Witch1 Base Class.
Witches are a staple of fantasy literature and fairy tales, a dabbler in many kinds of magic – minor illusions, spells dealing with health or life, nature-based magic, simple divinations, and spells that alter the shape and appearance of things – but excels at just a few. The witch doesn’t use overt attack spells or spells that create massive magical constructs. She doesn’t summon monsters, place wards, or teleport from place to place. Her magic is subtle.
Adventurers: Witches adventure to gain knowledge (especially about natural and arcane mysteries) and power. Sometimes village or tribal elders and call on their services. Witches also have no trouble with the dangers, the uncertainties, and the wandering that adventuring involves. The many adventure to defeat hated enemies. Often a witch accepts the role of protector, aiding those marginalized by society.
Characteristics: Witches combine a spiritual mindset with arcane spellcasting. Her spell list is somewhat limited, but it contains wizard, cleric, and and druid spells. She casts spells as a sorcerer, and her spells are based on Charisma.
Alignment: Witches may be of any alignment. Chaotic witches may be wandering arcane pedlars. Good witches are often crusading types who seek out and fight evil. Lawful witches may be champions who protect the land and its people. Evil witches tend to be bullies and petty villians who simply take what they want by beguilement or intimidation.
Religion: Witches can follow any religious tradition that suits them. Due to their upbringing on the edges of civilization, they rarely have formal religious education. Due to the nature of their power, some have been accused of heresy, and so they will not seek close ties to a persecuting church.
Background: Some witches are officially inducted into an organized fellowship of witches or “coven.” Others are self-taught; while still others learned their skills from independent mentors. A witch sees herself as a member of a distinct, if diverse group, regardless of where she learned her arts. Witches recognize each other as comrades or rivals.
Race: Humans, half-elves, and half-orcs frequently adopt this path, and witches are particularly common among savage humans. Elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings are rarely witches.
Among the brutal humanoids, witches are more common than druids and sorcerers. Goblinoids and hags are especially likely to be wizards.
Society: Some witches serve as spiritual advisors to a particular tribe, village, or other group of people. Others find that their calling drives them away from their community however; causing the witch to seek out friends (in order to help her navigate the mundane details of life) or to isolate herself even more.
Other Classes: Clerics and paladins tend to have difficulties understanding the witch’s way. Most wizards and sorcerers would find a witch intriguing, because they tap arcane energies to use in a manner typically associated with divine spellcasters. Fighters and rogues tend to appreciate the power that a witch can wield, while barbarians and rangers have perhaps the highest appreciation, since by their very nature witches tend to be in harmony with the natural world around them.
Witches tend to bicker with druids, mostly because they often share the desire for isolated living, but differ on whether to serve people or nature. Since witches don’t often look to other people for support or friendship, they find it easy to tolerate people who are quite different from themselves, such as pugilistic fighters and preachy clerics.
Role: In most adventuring groups, the witch works best in a supporting role. A witch tends to define her role based on her spell selection. She makes a good secondary healer, and her high Charisma opens up fine leadership opportunities. The witch’s spells often help her sway others or change her form, so she makes an excellent spy or diplomat for an adventuring group.Game Rule Information:
- Charisma determines how powerful a spell a witch can cast, how many spells she can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist (see Spells below). A high Dexterity score is helpful for a witch, who typically wears little or no armor, because it provides her with a bonus to Armor Class. A good Constitution score gives a witch extra hit points, a resource she is otherwise very low on.
- (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
- 2 + Int modifier.
Starting Gold: 2d4×10 gold pieces (average 50 gp)Class features: All of the following are class features of the witch.
- Witches are proficient with the club, dagger, dart, handaxe, javelin, shortspear, sling, and spear. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a witch’s arcane gestures, which can cause her spells with somantic components to fail.
- A witch casts arcane spells (the same type of spells available to bards, sorcerers, and wizards), which are drawn primarily from the witch spell list1. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or cleric must (see below).
