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The Witch

This document provides suggestions and insights into how to translate the ideas of the Witch class from the source material into Pathfinder Fate Accelerated.

"Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power.

Communing with that source the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes. As a witch grows in power, she might learn about the source of her magic, but some remain blissfully unaware. Some are even afraid of that source, fearful of what it might be or where its true purposes lie.

While many witches are recluses, living on the edge of civilization, some live within society, openly or in hiding. Some witches travel about, seeking greater knowledge and better understanding of their mysterious powers."

The advice given in the Sorcerer or Wizard (if you prefer the Prepared Casting model) class translation documents is directly relevant to witches, and you should refer to them for general ideas. This document concentrates on content that might be of particular interest to witches.

Ruelga is an enchantingly beautiful Jadwiga hailing from the land of Irrisen, but has left the cold and barren hills of her birth to find a life apart from her twisted family and pursue her own studies into the nature of magic.

Older than she seems, Ruelga is a descendant of the legendary Baba Yaga, and heir to ancient and somewhat primitive but dangerously insidious magics.

Archetype Considerations

Technically, the only Archetype a witch needs is Arcane. However, a lot of the abilities normally proscribed to witches in fiction fall between Arcane and Primal.

Sample Iconics

Ruelga, Tamara, Moek

Starting Archetype Sets

Eldritch

Arcane +4

Wisdom

Arcane +3, Primal +1

Mystic

Arcane +1, Primal +3

Diverging From Source Material

The witch is a solid and flexible class in the source material. However, the Pathfinder presentation of a witch is very specific and narrowly defined from both a fluff and a design perspective, which can present problems for those who prefer a different spin on the witch concept. But Pathfinder Fate Accelerated offers a lot more latitude to personalize a witch...or warlock, or whatever term you prefer.

Prepared Casting vs Free Casting

Free casting is the default in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated, and you are not required to limit yourself to the prepared caster model unless you want to.

Sorcerer / Wizard / Witch

The mechanical differentiation in the source material between Arcane primary casters does not exist in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated.

You are free to blend concepts as much as you like and apply whatever label you want to the result.

Thus, it is recommended (but not required) that you at least consider splashing Primal +1.

Labels

Witch is both a concept and a label. Feel free to use a different term for your character if you wish. Whether your character calls themselves witch, warlock, wyrd, shaman, wise man, or whatever is up to you.

Moek was a spirittalker of the proud Kaurannock, a tribe of far off Arcadia. However his village was raided and he, along with many others, were taken by Chelaxian slavers.

After a harrowing series of travails that resulted in most of those taken from his village dying of hardships and the rest scattered to different buyers, Moek eventually found himself on the other side of the world where he was put on display in a carnivale along with other "curiosities" as an example of an "Arcadian Savage" for the amusement of decadent Chelaxians. But after some weeks of this debasement his new owners eventually grew lax, and Moek was able to affect an escape.

He now finds himself alone in a strange land, with nothing but his magic.

Patrons

The source material has the concept of very vaguely defined witch "patrons" which putatively are the source of a witch's abilities. This is a rather odd conceit from a fiction standpoint, and mechanically primarily serves to offer specific spells that are not normally on the witch spell list. It means nothing in Pathfinder Fate Accelerated terms due to the lack of spell lists and thus this idea can be dropped entirely, or incorporated into a character's concept via Aspects and / or Stunts as you prefer. A patron might even manifest itself in a character's Trouble, if it compels their behavior.

Tamara is a seithr of the Linnorm lands consumed by vengeance. Beautiful and used to getting what she wants, Tamara takes it personally when she does not, and has a tendency to act on her frustrations. She reserves her greatest ire for those who have spurned her, however.

Accordingly she has left the land of her birth to hunt down and punish the loutish Linnorm warrior Leofric Haversen who had the temerity to reject Tamara's overtures of wedlock, and then added to the offense by fleeing to warmer climes to get away from her. Such an insult cannot go unanswered.

