The Witch Class (T1 Playtest Draft)

Hello, everyone! This week’s article is a playtest draft for a new class, the Witch! Since this is a larger-scale project like the Tamer (formerly the Hunter) in 2020,  I’m hoping to tackle the full class in more digestible slices in order to develop and improve it into a great addition to your 5e library.

If you’d like to be more directly involved in giving me and receive an e-mail when future playtest drafts go live, then you can download a PDF version of the class via DriveThruRPG. Additionally, everyone who helps with feedback on this class will receive a free copy of the final class PDF as a thank you for helping to improve it! And of course, if you want to send any questions my way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me – you can reach me on Facebook or Twitter.

Arcane Practitioners

The power of magic flows through a witch’s blood as the waters of a river follow a familiar bed. Where wizards seek taxonomy and mechanics, an artificial approach to controlling arcane magic, a witch will instead use ritual as guidance to coax the desired effect from a spell. The skills and spells a witch employs will vary based on their Affinities, traditions they master ranging from fortune telling and herblore to the use of crystalline magic and whispering sinister curses to befall their foes.

Class Table

The Witch

Level Proficiency


Features Cantrips


1st 2nd 3rd
1st +2 Spellcasting, Arcane Synchronicity 3 2
2nd +2 Bewitching Affinity 3 3
3rd +2 3 4 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3

Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d6 per witch level

Hit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifier

Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per witch level after 1st


Armor: None

Weapons: Axes, daggers, sickles, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows

Tools: None

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Dexterity

Skills: Choose two from Arcana, History, Medicine, Perception, Performance, and Religion


You start with the following equipment in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a dagger or (b) an arcane focus
  • (a) a quarterstaff or (b) a sickle
  • a holy symbol
  • (a) an explorer’s pack or (b) a priest’s pack
  • elements of an altar of your choice (described below)


As a practitioner of the arcane arts, you prepare your spells through a sacred ritual which is executed with the utmost care. See below for the witch spell list and consult other books in your RPG library for the general rules of spellcasting.


At 1st level, you know three cantrips of your choice from the witch spell list. You learn additional witch cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the Cantrips Known column of the Witch table.

Much like a wizard’s spellbook, a witch’s altar is an important element of how the class functions. A GM should think twice before denying a witch access to the elements of their altar, as the ability to prepare and cast spells through this medium is integral to how the class is intended to be played. Should a witch be denied access to their chosen altar’s components, they will probably be able to improvise components with similar meaning and utility from their surroundings.


At 1st level, the accoutrements of your altar contain 6 1st-level witch spells of your choice. Through practiced motions using these elements, you prepare the spells you can cast. Elements from this altar may include a ceremonial dagger or wand, broom, candles, incense, a cauldron, a chalice, and a holy symbol, as well as a set of robes to be worn only while preparing spells or casting rituals. Through your travels, you may acquire other items with special arcane significance to you, representing your learning new spells in your adventures.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Witch table shows how many spell slots you have with which to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare the list of witch spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of witch spells from your spells known equal to your Wisdom modifier + your witch level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have the spell slots.

For example, if you are a 3rd-level witch, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With a Wisdom of 16, your list of prepared spells can include 6 spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination, chosen from your known spells. (witch level 3 + Wisdom modifier 3) Casting a spell does not remove it from your list of prepared spells.

You can change your list of prepared spells when you finish a long rest. During a short rest, you may replace one of your prepared spells with another that you know. Preparing your spells requires time spent arranging the elements of your altar: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your witch spells, as you harmonize with magic through practiced ritual. You use your Wisdom modifier whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a witch spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast a witch spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag. You do not need to have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use an arcane focus, wand, broom, or a dagger as a spellcasting focus for your witch spells.

Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher

Each time you gain a witch level, you can learn three witch spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have the spell slots, as shown on the Witch table.

Arcane Synchronicity

While preparing your magical spells, you align yourself with the ambient magic around you. Like everything in life, magic follows a cyclical flow, to which you have become attuned. When you complete a long or short rest, choose one of the following phases. When you are reduced below half of your hit points, you advance to the next phase (or back to Phase of the Corona if you were in Phase of the Umbra). When you cast a spell of 1st level or higher, you also advance to the next phase, after resolving the effects of your spell.

You gain the following benefits while in the corresponding phase:

Phase of the Corona. When you roll damage as the result of a witch spell that you have cast, you may choose to re-roll a number of dice equal to your proficiency bonus.

