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


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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.
It doesn't prove anything. We just got new multi-class subclasses. 5E is into its crazy experimental phase. We could all be playing Marshals or Warlords by this time next year.

We're also three years away from WotC possibly doing something big for their 50th anniversary. A new core class being added to the PHB would be a great way to drive sales and mark the specialness of the event. I'd bet it'd be the Warlord before a Witch class, but it's hardly out of the question.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
It doesn't prove anything. We just got new multi-class subclasses. 5E is into its crazy experimental phase. We could all be playing Marshals or Warlords by this time next year.

We're also three years away from WotC possibly doing something big for their 50th anniversary. A new core class being added to the PHB would be a great way to drive sales and mark the specialness of the event. I'd bet it'd be the Warlord before a Witch class, but it's hardly out of the question.
You're much more optimistic about WotC's chances of getting crazy then I am, although I concede it's certainly not impossible that we may see another class or two in the next few years.

That being said, my initial post was only about the lack of salience in bringing up official material as Crimson Longinus did, since the OP specifically asked about how to implement a witch in our personal games.
 


Remathilis

Legend
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
It was my intention to do a druidic "witch" class as well. Haven't gotten around to it.
 


MGibster

Legend
As has been pointed out recently to me, there are people walking around today saying they are witches, as their religious identity.
I understand that and I do respect that. Any D&D witch bears, at best, a tenuous relationship with their modern religion. The idea of a witch is part of our cultural heritage and are fair pickings for ideas so far as I'm concerned.

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.
It isn't because the D&D witch wouldn't be based on a real religion. And sorry, modern witches don't own the word any more than you or I. I'm fully comfortable using the negative interpretation of witches in my games because I'm not saying anything about real existing religions.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I understand that and I do respect that. Any D&D witch bears, at best, a tenuous relationship with their modern religion. The idea of a witch is part of our cultural heritage and are fair pickings for ideas so far as I'm concerned.


It isn't because the D&D witch wouldn't be based on a real religion. And sorry, modern witches don't own the word any more than you or I. I'm fully comfortable using the negative interpretation of witches in my games because I'm not saying anything about real existing religions.
That Sabrina series is considered pretty much an abomination conflating wiccan things with satan worship sigh.
 

In any case, despite all the protestations on this thread, there is a very clear pop culture witch idea out there, involving pointy hats, black cats, cauldrons, flying brooms, etc. That's more of a basis for a class than 3E-5E warlocks had, and WotC was able to develop a class for them quite easily.

And it's not a niche that really exists in D&D where you can hand the Essentials Kit to a new player who wants to play one -- a situation I've personally been in, as I've been bringing in a lot of new players over the last five years and will be bringing in a handful more in the next six weeks alone -- and have them be able to do it satisfactorily.
 

That Sabrina series is considered pretty much an abomination conflating wiccan things with satan worship sigh.
Great example. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (based on a horror comic) was very enjoyable for folks with no personal connection to wicca, but it's uncomfortable at best for members of that community. A D&D witch can still be identifiably a "witch" without doing that (and thereby stepping on the toes of the warlock).
 

Yaarel

Legend
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.

I especially like the option of choosing the power source of any class. Not only are the styles of witch so different from each other, the theories of magic can be so different from each other. Here choosing a power source can help pick one that is correct for a concept or close enough.

For example, to do a Norse Witch, meaning a Volva or Seidfolk, simply granting the Psionic tag to a Bard, is remarkably accurate. Any specific information if necessary is just a new spell or a new background. Seidr is strictly telepathic mindmagic, but the people who do it, also tend to master other shamanic traditions as well, including healing and the sight, outofbody and even shapeshifting. The psionic disciplines of Telepathy, Prescience, and "Psychometabolism" which I call Shapeshift, are central to the Norse Psionic, but Telekinesis is rare.

And to do a Celtic Bard, who is similar to Volva, the Bard class is already remarkably accurate. For the Bard, I probably keep the Arcane power source in the sense that I get a strong secular vibe from the Bard, or possibly go Primal in the sense of being infused by the magic of nature. I view the Bard as Prescience (including blessing by praise and cursing by satire), Telepathy mindmagic, Shapeshift, ... and potions.

And so on. If it is possible to officially swap a power source, it goes along way to get a character concept exact.



Maybe like Priest is a Background, Witch could be a Background. But really because witches can be so different from each other, I doubt there could be a single Background to meaningfully unify all the concepts.




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).

