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

Heh, I find this approach redeeming the 5e Sorcerer in my eyes. Making everything spell points would help too.
I agree. I can already envision the sorcerer and nervous healer trying to keep the sorcerer alive while they burn down the big bad, knowing that one bad roll on healing could ruin everything. Mechanics that guarantee drama at the table are a win for me.
 

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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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."
I differentiate my game world from the game mechanisms and terminology ... there are not people walking around Eya calling themselves for instance Wardens, there is a group who call themselves The Green Knights and most of the nore heroic of them I might have a player build using a Warden. There are legends about Oath bound heros there are nobody talking about paladins and so on. I use players interest in an archetype as a way of reflecting that in my world ... heck my game world has soldiers that do not normally call themselves "fighters" though those may be the closest a pc would be built as rogues or barbarian/berserks. The Witches of Avalonous in my game world may not be too similar to the players idea of a witch. I would ask the player what their idea of a witch was and figure out ways to incorporate that in my game world ie present it as empowering the player add a new element to the game world just for them. Every character is puzzled together in a sense even if there might be a fair mechanical fit.
 
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Blue Orange

Explorer
One thought I just had would be to make a bunch of variant warlock patrons to allow relatively simple customization without having to remake the character class system from the ground up. You could give a bunch of druid spells for the 'rural hedge mage' archetype, debuffs for the 'trafficking with dark powers but not throwing fire or tentacles' archetype, and so on.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
One thought I just had would be to make a bunch of variant warlock patrons to allow relatively simple customization without having to remake the character class system from the ground up. You could give a bunch of druid spells for the 'rural hedge mage' archetype, debuffs for the 'trafficking with dark powers but not throwing fire or tentacles' archetype, and so on.
Yup, this is sort of what people have done on DM's Guild to create a so-called "Shaman" class.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
Yup, this is sort of what people have done on DM's Guild to create a so-called "Shaman" class.
I prefer the Shaman class by Michael Wolf (a Warlock variant) or the one by Patrick Mitrega to the Warlock Patrons I have seen. And of the two classes, I lean towards the one by Michael Wolf*

*(edit: I do have issues with the one by Michael Wolf, but I did like his discussion on Animism and Shamans, Ancestral Spirits, Spirits of Places, and his Speaker of Dreams subclass. Like many 5e shaman classes and "Shaman" subclases for other classes, tt does need more powers and abilities dealing with spirits)
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
My point was that we need guidance IN THE CHARACTER CREATION SECTION OF THE BOOK so that that new player isn't left deflated.
We need a way to present that witch archetype with the tools already existent, much like how we need to present the Warlord concept.
Is there anything about particular witch concepts functionality which is not readily available? Flying brooms? Invisibility Ointment? Animated Buildings? Or perhaps are cumbersome to combine in a single character? (may require lots of multiclassing)

I mean there a lot of components for some Warlords distributed variously throughout the system but Mearles actually composed a prototype for a Chessmaster style Warlord that is pretty good and not clearly available similarly the Risk and Reward flavored Bravura Warlord from 4e is also not really constructable. The LazyLord though a fan created concept in 4e, has been made in 3rd party 5e products but only by constructing their own core class flexible enough to enable it.

It is not clear most witch concepts cannot already be built.
 
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I differentiate my game world from the game mechanisms and terminology
All the folks with system mastery are able to do this, yes. No one is disagreeing with that.

The point is that, to new players, or people considering playing, when they pick up the PHB in a book store or ask a friend, hoping to play an incredibly popular fantasy archetype -- look up the word "Witch" on Amazon, for instance, to see how big of a deal it is in popular culture -- they won't see it there. That sends a message -- probably purposeful through 2E, maybe accidental after that -- that this game isn't for them.
 

All the folks with system mastery are able to do this, yes. No one is disagreeing with that.

The point is that, to new players, or people considering playing, when they pick up the PHB in a book store or ask a friend, hoping to play an incredibly popular fantasy archetype -- look up the word "Witch" on Amazon, for instance, to see how big of a deal it is in popular culture -- they won't see it there. That sends a message -- probably purposeful through 2E, maybe accidental after that -- that this game isn't for them.
If that's the standard, then certainly it means warlock must be the witch as most people understand those words to basically mean the same thing?
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Is there anything about particular witch concepts functionality which is not readily available? Flying brooms? Invisibility Ointment? Animated Buildings? Or perhaps are cumbersome to combine in a single character? (may require lots of multiclassing)

I mean there a lot of components for some Warlords distributed variously throughout the system but Mearles actually composed a prototype for a Chessmaster style Warlord that is pretty good and not clearly available similarly the Risk and Reward flavored Bravura Warlord from 4e is also not really constructable. The LazyLord though a fan created concept in 4e, has been made in 3rd party 5e products but only by constructing their own core class flexible enough to enable it.

It is not clear most witch concepts cannot already be built.
All the folks with system mastery are able to do this, yes. No one is disagreeing with that.

The point is that, to new players, or people considering playing, when they pick up the PHB in a book store or ask a friend, hoping to play an incredibly popular fantasy archetype -- look up the word "Witch" on Amazon, for instance, to see how big of a deal it is in popular culture -- they won't see it there. That sends a message -- probably purposeful through 2E, maybe accidental after that -- that this game isn't for them.
I agree with Whizbang Dustyboots that the lack of intuitive ways to build a witch from the PHB with a straight choice of options is a problem.
I agree with Garthanos that the answer is to use the tools already existent since to do otherwise would be to step on all the existent toes.