Stunts

Witch characters might find the following Stunt categories of interest: Arcanist, Primordial, Alchemy, Bloodline, Special.

The following Stunts might be of particular interest to a Witch.

Hexes and Charms

Some witches have one or more spell-like magical abilities.

Disenchant: Because I am adept at dispelling persistent magical effects, I gain +2 while Arcane to overcome situational Aspects put into play via any kind of magic.

Evil Eye: Because I can hex others with the power of the Evil Eye, I gain +2 while Arcanely creating advantage to attach the spell Aspect The Eye Is Upon You to a person or creature in my zone that I can see. This spell Aspect lasts until it has no more invokes remaining or it is overcome. Anyone in the scene may invoke this Aspect to penalize or interfere with the target's actions.

Bestow Curse: Because I am skilled at afflicting others with curses, I get +2 while Arcanely creating advantage by using my magic to put a situational Aspect representing a curse or other temporary magical impediment on a living sentient person or creature. The difficulty to overcome one of my curses with appropriate magic is equal to my (Arcane + Primal) bonuses; the target can also overcome the curse themselves while Carefully Focused but the difficulty is +1 higher. There is no zone restriction on this ability, but I must be able to see my target, and I cannot move zones in the same exchange that I use this ability.

Spell Turning: Because I am able to reflect magic to protect myself, once per scene if I am the target of an Arcane spell and I am aware of it I may overcome the same difficulty required to cast the spell while Cleverly Arcane; however I suffer a -2 penalty to my roll. If I am successful the spell has no effect on me and I turn the spell back upon its caster, against whom the spell has its full normal effect.

Spell Turning (-2): Because I am able to reflect magic to protect myself, once per exchange if I am the target of an Arcane spell and I am aware of it I may overcome the same difficulty required to cast the spell while Cleverly Arcane; however I suffer a -2 penalty to my roll. If I am successful the spell has no effect on me and I turn the spell back upon its caster, against whom the spell has its full normal effect.

Levitation: Because I have mastered the art of mystic levitation, while I am Flashily Arcane I may attempt to overcome a Superb (+5) difficulty to create the situational Aspect Levitating on myself. While this Aspect is in play I may levitate; while levitating I am unaffected by obstacles that I can levitate over, and I can hover out of easy reach of the ground thus frustrating melee attackers. This Aspect can be overcome by appropriate magic, with a Legendary (+8) difficulty. I cannot invoke the Aspect for any additional benefit.

Spell Mastery (Hideous Laughter)

Because I have mastered the Hideous Laughter spell, whenever I am being Arcane and gain a boost I may use that boost to add two (2) additional free invokes to any Hideous Laughter situational Aspects that I have put into play (if any).

Sudden Slumber: Because I have mastered a magical talent from olden times, once per session I can put any number of nameless mooks who lack consequence slots in my zone or an adjacent zone to sleep. I may affect additional contiguous zones by spending a Fate point per additional zone. To do this I must use Carefully Arcane to create the advantage Sleep Now My Pretties against an Average (+1) difficulty. Those affected will sleep artificially deeply, and resist being woken for the remainder of the scene; someone trying to wake a victim must overcome a difficulty equal to Average (+1) plus my margin of success.

Willful Invisibility: Because I can turn invisibile at will, if I do not attack or create advantage in an exchange I may place the situational Aspect 'Invisible' on myself as a free action that takes no time before or after my normal action. If I attack or create advantage while invisible, this Aspect is immediately removed and I become visibile for at least one (1) exchange before I am able to use this ability to become invisible again. My innate invisibility can be temporarily neutralized by those with unusual senses or magic or special items creating an applicable advantage; the difficulty to do so is Superb (+5). It can also be overcome and thus removed by some abilities that explicitly counter invisibility or dispel magic; the difficulty to do so is Fantastic (+6).

Will To Power: Because my will to push forward to victory is absolute, once per session I may gain +4 when attempting to overcome any one (1) situational Aspect in my zone or an adjacent zone.

