Witch

From 1d4chan
Jump to: navigation, search

A witch is a magic user (usually female) which is a common archetype in most fantasy settings and old myths. They can fit into one of two broad groups; either being sizzling seductive beauties that will kill you as much as kiss you (the sexy option) or hunched, crackling old crones who are like your grandma except the insane kind who might use you in a soup (the scary option). There is rarely a middle ground between the two, the old myths and even modern perceptions tending to either group sexy and power together or keep them separate, though it is frequent for one kind to pretend to be the other.

Witches are usually aligned with the dark forces, summoning demons, making curses and hexes, etc. They can be mysterious and wise and have familiars from cats and snakes to lesser demons. They also tend to fly around on broomsticks (because traditionally they took drugs vaginally which made them experience flight or transforming into animals) and harbour their magic instead of using it to live the cushy life (God knows why).

The traditional method of dealing with witches is to burn them. How to tell if a witch is a witch varies from place to place, from throwing them into a pond to see if they float (If they sink, they drown but at least they're innocent), to weighing them opposite a duck to see if they're made of wood.

Traditional gaming has allowed witches to flourish anew in a variety of new forms and identities, examples of which are given below:

Warhammer Fantasy[edit]

There is a whole host of witches within Warhammer fantasy, scattered over all the different races of the Warhammer world. Mostly the term seems to apply to any sorcerer or mage who hasn’t had formal training, being a rustic magic user or in the terms given above for old crackling hags or dark seductresses. The most famous ‘witch’ in this setting is the Witch-King Malekith of the Dark Elves, although his mother is the more the perfect example of the archetype….

One of the known example for the human side are the ice witches of Kislev, who are known for their Lore of Ice, a magic unique to the Kislevite mage. They are the decedents of Khan-Queen Miska, the first ruler of Kislev and were inherited her power through blood. Queen Tzarina Katarina is the current ruler of Kislev as well as being the most powerful Ice Witch. She is known for banned men from using magic in Kislev because men are yucky. Olesya Pimenova from The End Times: Vermintide is an Ice Witch as well.

Warhammer 40,000[edit]

Witch in the 40,000 universe is mostly heard when an Imperial preacher or Inquisitor shouts ‘it’s a witch!’ to explain any unexplainable events caused by a person, even if they are completely blameless. The Imperium almost uses it like a swearword to label any psyker regardless of race as such. Chaos magicians and psykers are almost always called witches when the Imperium sees them and these fun loonies seem to have no trouble accepting the term.

The Dark Eldar have ‘wyches’, although these are not female magic users. These wyches are barely clothed (except for leather straps), gorgeous gladiators that fight for the amusement of the audience and to get a kick out of dominating men by removing their body parts a piece at a time (so basically the sexy witch version minus the magic). To counter the sexism accusations in the most recent Dark Eldar codex it is mentioned there are male wyches but they are kept as breeding stock. So yeah, way to shoot yourself in the foot GW. This is mostly because female Dark Eldar for some reason can take more combat drugs than males without ODing, which gives them a considerable edge in the gladiatorial fights. (That, and they're naturally more graceful and acrobatic, among other things, such as attractiveness and the fact that most of the males sign up as Beastmasters instead.)

Discworld[edit]

Witches are a type of mostly rural female magic users on the Disc. They're both good and bad witches out there, but one thing that all of them have is a headstrong independent streak a mile wide. They mostly live on their own helping out their villages. They fill a variety of jobs from apothecaries to mediators to defenders against incursions by elves and other such supernatural critters when they cause too much trouble. Witches mostly wear black and pointy hats.

Among the witches are some of the most powerful magic users on the disc, but the really good ones rarely use it. Mostly they rely on guile and headology (psychology as contrived by a bunch of manipulative old women) to get their way.

Dungeons & Dragons[edit]

2e[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons included a witch as a kit (though more of a borderline variant class) for the Wizard in the Complete Wizard's Handbook.