I view "Primal" as animism, thus a kind of Psionic that is more attentive to the minds of landscapes, plants, and animals, but also the minds of skyey phenomena, including sun and moon and weather patterns. Generally, Psionic tag is fine, but specifying Primal can be helpful, especially for flavor. A Primal Warlock might be Primal or Psionic, and the pact itself might be some kind of personal magical transformation that occurred when the shamanic sensitivities first awoke.

Divine Pairing? Wicca? Divine power source?

I am less satisfied with the 5e Sorcerer. In the previous editions it was the Nonvancian mage, and in 4e and 5e it has an identity crisis. I would prefer if we had the Psion instead of the Sorcerer. Nevertheless the Sorcerer can emphasize its "bloodline" trope, and be a design space to explore Nonhuman ancestors. I havent used the Chaos archetype since it is lessso an ancestry, but maybe it could be some kind of Elemental ancestry. Various bloodlines are relevant to various witch concepts.

I tend to be happy with how the Druid class handles Elemental tropes. I use the Druid to represent the more elemental aspects of nature, like Frost Thurs and Wind Jotnar. I also use the Druid with some accuracy for various Alchemist traditions. I view the reallife Druid as a priestly caste, having a worldview that is simultaneously polytheistic and protoscientific, perhaps with no distinction between the two. If I remember correctly, a report says they can take a priestly vow to not fight by weapons but to fight by magic. Generally, Celtic magic is dreamlike experiences with vivid symbolic imagery. I suspect all the traditions of complex and convoluted potion ingredients comes from the Celts and perhaps specifically from Druid sacred traditions.

If a Warlock makes an Elemental pact, I am unsure what that might look like. But it would be easy and balanced to modify the Eldritch Blast to whatever damage type is appropriate to the Elemental concept.


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.

I enjoy your comments about the history of various witch traditions. I know various indigenous cultures getting demonized as "witches" has inflicted much suffering. But I tend to not focus on the tribulations. I am more excited about how amazing these ancient cultures are, and hope they continue to survive. It is impossible to avoid evolving, but I hope each culture can maintain authentic continuity with ones unique heritage.


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).

When it comes to Merlin and Morgan, I view them as a blend of reallife persons and concepts. I focus on how the narratives were moreorless plausible to the writers and the audiences who read about them, thus describe reallife worldviews of the period.

Regarding the archetypes of Merlin and Morgan. I view Merlin as a Bard, and it is almost that simple. A Bard can also be a political advisor and even, potentially, a military leader.

Regarding Morgan, "le Fay" says it all. I view her as a spirit of fate, the kind that personifies magic itself, and specifically what came to be identified as an "Elf". Albeit, she is the British version of Elf that synthesizes the Celtic Sidhe land spirit and the Frankish Faie personifying fate and magic.

Merlin himself is probably a Half-Elf, where his "incubus" father is almost certainly the shamanic Elf that relates to the Scot witch tradition.

I view both Morgan and the father of Merlin as animistic land spirits.


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.

Using the classes to handle the thematic mechanics, but then allowing one swap the power source, helps to approximate certain concepts.

A power source is a tag. Mostly, the tag has no mechanics in and of itself, but other mechanics might refer to it. However, for me, Psionic spellcasting is innate, and always lacks spell components.

A Background might help. I use one for a Norse warrior mage, to make sure certain spells known are available (generally equivalent to the Abjuration school) are available to a spellcaster class.

Strixhaven opens up a new design space, where certain witch concepts might work as an archetype that several classes can share.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Great example. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (based on a horror comic) was very enjoyable for folks with no personal connection to wicca, but it's uncomfortable at best for members of that community. A D&D witch can still be identifiably a "witch" without doing that (and thereby stepping on the toes of the warlock).
I may be peripherally a member as I have dated several who were back in the day and currently a sons gf I believe identifies as such (and plays D&D) additionally my wife's cousins/aunt (kind of does that is a strange story), I really cannot imagine anyone doing as bad as Sabrina except on purpose.
 

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.
I'm sorry; I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth. I disagree with the assessment about the D&D Wizard (I think it models many of them really well, though the functionality of Vancian spellcasting does not). Again from a mechanical standpoint I can see the issues you're making about Warlock and Sorcerer but I'm talking about intended thematics here.

Yes, mechanics underline the intended themes, and if the mechanics fail to do the theme justice, then they should be revised or replaced. I'd argue that 5th Edition is the first time that D&D actually finally got the mechanics of the Bard mostly aligned with the thematics it's trying to represent in from myth and fiction (4e was close, but suffered from class-based abilities being almost wholly focused on combat functionality).

