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D&D 5E 5e witches, your preferred implementation?

My issue with this idea is that which witch is which?
The same argument, of course, can be made about a number of D&D classes. The D&D wizard has almost no relationship to many of the other wizards in fiction and myth. Bards and druids differ greatly from their inspirations. Warlocks and sorcerers likewise are a very gamist specific take that doesn't necessarily line up with myth and legend.

"Witch" is not somehow a harder nut to crack than any of these others, especially when they can be modified and branched out with subclasses.

The reason we don't have it is almost certainly that TSR was first sexist (the attractive witch in the little white booklets wears a translucent top, because of course she does) and then scared of stirring up the Satanic Panic further.

Only people on ENWorld seem confused about what constitutes a pop culture witch, something any 7 year old can describe to folks in detail, if they want clarification.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
Just experimenting with subclass features...

Cauldron Magic: When you cast a spell, you can imbue it into a magical brew rather than having it take effect immediately. Doing so takes 10 minutes and requires a cauldron. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action, bonus action, or reaction, and target a single creature.

When you use this ability, you fill a vial or flask with the magical brew. A creature can drink this brew as an action. As soon as it does, the spell takes effect as if you had cast it on that creature. If the spell requires concentration, the drinker must concentrate to maintain it.

The brew loses its powers the next time you complete a long rest. You can prevent this by expending mystical herbs worth 100 gp per spell level; a brew created this way lasts until it is drunk. For spells of 6th level or above, the cost is 1,000 gp per spell level.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Perhaps in your home game, but officially published material needs to maintain some sort of archetype coherence or classes end up being meaningless mechanical messes and that's a deathblow to a class based system.
This entire discussion only applies to home games. You don't think WotC is actually going to publish more classes, right?
 


Remathilis

Legend
I wrote a thread on this referenced earlier. I ended up doing a wizard subclass to bridge the gap for spooky spellcaster. It's a take on the 2e witch kit, and any feedback is appreciated.

 

I wrote a thread on this referenced earlier. I ended up doing a wizard subclass to bridge the gap for spooky spellcaster. It's a take on the 2e witch kit, and any feedback is appreciated.

I like this one better than the other 5E Wizard tradition I saw. Mind if I link in my blog post?
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Here was the level advancement chart & work-in-progress class features I worked up for my conversion/adaptation of the witch from Dragon #114.

LevelProf.Class FeaturesCantrips KnownSpells Known1st2nd3rd
4th

5th
6th7th
8th
9th
1+2Spellcasting, Magical Mark, Witchspeak242
2+2Coven, Witch's Sight253
3+2Uncanny Familiarity2642
4+2Ability Score Improvement3743
5+3Brew Potions38432
6+3Coven feature39433
7+3Uncanny Familiarity3104331
8+3Ability Score Improvement, Witch's Sight Improvement3114332
9+4Witch's Curse31243331
10+4Coven feature41443332
11+4Brew Potions, Uncanny Familiarity415433321
12+4Ability Score Improvement415433321
13+5Witch's Sight Improvement4164333211
14+5Coven feature, Uncanny Familiarity4184333211
15+5Sympathetic Magic41943332111
16+5Ability Score Improvement41943332111
17+6Brew Potions420433321111
18+6Guise of Many Faces, Timeless Body422433331111
19+6Ability Score Improvement422433332111
20+6Fascination422433332211


Cantrips (16 vs. druid’s 18, and 2 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 4)
Blade Ward
Friends
Guidance
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Message
Mind Sliver (TCoE)
Minor Illusion
Prestidigitation
*Produce Flame (formerly druid-only)
Resistance
*Spare the Dying (formerly cleric-only)
True Strike
*=Befuddle (target has no allies)
*=Reflected Image (display scene in a willing touched creature’s mind upon a reflective surface)

1st Level (21 vs. druid’s 21, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 1 entangle)
Beast Bond (XGtE)
Ceremony (XGtE)
Charm Person
Detect Evil and Good
Detect Magic
Detect Poison and Disease
Disguise Self
Faerie Fire
*Find Familiar (wizard-only)
Fog Cloud
Healing Word
*Hex (warlock-only)
Identify
Protection from Evil and Good
Purify Food and Drink
Sleep
Speak with Animals
Tasha’s Caustic Brew (TCoE)
Unseen Servant
Witch Bolt
*=Minor Geas (affects HP worth of opponents as per sleep who are sent on an imaginary errand away from the caster)

