughts and responses:

    * I hadn't considered how powerful bless is. (It hasn't seen any use in my game so far.) I think I'll remove it from the common spell list (although I'll keep it for the fate tradition).

    * Regarding the power level of the evil eye and the bestow curse/bestow major curse spells. I've tried to balance them by delaying the effect, so that they would rarely (if ever) be useful in combat. They would be very useful to set up a later combat... but (a) the victim knows that they are cursed and should take appropriate precautions, and (b) I'm OK with that because I want to encourage my players to set up advantages for future combats.

    * Along those lines, I'll insert the following text which appears elsewhere in my campaign guide describing curse magic:

    Curse Magic
    Curses loom large in the imagination of [people in this campaign]. Curses are a special type of magic that doesnt follow the determinative rules of standard magic. Whether or not a spell counts as a curse will be noted in the spell description.
    Curses are very flexible, but their efficacy depends on the symbolic appropriateness of the curse to the target. Moreover, most powerful curses can be broken if the target meets conditions that are (again) symbolically appropriate. For example, a pickpocket cursed with palsy until he returns everything hes stolen to its rightful owners; a beautiful princess cursed with eternal sleep until kissed by a prince; a demonologist cursed with fear of fire; a graverobber whose possessions crumbles unless he returns all stolen items to a grave; or a drunken fool who is polymorphed into a boar until he can cross a desert (symbolically overcoming his alcoholism). Finally, most curses have a delayed onset, can have permanent or long-lasting effects, and cant be dispelled like ordinary spells (although a high-level remove curse spell can end a curse).
    Because of these elements, curses are not terribly combat-effective, and they are not meant to be. However, curses can be powerful PC (and NPC) motivators outside of combat.

    * I should add that one of my few disappointments with D&D 5e is what they did with the bestow curse and remove curse spells. Bestow curse is now simply yet another in-combat spell, and remove curse automatically works. Bestowing a permanent curse requires a 9th-level bestow curse spell (!) which, per RAW, can be dispelled with a 3rd-level remove curse

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    Block peterka99


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    Your class has a niche quite close from a cleric. Not as useful to the other players as the Bard or thge Cleric, can heal; curses are great as you said to tacticians planning postponed attacks, with is great. The combat spells are alike clerics and bards, your stick can cause damage (but only 1 attack at high levels is low). Sanctuary is great then to keep witches out of melee. Very good balance!

    Potions: The brewing rules are scarce. Herbalists and alchemist can brew minor potions, as well as spellcasters (with was skill or tool) ? Correct my assumptions is you get better knowledge. I don't think it should be a feat, because downtime activities are quite a tricky and optional rule most of the time. Lets say witches are the only major potions makers in the campaign... Plus maybe NPCs experts...

    I think you got the 1st rule for D&D 5e for brewing potions... Seems fine. Need to know the spell, selling prices should be 110-130% of raw costs ( I did not compare your price and DMG prices...) ? If brewing is fail-proof, the benefits should not be so high because otherwise witches will be full-time potions makers...

    Time: I think the brewing time should be exponential. I level 1 potion (like cure wonds) should takes an hour, a 9th potion nearly a year...

    time = level * tier multiplier
    tier 1 (level 1-4): hours
    tier 2 (level 5-9): days
    3 (level 11-15): weeks
    4 (level 16+): months

    (tiers levels from memory)


    By the way, feel free to review my own classes options and races !
    Last edited by peterka99; Thursday, 1st January, 2015 at 03:37 PM.

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    Really great stuff, and kudos for the boatload of work. I really like the "true to life" feel and flavor of traditional/historic witchcraft.

    My only alteration/houserule might be to move the archetype choice to 2nd or 3rd level to put it more in line/another balancing measure with the other classes.

    You could keep Familiar on 2nd or move it to 3rd [wherever you put the tradition choice] with the Shawl, as both are dependent on the tradition choice.

    Also, given all classes have their own archetype title, and "tradition" is already the Wizard's, I might come up with a different term. As, per your fluff, witches are "practical magic users/casters", might I suggest, simply, "Practices." Which Witch's Practice do you follow?

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    I made a few more changes, including fixing an embarrassing duplication error in one of the spell lists, added a new tradition (winter) and a few more spells. I still appreciate feedback.

    peterka99, the prices for the potions are either strictly from the DMG (where the price is given, such as the poisons and the potion of healing) or within the DMG guidelines (other potions). I didn't intend for the witch to have any monetary advantage to crafting, but merely better/more sure access. While in general, I like D&D 5e's permission-required approach to magic item crafting, I wanted to loosen it up a bit for the witch. But note that the DM can still control the availability of non-gp ingrediants.

    steeldragon, at one point, I actually wanted to follow both your suggestions, but ultimately didn't. The problem with choosing the late archetype, is that the witch depends on them to get tradition spells. I think this is the same reason why the cleric also starts at 1st level with its domain. At one point, I did delay the acquisition of the tradition, and instead of having tradition-based cantrips and 1st-level spells, I made them prerequisites for entry into a tradition. But at the end of the day, I decided it wasn't worth the additional complexity, and abandoned that approach.

    With regard to using "tradition" as the class archetype, I felt kind of stuck. I wanted to contrast the witch's "passed-down" folk wisdom spellcasting as compared to the theoretical/book learning approach of wizards and the faith-based spellcasting of clerics. Really, I'd feel best if wizards went back to "schools"; but since WOTC probably won't honor that request, "tradition" was still the best I could come up with.

    This is as good a place as any to note that the witch has substantially more spells known than the cleric or the wizard. I'm aware of it, but i think its balanced against the fact that clerics and wizards can switch spells much more easily (pray/study overnight to memorize a new spell), while witches take a whole month to switch out a spell.

    PS to the mods: any chance of getting an upgrade to the resources database to allow posting of full classes?

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    I'm with you on Wizard schools being schools...which they call them in the PHB, yet for some reason the archetypes are "traditions". Doesn't make a lot of sense to me. So, I see why that is. Maybe if we both asked reeeeally nicely?

    As for the traditions at later levels, why can't they just gain the cantrips/1st level spells when they take on the tradition?...if they don't already have them. Kinda of an "initiation" thing. When you devote yourself to a tradition, these certain magical mysteries/lore come/get passed to you...this includes the simplest spells of that tradition.

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