Patron Witch (3.5e Class)
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A spellcaster, traditionally female, who makes a contact with a spirit for vast magical knowledge and power. 20 0 Poor Poor Poor Good Prepared Arcane Spellcasting Full
This is a sorta-rebuild of the Pathfinder Witch, and is probably compatible with it. Probably.
While wizards spend years studying musty old tomes to obtain magical power, and sorcerers have an inbuilt battery of power, the witch manages to pull the middle ground. By making a contract with powerful spirits, the witch gains the versatility of the wizard but with the relative ease of a sorcerer's inbuilt power. In this sense it makes them very much like warlocks, except casting for spells instead of pew-pew lasers. And unlike warlocks, their patrons always keep a close eye on them via their familiar which serves both the witch... and the original patron.
Making a Patron Witch
Abilities: Charisma is by far the most important ability, powering their spells and giving them the force of presence to intimidate or seduce others. Constitution is good for any creature who wants to live, and Dexterity helps them avoid danger in place of not having heavy armor. Intelligence will help cover their skills, with Strength and Wisdom being least vital.
Alignment: Any. Traditionally lawful and good patrons aren't willing to share, but it does happen.
Starting Gold: 5d6×10 gp (125 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Hex, Patron, Witch's Familiar||3||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Brew Potion, Hex||4||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Hex, Major Hex||4||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|13th||+6||+4||+4||+8||Advanced Empowered Familiar||4||4||4||4||4||3||2||1||—||—|
|18th||+9||+6||+6||+11||Hex, Grand Hex||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||3||3||2|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Patron Witch.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Patron witches are proficient in simple weapons, but not any armor or shields. Armor of any type interferes with a witch's movements, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.
Spells: A patron witch casts arcane spells drawn from the patron witch spell list. A patron witch must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a patron witch must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a patron witch's spell is 10 + the spell level + the patron witch's Charisma modifier.
A patron witch can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Patron Witch. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score.
A patron witch may know any number of spells. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour communing with her familiar. While communing, the patron witch decides which spells to prepare.
Patron Witches can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Patron Witch under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. Cantrips prepared using other spell slots, due to metamagic feats for example, are expended normally.
The Patron Witch chooses spells from the following list.
0—arcane mark, cook, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, know direction, light, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue.
1st—alarm, animate rope, astral fugue, bane, burning hands, cause fear, charm person, chill touch, command, comprehend languages, curse of impending bladesSpC, detect secret doors, disguise self, doom, endure elements, enlarge person, faerie fire, feather fall, floating disk, goodberry, hold portal, hypnotism, identify, Ishara's enticing directive, Kiden's curse of calling, Kiden's harassing spirit, mage armor, magic mouth, mount, Nealan's unbuckling, obscuring mist, produce flame, protection from chaos/evil/good/law, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person, sleep, summon monster I, unseen servant, ventriloquism.
2nd—alter self, arcane lock, augury, blindness/deafness, command undead, continual flame, cure light wounds, darkness, daze monster, death knell, delay poison, desecrate, detect thoughts, enthrall, false life, find traps, flaming sphere, fog cloud, gentle repose, glitterdust, gust of wind, hideous laughter, hold person, hypnotic pattern, inflict light wounds, levitate, Kiden's combustive torch, mirror image, resist energy, rope trick, scare, see invisibility, shatter, spectral hand, spider climb, status, summon monster II, summon swarm, tiny hut, touch of idiocy, voodoo doll, web, whispering wind, zone of truth.
3rd—animate dead, arcane sight, bestow curse, call lightning, clairaudience/clairvoyance, contagion, cure moderate wounds, deep slumber, dispel magic, explosive runes, fireball, fly, gaseous form, glyph of warding, greater hypnotism, halt undead, haste, heroism, illusory script, inflict moderate wounds, lightning bolt, locate object, magic circle against chaos/evil/good/law, mark of the outcastSpC, phantom steed, protection from energy, rage, ray of exhaustion, remove blindness/deafness, remove curse, remove disease, scorching column, secret page, secure shelter, sepia snake sigil, shrink item, sleet storm, slow, speak with dead, stinking cloud, suggestion, summon monster III, tongues, vampiric touch, water breathing, water walk.
4th—arcane eye, black tentacles, charm monster, confusion, crushing despair, cure serious wounds, cursed bladeSpC, curse object, curse of misfortune, death ward, detect scrying, dimensional anchor, dimension door, discern lies, dismissal, divination, enervation, fear, fire trap, giant vermin, hallucinatory terrain, ice storm, illusory wall, inflict serious wounds, insidious suggestion, lesser geas, lesser planar binding, locate creature, mage's private sanctum, mass enlarge person, mass reduce person, minor creation, neutralize poison, overland flight, phantasmal killer, poison, rainbow pattern, repel vermin, scrying, solid fog, stone shape, summon monster IV.