Witch's Fire: Because I can sicken others with magical energies, while Flashily Arcane I suffer a -1 penalty to attack one or more targets in my zone with a blast of eerie mystical energies, but if I split shifts between multiple targets the targets each suffer a -1 penalty to defend against my attack. If I succeed with style against any of the targets in all cases I must reduce the stress to get a boost, but the boost is automatically upgraded to the situational Aspect Sickened with two (2) invokes, which is attached to the affected target. This Aspect is automatically invoked at the beginning of subsequent exchanges to inflict two (2) stress to the target per invoke as the magical attack continues to linger; the target cannot defend against this additional stress but may apply any resistances or protection they have such as damage reduction or immunity to magic.

Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Some witches make potions, poultices, poisons, or other such concoctions. They might even make some stuff that's a little more directly dangerous. Also, some witches are immune to poisons.

Prepared Caster (Alchemy Dabbler)

Because I am a capable dabbler in the esoteric science of Alchemy, given time and opportunity I may 'prepare' a number of potions, elixirs, salves and similar 'concoctions' equal to (Careful + Arcane).

Unused concoctions remain until they get activated or destroyed and can be stockpiled. These Aspects are portable; I may give them to others and they can be taken away from me.

Making a concoction requires time, materials, and either a lab or a field kit; the specifics are left to the GM's discretion, but simple potions might take minutes while very powerful potions might take one or more hours.

If a strict economy is being enforced in the campaign, it usually costs about half retail price to make a concoction; GM's discretion applies.

Commodities

Alchemical concoctions can be given, sold to, or stolen by others and used by them. They are effectively a commodity.

However all of an alchemist's concoctions, including those under another character's control, count against their preparation limit.

Alchemical Item Write-ups

A variety of write-ups for specific alchemical items and potions are available. Each usage of these kinds of alchemical items counts against an alchemist's preparation limit.

Note that the provided write-ups are just examples, and not a restricted list of allowed effects; an alchemist can make any sort of alchemical item the GM allows.

To prepare a concoction I roll 4dF and add Arcane against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty; failure indicates a botched concoction and that 'slot' is wasted for the day. I temporarily gain a new personal Aspect corresponding to the concoction I prepared with one invoke, and annotated with the margin of success.

Prepared concoctions are activated by invoking its Aspect as an action and resolving the effect of the concoction using the previously rolled margin of success. It is possible for a concoction resolution to fail if the margin of success is insufficient to the difficulty or if opposed successfully. If I am the activator, I can spend a Fate point at this time to add +2 shifts to the margin of success.

This stunt requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Potions, Poultices, Poisons: Because I know ancient lores from more primitive times, I am able to brew potions, poultices, and poisons that can harm and heal and work odd and subtle magics on those who imbide them. I can be Cleverly Arcane and make substances that replicate effects that are usually the province of Primal. At any given time I can have a number of substances brewed up and ready for use equal to my Arcane + Primal capability.

This stunt requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Alchemical Bombs: Because of my alchemical studies I am able to create and then later throw alchemical bombs.

When I am Cleverly Focused I gain +1 to throw a bomb into my zone or an adjacent zone, generally against an Average (+1) difficulty.

If I am successful, my bomb explodes and inflicts a number of shifts of damage equal to my (Careful + Arcane) against every target in the zone without splitting shifts between them. This is non-discriminatory, and often causes collateral damage.

For a given session I can carry around and use a number of alchemical bombs equal to my (Clever + Arcane). Other people can not catalyze my bombs, they are only usable by me.

This stunt requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Immune To Poison: Because I am immune to poison, I am unaffected by any malign effect that relies on poison.

Bewitching

Some witches excel at charming or controlling the minds or emotions of others, particularly the weak willed. And some are also good at protecting their own mind and emotions from the abilities of others.