To learn or cast a spell, a witch must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Cha 10 for 0-level spells, Cha 11 for 1st-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a witch’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the witch’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a witch can cast only a certain number of spellsof each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table CL-3: Witch Spells Per Day. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score3.
A witch’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A witch begins play knowing four 0-level spells (also called cantrips) and two 1st-level spells of your choice. At each new witch level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated in Table CL-4: Witch Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a witch knows is not affected by her Charisma score; the numbers on Table CL3 are fixed.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the witch spell list1, or they can be unusual spells that the witch has gained some understanding of by study.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered witch level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a witch can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the witch “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level witch spell the witch can cast. A witch may only swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
Unlike a wizard or cleric, a witch need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spells she knows at any time, assuming she has not used up her spells per day for that spell level. She does not have to decide ahead of time which spells she’ll cast.
- A witch gains the ability to perform many unusual tricks. At 2nd level the Witch may select an ability from the following list:
- The witch may choose any one cross-class skill to become a class skill for herself. She gains 5 skill points in this skill, to the maximum number of ranks for her class level. All excess skill points from this ability are lost. This ability may be chosen more than once.
- The witch may add two additional spells to her list of spells known. These two spells must be of different spell levels, and may be chosen from any spells on the witch class list that she is currently a high enough level to cast. Once the two spells have been chosen, they may not be changed later, not even through the class ability to swap spells known at even-numbered levels. This ability may be chosen more than once.
- The witch may cast one additional spell of a spell level she is already able to cast. The spell level chosen must be lower than the highest spell level she can cast. Once the additional spell slot’s level is chosen, it cannot be changed. This ability may be chosen more than once.
- As a witch grows, she gains the ability to perform many more unusual tricks. At 8th level the Witch may select an ability from either the Maiden list above or the following list:
- The witch gains the Brew Potion feat. Unlike most casters, who are limited to producing potions of spells of 3rd level or lower, a witch who selects this ability may craft potions of up to 4th-level spells. The potions otherwise follow all of the normal rules for the use of the Brew Potion feat.
- The witch gains a +2 bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks made to prepare poisons, Heal checks made to identify poisons, and to assist another character’s saving throw against a poison. In addition, the witch does not run the risk of accidentally harming herself when using poisons.
- The witch can obtain a familiar, exactly as a sorcerer can4 except that the witch’s effective sorcerer level is one-half her witch level. A character can only have one familiar at a time, regardless of how many classes grant her the ability to summon one.
- With experience a witch gains the ability to perform a wide variety of unusual tricks. At 14th level the Witch may select an ability from the Maiden or Mother lists above or from the following list:
- The witch has embraced the supernatural. Creatures of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at the witch much succeed on a will save or become panicked5. Creatures of 5 HD to 10 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at the witch much succeed on a will save or become frightened5. Creatures of 11 HD to 16 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at the witch much succeed on a will save or become shaken5. The save DC for these saving throws is 10 + one-half the witch’s class level + the witch’s Charisma modifier.
- The witch can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, and similar terrain) at her normal speed, without taking damage or suffering any other impairment, and leaving no trail to be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail to be tracked if she so desires.
This ability does not let her move more quickly nor without a trail through terrain that requires a Climb or Swim check to naviagte, unless she has a listed Climb or Swim speed. Nor can a witch move more quickly through terrain or undergrowth that has been magically or psionically manipulated to impede motion.
- The witch can see invisible and ethereal creatures as easily as she sees material creatures and objects.
- Upon attaining 20th level, a witch who is magically or psionically aged does not count those added years when determining the effects of aging6. Any such penalties she has already taken, however, remain in place.
Table CL-2: The Witch
Table CL-3: Witch Spells Per Day
Table CL-4: Witch Spells Known
1 Dungeon Master’s Guide p. 175
2 Armor Check Penalty, Player’s Handbook p. 122
3 Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells, Player’s Handbook p. 8
4 Sidebar: Familiars, Player’s Handbook pp. 52-53
5 Fear, Dungeon Master’s Guide p. 294
6 Table 6-5: Aging Effects, Player’s Handbook p. 109
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