As a non-professional student of Celtic culture (I've read through John T. Koch's 5 book encyclopedia, Oxford's dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Bromwich's translation and editor's notes on the Welsh Triads, and several different translations of the Mabinogion, and read hundreds of research articles because I find the area personally fascinating), I'd argue that Bards do NOT differ greatly from their inspirations finally, nor do Druids (though certainly not all Druids were shapeshifters, and certainly there were and are factual real world Bards and Druids who were clearly not the same as the legends they lent themselves too, just as there are real world clerics who are not warriors with maces who can call for divine intervention). And I do recognise that the classes are broadened so as to represent similar concepts from other cultures and periods and stories.

But I'd argue on the whole that this is the closest they've ever come to giving you the abilities to create a character right out of the Mabinogion or the Irish Cycles. But I digress.

It's not the mechanics that I'm chiefly concerned with here. The creation of a new canonical class cannot be solely to fill a mechanic need. It has to be because the archetype fits a need not already fulfilled by any other class. It must exist and persist in popular culture independent of the other classes in the game, with minimal overlap in the core class concept. The Witch doesn't fit this bill. Its base theme is one shared by all or most of the other caster classes. If I was designing the game from the ground up, then MAYBE I'd create a witch class and move concepts around to file under the witch. But as it stands, grafting a Witch class onto 5e would be stepping all over the toes of every all the arcane casters, as well as some of the divine ones.

Blood Hunter is a great point of comparison. I'd argue that WotC chose not to canonize it in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount as a full player option write up because it steps all over the Ranger (and a bit of the Warlock, and a few other subclasses of various classes like Bard and Barbarian). The class fulfilled a mechanical desire at Mercer's table, so he made it work for them. People love Critical Role, so he released it for sale on DMs Guild and for free on D&D Beyond. But WotC didn't make it canon to the game, not even as a setting-specific option, because it's not independent enough of a concept to exist in a game that already has the Ranger and the Warlock. Are the Blood Hunter abilities cool? Yes! Are they a more robust development of the concept than the Monster Slayer conclave for Rangers could ever be? Of course - and that's a very acceptable approach to why someone might want it in their game.

Coming into 5e, I was disappointed that the best I had to emulate my Warden character was the Oath of the Ancients Paladin. I had grown used to having "this precise set of primal evocations" rather than thinking about the broad set of storytelling ideas that say "Green Knight." The 5e game is way stripped down. But there are tools to dial it up. It may not all be available for you at 1st or even 5th level, but between feats and skill choice and background and archetype choice and supernatural/dark gifts and guild spells and patron bonuses etc, there are so many ways to complexify the character's "moveset." But more to the point, thinking about characters in terms of moveset rather than in terms of character is missing the point of a roleplaying game. The "moves" only serve to highlight the narrative function and development of the character and how they take on obstacles. If the moves exist and can be added relatively easily within this pared down system, then by all means, add them (like adding divination to the Wizard's spell list at last). But I can't be picky about my Warden not having her precise moves, as it is immaterial to the fact that I can still create a story about a Green Knight character, who can still go through the challenges she did previously. The exact nature of the "fight scenes" might play out different, but the story is the same one, just told from a different certain point of view.

Likewise with the Witch, the mechanical features of what exactly how they cast (at-will invocations and cantrips versus per 10 minute rest respawning powers versus spell point magic manipulation vs spells per day) is immaterial to the story being told about the witch. Does the witch have a pact with an ancient demon that gave her her powers? That's a story in folklore about witches, and that's the Warlock class. Is the witch a part of a coven of fey enchantresses? That could be a Druid or might be an Archfey-Patronage Warlock. Might even be a Wild Magic Sorcerer. Is the Witch named Hermione Granger and has the best grades in the school and really should be in the dorm for smart people but is in the dorm for brave people because the plot said so? That story is really more up the Wizard class's ally than anything else.

Other tropes like a flying broom stick and brewing potions are in the game, they're just not class features. If your witch makes her own broomstick and potions though, she might be an Artificer. ;)
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
That Sabrina series is considered pretty much an abomination conflating wiccan things with satan worship sigh.
Great example. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (based on a horror comic) was very enjoyable for folks with no personal connection to wicca, but it's uncomfortable at best for members of that community. A D&D witch can still be identifiably a "witch" without doing that (and thereby stepping on the toes of the warlock).
I was referring to the 90s sitcom about Sabrina and how she's a half-witch in that too, but I understand the issues people had, especially practitioners of Wicca, with the darker and edgier and "more occult" rendition.

Furthermore, this underlines how the term Witch is a volatile concept that is likely going to offend people when you start saying X = Y; so-called "Witchy" archetypes are better represented with various subclasses of existing classes that are less likely to offend. It's the same deal with Shaman and Warlord. The terms are the problem.
 