Arcane Domination (-2): Because of my mastery of mind-affecting enchantments, while I am Forcefully Arcane I can make mental attacks against a living target in my zone or an adjacent zone. Consequences inflicted by this ability pertain to my gaining increasing control over the target's mind. If the target concedes to me, the target must do as I command in general but retains enough control to avoid doing anything fundamentally against the target's nature. If the target is taken out with this ability I assume full control of the target's behavior until they are able to recover from the Consequences.

Enchanting Beauty: Because I am adept at using subtle enchantments to magically enhance my beauty, I may add my Arcane capability as a bonus to any social interaction where my appearance can be a factor; however this can be resisted by Arcane and is a Mind-Affecting effect.

Enchanting Empathy: Because I am a master of enchantment magics that allow me to manipulate the emotional states of others, while I am Cleverly Arcane I can engage a target in a social conflict and if I inflict a Consequence I can afflict them with a propensity for a specific emotion. Consequences such as Fits Of Uncontrollable Rage, Plunged Into Deep Sadness, Gripped By Passionate Love, and Overwhelmed By Euphoric Happiness incite those afflicted to act out in ways appropriate to the emotional state I have imposed on them. If, while I share a scene with the target, a Consequences I have inflicted with this ability is compelled and the target spends a fate point to refuse the compel, I gain the fate point immediately.

Immune To Mind-Affecting: Because I am immune to mind-affecting abilities, I am unaffected by any malign effect that relies on mental coersion or disorientation.

Old Magic

Some witches combine both Arcane and Primal magics, keeping alive a more ancient tradition of spellcasting that deals in primordial forces, animism, crude necromancy, and control over the natural world.

Hedge Arcanist: Because I practice a more ancient form of Arcane magic that remains connected to the natural world, while Arcane I can cast spells that replicate effects that are usually the province of Primal. Further, I may also add my Primal capability modifier as a bonus to my roll when I do so.

This stunt requires Primal +1 or better to use.

Living Off The Land: Because I am adept at surviving off of what nature offers me, I am always able to find enough food and water to keep myself and a couple of other people or animals healthy while in wildlands and rural areas (i.e. above ground and not near a city or town). Additionally if I've had at least half a day to become familiar with the terrain in a specific area of wilderness I gain +1 on all actions while being Primal. How large the area of wilderness might be is left to the GM's discretion, but it should be at least five square miles.

Necromantic Enervation: Because I am a master of necromancy, I am able to drain the life energy from others. While I am Sneakily Arcane I can attack others with 'Life Draining' spells; in addition to the stress if I inflict a Consequence on my target I afflict them with enervation and ennui. Consequences such as Easily Fatigued, Fits Of Ennui, Prone To Depression, and Sunk Into A Deep Funk cause those afflicted to struggle to motivate and empower themselves, to unexpectedly lose interest in being active, become unconcerned about succeeding in their endeavors, and so forth. If a target is taken out in this way, they die and rise again as an Undead minion that I can control for the remainder of the scene and possibly longer at the GM's discretion.

Wild Shape (-2)

Because I have the ability to change into the form of any normal animal of my choice, I may spend a Fate point to temporarily assume an animal form. My trappings magically change with me and are unavailable until I return to my normal form.

When I change forms I move all of my Approach bonuses to a disposition relevant to the animal form I am assuming, and I move all of my Archetype bonuses to Focused (leaving all of my other Archetypes at +0). This lasts for an entire scene unless I choose to return to normal, which ends the effect. Additionally, I may spend another Fate point to assume a different animal's form, and I do not have to first change back to normal.

When I change forms I gain an additional Aspect named for the animal form I have assumed which I can invoke when my current animal form is relevant, and which can be compelled whenever my animal form or lack of humanoid anatomy might inconvenience me.

If the animal form I change into has natural weapons I may use Focused in place of Combatives while in a physical conflict.

If the animal form I change into has an unusual form of movement, such as the flight of a bird, the running of a wolf, or the swimming of a shark then I gain that mode of movement while I am in that form as well, at the GM's discretion.

If the animal form I change into has an unusual or extra keen sense, such as the low light vision of a cat, the olfactory senses of a canine, or the echolocation of a bat then I gain that sense while I am in that form as well, at the GM's discretion.