2nd Level (25 vs. druid’s 22, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 1 flame blade)
*Augury (cleric-only)
Calm Emotions
Crown of Madness
Darkness
Darkvision
Detect Thoughts
Enhance Ability
Enthrall
Hold Person
Invisibility
Lesser Restoration
Levitate
Locate Animals and Plants
Locate Object
Mirror Image
Misty Step
*Moonbeam (druid-only)
Phantasmal Force
Protection from Poison
Ray of Enfeeblement
See Invisibility
Suggestion
Summon Beast (TCoE)
Tasha’s Mind Whip (TCoE)
*=Hidden Missive (select targets hear something different than what you say)

3rd Level (26 vs. druid’s 18, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 1 call lightning)
Bestow Curse
Catnap (XGtE)
Clairvoyance
Conjure Animals
Counterspell
Dispel Magic
Enemies Abound (XGtE)
Fear
Fly
Gaseous Form
Hypnotic Pattern
Magic Circle
Major Image
*Mass Healing Word (cleric-only)
Protection from Energy
Remove Curse
Speak with Dead
Speak with Plants
Summon Lesser Demons (XGtE)
Summon Fey (TCoE)
Summon Shadowspawn (TCoE)
Tongues
Vampiric Touch
Water Breathing
Water Walk
*=Mystic Rope (conjure rope which moves of its own accord, can be commanded to grapple or attach)

4th Level (18 vs. druid’s 21, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 1 giant insect)
Banishment
Blight
Charm Monster (XGtE)
Confusion
Conjure Minor Elementals
Death Ward
Dimension Door
Dominate Beast
Freedom of Movement
Greater Invisibility
Hallucinatory Terrain
Locate Creature
*Phantasmal Killer (wizard-only)
Polymorph
Summon Elemental (TCoE)
Summon Greater Demon (XGtE)
*=Mystic Wall (hard to pass through for Medium or smaller creatures, distorted images/sounds prevent targeting through wall, creatures in wall take 3d6 force damage, caster and allies can pass through safely)


*=Lightning Shield (30’ burst of 2d8 lightning damage, then acts like fire shield vs. metal weapons within 30’ but deals 2d8 lightning) Druid, Sorcerer

5th Level (20 vs. druid’s 18, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 2 maelstrom & reincarnate)
Animate Objects
*Antilife Shell (druid-only)
Awaken
*Commune (cleric-only)
Conjure Elemental
Contact Other Plane
Contagion
Dawn (XGtE)
Dominate Person
Dream
Geas
Greater Restoration
Hold Monster
Insect Plague
Legend Lore
Modify Memory
Planar Binding
Scrying
Teleportation Circle
*=Spiritform (turn incorporeal, gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons & gain Incorporeal Movement, bypass resistances of creatures with Incorporeal Movement like banshees, shadow demons, ghosts, specters, and will-o’-wisps; but your attacks deal no damage to corporeal creatures)

6th Level (15 vs. druid’s 16, and 3 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 5 bones of the earth, druid grove, transport via plants, wall of thorns, wind walk)
Arcane Gate
Circle of Death
Conjure Fey
*Contingency (wizard-only)
Eyebite
Find the Path
Flesh to Stone
Guards and Wards
Heal
*Magic Jar (wizard-only)
Mass Suggestion
*Primordial Ward (XGtE) (druid-only)
True Seeing
*=Greater Bestow Curse (cancel life level/worship/love/sleep of ages)
*=Magic Mirror (see a creature and ask 3 questions about it from entity conjured into the mirror)

7th Level (9 vs. druid’s 6, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 0)
Etherealness
Finger of Death
Mirage Arcane
Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion
Plane Shift
Regenerate
*Sequester (wizard-only)
Summon Fiend (TCoE)
Symbol
*=Witch Queen’s Charm (control group of fey, goblinoids, lycanthropes, or undead of CR 3 or less)

8th Level (8 vs. druid’s 7, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 1)
*Animal Shapes (XGtE) (druid-only)
Antipathy/Sympathy
Dominate Monster
Feeblemind
*Maze (wizard-only)
Power Word Stun
Trap the Soul
*=Quickening (age control / wasting or youth)