But I think the answer is to provide very clear guided suggested builds for each character, and put those builds in the index of the book.

So if I am a DM and my player asks me, can I play a Witch? I can say, sure, turn to page 126 or something, and you'll find it as one of the default character builds (along with Warlord and Gunslinger and Ninja and Magic Knight and other non-class builds that are examples of how to make a character from a package of feats and class choices). And in that build it'll say to choose either Warlock or Wizard class, and take the hermit, acolyte, or sage background, and select these 1st-level spells.

Basically, I want a chapter section devoted to example character builds for each class. We got it in Tasha's for builds of Battle Master with superiority dice choice, I feel like they could go wild with that with spell choices. It would go a long way to remove options paralysis that many casters get when they have to choose their spells they know or are in their tome, etc…
 

If that's the standard, then certainly it means warlock must be the witch as most people understand those words to basically mean the same thing?
Come on, man. The pop culture witch does not go around shooting magical laser beams out of their hands. Go into Netflix, type "witch" in the search window and pick any of the shows or movies at random.

And "most people?" Was there a Pew Research poll on this? Google "warlock vs. witch" and you will see a lot of debate, some of it quite heated. The second link returned for me has a bold faced declaration that a warlock is not a male witch.
 

Voadam

Legend
Come on, man. The pop culture witch does not go around shooting magical laser beams out of their hands. Go into Netflix, type "witch" in the search window and pick any of the shows or movies at random.

And "most people?" Was there a Pew Research poll on this? Google "warlock vs. witch" and you will see a lot of debate, some of it quite heated. The second link returned for me has a bold faced declaration that a warlock is not a male witch.
Not Netflix but . . .

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Also a pop culture witch might shoot magic out of a wand:

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And if you go to Charmed the TV series Warlocks as a term and concept were evil counterparts to good witches.
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Not Netflix but . . .
Wandavision did a good start of actually starting to talk about magic, but I don't think the Scarlet Witch is an archetypal witch, and I don't believe anyone really thinks otherwise. (If you wanted an iconic comic book witch, Zatanna, although she's a magician, would probably get mentioned first by most comics fans.)
Also a pop culture witch might shoot magic out of a wand:
They might. But most of them don't.
And if you go to Charmed the TV series Warlocks as a term and concept were evil counterparts to good witches.
Yes. Leaving aside the merits of Charmed, there's debate around the issue, not anything approaching unanimity.
 

Come on, man. The pop culture witch does not go around shooting magical laser beams out of their hands. Go into Netflix, type "witch" in the search window and pick any of the shows or movies at random.
D&D magic is super flashy, and these days video gamey. Merlin didn't go around shooting magic lasers at people either.

And "most people?" Was there a Pew Research poll on this? Google "warlock vs. witch" and you will see a lot of debate, some of it quite heated. The second link returned for me has a bold faced declaration that a warlock is not a male witch.
That some people very hard want to argue against the commonly understood definition, doesn't mean that it isn't the commonly understood definition. Otherwise they wouldn't need to argue against it!

Warlock - Wikipedia

"A warlock is a male practitioner of witchcraft."
 

MGibster

Legend
Come on, man. The pop culture witch does not go around shooting magical laser beams out of their hands. Go into Netflix, type "witch" in the search window and pick any of the shows or movies at random.
The pop culture wizard doesn't forget his spells once cast either. Although influenced by a variety of sources, D&D is very much its own thing. It's not like the Barbarian is something Greeks or Romans would have recognized as a barbarian.
 


IMO, the best way to implement witches would be as a druid subclass. Druids hit most of the key themes for witches; shapeshifting and transformation (both of themselves and of others), animal allies, control over the natural environment, connections to the fey.

All the subclass needs to do is provide access to illusion and mind control spells, and some kind of potion-brewing power, and you've got yourself a grade-A witch.
The Witherbloom Subclass option from the Strixhaven UA does have the ability to hand out Potions/Drinks to everybody.
 


Dausuul

Legend
The Witherbloom Subclass option from the Strixhaven UA does have the ability to hand out Potions/Drinks to everybody.
Yes, I like the general drift of the Witherbloom subclass. It's witch-adjacent for sure, and giving it to multiple classes neatly sidesteps the debate over which base class to use. It's laser-focused on life/death manipulation, which misses the other themes I'd want to see in a witch, but it's moving in a good direction.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
D&D magic is super flashy, and these days video gamey. Merlin didn't go around shooting magic lasers at people either.
We do have Doctor Stephen Strange is a mystic/sorcerer/mage in cannon mysticism is the foundation of personally empowered magical abilities, sorcery is about drawing on extradimensional sources and mage manipulates environal ones, he definitely shoots bolts of energy no wand needed.

More people know Harry Potter Witches these days than any other... I think one may need to get used to the pop culture witch casting bolts of energy and expelliarmus and avadra cadavra. (or however you spell that)
 

That some people very hard want to argue against the commonly understood definition, doesn't mean that it isn't the commonly understood definition. Otherwise they wouldn't need to argue against it!

Warlock - Wikipedia

"A warlock is a male practitioner of witchcraft."
I can go edit Wikipedia to say that a warlock is a female kangaroo. Not the best citation.

But this is an intensely silly point on an increasingly silly thread.

I'm not sure what the motivation is for everyone pretending they don't know what a "witch" means to the general public and saying "look, this totally different thing that we can argue is the same thing under a different name, even though it doesn't otherwise match what people are asking for," but it's not convincing. But hey, full internet points for whatever it is that was accomplished here.
 

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