This stunt requires Primal +1 or better to use.

Familiar

Witches often have animal companions as familiars; see the Stunt options document for details on how to incorporate companions into your character using Stunts.

Bonded Familiars

Bonded familiars offer a lot of value for their Refresh equivalency, but also pose a dire threat to their owners should they be killed as their lifeforce is bound to their owner's lifeforce.

Familiar (Bonded): Because I have a mystical familiar I am always accompanied by an animal that is particularly smart and capable for its kind. However, the life force of my familiar is bound to my own. If my familiar is slain I immediately take a Severe Consequence Severed Familiar Bond and I cannot gain a new familiar until this consequence has been cleared.

Two (2) Aspects

Good At: Spread +4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Bad At: Spread -4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

Moderate (4)

Proxy Familiars

Proxy familiars offer a lot of value for their Refresh equivalency and allow their owners to extend the range at which they can use various abilities, but also pose a challenge to their owners should they be killed as they are the repository of their owner's known spells.

Familiar (Proxy): Because I have a mystical familiar I am always accompanied by an animal that is particularly smart and capable for its kind. However, my familiar is the repository of all my known spells and if they are killed I cannot cast Arcane spells until I get a replacement familiar.

Two (2) Aspects

Good At: Spread +2 around one or two skill-like abilities

Bad At: Spread -4 around one to four skill-like abilities

Stress [1][2][3]

Mild (2)

Moderate (4)

Spell Proxy: My owner can treat targets in the zone that I am in as if they were in their zone for purposes of spells and spell-like abilities that only affect targets in the caster's zone.

The ability to share the senses of a familiar can be useful.

Companion's Senses: Because I share a mystical bond with my animal companion, I may spend a Fate point to share their senses for a scene at a range of a few dozen miles. This allows me to witness events through the senses of my companion as if I were present. This can be detected by others with appropriate senses as a Quick + Primal overcome action vs a Fantastic (+6) difficulty.

Bloodlines

Some witches get their magic from their heritage, inheriting their powers from an arcane bloodline.

Accursed Bloodline (-5)

This bloodline requires Primal +1 or better to use.

This bloodline requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Hedge Arcanist: Because I practice a more ancient form of Arcane magic that remains connected to the natural world, while Arcane I can cast spells that replicate effects that are usually the province of Primal. Further, I may also add my Primal capability modifier as a bonus to my roll when I do so.

Evil Eye: Because I can hex others with the power of the Evil Eye, I gain +2 while Arcanely creating advantage to attach the spell Aspect The Eye Is Upon You to a person or creature in my zone that I can see. This spell Aspect lasts until it has no more invokes remaining or it is overcome. Anyone in the scene may invoke this Aspect to penalize or interfere with the target's actions.

Forbidding Presence: Because I present a very intimidating and stern visage while emanating a frightenting aura, I gain +1 when being Flashy and attempting to frighten or demoralize.

Forced Dementia: Because I have the ability to afflict the minds of others with mental confusion and temporary insanity, I gain +1 while Arcane to create advantage on a foe within my zone to place the situational Aspect Demented Confusion upon them. The recipient may be compelled by the GM or other players to do bizarre and illogical (but not suicidal) things. The Aspect lasts for a scene but can be overcome via appropriate magic as a Superb (+5) difficulty challenge. The recipient themselves can also overcome the Aspect while Carefully Focused as a Fantastic (+6) difficulty challenge. This is a mind-affecting ability.

Damage Reduction: Because I am more durable than normal, I reduce by one (1) all stress inflicted on me by physical and magical attacks.

Fey Bloodline (-5)

This bloodline requires Sneaky +1 and Primal +1 or better to use.

This bloodline requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Hedge Arcanist: Because I practice a more ancient form of Arcane magic that remains connected to the natural world, while Arcane I can cast spells that replicate effects that are usually the province of Primal. Further, I may also add my Primal capability modifier as a bonus to my roll when I do so.