9th Level (10 vs. druid’s 4, and 1 class-exclusive vs. druid’s 1)
Astral Projection
Foresight
Imprisonment
Mass Polymorph (XGtE)
Power Word Kill
Shapechange
True Polymorph
*Weird (wizard-only)
Wish
*=Spell Reflection (1 min. shimmering field, when targeted by spell can spend spell slot of that spell’s level to cause spell to rebound back at caster)

Overall Comparison to Druid:

Witch gets access to 168 spells vs. Druid’s 151 – this is tempered by the witch having Spells Known they must select, and may be further refined with some spells being moved to Coven sub-class based bonus spell lists

Witch has 12 class exclusive spells, whereas Druid has 18 class exclusive spells

Impact on Class Spell Lists Overall:
  • Witch gains 4 cleric-exclusive spells
  • Witch gains 5 druid-exclusive spells
  • Witch gains 1 warlock-exclusive spells
  • Witch gains 7 wizard-exclusive spells
  • Introduces 1 new spell for druids/sorcerers (lightning shield)

Hit Points
Hit Dice
: 1d6 per witch level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 4 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per witch level after 1st

Proficiencies
Armor
: None
Weapons: Clubs, daggers, darts, javelins, maces, quarterstaffs, scimitars, sickles, slings, spears
Tools: Herbalism kit or poisoner’s kit (choose one)
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, and Survival

I didn't have all the features worked out, but these were my notes...

Magical Mark
Every witch has a unique mark or characteristic that removes all shadow of a doubt about their magical nature. Choose one of the following marks at 1st level:
  • Bonded Talisman: You have a unique witch's focus (like an arcane focus) which takes the form of a broom, cauldron, hat, cloak, or some other household item or wearable item. You always know where your bonded talisman is, even on other planes of existence. You can summon your bonded talisman to hand as an action. Additionally, your bonded talisman can animate and perform menial tasks for you as per an unseen servant whenever you command it as an action; similarly you can command it as an action to cease animation.
  • Divine Mark: You bear a birthmark resembling a deity’s holy symbol. You may use magic items as if you were a cleric and you may create holy water. Additionally, choose one 1st-level cleric spell and add it to your Spells Known.
  • Familiar Bond: Add the find familiar spell to your Spells Known, without counting against your total. You have a particularly powerful bond to your familiar, and once per day you may whisper its name as an action while touching it and regain one spell slot of up to 3rd level. However, should your familiar ever die, you cannot replace it with a new one, and you must wait one week before you can cast find familiar again to summon it. While on your person or within 5 feet of you, your familiar can use your AC and saving throws, or its own, whichever are better. Additionally, your familiar adds your witch level to its hit points.
  • Hagborn: You are either a changeling child swapped for a human child, or a human child taken by a hag who left a changeling in your place. As an action you may change your physical appearance in one minor way to more resemble the hag you are descended from (e.g. perpetually dripping cold skin might mark you as a sea hag’s child, while a violet hue to your skin might mark you as a night hag’s daughter). Additionally, you can use hag magic items (like hag eyes, heartstones, and soul bags) and join hag covens, and you have advantage on any checks to detect a hag’s presence or identity.
  • Moon Magic ?: (magic tied to lunar phases & ability to swap your coven subclass between game sessions according to lunar phase)
  • Reverse Aging: You age in reverse, and magical effects (e.g. a curse, ghost, potion of longevity, or quickening* spell) can never alter your age. This may be due to a curse at birth or it may be a mystery. If you appear elderly, you’re actually young; gain a +1 bonus to your Dexterity or Constitution (your choice). If you appear young, you’re actually quite old; gain a +1 bonus to your Wisdom or Charisma (your choice).
  • True Namer ?: (learn # True Names and use to impose disadvantage on saves vs. your spells)

Witchspeak
You know Witchspeak, the secret language of witches. You can speak the language and use it to leave hidden messages for fellow witches in general or specifically for witches of your coven. Others spot the message’s presence with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check but can’t decipher it without magic.

Coven
At 2nd level, you are initiated fully into a coven reflecting one aspect of the Triple Goddess that you seek to emulate: the Maiden, the Mother, or the Crone. Your choice grants you features at 2nd level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th levels.