Is the Witch named Hermione Granger and has the best grades in the school and really should be in the dorm for smart people but is in the dorm for brave people because the plot said so? That story is really more up the Wizard class's ally than anything else.
Okay, but clearly the characters in that setting are all Sorcerers. They're born that way, and trained to use innate powers.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Other tropes like a flying broom stick and brewing potions are in the game, they're just not class features. If your witch makes her own broomstick and potions though, she might be an Artificer. ;)

Kind of feels like the best witch flies a mortar and pestle.

Speaking of which, is there anything in Baba Yaga's background about a patron or contract or the like?
 

Likewise with the Witch, the mechanical features of what exactly how they cast (at-will invocations and cantrips versus per 10 minute rest respawning powers versus spell point magic manipulation vs spells per day) is immaterial to the story being told about the witch. Does the witch have a pact with an ancient demon that gave her her powers? That's a story in folklore about witches, and that's the Warlock class. Is the witch a part of a coven of fey enchantresses? That could be a Druid or might be an Archfey-Patronage Warlock. Might even be a Wild Magic Sorcerer. Is the Witch named Hermione Granger and has the best grades in the school and really should be in the dorm for smart people but is in the dorm for brave people because the plot said so? That story is really more up the Wizard class's ally than anything else.

Other tropes like a flying broom stick and brewing potions are in the game, they're just not class features. If your witch makes her own broomstick and potions though, she might be an Artificer. ;)
Here's the scenario all these arguments keep missing:

New player (not a hypothetical -- this is from my own table): "I want to play a Witch."

Me: "Uh, there isn't a Witch, per se, but we can hack one together using Wizard or Druid or Warlock or Sorcerer."

New player, deflating: "Oh, um, never mind."

All of the people saying "we don't need a Witch class, because all of us who don't want one would just use our system mastery to hack one together" aren't getting that you aren't the target audience. The giant world of people who don't play D&D, for whom "Witch" is a much more concrete concept than "Druid" or especially "Cleric," want and expect "Witch" to be a thing in the most popular fantasy RPG around.

If a generally non-offensive Druid can be in the PHB, a generally non-offensive Witch can be. A core class is doable -- there's plenty of mechanical space left in the game for another caster, probably multiple sorts -- but a subclass is undeniably doable, especially if the cross-class subclass system makes it into a future PHB or other book. (And yes, the Witherbloom is a great start at that, but again, when someone says "I want to play a witch," they don't want to be told "just pretend this Witherbloom in a supplement about MTG is a Witch.")
 
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Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I especially like the option of choosing the power source of any class. Not only are the styles of witch so different from each other, the theories of magic can be so different from each other. Here choosing a power source can help pick one that is correct for a concept or close enough.

For example, to do a Norse Witch, meaning a Volva or Seidfolk, simply granting the Psionic tag to a Bard, is remarkably accurate. Any specific information if necessary is just a new spell or a new background. Seidr is strictly telepathic mindmagic, but the people who do it, also tend to master other shamanic traditions as well, including healing and the sight, outofbody and even shapeshifting. The psionic disciplines of Telepathy, Prescience, and "Psychometabolism" which I call Shapeshift, are central to the Norse Psionic, but Telekinesis is rare.

And to do a Celtic Bard, who is similar to Volva, the Bard class is already remarkably accurate. For the Bard, I probably keep the Arcane power source in the sense that I get a strong secular vibe from the Bard, or possibly go Primal in the sense of being infused by the magic of nature. I view the Bard as Prescience (including blessing by praise and cursing by satire), Telepathy mindmagic, Shapeshift, ... and potions.

And so on. If it is possible to officially swap a power source, it goes along way to get a character concept exact.
This is why I'm in favour of the widening of classes. Maybe it would be better to not use the term Bard or Druid or Paladin because they held very specific cultural meanings. I'm in favour of renaming Paladin to Knight, for example. But the class names as they are are snippy snippy and not very likely to offend many folks.

Maybe like Priest is a Background, Witch could be a Background. But really because witches can be so different from each other, I doubt there could be a single Background to meaningfully unify all the concepts.
Agreed.

I view "Primal" as animism, thus a kind of Psionic that is more attentive to the minds of landscapes, plants, and animals, but also the minds of skyey phenomena, including sun and moon and weather patterns. Generally, Psionic tag is fine, but specifying Primal can be helpful, especially for flavor. A Primal Warlock might be Primal or Psionic, and the pact itself might be some kind of personal magical transformation that occurred when the shamanic sensitivities first awoke.

Divine Pairing? Wicca? Divine power source?
Yeah I was trying to create a patron name that referred to the God and the Goddess of Wicca without getting lengthy and without people asking why this isn't a Cleric.