Phase of the Horizon. When you or an ally you can see or hear are hit by an attack roll, you may use your reaction to give the triggering creature resistance to a damage type of your choice until the start of your next turn.

Phase of the Umbra. Once per turn, when you take the attack action with a witch weapon, instead of rolling damage, you may deal radiant damage equal to 3 times the damage you’ve taken since the end of your last turn.

Bewitching Affinity

Starting at 2nd level, you choose a special focus of your arcane abilities, detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 2nd level, and then again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Herb Affinity

Witches of the Herb Affinity have expertise in not only the medicinal usage of plants, but also their role as portents and omens. These witches often feel at home alongside druids or wildlife.

Bonus Proficiencies

When you take this Affinity at 2nd level, you gain proficiency in the Survival skill and with brewer’s supplies. Additionally, if a creature within 5 feet of you is affected by a condition which can be ended with a saving throw, you can use your action to make that creature attempt a saving throw.

Harvest of the Autumn

In addition to the phases described in Arcane Synchronicity, you gain the following phase, occurring after Phase of the Horizon but before Phase of the Umbra:

Phase of the Leaves. You may ignore difficult terrain while moving. Additionally, when you target an ally with a witch spell, they recover hit points equal to your Intelligence modifier.

Hex Affinity

Witches of the Hex Affinity have a sinister reputation, sowing curses among their enemies. However, as with other witches’ reactive magic, the Hex Affinity typically carries with it spells which protect a caster from harm, punishing those with ill intent.

Malediction of Foes

In addition to the phases described in Arcane Synchronicity, you gain the following phase, occurring after Phase of the Umbra but before Phase of the Corona:

Phase of the Void. When you or an ally is targeted by an attack, the creature making the attack takes an amount of psychic damage equal to your Charisma modifier.

Crystal Affinity

The most martially-inclined of witches, those who practice the Crystal Affinity unite the resilience of stone with the prismatic resonance of various crystals, which can be used for both defense and for weaving powerful spells.

Bonus Proficiencies

You gain proficiency with medium armor and martial weapons.

Lattice of Protection

In addition to the phases described in Arcane Synchronicity, you gain the following phase, occurring after Phase of the Corona but before Phase of the Horizon:

Phase of the Earth. You may use a bonus action to shield yourself and your allies from harm. Until the start of your next turn, whenever you or an ally who you can see or hear takes damage, you may reduce that damage by an amount equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1).

Constellation Affinity

Enigmatic and curious, witches practicing the Constellation Affinity find themselves turning to the stars and the cosmos for guidance, seeing the world as a series of puzzles to unravel. These witches can prove quite on the battlefield, seeming to flit about with uncanny speed.

Slip the Bonds

In addition to the phases described in Arcane Synchronicity, you gain the following phase, occurring after Phase of the Umbra but before Phase of the Corona:

Phase of the Stars. When you missed by an attack, you may teleport a distance up to your speed as a reaction. Additionally, when you teleport as the result of a spell you cast at 1st level or higher, the range of this teleport increases by 10 feet.

Familiar Affinity

Often boisterous and friendly, the witches who practice the Familiar Affinity draw magical strength from the bonds they form with others. These witches will gladly lay their lives on the line for an ally, and will often inspire the same reaction from those allies.

Bonus Proficiencies

Starting when you take this Affinity at 2nd level, you gain proficiency in the Animal Handling skill. Additionally, you can treat a broom you are wielding as quarterstaff.

Take Flight

You can use an action to imbue a broom with life for up to 1 minute, requiring you to maintain concentration as though you had cast a spell. While so enchanted, you may ride it in the air. It has a flying speed of 30 feet, and can carry up to 300 pounds, but its flying speed becomes 20 feet while carrying over 200 pounds. If the broom is in midair when this enchantment ends, it descends safely to ground level.

You cannot use this feature again until you complete a long rest.