Broadly, these subclasses cover the following themes:
  • Maiden = nature, the wilds, fey, enchantment, inception, expansion, promise of new beginnings, birth, youth and youthful enthusiasm, the waxing moon
  • Mother = civilization, community, ripeness, fulfillment of purpose, fecundity, stability, power, healing, the full moon
  • Crone = darkness, mystery, seers, visions, wisdom, self-reflection, cunning manipulation, repose, death, endings, the waning moon

Witchsight
Starting at 2nd level, you gain the ability to peer into your surroundings and perceive what others cannot. As a bonus action, you can activate your witchsight until the start of your next turn. At 2nd level, your witchsight allows you to see into the Ethereal Plane within 60 feet of yourself and to detect possessed creatures (e.g. a NPC inhabited by a ghost) within 60 feet, so long as you can see the creature.

At 8th level, your witchsight also allows you to see invisible creatures within 60 feet of yourself and to detect charmed creatures (e.g. victim of a charm person spell) within 60 feet, so long as you can see the creature.

At 13th level, your witchsight also allows you to see ## within 60 feet of yourself and to detect cursed creatures (e.g. victim of a bestow curse spell) within 60 feet, so long as you can see the creature.

Uncanny Familiarity ?
Witches can gain familiarity with a subject/place (for the purposes of certain spells) far more easily than other casters, thanks to dreams/visions, their familiar spying, or consorting with otherworldly entities.

Brew Potions
Once per week, you may brew a potion without spending any money or downtime. This may be any common or uncommon potion. At 11th level this may be any rare potion, and at 17th level this may be any very rare potion.

Witch’s Curse ?

Sympathetic Magic ?

The more familiar a witch is with you (e.g. by possessing a lock of your hair), the more potent his/her curses are against you. And all witches, even the kindest moon priestess, has the power to issue mighty curses...but only when they follow fairy tale cursing rules (i.e. the witch or their allies must have been wronged, and there must be an "out" to the curse).

Guise of Many Faces
At 18th level, you can cast disguise self as an action at will without the need for verbal or somatic components.

Timeless Body
Starting at 18th level, the primal magic that you wield causes you to age more slowly. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year.

Fascination ?
 
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Magical Mark
Every witch has a unique mark or characteristic that removes all shadow of a doubt about his or her magical nature. Choose one of the following marks at 1st level:
  • Bonded Talisman: You have a unique witch's focus (like an arcane focus) which takes the form of a broom, cauldron, hat, cloak, or some other household item or wearable item. You always know where your bonded talisman is, even on other planes of existence. You can summon your bonded talisman to hand as an action. Additionally, your bonded talisman can animate and perform menial tasks for you as per an unseen servant whenever you command it as an action; similarly you can command it as an action to cease animation.
  • Divine Mark: You bear a birthmark resembling a deity’s holy symbol. You may use magic items as if you were a cleric and you may create holy water. Additionally, choose one 1st-level cleric spell and add it to your Spells Known.
  • Familiar Bond: Add the find familiar spell to your Spells Known, without counting against your total. You have a particularly powerful bond to your familiar, and once per day you may whisper its name as an action while touching it and regain one spell slot of up to 3rd level. However, should your familiar ever die, you cannot replace it with a new one, and you must wait one week before you can cast find familiar again to summon it. While on your person or within 5 feet of you, your familiar can use your AC and saving throws, or its own, whichever are better. Additionally, your familiar adds your witch level to its hit points.
  • Hagborn: You are either a changeling child swapped for a human child, or a human child taken by a hag who left a changeling in your place. As an action you may change your physical appearance in one minor way to more resemble the hag you are descended from (e.g. perpetually dripping cold skin might mark you as a sea hag’s child, while a violet hue to your skin might mark you as a night hag’s daughter). Additionally, you can use hag magic items (like hag eyes, heartstones, and soul bags) and join hag covens, and you have advantage on any checks to detect a hag’s presence or identity.
  • Moon Magic ?: (magic tied to lunar phases & ability to swap your coven subclass between game sessions according to lunar phase)
  • Reverse Aging: You age in reverse, and magical effects (e.g. a curse, ghost, potion of longevity, or quickening* spell) can never alter your age. This may be due to a curse at birth or it may be a mystery. If you appear elderly, you’re actually young; gain a +1 bonus to your Dexterity or Constitution (your choice). If you appear young, you’re actually quite old; gain a +1 bonus to your Wisdom or Charisma (your choice).
  • True Namer ?: (learn # True Names and use to impose disadvantage on saves vs. your spells)
I quite like this as an alternative to having 20 subclasses.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I quite like this as an alternative to having 20 subclasses.
Yeah, the objective was to present something evoking myths & (positive) cultural consciousness around witches in a way reminiscent to warlock's Eldritch Invocations but without making it this whole sub-system.