I am less satisfied with the 5e Sorcerer. In the previous editions it was the Nonvancian mage, and in 4e and 5e it has an identity crisis. I would prefer if we had the Psion instead of the Sorcerer. Nevertheless the Sorcerer can emphasize its "bloodline" trope, and be a design space to explore Nonhuman ancestors. I havent used the Chaos archetype since it is lessso an ancestry, but maybe it could be some kind of Elemental ancestry. Various bloodlines are relevant to various witch concepts.
I'd argue that the Sorcerer discovered its identity in 4e when it could no longer be the Nonvancian mage. I think that the mechanics could better push this by making its casting all via Sorcery Points (which stack relatively nicely with the variant rule: Spell points in the DM's Guide, fi you want to combine them with house rules. But narratively the Sorcerer fills a niche that other casters do not, that of a character that did not "earn" their powers but came into it and now has to figure out what they're going to do with it. The inheritors of magic. The results of a science experiment gone horribly right. "Everything special about you came out of a bottle." Who is Mewtwo and why does he exist?

I also think that Psions are essentially Sorcerers in this way, but we'd have to be more liberal with letting players swap out their primary ability scores to make a full on Int-focused Psion be represented by a spell-points variant Sorcerer with the subclass of Aberrant Mind.

I tend to be happy with how the Druid class handles Elemental tropes. I use the Druid to represent the more elemental aspects of nature, like Frost Thurs and Wind Jotnar. I also use the Druid with some accuracy for various Alchemist traditions. I view the reallife Druid as a priestly caste, having a worldview that is simultaneously polytheistic and protoscientific, perhaps with no distinction between the two. If I remember correctly, a report says they can take a priestly vow to not fight by weapons but to fight by magic. Generally, Celtic magic is dreamlike experiences with vivid symbolic imagery. I suspect all the traditions of complex and convoluted potion ingredients comes from the Celts and perhaps specifically from Druid sacred traditions.

If a Warlock makes an Elemental pact, I am unsure what that might look like. But it would be easy and balanced to modify the Eldritch Blast to whatever damage type is appropriate to the Elemental concept.
It was in 4e's Heroes of the Elemental Chaos. You'd probably be making it with a elemental prince or a primordial or titan rather than the element of fire or earth itself. There's significant overlap with The Genie Patron, but it's distinct enough in genre tropes and concepts to say that while Djinn and Efreet COULD be your patron for the Elemental Pact, they're better represented by the Genie Pact.

I enjoy your comments about the history of various witch traditions. I know various indigenous cultures getting demonized as "witches" has inflicted much suffering. But I tend to not focus on the tribulations. I am more excited about how amazing these ancient cultures are, and hope they continue to survive. It is impossible to avoid evolving, but I hope each culture can maintain authentic continuity with ones unique heritage.
Why thank you. I think the tribulations are a big part of narrative. Enduring despite the odds or with love and grief co-mingled.

When it comes to Merlin and Morgan, I view them as a blend of reallife persons and concepts. I focus on how the narratives were moreorless plausible to the writers and the audiences who read about them, thus describe reallife worldviews of the period.

Regarding the archetypes of Merlin and Morgan. I view Merlin as a Bard, and it is almost that simple. A Bard can also be a political advisor and even, potentially, a military leader.

Regarding Morgan, "le Fay" says it all. I view her as a spirit of fate, the kind that personifies magic itself, and specifically what came to be identified as an "Elf". Albeit, she is the British version of Elf that synthesizes the Celtic Sidhe land spirit and the Frankish Faie personifying fate and magic.

Merlin himself is probably a Half-Elf, where his "incubus" father is almost certainly the shamanic Elf that relates to the Scot witch tradition.

I view both Morgan and the father of Merlin as animistic land spirits.
These are perfectly acceptable takes. My point was more that different writers have taken different perspectives on them, and that's ALL OKAY. It just speaks to the malleability of the concepts and why saying this is the only true Witch class is a problem when a good portion of witch fiction deals with what the Warlock or Wizard or Sorcerer classes are playing with, etc.

Using the classes to handle the thematic mechanics, but then allowing one swap the power source, helps to approximate certain concepts.

A power source is a tag. Mostly, the tag has no mechanics in and of itself, but other mechanics might refer to it. However, for me, Psionic spellcasting is innate, and always lacks spell components.

A Background might help. I use one for a Norse warrior mage, to make sure certain spells known are available (generally equivalent to the Abjuration school) are available to a spellcaster class.

Strixhaven opens up a new design space, where certain witch concepts might work as an archetype that several classes can share.
Agreed.
 

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