Protective Wards

In addition to the phases described in Arcane Synchronicity, you gain the following phase, occurring after Phase of the Umbra but before Phase of the Corona:

Phase of the Hearth. When a creature friendly to you starts its turn within 15 feet of you, it gains temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

Witch Spells


  1. dancing lights
  2. diamond dust
  3. friends
  4. hesitance
  5. invigoration
  6. light
  7. mage hand
  8. mending
  9. message
  10. minor illusion
  11. potent brew
  12. resistance
  13. spare the dying
  14. thaumaturgy
  15. true strike
  16. twist fate

1st Level

  1. alarm
  2. bane
  3. bless
  4. charm person
  5. color spray
  6. comprehend languages
  7. detect magic
  8. detect poison and disease
  9. entangle
  10. expeditious retreat
  11. false life
  12. feather fall
  13. find familiar
  14. fog cloud
  15. grease
  16. healing word
  17. hellish rebuke
  18. hideous laughter
  19. identify
  20. inkblot
  21. mage armor
  22. orchid’s blessing
  23. sanctuary
  24. sapphire helm
  25. shield
  26. sleep
  27. speak with animals
  28. unseen servant

2nd Level

  1. aid
  2. alter self
  3. animal messenger
  4. augury
  5. blindness/deafness
  6. blur
  7. continual flame
  8. darkness
  9. darkvision
  10. detect thoughts
  11. enhance ability
  12. enthrall
  13. gentle repose
  14. gust of wind
  15. heat metal
  16. hold person
  17. inkblot
  18. locate animals or plants
  19. locate object
  20. magic mouth
  21. magic weapon
  22. mirror image
  23. misty step
  24. moonbeam
  25. pass without trace
  26. prayer of healing
  27. ray of enfeeblement
  28. shatter
  29. silence
  30. spike growth
  31. suggestion
  32. web

New Witch Spells

Diamond Dust

Conjuration Cantrip

Casting time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, S, M (a smooth marble)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 round

You clench your fist around a marble, stirring a flurry of glass powder around you. For the duration of the spell, when a creature enters or starts its turn in a space within 5 feet of you, it takes 1d6 slashing damage. The creature can’t benefit from being invisible after taking damage in this way for the duration of the spell.

This spell’s damage increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6).


Enchantment Cantrip

Casting time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

Choose a creature that you can see within range. You speak a rhyming incantation which resonates with that creature, chilling them to their core. That creature must succeed on a wisdom saving throw, or until the start of your next turn, that creature’s speed is halved and it takes a penalty to its attack rolls and ability checks equal to your spellcasting modifier. This spell has no effect on creatures immune to being frightened or creatures that cannot hear you.

The number of creatures you can affect with this spell increases when you reach higher levels: two creatures at 5th level, three creatures at 11th level, and four creatures at 17th level.


Necromancy Cantrip

Casting time: 1 bonus action

Range: 30 feet

Components: S

Duration: Instantaneous

You manifest the confidence and vigor a creature feels into true vitality. Choose a creature within range which has temporary hit points. That creature may expend any number of its temporary hit points to regain that number of hit points.

Potent Brew

Transmutation Cantrip

Casting time: 1 reaction

Range: 30 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

You infuse a potion with an additional spark of magical energy as it is imbibed. When a creature within range drinks a potion, you may give that creature your choice of one of the following magical effects.

  • Once before the end of its next turn, that creature can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one saving throw of its choice. It can roll the die before or after making the saving throw.
  • That creature’s speed increases by 10 feet until the end of its turn.
  • That creature gains resistance to a damage type of your choice until the end of your next turn.

Twist Fate

Divination Cantrip

Casting time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, S, M (a pair of shears and a purple thread)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You pluck at the threads of fate, subtly changing a creature’s destiny. When you cast this spell, roll a d20 and record the number rolled. You may end your concentration on this spell to replace the number rolled on an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature within 30 feet of you.


1st level Transmutation

Casting time: 1 action

Range: 120 feet

Components: V, S, M (A full inkwell worth at least 10 gp)

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

A 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range becomes a puddle of viscous black ink. Any creature which speaks or casts a spell with a verbal component in this area must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 3d6 poison damage and begins to cough up black ink. The creature can’t speak or cast spells with a verbal component until the start of its next turn. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

Orchid’s Blessing

1st level Illusion

Casting time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You cause a deep purple orchid to bloom on a creature you touch, imbuing them with improved fortunes. For the duration of the spell, when the creature makes a weapon attack, they score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

If the creature rolls a 1 on a weapon attack roll, the orchid wilts. They can reroll the die and must use the new roll, and the spell immediately ends.

Sapphire Helm

1st level Conjuration

Casting time: 1 action

Range: Self

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create a mask of sapphire around your face which magnifies your vision immensely. For the duration of the spell, when you cast a spell that has a range of 5 feet or greater, the range of that spell increases by 10 feet times your spellcasting modifier (minimum 10 feet). Additionally, you have advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) checks which rely on sight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.