The trick with these sorts of 1st level abilities is that they need to be designed to discourage multi-class cherry-picking (e.g. if a witch 1, wizard 3 does "being a wizard" better than wizard 4, then that is a design failure).

For example, Moon Magic and Familiar Bond are interesting and could apply to certain character concepts, but they're rooted in things we associate with witches & aren't going to break the game. Whereas what I've outlined for True Namer is probably too broadly appealing – who doesn't want to impose disadvantage on monsters' saving throws? – and needs to be refined at both the narrative & mechanical levels.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
I wrote a thread on this referenced earlier. I ended up doing a wizard subclass to bridge the gap for spooky spellcaster. It's a take on the 2e witch kit, and any feedback is appreciated.

Personally, it is not for me. As a wizard subclass, they have access to a lot of spells that to me are are not "witchy" (e.g. flashy direct damage spells) and lack access to several spells that I think a witch should have from other class lists. Then again, I thought the 2e witch kit was terrible and used Mayfair's Witch's back in my 2e days
 

MGibster

Legend
Except for all the witches who don't do anything of the sort. And all of the people who will get quite upset if you say that a warlock is a male witch.
None of us will come up with a Witch class that accurately covers all the historical and fictional ways in which witches have been portrayed or thought of. And I'm not going to be overly concerned about individuals who get upset if I say a warlock is a male witch. It's not like I made the word up and I'd be happy to point them to a dictionary if they'd like.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Bard? Yes, (some) witches should definitely get healing magic, (Witherbloom allows that) but whether they are arcane or divine or whether that's even a distinction that exist is a matter of setting lore.
Bards basic inspiration is not necessarily considered magic but yeh the original Celtic Bard is a branch of the Druids (Priesthood) rather like the hebraic Cantor. Singing/musical priests are a thing LOL. A bard could still make a potentially good witch
 


None of us will come up with a Witch class that accurately covers all the historical and fictional ways in which witches have been portrayed or thought of. And I'm not going to be overly concerned about individuals who get upset if I say a warlock is a male witch. It's not like I made the word up and I'd be happy to point them to a dictionary if they'd like.
As has been pointed out recently to me, there are people walking around today saying they are witches, as their religious identity.

Putting a cartoon Halloween pop culture witch into D&D is a lot different than saying, canonically (in this hypothetical, WotC would finally publish an actual witch class or subclass), that their religion is devil worship. One they can laugh and blow off, the other is going to create some offense.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Some witches are "psychics", Psionic. Especially Nordic witches.

Some witches are shamanic, Psionic, such as various animistic cultures, including shamans and witchdoctors and medicinefolk

Some witches are fay. Especially, Scot witches from the Renaissance and earlier, who interacted with the Elf queen and were often healers. Psionic or Primal or Arcane (In D&D the source for the Feywild is ambiguous.)

Some witches are theistic, Divine, such as Greek Hecate.

Some witches are devilish, Divine or Arcane, such as certain grimoire descriptions from continental Europe.

Some witches are protoscientific, Arcane or Primal, or Divine in the sense of cosmic force such as elementalism, such as Celtic traditions of Druid and Bard potion making, or Roman Period Hellenistic "magi" amuletic use of plants and gems.

Probably, the most important question is whether they themself is the power source internally, such as psychic or a family of psychics, or something else is the power source externally, such as harnessing the magical properties that are inherent in different kinds of plants and gems, or gaining the assistance of a spirit who does tasks.

If it was just power source (like arcane pacts, or divine blessings, or primal spirit mediating, or elemental channelling) I still think it would be fine to consider it a single class.

But Witches are also different in their approach to the nature of magic.