Pass Without Trace: Because of my mastery of the natural world, I gain +1 when I am Sneakily Primal while in the wildlands, I am unobstructed by undergrowth, and if I take a full move I may move three zones instead of two. Finally, tracking me in wildland areas is very difficult; those attempting it must overcome a difficulty equal to my ((Sneaky + Primal) * 2).

Willful Invisibility: Because I can turn invisibile at will, if I do not attack or create advantage in an exchange I may place the situational Aspect 'Invisible' on myself as a free action that takes no time before or after my normal action. If I attack or create advantage while invisible, this Aspect is immediately removed and I become visibile for at least one (1) exchange before I am able to use this ability to become invisible again. My innate invisibility can be temporarily neutralized by those with unusual senses or magic or special items creating an applicable advantage; the difficulty to do so is Superb (+5). It can also be overcome and thus removed by some abilities that explicitly counter invisibility or dispel magic; the difficulty to do so is Fantastic (+6).

Wild Shape (-2)

Because I have the ability to change into the form of any normal animal of my choice, I may spend a Fate point to temporarily assume an animal form. My trappings magically change with me and are unavailable until I return to my normal form.

When I change forms I move all of my Approach bonuses to a disposition relevant to the animal form I am assuming, and I move all of my Archetype bonuses to Focused (leaving all of my other Archetypes at +0). This lasts for an entire scene unless I choose to return to normal, which ends the effect. Additionally, I may spend another Fate point to assume a different animal's form, and I do not have to first change back to normal.

When I change forms I gain an additional Aspect named for the animal form I have assumed which I can invoke when my current animal form is relevant, and which can be compelled whenever my animal form or lack of humanoid anatomy might inconvenience me.

If the animal form I change into has natural weapons I may use Focused in place of Combatives while in a physical conflict.

If the animal form I change into has an unusual form of movement, such as the flight of a bird, the running of a wolf, or the swimming of a shark then I gain that mode of movement while I am in that form as well, at the GM's discretion.

If the animal form I change into has an unusual or extra keen sense, such as the low light vision of a cat, the olfactory senses of a canine, or the echolocation of a bat then I gain that sense while I am in that form as well, at the GM's discretion.

Verdant Bloodline (-5)

This bloodline requires Primal +1 or better to use.

This bloodline requires Arcane +1 or better to use.

Hedge Arcanist: Because I practice a more ancient form of Arcane magic that remains connected to the natural world, while Arcane I can cast spells that replicate effects that are usually the province of Primal. Further, I may also add my Primal capability modifier as a bonus to my roll when I do so.

Plant Traits: Because of my verdant nature, I am immune to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms), paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, and stun. However I take +1 shift of stress from attacks that rely on cold, fire, acid, or are described as being especially effective vs plant life.

Pass Without Trace: Because of my mastery of the natural world, I gain +1 when I am Sneakily Primal while in the wildlands, I am unobstructed by undergrowth, and if I take a full move I may move three zones instead of two. Finally, tracking me in wildland areas is very difficult; those attempting it must overcome a difficulty equal to my ((Sneaky + Primal) * 2).

Barkskin Knack: Because I have a minor magical knack, I can create advantage while Carefully Primal vs an Average (+1) difficulty to apply the Aspect Barkskin to myself. While this Aspect is active I gain +2 when defending against physical or damaging magical attacks. This Aspect may also be invoked to offer additional protection when defending from physical or magical harm. This Aspect can be overcome and removed as a Superb (+5) difficulty by those with Primal +3 or higher.

Entangling Undergrowth: Because I am a master of natural magics, when I am in a rural area with vegetation, while I am Carefully Primal I may attempt to overcome a Great (+4) difficulty to cause the undergrowth in my zone or an adjacent zone to animate and wrap itself around and entangle all targets. See the Entangling Undergrowth profile for details. I am immune to this effect.

Animated Undergrowth, Creeping Vines

Good At: Entangling (+5)

Limitation: An immobile construct anchored to its zone.

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