Hello, everyone! Thank you for your continued feedback on the witch class over the past few months – We’ve reached the final round of playtesting before the class’s release around Halloween! This updated draft contains class features from levels 1 through 20, as well as a whopping 50 new spells for the class. As before, to keep this blog post at a more digestible size, I’ll be separating the class features and new spells into two posts.If you’d prefer to download this class as a PDF for playtesting, you can do so using the following DriveThruRPG link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/350334/Witch-Playtest
Once you’ve read the class features and had a chance to play with the witch class, I’d appreciate your feedback, either here, via the TBM Games Discord, or through the Google Doc you can reach from the DriveThruRPG link.
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.
Hit Dice: 1d6 per witch levelHit Points at 1st Level: 6 + your Constitution modifierHit Points at Higher Levels: 1d6 (or 4) + your Constitution modifier per witch level after 1st
Armor: NoneWeapons: Axes, daggers, sickles, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbowsTools: NoneSaving Throws: Wisdom, DexteritySkills: 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 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 1stor 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.
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 modifierSpell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
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.
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.
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, using the higher result.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 deal radiant damage equal to 3 times the damage you’ve taken since the end of your last turn.
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.
Starting at 5th level, your arcane abilities ward you from physical harm. Whenever you roll initiative in a fight, you gain a bonus to your Armor Class equal to your proficiency bonus.This bonus ends when you make a weapon attack or use an action or bonus action to cast a spell.
At 18th level, your attunement to your magical abilities enables you to exert control over the tides of magic. When you would change phases from your Arcane Synchronicity, you may choose which phase to enter, but you must choose a different phase from the one you are currently in.
By 20th level, you have developed an almost instinctual recognition of the flow of magic. When you cast a spell using a spell slot of 1st level or higher, if the spell you cast belongs to a different school than the last spell you cast, treat the spell as though you had cast it using a spell slot of at least 3rd level.
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.
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 bonus 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.
Starting at 6th level, you have learned to use difficult terrain to your advantage, offering you protection in battle. While you are standing in nonmagical difficult terrain, any attacks made against you are made at disadvantage.
When you reach 10th level, you have learned how to judge the exact dosage of a potion necessary to reap its effects, sometimes eking out an additional dose. When a creature who is friendly to you and can see or hear you within 30 feet of you drinks a potion, roll a d20. On a result of 11 or higher, they gain the effect of the potion, but the potion is not consumed. The remainder of the potion can then be diluted with clean water to become a full vial of the same potion as an action.
Starting at 14th level, your harmonious relationship with plant growth allows you to quickly mitigate harmful effects. At the start of each of your turns, if you are affected by a condition which can be ended with a saving throw, you may attempt a saving throw. If you fail this saving throw, you instead recover hit points equal to your Intelligence modifier.
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.
Starting at 6th level, foes affected by your hexes find it more difficult to act against you. If a creature fails a saving throw against the effects of a spell you cast, it cannot willingly move closer to you on its next turn.
When you reach 10th level, you have learned enigmatic arts which allow you to sustain spells when other spellcasters’ concentration would falter. If you fail a Constitution saving throw to maintain your concentration on a spell, you may choose to succeed instead, taking psychic damage equal to the amount by which you failed the saving throw or 5 damage, whichever is higher. This damage cannot be resisted or negated.For example, if you failed a DC 15 Constitution saving throw with a total of 8, you may maintain concentration by taking 7 psychic damage.
Starting at 14th level, you can coax your spells to deal additional damage to your foes. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for a spell you cast, you may reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2.You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
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.
You gain proficiency with medium armor and martial weapons.
You adopt a particular style of fighting as your specialty. Choose one of the following options.
You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
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).
Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
When you reach 10th level, you can use your magical affinity to strengthen yourself when resisting magical effects. As a reaction, when you roll a saving throw against a magical effect, you may add your proficiency bonus to the roll after you roll the die, but before the outcome is determined. If you are already proficient in the ability saving throw, you may double your proficiency bonus for that saving throw.
At 14th level, you gain the ability to weather any strike for a brief period by encasing yourself in solid gemstone. When you would take damage, you may use your reaction to petrify yourself until the end of your next turn.While petrified, if you take damage which would reduce you to 0 hit points, you may end the petrification and remain conscious at 1 hit point instead.
Enigmatic and insatiably 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 elusive on the battlefield, seeming to dart 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 are missed by an attack, you may teleport a distance up to your movement speed as a reaction. Additionally, when you teleport as the result of a spell you cast at 1stlevel or higher, the range of this teleport increases by 10 feet.
Starting at 6th level, you have learned to strike a foe while magically eluding their grasp. Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you may use up to 15 feet of your movement to teleport that distance.
Starting at 10th level, when a spell you’ve cast fails, you can find and salvage remnants of that spell’s energies. When every target of a spell you cast using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher succeeds on a saving throw against the spell’s effects, you regain a spell slot whose level is 1 less than the spell you cast.You cannot use this feature again until you complete a short rest.
When you reach 14th level, you are ready to spring into action immediately after teleporting. Immediately after you teleport, you may make a melee weapon attack. If this attack hits, it deals an additional 2d6 radiant damage.
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.
Starting when you take this Affinity at 2ndlevel, you gain proficiency in the Animal Handling skill. Additionally, you can treat a broom you are wielding as quarterstaff.
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.
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).
Starting at 6th level, you can stir an ally to action with your words. As an action, you can select a creature friendly to you who can see or hear you within 30 feet of you. That creature may take an action. If they do so, they heal a number of hit points equal to your Charisma modifier.
When you reach 10th level, your healing magic bolsters confidence in your allies. When you heal a creature’s hit points, if the amount of hit points restored exceeds their hit point maximum, they gain a number of temporary hit points equal to the excess healing.
Starting at 14th level, you can draw on the resilience of your allies to ward yourselves from harmful effects. When you or a creature friendly to you within 30 feet of you must make a saving throw, you may use your reaction to make that saving throw automatically succeed instead of rolling.You cannot use this feature again until you complete a short rest.
As you level up in the witch class, you can learn the following spells. If a spell name is italicized, it is listed in the new witch spells list.
spare the dying
detect poison and disease
speak with animals
coven of unity
gust of wind
locate animals or plants
pass without trace
prayer of healing
ray of enfeeblement
beacon of hope
create food and water
mass healing word
meld into stone
speak with dead
speak with plants
conjure woodland beings
freedom of movement
wall of fire
charm of daftness
commune with nature
cone of cold
contact other plane
dispel evil and good
mass cure wounds
wall of stars
wall of stone
circle of death
find the path
flesh to stone
guards and wards
transport via plants
wall of thorns
word of recall
Baba Yaga’s walking hut
finger of death
power word stun
old growth forest
power word heal
power word kill