I can think of two classes that scream Witch especially in how they reach out to different power sources:

Warlock just needs to add a few more pacts like The Primal Spirit, The Divine Pairing, The Elements.
Sorcerer is almost good as it is, but could use an explicitly Fey origin, and perhaps a Cosmic Magic source (as well as Frost Sorcery, Flame Sorcery, and Stone Sorcery for more elemental themes beyond Storm Sorcery).

But again, there's Artificers that feel very much in line with historical Euro-American Witches as alchemists and healers that were demonized by a rising male industry of medicine; there's Bards who lean into the ecstatic and performative side of witchcraft and healing, while also being dabblers and seers - there's a reason that Troubadours, Nuns, Witches, & Concubines share a history of countercurrent creation in medieval Eurasia. And there's Druids and Wizards who have each inherited much of the tropes of witchcraft we have in popular fiction today. And of course there's always Clerics and Monks; the lines between witch and faith practitioner is often a line drawn by oppressors. Or, the rising dominant religious communities recasts magical persons as religious ones; Goddesses become Saints or Angels, Witches become Nuns or Priestesses reinforcing the divine right of the heroes they interacted with.

Look at Morgan le Fay from the Arthurian cycles. She's been cast as a witch, a sorceress, a depraved nun, a misunderstood priestess of an old religion, a misunderstood nun or priestess of the current religion, a goddess taking human form, a demigod, a fairy queen, or a female magus of some kind with powers similar to Merlin (himself a character that has been expressed in a multitude of ways and could be represented by the D&D Wizard, Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Cleric, Artificer, or even Fighter or Paladin or Ranger if we're talking Emrys or Ambrosius).

Magic in stories don't necessarily comply with each other. Maybe it's an argument for combining magical classes and calling it all just Mage with different flavours, but I think 5e resolves this best of any D&D edition: it's able to provide us with tools to enact classic character archetypes and then to finetooth it with subclasses. The answer thus would be to give us 5 different Witches that all have different flavours of Witch and sit within different classes, or to find the witchiest of witch ideas and make it a Strixhaven-style subclass that thus can combine with various classes to form the best idea of what a witch is to a given player. But doing so would also require guidance to figuring out the systems mastery, and I recognise that some people just want to be a witch and be done with it (much like some want to be a champion fighter and be done with options paralysis). In that case, I would want chapter 1 or 2 guidance directing them to classic archetypal characters, and witch could be one of them, saying if you want to play a witch of that classical variety, choose the Warlock class, etc.
 

Yaarel

Legend
I mean, I know reskinning is a thing, but having a default option of blasting with a magic laser doesn't feel very witchy. I want a witch to be debuffing and spreading around illusions and such. Although I guess you could get some of that feel with some of the XgtE invocations.
The Warlocks blast is a "beam of crackling energy", nevertheless this energy is magical, perhaps raw magical energy (whatever "magical energy" means). The magical energy is of an unspecified nature and the beam itself might even be invisible to observers, or more like a spacial distortion. It is within the rules to visualize this energy and characterize it in whatever makes sense for the character concept.

It is "eldritch" magic, literally meaning the more unsettling aspects of elf or fay, thus probably not "flashy" magic. And it deals "force" damage ... which itself is an unspecified kind of mystical damage type, perhaps telekinetic or gravitational or perhaps pure arcane energy (whatever "arcane energy" is). It might be a connection to the fifth element of ether. This "energy" could be damage from a timewarp associating with the dissimilar flow of time of the Feywild. Perhaps the damage is part of a curse unraveling the tapestry of fate. Or so on.

Even within the rules themselves, there is latitude for how a player or a DM can characterize an Eldritch Blast, and some flavors can be appropriately more "witchy".
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
The Artificer says 'sup.
Which only proves the point. 1 class in 7+ years means expecting a ton more, enough to start blurring niches and boundaries between classes, is pointless. Which is why I said this conversation is really only about homebrew and personal campaign implementation of the witch concept. Worrying about official implementation of the witch is a waste.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
The same argument, of course, can be made about a number of D&D classes. The D&D wizard has almost no relationship to many of the other wizards in fiction and myth. Bards and druids differ greatly from their inspirations. Warlocks and sorcerers likewise are a very gamist specific take that doesn't necessarily line up with myth and legend.

"Witch" is not somehow a harder nut to crack than any of these others, especially when they can be modified and branched out with subclasses.