The Witch is a wizard whose powerful magical abilities are extraplanar in origin. Though wizards typically learn the basics of spellcasting at magic academies or from learned mentors, Witches learn magical skills from entities and their minions from other planes of existence, or from other Witches. Occasionally, these extraplanar entities contact youthful humans or demihumans for magical instruction; other times, humans and demihumans seek out the entities through arcane rituals and petition them for instruction. The entities agree to such instruction for a variety of reasons-- some hope to train their students to eventually become emissaries; some hope to use them as conduits for various forces; some hope to seduce them as consorts; and some simply share their magical secrets for their own amusement.

Whatever the motives of the extraplanar entities, they exude a powerful directing influence over their students. However, a few Witches with particularly strong wills are able to maintain their own drives while using their magical skills to further their own goals. Such Witches face a life-long struggle with the forces who relentlessly strive to direct their spirits. They need a 13 in Int, Wis, and Con to keep their bodies and minds resistant to the influence of the beings they work with, and dropping the kit requires a lesser wish or something similarly powerful and the sacrifice of two levels' worth of experience, which must be earned back before the witch can get their spellcasting back. Ouch.

Regardless of her actual alignment, all but her closest friends are likely to presume that a Witch is in collaboration with extraplanar spirits, and will shun her accordingly. There are few places where a Witch is welcome, and for the most part, a witch will need to conceal her identity when traveling to assure her safety. Fortunately, the book outright states the witch's party is free to consider them a "close friend." Unfortunately, it still recommends suspicious or superstitious characters distrust them a little, with the caveat that the DM should remind them the witch isn't actually evil when it starts disrupting the campaign. (A reminder sadly all-too lacking in many RPG sources even today!)

However, staying in one place too long creates a literal mob of torches and pitchforks citizens trying to kill a witch, and their patron starts shit with a frequency the DM determines. Either the witch suffers a -2 to attacks and saving throws the full moon night, or seven nights a month on worlds where there are too many moons, the witch has a 25% chance of suffering the same penalty every twelve hours, or the witch suffers a -1 penalty to those rolls every night.

Although a Witch learns her magical techniques from extraplanar entities, once on her own, she learns her spells in much the same way as any other wizard. Still, her techniques for casting spells may differ significantly from the standard methods. The casting times, ranges, and effects of her spells are no different from the same spells used by other wizards, but she may use different verbal, somatic, or material components, as well as meditation. These differences should make her seem even more threatening to outsiders, as well as making her seem more remote to the other player characters.

Witches don't get or acquire weapon proficiencies, but do get a broad array of useful skills, including herbalism, fortune-telling, and other nature stuff.

In addition to a few free spells, witches get a number of special powers. They can summon familiars for free without using spells, brew sleep potions and poisons that can coat weapons, and flying ointments to apply to people (or, spitballing an example here, brooms), save-free charm person and/or monster (under 8HD anyway), and the ability to throw out a witch's curse, for free, do not save, do not collect $200.

The curse will randomly reduce one randomly-rolled stat by 3, impose a -4 penalty on hit and damage rolls, blind them for 24 hours or until it gets dispelled, deal a point of unhealing hitpoint damage every hour for a day or until it gets dispelled, or, and this is a 1/8 chance here, impose temporal stasis, which lasts for a day and instantly kills them when it ends if it's not dispelled first.

The Witch is among the most complex of all the kits, and many of the details are left up to the player's discretion. For instance, he may wish to design specific daily rituals for his Witch, or he may wish to expand on the Witch's relationship with the entities who originally trained her. What exactly are they? Where are they? Can the Witch contact them for favors? What exactly happens if the forces succeed in controlling the Witch? Does her alignment change? Her abilities? Her relationship to the party? There are many possible variations on the Witch kit, and the DM is encouraged to experiment, as long as he avoids the temptation to make her excessively powerful, and keeps in mind the potential disruptions in his campaign.