5th—animal growth, awaken, baleful polymorph, blight, break enchantment, call lightning storm, chain lightning, cloudkill, commune with nature, cone of cold, contact other plane, cure critical wounds, dominate person, dream, eyebite, feeblemind, hold monster, greater gaseous form, greater glyph of warding, inflict critical wounds, insect plague, magic jar, major creation, mark of justice, measure of character, mind fog, mirage arcana, nightmare, passwall, permanency, phantasmal thiefSpC, prying eyes, reincarnate, secret chest, seeming, storm of vengeance, symbol of pain, symbol of sleep, telepathic bond, teleport, telekinesis, transmute mud to rock, transmute rock to mud, wall of thorns, waves of fatigue.
6th—acid fog, analyze dweomer, animate objects, antilife shell, banishment, circle of death, control water, curse of lycanthropySpC, fire seeds, greater dispel magic, find the path, flesh to stone, freezing sphere, geas/quest, greater heroism, guards and wards, ironwood, legend lore, liveoak, mage's magnificent mansion, mass cure light wounds, mass inflict light wounds, mass suggestion, move earth, planar binding, raise dead, repulsion, slay living, spellstaff, stone to flesh, summon monster VI, symbol of fear, symbol of persuasion, transformation, true seeing, veil.
7th—animal shapes, bestow curse, greaterSpC, control weather, changestaff, creeping doom, delayed blast fireball, forcecage, greater arcane sight, greater scrying, greater teleport, harm, heal, insanity, instant summons, mage's sword, mass cure moderate wounds, mass hold person, improved phantasmal killer, mass inflict moderate wounds, phase door, plane shift, power word blind, rain of fireballs, regenerate, summon monster VII, symbol of stunning, symbol of weakness, teleport object, vision, waves of exhaustion.
8th—antipathy, binding, call lightning storm, clone, demand, destruction, discern location, greater prying eyes, horrid wilting, irresistible dance, mass charm monster, mass cure serious wounds, mass inflict serious wounds, maze, meteor swarm, mind blank, moment of prescience, power word stun, pure incendiary cloud, resurrection, scourgeSpC, summon monster VIII, symbol of death, symbol of insanity, sympathy, temporal stasis, trap the soul, ur polar ray.
9th—astral projection, cursed one, devour soul, dominate monster, energy drain, freedom, foresight, imprisonment, mass cure critical wounds, mass hold monster, mass inflict critical wounds, power word kill, refuge, soul bind, summon monster IX, teleportation circle, wail of the banshee, weird.
Hex: Patron Witches learn a number of magic tricks, called hexes, that grant them powers or weaken foes. At 1st level, a witch gains one hex of her choice. She gains an additional hex at 2nd level and for every 2 levels attained after 2nd level, as noted on Table: Patron Witch. A patron witch cannot select an individual hex more than once.
Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the patron witch's level + the patron witch's Charisma modifier.
Patron: At 1st level, when a patron witch gains her familiar, she must also select a patron. This patron is a vague and mysterious force, granting the witch power for reasons that she might not entirely understand. While these forces need not be named, they typically hold influence over one of the following forces.
At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch's patron adds new spells to a patron witch's list of spells known. These spells are also automatically added to the list of spells stored by the familiar. The spells gained depend upon the patron chosen. Each patron is listed by its theme. Its actual name is up to the GM and the witch to decide.
Witch's Familiar: At 1st level, a patron witch forms a close bond with a familiar, a creature that teaches her magic and helps to guide her along her path. Familiars also aid a patron witch by granting her skill bonuses, additional spells, and help with some types of magic. This functions like the wizard's familiar, except as noted in the Witch's Familiar section.
A patron witch must commune with her familiar each day to prepare her spells. Familiars store all of the spells that a patron witch knows, and a patron witch cannot prepare a spell that is not stored by her familiar. A patron witch's familiar begins play storing all of the 0-level patron witch spells plus three 1st level spells of the patron witch's choice. The patron witch also selects a number of additional 1st-level spells equal to her Charisma modifier to store in her familiar. At each new patron witch level, she adds two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new patron witch level) to her familiar. A patron witch can also add additional spells to her familiar through a special ritual. Unlike a spellbook, there is no limit on pages or cost adding additional spells.
If the patron witch changes their familiar, such as through Improved Familiar, their connection and effective spellbook changes hands accordingly. They can also revive their familiar from the dead in an 8 hour ritual which costs 250 gp x level.
Brew Potion: At 2nd level, the patron witch gains Brew Potion as a bonus feat.
Witch's Curse (Su): The 3rd level patron witch can define any of their non-personal harmful spells to be a curse. As a curse, the spell in question only affects a single target even if they would otherwise be affected. Saves are done as normal (and spells with no saves provoke a Will save to negate the witch's curse effect but not the spell itself). The spell's effect does not kick in immediately. The creature carries this permanent duration curse with them until a triggering action (as per contingency) causes the spell to go into effect. A creature can only bear one witch's curse at a time, though the patron witch may discharge, or dismiss, their witch's curses at any time. A creature which successfully saves against a witch's curse spell is immune to further witch's curse spells for 1 minute. They may still be targeted as normal. A witch's curse can be removed by any effect which can remove curses.