The reason we don't have it is almost certainly that TSR was first sexist (the attractive witch in the little white booklets wears a translucent top, because of course she does) and then scared of stirring up the Satanic Panic further.

Only people on ENWorld seem confused about what constitutes a pop culture witch, something any 7 year old can describe to folks in detail, if they want clarification.
Except for all the witches who don't do anything of the sort. And all of the people who will get quite upset if you say that a warlock is a male witch.
Sounds to me like your asking for a general caster class called Witch that includes Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Bard, and maybe even Druid as subclasses. I don't think that's necessarily a fruitless effort - it's something D&D pursued in 2e, 3e, and 4e with various class groupings.

But I do think that the easiest way to work with 5e would be to do something like what TCoE did for the Battle Master maneuvers: show archetypal characters that can be built with various packages of ability choices so people can understand how things work together. I feel like everything you need to make the Witch you want is already there in 5e, but we need a better way to helping entry-level players find their Witch.

I also think there's many other archetypal concepts that could work this way. The "4e Warlord" was the big one and that's why it's like that above. But I imagine that some of the people calling for "Shamans" on this board would agree that while the game CAN model what they want pretty well, it's not intuitive because it doesn't use the terms they like or are familiar with. And I imagine that the same guidance would be useful for making Jedi, or Magic Knights, or Psions, or Spirit Mediums or Ninja, etc. Concepts that have been in D&D before, or are popular in the modern pop culture of fantasy, but aren't their own class in D&D and may have multiple avenues for creating them. I think that's a robust part of the system, but it needs to be highlighted.

Even subclasses that don't have a central character archetype but share a theme could be highlighted in groups together. Jeremy Crawford has said that it was very much a design intention that the Horizon Walker Ranger and the Way of the Astral Self Monk share flavour, and he's said the same about the the Fey Wanderer Ranger and the Oath of the Ancients Paladin. There are various ways to group subclasses into genres, and I feel that witch is far more of a genre than a class in and of itself, even though it being a monosyllabic single noun word, Witch lends itself to good class name design (as opposed to nounverbers like Blood Hunter).

Which only proves the point. 1 class in 7+ years means expecting a ton more, enough to start blurring niches and boundaries between classes, is pointless. Which is why I said this conversation is really only about homebrew and personal campaign implementation of the witch concept. Worrying about official implementation of the witch is a waste.
Agreed. Past editions would role out classes a dime a dozen and the classes would rarely be filled out or given splatbook options once they were out the door if the options weren't in the same book or the class wasn't in the PHB.

Modern 5e class design is very big tent to have a lot of different ways of expressing the classes' big idea. But some big ideas are better suited to being the venn diagram between classes rather than being a class in and of themselves. The problem is drawing attention to the venn diagram so that new players can navigate the jargon of the game.

I mean, Kate Welch quit over the jargon and access issues in D&D. The game is not friendly enough to new players without an "older cousin" to teach them the legacy elements and help them find the character they want to build and understand that Spell level ≠ Class level, what spells or maneuvers make sense for their character, etc. They need to do a lot more work on this.
 
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Before 6th level I'm swinging 2d6+Cha damage with a greatsword and dealing Cha mod to a nearby enemy or blasting one target at range for 1d10+Cha.

After that point it's 2d6+1d8+Cha in melee if they won't let me war-magic it. Or 2d6+Cha twice with Thirsting Blade. And if they do let me war-magic, 2d6+1d8+Cha and 2d6+Cha. Or 2d10+Cha at range.

Oh. And Hex is up, of course. So add a d6 to each of those hits. And probably Hexblade's Curse for another Proficiency Modifier in damage and wider crit range.

Eldritch Blast does pull back into the lead for maximum damage at level 11, but the average damage of the 2d6+2d8+Cha is going to be higher. And it won't pull into the lead if War Magic was made available through some method.
I think some of the maths might be off here: Remember that at 5th level, EB+AB damage isn't 2d10 + Cha mod. Its 2d10 + (2x Cha mod)
Level 11 is 3d10 + (3 x Cha Mod).
(Assuming no Hex. With Hex it is 3d10 + 3d8 + 3xCha mod. Add 3x Prof mod for Hexblade's Curse.)

It is Eldritch Blast's unique rules that allows it to be considered multiple separate hits that make it so powerful. They mean it scales with any addition to damage, or effect on hit, unlike other cantrips.
 

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