Fun to roleplay if the DM isn't a pain in the neck about it.

3e[edit]

A Witch-flavored prestige class, the Hallowed Witch, appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition update of the Ravenloft setting, where it was one of several prestige classes in the splatbook "Van Richten's Arsenal, Volume 1".

In many ways a spiritual precursor to the Witch in Pathfinder, the Hallowed Witch was a benevolent variant of the Mystic Theurge, combining arcane and divine magics. Associated with the church of Hala, the prestige class required a Neutral Alignment, 8 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana), 4 ranks in Knowledge (Nature), 8 ranks in Spellcraft, the feat Spell Focus (Divination) or Spell Focus (Enchantment), and the ability to cast 2nd level spells from both an Arcane source and a Divine source. The prestige class stacked with base classes for spellcasting level and for advancing a familiar. Its primary focus was that it gave the Hallowed Witch a number of special spell-like abilities, which it could choose from a list as it gained levels. The Hallowed Witch could also join a coven, and work as a team with its coven members to cast more high-level spell-like abilities.

4e[edit]

Witches were filed under a variant class for the Wizard in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition in Heroes of the Feywild. This variant class changed quite a bit about the core class, starting with Augury being a permanent Utility spell and automatically gaining Arcane Familiar as a feat alongside your cantrips. This familiar pretty much acts as your spellbook, allowing you to switch Dailies or Utility powers during an Extended Rest. Once you reach Epic levels, you can also spend an AP to regain a spent Encounter power and gain Combat Advantage on the target you spent used that spell on. What really makes it difficult is the choice in Covens, your subclass options:

  • Dark Moon Coven grants training in Intimidation and a later boost to both that and Stealth. The unique power, Dread Presence, unfortunately also keys off Wis for the aftereffects of the power's blast zone. The plus is that at least this punches through resistances to necrotic damage.
  • Full Moon Coven grants training in Heal and a later boost to both that and Diplomacy. The unique power is Glorious Presence, a power that shoves back enemies Wis blocks away and gives THP to anyone in the burst range.

As anyone can notice, both options aren't very clear on what secondary they want to focus on, between skills that key off Cha in both despite having a power that keys off Wis more.

Its exclusive Paragon Path, the Legendary Witch, fares little better, if not worse due to the inescapable trap option. Most of the features might be passable, but the capstone powers for each Coven are polymorphs that trap you between either using a single-use power or being forced to use MBAs, the thing most Wizards pretty much forget exist (Bladesingers excepted) because what kind of retard Wizard tries punching things?

In general, it falls into the same problem as virtually every other D&D Essentials class ever in that it might be passable at Heroic tier, but swiftly becomes crap afterwards.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Classes
Player's Handbook 1: Cleric - Fighter - Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Warlock - Warlord - Wizard
Player's Handbook 2: Avenger - Barbarian - Bard - Druid - Invoker - Shaman - Sorcerer - Warden
Player's Handbook 3: Ardent - Battlemind - Monk - Psion - Runepriest - Seeker
Heroes of X: Blackguard - Binder - Cavalier - Elementalist - Hexblade - Hunter
Mage - Knight - Protector - Scout - Sentinel - Skald - Slayer - Sha'ir - Thief
Vampire - Warpriest - Witch
Settings Book: Artificer - Bladesinger - Swordmage
Dragon Magazine: Assassin
Others: Paragon Path - Epic Destiny

Pathfinder[edit]

Witches are offshoots of the Wizard class, based on one of the old wizard kits from the earliest editions of the game; as the Druid is to the Cleric, so is the Witch to the Wizard. They are essentially arcane spellcasters (so no armor) who have to prepare their spells in advance (so no spontaneous casting), but unlike the wizard, who can only use arcane magic, they have access to a broad spectrum of different kinds of spell, depending on the kind of witch they are, most of which are nature-ish in origin. The wizard is still more versatile, but the witch can do things wizards can't, like throw out heals and curses that are usually divine magic rather than arcane. This lack of versatility in their spell list means they struggle to be a tier 1 class and can easily fall into tier 2, even though they can get access to their entire list with prep time. If one of your party members is playing an other-wise-OP-as-fuck merfolk, witches are the only way to supply them with potions of Fins to Feet so they don't slow everyone down.