Empowered Familiar: At 5th level, a patron witch's familiar becomes stronger than most familiars. In addition to their normal familiar benefits, the patron witch's familiar has their master's full hp instead of half. They may travel any distance away from the patron witch and retain familiar benefits, as well as the benefits of Share Spell. Finally the patron witch can recall their familiar to their side as if using greater teleport as a 1 round action.
Binding Circle (Sp): The 7th level patron witch often deals with spirits from beyond, but doing so is not always safe. As long as they have salt, silver dust, sand, or a similar granular substance on hand they can duplicate the trap function of any of the magic circle against alignment spells as a 1 round action.
Familiar Form (Sp): Once per day the patron witch can transform into the same type of creature as their familiar. They can maintain this form for 24 hours, and they retain their ability to speak. This otherwise acts like polymorph.
Major Hex: Starting at 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch can choose one of the following major hexes whenever she could select a new hex.
Conditional Curse: The 11th level patron witch can apply a condition to any of their curse spells and effects. You can determine a situation or action which the curse will activate, or give a conditional curse which will remove the curse if the condition is fulfilled. This otherwise acts like contingency, but is not limited by spell level. It stacks with the witch's curse.
Advanced Empowered Familiar: At 13th level, a patron witch's familiar becomes even stronger. They may use the scrying ability from their familiar benefits at will as a standard action. They also gain telepathy with their familiar whenever using their scrying ability. If the familiar dies while their master is still alive, the patron witch can bring them back at no cost with a 1 hour ritual.
Move Curse (Su): With a touch the 15th level patron witch can move a curse from any one creature (including herself) and apply it to another creature with a subsequent touch attack. In this way she can both cure others of curses, provided there is something to apply the curse to.
Immortality: At 17th level, a patron witch's no longer has a maximum age, and will no longer die of old age.
Grand Hex: Starting at 18th level, and every two levels thereafter, a witch can choose one of the following grand hexes whenever she could select a new hex.
Dying Curse (Sp): When a patron witch would die, they may cast any one of their curse spells out to unlimited range as a non-action. The spell has a +4 bonus on their DC, and even on a successful save the creature is rendered nauseated and shaken for 1 round.
Apotheosis: The 20th level patron witch is so powerful, they are as unto a patron themselves. They become an Outsider with the Native subtype, though they may count as a member of their original race when beneficial. They gain DR 10/magic and SR 10 + HD which they may raise or lower as a non-action. Lastly, they behave as a patron and may select a series of spells 1st through 9th from any list, and may use these as spell-like abilities 1/day. She still must pay any expensive material or XP costs. She may sponsor new witches, granting them this list as a patron herself.
Half-Elf Patron Witch Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Gold: 125 gp.
Playing a Patron Witch
Religion: Religion may not be important to a patron witch, but for those whose patrons are gods (or would-be gods like many fiends), they may pay their respect to them.
Other Classes: Like the warlock, the title of witch carries some stigma. Of course, they are adventurers. Being weird outcasts is what they do.
Combat: Witches are primary spellcasters largely focused on debuffs, summoning, and utility.
Advancement: Any arcane spellcasting focused prestige class works well.
Patron Witches in the World
Daily Life: Most patron witches do not live in civilization. It seems the whole "cackling servant of probably dark and sinister powers" doesn't work well among the superstitious common folk. Who knew.
Organizations: Sometimes patron witches form traditional covens, usually composed of groups of three. It's some ancient superstition surrounding the number.
NPC Reactions: Please don't curse me, crazy old lady!
Patron Witch Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Arcana can research patron witches to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
Patron Witches in the Game
Adaptation: It is a variant, perhaps a buff, to the pathfinder witch. It can completely replace the pathfinder witch if you want. While the spell list for this one is for 3.5e, I encourage the Pathfinder spell list to be part of this as well, especially for hex-related spells.
|Article Balance||Very High +|
|Base Attack Bonus Progression||Poor +|
|Class Ability||Prepared Arcane Spellcasting +|
|Class Ability Progression||Full +|
|Fortitude Save Progression||Poor +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Minimum Level||0 +|
|Rated By||Elohim +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Reflex Save Progression||Poor +|
|Skill||Bluff +, Concentration +, Craft +, Diplomacy +, Disguise +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Profession +, Speak Language +, Spellcraft + and Use Magic Device +|
|Skill Points||4 +|
|Summary||A spellcaster, traditionally female, who makes a contact with a spirit for vast magical knowledge and power. +|
|Title||Patron Witch +|
|Will Save Progression||Good +|