Witches also get access to various unique fairy-tale-style hexes, which range from making poison apples and debuffing your enemies, to making crops wither and grow, to letting your now-prehensile hair count as a new limb and flying. The coolest one is probably the one that makes all your hexes last longer so long as you burn a move action to cackle ominously. While few of them work on an unlimited scale (usually, they can't affect the same target twice on the same day, or they can be used for a minute per witch level, spent in one-minute increments), and while all of them take a standard action to use, this does mean a witch who's clicked dry on spell slots isn't nearly as useless as, say, a wizard in the same situation, and they give the class a lot of debuff potential.

Witches get familiars like wizards, but theirs store their spells like spellbooks. Most familiar are gifts from their "patrons," since most witches get their powers from making deals with mysterious natural forces. Like a warlock but without the Cthulhu. For this reason, they replenish their spells by "communing with their familiars," a phrase that is exactly as perverted as you want it to be. Everyone will hate you for the mental image, mind.

In the Advanced Class Guide released in 2014, a new class was released, the Shaman. Functions mostly like the witch, with its own unique hexes (and can take lower-level witch hexes), but with more emphasis on the familiar's attributes (in this case, called a spirit animal) and the spirits that affect it (similar to Oracle mysteries), as well as casting divine magic.

The Classes of Pathfinder
Core Classes: Barbarian - Bard - Cleric - Druid - Fighter - Monk
Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Sorcerer - Wizard
Advanced
Player's Guide:
Alchemist - Antipaladin - Cavalier
Inquisitor - Oracle - Summoner - Witch
Advanced
Class Guide:
Arcanist - Bloodrager - Brawler - Hunter - Investigator
Shaman - Skald - Slayer - Swashbuckler - Warpriest
Occult
Adventures:
Kineticist - Medium - Mesmerist
Occultist - Psychic - Spiritualist
Ultimate X: Gunslinger - Magus - Ninja - Samurai - Shifter - Vigilante

Monstergirls[edit]

LamiaMonstergirl.pngThis article or section is about Monstergirls (or a monster that is frequently depicted as a Monstergirl), something that /tg/ widely considers to be the purest form of awesome. Expect PROMOTIONS! and /d/elight in equal measure, often with drawfaggotry or writefaggotry to match.
The Dragon's Crown Sorceress shows how the "hot witch" archetype is done.

Whether or not witches should be considered monstergirls is actually a matter of some debate. On the one hand, they are, in many stories, beautiful women with supernatural powers and potentially dangerous inhuman traits, which is like the basic definition of a monstergirl. On the other hand, when you get down to it, "witch" can literally mean "female arcanist", making them more of a class than a race - thus, like the amazon, there are proponents and opponents for their inclusion.

In the Monster Girl Encyclopedia, two different mamono embrace the witch as their basic concept:

A Witch only a registered sex offenderweeaboo could find sexy.

The first type is literally called the Witch; these are once-human sorceresses who fell for the blandishments of the Sabbath cult, failing to realize before it was too late that the "eternal youth" the Sabbath promoted was by transforming them into lolis. Indoctrinated utterly into the Sabbath cult as its loyal followers, witches concern themselves both with finding a nice boyfriend and with conducting magical experiments to ultimately aid the Sabbath in taking over the world.

Now you're cooking with propane!

The second type, the Dark Mage, are once-human sorceresses who inadvertently turned themselves into monsters by conducting magical experiments that ultimately overloaded them with corruptive demonic magic. These "witches" are selfish hedonists who take a great pride in their voluptuous forms, and will do anything to achieve their goal. Whilst it's not stated, one can imagine that the two witches don't get on at all.